I am the youngest child in my family and was only four years old when my dad retired from service. My mother was uneducated and we had a large family of five sisters and a brother. But due to major age difference between me and my siblings, I could not find a friend in any one of them. I always felt like an unwanted child, at home. Life is worse when you don’t get love and support from your own family. There was no one I could talk to.
I always lived in the fear of being scolded by someone or the other, even without being at fault. I saw my brother laughing and having fun with my older sisters and I hoped that when I grow up, he would be the same with me. But by the time I grew up, my brother had taken my father’s position in the family. He could do whatever he wanted, with his life and mine.
I hoped that at least my college life would be fun, but my family never approved of my friends. They thought I couldn’t do anything right. Because I didn’t find love at home, I started looking for it outside.
I fell in love with a guy, who belonged to a different caste. His love meant the world to me. Even though both our families disapproved of our relationship, we continued with it. After being with him for seven years, I knew I couldn’t just give up on our love. So, one day, I mustered enough courage to run away from my home and propose him for marriage. But, he ran away. I couldn’t believe it.
I didn’t know what to do next, since I had left my home for him. So I just kept walking on the road, from one temple to the next. Next day, instead of coming to pick me up, he informed my brother. I was taken back home. My family praised my boyfriend for being a good boy, for running away and informing them about me. That’s when I realised that I had trusted and fallen in love with the wrong man. I started focusing on my job instead and spent every penny I earned on my family. I didn’t realise I was being taken for granted. My colleagues often told me to save something from my earnings for myself, but I didn’t. And then, one day, I came to know that my family was looking for a suitable groom for me.
My brother wanted me to get married to one of my nephew’s friends. Even though I had lost trust in love, I agreed to marry him because I had known him for a long time.
Both our families were happy with our match, but once again, fate played its cruel game, and suddenly his family changed their mind and didn’t approve of our relationship. After this incident, I knew my family would get me married to any guy they found next. So I decided to elope with him and get married in a court. My mom was the only one in my family, who knew about this.
Even after getting married to each other, we lived separately at our parents’ home for a year. When my husband got a job, we told our families about our secret marriage. We built our life from scratch, without anyone’s support. Three years later, I was pregnant with my first child. I was alone in the maternity ward with my husband. Nobody was around me, not even my mother. I was afraid and scared and in labour for nine long hours.
Even after my son was born, there was absolutely nobody to take care of me. When I asked my sisters for help, they told me to ask my in-laws to come help. We had to borrow money from our friends to clear our hospital bills. Even the doctor at the hospital sympathised with me, but my own family didn’t.
There came a time when I felt that I shouldn’t have brought my son into this cruel world, where I couldn’t even care for him properly. After delivery, I had to sit in the rain and wash my clothes.
I didn’t get any sleep, because my child would stay up late in the night and I had to complete household chores in the daytime. After a while, my husband and I finally managed to buy a house of our own. But our happiness was only short-lived, for soon after, my husband lost his job and I had to run the family. I sold every piece of jewellery I had. No one from my family came forward to help us. My father-in-law would say mean things to my husband, in front of my young child.
Life was difficult and it took a toll on our relationship too. I would learn from others that my husband had borrowed money from them, but he couldn’t return them.
To help pay the growing debt, I started working in a college. But the principal there often coerced me into compromising with him to get promotions and benefits. I couldn’t let go of the job because I had to run my house, so I just kept ignoring him. My son’s school fee, our home’s EMI and all other bills kept piling on, month after month. I was so tired with my life - running around, trying to make ends meet and thwarting the lascivious principal’s advances.
Eventually, I decided to resign because I couldn’t ignore his behaviour any longer. But he refused to accept my resignation. I tried to complain to my seniors about him, but it was a futile effort. In the end, my husband too started growing suspicious of me, because of something the principal had told him.
Things got so bad that my husband and I decided to get separated. He asked me to leave the house and I left with my son. I lost my home, my job.
When I checked my account, I came to know that my husband had spent all my money – he used to keep my ATM card with him and I never questioned him about it. I had become a joke among people. Everyone used to run away from me. But I decided to fight life. Today, none of my family members know where I am and how I'm surviving. I helped them through their tough times, but nobody came forward to help me. I hope one day, they will realise their mistakes.
Now I am only waiting for an opportunity to prove myself. To prove that I am not a loser. To make my son proud. And I know, such a day will come soon.