Hady Ba's weblog

de Rita Banerji

Posted in Oh my God! by hadyba on septembre 21, 2012

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My grandmother who suffered terrible violence used to tell me that “some” young women (she meant women like me!) are too impatient, and their walking out of marriages where they are verbally and physically battered is an indication of how weak and selfish they are.  She was very proud of her “tolerance level” if you can call it that…. She thought it was an act of strength and tolerance and sacrifice to keep the family together. Women when they are close, sometime reminisce and compare notes on the various occasions when they’ve been severely beaten, and how they survived it, and it’s supposed to be a measure of their strength. Seven days before my grandfather died of a heart-attack he had attacked my grandmother and cracked her skull with his metal walking rod.  She was bloody all over and had to have stitches. But she was so proud that things like that never scared her away.  What is strange is growing up in a cultural environment like that – it was so normal.  It is only when I went to the U.S. and returned many years later, that I thought “This is sick!” The other odd thing is how deep-rooted this is culturally.  Because in my family, counting me, we’ve studied and lived abroad in the U.K. and Europe, for 3 generations.  My grandfather who was a highly educated man, an engineer, had gone to Britain when he was 16, just a little younger than when I went to the U.S.  So what I am saying is – while my staying out of India made a difference to my outlook, it doesn’t always do that to all Indians, both men and women.

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