Yesterday was one such evening for me, when one simply feels like cutting off with everything else for a while and spending some good time with oneself.
I sat at the corner seat of the park as all other benches were already taken. I chose cold coffee as my companion. I sipped my cold coffee and was totally lost in my thoughts. I was wondering about the changes I had been through in these months after getting married. So much have changed, I told myself.
In childhood, when dad use to travel for his business commitments I use to cry for hours because I couldn’t stay away from him not even for a single day and today it’s been more than 6 months I haven’t seen him in person, I haven’t hugged him and bargained about my pocket money and I haven’t seen him laughing on my childlike expressions, my eyes were filled up with tears by then.
The best thing about thoughts and stories are that they never leave you alone. Never.
After sometime, one young south Indian couple came exactly where I was sitting and sat beside me. Maybe, they couldn’t find any other vacant bench at the park. That lady smiled at me as she sat beside me. I smiled back.
She had a dusky skin tone, long curly black hair which were tugged in a ponytail, she had applied a thick line of sindoor and a maroon lipstick which definitely made her look beautiful. Her gold ornaments were shining bright. That guy had a darker skin tone than her but with his dressing sense I could make out he belonged to a good family.
They started chit chatting about random things which I literally ignored. After sometime, that lady spoke in a soft tone, she expressed her wish to visit her parents for a few days as she was missing them terribly.
She was patiently waiting for his reply. He while flipping through the phone asked her casually, what would you do there? Why do you want to pay them a visit? I was stunned. I looked at them with my eyes wide open. I swear, I didn’t pay any attention to their earlier talks, I hardly even looked at them but the way this communication was shaping up, I couldn’t ignore, I stared at both of them for some sixty seconds I literally forgot to take my eyes off, because I was deeply shocked and saddened with what that guy said to her wife.
It’s literally unbelievable to realize how a women’s life changes completely in an instance after marriage. They literally have to carry “Mrs” before their name and this weight gradually shifts into their life.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. His words broke my heart. As a woman, I could understand what it means to stay away from a family. It must have killed her inside to hear that she needs to take permission or literally plead to go and stay at her own parents’ house for some days.
She is not only a wife or a daughter in law. She’s someone’s daughter too.
They spent all their savings to get her married in a “good family”. They had spent all that they had behind her education and given her the best of whatever they had and today she’s asking for a permission to pay them a visit.
Only a working woman will be provided an opportunity to enjoy equal rights rest will be suffering even today?
Before he could say anything his phone buzzed. His facial expressions depicted that it was someone’s special call. He received the call instantly, got up and walked away.
That lady didn’t move. She didn’t utter a word. Maybe, because she was unable to find words which could convince him. I looked at her, I tried to read her eyes. She was blank. Expressionless.
Our surrounding was full of noises. Children were playing around, people of almost all age groups were smiling, talking, cheering and in a way were writing some new stories. At that moment, I realized, how much I miss my parents. I miss them so much that I see them in my dreams almost every day. She tried to act normal and passed a fainted smile as he returned.
He kind of ignored her sad expressions and went on with his part of the story. He enthusiastically said, it was my mother’s call.
He continued, she is upset. She’s feeling lonely at home as my sister has shifted to Bangalore for her summer internship for a month. I was wondering if you could go to India and spend some time with her, he said in a tone which was pleading yet authoritative.
He then added, you must be feeling bored as you have nothing productive to do here. I anyway remain busy with my office and you know I can easily take care of myself, he said with pride. You must go and pay a visit to my native place, my mother will be really happy to see you and I’m sure she will get some rest, as you’ll be really helpful to her in household chores.
I heard their conversation but pretended to chat with someone over text messages. I pretended, as if I had not heard anything. I know whatever I did was ethically wrong, but I couldn’t move, I felt really bad for that lady. I felt miserable about Indian mentality. I felt helpless as a girl. I felt horrible about term marriage and its consequences. It’s never about education or generation it’s only about mentality. No matter where we go, what we do, things are not going to change till the time we don’t decide to change our mentality.
Why do we always feel women are born to do housework and to deal with all the crap?
We lecture people about equality, education and what not, but when it comes to our society and home, we all be the same.
It was dark by then. I had to leave for home. I started walking. I wanted to turn back for one last time and look back at that lady, but I couldn’t. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t.