This Bollywood story of abuse is all masala till it turns real

All characters and events depicted in this story are real. Any similarity to actual events or persons, dead or living, is very sad, but well, it isn’t coincidental.

 |  6-minute read |   20-07-2019
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I am here to tell a story.

The story of a school time romance that went all wrong. Of a love so obsessive and abusive that it became all-consuming.

Request you to please keep your phones on silent during the storytelling. This is a no-interval story so I hope you have already bought your popcorn and coke because I wouldn’t want you to miss out on the details.

So here we go.

All characters and events depicted in this story are real. Any similarity to actual events or persons, dead or living, is very sad, but well, it isn’t coincidental.

The story is set in a city in Uttar Pradesh, starring a 17-year-old girl from a fairly moderate yet protective family and an 18-year-old boy.

dyua_91u8aaketh_071919054610.jpgThis love story starts innocent but has a heavy price to pay. (Photo: Screenshot/Oru Adaar Love)

The meet-cute for this couple happens at an inter-school fest held in the boy’s school. The girl, dressed up in a red georgette sari to act in a skit, appears on stage. Sitting in the audience, the guy’s heart skips a beat. Little does he know that the girl also had her eyes on him since his dance performance.

What ensues are excuses to get each other’s phone numbers, meeting up after coaching classes or bunking a few to go sit in shady restaurants and sip colas (because that’s all their pocket money would allow), calling on each other’s landline using fake names under the the pretext of discussing study notes, writing long love letters with heart doodles in the borders and begging each other’s friends or their siblings to pass it on — all ingredients of a typical small town, school romance.

A year passes. School ends. The girl moves to Delhi for her graduation. The boy applies for admission in her college and moves too.

What freedom! The liberty to hold hands without judgement, the freedom to call on each other’s mobiles and talk for hours, to spend every possible minute together after classes and before hostel curfew. They spend hours together, getting closer till they couldn't think about anything else. The I-will-die-without-you kind of love.

Unknowingly, the girl allows him to dictate the terms of the relationship, ignores his sudden flares of temper and caustic words (after 10 minutes of sulking and getting a sorry in return, of course). One day, during a walk in the park, they get into an argument while holding hands and suddenly, she feels a stab of pain in her arm. Shocked, she realises that the boy has just dug his nails in her skin, as angry welts rise up with tiny blood drops lining them. He apologises immediately. Says, he didn’t realise what he was doing. She, of course, relents but goes back to her hostel and cries.

The next incident comes soon after. They are sitting in a restaurant. He is angry about the fact that she is going home for the vacations and he is not. To express his displeasure, he holds her hands and slowly but steadily twists her little finger till she cries out in pain, tears streaming down her face.

At this point, you may ask why she doesn’t fight back, leave him or make this a non-negotiable issue. You need to be reminded that she comes from a generation that has grown up watching Shah Rukh Khan stalking his object of affection, terrorising her, writing bloodied love letters, engraving her name on his body.

For her, all this is a part of a relationship. This is how it is supposed to be — the crazier, the better.

srk1_071919054946.jpgMovies such as Darr can give people a skewed definition of romance. (Photo: Screenshot/Darr)

When her friends find out what he has been doing to her, they are furious. They want her to leave him immediately. She makes excuses for his behaviour, the ultimate nail in the coffin - “But he loves me so much.”

One day, they are at a friend’s place. He has found out that she had dared to go out for a movie with a male friend. He abuses her and bangs her head against the wall. Stars explode in her skull as she falls to the ground. The last words that she hears from him before she loses consciousness are, “I am so sorry baby! But I get angry because I love you so much!”

Does she put an end to the relationship then? Of course not!  

Instead, she thinks that maybe she deserved it and guiltily berates herself for hurting him, for doing things that he doesn’t like.

The saga of violence and abuse continues – a slap in public because she had dared to snatch his phone from his hand, a punch on her face because she lied to him about something. 

For somebody, who had never worn makeup, she started buying foundation to cover the bruises, still believing that she won’t be able to live without him.

Until one day when she suddenly learnt how to.

After five years of being beaten, called names and being emotionally attacked, she finally breaks up with him. No proclamations of love make her change her mind.

She doesn’t die without him. She does cry for days. But, when she emerges out of the trauma that the relationship has caused her, she is reborn.

Even today, she has trouble standing up for herself. Therapy, sessions to rebuild her self-esteem, to not think she deserves to be tossed around like a rag doll later, she knows what abusive relationships do to a person.

1561521524_kabirsing_071919054205.jpgWhen reel love stories turn real, there are seldom any happy endings. (Photo: Screenshot/Kabir Singh)

So, when she watches the trailer of Kabir Singh, horrific memories come rushing back. She is taken aback when she reads that the director, Sandeep Reddy Vanga, has justified the toxic masculinity in the movie by saying during an interview, “If you can’t slap, if you can’t touch your woman wherever you want, if you can’t kiss, I don’t see emotion there.”

She wishes she could show him what this ‘emotion’ had done to her, how it has changed her and her life. She wishes she could show him the respect that her husband gives her now, the way he loves her.

She wishes she could show him what real love is all about so that he doesn’t go about glamorising abuse and violence.

The end.

Makes for a good, spicy story, no? Maybe Vanga should consider making another blockbuster on this. After all, how does it matter that movies can inspire people and put wrong ideas in impressionable minds? That they can make an abused girl believe she deserved it. Or that slapping each other is what love is all about. Maybe, he would even end the story by showing the girl running back to the boy after a few years, sobbing and wishing she had never made the mistake of leaving him. Maybe, she will go back to experience more of the ‘real love’.

Only, he doesn’t get to write every story. Thank God! And, definitely not this one.    

Because I am that girl and this is my story.

I refuse to allow it to end in any other way. I hope other women and young girls out there won’t too.

Also read: No Snow Whites here: Bianca Devins murder made social media a mirror, we are all evil


Sania Ahmad Sania Ahmad @saniaahmad1111

Branded content specialist, crazy cat woman, and voracious reader who likes writing on political issues.

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