I write this post out of sheer distress and disgust at something I happened to witness around two hours back, on my campus. I was walking back to the hostel from the main entrance of the university when I saw a girl sitting on a bench (2nd one from the side of the entrance, to be precise) and a guy standing in front of her. As there is nothing unusual about this sight, I decided to not pry on them and walked on. They had rather pointedly stopped talking as my passed by them, which was again, not unusual, but the moment I had walked a little further, I had the girl cry out loud, “Please don’t slap me again”, to which the guy responded by saying, “I won’t if you don’t do that again (whatever ‘that’ was), now shut up!”. I tried to turn back and look at who these people were, but couldn’t because of the darkness. I should have perhaps gone back and checked up, but due to certain personal reasons, I couldn’t do it.
I must admit, the atmosphere at Jindal has been rightly considered to be a lot more liberal as compared to a lot of other universities in the country. And this is also the same place where people are given opportunities to talk about all kinds of societal inequalities/ breaking stereotypes and so on. Additionally, as is the case in any residential university, we are bound to form varied relationships with our peer on campus, which includes some of us being romantically involved with a person who stays on campus as well. This in itself is quite a normal practice, but what happens when things get so bad between two individuals that it starts taking its manifestations in forms of physical and/ or mental abuse? What I witnessed today left me severally distressed. We speak of abuses in marriages/ relationships with the eye of a third person, while some people amongst us go through it every single day. Abuses come in more forms than we can count or even begin to imagine. It could vary from someone trying to belittle you in your field of work to someone physically violating the sanctity of your body and mind via any means whatsoever.
More often than not, we somehow tend to stay in such relationships despite knowing better. And more often than not, we choose to not share it with anyone in our lives, until it either gets too much to take or in extreme cases, too late to save. Let’s not undermine the effects our everyday relationships have on us, including and especially the ones we form on campus. I’ve lost track of the number of times one of my friends have told me how they couldn’t take the “shit” that their respective partners were making them go through and yet, they simply couldn’t get out of it. I’ve been there as well. Years ago, I got out of one such parasitic relationship and trust me, I understand why people stay in them. But the only way to deal with such issues is to create greater awareness about the relationships that are formed on campus, especially the romantic ones. The culture of “we fight, we break up; we kiss, we make up” doesn’t work in real life. It’s time we talk more about this and not taboo away the college dating culture from our day-to-day conversations. It is happening, it is real, and we might as well speak up. These relationships are perhaps the most influential aspects of our campus lives and yet, are not spoken enough about.
Lastly, if this has happened to you/ or is happening to you, please know that you’re not alone. Talk to someone about whatever you’re going through. Please don’t resort to physical/mental violence, it’s extremely unhealthy. Let us talk relationships. Please.