I have been in a really long relationship. It goes all the way back to when I was in school. I was insanely in love with this guy. We pretty much grew up together. We dated for 14 long years. Yes, you read that right! FOURTEEN years... sounds like an awesome love story, right? Well, that was what I thought until I wanted to get married to him.
He was a very possessive guy. He loved his mother a lot and which was I quality I adored. I had lost my mom during the course of our relationship and my world had fallen apart into pieces. I grew closer to him as I wasn't really that close to my own family. I wanted to get married to him but he kept on delaying it and didn’t have the guts to introduce me to his mother as it would be an inter-caste relationship. I belonged to a pretty liberal and well-educated family. Finally, after a lot of urging, I met his family and soon, we convinced our families. We were to get married. Somehow, I had this feeling his mother didn't like me and was frustrated with his son's desire to make me his wife.
My father even gave us a lot of expensive gifts (which actually was just dowry in a polite name) from his retirement money just because he wanted to see me happy. My father wasn't really happy with the way his mother demanded things but nonetheless, he did all that for me.
The nightmare began with the very first day of my married life. I had barely slept I was woken up in the wee hours and told to perform some rituals. This was just the onset of my agony. From that day onwards, I never felt like I was a new bride. I had to wake up early morning to clean the rooms. I could only mop them under my mother in laws strict supervision, of course. She made sure I cleaned every nook and corner no matter how long it took and how tired I was. To add to my woes, she would scatter litter on the floor again to make me clean the room all over. Then, I was to have a bath and wait for her to return from her morning walk and be ready serve her piping hot tea and be in the kitchen just to make different items every day to feed everyone. I had to wait for everyone one by one to get ready and have their breakfast before I could eat. Please note all this while I had to be in the kitchen and make sure the food was warm at all times.
Here was my life after that - Prepare for lunch while simultaneously washing EVERYONE’s clothes and then dry them in the terrace. I was expected to be decked up and looking pretty during this entire time but to keep the Pallu on my head. Soon, it would be lunchtime when I had to serve everyone and then.
If I was lucky that I could sleep for maybe an hour in the afternoon before it was time to:
Fetch the clothes from the terrace
Then, make evening snacks for everyone
Then, prepare dinner
Wash all the dirty utensils
THEN, I was allowed to eat
Oh wait, still had to clean the kitchen.
After all this, I would barely have any power to move and the next day was the same drill. I couldn't tell all this to my family as I had made my choice and now I couldn't step back, Why was I doing all? Why was I suddenly unpaid slave labour to people who were basically strangers to me? It was because I loved my husband dearly and wanted his family to accept me. He was good to me all this while but every time he tried a little to speak on my behalf, he was scolded by his mom and he would go back to keeping his quiet.
It didn't end there. I was cursed and abused often by mother in law and sister in law. They were never satisfied with anything I did and I wasn’t allowed to have a career anymore.
I had been an independent girl who had a stable career in interior designing. But now I had my first tryst with slavery. I was even pressurized to have a child to pacify my mother-in-law. Even my husband started trying to convince me. I was shocked and appalled.
Things continued downhill. I started falling sick and then I was locked in a room, not allowed to talk to anyone as no one wanted to see my face. No one served me food or washed my clothes and I was insulted at every opportunity. I got depressed and finally, I had a big tiff with my husband and told him we need to get a separate home just for us. My husband accused me by saying " My mother was right about you. You want to break our family”. Upon hearing this, my world crashed. But now, I finally saw clearly. He wasn't the same man I had fallen in love with. He was a fraud. All this time, I had accepted every pain just because I wanted him to be happy. That day, I decided to call my father and I narrated everything breaking down completely. My father rushed to me and took me home. My husband's last words to me were, “You are leaving by your own will, you will not be able to return here again ". I just stepped out and held my father and I felt loved after what felt like ages.
My perspective towards life completely changed after the experience. I joined work and now I am so happy doing what I had always loved. My family supported me, I got a divorce and now I am single, climbing the corporate ladder and following my dreams.
I had made a big mistake and I still regret letting my father down, but this is how life wanted to teach me a lesson for trusting someone blindly.