It was the first day in our newly rented home that we heard a vicious noise. It sounded like someone was beating women and children. Only a wall of the height of man was between us and the house where the noise and probably cries were coming from. I ran out to look what was happening and saw a bearded young guy kicked an aged and weaker man out of their house. The crying old man immediately disappeared into the street. And the young guy went back shutting the door behind him.
Though this kind of accidents, quarrelling in homes, is common here, and domestic violation is a routine, it bewildered us because we had rented this home after two months exhausting search. The property dealer and owner of the property had asserted me that the area was the safest and the neighbours were ‘very nice people.’
Our children were scared and we were worried for them. As we sat there and discussed the situation, again we heard women weeping, and the guy’s mouth was pouring a flood of curses. This squabble did not let us to sleep all the night.
The next morning we discussed and considered whether we should live there or not after we sent our two children to school. My wife advised that we must find another home immediately. I decided to call the owner of the property but there was a knock at the door at the same time.
As I opened the door, there was standing a young and good-looking boy. He shook his hands with me and said politely, ‘I am sorry sir, I am your neighbour’.
I did not say anything as I was still confused and did not know what to say. Indeed he was from that house which my wife described as a battle field. He continued, ‘Sir, I am very sorry that you were disturbed yesterday. My elder brother is not mentally okay. He was quarrelling with our father’
‘Ohhhh’ I was able to say, ‘Was that man your father?’
‘And the bearded guy is your elder brother?’
‘Of course, sir’
‘If he not mentally okay, then why don’t you admit him to a hospital?’
‘We can’t sir. He thinks that he is okay’
‘Does he think that beating his own father is okay?’
‘He has ousted our two married brothers from this home and made our lives miserable too but we have now got used to it’
‘But we don’t want to be used to it. We are leaving this home as soon as possible’
‘That is to you, sir. I can’t help. I am just sorry for the trouble’.
This behaviour gripped my mind the whole day. I could not phone the owner of the house due to the tension. Now I was thinking about the women and girls whom we had heard weeping.
‘Why an abnormal man is so free to beat every one in his home?’ I thought. ‘Why they do not take him to a hospital? If he thinks that he is ok, then they should report it to the police’. Smoking, which I do excessively in similar situations, was not an answer to this.
In the evening, I went to the nearest market to have a walk with my children and buy something for them to divert their attention. In fact, they also were asking too many questions about the quarrelling in the neighbouring house.
When returned to the home, we saw an aged woman talking to my wife. She was fully wrapped in a cream-colour burqa but we were able to see her face. Seeing us, she hid her face under the burqa and left the house at once. Then I found my wife sobbing.
‘What is happened? Who was the woman?’ I inquired confusedly.
‘She was the mother of that creepy bastard. She said that he beats her, her husband and her young daughter every day. Her stories made me crying’.
It was a shock for me. An abnormal man is beating his mother, father, sister and brothers and no one cares. Why?
‘May no one knows’ said my heart.
It was time of evening prayers. I thought it would be better to tell someone about the guy and his family. So I went direct to the town’s mosque. When the prayers were over, I waited at the mosque’s door to meet the Imam, the local religious cleric who leads the mosque and prayers. When he came out, I greeted him and tried to hide my expressions during the conversation.
I told him the whole story and he listened attentively. Then he said, ‘Thank you brother for your efforts for the family, but I can’t do any thing. I know the man. He is a murderer. All the people of this street and even his relatives know about his deeds but no one dares to prevent him. Why don’t you go to the police station?’
I went to the police station that late evening. The police were also not interested in the case. They said that they were not authorised to dig their nose in people’s domestic issues. And they advised me that it was better to remain away from other’s issues. ‘People here don’t like report and publicity of their domestic issues’ head of the police station told me.
Disappointed, I made a call to the owner of the house, told him that we were leaving his house and then I returned home.
There, at a corner of the street, was sitting the aged man. His face lines expressed all the ordeals he had suffered. I sat with him and asked many questions. He told me that he had once reported to the police and his son was arrested but released two months later. He said that his family was living in hell since his son was released from jail. He also told me that once his young daughter burnt and tried to kill herself after mercilessly beaten by that guy.
‘He is not my son. He is a devil’ tears filled his eyes.
After silence of one minute, he said, ‘Now I am looking to hire someone that could kill him. Do you know anyone?’
Unfortunately, no. I knew only to find another house as soon as I could.
Three or four days later, when we were moving to another house, the noise of quarrelling was coming from the house. The family was still in trouble.
After we adjusted in another house, I wrote a detailed letter to some big newspapers but they also did not take it serious. And I never heard again about the family.