I cannot get the following headlines off my mind:
I don’t want to specifically write about Anissia because it is still too early. We do not know if it is a murder or suicide. I don’t want to judge a woman I did not know. Especially a woman who was cremated two days ago. I also do not wish to scrutinize the life of a woman who died. Still, writing this article in the hope that it may help someone.
I read an article this morning on about how parents should support their daughters and make them get out of abusive marriages and not give dowry. I also read comments (probably from Anissia’s friends) getting defensive saying that she was very strong, and had supportive parents. Her father was in the Army. She was financially independent and it seems that money was no motivator was her to get stuck in the marriage.
Then what happened? Why is she dead?
Why are so many intelligent, financially independent women in our society preferring to jump or hang themselves rather than being called the D word?
A friend of mine updates her whatsapp display picture every other day with a smiling photo of her husband and herself. What you cannot see is the bruises on her body which are concealed in her DP. Messages are sent to friends asking for helpline numbers. What is more regular? The injury or the status updates?
Friends try to convince her to get out. She says that there are happy times too. She is not willing to leave him.
Is it our fault that she is still with him? Are we not doing enough?
If you see Anissia’s social media profile, there are so many happy, couple photos. A good-looking couple posing and holidaying at beautiful locations.
This is common. Friends posting pictures with their husbands. Beautiful, happy pictures. People commenting:
Smileys. Emojis. Likes. Comments. Social approval.
What lies beneath?
We love the life we wish to project to the world. We are in love. We are in a blissful marriage. We are happy. We try hard to make our lives close to what we like to portray. Sometimes we believe it too.
In contrast, I have friends who are divorced or never married. They are into their 30’s, 40’s. Some of them want to get married. Others are okay being single. To the world, they may be “unmarried.”
Poor girl. She must find someone soon. Time is running out.
Bechari divorce ke baad decide ki shadi nahi karegi dobara.
Some of these women are actually living quite peaceful and joyous lives. Marital bliss is not the only bliss the universe has to offer. They may not get to flaunt holiday, couple pictures. They may not have done pre-wedding, pregnancy photoshoots. They do not get to add statuses like ‘Aww! Feeling loved with so and so!’ or ‘Woke up to this surprise from my sweetheart’. But they are still leading good lives. Every day that they wake up they don’t have somebody who makes them feel like filth. Yes, occasionally they do feel left out at family functions and weddings. But it is still better than being treated badly every day.
What am I trying to prove?
We all fall for social pressure. We envy people who seem to have love and money. We create a lie and then spend the rest of our life miserable trying to live up to it.
Don’t fall for the trap. Nobody, nobody has everything in life. You don’t have to have everything either. It is okay to not have a partner to flaunt. It is okay to not have a vacation in Europe. It is okay to be not earning a lot of money. It is okay to be not married. It is okay to not have children. It is okay to be divorced.
What is not okay is to be dead at 39 after jumping off the terrace. What is not okay is leaving behind old parents and a brother who will spend the rest of their life attending court hearings and running ‘Justice for Anissia’ campaigns wishing they were dead too.
And what justice will they get? Even if the husband and his family get punished (which I doubt) will this woman come back?
The society does not care about you. They don’t care if you are happy or sad or rich or poor or married or single. At least not for long. Please do not waste your life for the society. The only thing that matters is you. Please do what is right for yourself. I have written about this so many times before. Please, please be strong. Please do not commit suicide for such idiots. And please do not stay with them to test how much more you can suffer.
Yes, every marriage has good days and bad days. But if for you the bad days means getting hit and thinking about hanging yourself then it is not worth it.
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