By Armughan Naeem Khan.
While I struggle, to pen down my observation based thoughts, I am reminded of beastly jungle world, as seen through the eyes of national geographic’s hi-tech cameras. Lions, when not hungry don’t make fun sake attacks on passing by zebra herds. An alligator that had a feast for breakfast would swim calm, posing no threat whatsoever to deer crossing the stream. Not to forget the vulture flocks that won’t pick at their prey till it’s dead.
I wish they could but things don’t exactly work the national geographic way in the so called civil world where man has enacted so many laws, codes and ethics. This wide spectrum of law protects the human beings from harming, hurting and humiliating each other…ordoes it really??
Whether it’s a heap of humanitarian laws into effect or a plethora of human rights and freedom of expression fallacies playing by, fact remains that fangs of fate are too sharp to slice away any law or right, before reaching for the innocent victim’s jugular. There are no means to shield against fangs of fate and to date the medical science with all of its cutting edge technology is unable to bring out some sort of anti-venom to the venom of fangs of fate. List is long, I can go on and on but owing to scarcity of space let me restrict to two types of victims of fangs of fate whom we often come across in daily lives. Top of the list are the children blamed for some bad deeds of their parents. In other words these are the kids who all along their lives are punished for something their parents did. “Chorka beta chor”, so goes the social mindset. Say if a man was really a thief, why should his son be victimized for something that took place when the poor kid wasn’t even born. Why can’t the society let the boy be and leave him to earn his own repute instead of a tarnishing legacy hunting him all along his life. A king’s son becomes a king that’s for sure but what is not sure is a thief’s or dacoit’s son becoming one too. Another shade of this similar legacy is peculiar to women. Somehow, society pins bulk of blame onto woman for a mistake she committed in her childhood or youth. Story doesn’t end here, unfortunately her yet to be born children would open their eyes in this world as culprits and would be remembered as so n so’s kids. Apart from being socially condemned, the woman would continuously live under the fear of what her kids would think of her if they ever come to know of her mistake. What if her kids thought it wasn’t a mistake.
Next on the list comes the plight of those women who enter into wedlocks alright but for reasons their relationship fails to work out and ends up in divorce. A woman, who actually is a novice and inexperienced girl in her late teens or early twenties is supposed to mature overnight into most worldly wise and seasoned woman and behave completely flawless. When this teenager turned worldly wise woman steps into her in-laws home, mostly falling into the purview of hostile territory, she is supposed to live her very own life as per others’ whims. In other words she has to act miss prim and proper around most intolerant people. Every move she makes, every word she speaks is fully accounted for, which could be used against her wherever needed. God forbid, if in the process she falters and commits a mistake, results could be disastrous irrespective of the fact that she is human not a robot programmed for blind obedience.
Although, one can argue that in an extreme eventuality like divorce, a woman does have her share of blames and responsibilities from which she might not come clean. Most definitely yes but that’s beside the point since we are not exactly here to discuss divorce or its reasons. Precise point of contention here is the woman’s agony during the divorce process and the long life ahead, following the divorce, which usually appears as a tunnel with no light at the far end. Usually by the time divorce process starts, the young woman has already mothered one or two kids, who are too young to know what’s going on around them. Its normal for a woman to be threatened of horrific consequences for committing the sin of asking for divorce. Things go extremely bad if the woman seeks legal help from a court of law. A highly paid family lawyer is most likely to practically disrobe a woman in a full court room of her dignity and respect by going all out to prove that everything is wrong about her including her character, thus adding insult to her injuries. Is this her fate? Or maybe that’s the price she has to pay in our society to seek her legitimate right which religion and state law grant her. Legal battles are never easy for a woman to win. She might lose completely or partially. This partial loss might deprive her of her kids or sustenance or property. Coming this far, still her agony is far from over. Now she finds herself stranded into a cruel world where not only she herself has to survive but she has to feed and bring up her kids too. The fangs of fate won’t yet let go of her jugular.
All of the sudden the perspective of near and dear ones changes drastically. She is viewed as a culprit. At once she becomes the center of discussion in homes and gatherings. Piercing eyes and unending back biting awaits her everywhere she goes. Her kids won’t have a trouble free life either. Her daughter would be stared and teased by vagabonds who know very well a lone woman is no threat to them and there is no father around who could teach them a lesson. Her son would be bullied around at school where school authorities might or might pay heed to her complains. These are the things she faces every other day. She has to bear stares and suggestive remarks at her work place. Her lewd boss is very well aware of how needy she is for the job that she cannot think of quitting, so he could stoop down any low to exploit her weakness. All what she faces each day takes a toll onto her mental and physical health but the life she’s following she doesn’t have any time for herself. She keeps dragging herself taking all out efforts to keep her kids happy and to provide them with whatever best she can. Most of the time she is all alone. Parents don’t last that long, brothers and sisters have their own family chores to attend. Life is too fast paced; nobody has time to spare for her so mostly she is on her own.
Time would pass, there would be a day when her kids are grown and settled. Her troubles would apparently end. Finally fangs of fate would let go of her but there is no compensation for what she lost in her prime youth. How many days of mental torture she borne only she knows. Shattered from inside, she always had to man up to her responsibilities by maintaining her calm and joy in front of her kids. Unless the kids have ever heard late night sobs coming from her room, the kids would never know what all she went through in her life.Unlucky are those whom fangs of fate bite at very young age. Fangs of fate are extremely pitiless, once pierced, they continue dripping drop by drop venom of hate, tyranny, isolation, undue blame game and mental abuse, into the veins of their victims, most of whom are usually, if not completely innocent.
The writer is a freelancer and can be reached through: