My refusal to do certain things, behave a certain way was always questioned. Both at home and outside.
Off late, the resistance has increased. I cannot explain what changed. For I don’t know and I find it impossible to deduce. Both at home and outside.
It possibly, couldn’t be the same thing. But my frustrations are building and I am showing them visibly. I was always very cautious with what I said. I couldn’t control my temper. Most statements came floating out of me without any control on my behalf. This has changed. Both at home and outside.
I am learning to articulate my angst, channel my temper and only fight battles worth fighting. Sometimes, though, my anger seethes and erupts. I scream for no one listens otherwise. The audience gets uncomfortable, the become more rigid and scream in response. Both at home and outside.
But the process is slow and the peaks of frustration come close together. Neither feels sacred anymore. And I am only now learning to politicise and problematicise both. The end result is a difficult situation and I am gasping for air.
Diverse spaces, inclusive spaces, public spaces, wide open spaces; spaces are so important in shaping ideas and thoughts. Good spaces create scope for interactions and nurse good discussions. But off late, I am discovering that the spaces I encounter have become dismissive and alienating. People pounce on each other when a contradicting remark slips into the conversation; there seems to be no room for difference of opinion. There is a tendency to get on the defensive and begin a screaming match. There seems a lack of tolerance to the polar opinion. Patiently listening has suddenly become a rarity. With regards to some topics like religion, a certain chief minister and other controversies are far worse. When I see this happening around me, I wonder what is needed for anyone to talk, discuss and argue without fear of being attacked? It seems simple to keep an open and cool mind, hear the other out and respond with your opinion. It isn’t so hard right? It shouldn’t be, anyway.
Yet, I find there are few such spaces.
I couldn’t watch television with him. It angered me too much. He smiled when the same segment would turn me red with anger. When I smiled with relief at an alternate point of view, he changed the channel in frustration. I never held the remote for I would constantly feel the urge to change when I was annoyed. So I resorted to avoiding spending time with him while he watched television. Which meant no breakfasts, lunches and dinners. A large part of our conversations were restricted to travelling to and fro from work; he dropped me on his way to work each day. This cut short our time together extensively. But I couldn’t help it. I cared about him and the clash of our politics made living under the same roof very difficult. We had fought so many times about topics outside our lives that our relationship had frayed. Yes, I avoided conflict and confrontation. I am not proud of it. But I know it is for the best. There is no pleasure in uncomfortable situations. We needed to live together and not commit murder. Especially because we got along all the other time. Just a few hours a day, I avoided his company. Subconsciously, I think he understood. Without the television interfering in our relationship, we grew closer together. Some topics, some ideas and some notions remain hidden. But that is the risk we were ready to take to make the marriage work.