Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The words of a child

The 5-year-old son of my neighbour came and told me that his dad slapped his mom because she applied nail polish and that she had cried. She is working for a travel agency.

Ironically, my roommate purchased the nail polish for her, as she happens to be a beauty advisor for some products. She overheard it from the kitchen and was feeling terrible. The lady is of our age. They married some 7 yrs back and have earned this 5 yr old certificate. I hope the innocent child doesn’t grow up to be like his dad, not being respectful to his mom and later to his wife.

There are certain unspoken rules between a couple and they honour the likes and dislikes of each other, all in love and goodwill but slapping your wife because she applied nail polish?

The man in question is just 28 or 29, supposed to be working in an MNC, well educated and … an asshole (my opinion). I thought guys of our generation were no more like him.

I remember a line from Arundhati’s ‘God of small things’. She had written something about a group of men in Kerala, who perform live on stage enacting the parts from the epics. The author had written something like this: “All of them will go and beat their wives by evening, even the flat chested man, who had acted as Sita.”

Then, there is this shopkeeper just opposite to our house. The old man is running the shop with his wife and daughter. His daughter is a little younger than us. He touched my hand once or twice as he took cash. I thought it was not deliberate but yesterday, my roommate told me, he has been doing it to her every time she paid. Now, I feel like strangling him. We have decided to embarrass him in front of his wife and daughter if he does it again. But then, he is a shameless idiot. I have seen him fight with many people in the area, screaming like a donkey at the top of his voice.

27 comments:

AmitL said...

Hi,Arunima,quite a simple post,but,soo true..what I've seen is,it's usually frustration at something or someone else that brings out the beast in man.As for the shopkeeper near your house,would you really want to demean yourself to his level by making a hue and cry about it?And,more than that,would he care?As I feel,especially in Dubai,the motto should be' Jo dab gaya,samjho dabtaa(mar gaya,in some cases?) gaya'.

Arunima said...

Hi Amit!! We are one of those few people he hasn't fought with I suppose. You have a point here. I would still like to embarrass him somehow. I am thinking if I should pinch him or wear thorns.

akash said...

For some reason some men believe that they can get away with such pathetic behaviour because the good girls will not complaint about it lest it harms their reputation. And such specimens can be found everywhere including MNC employees.

Prerona said...

felt certain things v strongly when i read this, but not sure if i should say ... certainly you will not agree ...

first, its only the words of a child. he might have mistaken or misunderstood. its v easy to jump to conclusions and judge people, but its very difficult to understand the exact dynamics of a marraige.

second, he's so old. why do you want to embarress him? maybe it was an accident? maybe he got carried away, or then again ... maybe he's a 'evil man' bcz he brushed hands with a female cust & deserves the worst punishment that can be dished out ... u'd know best

dont get angry or hurt ... these are just thoughts i had on reading. ofcourse u would know best what the exact situation is

Prerona

d4u said...

I hate guys who get violent and hit their wives...seriously cowards of "A" grade. Really sad cos the child is growing up in such an environment...hope it doesnt have a deep impact on him:(

Arunima said...

@prerona: I need to be married to understand the dynamics of marriage but in the case of the boy, he actually spoke very clearly with actions. Maybe, the nail polish thing followed something else prior to it too but nevertheless, I didn't like the very idea of him slapping his wife.

As for the shopkeeper, I brushed it away thinking it might be coincidence though I had a gut feeling that it was on purpose. We are taught to respect our elders and I am quite tolerant with their gestures. So, I overlooked it but when my room mate told me that I felt perhaps, my intuitions hasn't been wrong either. We ahve in this place for almost a year now and he has been doing this quite often to her. About the punishment part, I don't know.

One more thing, I have observed that most of the exhibitionist that I came across happen to be men above 50.

Stone said...

Well, whatever be the dynamics of marriage, causing physical injury is disgusting.
*****
And regarding that old man, if he does that again just SLAP on his face hardest as you can.

anumita said...

So true, so true. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to confront both? Men are an underdeveloped lot, I tell you.

Anshuman Ghosh said...

Even though you might wonder if embarassment will set right someone who is no more than a shameless embarassment to the society, you should definitely try out something which can shake the hell out of him.

Your one step might change the incorrigible fool by a wee little bit, which will help so many people around you.

Now the hard part - what shd u do? shout? create a scene? would that help ?

P.S : how about a gentle 'police complaint' against him - the police will definitely make him wary, wot say ?

Kishore said...

Things are improving in the present generation.. but still there seem to be no dearth of such nincompoops.. I myself felt like strangling a lot of guys for being outrageously egoistic towards their wives...

shub said...

UGH! men!!

Handa said...

ooh cmon... stop hating men for once. get a new hobby.

infinity said...

as geoff says in 'coupling'..."men are disgustoids in human form"...some of us are working hard to prove that true every second of their lives...

Arunima said...

@HAnda: I just can't help it Handaaaa!!
O noble one, what should I do?

Mr. Maverick said...

arunima -

My mom always says this in Tamil 'Criminals should be punished, agreed, but people who quitely tolerate them again and again should be also be punished'

DO NOT leave that shop keeper. I dont know what you are going to do, but you MUST do something to punish him. And DO let me know how/what you did!!

unforgiven said...

Too much hate in this world..

business voodoo said...

me ... human being on the other side of the planet ... if a friend of my daughter came and told me that ... first, he would not have gone home. if i knew the family, i would have taken a walk and had a 'dialogue' with both of them. if that didn't work -- e.g., both parents listening to the harm it does their child to watch that kind of violence in the home -- and violence is both the fault of the violent one and the one who allows the violence to continue.

but, if that didn't work and they did not have an extended family to get involved to intervene, i would have probably called the police & child protective services and well, maybe that would have made the matter worse, but at least the man would know that SOMEONE was watching him ... and if he's just going to be a violent human being, someone cares. it may also give the wife an idea that she did not have to take the abuse and that she empowers bad behavior by NOT BEING A HUMAN BEING and saying, YOU MAY NOT HURT ME. violence is so rampant in our world today ... it hurts everyone ... it is up to those on the front lines to say 'Stop the Violence!'

the best way to NOT reward the shopkeepper's behavior is not to give him any money ... it hurts him most there!

peace & harmony,
elaine
'freedom must be exercised to stay in shape!'

Jas said...

Man slapping his wife??? Thats ridiculous. Couldnt she slap him inturn. I would slap that guy if this had happened to me!!!

Nice and simple one!! Best wishes for more!!;)

Anny said...

Hi Arunima, chnaced upon your blog. Nice read.Keep up the good work.

I am new to blogging....stepped into the world of blogging only today. Hope to have a great tiem reading and posting some good stuffs!

Arunima said...

@business voodoo: thanks for visiting.
We avoid buying from him unless an emergency comes up.Should stop altogether.

@jas: you are still the same fiercely independent lady.

@meverick: for a start, I give money holding it between my two fingers so that he has no other go but to take only the money. AFter discussing with roomie, I have kind of become conscious and try to avoid buying from there.

Arunima said...

@maverick:oops!!! sorry for the spelling.

@Anny: Warm welcome to the blogging world! coming to your page soon.

Shivangi said...

I know you WANT to embarass him in front of everyone. I also know that you believe it wont make any difference to the asshole. On the contrary, he might say something so mean, you'll never get over it. You want to avoid a scene. But please, DONOT avoid the man. It wont matter him in the least. Next time he touches your hand or your room mate's, grip his wrist and put his hand away, without as much saying a word. It'll be shock enough for him. And there is no way he can scream if you dont utter a word. And let me know how he reacts.

ramu said...

next time he tries just grab him, punch him on his face, then just flip him, try a somersault chop kick and a slide kick, and finally a hand strike. he'll be shaking like ne thing. and lemme know how he reacts. need to try many more similar things thru u

Mentor said...

This kind of disgusting actions are prevalent. In my opinion, such things would be happening for a decade or two. Strong actions need to be taken against such cases and let such bulls realize/suffer for such actions.

U/Us in a society can create changes. I extend my support.

venkat said...

Arunima, How could a 28 yrs old young guy even think of raising his hand to hit his wife? I cann't even think of his stupidity and immaturity. He does not deserve a wife if he did hit her.About the shop keeper, why do customers patronise him if he does not respect his customers. Customer service is not good in India.May be Arunima, one day call him aside and politely tell himthat you do not appreciatehimtouching your hand and if he won't stop, you would tell his wife his misbehaviour.

Swathi said...

wish we could do away with such men...

cutting said...

one morning I heard shouting from my erstwhile neighbors (a 35ish couple). i looked out to see, the wife berating the husband in their driveway, in plain view and earshot of morning walkers, watchmen and curious neighbors. their child stood in one corner holding his soft toy and flinching while his mother screamed: about how his father beat her up every night, wasn’t a real man unless he drank, how he chased skirts, slept around…

the father just stood there passively. he tried telling her to take the fight back into the house, but she was adamant to make an exhibition out of it.

a couple of morning walkers offered to take him to the police, she ignored them and kept screaming till they gave up, threatened the guy and left.

on the face of it she was the aggrieved, he was the 'asshole'.

and every morning till then i had heard the mother screaming her guts out at a 12 yr old maid over nonsensical things n would wonder if the maid was so inefficient, why couldn’t the problem be fixed by sacking her? was the mother the psycho or the victim? why didn’t she take the help offered by the passerby’s? the police station was 5mins walking fm the house, why hadn’t she reported him? if he was all that she said he was, why didn’t he just walk away?

who is to judge?