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If she told her family about her marital issues they would create problems. But if she told no-one, she would succumb to the suffering.
The world has always been a beautiful place, filled with evil that humans spread. And the story I am about to tell you is about one such evil.
There was a lot of rush at the Malhotra house. A family was coming to see their daughter Sneha for her wedding. Sneha was a well-educated working woman who had finally agreed to her parent’s wishes of getting her married.
The two families met, liked each other and finalised the wedding. Soon, Sneha went to the new house as their daughter-in-law. The first few days of Sneha’s married life were fine. However, a few weeks later, she started noticing some changes.
Her married sisters-in-law stayed at their maternal house and did none of the chores at home and neither did her mother-in-law. All the work was left for the new bride to take care of.
Sneha had to do all the household chores and finish her office work as well. When her first salary after her marriage came in, her mother-in-law took away her debit card. And after that whenever Sneha needed to buy something, she would have to seek permission from them, even though it was her own money! Meanwhile, her husband was a spineless jerk who never said a word against his mother.
Soon after, there came another big shock – her MIL and FIL were separated and had lied to her parents about being together! Her MIL later told her that they had to lie about it or risk being rejected by good families for their son. Though Sneha’s husband was a good guy, he had been raised into a worthless son by his mother. She thought this was probably the reason her FIL left her MIL.
Each passing day, new secrets kept coming up – her SILs were also separated from their husbands. Apparently, her MIL had intervened too much in their lives too and kept them with her. Sneha, now, feared for her marriage. Every day, she was scared that her marriage would also end in a separation.
Her MIL would call her son to her room every day and ask him to stay with her all day long. He was only allowed to be with Sneha at night and that too, for a few hours.
Sneha didn’t know what to do now. If she told her family, they would create a major problem. At the same time, if she didn’t tell anyone, she would succumb to the suffering.
Five years later. Now Sneha was pregnant and she was still expected to do all the chores. She couldn’t leave her job but she had cancelled her debit card and got a new one where she saved money for her baby.
Her MIL had already sucked her son and husband dry and was now eyeing Sneha’s salary. However, with the pregnancy and its complications, Sneha had to spend a decent amount of money on her medical expenses.
By now, her parents had an idea of what had been going on. So one day, she called them and asked them to take her away. Her husband said nothing during this time, he simply stuck by his family.
A few months later she gave birth to a baby girl. Neither her husband nor his family came to visit the baby. Sneha shed a few tears wondering if this were the same thing her daughter would have to go through. However, one day she realised that her mother-in-law was successful in her mission – Sneha and her husband were now separated.
As soon as Sneha was out of the hospital, her parents filed for a divorce and dragged her husband and his family to court. However, since the Indian legal system didn’t really have too many laws about mental torture, the family was let go. They were, now, free to ruin another girl’s life while Sneha raised her daughter all on her own.
This story may seem like fiction however, it is the reality and far too many stories have ended in worse scenarios. Women have suffered from a number of mental health issues and some even have tried to kill themselves.
The girl’s family shed a few tears for a while before moving on with their lives. Meanwhile, the guy and his family move on and look for another woman to torture. If there are any children, they either end up in orphanages or are raised in terrible conditions in their own houses.
Who is to be blamed in this situation – the girl for not fighting back? Or the guy for letting it happen and maybe in taking part in it? Is physical torture only painful? Wouldn’t mental and emotional torture leave a mark on people’s lives?
Picture credits: Still from Netflix film Lipstick Under My Burkha
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
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