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Sloth, gluttony, pride, lust, wrath, gluttony and envy are the seven deadly sins as we all know. But did you know marriage also had the seven deadly sins?
Trigger warning: This post contains details of domestic violence and abuse which maybe triggering for survivors.
You were angry when I met Mintu in the town supermarket that day, as I shared a laugh or two with him, my forehead bare of your vermillion. I knew you were angry when your knuckles turned as you grabbed my arm and left red pattens all over its frame. You were angry when you said I was ‘a skimpy mongrel’ and a ‘futile device of seduction.’
But maa said, “Beta accept your faults and all will be well.” So, I grovelled at your feet, even as my cheeks were marked with wounds and blood and tears. And your finger prints tattooing my face, the same face that felt so soft after the haldi, one day before our ‘promising’ marriage.
Maasi says I’d be burning all my bridges if I question your methods. She says it’s unladylike to ask too many questions.
But, remember when you said you’ll never leave my side, when I was sad about living my village to shift over to the town? Then why are my days lonely and the nights lonelier without you beside me?
I’d never ask you any of these questions. Mostly because maasi says all those covetous glances that you sneak at her are my hallucinations and my imagination going haywire.
My friends in the village used to mock and coo when you’d pull me away from all of my male friends. They all made me believe it was a gesture of love and endearment.
I wish didi had told me, that the word ‘love’ was a travesty and that it was nothing but a sick, sick compulsion. But even she stayed quiet and led me to sleep each night, saying, “Love requires sacrifices.” And that meant sacrificing my friendships for your sake.
You feed on your daily bread as much as you feed on my body, my soul, and my dignity. Some times, you feed on my love so much, maybe I have none left for me. I also do wish, if I could drink away all my pain like you drank your evening alcohol.
There are nights when my body tries to pick up its missing pieces but you want it to obey you, even when it’s obeyed you enough.
When you hands touch my skin, I close my eyes and ball my hands into fists, because no one told me that my consent too, matters.
And then, there are days when I sit along your vintage cassettes in the living room in Canterbury where you show me off to your friends. I didn’t know I had the same importance as your high school trophies, the ones you dust only once, in months.
Now, as I sit idly in this ever furnished house, my skin turns porcelain and my existence feels like a hex. Maybe because maa said, ‘Jo uska hai, voh tumhara hai‘ (What is his is also yours) I have to pay the price of the seven deadly sins!
Picture credits: Still from movie Provoked
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