Why does it always happen that we know what we should be doing and we hardly take steps to do what we think is right?
Is it right then, to not take any action, while witnessing something insane and then probably having a talk about it with your mother, sister and then rambling it all out to the blogosphere?
I've been really happy lately, nothing perturbs me as easily as it used to. But yesterday I was furious, at myself, at somebody else. At myself for not doing anything. At someone else for doing what they did.
I live in a beautiful and peaceful locality. Every person who has even visited my place has said that it is pure bliss. I imagine that too. But yesterday's events just kept bothering me all night and right until this morning.
My next door neighbour is Papa's college friend. One of the main reasons why we shifted here was because of him. I have never liked him because to me, he seems like an arrogant man who only wants to do what he thinks is right and isn't willing to lend an ear to anyone else's opinion. Over the years, my mom has asked me to just try and not to lose my temper at anything that he says.
I mean alright. So you've seen the world and you are a millionaire. You claim to be a self-made man (I know you have wealth of your forefathers, stop kidding me!!). You step into my home and slam my career choices in front of my own father, who I am glad, is finally seeing that I want to do what makes me happy and he is very supportive. You tell me what I should be doing and how I should be doing. Who gives you the right to decide my life path?? Keep your opinions to yourself.
I tried to be cordial everytime, just because I do not want to ruin whatever friendship my father has with you. He respects you as a friend and accepts you for who you are. But I would like you to be away from preaching me, and telling me what shade colours I should put on my house when I get it painted, or what kind of flooring I need for renovations.
I am disgusted.
There's an aunty who lives two buildings away, right behind my home. She talks to me everytime she needs to ask me about something, through her wash area, which falls behind my home's parking area. She supplies daily tiffins for my mom, and I have been visiting her home every morning for the last 2 years. She has a daughter as old as me, who is basically running the hosuehold.
I admire this lady. She has a whole lot of marital problems and an abusive husband. I have silently witnessed a few jibes he takes at her and he does not work. Aunty tries to make an alternate living my providing tiffins to people around the area, or catering sometimes to parties in the locality. I enjoy a lot of her dishes and everytime there's a party at home, I go to her for the bulk cooking.
She began opening up to me a year ago and telling me everything that troubles her. One day she said "Please don't think anything, I say all this to you coz you are like a daughter to me". Unable to leave her husband, unable to fight, she suffers silently because she cannot see any other way out. I have seen her cry so many times in front of me and I could never even muster the courage to give her a hug. She talks about killing herself and dying but she is worried for her only daughter.
I respect aunty for what she does.
Yesterday, this uncle was getting the whole complex painted behind our houses. Aunty is a tenant in the complex in one of the row house complex. She wasn't informed that the complex was being painted. A mason got into the wash area through the open spaces and knocked off a few utensils. Alarmed, and alone, she was petrified of who or what might be present there. Finding the mason, she said the least someone could do was inform that the building was being painted, rather than give her such a fright.
The Mason went and complained to uncle who was in charge of getting the complex painted. He came out and flew into a rage and starting abusing aunty left and right with the choicest tirade of curses. He used such foul words in Hindi that I cannot even utter them without feeling disgusted. In the end of it he added, "You are a tenant, behave like a tenant. If you have a problem, go find some other place to live". Aunty kept talking to him saying, "Bhaiyya you cant talk to me like this. I just asked a simple question and why are you hurling abuses towards me". He didnt relent and went on and on and on.
In the end, aunty was the one who said "I am sorry bhaiyya, I am a poor person. Poor people like me dont get any respect". He didnt stop, and said "Are you doing a favour to me by being poor?". I am sure aunty would have closed the door behind her and went inside and cried alone, like many other times. It occurred to me what she had said yesterday morning, "Its my 25th Anniversary today. We are not going anywhere.".
I was taking bath when I heard a lot of shouting and screaming. I stopped the shower to hear better and this is what I heard. I was a silent witness yet again. A part of me said, "Get dressed, go out and defend her if you think that's the right thing to do. THAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!! You dont like what he said, let it be known to him that he might have earned millions, he might be knowing the ways of the world, but he doesnt know how to earn respect. No matter how pissed off you are, no matter whatever is going on in your mind, there is a way to treat a woman, a humility, a kind of ettiquette and language that one maintains. I have no respect for people like him."
But even after that, I refrained. I didn't go up and express my abhorration for his conduct. My father's happiness and friendship with this man, triumphed over what I thought or felt about him. I felt like a failure, for not doing what I should have been doing. For not supporting someone who considers me her daughter. I kept thinking, would I have shut my mouth had he spoken the same way to my mother?? Definitely not!! Then why did I keep mum this time?
I spoke about it to mom, dad and even sis. I had a long chat with my sister and she said to me, "Learn to forgive and forget". Well are all made that way. We forgive. We forget. But what about the person who faced it? Will she forgive? Can she forget?
I have seen a million tears from her eyes, maybe I'll see more. I do not know if I can ever vindicate her, but mummy says "Be thankful that at least she has someone to talk to. What else can you do?". What else can I do?
I dont know if I was right or wrong in being a silent spectator. I may forget this someday. But this moment is a witness, that I didn't do something....and it adds up to the ever growing list of the things left undone!