(As told to Joie Bose)
It’s been a little more than ten years since I walked out of my parents’ house with much fanfare, since the vidaai, as its termed in Hindi. The pandit was there, who had sealed my marital status the day before and everyone in my house was loading us with blessings. I was smirking. And as a few shed tears, I was logically explaining to them that this marriage didn’t make a difference. I had already been living out of the house for long. For work. And how would marriage be different? I was laughing as I was walking down our staircase. Nowadays I often make up for not crying then as I walk down the same staircase to go to my husband’s house.
Nowadays I often make up for not crying then as I walk down the same staircase to go to my husband’s house.
I howl like a baby.
The insurmountable walls in our marriage
These years of marriage, have of course, changed the scene between my husband and me. It is filled with hatred and allegations and the wall of obstacles between us is huge. At times it seems unclimbable.
I don’t understand why it happened this way. How the marriage turned sour. This sour. And we fight like we were street dogs or street cats.
There is a lot of noise. He abuses me whenever he can, in a low voice.
Most of the time after he is drunk.
See, I like my drink as well, and hence I never stop him. Asking him to control seems too domestic and backward for me as well. I don’t. But what happens at times after that is terrible. He abuses. I ask him to stop. And he doesn’t. He goes on hurling allegations after allegations. Then I go and hit him. For nothing else makes him stop. Or be civil. He launches on a tirade as to how he will not stand up for physical violence.
Related reading: I am afraid of my abusive husband, afraid to divorce him
I face both verbal and physical abuse
I say I will leave. He tells me how he will not stand for the emotional abuse. He is a lazy man. I do a lot of work. I work in an NGO that ironically works for the uplift of women. So, if I’m tired and I don’t accept his orders, he will mention how I don’t do real work. I begin to cry. Tears don’t move him. He holds me hard and with force tries to manhandle me. I have cuts and bruises all over the body and deep cracks in my heart.
The other day we fought terribly in my parents’ house. My cousins were also there. They said it was my fault as well. Why did I react? I laugh inside. Why do I react? My husband’s abuses are just words. Damn! Words don’t harm they say. Actually, I can’t stand abusive language. I can’t stand this monster of a husband that my husband has become. He is the scar in my life.
I didn’t want to leave my parents’ house
And then we had to go home. I wanted to stay back at my parents’ house that day. But the kids were at home. They had school. They had a perfectish life with their routines and schedules. How much of a witch was I to not want to adjust for them and for wanting to stay back. And I made that walk again. Down the stairs, as if it were the day after my marriage. My husband in front. He was a little broken but he had won.
The world found me wrong. I was crying. I always cry. He always wins these. There were a couple of scratches I had made on him. They hurt. But they didn’t really hurt him.
You ask me why I stay
I have no way out. The world talks of divorce and all. Everything is not so easy. You will question me when you hear my story. I will have a million flaws. My husband won’t change. Ever. And acceptance or wholly refuting him are the two ways. Each hurtful. But my husband won’t change. And it’s wrong of me to ask him to change. I don’t get this society. I don’t get all you people around me.
So I walk to our car. Often I wish I’d die. I often think of ways of killing myself. I used to sing when I was younger. How beautiful it would be if a singer commits suicide. Thoughts such as these bring a smile to my face. Vidaais make me smile.