The Real Life Story of a Woman After ‘Love Marriage’
Few years ago I was travelling on a sleeper class train from Chennai. A lady wearing purdah was sitting on the opposite seat was curiously watching me talking to my family over mobile phone. She was pale, weak and old. The deep dark circles below her saddened eyes conveyed the sufferings she was undergoing.
“Sir – you were speaking in Konkani. Are you from Goa?” she asked me in Konkani language. I thought she was a Konkani speaking Muslim.
“No – I am settled down in Cochin.”
“Are you a GSB?”She asked. (GSB=Gauda Saraswat Brahmin)
“I was also from your community. Later got converted to Islam…”
I just smiled again. Suddenly she said: “Sir – you resemble my uncle when I had met him about 30 years ago” I saw tears rolling out of her eyes. So I asked her curiously : “What happened?”
“I just remembered my parents….” she said. We talked a lot. And she told me about her life story that would pull anybody’s heart-strings.
“I was originally from Kodiyal (Mangalore). My father was a post master and mother, a school teacher. We were bhats (priests among GSBs). My parent’s dream and my aim was to become an IAS officer. They sent me to a reputed convent school for better education. There, I acquired the taste for Chicken. Though my parents were strict vegetarians, they allowed me to eat it from outside with friends…”
….While I was doing my first year PUC, I used to visit a non-vegetarian restaurant with friends where I met this boy who appeared well-settled. He would come in stylish dress and shiny bike. He was so nice, well-mannered and soft-spoken. He said he was running a food-processing chain and supplying meat for this restaurant. We fell in love.
One day I eloped with him – spoiling dreams and life of my parents. (Later I came to know that my orthodox mother committed suicide and father died of heart attack following this intolerable shock)
Since we couldn’t go for government approved registered marriage (I was 16) – we married according to Islam tradition for which I had to convert to Islam. He was 29 then. First few days went very well – I thought life was in the seventh heaven.
One day, during mid-night I went to toilet (which was outside, not attached to home) that coincided with his brother’s late arrival home. My husband accused me of trying seducing his brother. It was a great shock for me and we had heated argument. He said: “You had cheated your own parents – that show you are capable of cheating people. How do I know you won’t sleep with others?” (She was crying while explaining this)
That incident opened my eyes and I could see the real truth – he is from a family of thieves. He robs cattle and chicken. His brother was an automobile thief. Another brother specialised in stealing electronics goods.
My tough days had just begun – he would beat me every day. (I remembered – my parents would have never even bear tears in my eyes let alone hurting me). He persuaded me to sleep with few rich men. I was not allowed to talk to anyone and soon I had become a slave in Hijab and parda. I became pregnant. He started flirting with another girl and tortured me every day. One day, a good lady from my neighborhood took my case up to the local Imam – Moulavi (Muslim priest). He was a gentleman and listened to me. He called my husband to discuss about it – but, it didn’t work well and ended up in talaq (divorce). He married another girl when I was 17 and pregnant.
I was totally dejected, frustrated and depressed. I didn’t have any qualifications (not even PUC), so the kind Moulavi sent me to work in a Yateem Khana (Orphanage) where I would get just Rs 500 per month. I worked as assistant to the cook. She was a cruel lady hurting me physically and mentally. I would cry every day and night thinking of my parents’ love and care.
Her hardships and misery didn’t end there. She continued:
I delivered a girl child. There was a man in the managing trustee of the Yateem Khana. He wanted to marry me – he was 57 and I was 18. It was his fourth marriage – but I couldn’t resist, given the circumstances. I was also afraid that he would throw me out of the job, if I didn’t agree.
He was having high diabetics, so, in fact, he needed a home nurse rather than a wife to dress up his wounds. He took me home. He was kind of pervert, but gave shelter and food for me and my child.
After a couple of years a new character appeared – his first son from the second marriage. My husband was very scared of him. He had just been released from jail. He was a cruel monster, heading a quotation gang (supari killers). Whenever he comes home, he would put his hands on me. My husband knew about it and did nothing. One day he raped me. Then, forcefully continued physical relationship with me. I got a boy child. That monster got killed by a rival group.
When my husband died, I have got a small house – I did all sorts of work – house maid, servant and domestic help in neighborhoods – cleaning toilets and all to take care of my girl and boy. One day I saw in the newspaper that my ex-classmate passed IAS exam and was topper among the state candidates. I cried throughout the night – My dream and reality! Whom to blame?
To cut short the story,my daughter ended up as a prostitute after chasing a TV reality show. My son, following in his father’s footsteps, joined a quotation team during high school days itself, ended up in Juvenile Home (Youth detention center). I believe all these setbacks were the result of my parents curse.
“I am suffering extremely painful stomach cancer now…I have been to Chennai for treatment – chemotherapy” she said. She mentioned some Islamic charity organization in Chennai who provides financial-aid for cancer patients. She was just 46 then, but appeared in late 60s!
“Sir, many times I thought about suicide. But I need to suffer the results of my bad karma in this life itself. Or else my parents curse will chase me. I may have to take another birth to suffer this. I have pained my parents so much…” she again started weeping. “I am guilty of all sins. I don’t deserve to pray even for a pain-less death”
I was speechless for some time. I am not able to write down her story the way she told me – I miss the intensity of the experiencer.
I had to get down in Shornur to catch connection train to Ernakulum. Before getting down she asked: “Sir, you didn’t utter a single word after listening to my story.”
What to say? I smiled at her, blinked my eyes, and said: “Please stop eating Chicken…”
She suddenly laughed: “I stopped it long back…” she paused for a moment and said:”Sir, I am laughing for the first time after so many years! I felt like that small girl talking to my uncle.” It was heartening to see her happy face.
“Sister – You have been praying to two gods- Venkataramana and Allah. May they bless you…And your parent’s atma – if exist and if it has power to – would understand your situation and would definitely forgive you…”
“Thank you sir for being so kind to me – I am waiting to reach them soon and fall on their feet. I want to wipe their feet with my tears…” she somehow finished this sentence resisting her cry.
I told her good bye and left. It is okay to have infatuations. It is okay to mistake the sudden gush of seductive hormones and fluids in the teen-age, as love. But before jump ship, please look at the future too, many things in life are not in our hand.
Today, this gush of hormone is overpowering us, thanks to market-media and inducive chemical-filled-artificial food. Remember – Love, Sex and Marriage are three different words with different meaning, signifying three different aspects in life.
Recently a girl (a reader) sought my opinion on her marrying boy friend from a different religion. I told her this story and added: “You may marry him provided parents of both-sides agree. Do not hurt your parents. They sacrificed their whole life for you. You too can sacrifice momentary hormone gush (that you mistake for love) – not for parents, but for your own sake. In real love, there shouldn’t be any hurt or violence anywhere.”
© Uday Lal Pai. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing at firstname.lastname@example.org