As a young teenage girl, she had all the dreams about love and romance that girls her age would have. These dreams were only enriched more by the constant input of love stories from the movies of Bollywood and the Mills and Boons novels. There was this excitement about finding you ultimate love who would sweep you off your feet, followed by a whirlwind romance and then a happily ever after. This was the ideal picture in her mind too.
And then it happened… ! She was still in college and all of eighteen years old when she met this man, who she thought was the love of her life. He was all she thought she wanted. From the first meeting onwards, both of them seemed to be smitten by each other. The inner feeling of loneliness seemed to disappear in the companionship of each other. Her life now revolved around the life, needs and desires of this man who she loved with all her heart. The fact that he was seven years older or from a totally different upbringing with a different outlook towards life than her never struck her or made her question their love. She was just happy that she found her true love in life.
He was the one she trusted more than herself. The earnestness and sincerity in his love filled her with hope for the future and she considered herself to be lucky to be with a man like him.
She was the last person that people expected to get married at such an early age. But marry she did. Never thinking twice, with complete trust in their love and on him. Changing her dreams and desires she left her home for him. Her parents had to oblige for their daughter’s happiness. They accepted him with open hearts as their son in law.
The unknown evokes different response from different people. For his parents, she was that unknown who was to blend into their known practices and expectations. He also expected the same. For her, this was but a small sacrifice for their love. Her identity was now from him and everything else followed. So she learnt things alien to her till now. She went from being a carefree student to being a ‘trying to be perfect wife’. All she wanted in return was some love and respect.
This she did earn from his parents but the change in him confounded her.He quit his job without trying to get a permanent position and went for higher studies… away from her. One has to plan a career properly it seems. So he decided that this was the best for him. She was not part of the decision.
Where did all the love and tenderness go? Arguments, anger and her cries were part of a daily routine. .He had hit her twice during these fights. Nothing that she did was good enough. Why did she want hundred buck right now? Why did she have to be part of this particular NGO? Why? Why? Why? Life had become dreary and listless now. Still she carried on in the belief that this was but a phase. She still loved him.
After her bachelors, she decided to pursue a professional course so that she could also work and help him support the family. This was over her dreams of doing a Masters and pursuing an academic career. But why did she have to study more and work? This was the question asked to her by him.It was when she convinced him that her parents would bear the financial expenses that he relunctantly agreed to ‘let’ her study. And that was when things fell apart.
Everyday was hell. Classes, papers, readings followed by telephone calls filled with malice, hate and anger. It tore her apart. Slowly and steadily, she lost her confidence, the spark in her eyes, the mischief all was lost. But this was not all. The worst was still to come.
There was another woman! How could that be? He told her that she was his true love, the only one… Must be a lie. She was losing it. Why did he do it? She confronted him and he first denied it but later accepted and blamed her for his actions.
‘You were too busy with your studies!’
‘You cannot keep me happy’
‘You are frigid and cold’
She felt the world around her collapsing and destroyed. There was nothing she could do and neither did she feel like fighting for this relationship anymore. She told him that she needed some time to think about all the mess. This led to more and more fights, where he would blame her and make her feel guilty for everything that she did or said. There was no end to her nights full of tears, anguish and disillusionment! The next thing was an accusation of her infidility made by him to her parents!! Whatever illusions of working things out were there were shattered and strewn around in bits and pieces.
Her parents, like always, picked her up and gave her the support and love she needed. She poured out all that had transpired and her feelings and emotions. Guilt, disillusionment, distrust and despair along with anger ravaged within her. Still, she could not take the final step of divorce so easily. The stigma with being a divorcee is still very strong within this society and she feared that she would not be able to face the criticism, the sympathetic looks and taunts. Her parents were her pillars of strength and support during all these times. And she finally left him…
But still she wonders if she would be able to love anyone else anymore? She cherishes her independence and knows that she cannot change for anyone. Would there be someone who accepts her as she is, with all the flaws and strengths?