Working like every other day on a Sunday too, clearing dishes, taking care of the laundry and putting up with every other person’s tantrums, I wonder if I made the right decision six years ago. I could see myself dreaming about working in a big corporate office while I was still in the final year of uni. Still remember how I had all my dreams on my fingertips and the entire ‘wish to’ list, sweetest, cutest ever my to-do- list in the same order that it got written back till date holds the same stand. It oozes the fervent wish written down in my diary some odd seven years ago. I can see myself visualising a bright independent future that I have every right to.
Just THAT one ‘decision’ is all it took to change my life, for better or worse I would rather not debate, I know that. One decision and here I am. Six years of marriage that hasn’t added a thing in my career, in fact never even let my career begin. That, one institution I entered seemed to have ruthlessly annihilate every wish I ever cherished and longed for. You know what is even worse? I did it. With my own sweet will. Well did I have a choice? While cleaning the bookshelf of my husband, I wonder how many books I wanted to keep with me after marriage and how I was denied to do so.
I really 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. It is me who decides what I want. How can my independence be stripped off me? Why?
If you are thinking what am I actually trying to say.
Well! Life, dreams, work, vulnerabilities, duties, inability rights, etc etc. Well, these are all pieces deconstructed of that one densely connected thing that changed my life completely- MY MARRIAGE.
I got married to this handsome young man, an engineer six years ago, when I was twenty-two and had just completed my graduation. I was a management student and dreamt of joining the corporate world, working for big companies and achieving everything that I possibly could. Coming from a middle class family, I totally forgot about what was expected of me as a woman. Expectations which were rather a refrain for doing anything that required me stepping out of the house. Is this all women are for? What about my dreams? Why can I not fulfil my dreams if I am married, should that limit my ability? No way, I am still as capable. Why am I not allowed to do anything that I want? Is this a big ask? Making a career? I still can be a great wife, a daughter in-law, still can make babies. So where is the problem and what is the problem? Why kill my dreams just coz I am married? Anyway I let my parents be and the life went on.
So here is how it wall started. At Noon June, that afternoon felt weird. I returned home after attending an interview when I got told what had already been decided for me by “everybody else” which apparently should be my prime goal. Deep in heart and my mind, I knew it just cannot and thus, I decided to never fall in their trap. Reaching home, I saw my family very happy. Why? Well, a Richie Rich had approached them with a marriage proposal. Well! He was Mr. very good looking the dream of every girl. For those around me, THIS was all I was expected to head for, dream for, yearn for and surely not let go of him. After lots of melodrama and heated arguments 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,December the same year, I got engaged and started the new phase of my life, living my new avatar. Period so far had been full of surprises, smiles and happiness. Everything seemed merry and gay. Both of us started to spend more time understanding and trying to know each other and went for dates etc. We were the most talked about 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 feel special, you are treated special, like king and queen. 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 and warmth. So life was all smiles, beauty 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 start going for interviews. I was confident that I had him by my side through this decision. It wasn’t a big deal anyway. Everyone wants good life, has aspirations and so did I.
So arrived the day when I actually made through an interview. It was something I should have been happy about, It called for a celebration, it a step towards attaining my dreams, but I was NOT. That day that took me by a shock and the world had turned against me.
A wild cyclone hit my life and everything felt fiercely going astray. I was hurt, I was shocked. It was me who was too blinded in love to not see the events unfold that had the capacity to change my life completely.
I went for the interview when my in-laws were on a day trip. It was evening that I got a confirmation call immediately I called up my husband to share the good news. I could not contain my happiness and excitement, I could barely see his reservations or hesitations.Then I informed my mother-in-law, who clearly expressed her dislike and disapproval. I did not think much of their responses and 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. It was finally the time the dreams were beginning to take shape, my career and all! Wow! Felt great. Moment was all joy and excitement. I was so excited about my upcoming responsibilities at work and my job etc. I could almost see the happiness on everyone’s faces when they returned home. I was happy because I was unaware of the storm that was soon to take me and my world full of dreams by venomous surprise.
As everyone arrived there was a strange tension in the air, I saw the negativity me build up towards me and tension beginning to rise. After everyone settled down, the conversation, that I would never wish to happen, began.
At first I thought it was some sort of prank but gradually I realised the truth when the reality hit me. No it was NOT a joke.
My mother-in-law calmly began asking me questions that I never imagined I would get asked. I believed it was my life and I required no permission to do things that made me happy. I didn’t know how to react when they asked me about my right to make my own decisions in life. The way they did it all was ever so dramatic, it was unbelievable. Slyly they gave it a shape of a humble request. What was there to request anyway? Well it was if I could kindly never join any sort of job or whatever. The most shocking was how conveniently my husband seemed to wear completely unknown colours. He wasn’t himself or simply I judged him wrong. Trusted a complete stranger who was still a stranger playing tricks on me. Why? Wll coz he couldn’t bear to see his parents unhappy and do anything against their wishes. Their wish? To kill my wish? What about my wishes? What happens to my unhappiness? Where do I fit? Am I not a relation?
Till that day, every time I mentioned career or my hobbies, I wasn’t really hushed so I never really understood their reservations. My interviews had to wait because I had to settle in my married life first. I felt like I was heard out completely coz the entire focus was my marriage. Everything was crystal clear.
We if all of this was such a big thing then why didn’t he tell me all this prior to us getting married. ll What I want to understand is why did he seem like he was cheering me on when I clearly spelt dreams and aspirations when he could have actually told me the truth instead.
It has been five years since all my efforts have gone in drain. It was not that I didn’t try. I did. Every possible thing. However, nothing really helped, only that I got deeper into the mess with the passing time. The entire focus was my marriage and the excitement was more about starting a family of my own.
A whole year went past that incident and I was still doing what they really wanted me to. I got pregnant gave them their grandchild and a became a mom and gave my hubby the loyal to be a dad. I was happy ofcourse but still the sadness never left me coz it all felt like I was made to feel like a scapegoat. I did want a baby ofcourse, but everything has a time. It wasn’t the right time yet. I wanted to make my career and then once established I wanted to be a mom.
I feel so strongly I NEED my life back, my independence, want to fulfill all my dreams. 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 it was the right thing to do. I made sure he gets all mummy’s undivided attention, love and care that he deserves. I love him, he is a part of me, loved him as much even when I was breaking every minute. I, however, felt nothing for his father, nothing at all, anymore.
After that night, every day has been a struggle and the love only faded more and more each day.
Until last year, I tried ever so hard to ignore everything and just dedicate my life for my family, my son.
But tell me how long can anyone hold inside such a turmoil? Slowly, I lost all my patience, reached my threshold. Decided this had to end. I could not more hold any longer.
Every little thing that goes around reminds me of what went around here and what it reduced me to. Someone with no identity whatsoever.
Today, after having worked my breadth out on a Sunday, doing all that one may possibly be able to think of starting right from dishes through to ironing clothes. Iam nobody. Nothing, I ever do gets an acknowledgement, leave alone appreciation. I feel like leaving everything and running away from this humdrum. I really wish to leave everything and start afresh.
But,will I be accepted by the society? By my family?
Perhaps not. I don’t care anymore coz I cant take anymore. This is IT.
I guess it is time to act.