The old tired eyes were finally filled with happiness at the sight of her only grandson. She was getting to embrace and love him after almost a year of his birth. She had yearn for the day since he was born and her smiles were flashing more than lightening. Yet there was one thing she wanted to say to that silent boy. One thing that she didn’t liked in his genes. One thing that she forever fought in the fifty years of marriage. Silently she wanted to tell him just don’t be like your father and grandfather when it comes to treatment of women. She knew the men in this house were overprotected and over-pampered and she was to blame for it in a way and yet there was somethings in them she can never change.
She was reminiscing the years passed in this house since she came from a pampered fairy tale childhood. The only reason she stayed initially was maybe the absence of her father in her life and the wish to make it work. And then she saw the coming of her son which gave her the reason to stick around even when her family couldn’t see her suffering. She preferred suffering all her life rather than spoiling the life of the new man in her life and smilingly accepted her fate. Her husband was a educated, foreign returned individual with a well respected job even though he came from a poor family. She was the most beautiful and pampered daughter of a landlord who was a known politician of his time. She was considered the most sensitive child and was a daddy’s girl but then fate had a twist and the stressful life took his father away from her. She couldn’t accept this fact but then life moves on. And it did.
He belonged to a very poor family yet he had a stable job and the cupid strike him when he saw her. He knew her brother and pursued it for half a year even if all her family was against it. She was very young and just finished with her graduation They were also decade apart in their ages yet he wanted just her. He promised to look after her studies as he planned to settle abroad and convinced of a happy life and that was all that it took to have a new life with one he loved. And marriage happened and like always the man changed.
From a loving man to an angry young man emerged. He started hating the very brother who convinced her family to marry. He forced the ending of all relations with her mother, brother and hated all her family. The inferiority complex combined with possessiveness got hold of her. He was not a abuser but yet emotionally he killed her. Her mom cried and cried for years till one day she arrived at her doorstep asking her to divorce a man who is not keeping her happy. He got scared and knelt down. She was a mother by then and stood by her decision for the little boy she had born. She was never to remarry and single life would have not given a good future to her kid and so she stayed by convincing her mother he kept her happy. The anger, the fight, the possessiveness increased day by day and the marriage went downhill. Worse was his family who hated her as they felt she took their son away from them even though she always tried to bring them closer. The mother -in -law was a great lady but too influenced by poisons of her sister -in -law. So the son grew up hating them all and trying to take care of her mother at cost of fighting with the father. He was the reason that she started seeing her mother again after not meeting her for five years.
Years went by, her son was her pride and her daughter her princess. Yet, the children grew up seeing the fights and a deep unlikeliness for their father. Her son grew up to be the one who respected woman for the struggles her mom took for him. He pampered her sister for all he missed. He hated his father for his flirtatious outings and those angers and he hated him most for not letting her mother make a career for he was in need of a housewife. The abroad plans never worked as he never wanted it to , she was stuck with his ways, his anger, her extra protective nature and loads of tears. She saw a marriage of compromise where love was taboo. He never worked more than he required for he felt he worked for himself not to fulfill demands of his wife or child. She was stuck to a man who never wanted children and yet was force to have them as they happened, a man who cut contacts with her biological family, who let her ambitions go to waste and made her friend less. In she short, she spent years with a man who made her lonely. Except for her children there was no reason why she lived for he gave her diseases of unhappiness.
Then the son grew up who never got along with his dad and yet was his image in many ways. He loved and respected his mom and sister beyond words. He couldn’t live without girls in his life and yet never wanted to give relation a name or respect. He was a player in his own ways like his dad. All this scared her a lot. He struggled , he digressed but then ultimately made his life. He spent a decade with the woman he loved but he couldn’t live a life with her. And then he fell for another.
She was educated, beautiful and belonged to a well off family and she was born in a country which prides itself as the superpower. He was a migrant in her country and yet in a decade managed to get a permanent job, a beautiful house and the right to be a legal citizen. Yet, they were decades apart when it comes to age. Yet , he pursued her. And ultimately she conceded for their ambitions matched. She fell head over heels in love and married the most perfect guy.
Perfect he was until the genes worked their magic. He fought with his parents over stupid issues and asked her to cut all contacts with her, even her little sister. When she resisted, his anger showed and flared and she accepted. She cried in close doors and scarily contacted her sister once a while but that’s it. He hated her childhood friends too and she removed all from her life for she loved her. Then she got pregnant and as she loved children it was the perfect blessing. But when it comes to sharing news, her husband went stubborn. She was forced to cut ties with her little sister as well. She was all alone when she needed all. He was more hypocrite than her mother could imagine and didn’t bring his mother to his home for fear of diseases to his new born and she couldn’t have her mother along too. Plea of her mother to get her mother didn’t work too. She suffered the longest and the scariest delivery but then seeing her son in front of her was worth it.
Today her sister and parents cry for they don’t know if she has born a son/ daughter nor have they seen their grandson nor have they the right to know his name. And here she is all alone too for her husband doesn’t even let him have private talks with his mother/sister to form a close bond for he lives a scared of unknown life like his father. He is one anxious being who freaks out at small things making his wife suffer more. His sister understands but she has suffered enough for the wrong decisions by her father and brother.
The mother looks at her daughter-in-law and sees the tears behind the veils of silence and happiness. She is saddened the son learnt nothing even in her suffering. She is more saddened that all he learnt was to run after money and not peace and happiness.
She tells her daughter one thing, ” the women in the house suffer for the faults of the men” and yet she wishes her daughter- in- law doesn’t suffer like she did. She says to herself, her son saw her spent the whole life in tear and yet her son is going to do the same. For she is going to let the marriage work in tears for smiles of him. She sees the daughter- in -law’s fate as a sliver of her life. She still says silently to herself, ” We had one thing in common– the circle of destiny”.
As she bides goodbye to their son’s family going back to their home, she says a silent prayer that the son realizes the wrong someday and returns the smiles to his wife.
The daughter of hers who is a educated, strong willed woman stands in a corner and remember the words his brother said months after the marriage, “All marriages are just compromises”, and she wonder what can make him see her eternal love. And then she remember the words of her mother, “Even thousand women can not make men in my house happy, they will treat them all the same way.”
And then she wonders, If I get a men like them will then they understand seeing me suffer ?
And her mother silences the thought saying, “Shhh…women have suffered enough, you are the change”
She prays that maybe her sister -in- law career uprising someday changes her fate and he let her be a working women and if that doesn’t happen, she will make sure she works someday. She finally decide to take a step to change it soon and yet wonders will the women in front of her spend her life for the man in her lap like her mother?
A silent email resides in the inbox from the little sister of her brother’s wife to his sister. It ask questions that has shaken her. The little girl is failing all attempts to reunite the family and she has lost her sister. She just wants to know what is her fault to make her brother ignore her since he married her sister when he pampered her before that. Doesn’t she has right to see her nephew/ niece or pamper her? It makes her see what is going wrong down generations. It’s upto her to address the issue or ignore it. Talking to her sister- in -law is impossible as her possessive brother screens all emails and talks and waiting for her to come means a year of letting her suffer. Addressing the issue might mean becoming evil in front of the brother and losing him in a way and also getting stern looks from her dad who support his son’s behavior.
Her mom knows it and prefers the issue to be ignored at the moment but how can she let the next generation suffer and yet she can’t ignore the consequences as she is yet a dependent family member and waiting for independence will be make her be party to injustice. She has no answers as she prefer telling her sister- in -law first before asking her brother more and addressing the issue to the root and there is no way. How does she make all fine and make her brother sees sense and make the new female member have the happiness is something for which she has no answers. What will she do or not do is something only time will tell, alas.
Two women, two lives
Yet a common fate
Linked by destiny
As they pass across.
One saw no happiness
Just struggled to live
Another happy in a way
Yet silent tears rolled
Goodbyes to the parents
They saw as temporary
Yet the men they loved
Made it all permanent.
They loved and cared
Like it was only meaning
Yet he was forever lost
In loving just himself.
Old saw the young
Seeing repetitive fate
She wanted to embrace
And talk it all.
The possessive scared men
Created a divide forever
Alone bonding never happened
And both suffered separately.
The lone happy woman here
Wondered what she can change
She used to hate the new girl
For she snatched the brother.
Yet when her eyes open
She cries a miles of tear
She couldn’t wipe her hurts
But decided to find way someday.
Activism was in her blood
And life around sickened her
She decided to bring senses to men
Who destroyed life of many females.
(Syllable count- 223)
P.S. This is a pure work of fiction and has nothing to do with my life. I drew inspiration for this piece through lives of certain people I encountered and decided to pen it to raise awareness about a type of domestic violence no one really sees. It is not physical in nature but is equally tormenting, I choose to call it emotional abuse. I hope reading this piece make some people realize that such kind of abuses which restrict the individuality of humans and make them live in hell is nothing less than a crime itself.