Those terrific silences

Updated: Sep 10


Story By: Antra Dasgupta


I belong to a usual, middle-class family. And used to live with my mother and a twin with our paternal joint. Back then my father was already settled in Delhi and used to visit us every month. After few years of this distant relationship, my father decided to call us to Delhi and live together as a family.


So we left for Delhi with an image of a father who calls us every fortnight to know about our well-being and a mother whose life revolves around her children and her yearning for her husband. With time, we learnt that when two individual people start living under a roof, they indeed face their share of differences, so did our ideal figures - our parents.


I acutely remember there was a fight between my parents (always verbal spats) and as usual they became quiet with each other. That’s how their fights always were. Something would lead to a disagreement and the authoritarian would raise his voice to an extent that my mother would wind her neck in. And the terrific silence between the two custodians would remain for nearly three days; where they apparently would abstain from food as well. However, the reason behind those “silences” will be unknown. And this situation would leave me and my sister crumpled.


I remember one time my Maa told my dad “let’s end the fight. They are terribly frightened”. My father came inside our room & said “why are you scared. It’s over. Let’s have food”. And that particular fight was indeed over for that day. However, the cacodemon kept coming back again and again and again.

Domestic violence (not necessarily physical or sexual) makes children psychologically vulnerable. And as a result they become victims of fear, sadness, anger, depression.

I as an individual grew up in an environment which was unpredictable - there was unconditional love and compromise of parents, but also a constant tension. Hence, I am shaped as a fearful and anxious grown up who is always on the hunt of next event to occur and pass.

Domestic violence is a vicious cycle as children tend to replicate what they have seen in their childhood.

Remember, every time parents fight, something inside a child dies.

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