Of Cabbages and Kings

October 31, 2006

The children behind the walls

Filed under: Random musing — Chinmayi @ 4:23 pm

The lady upstairs yells at her kids a whole lot. We live in one of those buildings that have a whole bunch of apartments crammed together. And while the builders had the  foresight to make the walls nice and thick, there are still ventilators and windows, through which other people’s private spaces can float in uninvited, to intrude on ours.

Anyhow so this lady yells at her children almost constantly. And if she were to be so kind as to do all this screeching in some other language, we would be blissfully unaware as to the details of the proceedings. But we’re not. She yells in English. And she says horrible things to them. She uses abuser-speak: she keeps telling them that it’s their fault that she hits them, and that they are so horrible that they bring out this violence in her…and so on. She is convincing tiny children that misspelling a word is wicked  enough to bring on a tirade punctuated with slaps. She is convincing them that they are so inherently wicked that they bring this demon out in her. It makes me want to cry to think of what this must do to those kids….it makes me want to cry to imagine the underconfident adults that they are going to become, the underconfident adults that have been taught that they are ‘bad’ people, and  who continue for decades to play out this role that one foolish mother created for them.

I wish I could call some kind of child helpline, but I can’t. I can’t do that when I know fully well that these kids, if they are rescued at all, will land up in some place where child sexual abuse is rampant, and food scarce…where there is no privacy and  where lectures on ‘values’ and random beatings are the order of the day.

And there we are. A whole bunch of rights but no way to know about them, no way to enforce them. A roof over their heads, three meals a day, classes at a private school  and they are considered priveleged. And everyday this woman tells them that they are stupid and evil. Everyday, this woman hits them and abuses them verbally. Everyday, she hits out at their souls a little and kills some part of them. Everyday, a lot of frustrated adults like this one, vent their ire at children and everyday, they get away with it. And that makes me really sad.


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