A marriage without love-
"Marrying me off is not a solution, ma" I pleaded, begged and cried my soul out.
I still remember those words. They kept echoing in my ears, time and again. At that point, I was ready to give away everything I had, just to convince my own family that marrying me off is not a solution to not accept my love affair; to run away from the truth that I loved someone else.
"You brought shame to us, Preity. You deserve this. Had you really been concerned about your life, you wouldn't have done this"
"Please don't speak like I committed a crime, ma! I was only in the mall with him, I did not do anything against the ethics" I could no longer hold myself together in pieces.
Was she the same person who stood for me through thick and thin, who was then just trying to get rid of me? I was confused.
Everyone has phases; I had, too.
It was a black hole for me, sucked every ounce of happiness I ever had. Sucked in everything I had ever earned. My love affair with Nirman was a healthy one, or at least I assumed it to be. But when the time came for my love to stand up for me and safeguard me, he cleverly dodged responsibilities. When my parents confronted him and interrogated, he bluntly blurted everything about our physical relationship. He was nervous, he later laced up his stupidity.
There was nothing left to correct after that. I never had a chance to talk to Nirman after that fateful day. And he never tried to contact me. That was a heartbreak in itself.
Days passed by and the neighbours started with their gossips. The gossips reached the heights of me aborting a child. My parents knew the accusations were baseless, but they were more concerned about my sister's future and her marriage.
They slowly started seeing me as a burden. How do you get rid of a 23-year-old girl, who you no longer wish to see around? - Marry her off.
I was eventually married off to someone I did not know, to someone who looked down up on me, and to someone who thought wives are meant to replace maids. If my love failure, losing my family's love; was not enough, I fell into the family of suffocating mentalities and ideologies, into the arms of a man whose fingers were nothing less than thorns.
"You can't sleep now! Get me a cup of coffee" he almost yelled in to my ears, whilst I peacefully slept. It was 2 P.M in the afternoon.
"Nobody drinks coffee at 2! Shivam, you just had your lunch"
"Now, you are going to tell me what I am supposed to do, and what I am not? Just go get the damned coffee!" he pulled me out of the bed, breaking a bangle that pierced straight in to my wrist. The blood drops that were dripping free fell to the floor, looking at me with all the sympathy.
I could not say a word. Because if I did, I knew what the answer would be- "You are a shame. You should instead feel lucky and happy that we brought you here and gave you a life, when even your own family members couldn't have you alive".
Well, they had a point. My parents didn't want me alive. They had married off my younger sister 2 years after mine. And they had not invited me over for the ceremony. That only gave Shivam and his mother confidence that I had no one beyond and after. No one to call 'mine'.
Shivam's mother was sadist. She was so, because her mother-in-law was a sadist herself. I can't really blame her, but I can't get to hide my hatred for her.
"Reena aunty is coming over this evening, clean up the entire house, make delicacies and DO NOT COME OUT OF YOUR ROOM when she is here. You are too ugly to call my daughter-in-law" she spat; one fine day. I barely could control my tears. Shivam had gone to the office and I luckily had the room to myself- at least to cry out everything I had been hiding so far, so long.
The fact sucked that I had no one to go to. The fact was too hard to bear that everyone I used to call 'mine', reduced to 'strangers' in no time. Was that such a big mistake to be in love? Yes, loving the wrong guy indeed was a mistake. But did I not stand a chance to correct it? I clearly knew that all of this is too cruel to be called punishment.
Things grew harsher and cruel. Shivam started beating me when things did not turn out his way. He started snatching my food away when he saw me sitting and eating with leisure. He hated to see me at ease. He wanted me to suffer at every breath I took. It grew suffocating and intolerable.
Love. The four-lettered-word that is too heavy for everyone to have and share.
Love. The small word has a world in itself, which not everyone is capable enough to live in. I cursed myself for the way fate turned out to be, for me. People could have understood. My family could have stood for me. My love could have never left me that way, fighting myself with a broken sword.
But alas, things spiralled down in the hardest possible ways.
I cried every night for 3 years of my marriage. A marriage I was forced into. A marriage I was pushed into. A marriage that had everything but love and affection. I could not take it anymore.
One day, I woke up to bruises on my inner parts of the thighs. I knew what had happened last night. Shivam, beside me slept a sound sleep, while I struggled to stand up. It was 4 A.M, everyone in the house was sleeping sound- but me. I knew what Shivam had done to me. The night might have been a blurred one for him, but not for me.
He was drunk, I wasn't.
I stood there, in pain, in front of the mirror. What was to come next? A child? Yes, a child.
But was I ready to stay a minute more in this doomed hell? One side of my life, my family broke all the ties with me. There were no strings from that side. There are no strings here, too. They needed a free maid, and I served as one. But I couldn't get along anymore. The second side of my life, I did not deserve this life. I had been an intelligent young girl aspiring to be something. maybe I needed to give myself a chance, which I never gave?
I felt like running away
I. Felt. Like. Running. Away.
I. Felt. Like. Running. Away.
And I did.
That day, I broke free all the manacles that had been suffocating me, ruining me and strangling me. I walked out, with a single bag of my belongings. The sun was yet to rise for the world. But for me, it rose the moment I stepped out.
I filed a case of sexual harassment and domestic violence against the family a week after setting myself free; without having the NGO reveal where I lived and what I did to Shivam's family.
Shivam tried locating me, but failed.
After a year, the storm had passed.
After a year, I started my own business of designing clothes.
After a year, the child kicked in my womb.
I exactly knew what kind of a life he needed- The one I was deprived of.
Today, when I pen down my life journal, I am satisfied with the only fact that my 12-year-old son has values, ethics and respect, stronger than the people I have ever come across in my life. That spells success for me. Rutvik, my son, did not really borrow a lot of genetics from his father.
It is not always about genetics, it is sometimes about the upbringing, the love and affection and the examples you set.