I had promised myself I wouldn’t be judgmental anymore in my blog. That I would write about beautiful things in life such as a walk in the park or watch children play.That I wouldn’t be a arm chair feminist that harps on women issues sitting in an AC room with free internet (read office).
But the more I hear about stories revolving abuse to women, the more I find it hard to get a good night’s sleep. I give it a lot of thought, mull over it and rant about it in this space.
Didn’t I mention a friend whose husband passed away recently.Not only is this girl at 28, grappling with the loss of her husband, she is subjected to horror in the form of her in-laws accusing her for the cause of his death. The Hindu way of mourning a loss of a dear one is itself torturous I would say, what with ridiculous rituals that remind a woman every day that her life begins with the entry of a man in her life and ends with the death of her husband.There are special rituals where all signs of a married woman such as the thali, kumkum , bangles etc are taken off her body. Apparently the guy’s parents locked themselves up and refused to make appearance for this event. The reason being a sumangali (the mom-in-law in this case) is not supposed to watch all that.
What I ask is how can a Grihalakshmi suddeny become the forebringer of grief after staying in the house for 10 years, bearing TWO BOYS, contributing to the family income by working for a IT company, and running the house ??
Who should blame whom I ask , because apparently the man had health issues even when he was young. If the parents knew his health condition, why get him married ? Who cheated whom in this case ? I am sure the girl wouldn’t dare to ask these questions because she loves the husband deeply after sharing 10 precious years with him. He happens to be the father of her kids. If it were their loss, its her loss as well. More than anything else, he was the father for the 2 young kids who cannot even understand what death is .
In a moment where she needs maximum support, why is she being shunned by her own people. Does that mean that a living husband is the only bond between the D-I-L and the in-laws, that his death would mean a natural death to the relationship she shares with them? Imagine the kind of bitterness they share living for 10 years under one roof. A loss of a sole bread winner is a very sad thing for any family. There is anger, soul seeking, and a lot of questions for which they seek answers. Agreeable ! But to turn the tables around, get frustrated and to accuse a young widow is unacceptable. I can call it the worse form of mental torture.
Take another similar case. Another set of parents in law. A young widow with a 3 year old baby . So what did the in-laws do? They approach her after all the rituals are done, and give her an option to remarry. They assure her that they would bring up the grand child on their own .
How are these 2 families different? Is it because the first family believes the bond with the daughter in law exists only when the son is alive. That his sudden death would mean severing all ties with the girl ? But the second family believes that the daughter-in-law is more of a daughter , that she needs even more support and hand holding in those hours of grief.
What pains me is that this isn’t happening in slums in Bangalore. If that were the case, I would console myself that lack of education is the cause for these evils.
But what saddens me is this is happening in middle class homes right in front of your own eyes. It could be a neighbor , it would be your colleague ! and in many cases , you are a mute spectator !