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Manisha Bhatia
Manisha Bhatia is the author of book, When My Father Cried, a romantic fiction novel released on 4th September by Story Mirror at Oxford Bookstore :)
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It was past midnight and in this chilled and numb weather I was restless in bed and disturbed in sleep. After a usual hectic day at office I had slipped deep in sleep as I had hit the bed. Leave alone restless now I was so baffled as I couldn’t figure out whether the squeals I was hearing in my sleep were due to some bad dreams or they were coming through some exterior source. With the increasing intensity and loudness of the squeals now I could also hear the noise of door banging, throwing of utensils and footsteps from one place to another.

With so many disturbances in sleep, I suddenly opened my eyes and astounded to find I am sweating in this chilled weather and now all the distant squeals and noise were more clearly audible. To my surprise, the noise was coming from nowhere but from our very own next door neighbour Mr. Jane Johnson’s house. Again a shrill scream from a woman and howling from a child and my heart was taken aback. I rushed out of my room to the balcony to check what was wrong at this point of time in such cold weather. To my surprise, I saw the shadow of a woman and child being abused and beaten by a man on the closed window of the room at top floor.

I shivered in me and called my father immediately who was already awake and ready to go for help but my mother stopped him saying that we are new here and since nobody is out and at the same time it is their personal matter and we should not intervene past midnight as we do not know anything about them. They can harm us as well.

Damn! We don’t know anything about them mom. So what! My voice was choked with mix of anger and emotions. You should come upstairs and have a look at the severity with which the woman is being abused and beaten. I almost yelled entering the room of my parents. But she was indifferent and rather commanded me to be back to my room and bolt the door and my father though willing to help agreed my mother in the matter. I again tried but all in vain rather I got scolding from mom for trying to be courageous all the time for nothing.

I left their room in anger but stood beside to eaves-drop their conversation. Mom told dad, that she came to know from other women in the neighbourhood, that Mr. Jane was once a very rich businessman but being a drunkard and a slave of bad habits he has lost everything in gambling and though his wife being very educated and noble lady was being forced into the flesh trading to fulfil his demands. She was doing this under duress because her husband tried to sell her daughter once to the brothel.
O! I couldn’t believe my own ears today. I rushed towards my room as I had heard enough now and could not take it anymore. I was already very disturbed. How could, a man on earth be so cruel to force his own wife into flesh trading? I could not second with the thought itself so was pondering over the plight of the poor woman herself. How a man could on earth can be this slave of bad habits that to fulfil them he can force his wife into flesh-trading and tried to sell his own daughter.
I have always read in newspapers, seen in news-channels, and heard different stories from friends and relatives about woman and child abuse but for the first time in my life I have seen it live before my eyes. Now, as the noise had turned into diminishing sobbing and with my head so full and tired, I don’t know when I too closed my eyes. Reflection of all pictures from the incident were hovering in my sleep.

Tring! Tring! Damn! The morning alarm was yelling on top of its voice as though snarling to get up before I am once again late for my office cab. O! How I hate to get up early morning. I switched it off and was on my feet now, rushing like a fast pace android to get ready on TIME. I was out to catch my cab and saw a woman coming out from Mr Jan’s house to fetch daily groceries from the local vendor.  She was limping and while she was trying to hide her scars under the wrap, it caught my attention.  Seeing her plight, it was obvious the lady is Mrs. Jane. I sighed, God! Have some mercy. How can you even see all this silently?
Tears were shining in my eyes now, how could a man be so cruel leave alone a man, what about humanity? No he is not a man, he is a devil. As I moved towards her so that I could talk to her and gather some information or ask her if I can help her she moved away very fast and my phone started ringing.  The cab driver was calling me as cab was waiting for me and others were getting late. Stupid, cab driver is what I uttered in my mouth. I rushed but whole day I was disturbed as those scars on her body were hovering in front of my eyes.  I felt so helpless and whole day was thinking about the ways and means through which I can help the poor woman and her child.
Laid back on my chair, I gave a deep sigh as I could not comprehend how much bad effect the child must be having on her mind and sadly it was a girl child. What impression the child must be carrying in her mind about men when she will grow up? Will she ever be able to love a man through her entire life? Will people ever understand the pain of her childhood she must be carrying behind her erratic behaviour and actions when she will grow up? These questions were striking me continuously and the yearning to help them grew stronger inside...
But how? I was afraid my mother will not allow. I understand her reasons and concerns but they were not bigger than the pain of the poor woman and child. Her silent and painful eyes were screaming for help when we crossed our paths in the morning.
This has become an everyday story. I was wondering how could people ignore and be so busy with their own lives? Is there some morality and humanity left on earth?
Today again the similar thing was being repeated and I could now not control myself. I rushed down the stairs and I myself could not figure out how fast my steps carried me to Mr. Jane’s house. The door was open, because there were two other well-built and devil looking men standing inside trying to pull the little girl child away from her mother. They were continuously saying, your husband has sold her for a big amount to our brothel. Have I heard it right? Brothel? Is it? Is he a father? , selling his own daughter?
The child was continuously weeping profusely. I stepped inside the house as it has now got on to my nerves. No, not with the child no way! I said to myself or I will never be able to forgive myself throughout my life.
Don’t you dare touch the child, stay away from her! I yelled at the top of my voice.  Mr Jane full drunk was barely able to walk came to me and said: Who are you girl?
What are you doing here? Stay away! This is my personal matter.
Shutup! You bastard, I shouted back rather you stay away from me. You devil, you are selling your own daughter. I feel contaminated even if you are standing next to me. Get lost and take that corner seat and you better do not intervene.
Phew! Happens with me when something surpasses my patience and limits, even I don’t realize how angry and emotional I get at the same time.
But this was not going to be easy I know. So, now the other two men came to me and said listen girl, just stay out of this. We have given this man a hefty amount for this girl child and you better do not mess with us.
But I don’t know from where I have gathered so much courage, I shouted back- You better stay away from the child and dare if you touch her, I will call the police now and here and not only you will be arrested but will also be charged severely for this heinous crime.  Now that the verbal fight has escalated so much that with so much noise not only my parents have wake up but also many lights were on in the neighbourhood and people started moving out to see what the matter was all about.
My mother who already had a doubt that I will someday take this action rushed to Mr. Jane’s house with my father to check whether I am safe or not. As one of the man from them tried to harm me, my father caught his neck from back and gave him a hard blow on his back. He fell on the ground trying to get back to senses. My father had by the time not only called up the police but has also called up the society head and other esteemed members so that matter can be resolved once and forever. He knew how headstrong I was.
He was on the spot now and shouted back at the men and Mr. Jane that if they dared to harm his daughter as everyone was with her as well as his wife and daughter. He warned him that no more nonsense will be taken by him in the neighbourhood.
I snatched the child from their grasp. She was shivering and hugged me very tight crying and pleading me to save her from the grapple of these demons. I assured her everything will be fine and she is in safe hands and ask my mother to keep the child in her custody till the matter is solved.
Now the police was on the spot and they arrested the two men. I narrated the whole story to police and requested them to arrest Mr Jane as well for such a heinous crime.
The drunkard, though scuffled is still abusing his wife and to my surprise while passing by my side started abusing me very badly and tried to harm me, O! God! I just moved aside on time and he banged his head against the wall, I turned back, picked up the jug full of cold water and splashed with full force on his face so that he can come back to his senses. I was in so much fury now, that I slapped him hard on his face and all I remember I was yelling how dare, just how dare you even thought of selling the child you bastard. Just get lost. Off from my sight now! I can’t stand you even for a second now. I requested inspector to take him out of my sight and punish him with all the possible charges so that he becomes exemplary for others and they think thousand times before they conduct such crimes. They need to learn to respect women and all they deserve is no mercy.

Though my parents very proud but still angry with me because they are always worried about me as they know these dirty men could harm me but I assured them that everything is fine and I am safe and we should not be scared of such bastards rather voice against such evil crimes in the society.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Jane came to me crying and pleading to save her child. I assured her everything will be fine and I will do my best to help her as well the child but I was angry with her on the same.
I told her, you are an educated woman and you cannot stand against a drunkard who is never in his senses only. Why women always make them helpless and why she has never stood up against her rights? What is the use of such a man in your life who is good for nothing? She narrated her story how she pleaded for help from everyone in the society but not even once anyone came for help. Though not convinced by her reasoning but still seeing the fear in her eyes, I was calm now and told her to accompany me to my home and assured her that I will introduce her to many NGOs who will give her and her daughter a new and better life.
But the matter was not ended here. The so called great society members have gathered on the spot with their different and dim-witted opinions about the incident and Mrs. Jane presence in the society and what effect their children will have on their upbringing and blah blah blah!!
I knew the second part of fight will be tomorrow morning. I called up my friends and other NGO members with whom I am associated since long time to be at my place tomorrow morning at 10 AM sharp and requested my father to discuss the similar with other society members and call a meeting tomorrow morning to wrap up the matter and get Mrs. Jane justice.  I had already spoken to them on this matter before and have gathered information to help out Mrs. Jane.
When you believe in something and you know you are right, you get the confidence yourself. So after the midnight palaver tomorrow is going to be a new day and new beginnings, I was quite sure in my heart.
At the meeting tomorrow, I had a hard time convincing members of the society that Mrs. Jane will be very much in our society as no law can move them out from their own home and why should they leave when they are not criminal rather victim. I requested  everyone to help them as much possible through”Society Welfare Fund” and rest will be taken care by the NGO I am associated with and instead of taking negative actions and passing dim opinions, we should help her and make her stand on her feet so that they can live a normal,healthy, and respectable life. Am I asking a lot? I questioned all of them? After a long discussion, logical reasoning, and humble requests finally the decision was taken in favour of Mrs. Jane and her daughter. I expressed my humble gratitude to the society members, NGO members and my colleagues for all help and support.
But the final moment arrived, when I took the opportunity to express love and gratitude to my mom and dad for inculcating in me the great values. I finally did it, because I always lack the beautiful art of verbal expression. I told them I am proud to be their daughter and love them in a choked voice full of emotions. The best moment of my life bigger than any award and honour, in the echoes of applaud, my dad came and hugged me and told me that he is very proud to be my father and someday I will definitely fulfil my dream of establishing my own NGO.
So this is my story of a fiery event when my wit, upbringing, and boldness not only helped to improve the life of a woman and child victim of severe domestic violence. Thankyou, Indibloggers for this contest where I can share my story and highlight this burning issue of our society where every lakhs of women are not only victims of domestic violence, physical and mental abuse but also set on fire or are forced to commit suicide.
She is woman; you should derive her importance from the fact that only she has the ability to bring a life on earth. Can something be greater than this? She is a creator. She is a WOMAN. I am proud to be a WOMAN. How can my story be completed without a poem so here it is. J
Four seasons she crossed
Ocean of life she walked
Numerous relations she held
Abundant ways she expressed
Various roles she played
In some she sparkled
In various she excelled
Sometimes distressed
She is a WOMAN
Your complete world
Revolves around her
Bestow and bestow
Is what almighty
Blended in her nerves
Bequest to bring
LIFE on earth
Since birth for the first feed
You count only on her
Almighty bows himself
Place her before HIM
Her nature equivalents him
By saying- “Heaven lies in her feet”
Never take her tenderness
As her weakness
Her inner strength
Is her biggest ASSET!!

This creation is written for the Indiblogger KFC Fiery Grilled Contest "Set You On Fire" and any characters resembled in this creation is purely a matter of coincidence.

@Copyright 2011-Manisha Bhatia


Harshal Patel said...

Hey mani....You have explain and published in well manner and a topic that need to aware world about...... I also agree to save woman and children.....Who are spoiling there life they have to first think that about "earth without woman"

I also wrote a article earlier about women.....


Alpana Jaiswal said...

What do I say to this one Manisha..only the person who goes through this scan understand what it actually feels like to be in that situation..the pain of the physical violence is nothing in comparison to the mental pain.Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and think loves you in return.Nobody believes that domestic violence kills and nobody believes it is detrimental to children. This world has got to wake up. To me, if there is domestic violence, if the children see it or hear it, that to me is detrimental.
Excellent post Manisha...

JANU said...

Hats off to you Mani you have done what everyone will be proud of. Sadly, the person who is undergoing domestic violence will not speak up until it is too late. But, in this case, better late than never. Great post.

Simran said...

Amazing,Mind blowing and powerful post!

Loved your story and poetry..So perfect and heartfelt :)

Wish you all the best for the Contest~

Debanjan said...

Some very good thoughts from Manisha. COngratulations for a very well-written article.

Jan said...

This touches me deeply, what a wonderful piece. I prayed often for a person of your strength to enter my life. I needed saving as well. I cried through this, the pain you saved them from you will never know. Bless you!

Autumn Eliza said...

Oh, horrible!You've disturbed me so much that my smile from yesterday's revelry as vanished.You are a bold woman and a great soul, Manisha!My regards to you.

Jerly said...

What can I say. This post blew me away,Life is often cruel but to take a stance for the weaker is difficult and u have done it with so much guts. awesome poem on woman!

Mani said...

Harshal- Dear thanku so much!!


Mani said...

Alpana- I too believe in the same alpana, high time we need to wake up!! Thanks soo much for all ur support.


Mani said...

Janu- Thanku so much, i try to stand up wenever possible. My values inculcated are so deep and upbrining has made me bold. Thanks a tonne.


Mani said...

Sim- Thnku my love :)

Mani said...

Debanjan- Thanku so much!


Mani said...

Jan- My blessings with you sweetheart, u deserve all love in life.


Mani said...

ELy- Thanku so much, keep smiling!


Mani said...

Jerly-Thanku so much!!


Rahul Bhatia said...

Very well written and best thing I liked was taking a stand which very few muster the courage!

Alka Gurha said...

One has to witness abuse from close quarters to comprehend the enormity of violence and pain involved. It is easy to read and hear stories. I witnessed it first hand when I came to know that a close friend was abused by her husband. It was shocking.

It takes a lot of guts to take a stand.

Kriti said...

An eye opener and a much needed topic to be written about. Actually not only written about but acted upon! Cheers to you for bringing it up...

Mani said...

Rahul- Thanku so much!


Mani said...

Alka- Yes u r so right!

Mani said...

Kriti- Thanku dear.


rigzin said...

..great piece of writing Mani...
..d poem at d end was d icing on d cake... :)

Poets United said...

Thank you for joining Poets United. I have added your blog to our blogroll so others can discover you and your wonderful poetry. Poets United is what you make of it so explore, comment often and it will lead to folks doing so in return. We look forward to visiting your blog and reading your poetry.

Your imagination is what fuels our community.

~ Robert Lloyd

Andy said...

WoW! Mani, I am sitting here in awe!
I don't condone violence in any way, shape or form. You know only too well how I esteem women. They are queens, to be put up high on pedestals & worshiped.

You are an amazing woman, full of courage & tenacity. I commend you for your bravery & for taking a stand. This post of yours will remain with me for a long time.

A profound & thought-provoking piece from you Mani. Keep up the good work. You are one in a million!
Thanks for sharing. I appreciate the visits too. Always a pleasure to have your footsteps grace my pages (smile).

Golden Footprints


Very beautiful...And I am confused here whats more beautiful- the courage you showed or it was the way of your story telling that was more beautiful...
And the poetry at the end!!!..too good as always. :)

Mani said...

Andy- Thanku so much fr appreciation, kind words n believing in me.


Mani said...

Anshul- Thanku so much dear!!


alka narula said...

you did a great job..standing up for whats right..and very well written too....great post..

Alcina said...

Gosh!..you wrote so much and it was such a flowing story..and what you did was and exemplary act for all to follow..there are many who would say we should do this and that and i am so glad that someone wrote about it after doing it..

god bless you!..and keep lightening up lives like this.

keep smiling always!
Afixxion Addixt

Mani said...

Alcina- Hey alcina...kind f u to b here n leavin apreciation all along...

God Bless U tooo dear...


sedated said...

R u a kind of Gothic person?

Ashank Garg said...

Very well narrated

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