Else’s Beloved

It was easy calling one special.
A few words of appreciation.
Introduction.

It was easy to get through.
A naive heart.
Attachments

They all said love empowers.
How you yearn the beloved. Happy.
Distance never matters.

Did they not ask a yearning heart.
The pain, trauma.
Watching beloved associated with another.

The smiles they would share.
A life time together.
Why didn’t someone mention the pain?

The dull ache when you see beloved with someone else?
Happy. Oblivious to your pain?
Why?

 

Owned?

The fault was in destiny. The day which bore her a burden forever. Cause when everyone was speculating a baby boy, out came a girl! The most common form of heartbreak once you get married. Everyone accepted her half-heartedly. The first thoughts associated with her? “She is a burden on our shoulders. To be married off someday.”

The years following her birth were not as deadly as the first day but she was still treated as a burden, constantly being reminded of it. While her brother had permissions to do anything, it was all vice versa with her. She was hindered for doing anything and everything. And the most common aphorism to follow? “You have to live with another family someday. All this would not be tolerated there. Hence be in  your limits.” Even before being married, she was bound by the idea of marriage. Her flight delayed.

All through she was taught how to do household chores. And above all, she was taught to be doctile. How she should never argue back. How she should not look anyone in the eye. How … blah blah blah. All this while she thought maybe marriage is the end to all this torment. Maybe it is not as bad as they show. Maybe …

And atlast the day did arrive. The burden was off from her parents’ shoulders. She was being married off. And she? Naive as she always was, she was dreaming. She thought her prince charming had just saved her from an unpleasant life and hereon everythibg would be smooth. Like a fairy tale. Alas! Life is no fairy tale…

With marriage came responsibilities. And soon it dawned on her that she had no help there. She alone had to manage everything. And then you could not say no to your husband. Angels will curse you all night. She wondered why was only the wife cursed? All day she toiled hard and all she got at the end was curse and displeasure? For what did she do all this then?

Gradually she realised that though she worked as hard as her husband, she had to work at home too. He won’t move as much as a spoon. While he got to rest, all she got was more work. And displeasure of in-laws too. She wondered why only a woman was supposed to work at home? Was God biased or humans? She forgot our society believes in male chauvinism.

As some more time passed she was blessed with a baby. A baby girl. All her in-laws cursed her for bearing a girl child. Blaming her for being responsible for this tragedy. But what was her fault in it? How could she know what she bore. Yet no one thought about it. And instead of celebrations there was gloom in her house. It was another tragedy for them. But not a soul remembered what she had undergone to bring the life to this world. No one acknowledged her patience or tried to share her pain. It seemed she was unwanted. Surrounded by a whole lot of relatives and still alone.

As the birth of girl was gradually accepted, life began to be normal. But when the baby would cry, it would be her job to pacify her. Even after the baby was born, she alone had to take its care. When it would cry in night, she would be awakened to pacify it. She wondered why her husband could not have changed a diaper or fed it with milk that lay nearby?

She soon resumed her job too. Now she was handling too much together. House hold work, office, a baby, in-laws and a husband. She kept wondering why she had to be subdued and doctile. She wondered why women were doomed to this fate. Why was God partial to her gender? If her husband could rest after office why could not she? Why could she not go out and enjoy? Why could she not live?  Why were all bindations imposed on women only?

She had no answers. All she knew was that it all was unjust. Whether God was partial or the society, but she deserved much better, much more. And one such day, when she was tired of asking for her rights, she broke off. She broke all her chains that didn’t let her do her choice. She flew off away that day. Cause that day she realised life could not be what people say.  And your husband cannot be God. A wife has as much rights to rest and recreation as her husband. But still women feel chocked up, exhausted and sick.

A caged bird never sings of green fields.

A bird in a case can never love it’s owner.

 

marriageb

Married

Done with her daily chores
she sat, tired and dozed off
landing in a meadow, lush
flowers adorning; so serene.

On a cliff with a book;
and giggling on a swing;
Meeting up with a friend;
and talking endless.

Sleeping under that starry sky
jumping off that cliff
travelling to some far off place
enjoying rapids on a raft.

Working at her dream place
being respected; identified
important; cherished; by all loved
the team she dreamed of.

Coziness; luxury, some happiness
having peace and two square meals!
Relishing a moment to self …

And suddenly she jostles awake
it had all been a dream
and now, she married!

Sold?

All her life she had to seek permission from family before undertaking something or making a decision. And now she was getting married.

She asked whether she would be allowed to work after marriage too. The answer was, “That is for your husband to decide”.

All her life she is dominated by someone. For one part by her parents and family and for another by husband and in-laws. Why cannot she be treated autonomous?

In a marriage both partners hold equal responsibility. It is not fair for only one partner to take all the burden and responsibility on oneself. Then why should wife be accountable and husband free? If males can do as they wish without seeking prior permissions or even without informing, why can’t the lady?

In her mind someone screamed, “I am not sold!”.

Exodus

She visualised her exodus
she was moving farther away
leaving a childhood behind,
no more the legacy of calling home.

No longer waking to mom’s call
neither be pampered by dad often
running to win against bro
and stealing candy when sis was gone…

Who would she have fun with now?
She is expected mature
work and act emotionless
poised; balanced; letting nothing show…

But where to keep the child within?
should she lock her up somewhere
never letting her peek out
or should she put her straight to death….

She fought tears while leaving
who would love and caress her
can it be even remotely same
as to what she lived before…

He had promised it would be good
but would his family be as lovely
would they really cherish her being
and be a loving family?

Her fears told her otherwise
instead of mom would be a critic;
her moments restricted at home and out
working; cleaning; however tired

She would have no say in affairs
even if something concerned her
would she ever be consulted and asked?
Would she ever … fit in?

Would her mother not tease and taunt
question her skills and expertise
would she be insulted for mistakes
Oh! The pain of even thinking …

What if someday she has a strife
by whose side would he stand
would he look for the truth behind
or blindly agree to his family’s version?

Would he leave her alone, such
making her feel out of place
making her rethink the decision,
was marriage even worth?

She left, clutching her heart in hand
maybe she needed a stone instead
wearing a fake mask of strength on face …
and locking the bubbly child inside…!

Living Away…

It was gonna be fun. Freedom! Going away from home. Far away to study. No one shall bother when lying around lazy. Neither would anyone taunt over everyday failures or about something that happened two years earlier. Ah! that feeling. Maybe the best to say the least.

Shopping, packing, and a tearful adieu! And then? Hostel and books. Freedom! And it was fun. New people, new place and lots to explore. Super excited. Days passed by in that initial high of being far away. Everything was gleeful, pretty. Different culture, different ways. Exploration. Adrenaline high.

And gradually, the high started disappearing. Excitement had put a blanket over flaws. Now they started peeping their heads out like one, two …! Thoughts started filling up the mind. Comparisons. Can someone really replace family? Can your freedom be worth the cost paid? Was this actually freedom? Sigh. Fooled into a mirage. What seemed an open sea was in reality a small pond filled of rain water. Some heat and everything vaporized.

Homesickness. Initial visits to home were desperate. As if trying to escape some nightmare. And the urge to not join the college back. And those tearful eyes of one’s mother silently asking not to leave. Those calls from niece asking the reason for being late. Being told that the one year old’s are crying out your name to seek you. It seems good to know that your absence is being felt but it also kills you to know what all you are missing out. Is missing out all the family fun worth the freedom?

Living away from home, kitchen gets replaced by hostel mess. And all the curses are dedicated to it, criticizing as if it were the worst food available on the whole planet! King sized beds get replaced by a small single bed. And many times you even share the room. Back home? “Don’t enter. Private territory!” Many things change, many myths bust. Living with friends seemed to be fun in thoughts but in reality, issues creep up even with the best of them. Groups emerge and some hate you for no fault of yours, and go on spreading false rumors.

“Get used to and survive”, that’s the only way out. Surviving the day seems to be the ultimate goal. And if it is summer and you live in planes, only God can protect you. The heat, scotching heat is beyond people’s patience and endurance. Most in-campus hostels do not provide AC’s or provide them at high fees and they won’t work during college timings even if you stayed back. Welcome to a living hell. Back home, either the temperatures would not soar so high, or the infrastructure would ensure you peace of mind.

Purpose of hostel: Study. Results: Being lazy. No, hostels do not ensure a student’s study. They are better equipped to ruin students than to create good ones. More often than not, join a party and celebrate. Some days it’s a birthday; on others, anniversary. Many times there are no reasons. Just to fill that emptiness. And studies? Well what is the night before exam for!

Going places, cooking in hostel room and loud music. Which hostel is spared of this noise. What what is cooked? Maggi! Nothing else fills up your tummy that fast. And no one knows how to cook anything else either. Other times, time is killed in photo sessions. Get dressed and Click. Like it were the only job left to do in the whole world. As if all other things had been achieved. Like a bird set free…

Life usually gets out of gear except for highly disciplined people. Sleeping at 6 in morning and missing out classes is just the norm. But then, one month before exams the student population surprisingly rises to full so that people do not get debarred due to attendance woes. A dreaded result.

Living away from home for some four to six years; visiting them for a month in a year. Many times the time period would extend due to the urge to earn a Masters’ or for a job. Vising home less often; many times not. Is this not something so similar to getting married? The day you leave for hostel equivalent to your valedictory ceremony! For parents, even more difficult than that. Getting married takes you to a new household only. And studies? To far off beyond places beyond one’s daily reach. Choose to study out of the station and suddenly everything good is left behind. Sometimes even life is left behind.

However happy you are, a corner of your heart would long for home. Something inside always remains empty. Something… Dad’s pat on back can’t be replaced by a friend’s kind words. Neither can mom’s kisses be replaced by group cuddles. Some things mean so special that even the best of luxuries can’t replace them.