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Struggle – A Single Mother’s Story

Posted: August 16, 2019

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She woke up all sweaty and terrified. She frantically checked on the kid beside her and tried to relax a bit. She then checked the time, it was 4:00 in the morning. She wiped the sweat from her forehead and upper lip. She had the same dream many times and every time she woke in the same terrified state. She would never sleep back after the dream…

It had been 7 years that she got divorced from her husband, but the memories still haunted her…

Thinking about the time, when she fell in love with Rakesh, She thought that she had found her soul mate. Never did she think that it would end so terrifyingly.

15 years back

Shruti was in the last year of graduation. She was really interested in dancing, so along with her college, she decided to follow her dream of learning salsa.

She registered her name to a well know salsa class. The receptionist informed her about having a partner was a must. But if she didn’t have one she can find one on the first day of the class.

The first day of salsa class, Shruti was a bit nervous and so were many others like her. The teacher asked students who did not have a partner to pick a chit from the bowl. The person having the same dance move printed on chit would be the partners. Everyone started picking the chits, so did Shruti.

With the chit in her hand, Shruti started searching.

A guy approached her from behind saying

Hey! Hi, I am Rakesh, I guess we get to become partners.

Shruti gave him a look and as she was about to reply when Rakesh clarified “I mean the salsa dance partner”

Shruti held her words back, checked the chits

Hi, I am Shruti… “Yes it seems that chits match”

Rakesh was from a small village and didn’t have good academics. He was searching for a job and along with that had joined the salsa class.

Rakesh and Shruti became dance partners and as days passed they started knowing each other. They started spending time together. Love started flourishing between them.

A year quickly passed by and Shruti even got placement in one of the IT firms. Rakesh also got a job in a private firm. Shruti was madly in love with Rakesh.

Rakesh was 4 years older to Shruti. His family was forcing him for married. Rakesh discussed with Shruti and they both decided to get married. They informed their parents. Shruti’s parents were against her marrying Rakesh as they didn’t belong to the same community. She tried her best to convince her parents but wasn’t successful. On the contrary, Rakesh’s family was supporting them.

Shruti was in a lot of dilemma. She was fighting a battle with herself. Finally, she decided to follow her heart. She eloped with Rakesh and both got married in Rakesh’s hometown.

Rakesh and Shruti returned to their normal life in the city. She did her office along with all the household chores, including the frequent guest arrivals and all…

Rakesh’s job was irregular. Sometimes he continued a job for several months and some times he left the job abruptly.

After marriage, she got to know that Rakesh had a dark side. He would abuse and hit her when he was in a bad mood but would apologize to her when he was normal. He made her believe that his behaviour was correct and irregular jobs made him a devil.

Shruti always thought she can fight the world, and change him. Her heart always thought it was the right decision, her mind always instructed her about the wrong. But love is blind after all…

After 4 years of ups and downs, Shruti got pregnant. Giving birth to a new life itself got a lot of enthusiasm and ray of hope.

She assumed he might change. After a week when Rakesh was having a shower, Shruti saw Rakesh’s phone ringing with an unknown number so she picked it…

“Hi janu, When will you come, I am missing you.”

“Janu why are you not speaking…….. Is your bitch wife around?”

Shruti asked in a nervous tone, hoping that it might be a wrong number. “Who is it?”

The moment she asked this, the phone line went dead, Shruti was in a shock. She did not understand what to do.

When Rakesh saw her with his mobile, he screamed at her, used abusive language. She was speechless but still tried to confront him. Initially, he declined but then after Shruti’s continues question he confessed. He promised her that he won’t do anything like it again.

She decided to give him another chance as she was having their love in her womb, she again trusted him.

Rakesh lost his job. So now Shruti was only the bread earner in the house and the person doing all the chores. He started behaving abusively.

One fine day he came up with another story

“Shruti, we are having a financial crunch I think I should go to my village and get some money from my parents. If they could help we would be better. I will stay there and search for jobs from there.”

Shruti thought that Rakesh was thinking about her and her baby, little did she know that she was expecting too much from him.

She was still blind in love for this man.

Days went by and Shruti kept on asking him when he will be back. Rakesh did not pick the call. If he answered, it was some reason for not coming back to the city. Shruti spent all her golden pregnancy months alone. Visiting the doctor, going to the office, preparing food, household chores all alone.

Many times she thought of going back to her parents but since it was her decision to marry and be with Rakesh, she had to stick to it.

The day arrived when she delivered a cute baby boy (little bun). Shruti’s parents couldn’t stay angry with her and accepted her relation. Rakesh came with his family and apologized for the time she had to spend alone. Shruti again trusted him. Believing that her heart will not be wrong.

It was the little bun’s first birthday, she was preparing for it. She was expecting guests and a birthday celebration of her new lifeline. She called Rakesh to remind him about the evening party for their cute baby. Rakesh didn’t turn up on that day as well. She was again left alone.

Shruti was angry, about Rakesh not being there. She tried calling him many times but couldn’t reach. Finally, she called one of his colleagues who informed about Rakesh being suspended.

Shruti this time could not hold it any more. The moment Rakesh was back home, Shruti confronted him. As usual, he gave a vague answer. But since this time it was about her kid, she did not leave him off-hook.

Rakesh got angry with Shruti’s questioning and slapped her. That was not enough he picked the little bun and threatened her “Stop your nonsense now, otherwise, I will throw him from the 4th floor. He is the root cause for our fight”

Shruti was shocked upon hearing this and terrified with the scene in front of her. She begged him to return her son. He threw the kid on the sofa, warning her not to tell this to anyone. After witnessing the dreadful scene, she thought for the whole day and made a decision for the first time with her mind and a heart, for her son. The moment Rakesh went out, Shruti picked the little bun and ran back to parents’ home.

As it was her kid’s life, she could no longer take Rakesh’s abuse and filed a divorce case. While the divorce was in process Shruti also got to know about all his affairs. After getting to know this she was sure she wanted a divorce from the person. This was the time she could open her eyes and see what exactly Rakesh was doing. How was he cheating on her for the whole time?

Rakesh wanted a divorce without alimony. When the counsellor asked Rakesh about the child’s custody. Rakesh reaction was I don’t know who’s is the kid. Shruti had no words and simply said. I do not want money but you or your name will not be attached to my kid.

Rakesh happily agreed to it. The divorce was over but the process and the incidence had left deep scars on her mind and soul.

The alarm of 6:00 am rang, dragging Shruti out of her thoughts. She saw her little bun and with a smile started to wake him up for school.

Reflecting back she felt relaxed that she has made the right decision. Her son was her strength and the ray of hope. Her being Strong and fighting with the odds. Shruti decided on the day of the divorce, to provide little bun with the best education and facilities…

Shruti with her scars looked at life with more determination and enthusiasm. Life is full of decisions. Some decisions being right or wrong. The life is more to live, to take responsibility for our decisions and to make the wrong once corrected at the end.

Image is a collage from the movie Helicopter Eela

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