What was it worth ? She wondered. Why had she even agreed to marry without buying enough time?
A year and a half back, she got married. Her’s was a typical Indian arranged marriage . One of those where the parents of the bride and groom “fix” their wedding. Where bride and groom meet only about six or seven times before they tie the knot. The kinds where they start talking to each other only after they’re engaged to each other, being bound by the groom’s family “tradition” . Her parents gladly took up all the expenses to buy their princess and her new family whatever was needed to help her settle down “in a new family”.They adored her.
The marriage lasted for all of two months. She had accepted them as they were . Been affectionate to one and all in her “new family” for what they were. Adjusted to their “tradition”. But all they did was expect. Expect her to behave like this. Respond like that . “You’re not what I imagined my wife to be” he would tell her. “I’ve never seen a girl like you”. “ I expect you to be like this” “I expect you to talk like that.” For three or four days every week, they would fight. Her pillow would be wet with tears. She lost all confidence she had in herself . “Am I normal?” she wondered. “Why is he so unhappy? I can’t do this anymore!”
Yet, she kissed when he wanted her to.In a desperate attempt to save her marriage, she had let him touch her. Her emotions would matter some day. She believed they would.
Then one fine day, when life was getting out of control, she took the reins into her hands, and it ended. The marriage lasted no more. Men don’t like it when a woman tries to gain control of the situation and take decisions. After all- they’re “Men”. In a patriarchal society like ours, they’re “God” like.
Today she is wondering why she“adjusted” to everyone’s whims and fancies . What made her do it ? Why did she get up at 5:00 AM and make part of lunch for him and his parents ? Why did she have to even bother to visit his sick Grandmother when she was hospitalized ?And most of all – Why did she let him touch her when she knew he wasn’t happy with her ? Why didn’t she demand that her husband’s family share the wedding expenses? Why on earth , did she, an educated , free thinking girl let her life be “fixed” ?
She was educated. With a job . From a well to do family. She was blessed with the best parents who were most supportive. Still, she let this happen. She let her parents spend all that money on gold silver, brass, copper and what not in an attempt to help her “settle down”. “How am I going to repay all that money to mom and dad?” she wondered for the umpteenth time, soaking her pillows with tears yet again.
“Look at the bright side” a voice from inside told her. “This has made you stronger. It brought out the best in you. It also brought out the worst in you. It taught you to take hold of the reins when life goes out of control instead of just trusting destiny”.
“But how did I let it happen?” she questioned further. And the voice said “What’s done is done. It cannot, by any means, be undone. Forgive yourself first. Stop thinking of yesterday and tomorrow. Deal with today first. Deal with NOW first !”
“How am I supposed to digest the fact that women here let our lives get “fixed” and protest about games getting fixed?” She asked “Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the education and decisive power required to come out of such a situation.” The voice said.”You had it Forget the rest of them”
She tried to read. She listened to a little music. She tried to pen down what came to her mind. Nothing worked. Her mind was disturbed. Finally she told the voice – “I am getting some wine. I’m off to watch a movie. It’s been a while, and wine will help me get some good sleep ! Tomorrow will be a new day”
“Wine will not help solve anything.” Said the voice. “Forgive yourself first. Avoid wine now. With such a mindset, you might drink too much.”
“I won’t” said she “I am well aware of my limits. I have nothing to hide , and nothing else can help me forget this sooner”