In this era where we’re breaking stereotypes, women working have created quite hype. You’re mistaken if you still think that women belong at home washing dirty laundry and cleaning window panes. They now occupy offices with polished tables and leather chairs.
Since the past 15 minutes, I have been applying turmeric paste on the palm of my left hand but the pain just doesn’t seem to go away. I thought maybe writing might distract me. This is the only place where I find complete solace. The pages have almost run out. I will have to buy a new one soon. I kept the chapatti on the tawah and went to check on Aman to see why he was crying. I gave him his milk bottle and put him back in the cot. Then I rushed to the kitchen and served the hot chapatti to Ajay who had come home early and was starving. He took it without even looking at me and quietly ate in silence with him being mentally present elsewhere. I was cleaning the kitchen and putting all the leftovers in the fridge when all of a sudden I heard Ajay throw his plate on the floor. He hurried to the kitchen and captured me in a corner next to the stove. With raging anger in his eyes he asked me as to why I served him a burnt chapatti. I told him that I might have not paid attention as I had to look after Aman also as he was in a fit. Ajay just took my hand and put it straight on the tawah facing down. I screamed for him to let go but he didn’t. He didn’t until tears started rolling down my eyes. I wonder what pleasure he gets by hurting me.
Today when I got up, I couldn’t find Ajay on the bed beside me. I thought that he might have left early for office so I decided to call him. As soon as he picked up the phone he yelled at me that hearing my voice in the morning itself would make his day go miserable and that he didn’t want me to disturb him even once now or I would have to face consequences. I failed to understand why he disliked me so much when we were to spend a lifetime together beside each other at all times. I decided to go for a bath and while I was getting ready, I opened my drawer but couldn’t find my Mangalsutra. I searched each and every bend of the house, even enquired the maid but still no success. I was distraught. I didn’t know how in the world I could be so careless and more importantly, I was dreading about what Ajay would say or do once he finds out. So as soon as he came home, I gave him water and then made him a cup of tea. I sat on the sofa diagonal to him and with my eyes closed and hands fidgeting, I told him that I had misplaced such a pure asset. I knew I was about to be on the receiving end of something very nasty. But all he replied with was a “Hmm. I know. I had taken it.” I was overwhelmed to hear this and told him that hearing this was such a relief and told him to hand it over to me now but he said that he wouldn’t give it back to me. I told him that it was mine and that he HAS to give it to me. But he blurted out in a rash voice that it was he who had given it to me and it was his RIGHT to take it away as he wishes. I could see his eyes turn red and I knew there was no point arguing so I went to my room and silently slept next to Aman.
There is a limit to which one can bear all the ugly words that people vomit. But there is a fine line between compromising with ones ego and self respect. Today, Ajay has stepped out of that boundary. I was heartbroken to be aware of the fact that Ajay had sold my Mangalsutra to a dealer and was spending all of that money on getting wasted. He comes home and tosses things here and there making a mess. In fact, it’s been ages since he last told me that he loves me. Well, maybe the reason is simply because he doesn’t. I was fuming and questioned him as to how he could do all this when he knows that his life is not only his. Two other lives also wholly depend on him. That is when he said the words that still echo in my head. “That is the problem. You are dependent on me. You are a good for nothing woman and a failure. You don’t even add one penny to the house. All you do is sit at home all day. Go clean dirty laundry and dishes because that’s your place. That is where you belong.”
That day Anamika realised that a woman’s best protection is not her husband but her own money. She wanted to leave Ajay but she was scared. Scared what the society would say. Scared what effect this would have on their child. She knew that if she had to raise her child and maintain a good standard of living then she would have to find a source of income soon. When women can step on land which we haven’t even seen, finding a decent job and meeting work targets is no big deal for them. She wouldn’t just let her journalism degree go to waste. Having worked in a publishing house as an intern, she had previous experience for content writing and hence started a blog. From fear of Ajay, she never invited any of her friends home nor did she attend any parties. The only friend who she was in touch with was Vandana, who she had interned with. Vandana had been calling Anamika as she had just become a mother and thought that Anamika could be of great help was she was experienced. Anamika thought about what to write. She wanted something original. She didn’t want to write about love and jealousy just like other writers did. Then all of a sudden it hit her.
She knew that writing about something that people could connect with would be of major significance and hence started writing.
She called up Vandana and showed her the blog. Vandana was astonished to see such an unprecedented idea and unusual content. She asked Anamika if she had written any more. Anamika replied with a yes and said that she had been in fact writing since the past one year. Vandana told her to give her a copy of all that she has written. Anamika at first didn’t know what was going in her mind but eventually she took print outs of whatever she had typed. It had been one week and Anamika still hadn’t heard from Vandana. She had even closed down the idea of her blog as she was too busy with Aman. In the evening, a bell rang and a courier boy came wearing a blue cap with a parcel in his hand that seemed like it had something paper like or cardboard like in it. Anamika opened it and read the title of the book, “The Failed Marriage”. The contents were none other than her diary entries. Along with that was a small white envelope which contained a cheque of Rs.25000. She was so delighted. When her husband got to know about this, he told her how dare she do something so outrageous and that she wanted to hurt his ego and show people that SHE was the one earning and that her husband was just a donkey. Anamika was now independent and she didn’t feel the clutches of society binding her anymore and so she got a divorce. She then did her chapter readings at libraries and events. A fantastic review of her book even came in the newspaper which hyped the sales. Many a times she was faced with questions asking her if this was her own story, if she was a victim of all this. But she gave an intelligent and witty reply saying that who understands a woman better than another woman herself and that the story that she conveyed was not only one woman’s but many others like her. She is now a single mother who lives with her son in a calm, peaceful house in the hills. Being a woman doesn’t mean that it’s your duty to hold a wooden spatula in your hand.
Be bold enough to hold a pen or a calculator instead as we are all liberal. Dream big and let your passion shine.