Sunday, March 8, 2009

Light, At The End Of The Tunnel (part 2)

also read Light, At The End Of The Tunnel (part 1):

The first few years were like a dream. Husband, wife, a two year old boy and a half a year old girl- happy family. And then the cement factory he worked for closed. Now that she thought of it, then was probably when things had started falling apart. He had to move to a shady place which was a good 8 hour travel from their house. And so Sunita had to stay alone, while her husband visited her every once a week. She worked as a maid servant in the houses nearby- all for her husband and the children. The work was too much for her frail body to take but she thought nothing of it. Her husband had given her a reason to live and she worshiped him. After all, if it wasn’t for him, she would’ve been working in some sleazy brothel.
Quite naturally, she didn’t see the signs when he took to drinking in her absence. Or when he started sleeping with another lady in the other town. She did not ask him where he stayed the whole week. Or why was it that every week, he seemed to give her lesser and lesser money for the family’s expenses. She did not once suspect him of dishonesty. Her love for him was beyond all such emotions.
Until, when one day he came home fully drunk, swaying from side to side and cursing people she had never heard of. That was the day he had first slapped her and only because she had asked him why he was drunk. He had hit her and kicked her and called her a dirty whore. He had shouted at her and repeated again and again that he should never have married her, that he should have let her rot at her aunt’s or maybe at the place where they had planned to take her. It had made no sense to her then. She still loved him. She said nothing. She could say nothing.
But then it became a routine affair. His visits reduced, so did the money. By the time the third child was born, Sunita had to work at three houses. And when on some weekends he did come home, she had to endure the insults and pain. But still she could not bring herself to defy him, to yell back at him. Her love did not stop her anymore, for it was now buried deep under a surfeit of emotions of fear and gratitude. Her duty was obligatory. Her moral self wouldn’t let her shout back at the man who had helped her at the most crucial juncture of her self. She was trapped under her own feelings of liability that forbid her to even bear thoughts against her husband. After all, if not for him, where would she be now? No, she could not say anything against this man who had saved her from peril, not even when she had heard he had not one but two other wives in the other city; not even when he hit her and robbed her off her money; not even when she suspected he had started hating her. She could not be disloyal to her once hero.
But now, sitting there at the brink of the dirty stream, she thought of everything she had had to endure. Her eldest son was 16 years old now. She had lived with a man turned monster for the past fourteen years. When he wasn’t around to torture her, she dreamt of him torturing her. Why was she living like that? She had suspected for long now that he was stealing from her and giving it to his other wives and other children. He did not love her anymore. As for her, she didn’t know. Even if there was any love left in her for him, it was too far beneath all the fear and hate she felt for him now. Yes, he had saved her once, but he had enslaved her for a long time now. And she could not bear to make it forever. She was working after all, in fact for the past so many years she had been single handedly managing the household, no help from him. She didn’t need him any longer to drain her money and well being. She remembered her mother had told her once that a woman was incomplete without her man. She had believed that and lived by it for so long. But she could not take it any longer. She had three children to look after, the eldest of whom was already helping her with a little income. She was not alone in the world after all, and she didn’t need him.
The sun was out now. It shone with a fierce brightness. She had made up her mind. She felt a small tear run down her cheek, her last minute of weakness she thought. And she felt strangely elated. There was a garbage heap clogged at one side of the stream. She found a long stick and prodded at the heap. She could see the water below, muddy but uncluttered, with an urge to gush ahead.
After all these years of self imprisonment within her own endless heap of complex emotions, she had never thought it possible that she would be happy at the thought of leaving him. But she was. Happy. Very happy.
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CELEBRATING WOMANHOOD
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2009

photo courtesy: photobucket.com

23 comments:

Arslan said...

Liked it. :)

Though what made her finally leave him after all those years of abuse isn't very clearly spelt out. I mean, what changed?

Too many people cling to wrong people and hopeless situations. So, good to see her take control of her life.

Mahul Bhattacharya said...

This part really took time to come up.
But yes, definitely worth the wait.

I like it.

santoshi said...

happy woman's day.

comfortably numb said...

better late than never
@arsalan
realization dawned!!!

niceguy251 said...

Divya,

It is encouraging that she found her need for freedom from shackles. There are many a women in our nation who may not have had beginning of relationship like her but life after marriage quite akin. They need guidance and support. Only once this kind of life is over for such women we can say with conviction HAPPY WOMENS DAY.

Take care

Chronicwriter said...

nice one

happy women's day..

how did the transition happen..

wasnt it potrayed as a sudden change of mind?

good one nevertheless divz


www.chronicwriter.com

Kartz said...

Viva womanhood...

Good one, her ladyship. :)

Peace. Be well.

Divya said...

@ arslan
thank you.
hmmm... well there isn't any one particular incident that changed her... it was a series of happenings, and lifelong suffering; she couldn't take it any longer and somewhere down the way she had overcome that sense of duty and unnecessary obligation. happens to a lot of women around us. misconceptions that they will be looked down upon if they leave their husbands, or soemtimes a feeling of dependence on their male counterparts bog them down. quite sad really.

Divya said...

@ mahul

well, honestly i wanted to time it with women's day.. glad you like it :)

Divya said...

@ santoshi
thanks! same to you :)

Divya said...

@ comfortably numb
agreed!

Divya said...

@ niceguy251

truly said sir. our country has come a long way from where it was but there's still a lot more to go.. especially in the lower income groups of the society.

Divya said...

@ chriz
hmm... not exactly, i'd like to think of it as something that has been coming for a long time.
thanks :)

Divya said...

@ kartz
thanks a lot your highness :D :)

Sarath said...

happy women's day to u..

Shruti SriHarsha said...

hey, lovely write up..made me THINK for sometime. I wonder how many women are taking such things in life and living with it. I always belive in " Its your life, live it the way you want to"....But to tell you something, post marriage, you will have to compromise to an extent...It might at the cost of your happiness or wants or needs...hmmm am touched with this write up..good, she left him, choosing her path, way to go!

Divya said...

thanks sarath!

Divya said...

@ shruthi,
true.. you might have to compromise on certain things, but to endure so much and not get anything back? compromising to the extent of having all your self confidence, pride and life shattered, well, that's what is not needed, and a lot of women don't realize that.

k.ø.c.h.ü said...

seems i missed yer blog...grrr....slappin myself 4 not being here 4 lonf...now ive built up a huge assignment..'2 read all de missed posts'..grrr

aZoed said...

love is selfless, true. but you can't love without a self... she had to let go at some point, and she finally did... and as said earlier, I just love your descriptive style... was my first time here... 'd keep coming back...

Arnav said...

Nice
loved the end ..
very interesting questions asked though?
I mean Is someone does help us at 1 particular situation are we to be enslaved forever ??

Divya said...

@ aZoed
yep! That's exactly what i tried to say.. thank you :)

Divya said...

@ arnav
thank you :)
and nope.. never! there's a limit to how much anyone can take.