I still remember those golden afternoons, lit with her smile and love. For the world, she was a shy and coy girl but for me, she was someone who did not like breaking our long tight, love-filled hugs. I knew I loved her since school yet fumbled when she came across or rather it was just her mesmerising beautiful face that would leave me spellbound. We wanted to get married, have kids and stay together happily but as ill-luck would have it, our fairy tale-like love story soon turned into one of the worst nightmares.
We approached our parents, told them that we want to get married, as soon as we finish our respective degrees. My parents were more than happy to know about us. Her parents had other plans, they were completely against our relationship. It was most likely because I belonged from another community or something else that didn’t strike me then.
Though it was a no from her parent’s side yet we kept talking day, night, morning and evening. We met whenever we could and caught glimpses of each other whenever possible but we never thought of eloping. I always thought that her parents will someday understand our love and tell us to get married. I patiently waited. She stopped calling suddenly, I went to her home and it was locked. I became insane and helpless.
After a month, I receive a phone call, ‘Weber, I got married,’ she yelled. I had nothing to say after this. I started misbehaving with people around me and had bad temper issues. I kept throwing tantrums and didn’t know whom to talk to. For a month, I went totally insane. My instincts told me that she was not happy and I wanted to speak with her. I didn’t know how. My patience was giving up and I was on the verge of getting depressed.
That month itself, she called me again and narrated everything that happened with her. She told me that her parents forcefully took her away to her native place and got her married to a relative. This was all hidden from the society. Her husband raped her every day in the same house where her parents stayed. Her parents didn’t tell a word to her so-called husband because apparently, in India there was nothing called marital rape then.
Soon, her parents decided to get her officially married once she finishes her education for the sake of society. She was pulled out of her college to prepare for the marriage. They forced her to smile for cameras and took her for jewellery shopping. All that she loved once, the shopping, the family, all the love was lost in a jiffy.
After the marriage, she was forced to live with him and her parents slowly ceased talking to her. She was broken, emotionally, physically and mentally. The torture continued and after some time, she stopped refusing him for anything. That is when she just gave up physically. Madhya tried to contact her parents again but all her efforts went in vain.
She didn’t see any point in sticking to a marriage which she solely did for her parents. Her parents had no contact with her anymore, so, this marriage seemed baseless to her. Anyway, if you are not happy with your marriage and don’t see any other way out, then elope.
Eloping is not always an act of cowardice. I picked her up from her in-law’s place, dropped her in Guwahati, at one of our friend’s place and went back to my college. That night, though I slept beside the toilet of the general compartment, I slept peacefully knowing she is sleeping peacefully.
After that followed a ruckus of nuisances, from her in-laws coming to my place because the CCTV cameras caught us eloping, I ran away with a married woman and so and so forth. Madhya always told everyone that she fled on her own will and not forcefully. That is the thing you know, we never thought of eloping but we were left with no option other than eloping. No parent, no in-law should ever take decisions that force a child to take a grave step that cannot be taken back. Short life it is, live and let live.
We didn’t live happily ever after, today when I try to comfort her in my arms, she pushes me away because even the thought of someone touching her shakes her badly. PTSD they tell it is, I tell, it is the lack of humanity. We are still fighting, with each other also, for each other. Fighting for that one line to come true, that they lived happily ever after. Yet I keep telling myself that all the story tellers and the elderly didn’t lie, happily ever after does exist. They are just not in books but also, in real life! A certain amount of pain, betrayal and unconditional love is required to turn every story into a fairy tale. This is my life story turning into a beautiful tale, tell me yours!