“I can’t stand this.I lost sleep and appetite.Life has become a dull routine for me. There is no meaning to it.”
I hear these words often, coming as it were from the depths of despair, causing me to tear up and say, so tell me what do you want me to do? But not this time. I had just gone through the trauma of ending a relationship that never took shape, in spite of the 7 vows and the 3 rounds of the ‘katir mandapam’, with the sanction of parents and blessings of elders. I remember how the whole process was. I had to doll up for almost 17 men, their inquisitive parents, undergo scrutiny and investigation before my parents and every body else chose this man, Raju, as a life partner for me. This was done after a lot of deliberation.
In front of the tears that mom shed and the silence that my father withdrew into , I had to finally give up my defenses and had in good faith agreed. My parents were ecstatic and I too had reconciled to the goodness of life, after all they said, only good things happen to good people!Perhaps there was no other go. I have never been smart in getting along with the other sex and had no clue when it came to social skills. I kind of froze when I had to socialize. Considering everything, I decided that all was well. Life was set for the best.
But it was not to be. When I moved to Bangalore after marriage, I was in for a huge shock. Raju returned home from work drunk. He was violent and abusive. I did not complain, not until he branded me with hot iron one day, because I had not served him breakfast. My parents rushed to Bangalore and were aghast at my condition. They took me back home. Raju’s parents tried to cajole and ask me to return. But in those 3 months of marriage, I had come to know a lot more about the person I married than even his parents ever knew. Finally, his mom begged to be forgiven. They never knew this about their son, she said. My parents were clear that I deserved a better life and we decided to file for divorce.Having taken the decision, my parents were now fearful of what will happen to their daughter, what will the neighbors say, how will they face the relatives?
I had kept my quiet and had found work and was fully engaged. I made friends and was quickly overcoming victim hood and was learning to live again. I found that I am a pretty confident person, I had great talents and men did find me interesting. That’s when the divorce procedures came to an end. While I breathed a sigh of relief, attacks of panic set into my parents hearts.
There they were already, visualizing a lone some sad life for me. The many cruelties the world inflicted on divorcees and so on. In jest when I suggested that I could find some one again, they started sermonizing, we can’t allow you to do that. You will ruin your life.You can’t choose someone just like that. You can only choose divorcees etc. Hello, I said, you have done that already, haven’t you? Can we talk about this later? Can you just leave me alone? No, mom said, we are concerned about you and you have become selfish and don’t even try to understand us.
I am exasperated with these people. I literally want to just go off alone to some place.
Meena looked at the walls. Her beautiful huge eyes now dull and on the verge of giving up. Her colleague and friend sat near by . His caring eyes noting those frowns on her otherwise cheerful face. He said simply, come, let’s go for a walk. She got up wearily and joined him. From a distance, one could hear her lively voice again.
Human spirit is an incredible thing. It does not require much to heal and bounce back. That evening walk and a few cups of coffee later, there was laughter and smile in Meena’s life. But some times, her heart cried, grow up mom, grow up dad. Come on, let’s live this life! Forgive, forget, let go.