You told we are beyond any boundaries
I traversed and transgressed every boundary
When I asked you do the same
You want to limit in your limits
And started hurling loaded words
Trust, honesty. . .
These words sound shallow
From your mouth
You feel humiliated, embarrassed and low
By my deeds
When indeed they are my care and love
It is not we, it is only
Everything according to you
Oh! My apologies
I create fuss, scene and drama
You married me to a stranger
Without my consent, my desire and knowledge
Ignorant of everything
Taught me to consider his home
But home is built on love and devotion
How can that be possible
When there is no emotion
Has I lost the right to live a life
That has been bestowed on me
Stifled, smothered and suffocated
Let me take a breath . . .
I guess I am not kind to you
I guess I don’t understand you
I guess I don’t care for your love
When I try to look for your well being
And ask to do simple things
I hurl stones on you
I splatter hammer and thorns
You throw rose petals with your sarcasm
You throw red carpet on my path
Me, a dumb wit, a nincompoop
Can’t relish the treasure bestowed on me
I guess the problem is with me . . .
Did you desire my birth?
For the longing of a son
You despise me
What wrong I did to you?
And long I live with you
But before my arrival
You tried to kill me
didn’t succeed, though
you kill me throughout my life
Like a beast of burden
I, in your life
To unburden yourself
You transfer your burden to him
My husband, I call him
We like two bullocks
With no love, no feeling
No caring for each other
Ready to perform the ritual you taught
His father legacy, he carried, I, mine
Creating a hell, creating a netherworld
For the unborn to be born
There is a subtle line of demarcation between sanity and insanity. According to Freud, we are all neurotic. That’s why we at times are not able to decipher the reason for our behaviour. Madness is something that is given by the society. When a woman refuses to follow the codes assigned to a woman, her aberrant divested behaviour is considered as madness. And society is by and large governed by patriarchy. So, in a way, it is men who decide the madness of women. Women have been declared mad due to cultural, religious and financial reasons.
Women’s space is created by patriarchy and certain codes and parameters are allowed for women to adhere too. The strange and peculiar behaviour of women is due to her marginalized and relegated position in society. This behaviour is categorised as the madness of women. By demeaning and regressing their position, men have suppressed their creativity too. There is a lot at the stake for women to create a space. Home is a gendered space. Both have different space. Women are participating in creating a certain identity and are shaped by it. They try to negotiate the space and renegotiate to make it more feasible. The choice and the world which is available is also limited.
In most of the discourses, women’s voice is silenced, a subaltern who can’t speak. Even in the very institution of the mental hospital, patriarchy operates its power. It becomes a place to discipline women. Discipline her mind, body and soul. Those women who rebelled against their position and norms need to be brought to their sense by losing their senses. Mental illness is a traumatic and disorienting experience for anyone. What is required at this turbulent and testing time is constant support and care from all walks of life.
There is a need to consider what is considered as normal: marriage, motherhood and childbirth, can be traumatic too. It is time to consider the subterrane issues, to make the world a better place. Mental institution and other institutions need to be considerate and compassionate towards women and other human beings.
Pulkita Anand is a student of literature. She often reads fiction as it helps her to understand the human condition. She is interested in reading varied genres, from spiritual to scientific, to enrich her limited understanding of the things around her. She likes to listen to music and play badminton. She loves to absorb life to the fullest. At times, she loves to write too. Her creative works have been published in various journals: Setu Journal, Indian Periodical, The Criterion, Twist and Twain, Tint Journal, Lite Lit One, Indian Ruminations, Langlit, Ashvamegha, Lapis Lazuli and Winc Magazine and among others.