Working like every other day on a Sunday too, clearing dishes, cleaning laundry and handling every other person’s tantrums, I wonder if I made the right decision before six years. I could see myself dreaming about working in a big corporate office when I was in the final year of my college. I can still count all the dreams that I had and all the things in my to-do- list in the same order that I wrote down in my diary around seven years ago. I can see myself visualising a bright future with independence that I have every right to. One decision and here I am. Six years of a marriage that hasn’t added anything in my career, in fact never allowed to begin my career. One bond that I entered and destroyed every wish on wish list of mine via my own hands and will. While cleaning the bookshelf of my husband, I wonder how many books I wanted to keep with me after my marriage and how I was denied to do so. I wonder if I would ever be able to do what I really want. Maybe, maybe not. It depends on me completely now, it has to because this life is mine.
You may wonder what I am actually talking about. Life, dreams, work, getting stuck, rights, etc etc. Well, these are all pieces connected to one thing that changed my life completely- MY MARRIAGE.
I got married to a young, smart and intelligent engineer six years ago, when I was twenty-two and had just completed my graduation. I was a management student and had dreams of joining the corporate world, working for big companies and achieving everything I can in the coming years. Belonging to a middle class Indian family, I forgot about the sickening mindset of the society towards women in general and thus, got stuck in their liking called “marriage” that put a full stop in my career and led to the destruction of my happiness and serenity.
It was a warm June afternoon when I returned home after giving an interview when I was told about my life plan made by “everybody else” which apparently will make my life. Deep in my mind, I knew it will not and thus, I decided to never fall in their trap. On reaching home, I saw my family very happy. Why? Well, a Richie Rich had approached them to keep a proposal for my marriage. He was smart, good looking and well settled. For people around me, this was all I should dream of and not let him go away. After lots of arguments, family drama and emotional blackmailing, I was left with no other option than to agree with my family for this marriage.
Before you think about me giving in easily, I would like to tell you that I did not. Before saying a final yes, I made sure that this man knew about my dreams and plans and agreed with the same. He did. He accepted my proposal for working and studying further, if I wished to.
Getting the assurance, I prepared myself for a new life. On a fine day in December of the same year, I officially got hitched and started my new life at his place. The period so far had been full of surprises, smiles and happiness. Engagement period is always one of a kind, so was mine. Both of us started knowing each other and went for dates. We were the couple in love. We actually loved each other. I really did. Till the date of our marriage, we had everything in our bond that made us to look forward to our married life.
Like others, our wedding day was also followed by a long honeymoon. That period during and after the wedding day is really special. It is your day after all. The world showers love. You are treated special. Not only the world’s love, it is also about the love that you have for each other. Being together has it’s own beauty, giving you smiles, peace and bliss.
The honeymoon was followed by him joining his work and me secretly looking for jobs and simultaneously meeting several members of his big family every other day with my in-laws. I decided to take a break and begin going for interviews after everything settles a bit. I was confident of my decision to let everything settle down when he agreed with me. It seemed right because there were several things I had to handle in this new life.
Months passed when I finally decided to go for an interview. I cleared the interview and it was something I should have been happy about, but I was not. That day I saw the seas turning in the other direction and storms beginning to form right in front of me. Until that day I thought everything was perfect, however, it was me who was too blinded in love to not see the events that were actually the base for the forming storms that had the power to change my life completely.
I went for the interview when my in-laws were on a day trip. It was in the evening that I got a confirmation call from them and immediately I called up my husband to tell about the same. In my own happiness and excitement, I could not see his hesitation during that time. After him, I called up my mother-in-law, who clearly seemed shocked and unhappy. I assumed it to be the day’s fatigue and was eagerly waiting for them to return.
I had few hours in my hand and so I decided to prepare something special for dinner for everybody. It was finally the time when I’ll begin my career. That moment was filled with joy and excitement. My mind was filled with thoughts of all the things I’ll be doing in office. I was imagining the happiness on everybody’s face when they’ll return home. I was happy because I was unaware of the storm that was about to occur.
It was a few hours after which everybody came home and I saw the serious tension beginning to rise. After few minutes, when everybody settled down, the conversation, that I would never wish to happen, began.
At first I thought it was some prank that my family was playing on me, but gradually I could see the reality. It was no joke after all.
My mother-in-law calmly began asking me questions that I never imagined to be asked. I believed it was my life and I required no permission to do things that made me happy. I didn’t know what to react when they asked me about my right to make my own life decisions. I was shocked to see them keep a small request (which didn’t seem like a request) to never join that company or any company for that matter. The most shocking part was my husband’s point of view changing completely in a second. The reason behind supporting his parents was their happiness of course.
Till that day, every time I came up with career or my hobbies, I was made to keep quiet in a way that never gave a slightest of hint of their disapproval towards all of that. The books stayed at my parents’ please because there was no space to add on to the already existing stock of books. My interviews waited because I had to settle. My plans were never heard of because of their will to not give it any importance and because “I should focus a bit on my marriage for now”. Everything was crystal clear. The question is why did he agree to my wishes when he could have told me the truth.
It has been five years since then and all my efforts never brought me what I really wanted. It was not that I didn’t try. I did. Every possible thing. However, nothing really helped, only that I got deeper into the mud with the passing time. Like typical families, my career was waved off because it was more important that I started a family. A year later that night, and I was doing what they really wanted me to. I became a mother and that literally ended all the hopes that I had to still fight and win the battle.
It has been a year now that I want to return to my life. In the years after my son was born, I dedicated myself to him because I felt like doing that. I made sure he gets all the love and care that hr deserves. I loved him. I, however, felt nothing for his father anymore. After that night, every day had been a struggle and the love only faded with each passing day.
Until last year, I tried to ignore everything and live for my family, my son, but how long can I contain all the turmoil inside. Slowly, I lost all my patience and now I can no more hold that. Every hour, every work reminds me of what happened with me.
Today, after working on a Sunday, doing everything that nobody appreciates, I wish to leave everything and start afresh.
But, will this society accept me?
Will my family accept me?
I guess it is time to not think and act.