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You always complained about my disheveled hair, but never noticed my tired eyes, tired because they were awake all night looking after our son.
Nalini stood still leaning against the freshly painted bamboo fence that encircled her mansion. She gazed at the rainbow across the azure sky but it failed to raise her sombre mood. Her eyes still retained the moisture of the first April shower. She deeply inhaled the earthy fragrance. She sighed. At last, she had decided; decided to follow her dreams; decided to leave her husband, after a decade of married life.
Nalini traced back her steps towards the mahogany study table, pulled the chair and started writing. She wrote a letter to her husband, perhaps her last letter.
It’s been a decade that we are married. I feel that our marriage is not working. I know you will not agree with me, you will cite various examples and give multiple reasons to disagree; but let me state at the very outset, that your definition of a happy married life doesn’t match mine.
You always wanted a ‘wife’ who would respect your parents no matter for what wrong they do, a ‘wife’ who would carry out her household chores along with her job outside, a ‘wife’ who would keep your house neat and clean, a ‘wife’ who would cook excellent meals and what not… whereas I only yearned for a friend; a friend who would support me unconditionally and lend me a shoulder to cry on; a friend who would embrace me in spite of my shortcomings and weaknesses; a friend whose one and only priority would be me. I suppose I asked for too much.
I know you disagree. I can very well imagine the frown on your face as you read this letter. Let me ask you a few questions:
Do you remember the last time you hugged me?
Do you remember the last time when we shared our day with each other?
Do you remember the last time when you sent me a text message?
Do you remember the last time when you told: “I Love You”?
Do you remember the last time we went for a date?
Do you remember the last time you enquired about my health?
Do you remember the last time you did something to make me happy?
Do you remember the last time you appreciated me?
I presume that now you will agree that our marriage is not working anymore.
I am sorry but the woman in me can no longer be the wife that you wish for. The woman in me is worn-out. I always searched my happiness within you and with you, but you never cared; the woman in me now learned to be happy with her own self. I craved for your presence but you never bothered; the woman in me now can walk alone. You have given me a lot but those weren’t among the things that I desired.
The woman in me always reminded you, ‘If you love me, give me things which money can’t buy.’
Nalini’s reverie was broken by her son’s sudden cry. Swiftly she got up and headed for the nursery. Little Rishu was hungry. Nalini broke into tears while feeding him. Leaving her husband might also mean leaving her son. The mother in her roared inside; roared in pain. No she could not leave her husband. Slowly laying Rishu back in the crib she proceeded to complete the letter.
There were days when I cooked your favourite cuisine, what caught your eyes was not the food but the mess in the kitchen. Sometimes I dressed up only for you, what caught your eyes was my bulging belly. You always forgot to notice my new hair cut. Post pregnancy your only concern was my weight what you forgot to notice was the mother in me who needed care and attention. You always complained about my disheveled hair, but never noticed my tired eyes, tired because they were awake all night looking after our son. Whenever I spoke to you about my problems, you turned a deaf ear. According to you those were only complaints. What you failed to notice was that I depended on you for a solution; I wanted your empathy.
So my beloved husband, today I decide to start living without you being a part of my life. I will still stay in your house but you won’t be a part of me anymore. The food I cook will be of my choice, the dress I wear will be again of my choice, movies I watch of course my choice. You are free to live your life. I will no longer crave for your attention, time, love or care.
Your wife is dead, the woman in me reborn.
Let me tell you that the woman in me is strong, independent, lovable, and vivacious.
Nalini stood up; the fresh air rejuvenated her spirits. She never felt lighter before. She ran towards the nursery, picked up her son and danced with joy. She danced, she danced, and she danced like never before. The laughter of her son filled her heart, her spirits, and her soul. The rainbow outside matched her soul.
Rishab was as usual late from office. While returning he wondered why his pestering wife didn’t call him even once. He was a little anxious. On a regular day he would have received at least ten calls asking him when he would reach home, what would he prefer for dinner etc. But today was little different. As he drove along the manicured garden he wondered why the lights of the living room were switched off. Today there was no one waiting for him at the dinner table; instead he found the letter.
His heart throbbed as he read through the lines but he knew that things were out of his hands. He cursed himself for being so hard on her. For the first time in life, he cried. He knew that he had lost his wife. He lost his ‘pestering’ wife.
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: a still from Lust Stories
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