Saturday, 15 September 2007

Domestic Violence and Abuse

Despite the Aussie government making so many efforts to curb violence against women in Australia, it still persists in reality. Working in a dental clinic, I had the opportunity of witnessing the extent to which domestic violence exists in real life. There was this very smart and good looking young woman of South African origin who came in as a patient. She is born and brought up here so the issue of less exposure to her rights is not what came to my mind. She had a bruised face and had a complaint of one of her front teeth shaking a bit and changing in colour. If anyone amongst the readers of this entry happens to be a dentist, you will obviously think of a grave traumatic injury that has occurred to the tooth. What pinched me was that this young lady simply said that she hit herself on the face by a glass when her husband was around and that is how she ended up bruising herself on the cheek, not because of anyone else, but because of her own clumsiness...Having seen her bruise personally, I felt it looked more of an injury owing to a serious bash on the face.
What struck me was that she expected the doctor to buy her story. Why is it that women choose to silently suffer agony and pain especially when it comes to abuse of any kind? Here I was facing a young woman, extremely smart in appearance and her mannerisms were not suggestive that she could be a bored housewife. She had dropped on her way back from work so the possibility that she really had to be dependent on the guy for finances was not convincing enough for me to fall for it.
In a country like Australia, where even the public toilets display helpline numbers for help against violence, lack of awareness is not an issue like I pointed it out earlier. Why must a person like her be compelled to take abuse as a normal part of life?
Victims of Domestic Violence tend to become abusers themselves. Its a really sad thing that what impacts a child's mind during the years in which he is growing up will definitely influence his thought process and bias his mind. If the mother is not strong enough to say no to a violent father, how will the child cope with it? He or she will end up into drug and alcohol abuse for no fault of his. Or maybe, start identifying himself or herself as a gay or a lesbian...Yes, there are zillions of ways to handle the issue on a large scale but on a personal level, what is the contribution that you and I choose to make to such things? Ignore them? Or brag about womens liberation movements especially in places where no one really seems to care about them? In India, it is taught to a girl child to submit and give in. It is only very recently that the concept of a marital rape has started entering the minds of people in India. Yet, I am sure, there are hardly any women who stand up and say no to a man when they want in a relationship especially if it is marriage...The ugly realities of life go on every single day, why do we act so blind to them? I wish I knew...

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Missisipi Masala

As I was watching one of my old favourite films, something in me urged me to write about it today. Missisipi Masala is a film I love for it celebrates love even amidst the ugly realities of life. To be attracted to a darker skinned man is not a big deal yet few of us would readily admit to being with one for the rest of our lives...I'm not biased just because this film had Denzel Washington showing his perfectly chiseled ass off in it although it could contribute a very small bit to it! It is true that when Indians migrate to different countries, they do try and be as much a part of the new cultures as much as their conservative minds can permit. It is also ironical that when their kids take the initiative of standing upto their decisions, they are made to face a lot of opposition. What is it with virginity and Indian parents? One should follow a one partner policy but not because it is supposed to be that way or because that is the only way they have known or seen in life. Ethics and moral values should be preached and inculcated in ones offspring for the correct reasons and not just merely for age old traditions that have been blindly followed. Unless we can even speak our minds without any kind of a fear, how is the pseudo cocoon we live in going to break away???
Walking down the busy streets of Melbourne I see so many faces which have INDIAN literally engraved on them. Since I am also an Indian, many times its just brought me glares from the girls and "why is this girl walking alone" looks from the blokes. If we ourselves get so put off by the appearances of our fellow countrymen, I can't imagine the plight of people from other nations! Then we claim that the fair skinned are racists towards us...Ironical isn't it?