The past cannot be erased and it doesn’t come back to haunt us, it simply never leaves. I learned that first-hand on that particular morning. How much I liked to believe that I had moved on, I liked to believe it was a memory I could walk away from. But I guess my over inflated ego deserved that. A sucker punch. I was aching in that moment, I guess the reminder was too much, even Sandhya’s presence in my arms wasn’t enough to ignore the storm that came crashing down hard on me.
But don’t worry my silent friend, my over inflated ego does have a high shock absorbent property. Only if our brain worked like a hard disc, so many memories I’d like to overwrite, so many memories I’d like to delete, I do not want any cached versions of any of that. That was a nerd joke. Never mind.
You know I guess I stayed silent for maybe a little while longer than I should have. Mother got slapped way too often, it always hurt, not only for her, for me too. I guess, I still have the scars etched in my mind and heart from the figurative slaps. In Sandhya’s case, she experienced the slaps literally.
Those times look so distant now, looking back, I don’t know why. It’s not as if I still don’t relive or recall them vividly even by the slightest reminder but maybe father changed a bit, that could be a reason. But does that changes all wrong that he did way back then, he had issues, he says but then again didn’t we all or don’t we have them now? We still struggle on certain days.
I don’t know how, but it did ended up becoming unbearable, I guess it was that all the time, how could it had been pleasurable? I’m not – I don’t know, but something snapped one day, I guess I was maybe sixteen or seventeen, I don’t want to remember it very clearly which is why I so often struggle with the time, anyway, there came a moment when it just ended up becoming too much. Maybe that was the day it all changed.
As I said, I was never there, so my words might not suffice to tell all that conspired in Sandhya’s life. I only have the accounts from that morning. The morning Sandhya cried. Oh, before we start, my silent friend, let me tell you this, if you’re expecting a very coherent poetic description of the pain we shared, don’t read any further. When we relive our guilt, our pain, our misery, our shame, we do not try to be eloquent. Maybe we end up worried that the person listening to us will be scared by us or maybe disgusted by us. Sandhya had the same primal doubt, I guess. So she just rambled. She rambled away her life, in my arms, in words decorated by tears her anger erupted like a volcano. Maybe her anger had shimmered for just a little too long.
But it went something like this, “Changes are drastic measures, Atul. You lose your identity in that, I hate changes. Yet I changed because of him. Who would have believed mother, she was just a crazy lady who didn’t respected her husband. She took most of the beatings, she took the abuse, and she took the shame. Not that I wasn’t beaten. It’s an old saying, “It’s the darkest before dawn,” well I’m still waiting for that first ray of sunshine.
Everyone says I’ve a foul mouth. But behind all the cursing, one thing is pretty clear, as it should be, I’m scared, I’m angry and I’m confused. I’m confused why my life never turned out to be worth living. Had I done something so wrong to someone that I deserved to be punished like this? I don’t understand, why does god hates me so much.
See, mom died almost three years ago now. I didn’t felt sad when she died either, I was happy. I was ecstatic that her sufferings were over. Father was a chronic alcoholic, had his own shit episodes, vomiting, shouting and cursing all the time. Always blamed bad luck for his incompetence. So he must have figured out the solution to all his problems was alcohol. It’s strange, isn’t it, the solution to everyone’s every problem is alcohol? So my father finally found his perfect partner. Not my mom, but scotch or I think it was. I never really paid any attention to what brand of spirit he drank, to be honest, I was just disgusted by him. Angry at the idea that I’m part of something like him.
You once asked me, why I hated that particular song, right? What was it called, hmm, “Karenge Daru party,” right? (In English it stands for, we’ll have an alcohol party) You tell me, Atul, how am I supposed to like that expression, I do not understand how the fuck can something so disgusting be glorified like that? First time I felt proud of the fact that I do not listen to Hindi songs.
My mom was just another one of those Indian housewives we all are proud of. You know, the one we judge based on how long their veil is, how round their chapatis are. But man, was she brilliant? I still believe I got all my brain form her, well as much as I have, because my father couldn’t possibly be smart.
So, for as long as I remember, I only knew one life, waking up in the morning, my father asleep in one corner of the house with an empty bottle and a glass. My mom making breakfast while her face still showing some redness from the bruises. Oh yeah, one of his favourite past-times. They are so fucking full of pride that violence is the only form in which they can show it. Definition of men, who has the strongest muscle and the biggest dick. Fucking retards. He just liked beating her up maybe too much, he just didn’t had the guts to admit it.
Fucking asshole, a bad day and the only person he could possibly release his anger on. Luckily he never beat me, my mom would never let that be. Well atleast till the time I was sixteen. Maybe she lost her strength after that, come to think of it, would that had been any less traumatic than watching him beat my mother every fucking evening? No, I don’t think so. So when he did ended up slapping me, it didn’t hurt, not the way he expected it to.
So many times, I asked her, why the hell she just doesn’t leave him? She used to say, “And where do you think we will go?”
(Now my silent friend, Sandhya’s mother had a point and that’s why I hate society so much. One point of origin for all my recluseness. A statement which was too common to my mother also. In case you are wondering, why she couldn’t leave him, well in that case, all hail the Indian mentality of 1970s. And before you go all patriotic on me, look around you, look at your mother and then fucking tell me, she couldn’t have been anything better than a housewife. Truth is always bitter, my silent friend.)
So, I was fourteen when I first started raising voices against him. How the hell did that happen? Did I became a modern woman? I don’t think so, there wasn’t anything modern in raising a voice if someone is beating a women. Fuck, we should be ashamed if for a second we think we can put our hands on someone who is the sole reason humanity survives.
You know, I could write all about happy families, happy stories. Boy meets a girl, they get married, blah blah blah. I can write fairy tales. Or maybe I can write a BDSM erotica. I just don’t feel like it, because all I had ever seen is domestic violence, something being wrong with world. Something which seriously needs fixing. Why the fuck do we ignore all this shit? Why are we glorifying incompetence, why everyone only thinks from their dicks and vaginas? Even journalism is nothing better than prostitution now, whoever the hell can whore themselves out more ends up being more famous, ends up being the voice of change.
So, my mother was a housewife, my father was an incompetent, perfect recipe for rough childhood. Up until my mother became pregnant, yeah, shocking to me too. I was a fourteen year old girl, only child and now I had to share the limelight, if you would call it, with another being. I wasn’t jealous Atul, I was sorry. I was sorry for the little kid. My family was no place for a child. The story was just shitty enough.
He is my brother and for last three years, I’ve been both a mother and a father to him. He is the sole reason why I still feel like getting up in the morning and live another day in my pathetic little tale. You know how they say there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Well when my mother died, I moved from denial pretty quickly, I had a ten year old I had to worry about, but it’s the anger which never left me. I’m only twenty seven Atul and this is what my life has become. Why didn’t I deserved a teenage rebellion? Why didn’t I deserved to live my early twenties partying? Why shouldn’t I enjoy filth songs like, “Aaj raat ka scene bana le.”
(I don’t even want to say something about this. In English it stands for, “let’s make a scene for tonight.” I know it sounds comparatively innocent but if I translate the whole song, your mind might take a U-turn. And then we say rapes in India are on the rise, fucking idiots. In case you are planning for defamation, don’t worry, I know section 499 rules, you’ll win, so please don’t, you’ll destroy my life.)
You would think this was the bad part. It was pleasant compared to what my seventeenth birthday brought for me. The day I lost my innocence, the day my father forgot his duty.”
The readers who continuously read my post would’ve found the first three paragraph to be repetitive, well, that’s because it is. I took it from one of my post, “The Heretic Anthem.” It isn’t because I’ve reached my creative limitations, it is because it defined the scene I had in my mind perfectly, it captured the mood perfectly.
On a side note, the next chapter is going to be a little difficult to write, but I’ll write it nonetheless. Let’s see where we go.