Mehndi Hai Rachnewaali, Haathon Mein Gehri Laali Kahe Sakhiyaan, Ab Kaliyaan Haathon Mein Khilnewaali Hain Tere Mann Ko, Jeevan Ko Nayi Khushiyaan Milnewaali Hai
The song from Zubeida played in the background as my Mehandi function was about to start. I was very excited, as my parents told me about how marriage is a new beginning and, a beautiful phase in our lives and how dreams get new wings after marriage.
Hardly I knew that would be the biggest and the ugliest truth that anyone would have told me.
I belong to a typical Indian family where girls are taught to work really hard to be intelligent and independent. But it’s expected that she should not be so intelligent that it scares her husband or in-laws.
It’s expected that she’ll not act so independent that she cannot be controlled like a domestic cow.
My parents always motivated me to be independent – to dream big – to fly in the free sky. I felt lucky when my parents supported me to complete MBA from one of the best institutes, and then to work with one of the finest banks in India.
But what was shocking that they were the first ones, who bought me the chains of marriage so that I couldn’t fly.
But, as soon as I started working post my MBA, the society started questioning my parents at all the social gatherings – “Neha ke liye Ladka Dekha Kya? Kab Shaadi Karogey?”
And every time when they said No – a part of their ego and self-pride was hurt.
So, when my husband’s extraordinarily rich family reached out to them for an alliance, my parents hardly enquired anything and pushed me to get married. I resisted at first but finally broke under the family pressure. I agreed to get married to a guy, with whom I had hardly spent any time discussing my dreams and values.
But, as they say – Shaadi is a new beginning. I assumed everything would be fine.
Shaadi – my new beginning or my new end?
After 2 months of marriage, I was asked to leave my job as my in-laws felt that there were more important things for me to manage at home. I felt shocked. But when I told my mother and she agreed that even she couldn’t see a point in continuing the job, I was shattered. It meant that my education was only important to get me a good groom, and nothing beyond that.
After marriage, the only thing that mattered was whether I can cook Pindi Chole and Rajma Chawal as per my husband’s and my in-laws’ taste.
My mom and dad told me not to question my in-laws and just go with the flow. This was the second biggest mistake of my life. I trusted their advice once again.
After 6 years of marriage, I firmly believe that trusting their decisions has led to the end of my independent life and a beginning of a life where my heart is hollow from inside.
My last 6 years of Shaadi
Before marriage, I used to read the balance sheets of the companies to decide whether they should be given a loan or not. Now after marriage, I read to learn new recipes.
Before marriage, I used to make projects, attend client meetings and handle a team. Now after marriage, I manage all kitchen related chores because the maid cannot be trusted for the same.
I am 30-year-old but I am still not allowed to meet my friends if my husband doesn’t accompany me.
Last year, my friends organized a small get-together to spend some time with me. But, my in-laws didn’t allow me to go at the last minute. And why? Because my husband had a sudden plan to go out with his colleagues for some drinks, and I couldn’t be allowed to go alone.
Unlike a maid, who is allowed to take 2 days off in a month, I am supposed to work 24×7.
I have no rights to be unwell. One morning, I couldn’t get up at 6 am as I was having menstrual pains. Rather than coming and asking about my health, I was taunted and humiliated. That day, I realized that I was not a wife – I was a bonded labor.
And if you think this was the worst that happened to me, you are so wrong.
Doesn’t matter how much I sacrifice to make my husband happy. Because, if he had a bad day then I’m his punching bag. I have lost the count of days when I was slapped or punched in the night for no reason whatsoever.
Even when everyone in the family knew about the domestic abuse, they either shut their eyes or blamed me for making my husband angry.
I never realized until recently that last 6 years have made me forget about self-esteem, pride, and sense of independence. And, it made me learn a self-destructive behavior of how to adjust so that I can be traumatized more?
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