As told to Chitra Vashisht
Like any other day he slammed the main door behind him and left for work, but today I had different plans. I’d had enough of him, or rather we’d had enough of each other. One more day together, and both or at least one of us would have been in the criminals list.
Without any further delay I called up his mom to inform her that I was done with her son and was leaving so she should come to Pune and take care of him. Within an hour I’d had checked in to the hotel closest to our house. Then I told my parents in Mumbai about my decision.
As I entered my ‘maika’ the next day, I knew life wasn’t going to be easy in Mumbai. It was a sigh of relief when my little nieces welcomed me, screaming ‘Mausi Mausi’
My parents, sister and cousin, without exception, were quiet, no questions asked. They are my people and knew that I had a mind of my own. But calls from my mother-in-law kept pouring in almost every day till she yielded to the idea that her son had separated from his wife.
Two months passed without any conversation between us. Common friends kept us updated about each other.
My status, state of mind, hairstyle and dress style had changed but what hadn’t changed was that I was done with him.
When I saw him on Facebook enjoying his vacation in Shimla with his family, I took the opportunity and in his absence from Pune, collected all my belongings. As I turned the key of my ex-home, to my surprise, I was numb. The guestroom was his bedroom now, the master one was locked and nothing had been moved even a millimetre, the layers of dust all over speaking volumes about our tattered and frazzled relationship.
The divorce was inevitable now. I filed it and it was obviously mutual. Conversations through email couldn’t be avoided. The date was fixed for the first hearing, and I was looking forward to freedom.
Despite the requirement of law, divorce cases can be fought with grace and dignity without mud slinging.
I reached the court on time and was called to sign first but couldn’t see him anywhere. I learnt that he’d arrived much before time and was waiting outside. I felt relieved; was it the happiness of gaining freedom or seeing him after four long months? The dilemma was cleared when I realised that I had already signed my divorce petition, yes it was my day, the first step to my liberation from the man I hated.
As I turned my head, he stood there in his favourite denims and t-shirt. From the corner of my eye I saw him make his weird signature. And at that moment I burst out crying. But why? This was what I had been waiting for, and it was happening. I was getting my freedom. Soon I was crying like a toddler does after losing her favourite toy.
He took me in his arms as close as he could and murmured, ”Babe, you are my love and shall always remain so but if my presence bothers you, I accept missing you as my destiny.”
I could feel warm tears on my bare neck. Soon he released me and looked at me with his infectious smile and assured me that he would never ever trouble me again or come in my way. I heard mai mar java (can die for you my love). But I knew that I wanted him back in my life forever. My stubborn head melted, while the heart was always his. The icing on the cake was when in his normal manly tone he blurted, “In your absence I’ve become wiser but not intelligent, I still remember you taught me how to write the first email in college and every time I typed one, I missed you my mentor.” We had a hearty laugh.
Divorce is about letting go, not holding on.
The rest of the day we spent in our favourite restaurant in Mumbai, discussing and finding solutions to all our problems. I went to Pune the next day and spent another evening with him.
My young Lochinvar arrived in his car on 30 December to take me back. My grandma, parents and sister had no clue. With my backpack on my shoulder I bid adieu to my awestruck family and jumped into his car beside him.
It’s been two years now. Just like before, we love, joke, make fun, argue but never in our dreams even can think of anything like separation and divorce.
I consider myself extremely lucky to be accepted back with open arms by him and his family. Why I behaved like this still remains a mystery; what I needed was just a break from him for a few days. I blame my hormonal imbalance for this fiasco.