It happened a few months ago. My regular maid, K was going to her village for a month, so she introduced me to a friend of hers who was willing to work in her absence. The new maid, B, is a quiet one, some 35 year old woman. She rarely speaks and never smiles.
One day, she called me from her husband’s cell-phone informing about her leave that day. I said OK and saved the phone number. A few days later, she didn’t turn up and it was well past her regular time of arrival at my home. So, I called her husband’s number, to check if she was coming at all for work. He informed me that she had left for work. I said, cool and coolly waited for her. She came an hour later. I informed her that I had called her husband. She didn’t say a word.
Next day, she came to work and looked terrible. She had some marks on her face (and later she showed me some more blue-black marks) and it appeared that she had cried for a long time. With concern, I asked about her injuries. She gave me a cold shoulder and quietly went about doing her work in the home. I prodded her and she accusingly told me that because of me, her husband bashed her up. I was stunned and baffled at the same time. She explained that my call to her husband, the day before, made him ‘believe’ that she had gone somewhere else with somebody!
I was taken aback. I apologised to her and told her that I can speak to her husband and explain. She requested me to never call her husband, ever, to ask about her and speaking to him about it further would deteriorate the situation. She told me that he just needs excuses to suspect and beat her.
The incident disturbed me to no end. I felt guilty for being the trigger for her husband to unleash his wrath on her, that day.
And then a few days ago, K pointed towards a guard in our apartment complex. A short, timid looking fellow, yes, a contrast to his job profile. She informed that he is B’s husband.
Looking at him, I wondered about this breed of wife bashers.
I wondered, if subjecting their wives to this physical abuse (and emotional too) is the only way such men know to express their anger, resentment, insecurities? I wondered at the resentment and anger, the battered wives must be feeling. Because, though the physical scars heal, the emotional scars take long and sometimes a lifetime to heal.
I wondered if their children emulate such behaviour later on in their lives too.
I believe, if a man has hit his woman once, he would hit her again too. I thought, what if the woman tried to put an end to such an abuse the first time. Would that have deterred the man from trying it again?
I was tempted to speak to B’s husband and give him a piece of my mind, but then refrained, thinking about the consequences it would have on B, at the end of the day.
Today, K informed me that last night when B’s husband tried to hit her (yet again), their 14 year old son stopped and challenged his father. And that kind of shocked him.
And I am so happy since morning. I am glad that a step that B should have taken a long ago, was taken by her son, for her, yesterday. I am glad that the son wouldn’t follow his father in this regard. I hope it paves the way for peace and happiness for B… and wish that life smiles on her, once again.