I once attended a family wedding on my husband’s side. I was barely twenty-two but I already had a toddler in my arms.
It was a horrible wedding. There was no proper room to sleep in. My daughter cried incessantly and my husband ignored me because he did not want to be called a ‘joru ka gulam.’ At that point, my husband’s love was everything that mattered to me. I had still not discovered the joys of drinking, women friends, masturbation, stolen kisses etc. I spent my hours looking after my baby, and eating very little because being thin was important to me. I thought if I put on weight, my husband would get very angry with me. I tried to cook like my husband’s mom and failed miserably. I was an unsuccessful housewife. My lack of cooking abilities became a topic of conversation in my husband’s family, especially the tiffin I packed for my husband’s office. It became an object for derision in his family. I used to suffer from a severe lack of self-esteem.
When I used to see young couples sitting close to each other holding hands my eyes would brim with tears and I would wonder when this would happen to me. When would my husband whisper sweet nothings to me and hold my hand and look deep into my eyes?
The wedding got over; my husband never noticed my nice clothes, my eye makeup, etc. His cousin groped my breast and I reported this to my husband. He had two things to say about this: you must have said something to him and the second was that, anyway your breasts are not so big.
My daughter was growing up. I had more time to myself. I made good friends who liked everything about me including my not so round rotis. I was more confident and no longer thin, all those wine sessions had done the damage. My breasts were huge and so was my stomach. I wish I had not asked God for big breasts, I did not know that his motto was ‘ask for one and get another free.’ I discovered writing and keeping a dairy but I never wrote for two days at a time. But I accepted myself as I was. I cannot keep any deadlines; my attention span is very little. I doze off at religious discourses but now I am not ashamed of myself.
My marriage is intact and going great guns. But now, the most important word is space and not attention. Now even if he takes a jibe at my food, I laugh it off. He has stopped making jibes because my skin is not only thick but scaly. So, he does not do it.
Sometimes my husband tells me to sit next to me but I live the lives of my soap characters. I want to know what’s happening in their lives rather than mine. I sit next to him during the commercial break and go back to the TV once the soap resumes. And he is also like that - even if some rerun of an old cricket match is on the telly, he forgets that I exist.
We are best friends, we talk a lot from movies to politics and also gossip about friends. And we both confide in each other - I think selectively, that is! Love is too possessing, too narrow and it does not have bigger circles like Google. What is important is respect and companionship with your husband and loads of friends and of course two televisions so that one can watch whatever one wants in peace.