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“Calm down. I’ll handle it.” She took Sita to the other room and closed the door. She thought her mom got her. To her surprise, her mom slapped her. Hard.
Sita sat at the window, watching the heavy rains. Just like these dark clouds, she too, wanted to pour her heart out. The wound in her heart was painful.
She had been forced to enter to an arranged marriage with Raj, and had already accepted that she wouldn’t be getting any love. All for the sake of her family and the society, she was in this dungeon.
‘You are getting older,’ the said. ‘No one will marry you now,’ they told her. And because of her, it would be difficult to find a prospective groom for her sister.
Raj used her as a sexual object. Her in-laws used her as a maid.
Now, with two kids, she doesn’t feel that Raj is even a part of her life. How would that matter, anyway! He was already having an affair with another woman. Yes, he had been cheating on her for years.
Sita just couldn’t take the emotional torture anymore. She called up her sister, Divya to share her agony. And she expressed her desire to divorce Raj.
Divya was horrified at the thought. “Divorce! Are you out of your mind! Do you know what the society will say about you? And have you forgotten about Maa and Paa! They will have to face so much humiliation!”
Sita was completely shattered now. There was no one to lean on to, no one to support her. Maybe talking to her parents would help, she thought.
Since her parents lived nearby, the very next day, after dropping her kids off to school, she paid her parents a visit.
Before hugging her or greeting her, her mother asked her, “Have you told Raj that you’re here? What will he think? You should not come like this. Your home is where Raj is!”
“Relax, mom. This has been my home since birth.”
Her dad joined in the conversation. “After marriage, things change. You were our responsibility. Now you belong to your husband.”
Sita was devastated. The emotional trauma she had faced for years was already taking a toll on her.
“Won’t you let me in?” she asked them.
Her mom, “Come in beta.”
Sita sat down and said, “Mom, Dad I need your support.”
Her parents looked at each other and knew what was coming up.
“I have told you all before about Raj’s affair. This marriage isn’t for me. I can’t live in it anymore. Please. I need a divorce.”
They were furious. Panting for breath, her dad said, “This girl will kill me. She just wants me to die of a heart attack. Is this why we got her married!”
Trying to console him, her mom told him, “Calm down. I’ll handle it.”
She took Sita to the other room and closed the door. Sita thought at least her mom understood her. To her surprise, her mom slapped her. Hard.
“Do you even know what you’re saying? Is this a child’s play? Have you ever thought about how much your children will suffer if their parents live apart? I got married young and have always worshipped your father, no matter what. It keeps the family happy. You don’t even earn. How will you feed your kids?”
Sita was angry too. “Raj thinks it’s child’s play. Not me. My kids will suffer watching me suffer. I could have earned too. Maybe even more than Raj, but you got me married so soon. I couldn’t even complete my studies.”
Ignoring what Sita had said, her mother continued, “Your husband has an affair. So you should be ashamed of yourself. You couldn’t keep him happy which is why he is with another woman. Look at yourself in the mirror. You look so pale and un-groomed. No wonder he is attracted to someone else. Work on yourself to win him back. And just keep your mouth shut. A woman looks good when she listens.”
Sita’s eyes were now teary. She couldn’t say a word. How easily her own mother proved her as the wrong one.
Her mom continued, “Divorce is so expensive. You don’t even have a penny. He will marry that woman and society will laugh at us. Our grandkids will also be snatched away due to financial status.”
Sita wiped her tears. She went out of the room.
Her dad was there, “Sorry dad. I won’t trouble you all again.”
Sita went back to the dungeon. She suffered for her children, for her family and the society.
Nothing mattered anymore, she had already died within.
Author’s note: There are still so many Sitas in our country. Some are able to teach the main culprit a lesson. But others choose to live in the so-called sacred marriage, dying each day, being used sexually and traumatised physically and mentally.
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
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