Rights of Wronged Men

The side of the story that nobody hears!

Ajaz A Baba
Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 22 2018 9:13PM | Updated Date: Sep 22 2018 9:13PM
Rights of Wronged MenRepresentational Pic

“Good news for guys at last!” You should have seen the ecstatic expression on my friend’s face as he said this. 

When I raised my eyebrows and smiled archly in response he blushed and hastened to add, “No don’t get me wrong it is not about Sec 377! Yaar in Kashmir the buck stops at 370 and 377 might as well be 7 light years away. The good news I am talking about is that finally there is this great fellow who has raised the issue of a need for a commission for men!”

“Commission for men?” I said in a rather doubtful voice not sure that I had heard him right. You see there’s a commission that protects and promotes the rights of women. There’s even a society that protects and promotes the rights of animals (and no gender bias here, it protects the rights of males as well as females!). Men on the other hand continue to be on their own – unrepresented, unprotected and for the most part unheard.

“Yes it is true! A non-governmental organisation (forget whatever I ever said about NGOs!) working on the issues faced by aggrieved men says it is about time the country gets one. When I read this news in the newspaper some days back I felt that the much needed succour for men is probably going to come sometime in future. God bless the activist who has initiated this. May he live a hundred years and thereafter get permanent residency in Paradise!” 

Now if you are wondering why my friend came out so strongly about this thing let me assure you that he has his reasons and strong reasons too. The poor fellow has had to suffer a lot for the simple reason that he is a man, a male counterpart in a matrimonial relationship which automatically makes him a ‘villain’ unless proved otherwise (and it is well nigh impossible to prove otherwise!). The ‘victim’ (which is a role that automatically goes to the female counterpart of a matrimonial relationship!) dragged him through courts as well as the streets. It was a long protracted battle in which this poor fellow lost his reputation, money, a couple of teeth and almost his reason as well. 

This is how it started, in the wife’s words (because as is usual in such cases only the wife’s version is available!)...

On Sunday I served him beans for dinner. “Do you like beans?” I asked him.

“Oh yes!” he replied enthusiastically.

 Monday again I served him beans at dinner time. Again I asked, “Do you like beans?”

‘’Yes,” he said.

So Tuesday again I served him beans at dinner time and I asked him, “Do you like beans?”

“Um…uh,” was the only response I got.

Wednesday I served him beans for dinner and when I asked him whether he liked beans he did not respond at all though I repeated my question. I thought he must be preoccupied with something so I did not press further.

Thursday again I served him beans for dinner and since I always ask him whether he likes what I have prepared for his dinner I asked him, “Do you like beans?” In response he just stared at me for a while and then let out an exaggerated sigh.

Friday as usual I served him beans for dinner and when I asked him whether he liked beans he scowled but said nothing.

Saturday too I served him beans for dinner and when I asked him, “Do you like beans?” he just glowered at me so much so that I felt a little bit frightened! But the worst was yet to come. 

On Sunday I cooked beans as usual and I was at it all day long and then when dinner time came I served him a bowl of beans and with the sweetest possible smile on my face I gently asked him, “Do you like beans?” And you know what?! (At this point of the narration the lady always breaks into tears!) You know what?! He shouted at me! Pushed away the bowl of beans with such force that some of it split on the floor and he shouted at me, “I HATE BEANS!” The expression on his face was such that I thought he might kill me. Maybe he would have if I had not rushed to my room and bolted the door. I packed my things called my brother and left with him for my father’s house. 

The story continues but it keeps revolving round the bowl of beans so much so that you end up with a permanent loss of appetite for beans...  

In the follow-up to this incident my friend, poor fellow, had gone several times to apologize to his wife and plead with her to return home. But she flatly refused saying that he was an inconsistent guy. “How can I trust a guy who says that he loves beans only to shout just a week later that he hates beans!” The story does not end there. The poor fellow was dragged through courts for being cruel, uncommunicative, inconsistent and unpredictable with a tendency to turn violent over a mere bowl of beans! Finally his wife sued for divorce and he had to pay a heavy sum as compensation not only to his wife but also to her younger brother whose studies, as the lawyers claimed, had been affected because of the mental trauma his sister suffered because of the inconsistency of a cruel husband regarding a bowl of beans.

There are quite a few similar stories but I won’t discuss those because I don’t want to seem like I am taking sides (that being a risk because the commission for men has not come up yet and there’s no guarantee that it ever will!). Yet I can’t help it if all this reminds me of a famous Kashmiri saying which roughly translated means that it is hot news if a cow gets killed but if it is a bull that gets slaughtered nobody gets to even hear of it...

(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at snp_ajazbaba@yahoo.com)

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