Friday, November 3, 2017

A Clean House

It is midnight and I enter our room
As one enters a graveyard, sullenly
The air hangs dreary and dull
You lie there with remote in your hands
And a frown upon your indifferent face
You peer at me from behind your glasses
And in one stare mock my dusky skin
Laugh upon my small breasts
And rebuke me for a petty dowry
You, in one roll of eyes, turn to dust
All dreams my unwary heart had spun
When you had branded my forehead red
And tied the noose of gold-black beads
You do not utter a single word but I
Stand there yelling with muted ones

I go to the kitchen and scrub the sparkling sink,
Arrange the glassware on the spotless shelves
Then to the drawing room and vacuum the carpet
Clean invisible cobwebs and dust the showcases
It is 2 in the night and I can hear you snore
I come and lay beside you, staring at your back
Pushing back my stubborn tears, I try to sleep
For I have another, far tough a task at hand,
I will have to manage a sweet cheery smile
When tomorrow neighbors will admire
This squeaky clean house...

Emotional Violence (EV) is the worst of all. Without any physical injury, it deeply damages the victim’s self confidence, dignity and sense of self-worth and leads to chronic health issues. Most victims bear it in some form or the other, either exclusively or along with physical abuse. Unfortunately, it is not taken as seriously as it needs to be. It is like constantly breathing in stale air; no visible effects will be palpable in short term but over the time, chronic problems will appear. It gives chronic problems like migraines, insomnia, poor concentration, anxiety disorders, loss of appetite, suicidal tendencies, alcohol and drug abuse and skin rashes. Hence, EV is rather more damaging than physical violence, for it dents the very sanity and soul of the victim. It is a common perception that EV is a sign or precursor to physical violence which is a completely false notion; it is proper DV in itself and not just a sign.

Implying threats, use of demeaning and bitter words, public humiliation, constant criticism, passing or implying unwanted off-color remarks on body, weight, height, complexion, family background or such things, not talking properly or in rude monosyllables (stonewalling), manipulating victim to question her own sanity and memory (gas lighting), dowry harassment, emotional blackmailing and undue manipulation are all various hues of EV. This type of abuse must be taken very seriously and if needed, one must leave the relationship be it at any stage or any cost. 

According to a study by BBC, the rate of suicide by housewives in India is alarmingly high and EV is a major reason behind this. 


  1. Everyone, not just housewives, should dare to face abusers head on as these people appear at many places in many forms. It is important to learn to be stronger while faced with such problems, and I feel, all of us are capable of exhibiting strength that is inherent within us.

    Destination Infinity