I have many happy and sad memories from my childhood but one memory that makes a huge part of my childhood is receiving recurring slaps from my mother. I was a very fussy eater when I was younger and it didn't matter what was kept in front of me, I just wouldn't voluntarily put it in my mouth. So, my mother found the perfect way to make me eat and I was introduced to the 'great Indian slap' it's safe to say my life was never the same again.
I was in no way the perfect child (I am still not) and was horrible at studies and coming from a household where your father was a police officer made it all the more worse. I was in the 1st standard when I received the first of many great blowing's and it went something like this.
"Do you want to study or watch T.V?"
"I don't know."
"Do you want to watch T.V?" (In a sweet tone)
"Yes." (With a big smile)
I am not the only one who has innumerable stories like this one from their childhood, when my friends and I sit together we often narrate such incidents to each other and have a good laugh about it. Once when we were laughing at our bruised and beaten childhood, a friend of ours said: "My parents never hit me when I was a kid" and all of us fell silent. We all accused her of lying because we couldn't believe the fact that you can grow up in India and have a childhood empty of beatings.
Most of us don't take this very personally because we know 'slaps' are part of our culture and so much so that we don't mind taking a few blowing's into our adult years too. In western countries such as U.S.A or Australia, a slap from your parents would most likely land the parent in jail for physical abuse. In India, authorities, and elders advise parents "Ek Thapad Mara Karo Toh Sudhar Jayega".For some reason, civilized conversations have always been dismissed as unnecessary in our country.
If we look at the matter more rationally we can't completely blame our parents for such behavior, after all, it had been internalized in them after all their childhood years of receiving innumerable beatings from their own parents. In our parent's times, it was permissible for teachers to hit students but as time progressed, our society realized violence inside the home is better than violence in a public set up.
I am going to reveal a different side to the story now, domestic violence in Indian households is a very common practice. Every home has seen some level of violence between partners. This violence sometimes translates into violence towards children which is then normalized to prove our normal upbringing. The working of our homes is often flawed and immaculate all at the same time, on the one hand, we are slapped for playing with our friends for too long and on the other, we are pampered like prince and princesses.
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