I have been trying to recollect and blog things I have experienced and witnessed during my extensive travel throughout India. Recently(December 30, 2010) during one of my travel “dramas” where I took the wrong direction train, I witnessed something really weird and discomforting, to say the least. When the train was standing at this station, I saw this married couple get into the train and stand at the doorside for a moment. And suddenly the man started cursing the lady. Curses of the most ugly kind one can imagine and which, as I would put, can make your ears bleed out of shame. It was obvious from the way they two were dressed and came together, they were married. However, after the “cursing” episode, I was in doubt.
Why? Because the lady didnt utter a word in response to this man insulting in public among a lot of people.
Usually, the kind of women I stay around or work with would at least utter something back and some would just give him a stfu. But noone would just sit there and be insulted. So that left me with a lot of “Why’s” because hearing all those words outraged me.
I usually carry my camera around so I had thought of clicking his picture. I asked him, “Sir! Can I click a picture of you?” And he gave me a strange shocked look, but agreed (in a non-verbal way), so I clicked his picture. I guess as an effect of this action, he calmed down a bit and went out of the train to get some fresh air. I quickly asked the lady who this man was and how was he related to her? She told me, it was her husband. The husband was scolding her because he had asked her to stay at a certain “spot” until he went to buy the tickets and instructed her to not move. And as the train arrived, she might have just moved a little away from the spot. And hence, the husband bombarded her with insults in public.
It was a silly reason in my opinion. I told the lady, the village women I work with would have thrashed and beaten up such a man by now. She giggled and the husband returned.
Other co-passengers started telling the husband that “Its OK, and its not a big deal. Everyone makes mistakes etc and he shouldn’t be cursing bad words in public to her wife..” which was nice, but the husband still tried to make a point.
Anyways, the important point is it left me with a lot of questions:
- What could be the reason for the lady to not voice back? Why the silence?
- What could be the reason of her giggling when I go and question her being silent? I have met rural women who “command” the house & are confident however this gave me a different picture.
- What would you have done in such a situation?
- And finally, does the look of this man’s face irk you? (apologies for not posting the uncut picture, not sure if the anger on his face his visible)