She was a pretty girl. Full of life, full of energy, a non-stop chatterbox. She carried a smile in her lips and hummed to the tunes of any song she could remember. She was the benevolent yet carefree girl who was ever ready to face the world with a lovely smile that made you go crazy over her. She was short and petite, with a skin that glowed like the midnight moon. Her fair complexion, little pink lips, hazel brown eyes and chocolate brown hair cut short up to her shoulder had guys swooning over her. She was not like the typical girls who loved to keep their hair long. All through the school days, she cut her hair short and walked in pride like a gorgeous little tomboy. Only when she stepped into college she grew her wavy hair a bit and allowed it to caress her shoulders.
She had plenty of friends, all thanks to her outgoing nature and caring soul. But, no matter how outgoing she was, how independent she was, she always stayed rooted in her family. Her family was the first and the last word for her. She loved her parents and brother with all her heart and was ever ready to do anything they say. She always put their happiness above hers and couldn’t even dream of doing anything against their wish.
The college days were ending and her parents started looking for possible alliances for their pretty little girl. They wanted to marry her off earlier so that she starts a family early and be happy in her own little world. She didn’t oppose them as she as always believed in whatever decision they took for her. She was the apple of their eyes and they left no stone unturned to find the right prince charming for their little princess. And, they finally found him. He was tall, dark and handsome. He was a studious, bright student who had topped in all the exams he had ever taken. He had a lucrative job in the US and was from a well-known aristocratic Christian family. Anyone to whom they asked about him had only words of praise for him. Well mannered, perfect and polished! Their joy knew no bounds! They were happy that they finally found the ideal prince who would take care of their daughter like a freshly blossomed flower. Her parents seldom scolded her and she was the most pampered girl in the family. So, this guy seemed to be the ideal husband who could care for her just like they did.
The marriage date was soon fixed in a jiffy as the groom didn’t have much time and had to board the flight back to the US as soon as possible. Usually, the best part of anyone’s love life would be the courting stage. And, if it is after fixing the date of marriage, it is like you have the official license of even the elders in the family to flirt a bit, hide in the corners of your room and talk to your beau, smile like an idiot to every silly joke, dream with eyes wide open and so on! But, to her surprise, her groom never called her! He never made an attempt to talk to her. She was a bit disheartened as obviously like any girl of her age she too dreamt of whispering sweet nothings to her man. She shared her concern with her parents and they hushed her saying, he is not like the typical romantic Romeos. He is from a well-disciplined family and does not have the experience of even talking to any girl. She believed them and thought yes, maybe that is right. After all, why should I worry, we have a whole lifetime ahead to talk and talk and talk!
Soon, the marriage was held in all its grandeur. Being the youngest daughter of an influential doctor family, her both parents, and brother working as doctors, they ensured that their little girl’s marriage was the best marriage the whole town had ever witnessed. Soon after the celebrations, she started realizing the fact that her husband still was not much interested in interacting with her. All throughout the wedding ceremonies and photo sessions, he never uttered a word. “But, there were people all around, he might be uncomfortable to talk in front of a crowd”, she consoled her disturbed mind. Soon, the dusk crept in and the stars sparkled above. The clouds loomed up all over maybe reflecting her worried soul. It was the much gushed about -first night! Her mind was in a complete whirl. She has not yet spoken even a word to this person who is now her husband. She hoped to talk to him and get to know him at least that night in their bedroom. But, to her absolute horror and dismay, he never said a word and instead fell asleep without even taking a look at her! She sat there, tears streaming down her cheeks, all decked up in a gorgeous saree and jewels that seemed to sparkle more as each teardrop fell on it. She was in a total shock, not knowing how to react. She didn’t sleep that night. She sat staring at the man who seemed to sleep peacefully like a child. A million questions engulfed her soul. She uttered no word. She could hear her heart breaking into a million pieces. Still, she uttered not a word!
The next day dawned with new hopes. Maybe he was just tired! Maybe the day-long ceremonies had tired him out. Quite natural! She consoled herself. Soon he started talking to her. But he talked very less. He talked to her as a distant friend in short sentences but it never went ahead of that. He always maintained a distance from her in the pretext of reasons which she believed at first and started to doubt as it went on increasing. He told her that she was a good friend of his but he never told her that he loved her. He never touched her and always had some reason for that.
She, being the innocent, naive girl who had just finished her college and never seen the world much always believed his reasons and told herself it will be alright in a few days. Some people do take time to get adjusted to a new person in their lives, After all, theirs was a completely arranged marriage and they were strangers who had not even spoken to each other before marriage. So, things do take some time to get to know each other, be friends and then maybe love each other. Soon, he left for the US and she remained back home. She and her parents always asked his parents to find some ways to take her also to the US so that she could go and stay with her husband. But, they always showed nil interest in it and was never supportive of taking her along with him. Days went by and her mother started to worry. She began to talk more seriously to her in-laws and even had to quarrel with them a bit to make them agree to take her also her husband. Finally, they obliged and her husband too agreed to take her along with him. But, he put forward one condition. She had to study. She can join any college over there and continue her studies. She had just finished her college and that is not enough. Life is still ahead of her and hence, she should study more and get a decent paying job. Even in today’s era, it is rare to find husbands who encourage their wives to study and everyone was all praises for his forward thinking
Soon, she boarded the flight with a heart full of dreams and aspirations. They are finally about to embark on a journey together. A journey forever. A journey of love and friendship. Or, so she hoped!
He behaved well with her. He talked to her like a good friend and she finally started to think sooner or later things might fall in place. She started looking for college admissions. Even though she got admission in a college nearby their home, he didn’t allow her to choose that. He was adamant that she should go to a college which was about 200 miles away from their place. She was in a completely new place. A girl who had never stepped out of Kerala, going abroad for the first time ever! She never knew how to go to her college. She thought he will show her and drop her maybe. But, he never did that. He asked her to go alone. A new place with unfamiliar people who talked in an English slang which a poor Keralite girl could not even understand!
She used to go to her college using the local train. She didn’t know how to go and just used to board any train she felt was the right one. One day she got on the wrong train and ended up in an unknown place 60 kilometers away from her place in the dead of midnight. Thankfully since it was US and not the deserted streets of India which lurks with human predators as the night folds in, she was able to reach back home safe and sound. Still, he never asked her why she reached home late and she also didn’t expect him to ask. By then, she had got used to his indifferent attitude and had stopped expecting even a word of concern from him.
Days went by and his indifferent attitude towards her only increased day by day. Sometimes he will just barge inside the home and shout at her asking to go away from him. She didn’t know what to do and meekly stood there bearing up with the mental abuse. She had got used to his negligence and harsh words of abuse that it became an everyday affair for her. She continued going to her college and slowly learned to travel and do things by herself. Some nights he didn’t return home. She never asked him where he was. One day he came home with a friend of his with a bottle of wine in his hand. Both the men went inside the bedroom and slammed the door on her face. For them, she did not even exist. She stood there staring at the door unable to comprehend what was happening. At last, she left for college as usual and they stayed inside the room. They went away by the time she returned back from college and that night also he didn’t return home.
Her mother used to call her daily and was always worried about her. She could sense that her daughter was becoming more and more depressed. By that time, the girl with an ever smiling face had started to forget how to smile. She had lost her vibrant personality and talked very less. Her mother always asked her if there was anything wrong. But, she denied and told everything is alright. She always felt that since they had married her off, she no longer can be a burden for them by telling her tales of woes and causing them shame in front of society. She often worried that if she broke this relation and went back home, what will her relatives say, what will the society say? Her parents will be ridiculed by others. She will become a burden for her own family. Hence, she decided to keep mum and cope up with the torture. What made her feel so, you may ask. But, the fact is that everyone made her feel so, except her mother. Every other person in her family made her feel that she is unwanted and is the girl who is “married off” forever!
The emotional abuses grew day by day. Still, some days he talked to her like a friend and urged her to study more. They never had a physical relation. There were days they tried, but he will immediately run away crying loudly. He will sob and ask her to go away from him. Otherwise, he will lock himself up inside the bathroom and won’t come out. One day she listened through the door and heard him crying. She never understood why he ran away the moment he came near her and cried like a baby in distress. He repeatedly asked her to go away from him. She just stared blankly at him unable to understand what she did wrong for him to shout at her like that.
Rarely, there were some happy days where they went sightseeing and dined outside. But the moment they reach home and the sky turns black, his character also drastically changed to black. He will get upset for petty things, shout at her and throw away the food prepared by her. He will scold her for talking to her parents and friends. He found fault in everything and continued torturing her mentally. He never physically abused her. He never touched her. But, he ripped her heart apart with mental torture that killed her soul day by day. Two years passed like that. She never visited India or saw her parents for these two years. She silently bore up with all the torture and kept lying to everyone at home that her husband was a good person and took care of her very well.
By the end of two years, she finished her studies and he asked her to go back to India and live a good life away from him. She also had enough of the torture and gladly returned back home taking the decision to never return back again. But, things were not as easy as she expected. Though she was welcomed with happy faces of seeing the daughter back home after two years, soon as days went by, the faces started to change. The relatives started to taunt her asking when she is going back. The neighbors made faces seeing the girl who was “married off” staying back with her parents beyond the prescribed “time limit” by the so-called society. In midst of all that his father tried to steal money from her bank account by forging her signature. This further worsened the relationship between both families. He used to call her on weekends to discuss the issues at home. But, he never asked her to come back. He seemed to be more comfortable and happy that she stayed away from him.
After staying 6 months with her parents, with a heavy heart, she realized that she cannot stay anymore at her house. It was no more her home. She was just a guest who was supposed to leave and not stay there forever! Relatives were speaking in hushed tones behind her back that she quarreled with her husband and is heading for a divorce. She is going to bring “bad name” to the family. Fed up of all the taunts, she again started looking for studying some other course in the US as joining for studies was the only way for her to go back to the US. Her husband never wanted her to come back. So, she applied for Ph.D. and got admission. Again, she boarded the flight back to her troubled life. Her mother could only look on helplessly as her little daughter again went back to the life of miseries.
When she came back to her husband he was not at all happy and was instead irritated and angry that she came back again to him. He expressed his anger in the form of emotional abuses and curse words. She silently put up with the torture and never retaliated back. She had nowhere else to go. From the day she returned back home, he started to never return back home at nights. She was all alone, frightened and unable to sleep as drunkards and wayward bachelors lived next door to her apartment. She stayed awake every night jolting up at every sound that came from outside and praying that the night passes away safely. She again stayed there for 6 months and he repeatedly asked her to go away from him and let go of her studies. Her mother kept on calling her every day worried that there was something wrong with her daughter. Even though she was very close to her mother, she still never told her anything fearing the wrath of her relatives and society. She knew that if she came back, her relatives will hurl abuses at her mother too. She didn’t want to see that. Hence, she kept everything a secret. But, a mother is always a mother, Even if the daughter doesn’t tell, she still can perceive something is wrong. Hence, her mother worriedly kept on asking her every day if everything was fine.
Still, she could not hold back long and finally came back home due to constant pressure from her mother to come back and from her husband to go away. But, coming back was not as easy as she had to face the relatives again. Her mother found a solution for that. She asked her to go stay in a hostel and join in a college as a lecturer. That way, she can live away from the taunts and need not go back to her abusive husband too. She readily agreed and that turned out to be the life turning decision for her!
She once again started enjoying life in a new place, new job and surrounded by new friends in the hostel. She slowly shared her story with her friends and they all asked her never to go back again to her husband. They asked her to stay with them in the hostel. They will be with her and never taunt her like her relatives. These are some of the precious moments of life where we realize the value of friendship over fake blood relationships. Her friends gave her the confidence to live life again and asked her to apply for a divorce. She mailed him and informed him that she wants a legal separation. But, here again, her father’s family was completely against the divorce. They said that she is not taking any effort to adjust with her husband and taunted her for bringing in “bad reputation” for the family. By that time, after gaining some confidence through her friends, she finally poured her heart out to her mother. The bewildered and completely heartbroken mother heard the tale of the abuses her daughter faced silently all these years.
But, things only got worsened day by day. Her relatives kept on hurling abuses and it reached a situation where she could not even go to her home during the college vacations. She was an outsider and was never welcomed to her home. But her mother stood strongly by her like a huge pillar of support with all her might. Unable to bear the taunts her mother was facing for her, she once again asked her mother whether she should go back to the US. But, her mother did not allow her. For her, her daughter was more valuable than any relative who just knew to hurl abuses. She asked her daughter to stay back and never go back to the US. Her mother started to enquire the details about her husband from common friends in the US.
That is when one fine day, one of her very good friends in the US, who also was her husband’s friend, called her and made a huge confession to her. He called her and said that he hid a huge secret from her all these years. The truth that her husband was gay and he absolutely detested females! The world came shattering down into bits as she heard those words in complete disbelief. She knew something was wrong, She had seen him going with male friends and closing doors. But, she never thought much about such a possibility. She angrily asked her friend, why he never bothered to tell her this truth. The friend apologized profusely and said they all thought he will change and “get better” after marriage! She was heartbroken and went into serious depression. She never talked to anyone or attended any calls. She often thought about ending her life but her mother always supported her and gave her the strength to live life again.
She once again talked to her husband and he admitted to her that he was indeed a gay. He agreed for mutual divorce and it was not much difficult to get a divorce as the grounds were strong. As a part of the court proceedings, she was asked to take a medical test to check whether she had any physical relationship with her husband. The reports proved that she was a virgin!
One year after the divorce, her ex-husband sent her a marriage invitation card. A card to inform her that he was going to marry another guy in the US! She flipped away the card and never looked back! Soon, after a gap, she slowly started to regain her life and her parents again started to look proposals for her. This time, she made it a point that she will only agree to a marriage after talking to the guy first. No one objected. No society, no “good family” rules were considered. She met the prospective groom, talked to him, went out with him and finally they both told each other’s parents that they have found love in each other and desire to get married! This time around, the marriage was conducted in a simple way with not much pomp and show. Not many relatives were invited as they have had enough of the so-called relatives!
Today, she lives happily with her husband and two baby boys. She works as a college professor and lives life the way she loves it. She no longer cares about what ” the society might think” and what ” the relatives might say!” Experiences made her a better and stronger person. She was no longer the naive little girl who stood meekly and allowed others to abuse her. She is now a strong, independent woman who never allows anyone to raise even a hand or a word of abuse against her!
This is the real-life story of someone very close to me. I’m not revealing her name as she had asked me not to do that. So, I hope whoever is reading this never asks me whose story is this. She is my best friend, my soul sister. She asked me to write her story and I was only happy to do it. I’m also guilty of never helping her even a bit when she went through all these traumas alone. She never told me anything. But, that was not an excuse. I should have realized and I should have helped her. So, this is also a public apology from me to you for not doing the duty of a best friend and a sister. The only possible excuse I have to say is that I was too young back then. I was just studying in college and was a silly 18-year-old girl who didn’t know anything about marriages and relationships. I could sense something was wrong with you but when you told me everything was fine, I chose to believe that. I was not able to see through the lines and realize the fact that my best friend was living in a hell! Still, I take it as one of the biggest mistakes I have ever done in my life. I should have helped you in some way or other.
So, now when you sent me a message last day asking me whether I can do a help for you, I actually jumped in at the opportunity. I was looking for some way to help you in any little way I can. To prove to you that I do care about you. I know I need not prove anything to you. I know that you love me a lot. But, I had to soothe my grieving soul and tell it that finally, you did something for her. Even if it is something as little as writing a blog for you. I use the sole talent God ever gave me- writing, for the best thing ever in my life! Write for you! Thank you for this opportunity!
Note by the protagonist
The protagonist in this story, my friend asked me to write this blog only for one single reason- To urge all the girls and women out there to stand up for their rights. She is also taking this opportunity to thank her mother who stood by her and helped her overcome this shattering experience. She had even considered about committing suicide and her mother was the sole reason she didn’t do it. She also asks each lady out there suffering from any form of domestic or physical abuse to stop suffering! You need not suffer anything silently just for the sake of the so-called society and relatives! Pucker up and speak out against your offenders. Let the society say what they want. Give zero importance to what others say and instead listen to what your heart says! You have the sole right to decide what happens to your life. Never, ever meekly allow another person to abuse you! You are special and you deserve to live happily just the way you like it! Choose the profession you like, choose the partner you love, choose the education you prefer, choose to live life the way you like! After all, it is your life not theirs! You decide how it should be, not them! My friend took 5 long years of sufferings to realize this truth. Now, she asks every woman out there not to waste 5 precious years of life like she did. She asks you all to stand up and fight back! Don’t waste even one day of your life for the so-called society and rules! Stand up and fight ladies! You all deserve a better life!