There are stories that must be told, all types of stories; happy, sad, painful, soul-shaking, especially if they are not mere stories but real life experiences. Maybe some people won’t understand but it is not about them, it is about you.
When does a child keep quiet? When he knows he has done something wrong and fears some punishment and if he is being wrongly framed look at how he fights to defend himself because he thinks only of right and wrong and not about societal mindset, he doesn’t fear being misunderstood. However we change as we grow up. When a girl is wronged, when a passerby misbehaves or passes lewd comments or when a family person attempts an assault, it is common to notice that such experiences are brushed aside like they never happened and absolutely never make it to dinner table conversations. In fact there are attempts to hide them like they are secrets to bury. A married woman will talk about her kid’s study burden but not about her mistreatment and physical abuse. The neighbours and family members who already know about it will also chose not to talk or intervene saying these are personal issues to be resolved.
Leave the official reporting aside, we don’t even talk about it and even when we do, it is more about feeling sad or sorry for the other girl. What is it that prevents us from talking about such important things? Where does this fear come from? Who makes us believe as if it was our fault and they themselves are guilty and why exactly do we believe them. It is our fault if we do not talk and say and share and revolt when there is a need to. Solution? We have to work to create such an environment where talking about such problems doesn’t raise eyebrows and keep working until it becomes a norm in society. Such issues need to become a part of our daily conversations for better understanding to effectively engage with them. Why should I try to hide the fact that my husband is a drunkard and beats me up every evening. Why should I not confront it and say that
I want things to change. Standing up for myself is the least I can do and that I must do.
So the reason why talking is all the more important is that it slowly takes away the hidden feeling of guilt; it takes away the fear of being misunderstood from mind; it makes us believe that we are fighting for a genuine reason and that our opinions matter and that somewhere all of us go through the same difficult times i.e. the pain unites us but doesn’t make us weak. Lets talk more and do all that is within our scope because we are not to be blamed; because we are not guilty.
By Aastha Kapoor