Monday, June 7, 2010

Life with no meaning

Monday mornings always welcomed her with heaps of work. Suman was working in a bank.As she had busy schedules during the week days, she could be with her son only at weekends. 

Sanjay, her son had just finished his engineering and Sangeetha, her daughter was living at Amsterdam with her husband. Today Suman had to rush as sanjay had to attend an interview. It was his ninth interview. The boy had  already started losing his confidence. But she always made it clear to him that it was all just  part of the game. Whether he wins or lose, he had to play his part. It had become more and more straining to keep the boy always on the brighter side. 

Ma and Pa deserted us after that incident and we are left with none to confide. It was not their fault. They  had their own share of pangs. The whistling of milk cooker  awoke her from her reverie.

" Mom...I can't find my file..."
" It's there in the cupboard, Sanju"
" Mama, why don't you come and find it "...Sanju screamed at the top of his voice.

" Anandam....Anandam... Suman called aloud.

Anandam was her housemaid.Clothes that needed washing mounted before the washing machine. Floor needed a thorough cleansing. Breakfast was not yet ready. She called Anandam but with no response. 

Suman  rushed to the servant's quarters that was built adjacent to their house. Anandam was no where to be seen. Suman banged the door heavily. The door was opened after much reluctance and  he came out with an unbuttoned shirt and a sweaty face.

Suman turned herself away from him with a disgusted look. When he moved away from her, she peeped into Anandam's room and said " Come to the kitchen, you can entertain him later".

She started thinking about the man who had just come out from her servant's room- Her husband.

She was married at the age of 20.The first six months of her marriage offered nothing, but sleepless nights. He wanted her nights and not her days. As each night prolonged, her woes too multiplied. There were many times she could not withstand his torture. Fortunate or unfortunate , it lasted just for six months as he had sought asylum somewhere.

The onslaught of shocks and disbeliefs thus opened new chapters in her life.

Sanju was panting heavily as he was about to leave. He had this trouble right from his first interview and lost each one due to it. The boy always stood in the extremes. If he was uncontrollable for a few days, he would be an utter stoic for the rest of the days. We had been to several counseling centres, but could not bring about much change. Suman did her best to cheer him up and somehow made him attend the interview.

As she was about to leave, her mobile rang. It was Sangeetha, her daughter.

"" Sangeetha yelled from the other end.

The panic in Sangeetha's voice gave her sign of alarm.

" What's up, baby" Suman asked maintaining her control.
"Mom...I am fed up...I am coming back" With this remark, the phone went silent.

Tears welled up in her eyes. The last solace was also broken-the lives of her children. She struggled hard to stop her sobbing. This was what life had to offer her- a world full of panics, shudders, disbeliefs.

When her parents found out  this long hidden secret, they wanted Suman to leave her husband . But she could not. She had her own reasons for it. She was working far away from home. The label that she was somebody's wife made her secure. But her parents could not bear any longer, when their son -in- law broke all inhibitions before them.

Suman tried several times to change her daughter's mind. But all her efforts were for naught. Her grief knew no bounds, when she saw her daughter. Her daughter once a full blossom withered beyond recognition.

" Sangu...Suman called her daughter with a heavy heart.

"'s too hot there"...Sangeetha answered with a smile. " Mom...I could work here and be with you...

Suman realized with an utter shudder that she was loosing her daughter too.She hugged her daughter with tears in her eyes, that had already blurred her vision.

The next morning Suman was awaken by a loud scream.  She rushed to the servant's quarters.  Suman kept on bashing the door, until the door opened. Chithra, their new servant rushed to her  and sought shelter behind her. Suman walked away with the girl for she knew who would be inside.But she could not meet her children's shuddered gazes. It was devastating. Suman was well aware of the destructions, it could sow. She knew what she should do.

That was the day she took the decision she was dreaded to take long ago. She signed those papers with an utter satisfaction. She broke those chains that had shackled her for the past twenty five years without any regret and a heavy heart. She was complacent.

Suman hugged her children with a contended heart. " Mom...eventually you liberated your life, though you took it long.  We are really happy for you. But...what about us, Mamma?...You could have saved us from this humiliation before. But you waited...we have already lost our life, mamma...your own security as a wife destroyed our life mamma...

Suman sat still. She could not believe her ears.  Each word Sanjay said was reverberating in her ears.She was responsible for their lives,but she derailed it. She plucked her own blossoms . Her children's life lay shattered before her .Her life... It lost its meaning...she cried and cried, until her  own tears sank her to the bottom.


Marriage or Divorce ?

There was a time when divorce was considered obnoxious. Today, it had gained momentum incredibly and has become the order of the day.The survival rate of marriage has diminished to a large scale. Single moms' numbers were on the rise. Long and short, divorce had turned into a phenomenon ready to devour each and everyone who came on its way. 

Let me tell you at the very outset, that I am not here to blow the trumpet of marriage.Here I give you some instances that I came across in my life which left me wondering at the decisions the characters involved in it should have taken at the right time about  t o  bring vast change in their life.

I have never delved into this matter as I was not contemplating on it before. But as I mentioned earlier, the people I come across in my daily life has compelled me look into it seriously.

Some faces keeps on recurring in our mind for no reason. The mystery unravels by itself when the same  comes in front of you in flesh and blood. She was one among such faces. I met her when she came to give us a guest lecture. I was studying journalism then.

She impressed us all of us in a trice.She was married and was blessed with a kid. Her career was at its zenith. She was adamant in pursuing her passions too - dance and music. I was in awe for her as it was the same I wanted to do all in my life. 

As I was swinging high in admiration for her one of my colleague who always had a knack of poking nose into other's affairs suddenly broke the chord of equilibrium that was prevailing with a question. “ Your husband's role in your life and career”

“ I am a divorcee”, there came her prompt reply. “ Some ask me this question delberately, and some with knowledge. One lie has to be covered with many more lies. So I never hesitated to come up with the reality.” She was not tentative in answering it. My respect for her knew no bounds.

It was not the very first time I came into close contact with a divorcee. My friend with whom I have spent my school days became a divorcee at the age of 19. Her marriage could not thrive beyond one month. Since my age was not too ripe to look into it , I kept myself aloof from the reasons that has forced her to do so.

The colour and texture of woman has changed a lot. They have become independent both financially and emotionally. Is this financial and emotional independence that are making woman takes a decision with a firm mind that was dreaded to take decades ago or else is it the men folk finding it difficult to acknowledge a woman with her own identity.These could be some reasons, but not the whole.

I remember my own experience. My uncle lives in a joint family. Aunt has to take care of everything. Their house was too big and there was none to help her in her household duties except my grandmother who was almost 80.Once I saw my aunt crying and I asked the reason. She said she was finding it very difficult to look after everything without a domestic aid. I realized her woes as i started cleaning the house. It was too big and the work was too strenuous as I took the whole day to complete it. I went to my uncle and sought a domestic aid for my aunt. His reply really shocked me. He said “ I provide her with everything. Hence, it is her duty to keep mum and do all these without any complaints”.

She never dared to talk about it to her husband and chided me for taking her side. I could very well say that she was considered just as an object that could be turned and twisted to her husband's pleasure. Despite it, she chose silence. She never headed for a divorce. Why?.I don't know.

I met Janaky aunty very recently. She was my another aunt's friend. Janaky aunty was an officer in a reputed bank and was from a well to do family. Her sister was an IAS officer and two brothers held high posts in other organizations. Her daughter was married and her son finished his engineering. She looked rather bold in her demeanor, but not too bold in her life.Her husband maintained illicit affairs right left and center and she dare not raise a finger.Her parents asked her to end the relation, when they found out that their son-in-law engaging himself in his pleasures right infront of them. She did not heed to it, which made her parents drift away from her.

She had her own reasons for it. She was working far away from her home and the label that she was the wife of somebody gave her all the protection she needed.Was it true?But her children failed drastically as they saw their father's indulgence in his pleasures in front of them when their mother was away. Her daughter's family life failed miserably as the girl found it very difficult to go on with a wife's duty. Her children's life lay shattered in front of her like a broken glass. Still, she did not dare to divorce her husband. Why?. I don't know.

I really do not understand what she gained by keeping mum. She could preserve her security, but what about their life, a life derailed by her own security.

I was just wondering about the decisions they did not take, that could have brought a vast change in their life.

I really do not have any tailor made answers for any of these questions. These are my apprehensions and you could help me with your valuable suggestions.