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A personal account of an abusive marriage: "Just so you know times have changed. And I am no longer that timid woman whom you and your family treated like a slave."
A personal account of an abusive marriage: “Just so you know times have changed. And I am no longer that timid woman whom you and your family treated like a slave.”
Dear my ex husband,
I was very young when I married you. Though I have forgotten my age when that accident happened: when I chose a monkey as my husband.
We had our 1st Valentine’s Day when we dated (did we date actually? I don’t think so as I was too confused understanding a third rater like you) and also our 1st Valentine post our marriage. I had never had a boyfriend when I was a student, and you were the first one for me.
Well when we dated (let me feel we dated) you asked me to book tickets for a movie for Valentine’s Day. I did buy two tickets, and when you saw them your face looked as if you were looking at something very stupid. Look, I am ageing so I am unable to recollect the name of the movie. But no, I haven’t aged so much that I cannot remember what you said to me. I remember you said, “You dull headed fool you are good for nothing!” and walked away leaving me crying in the middle of the road. We didn’t go for the movie, but later you confided in me that you partied with your friends, and I cried like a non compos mentis.
But then suddenly you decided to marry me. All the while you had said we cannot marry as you are a Christian and I am a Hindu. Religions will collide but then again but my love for you was overwhelming. So we decided to get married. That was when I was staying with my aunt.
And then your father started harassing me.
Yes, yes I haven’t aged so much that I don’t remember your father saying on the phone, “You need to get converted. You have to learn phrases from the Bible. You will be trained under our priest and you should be visiting the Church every evening after you are back from work. And Sunday you must attend the Church, and also in the evening, have Bible lessons.”
While I was convent educated and I did attend Sunday Church when I was in school, your father made me claustrophobic with his inane calls. My aunt and her family were tired. I wondered why you never called, but your father made sure he called me and as usual spoiled my mood. I could no longer listen to his BS when one day I said, “Hey look instead of calling me every hour I have a great suggestion. I will pack my luggage and wait outside your priest’s home till the time he declares that now I am a true Christian and not a Hindu anymore!” Your dad (the poop headed preacher) got upset but still he refused to stop.
Look my letter is going nowhere, why the heck am I discussing your dad? Okay I will write a separate letter to him later, maybe on some other day. We married but it was more like a death ceremony. You wanted to get dressed and have your make up done by my beautician. You even said you wanted me to look ugly. That too in front of my mother; how dare you?
But dear me! Why was I blind, deaf and dumb back then? And then our first Valentine’s Day after our wedding. I still remember cooking at your place; your parents demanded I make 30 chapaties. Also that I couldn’t go out with you. Your elder brother and your sister in law went out and did not come back for two days. You too went out, gave a damn to what I cooked, you did not even touch it but I knew very well that you had gorged outside.
Once again I was jailed in your home with your father teaching me more lessons on the Bible and your mother whining that I should have learnt cooking from my mother. Cooking was must, and serving in laws as a servant was a tradition in your third grade family. So that was my first Valentine’s Day with you Mr Idiot!
You see I could have written more on the torture you and your family inflicted on me but no; that I won’t do. I come from an affluent family and my parents did teach me moral lessons. But I have something else for you.
Remember post our divorce you happily agreed to not paying me a penny, and also never see our little daughter’s face? I refuse to call her ‘our’ daughter. Riya is only mine as she gave you a life time lesson when you reached out to me after six years, distraught and saying you were wrong. But again what a cruel sense of humor my daughter had. She refused to recognize you and addressed you as “Uncle”.
So how do you feel now Mr Uncle Sam? Just so you know times have changed. And I am no longer that timid woman whom you and your family treated like a slave. For you, religion was more important than enjoying the marriage ceremony. I also remember your father packing the left overs, and also the money which we received from several well wishers.
With this letter I am inviting you to meet me at any public space which may be a mall or a theatre or a restaurant, and let me assure you I will be carrying with me an iron rod so that I can drag you to the middle of road and beat you. Waiting for that special day.
Image source: pexels
Rimli Bhattacharya is a First class gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, an MBA in supply chain management and is engaged with a corporate sector. Her essay in the anthology “Book read more...
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The incident took place ten years ago.
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