The Majestic Eagle
An Eagle was perched on the fence of Prajakta’s backyard. She was taken aback by the majestic size of the eagle. Never seen an eagle so close to her. Luckily her cute puppy Simba was not playing in the porch at that time. Prajakta could not take her eyes off the eagle. She was worried at the same time …was it bad omen to have an eagle in your backyard??
Todays world is ruled by google search. No different in Prajakta’s case. She googled fast to check on the significance of having an eagle in your premises. “Hmmm looks like its very auspicious to have an eagle around.” She thought. Eagle symbolises Garuda so the presence of the eagles symbolizes being blessed by Vishnu. Maybe today will not be as bad as she had anticipated.
The 17 year old was not sure whether she should be happy or sad. Today was a big day for her family . Her mom , Vasudha was going to take a big step. A step that was considered a big taboo in the indian society. Vasudha had all the support she needed from her only daughter. That’s it …there was nobody else by her side. She was all alone in this since she never let anybody take a sneak peak into her life for the past 20 years. She had been pretty secretive about her miseries .
Sitting on her favourite spot of the recliner in her bedroom Prajakta kept blaming herself for her mom’s extended misery. SHe blamed herself for making her mom put up with the atrocities for so long.Prajakta reminisced her past and what she had seen and heard over the years.
She rememeberd as an 8 year old how tired she was of the fights she could hear from the thin walls of her parents bedroom . Her dad would scream and her mom would scream louder . Her mom would bang something and her dad would bang louder. She was used to this constant fights and argument since the time she could remember . It was so regular that she started thinking that this happens in everyone’s household. All parents fight in their bedrooms .
As Prajakta grew older and started getting more exposure to the world she understood that this was not normal . Her family was troubled . All kids do not hear their parents fight all the time . One day she gathered all the courage she could and asked her mom ” Am I the reason why you are always fighting ? ” Prajakta’s question left her mom weeping . She kept telling her that they loved her and she was definitely not the reason why they fight. Vasudha was very upset on realizing that her daughter blamed herself for the domestic dispute.
Prajakta loved her parents equally. She could not imagine their separation. The constant fights she witnessed made her feel that a dagger of separation of the pillars of her life was looming over her head. She kept telling her parents “please be together …at least for my sake.”
8 Years passed and Prajakta observed that the loud fights used to happen on and off .She could hear the booming voice of her dad but hardly heard her mom fight back lately. Since she was very busy with school , friends and her art classes she started observing less as to what was actually happening at the home front. She knew her mom will not break the family for sure at least for Prajakta’s sake. She wanted to discuss the situation with her dad but her dad would avoid the topic as much as he could . He never facilitated a discussion due to which she could not decipher the trigger point for the fights .
It was a rainy day Prajakta came back from her math tution classes . As soon as she came home she went to her bedroom to change since she was all drenched. As she opened her closet to grab her change of cloths she could hear the faint argumentative discussion coming from her parents bedroom. The sound kept increasing , she heard a loud thud…her mom’s scream in pain and then she heard the front door bang and saw a glimpse of her dad step out of the house in a fury.
Prajakta rushed to her mom’s room and saw her mom lying down next to the bed on the ground…blood flowing down her face. She had a terrible bruise close to her eyes…blood was oozing out of the wound…her mom was crying , too embarrassed to be seen by her daughter in this state. This was the situation Vasudha never wanted Prajakta to witness. She had been successful in covering up her pathetic situation all these years but not today. Prajkta was only aware of the regular loud arguments and the verbal spats ..she had been completely unaware of the domestic violence her mother had been regularly subjected to.
This was a shocking revelation for Prajakta. She was mad at herself for not seeing through what her mom was facing on a regular basis. She was hurt, guilty and angry. She kept forcing her mom to be with her dad all through her childhood . It was her fear of separation that forced her mom to put up with this torture all through these years. At this point the reason for her parents bitter relation was not Prajakta’s concern at all . No argument or disagreement should let a man raise his hand on his wife..period…be the man be her dad or an unknown person .
What she saw today explained the weird marks she was used to seeing on her mom’s face neck hands. whenever she used to ask her mom how she got injured her mom always had a believable story to justify those scars. Prajakta blamed herself for believing all those justifications blindly. She blamed herself for making her mom promise that she will be with her dad always. She had pushed her mom deeper inside an abusive relationship. It’s time for Prajakta to mend the situation.
Prajakta helped her mom get up and clean her wound. her mom cried her heart out . Prajakta said “Ma, why didn’t you ever tell me what was going on? Why?”. Vasudha kept weeping feeling terrible that her daughter discovered the years of domestic abuse she has been facing.
Prajakta became determined to save her mom. Lot of episodes from her childhood slowly started making sense. The reason why her mom always used to wear full sleeves kurta and close necked blouses. Why she used to avoid social events. Why she always concentrated on keeping her husband happy and meticulously arranged everything as per her requirement. Why her mom used to make sure that relative visits to her home was restricted and restrained.
Prajakta could not stop feeling guilty for forcing her mom to stay in this relationship not knowing that she was being physically and emotionally abused by her own father every day. She was going through a terrible turmoil since the person at fault was her dad whom she adored a lot. She could not fathom staying away from her . At the same time she cared for her mom a lot. The atrocities towards her mom shadowed her love towards her dad.
Today looking at the eagle in the backyard Prajakta thought she and her mom have been as bold and majestic as the eagle in taking such a big step and decision to strat their life afresh. She wanted her mom to fly high and leave away all the negativity and pain she had faced in her life till now. As the eagle flew away Prajakta and Vasudha geared up to face the challenges post divorce and to take life in their stride. They said in unison “cheers to the new Beginnings”
Authors note: Story is based on imagination. Has no resemblance to any person dead or alive