The Exit Door
|   Oct 27, 2016
The Exit Door

Meera was looking at her red henna painted hands. It was the karvachauth day and since last 4 years she had been putting up this drama for her in laws, relatives and the locality people. She had no believe left in these rituals and her heart was full of pain . She actually wanted this man to die for whom she had kept this fast so that at least as a widow she will be free. Her thought process was broken when someone told her, "bhabhi, your mehandi is so dark. Your husband must be madly in love with you". She gave a faint smile. Only she knew how much her husband loved her.

She had just managed to finish her graduation and done a teaching course when she was married to Amit. As a bride she was both excited and nervous for her married life ahead but to her surprise nothing happened on the first night. In fact nothing happened in the first month. She was now worried. What was wrong? Was her husband physically OK or not, was she not up to his expectations or something else...

Out of shyness she had not discussed this with anyone but her anxiety was growing by the day. Then one night Amit came back home drunk. That night became their first night and her happiness had no bounds. All her fears had vanished and she was completely in love with him. But, destiny had a rude shock waiting for her. Even after that night she had thought that Amit will come close to her physically and emotionally but that didn't happen. He was busy in his own world of work, was always on phone, tours and whatever little time was left was given to his parents. Enough was enough and Meera couldn't take it more. One night when she cried and asked him about was was going on Amit confessed that he was forced to marry her.

A good 6months had passed of her marriage and its reality was in front of her. He further told that he was madly in love with a distant cousin of his and wanted to marry her but his parents had not agreed even  after a lot of persuasion and so he was forced to marry her. But the fact is that he is still having a relation with Kavita. She is unmarried and works in a government office and lives in a ladies hostel in a city nearby. Though Meera was stoned and angry and sad but she at least came to know the cause of her miser. Now she knew why he was always busy on phone and went for frequent tours.

Her world was shattered, trust broken and after 2-3 days of crying silently she finally gathered the courage to speak to her MIL about this. Amit was the only child of his parents and since marriage her in laws had been good to her. There was nothing to complain for but when she discussed this issue with her MIL the first response was "oh that witch is still in his life, we thought all will be OK after marriage and he will leave her", you had not been able to tackle your husband properly. See, now only you  have to make efforts to make him completely yours or else she will be there in his life forever. For society you are our DIL and we have done the job of marrying our son.

Meera couldn't believe her ears, instead of consoling her, or atleat apologizing to her for destroying her life by forcibly marrying their son to her though they were well aware of his obsession with that girl they were saying this to her. There was no remorse for destroying an innocent girls life. For days she was not able to understand what to do and then one day when she couldn't take it more she thought of leaving this house and husband forever and go to her parents. But to her hard luck she came to know of her pregnancy and now was stuck again. During this time she had a faint hope that maybe the child will bring a change in her husband and he will get a sense of responsibility but no this had not happened. 

Also even during this time she was subjected to sexual and physical abuse when she had tried calling that girl and explaining her situation and requesting to spare her marriage and family. That girl had complained about her calls to her husband and he had amply punished her.

She had told about all this to her mother and sister in law but they had asked her to adjust. Now when she was going to have a child and almost a year and a half had passed of her marriage ,what can be done. Her father was not alive and her brother with his small earnings was running the family. He had two kids, his wife and mother to look after and Meera and her kid would be an extra burden.

By now, Meera had lost trust in all relationships, her mother was helpless, brother entangled in responsibility, husband and in laws fraudsters and that she could just curse that girl who was destroying her life. She had become an irritable character and used to get annoyed easily,also was not taking proper care of herself even in pregnancy and her beautiful face had turned into a disheveled one. She was just alive from outside and couldn't kill herself and her unborn child.

The birth of her son was a reason of joy for her in laws but no change had come in her situation. Around 4 years had passed and today her husband had not turned for the breaking of her karvachauth fast. He was probably busy with the other lady, when she broke her fast and packed her belongings and left his house forever. Before going she made it a point to declared in front of all relatives and locality people as to what this family had done to her. She knew the consequences would not be good, for her in laws were always worried only about the family name but this time she had decided to bring this reality in front of everyone. 

Though her arrival was not taken very nicely by her sister in law but her mother and brother had this time come forward to understand her situation. They could not leave her alone dying with a small kid. After all she was the daughter of the house and they could at least do this much. Meera was not someone to sit idle and cry only. By this time life and people in her life had taught her to be strong like a stone. She decided to take up a job in a nearby school and earn to support herself and her kid. Her in laws had called up her family and threatened to send her back. When they had denied they had tried to scare them with bad consequences but this time as now Meera was financially independent no one was in a mood to comply. They had demanded a divorce and her infuriated husband and in laws had clearly told that she won't get it ever as a punishment to what she had done on the karvachauth day. If she has destroyed their family reputation they will make sure her lifevis destroyed forever. 

Meera's brother had discussed this with a lawyer friend and according to him it was not easy to get a divorce  and if the people are so cheap they will use money and power and other tactics. They will spend money, waste a lot of time and effort and still won't get anything as in our country the judicial system works at snail pace. There are not hundreds but thousands of such cases waiting for justice and proving his extra marital relation will be difficult. Though her in laws had tried to keep it a hush hush affair always but Meera knew that after her revealation people know about it. But, they will not help her. He also told that they may try to prove that Meera is of a bad character and they still want to accept her and she is not agreeing and will become heroes in the eyes of law. Meera knew that a legal battle won't solve the issue. These shameless people needed some other treatment.

One night when she had gone to bed, she started laughing at herself. In past 4year's her life had become a joke and now even her tears had dried up. She had taught the students in her class how to solve a maze that day and thought that wasn't her life also a maze where she wanted to find the route to the exit or like a person stuck in a building finding the exit door.

She resolved to find that exit door anyway. She would not let that man destroy her whole life making her wait for a divorce and also not her kids life. These people needed to be taught a lesson. She remembered of someone in their locality whom she had tied a rakhi for years before marriage. He was a local neta and had his ways of taking out work. He had a reputation of a goon but had helped many people  in distress. In front of law or the so called good society (none had helped her just sympathized) he may be bad but for her he was her last hope and the best person in this world. She knew that maybe she was not going to use the fairest of the means but this was the only way left to get a divorce from that man. People like them should be given the treatment they deserve and in the language they understand.Next morning she went to meet someone and this was the beginning to find the exit door for her.

There are so many Meera's in our country. It is very sad and horrifying to know of the statistics of such women who are still waiting for an exit door to such fraudulent and abusive relationships. Girls marrying NRIs  and waiting for them, girls like Meera forcibly married and many others see their dreams shattered every year. They are tortured, insulted and their self is reduced physically and emotionally to abysmal levels. I salute them that they still they fight for themselves and their children. In some cases the family supports but in other cases no support is there. They try and become financially independent, bring up their kids alone and fight legal battles throughout thier lives. 

May god give such ladies the strength and may our law system devise quicker and apt justice systems for them so that they are not firced to take wrong routes and they all find an exit door from such relationships and lead a life of freedom.



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