The view out the balcony mirrors my mood. Patches of grey sky peek in between the dense upper branches of the tree by the apartment block. Dead limbs hang limp. Tiny buds peek through the very tips of the healthy ones.
I hear raised voices again from the other side. I feel my body shake. Tremors course through my arms. I move inside and lock myself in the bedroom inuring myself from something I have no control on. I wish I could be as apathetic as I am in the face of abject poverty or in your face stench from rotting garbage. I breathe. In. Out. In. Out.
The sounds are now muted. I hear sniffles that tell me she is crying. I wonder who she is. I wonder who he is. I wonder why she puts up with the abuse. I wonder what entitles him to treat her this way. I wonder about the other people in the house. The ones who stand by mute watching abuse happen wringing their hands in helplessness. The ones on the other end of the phone who advice walking out without ways to enable her to support herself.
Most of all I wonder about inequities. In income. In education. In confidence. In gender. In entitlement.
My heart feels heavy. I am reminded of the leering glances as I walk up and down the street with a friend talking about writing. I am aware of the man behind me on the crowded train who seems entitled to encroaching on my personal space. I reach out for my dupatta on the train aware that my choice of clothing is a matter of pragmatism rather than personal choice.
I am also aware that I am privileged to be ruminating on these inequities instead dealing with them on a daily basis. My one off exception is just that. An exception. The sounds have risen again and my heart pounds.