Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Locked Door

There has been a severe spate of happenings in our nation, those things that should not have happened and those things that are often not named or just spoken about in hushed whispers in polite society. Yes, I mean the issue of rape, female harassment, brutal beatings and murder. These things have been prevalent in the past too and it's not like there has been a sudden surge of such criminal behaviour that has hit our nation, it is simply that the media had nothing better to show, so they picked up this story and ran with it. I read about rape, suicides and killings almost everyday in the newspapers, however these everyday rapes don't become topics of national interest. Why? Just because they didn't happen in the capital of the nation? These things are very disturbing - to me of course, but I'm sure a few others must have also realized this folly.

Anyway, I'm digressing. So coming back to the matter at hand, families today have become very protective of the women in their households. I'm not generalizing here, merely stating what I've observed in my circles. They want the women to dress 'decently', not stay out 'late' at night, not get 'too friendly' with boys and to keep calling home every two hours to report in. 

What does this say of our society? 

What does it tell us of our attitudes towards these happenings? 

How have these happenings affected the mentality of the people?

These recent events have, in my opinion, endangered the Woman even more. She has become a captive in her own house, it seems. She may be safe physically (or so everyone seems to think), but Her spirit has been killed. Her freedom taken away and Her choices limited to those deemed safe for Her. These limitations may be seen as cruel bonds biting into the soul and everyone may blame the Woman's father for these chains tied to her ankles. But, reflect for a moment from the perspective of a father who is perhaps very scared and horrified by what he is seeing on the news and only wants the safety of daughter. Is he really to be blamed? Is it only His fault?

Well, I don't think so and thus I wrote a few lines taking inspiration from the experience of one of my friends. It describes the strife between a father and a daughter but it also comes with a realization at the end.

The Locked Door
(A daughter’s silent scream)

I remember the day I tried to fly, my first flight to redeem          
The blue beyond that called to me, though silent it so seemed;
The wind above, the clouds below, though frightful it all was,
My wings I poised, my feet I set, to take off into the sky.
The clouds then took a blackish hue, a shadow form above,
My protector there from all to save, his daughter to defend -
Came swooping down and set his wings around my little form,
And set me back and held me close and shut me off the edge.
I shrieked, I clawed, till bruised he got, but leave me he would not;
But I blame him not, his child I was, regardless of it all.
     -Brendan-Anton R. Dabhi

Quite a number of women among those who are my friends have agreed that they carry such a sentiment, but I would like to know if women over a large populace believe what I've written to be true. So I urge the women reading this post to make a comment, however you may feel.