Sunday, December 23, 2012

Us and Them

There comes a time in the course of events that define and often shape the character of a nation, when a collective gasp escapes from the lips of society. A helpless, strangulated sound of pure anguish that jolts everyone back to reality. The existential stupor, we choose to call life, is broken and we find ourselves irrevocably incapable of living in denial. We realize the world is a lot bigger than the imaginary, selfish, private planet that all of us have chosen to sequester ourselves in. And we are forced to come crashing back to the cold, hard reality of the actual world, evaluate our true standing.
Where are we headed as a civilization? What is the landscape like through which we're travelling? Where are we going anyway?
We stop in our tracks and look around only to find vicious demons lusting for our blood - abominations of our very own creation. Flesh eating, venom spitting monsters of the deepest pits of the purgatory or its equivalent, which have assumed such gargantuan proportions when we were looking the other way, that we do not know how to tame them or make them disappear anymore.
The woman on that bus was me. It was you. It was somebody else we knew.
Or maybe it was all of us.
A part of us suffered with her, a part of all of us was brutalized the way she was. And a part of us will never be the same again.
Since childhood, we have been taught by our anxious mothers and over-anxious fathers to tolerate 'insults' that come our way, handle 'situations' 'diplomatically' and to protect ourselves as best as we could. And to always, always expect the worst.
We are in tacit agreement over the assumption that between our legs lies the treasure chest of the family's honour and dignity and that we have to guard it with our lives even if it means never living them at all.
The world for 'us' is different from the world 'they' live in. They can tear us apart, rip our souls to shreds and still go unpunished. While the blame of losing the 'treasure' will be apportioned to us and stigma will follow. We'll be labelled 'victims'.
But there's only so much that a woman can take.
Just a spark. A flame of discontent here. A flash of resentment there. And BAM!

There it is. A tremendous explosion. An eruption of outrage, grief, shock and other raw emotions which have accumulated slowly over the years, over the decades, perhaps even over the centuries. A boiling point had already been reached long ago, but it had merely evaded our notice, only to be identified so late.
Dear unnamed woman on the bus, you are me. I am you. You are her. She is you.
You are all of us.
And we are all around you. Beside you, behind you, inside you. We have been there all along.

We were all raped, beaten, ravaged, cut open, preyed upon and thrown aside like a used rag doll, left to bleed out on the roads.
And so you are not alone. You are not alone.
We are all trapped inside this storm together. We will weather this storm together. And we will live to see better days when the sun shines pleasantly and all monsters have been slain, never to raise their heads again.

P.S.:- This post has not been composed for the sake of resuscitating a dead blog. I had to express what I'm feeling, somewhere. And this is dedicated not only to that girl on the bus but the millions in our country who have faced sexual violence at some point of time in their lives.

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6 comments:

Tharangni said...

I am with you.

Guria said...

I wish I also could give words and shape to what i feel... but the thing that is forefront in all of it, is an impotent rage.

Rahul Bhatia said...

Samadrita you have brilliantly penned the true plight of an Indian girl/ woman and it is a shame that we call ourselves a civilised people!!Wish the world around us changes for better!!

Purba said...

It's an act we have adopted to keep our sanity intact - pretend that those warts didn't exist, let them fester, till burst open spewing their venom on our squeaky clean shirts...

On a side note, your words were sheer brilliance.

NesQuarX said...

there's this strange thing that I've noticed about wished changes... they happen, but only when you're not there to see it.

Samadrita said...

@Tharangni:- I know you are girl. :)

@Guria:- The rage is justified in my view.

@Purba di:- Exactly how I felt. We let things go on for too long and then when all hell breaks loose and there's no way to redeem ourselves anymore, we suddenly wake up to outrage.

@NesQuarx:- I hope I witness changes in the mindset of society in my lifetime. And even if I am not there to witness those changes, I wish for them to materialize anyway. Sooner, preferably, than later.

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