Sometimes we remember the story and not the name. On request, keeping the identity hidden!
Please keep in mind, this is a real woman.Making mistakes and accepting them.
I won't call it an interview, it was more of a sit down talk here at the prithvi cafe in juhu. We drank 4 rounds of sweet lime soda as they are too good to be true.
Dated- 14th April. 7 pm we started.
R - the protagonist!
I was 19 when I got married. I had passed my ten standards. And have been making roti's and keeping the house clean! I am the eldest of four children.
We are two sisters and two brothers. My father died a few years ago then. Although he had divorced my mother, after eight years of marriage. My grandfather got us back from the village, where we lived in fear of constant abuse my mother went through. My father was from a very well to do family and we were one of the richest, if I may say so. However, that was never enough. Our household was anything but normal. Seeing our mother being physically and emotionally abused all day every day. Wasn't exactly a childhood worth to be remembered. My father was loving towards us(his children) but I couldn't understand his harsh behavior with my mother. Often my grandmother(dadi) used to say "You need to keep these bahu's under your chappals otherwise they would never make good food. " It was one of her many quotes. It's sad but it is the fact that being a woman you do something so cruel to another.
We came to Bombay and after a few years of schooling and self-pity. We were finally picking up ourselves and doing okay at the mercy of my grandparents and the rest of the family. Until my mother remarried. My second father was decent and though my mother was his second wife. He was kind to all of us. He did a pretty okay job in helping us out financially. Eventually, we moved into a small house with my new father. And I was looking after my younger siblings and taking care of the house, that had been my responsibility, always.
Until one day when my family announced my wedding to a much older man. They said he was well educated and was going to take me abroad. That was quite a stability those days or it's even now. We are so obsessed with the thought of getting our girls married abroad. He just had one broken feather under his hat that is; he was married before. Otherwise, he was a well-accomplished man. Obviously, I didn't have anything to say. Or I wasn't allowed to say anything, just do what i was told.
I was married before I knew it. And I directly saw him at the wedding. I was nineteen, he was thirty. I don't know if our golden night was a rape or just a fact of how my rest of the life was going to be.
The next few days, he got me presents and took me to his family dinners. Showing off his young and beautiful bride. My light eyes and fair skin came from my father and in whatever haggard clothes I wore my beauty didn't hide. That was the actual reason, this well-accomplished man had married me.
I was living the rich life. Clothes, shoes, bags, jewels you name it and I had that. Those were the perks of being married to an accomplished man. However, the nights were a nightmare. He was rough and brutal. He begged me to have children and before I could actually help myself I was pregnant. He made sure I was well kept. His anger wasn't something that hadn't gone unnoticed. It was just that I was assumed to be quiet. Raising his hand and making nasty comments about how my parents had sold me to an old man was a part of my daily diet now.
Living in a country like Libya was never easy.
I was isolated in every way, could seldom speak to my family. I was kept in a house that was always under surveillance. I was not allowed to talk to anyone or have friends what so ever. I couldn't step out of the house without my husband accompanying me. I was in a golden cage.
Ten years later, three boys down. I was a package that was well used. I say used because like a stack of napkins I was being dumped back to where I started from. The only difference was that I would live in a house that maybe I could call it home. Transferring the children to a new atmosphere was a good change. Seeing my family and being close to them had somehow brought back the color in my cheeks that I had lost long ago. They were happy to see me but confused about why I had suddenly come back.
I didn't want to give in the details about how my accomplished husband had countless affairs from his secretaries to other office colleagues. His bringing them home was a sheer embarrassment and I was nothing but a liability. I had begged him to behave at least for the sake of the children. And he did behave, as he packed us back to the home grounds.
I was living on my own with my boys and was in a much better place than I was in years. It was literally the first time that I was stepping outside. I was scared and the pain inside me was still fresh. With a little help of my mother and sister, I did my house and admitted my children in a good school. My in-laws were nearby and came often to check on me rather than greet us. I didn't mind that, I had lived with enough restrictions to bother about these little mindless games now. My husband came down every few months and though it wasn't much of a meet-greet it was more of a sexual abuse-meet. The kids were never a fan of their father because he never intended to play that kind of a role. It was sad to know that how desperate he had been to have his own children but he didn't care when they were born. He didn't mingle and my kids were happy to keep that space. They were my kids from the beginning and will be until my end.
A few years later, I met someone just through sheer luck. S^ we shall call him. A very kind and passionate man. He came in my life like a breeze on the hot sandy desert. He became my sunshine in a small amount of time. Our love grew from the cold wintery nights to the bright sunshine days. I wanted to regret it but it was the first time in my life that I was seeing some light. I didn't want to give up on my air that made me want to start my life afresh.
I wanted to hang over this happy life as long as I could.
It was after a year of bliss that my own family busted the bubble of my happy zone. My own blood, my own brother called upon my husband and told him to take a knife and tear me apart. Break my bones and throw acid on my face to make sure I didn't put any shame to their name. I was supported by none. No one to my rescue while they broke me into pieces. There was no mercy shown to me. They called me names and they said I was the bad woman.
Everything they did was right. My well-accomplished man was allowed to cage me. My brothers allowed to beat me. But none to support for me to live a free and happy life.
S^ on the other hand begged my mother to let me marry him. He was willing to risk everything he had, all he wanted was to marry me. Only at a small condition that my mother would keep the children for a term of 6 months to a year at least. He didn't want to let his family know about my past or give everyone a chance to pin me down. He wanted me to have a free will and a clean slate to start life with...
My husband had divorced me for the sake of it. Not because he was ashamed only because he was wanting to marry again. He got married in six weeks of our divorce. He would have done it sooner but the legality took time.
I tried to convince my mother as per S^ wanted me to do so. He was a younger than me. And he was the only son. His parents wanted a proper wedding and with my three sons, it would have been a drama. So it was simpler to keep my kids to the family and not make them the talk of the town. I also asked the father of my children if he was willing to help me with the children for a few months. I wouldn't say his answer wasn't expected but it was something that made me reluctant about my decision. My ex-husband wanted me to keep them alone in the house with a maid. My youngest son was eight years old and after so much drama that he had witnessed. I had no energy to give him more of something he couldn't handle.
My relationship with S^ hung around for eight years but I decided to finally end it. We knew we couldn't go farther. He had a right to life and hanging around me and my children were only making things more difficult. He was younger to me and I had no right to rob him from a dream wedding. A life that would be stress-free. I know he won't have a problem free life. None of us do. But one should always have a shot at a good life.
I miss him terribly. I miss the dreams I had in life. As a newlywed or even after I had met S^. Staying alone is never easy. And especially now when my boys are off to college. They are doing well for themselves and that's all that matters for a mother.
At many points of this talk that we had made me brought tears to my eyes. A Lot of pain that had been caused to this beautiful lady, I wish I could take that away. I wish I could hold her hand and introduce her to life again.
In my prayers, I wish the best of best for her. Now and forever!