Child marriages are still very much prevalent in India, mostly involving underage women, many of whom are in poor socio-economic conditions. Nearly 1.5 million girls in India get married before they turn 18 and so is the story of this stuntwoman who was subject to domestic violence within a day after her marriage. When she tried to raise the issue, everyone around her turned silent spectators, including the police who told her to ‘resolve the matter within the family or find a relative to live with.’
Belonging to a lower-middle-class family and living in a money crunch situation, she used to do odd jobs like colouring people’s hair or getting groceries for someone for a meagre 50 Paise.
Speaking to the Humans of Bombay, she narrates, “He’d beat me over nothing. He used to drink, so his rage attacks were normal. But I couldn’t see them coming. My mother-in-law saw everything, but she said I had no right to resist. Even my father told me, ‘once a girl’s married, she belongs there until death’. This was worse than death.”
“He forced himself on me. When I tried to resist, he said it was my duty,” she added.
At 15, she got pregnant and suffered a miscarriage. The doctor yelled at her for getting pregnant so early. Even after all this, she bore two kids but amidst all this, her husband’s beating didn’t stop.
“Growing up, I was a tomboy. I did odd jobs –colouring hair, getting groceries – all for 50 Paise. My father was a…
He used to beat her with belts and it left her in pain with the bruises that didn’t go in days.
She finally decided that she wouldn’t let her kids bear the brunt of this toxic marriage and hence she decided to walk out.
Because she was divorced and she had two kids as her responsibility, no landlord was ready to rent her their place and eventually she knocked the doors of Gurudwara.
She rented a home after saving up money from the work she used to do at the Gurudwara. She washed, cooked, even danced in a bhangra group. Her ex-husband would shout at times from outside calling her a prostitute, but she let him stay in her past.
She shared, “I began asking for more work when I came across a job opening for a stuntwoman for a tv show. I grabbed it, I already knew how to ride a bike and was a tomboy growing up – so, the action was my thing! I was nervous on my first day, but I loved it — I finally had work. I’ve been a professional stuntwoman since the last 10 years–I’ve worked with Rohit Shetty and met all these actors– my dream is to become an action director!”
Women like her keep inspiring us with their stories. They teach us that no matter what, there’s no end to life but there is an end to injustice. The Indian Feed celebrates their strength, cause they have not only changed their lives but they have changed everybody else’s who’ve been going through the same. They are the survivors, they are our true heroes.