No, it is not a short story, it is no fiction. This is something that happened for real and has shaken me with in.
It was around 1:00 am and I was sitting in my bedroom. My daughter had slept and I was working on my laptop. MY husband was also working in the other room. The window of my bedroom was open and I could clearly hear the noises coming from outside. The regular noises but then all of a sudden I heard a strong thud, as if something heavy has fallen or someone hit somebody else with great force. Then I heard a woman shouting, crying very loudly. When I say very loudly it actually means extreme. At first I thought there has been some accident and so I stood up to check if the noise would continue or stop. But it did not stop, from crying in pain, to shouting and howling, it turned into a woman’s loudest possible noise crying and fighting. In between I could hear thuds again and again. It was definitely a fight. The screams were not the normal shouts but they were the screams of someone who was in great pain.’Aaaaaa… aaaa…. Aaaaa…’ they are still resonating in my mind.
At this point I was so scared that I ran to the other room to call my husband. Shocking but He did not hear anything. May bebecause my bedroom’s window was right in front of the building from whose apartment I heard the noise. That woman was crying and at the same time shouting something angrily in Marathi. I don’t know any Marathi so I could not figure out what she was shouting. My husband looked through the window but we could not figure out which apartment was that.
‘Call the guards, call the guards’ I told my husband. In the meantime the shouting and crying kept increasing. What tormented me was the fact that the woman must be in a lot of pain. My husband, in order to break the continuation of whatever was happening in that apartment, shouted loudly. The voice did not stop but we could hear someone doing Shhhh…. Shh… continuously. It was disturbing and I was worried.
Finally two men from our neighbourhood came downstairs and along with the guards went to that building. Light of one of the apartments was turned on… we heard a few sentences in MArathi. They came back, everyone went back to their homes.
I was disturbed. Even if someone was having a fight, who knows what the woman might be going through. The woman in me was dying with tension. The next day, I requested my husband to please at least ask the guards which apartment was that. He told me the number, as I pass through that building everyday I wish someone would come out and talk. The woman might ask for help but nothing happens. The woman in me wants to go there and see if I could do something but then the wife in me says it is someone else’s family matter, I should not interfere.
“Family Matter” I wonder what these family matters are when a woman is tortured. I am still disturbed because of that incident. ‘Everyone is educated and belongs to well to do families’ I said to my husband. ‘This has nothing to do with education’ he replied. I was talking to one of my seniors. She said she has seen professionals facing domestic violence and what is worse is that by looking at these women you will never be able to guess even in million years that they have faced such extreme unhappiness in their lives. She said that it has more to do with the personality of the people and what the society allows.
The woman in me wanted to go to that apartment and meet that woman and ask her if she needed any help but the ‘social member’ of the society in me could not do that because “Family Matter”
The cries are horrible. Domestic violence is there in our society… a shame…. a woman if she would have been slapped she might have not shouted and cried the way I heard that night. Such cries are a result of extreme hurt… the woman in me is worried if there are any kids in that house. What effect would be there on the innocent minds… how embarrased they would have been, how scared they would have been… The #WomanInMe takes the long walk just to be close to that building hoping someone would come out and ask for help.
It is important to come out and ask for help.. at the same time I just cannot judge someone else’s situation. The #WomanInMe is more than willing to help just waiting for that one call for help that will give me the authority to fight back. The woman in me wants the woman in her to come out and stretch her hand and I promise to hold it… domestic violence can be stopped if we are able to fight back together…. how weak a man can be who hits a woman… how bad a man can be to show his power on a woman….
A real man never hits a woman, a real man respects a woman and there are real men… they are the best but then there are these weak, rotten men who think hitting a woman can make them strong… can it???
The #WomanInMe just wants to send across this message that the moment a man raises his hand on a woman he become the weakest person alive who has no strength to fight with the world and so he takes out his frustration on the person who is the only person praying for his well being…. domestic violence is a big shame… The cries and screams of that woman that I heard that night are not letting the woman in me sleep…. Please ask for help…
Many people asked why I did not call the police if I was so worried…. REally? You think if I would have called the police, the woman would have agreed. No, she would have given the same old reason ‘I slipped and fell’ or ‘This is our family matter’ plus this action would have stopped any other hope of me to finally help her. I want to help her and I am taking actions slowly and subtly. So, that she is confident enough to finally step out. You think women who suffer from domestic violence can simply agree to a stranger saying fight back not, they need moral boost up and confidence and a lot of trust.
Someone said I wrote this article for publicity, now you take this:
I am a very secure person. The company I work for gives me ample publicity, my name is on more than 32 book covers, many more to go, my name is there in company brochures, diary, videos and everything related to it. Why, I take time out from my schedule to write is because through this can reach millions in one go. This message that I am willing to help and that many more women like me are willing to be there with their support can reach out to numerous women suffering from domestic violence. When I get messages form women asking for help or just to thank me, I know I am doing right. If any article of mine is able to give hope to even a single woman, a mother, I will keep on writing and no amount of negative comments is going to stop the #WomanInMe from doing so.