So many things have happened since I last wrote, some good, some bad, some sad, but I’ve not been able to write on any of those highs or lows, until now. There are blog posts that have begun and progressed halfway but nothing seems to have made there way here despite it all.
I feel like a nagging wife really. The stereotypical ones they portray in mainstream media. A nagging wife who can’t seem to let go of this one thing that troubles her in her seemingly perfect marriage, despite her promise (ish) to not talk about it again. I was fine really. Since then, I had made up my mind to leave. But then time went by, I was away for nearly a month, alone in nature with no mobile reception or access to the Internet and I really felt my wounds (and soul) healing. I came back anew, phoenix-like even. There were new ideas, I was writing again and for the first time in a long time, things didn’t seem as bad as they were.
I’m back to the state of panic and disorder that haunted us during the last ten days of April. I’m wondering if my blinds should be up when I go to sleep at night. I most probably wouldn’t sleep and the sleep cycle I had restored after trekking and exercise will probably go to waste, but I know keeping the blinds up would ease my paranoid mind at night when I randomly wake up to see if the house next to me is set on fire.
I guess this means that we are back to carrying our passports in our bags and keeping that emergency bag in our cars. What’s more, I am going back to knowing my place as a young (ish) woman belonging to a minority community. I cannot be gangster on the road when I drive anymore and my Sinhala vocabulary that has grown to unprecedented volumes over the last few months will go back to a meek, quiet voice that the man in the petrol shed will take advantage of and obviously (pretend to) not hear when I say, “2000කට ගහන්න.” Because he wouldn’t hear and because I am a young (ish) woman belonging to a minority community,
my protests will go unheard I will keep quiet when he pumps petrol atop of the 400 rupees of petrol the three-wheeler guy before me had pumped.
This also means that my threshold for sexual and physical abuse will (have to) increase. Already, I shrug off snide comments on my face, body, skin colour and some amount of touching and brushing hands accidentally against various parts of my body because as a young (ish) woman belonging to a minority community this has been something I have seen and noticed since I started using public transport. And no, I don’t use public transport as much anymore, but the threshold is still there because after all, I would’ve provoked him with my short dress. And yes, I will not wear as many dresses because I am more aware of my place as a young (ish) woman belonging to a minority community.
The submission sounds disgusting, even to me. And yes, this post too, like the last one would (is) seem exaggerated. But this is just part of the reality I would experience as a middle class, young (ish) woman belonging to a minority community, and I don’t even have the worst of it because I am after all, privileged enough to live in Colombo and not look like I have some minority bearings on my face. I don’t even want to know and can’t even start to understand the fear felt by those who live, have names of and at first glance look as though they are a part of a minority fraction.
All I know is that we are alone and that’s all there is to it.