Even though we are living in 2021, it is heartbreaking how our men fail to accept strong and independent women. Many would like to marry strong women, but when it comes to living with them – men try to control them as much as possible.
While many women may compromise and adjust in this toxic and abusive marriage, there are few who raise their voices, refuse to give up on their freedom, and move out.
One such inspiring soul is Kanika, who recently shared her inspiring story with HoB. In her inspiring struggle, she shared how she stood against her abusive husband and created a life of dignity by building her career as a photographer. Here’s her inspiring story:
“I’ve grown up admiring my parent’s relationship–the mutual love and respect they shared; I always wanted that. And then at 21, I got into a relationship. He was everything I was looking for, so I introduced him to my family; everyone loved him. And soon after, both the families met.
It was getting serious quickly, but I was just so in love. We’d write letters, have movie marathons and just like that 3 years flew by… when I turned 24, he proposed! I agreed in a heartbeat!
But after we got engaged, he changed. I’m a photographer, so I’d come home at odd hours and sometimes be away for nights. That started annoying him. And soon, he started accompanying me to my shoots. I found it strange, but I still went ahead with the wedding.
Initially, I took a break from work to settle in, but when I decided to rejoin, I was met with a, ‘I’m making enough for the 2 of us!’ When I’d try to reason with him, he’d say, ‘Tum iss ghar ki bahu ho, you have responsibilities!’
I kept mum because I didn’t want to cause troubles in our marriage. But then, he expected me to do all the household chores. Once, when I asked my helper to chop vegetables, she refused stating, ‘Bhaiya ne mana kiya hai!’
When I tried to tell him this is not the life I’d signed up for, he called my upbringing hollow. Another time when my chapatis burnt, he made me stand the entire night and didn’t let me sleep. His justification was, ‘Aise hi seekhogi!’ Even my mother-in-law said, ‘Do as he says!’
I wanted to go back to my parents, but I wasn’t allowed to. And his ‘no sleep’ punishments became more regular. Once he made me stand in the cold shower because I’d taken a nap. I was too tired to fight back, but Maa realised something was wrong. And although my husband tried to intervene, she took me home.
Once there, I slept for 12 hours straight and on waking up when Papa asked, ‘Sab theek hai?’ I broke down and told them everything. They were shattered; there was no chance they were sending me back.
After 2 weeks of no contact with my husband, I got an annulment letter. They even told all my relatives that I was mentally unstable. I started getting panic attacks and began therapy. That’s when I realised I’d been psychologically abused.
But with every session, I let go of some baggage. And 6 months later, I started working again. I’d forgotten just how much I loved photography.
It’s been 3 years since; just 7 months ago, our divorce was finalised. That day, my family and I popped champagne and toasted to a ‘fresh start’!
Still, there are some who try to demean me by saying, ‘Ab kya hoga tera?’, ‘Bechari bachi!’ But I don’t care– I’m no bechari!
I learnt it the hard way but now, I know: no man is important enough to give up on your identity and your work. In fact, my work has healed me. All my life, I’ve been known as, Kanika– the girlfriend, the wife or the divorcee. But now onwards, it’s only going to be, Kanika, the photographer!”
We are in awe of Kanika and hope her inspiring story will encourage many to stand for themselves and their dreams. We wish Kanika the best for her life and career; and hope many young women will choose to be with people who lift them up rather than pull them down.