I remember waking up with a feeling of anguish and discomfort. I hurried to the mirror and examined myself; my body was covered with bruises, marks, and scars, and my ear was covered in blood. I traced the scars on my skin as I recalled the horrors of the previous night.
Last night, when my husband returned home late, drunk, and angry, he thrashed me with all his might as if I were the curse of his life.
He left me twitching and on the verge of death. Marrying a man in uniform, I thought I was safe, but ironically, it was him I was most afraid of. However, this physical abuse was an ingrained part of our marriage.
Perhaps love is indeed blind. Love is indeed blind. I married the man I loved, left my family, gave birth to his daughter, and he repaid my love with brutality. All I remember now is holding my young daughter, Advika, in my arms and walking out of that house — out of that relationship.
As I filed for divorce and sought custody of my child, my mother advised me to return to him. They believed a child could not grow up without a father and encouraged me to reconsider.
The more I thought about it, the more determined I grew. I knew that if Advika grew up with her father, she would internalise the abuse.
Abuse would become the norm for her, and she would grow up believing it was acceptable for men to trample on women.
I began working hard; days flew by, and I made progress. I received a promotion at work, bought my own car, and built a life worth living for my daughter and me.
Being a single mother can be challenging sometimes, but a feeling of satisfaction follows when you have a small human who looks up to you and seeks you out in distress.
Advika and I travel often now. In the last two years, we’ve visited six countries and seven Indian cities. Travelling together has drawn us closer to each other. Sometimes, Advika says, “Maa, you and I are enough,” and it is the most beautiful feeling in the world.
Together, we meet new individuals and create new friends, and each teaches us something new.
I am uncertain how many of these experiences she will recall, but the lessons they teach her will last a lifetime. I see my daughter encountering new people, socialising, and leading the life she deserves. It gives me pleasure to see my daughter grow into a young, confident woman.
My journey has taught me to keep going. I turned every pain into power as I navigated the new course of my life. I do not know what our future holds, but I hope the worst is behind us.
Even if I face difficulties now, I will choose happiness and freedom over anything else. As I know, no matter how challenging things get, in the eyes of my child, nobody can do it better than me.