“Why do Rijja wear frocks?” he roared banging the front door. “I know you back her. I know it’s because of you. You plan against me. You want to destroy my reputation,” he continued. His face was blue and legs kicking everything coming in way.
Rijja’s mother looked at his face and ignored it. She walked inside the kitchen, pretending she did not hear anything. Raged at that, he moved upstairs and started to bang Amna’s door.
“If you can’t hear me. Leave my house,” he yelled taking huge steps.
“Yes papa?”Amna inquired with eyes popping out at his anger right in the morning.
“When do you go to university?” he asked grinding teeth.
“At 12. My classes start at 1 PM,” Amna swallowing her saliva in mouth.
“Why do you go at 12. You should go at 11 when driver comes. Driver can’t come and go all the time. I don’t like this. If you can’t obey me, go leave my house.
He moved here and there like a hungry animal, waiting for prey. Not finding anyone. He called his son, “Adi…..” the young boy was getting ready for office. Throwing his tie on bed, he rushed upstairs to listen to him.
“Why can’t this printer work?” he pointed to the printer.
“I think we need ink to print,” Adi said bowing his head.
“Why the hell you all use my things. Let me throw it….” furious about news, he held the printer in hands and threw it away.
“Don’t use my stuff or leave my home. I don’t need you all,” he said foaming.
Anger and abuse was his nature. But the threat to leave home was added when he divorced Rijja’s ma 15 years ago. He did not need her or their children. And for him, it was a great favor that he let them in even after divorce. He already had two more wives and other children.
It was also his nature to abuse and show anger on everyone if he is not in mood. His children were used to it. Because they knew they had to endure that. Leaving him was easy, but he was old and needed his children. They were very small when he disowned them all. It was a hard time for their family. Because no door was opened for them when knocked. Rijja’s ma even wanted to go to court but was stopped by her family, “No, court is not for females. Moreover, that place is full of corrupt people, you won’t be getting justice” her brother used to say.
“Then what should I do” She used to ask everyone.
“Endure…be patient….hide…don’t tell anyone for his maltreatment. He is like that for 23 years. Don’t say anything and raise your children quietly. He is your children’s father. You are a woman. Women endure. Women stay quiet. Women don’t say anything. Women compromise. Stay with him for the sake of kids.”
And yes, she endured for a long time. Until she turned old, rusted, stone-hearted and with lots of psychological issues. She started becoming panicked, anxious, afraid of everything around her. But there was no way out. She had to live in the prison till death because she was a WOMAN!