Red

Faysal Zaman

2017 - Ongoing

Domestic violence is widespread in Bangladesh, and it is exacerbated by women's socioeconomic status being subjugated to men, as well as the socially constructed gender role of men being superior to women. These violent acts are so common that two-thirds of women in Bangladesh, approximately 70 percent, have been victims of domestic violence, and 72.7 percent have never disclosed their experience to others.

In a similar vein, my mother never revealed to anyone about her tormented psyche, but at a time when patience and endurance exceeded the extreme, my mother divorced my father in 2005 after 22 years of their physical and psychologically abusive relationship.

The days that followed their separation were excruciatingly agonizing. My mother has never fully recovered from the shock of having to part from her beloved until this point. Her trauma kept her suicidal year after year, and she was also prone to self-harm. At the time, she would often beat me because of her disquieted mentality. That traumatic experience from my childhood has a huge impact on my psychological and behavioral state of despair.

When I think back, I'm still haunted by an incident that happened before my parents split up. I was standing in front of the closed door of my parents' bedroom listening to my father's wrath and my mother's cry of sorrow. After a while, when I opened the door and ran to save my mother, my father also stuck me in my room and beat me with my cricket bat. Such incidents were common. As a result, my adoration for my father gradually turned into fear and hatred that drowned me in deep despondency.

Although we are no longer close to that man yet we continue to feel a transcendental attachment that is impossible to deny. My mother frequently mumbles to me that I remind her every day of my father because I have a similar appearance to my father; even the hair on my chest is the same as his. When she says it, I can still see my mother's two fervors for my father competing for dominance within her: one of longing and the other of intense abhorrence.

Consequently, our laments continue to linger. Our hearts grow heavy with each passing day, but we float with the tides of time.

'Red' is a multilateral autobiographical ephemeris that ideates the psychological catastrophe of familial trauma. The emotive and acutely ambivalent imageries of this chronicle invite one to an atmosphere of buried anguish that is slowly coming to luminescence and alternatively fades with constant intensification.

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