(As told to Joyeeta Talukdar)
My family, although orthodox, was always supportive of all my decisions, so I had enough time to decide about the arranged marriage thing. I’d always wondered about this two unknown souls meeting: how do people survive in such relationships? Nor did I think that I’d fall in love with a guy; how can a person love a single person with the same possessiveness throughout their lifetime? This might be because of my personal disapproval of this system of marriage, which I always felt was a compromise for women in all situations.
Yet, at the age of 26 I thought that getting entangled in some emotional play is better than finding the dream person, whom I could never find because of my lack of perfection.
The real problem began when only a few days were left for the wedding. My periods had stopped completely three months prior to the marriage. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Even after medication I wasn’t having my periods. I was gaining weight drastically. This increased my anxiety and depression.
A couple of weeks before marriage I met a renowned gynecologist in Kolkata. After few medical tests I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). The doctor said I’d had this syndrome from when I was young, because I always had an irregular menstrual cycle.
I knew that PCOS and hyperthyroidism might result in various complications in married life with conceiving, which according to me was the main job after marriage for a woman, and I hated this concept. This was one more reason driving me away from marriage.
Some relatives advised me to keep quiet and get married. But I decided to talk one-on-one to my fiancé. Ready for every negative reaction, I met him for the first time. Before this we had chatted in social networks. So it was easy to talk to him.
I told him straightaway about the situation. Not waiting for his reaction I said to him, “If you want, you can call off the marriage because I’m not ready to destroy your life just because of me.”
Anoya-Talukdar Bhattacharjee – Biswajit Bhattacharjee
He remained silent for a few seconds and then answered, “Tuli, I’m not marrying you merely for my family’s profit or loss. I’m marrying you because I’ve seen the image of a life partner in you.”
I said, “But I don’t want your life to suffer because of me.”
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Biswajit said, “Don’t step back because of the medical situation. There are always options of treatment for them. That’s the future and who has seen it? Let’s spend the present together. Are you ready for it?”
I was completely taken aback by the answer because I’d been sure that Biswajit would break off the alliance after hearing the complexity of my medical conditions. But here he was smiling and ready to get married to me.
I kind of liked him.
We got married but the trip so far hasn’t been so smooth.
My treatment started, which sometimes left me distressed. But, Biswajit (Babai) was always there for me. I had a miscarriage, which was hard for me to cope with. I quit the treatment for some time, getting irritated with the long-term medication. Biswajit acted like my mother, giving me the medicines on time. I was more depressed because I saw how much he craved a child that I wasn’t able to conceive.
I stopped taking calls. I started avoiding family functions because of their regular critical looks and questions, “Are you expecting?” Biswajit stood there beside me, always.
Every time I thought of quitting the treatment and disappearing, Biswajit gripped my hands and showed me the light of day. His belief in me helped me to get through this toughest phase of my life. Slowly, the supreme feministic character within me was able to understand that it’s not the lady who has to compromise always but it’s the balance of both sexes which helps them survive life together.
At last, after three years of treatment I was able to conceive and our angel, Chukima, was born. Biswajit still acts like my mother and looks after me and my angel equally, dedicating every moment for us. Every morning I get up and want to say, “I love you Babai. I am in love with every moment of this present with you. Be there for me every day, every moment and in every phase of my life. Thank you.”