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Often, she justified to herself, ‘they need you, your child needs you, without you the house would fall apart. You have to stand strong to make everything alright.’ But how?
Often, there are moments in life when all you really need is a ‘hug,’ not diamond earrings or the latest smartphone or a holiday or birthday bash. That tight hug which says “I love you…I won’t let you go…you matter…you’re the best thing to happen to me…I’m lost without you… you make me complete…I need you…”
She missed that hug and it made her feel so alone, helpless and unwanted. Quintessential housewife married into a well-to-do family, she had everything going for her. Yet she was carrying on with life running on emptiness.
Some days she felt emotionally bereft and had nothing more to give yet the expectation remained that she would because of the different roles she played. Often, she justified to herself, ‘they need you, your child needs you, without you the house would fall apart. You have to stand strong to make everything alright.’ But how? Where could she go for that dose of love and affection which was given without any expectation, a dose that was only meant for her well-being and sustenance, that which could keep the fire burning in her heart?
What happened? Where did she lose it all? When did life become monotonous? When did they all begin to take her for granted?
She knew he loved her. He was a good man, a good provider, father and husband. Yet often, he took out his frustrations on her saying things which made her feel as if she didn’t exist. He belittled her, spoke rudely or brushed her off without a thought. Sometimes she yelled back, she stood up for herself and yet there were times she stoically took it all in. In those moments, it wasn’t like she didn’t have anything to say but kept quiet because she cared too much and didn’t want to break their bond any further.
Her child was her lifeline and she did everything to make her comfortable. She knew her child loved her as much but even then, there were times she felt used and tired. Her in-laws were really nice which overwhelmed her, inadvertently forcing her to bend over backwards for them.
She was at a crossroads where everything seemed good yet there was something missing. Was she looking for an acknowledgement for all her hard work when in actuality she was simply playing her role as expected? If life seemed so balanced between the good and the bad, then why did she feel unsatisfied? And amidst it all, she was still surviving, wasn’t she, even though it was a day at a time? How?
Earlier, when the closeness was strong and the brief moments of togetherness aplenty, she could run a mile because she felt his love in her veins. Today, she missed them so badly. Instead she searched for those moments in every chick flick, television serial or book. She loved to read about people falling in love. She relived moments of attraction and bittersweet separation in the lives of star-crossed lovers. She would watch serials only till the lovers openly professed their love. After they did she would automatically lose interest. Sometimes she stopped watching the serials if the protagonists got married, simply because then their lives became dangerously close to her own. She didn’t want to deal with theirs when she was unable to find solace in her own.
Unfortunately, she felt alive only till she was engrossed in watching those movies or serials. Once they ended, the feelings slipped away and she could no longer find them. Soon they became her source of sustenance to continue living.
Sometimes she felt attracted to other men, both young and old. These were not good looking men (the typical Mills & Boons version of tall, dark and handsome that she had grown up reading) but most often they would have strong arms, or they towered over her making her feel protected. She would imagine being kissed, or making passionate love and then sometimes she could also see herself being pulled into their arms for that elusive hug!
Of course, she never acted upon any of these emotions. Did she lack the gumption to exhibit these feelings openly? Sometimes, she did feel similar vibes coming from them too. Was she just being naïve or had she imagined them? Or perhaps that wasn’t the point, at all. These were feelings to be felt not acted upon. They were not meant to be. She wanted those things done to her because she wanted to feel wanted and longed for. Perhaps that was all there was to it.
Suddenly she longed for that feeling of closeness, of being held, of feeling safe within the confines of strong arms. The longing slowly grew so strong that she quickly switched on an episode of a serial that she had seen a thousand times before. Her face broke into a smile as she watched the look of love and desire on their faces, and the momentary lapse of reason when he reached out to her and pulled her close, holding her tight and she reciprocated clinging on to him for dear life.
Image source: Flickr, for representational purposes only
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Mental Health Counsellor at Viveka Centre for Emotional Support, Relationship Coach at Brideandgloom (https://brideandgloom.in/), Champion on the Love and Relationships community on Sheroes providing emotional support to women and helping them deal with read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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She would serve everyone fresh food and serve herself the stale rice and curries from the previous meal. Some days after finishing the leftovers she was so full she would not even be able to even taste the fresh food.
When I married the first time, my MIL told me that during the Navratri the lady of the house should not eat stale food. ‘Gharatlya bai ni shila khau naye’ — in refined upper caste Marathi.
I was just 26, eager to please, not versed in patriarchy or feminism, and it seemed like a positive thing — respect for the goddess in woman.
But soon I realised she spent the remaining 356 days of her year finishing leftovers. And that I was expected to do the same.
Story - Beauty: Shreya wondered, ‘Are they talking about me?’ ‘But what is the use of inner beauty if the exterior is unattractive?’ Ravi asked. Her heart skipped a beat, and now she listened with the utmost alacrity.
‘Beauty is skin deep, Ravi. In the long run, it’s the inner beauty that matters. I know Shreya is smart and I find her attractive.’ It was Chetan’s voice.
Shreya had paused for a moment on the open door of Ravi’s flat when she overheard him. It was the morning of 27th March, and she had come to give Ravi his surprise birthday present. She didn’t want to eavesdrop, but the conversation had caught her curiosity.
She wondered, ‘Are they talking about me?’