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But then again, I would have no reason to constantly criticize my husband’s mistress, if only she had been content ensnaring her tentacles around just my husband.
So, I am a 21st generation, highly educated, classy woman. And that is exactly why I did not throw one of those commonplace histrionics, call the entire “khandaan” and stage a highly emotional intervention, when I found out about my husband’s long standing affair with his ex-colleague.
Instead, I dealt with this horrendous affair with utmost maturity.
I bitched about “the woman” from here until Uranus, dropped subtle hints about the affair to my husband’s friends and obsessively stalked both of them online and offline.
It was the stalking, that lasted for a good three years, which allowed me to finally understand that “the woman” was not going anywhere. And that I was now faced with a choice, to either continue my life with this farce of a marriage and no sex, or continue my life as a borderline proud divorcee and almost no sex.
I, of course being the educated feminist, I am, with a reasonable libido, chose the divorce and not just any divorce, a very happy, mutual divorce. Because not only am I and my soon to be ex-husband, literate and posh; we are also highly evolved parents.
Which now brings me to the real reason I write this rant.
I am spiritual woman, and I realize, now that we are almost granted the divorce, I really have no reason to hate her. I wanted the divorce after all. She was happy being his Mistress all her life. She had, from “tan, man and dhan”, made my husband, her husband. I was given examples of celebrities, regular people and irregular people, fictional people; who have chosen to live in harmony, in spite of a divorce; because that is what the modern society is all about.
So, for the sake of harmony, I decided to camouflage my utter dislike for “the woman”. And my cleverly camouflaged hatred for her would have remained just that, camouflaged; had she not started flaunting her soon to happen, subtle, yet grand marriage with my soon to be ex-husband, right in my face. I mean, really?!
I had enough class to smile appropriately and then goad her into again rubbing me the wrong way, by asking her questions about the venue and wedding planners and lehengas and all that shit that comes with marrying someone’s else’s husband.
I then would use this cleverly manipulated conversation to me make me feel like a complete loser and to write passive aggressive statuses on Facebook, where she happens to be on my friends list. Even though I have long since understood that while she is intelligent enough to break a marriage, she isn’t smart enough to get passive aggression.
I am an evolved mother, and, theoretically, I know, that no one can take my place. But then again I don’t miss a chance to drop manipulative hints in front of my children, about “the woman”. Mind my words, I never openly criticize her in front of them, at least not since the day my highly intelligent daughter, called me a “Negative Nancy” for bitching about Daddy’s “good friend”.
But then again, I would have no reason to constantly criticize my husband’s mistress, if only she had been content ensnaring her tentacles around just my husband. I could over the years, five to be precise, see a pattern emerge. It was just not my soon to be ex-husband she wanted, neither was she content with garnering huge fandom in my children; she wanted to hijack who I was, hijack my life.
She wanted to be me, a better “me” than the present “me”, a “me” that my soon to be ex would love the way he should have loved me.
Suddenly, she was everywhere, invited over to my place, she and my soon to be ex hanging out with my friends. One fine day I see that she is a Facebook friend with almost all my male friends who have looked at her once and uttered “Hi”.
Why only male friends, you ask?
Because even she is smart enough to know that female friends are thick as gloves, and there is no way any of them would have appreciated the friend requests.
Out of the blue I am tagged in her timeline, tagged in a photo of an ugly looking chocolate cheesecake with an uglier mandala for icing. The status said that, she was inspired by talented bakers like me, to which my soon to be ex husband commented, “Whoa!” my soon to be ex mother-in-law “liked” and my soon to be ex brother-in-law shared on his wall.
I fumed, fumed to the extent that my ears turned red, and smoke blew out of them like the whistle of a pressure cooker, cooking a particularly fatal combination of “laal maas Andhra biryani.”
And when I brought this, this completely blatant take over of my life; starting with my husband five years ago and now with my online persona; to my soon to be ex. He defended her. He said, “She is inspired by you, can’t you see, she tagged you? Be happy.” I stomped my foot and asked him to get out of the house, to go and stuff her ugly chocolate cheesecake in his face, and then stuff his chocolaty face between her legs.
Inspiration, my ass!
Last month when it was my mother-in-law’s birthday, my soon to be ex insisted on “big, happy family” dinner. Which of course included my MIL, my husband, his mistress, my kids and I. Can you fathom the epic level at which this dinner would’ve been a disaster, had I not reigned myself in?
The minute I walked in, “the woman” started the game of “who is a better daughter-in-law?” Thanks to my completely healthy, non-competitive genes and my performance pressure, I chose not to give into the game. Instead I sulked in a corner, not speaking more than five sentences in two hours. And then went home and bitched about her to anyone and everyone who would care to listen.
I find ways to keep busy, to write my angst off in pieces of paper, or rather word documents, and then put them up on social media, my blog and garner a small fandom of people who love my writing. These tiny wins used to give me a sense accomplishment, until I received an invite to like a blog created by “the woman”. The blog had still life images taken from a camera suspiciously similar to what my soon to be ex owns and completely basic, delinquent poetry about the meaning of life, accompanying each image. And when I surfed the page again I realized that she had 297 page likes, 7 page likes more than my blog page.
If her blog page were a literal page, I would have slowly pulled it out of Facebook, not leaving a single trace, and then shredded the blog page into a tiny million pieces and burned them at stake, chanting an incantation to the devil.
My hands shivered in anger, my brain scrambled with fury, and I screamed in frustration. If I had seen one more image of a leaf with a dewdrop, taken from a micro lens and one more poem about the meaning of life, I would have swallowed her whole like a snake swallows a frog.
But then again, since cannibalism is illegal, I did the next best thing. Instead of throwing the blog page in my ex’s face. I sent him the link and demanded on Google chat, that why on earth can’t she have her own hobbies and interests. Her own goddamned personality! Why the hell does she want to steal mine?
After almost 74 minutes of sending the chat, my ex replied, “Don’t be so mean. You inspire her. I keep telling her how good you are in your baking and writing.”
And right then it hit me, it hit me like a truck ramming into my brain. It wasn’t “the woman” who wanted to be like me; it was my soon to be ex, who had taken it upon himself to mold her into the woman he always wanted me to be. A tailor-made second wife, the one who was talented enough to boast about, yet not accomplished enough to outshine him.
He now wanted a taller, slimmer me; who boasted a pre-pregnancy flat tummy, unlike my wobbly love handle and yet, could fake her way into the society of pseudo-intellectuals.
A younger, wide eyed, innocent me, who worshipped him like a star struck acolyte and yet, was devoid of the bitterness that comes with a failed marriage.
And just like that all the rage and fury that I had carried on my shoulders from the moment I saw the pattern, vanished and my shoulders slumped in defeat. I knew I was wrong, I was wrong in hating her all this time. I was wrong because deep down I knew, it wasn’t just her, it was also the man she loved who was responsible for shattering our marriage. The man who swore to stay by my side in sickness and health until death do us part; and yet he not just destroyed our marriage, but also turned me, or rather I turned myself, into a paranoid, bitter middle aged woman whose hate festered in her like a cancer, eating her from inside out.
Image source: pexels
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Writer. Artist. Dreamer...and a Coach.
Hi, I am Lakshmi Priya, but I respond better to Ell.P. A leadership consultant/coach when the sun shines, and a writer/artist past midnight. 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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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: