Storytelling can help us through challenging situations. By reading other people’s real-life stories, those who are depressed might get a ray of hope, realizing that anything is possible. However, it can be hard to share our pain directly with others. This is why it can be powerful to write our stories, and know that someone is there to hear us.
I started to write about myself on International platforms, including Women For One. But my English is not at all excellent, so there’s the possibility that I might not convey the exact message with the exact feeling I want. Sometimes, this makes it hard to capture readers’ attention, and I can feel my effort is in vain because of the language barrier.
Here in India, the majority of the people speak a regional language, and even if some know English, they prefer to write or share their feelings in their mother tongue.
Still, I would like to try and narrate one incident. A girl from my college followed our tradition and married a guy whom her parents found right for her. Just after marriage, she started facing dowry demands and domestic violence. There was no love, no trust and no attachment, but the girl tried her best to live with her partner as she was very well aware that if she went back to her parents’ house, it would be nightmare for her as well as for her whole family.
She spent a year with her husband, but nothing worked and she suffered bone fractures due to domestic violence. Her parents got her back, but since that day, society started torturing her and ruining her life. She gained 15 KG in a few months for months due to medicines and improper diet. No one dared to stand by her. Her neighbor started giving advice to her parents to settle the matter as a girl living with parents is a burden. A few people ordered their daughters not to talk to her, in case they gave the wrong impression of their married life.
Her parents were not able to give their opinions, nor could she. If she dared, people raise a question, “You couldn’t handle your family, how will you handle this issue!”
One day she decided to commit suicide and posted her warning on Facebook. Timely action saved her, but the question is still there: Who gave society the right to plunge into someone’s personal life?
This girl is still being harassed and she is not the only girl. There are number – students, men, women who are — being harassed for being unable to get good marks, unable to bear a child, unable to get married at 25 and so on.
I give a voice to this kind of incident and try to give it voice so people might start thinking and we can have change.
Publisher’s Note: Dhara Patel is a journalist who lives in Gudjarat, India, and long time member of the LiisBeth community.
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