Mother, did I understand you right?
My story is based on fiction and speaks the dilemma of women with respect to other women on social issues. These women share one another’s pain but socialization induces them to believe against their own rights, as a natural reaction to their sentiments.
I shall try not to make this sound like a story; but what options do you have when you try to walk the path that is neither pebbled with facts nor cobbled with ideas? It’s something you know but cannot instantly prove; it’stied within so tight, but for the world it’s loose. I think, unthreading my resolve to write, could be the safest option. But what will happen to thosedesires that already fill the secret creeks, unraveled? Was their reason also fear? I shall take this chance and pour my state; my mind and my heart don’t want to any longer wait. It all began on a night that seemed to come too soon or maybe it was just an unexpected move, from someone I had laid my trust in. A woman who was to sacredly signify an equivalent of my mother, made me feel so low that in spite of the internal conflict, I stood without creating a row. She called me a snitch, a betrayer. She thought I had cheated on her trust and deserved no family. Words slashed my already feeble heart but my mind held on, like it always had. She was angry and the viscosity grew as she continued to lash out in aggressive helplessness. My eyes welled up because I felt her pain, I had never seen her so rough, it was not her usual self, but of late reason did not dominate her character. Her son had courted an abrupt arrest and she blamed me to be the reason. I could not defend myself on this, because yes, I was the reason.
It was that moment when the bubble of acceptance had burst. What was the acceptance about, I had inadvertently asked. That accidental question started brewing a sentiment within, which was not casual any more. Every day since then I asked myself for an answer to the quiz.I did not get an answer but the question turned murkier and stood still. In case the world might think that I am not mentally capable of solving a difficult question, I’d like to revert by saying that my degrees and qualifications could make Arrogance shy. Yet, what was it that made me so illiterate about my ownself andmy true essence?
When I was small my mother often used to cry. She used to tell me that life would challenge me in ways unique; her advice was to be strong and hang on. She said never trust a call from your inner weakness when times be tough. She told me “never give up.” I cherished this “ideal” everyday as I grew and then as I aged, till the same moment my bubble burst. What was I hanging on to? Did I misconstrue a good advice or was it an advice that aligned as instructed with my personality, without a sound? I hadimagined I was ready for what could be the best solution to my current reality.My solution made me scamper within to force out a defensive strength to “hang on”, each time, consistently. This inexhaustible response to extinguish my inner calls of weakness made me “hang on” for the last 7 years. And that is a very long time to truly consider this solution as “time-tested”. But its appropriateness had not been measured against time; it had been measured against a norm. My instincts had stopped feeling right and that is when I filed for abuse against the man I had accepted, tolerated and“hung-on” to. Today I live in his home while he courts custody. It’s not been too long, just a day and a half since has been away. The language, the hurt, the touch and the bruise that he inflicted on me are grave enough for me to justify my stance. A soft-spoken voice within says that even the slightest hurt was as unjustified as the conglomerate I called grave.
But what makes me stand still, right now, with my eyes glued to the floor and my head hung so low, is not him. It is a woman he called mother and whom I too grew to call so. She had never raised a voice against me in the time that I spent as her daughter-in-law. In fact soon aware of her son’s demeanor that culled my spirit and decimated my smile, she stood by me in silence, every time.
This woman I had learned to love stood steady in front andher words continued to lash. I had not seen her so indignant and I was not able to retaliate. A tear just crashed on the floor and I mentally reasoned that she was wrong. Call it love, respect or fear butI could not respond, because like my own mother she unceasingly questioned, “why could you have not just hung on?”
About the Author
Ishita Y Aggarwal is a graduate student at the University of Southern California where she studies Communications. She has experience in developmental communications and non-profit management. Her education and interests are geared towards collaborating for an earth-friendly environment and a humane space.
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