Friday, June 24, 2016

How much will she tolerate?

“I put my paper today….Moudi!”, saying that Shalini broke down totally. The water flow was gradually increasing from eyes….Her sob was becoming louder and louder…. Thank God! We were in the corner meeting room. She was becoming uncontrollable….

I tried my best to console her….made her sit in a chair, gave the bundle of tissue papers….I didn’t have courage to leave her alone for a minute even to bring the water bottle for her. 

“I just could not manage anymore,… was becoming unbearable Moudi…..It’s been more than six years now…” She was still weeping….

“Did you go to psychologist….?” I asked her to visit a psychologist, last month…just before going for my vacation.

“No….I could not take him along…..”

I had to sigh…such a simple, innocent lady Shalini is….how lovely mother too and such an obedient, pati-vrata wife of someone, who probably never can harm anybody……I really doubt if someone can ever think that Shalini can put her paper this way!

It’s been more than five years, we have been working together……Though we work in different departments, almost everyday we meet for evening tea in the canteen and share our happenings, happiness and sorrow. What I can recall, just from her marriage only, her married life has not been going great guns.….

Shalini’s Mother-in-Law explained and infact, assigned the household work just from the next day of her entry into the new house. She described all rules right from the beginning, "Haamare khaandaan me kush ushuul hai...". Shalini had to get up in the morning at 6 am and prepare the breakfast for all six people in the family, all alone. Sometimes, she had to cook chapatti and sabji, sometime parantha or sometimes poha or dosa-idli. She thanked her mom as she learnt all these from her mother at home. At 8:30 am, she had to catch the office cab from the nearby gol-chakkar. Sometimes, her hubby - Raj was generous to drop her at the crossing…

Coming back from office at around 6:30 pm, she had to make tea for everyone….Though her Mother-in-Law used to make the dinner, it was her responsibility to wash the utensils and she was not allowed to go to her room until all household chores were settled.

During her pregnancy too, she had to continue the process. Though she was badly in need of rest after coming back from office crossing 30 miles, she did not have courage to counter her Mother in Law. Raj also used to support her mother’s common dialogue…. “Bachche hamne bhi pale hai….” 

Shalini used to envy her sister-in-law sometimes silently, when she used to leave her plate on the dining table only, after dinner, saying she couldn’t miss the TV Serial.

After doing all the work at night, when she used to go to her room and expect some good time with Raj, that moment, probably he used to be busy with his siblings, parents or with Whatsapp…Days kept going the similar way……She became alone amidst all family members. All six years, she never raised her voice....

Shalini’s sister-in-law marriage got fixed. Good brother Raj promised to gift her a diamond necklace on her wedding. Raj never discussed with her what was his income. He bought the necklace worth Rs. 5 lakhs by credit card. He asked Shalini’s all her hard-earned money to spend in her marriage. Shalini could not refuse, she handed over her ATM card to Raj, keeping some cash to buy stuff for her child. Then onwards, Raj had not return the card to her…..She had to ask him for cash when needed. 

Raj started spending most of the time with his friends these days and come back home while she and her son go to the bed. She got the smell of wine many times whenever he used to enter the room. They almost stopped talking to each other. She tried to approach him once or twice to go to a psychologist as I suggested…but Raj was very harsh in response.

Now, it’s Raj’s brother’s marriage. She was not a part of the discussion of wedding expense. But she could overheard, that Raj promised to his parents to spend Rs.15 lakhs, which included his and Shalini’s salary till date and rest he would take a loan. 

Shalini wanted to talk to Raj that now they need to plan for their own family, need to give their son admission in a good school. But, Raj declined to discuss with her, saying, “It’s my gentleman promise! If needed I will go to the road, but, still I will contribute what I promised……We will give admission to our son in a good school next year…… ”. Shalini was blank....what she should do! She decided to talk to the whole family next day....

So, she did so..... "I want to talk to you all.....I think it will be great if we can manage the wedding, keeping the expense according to our capacity......."

"Who the hell are you to talk about my wedding expense?" Shalini's brother-in-law fired up before she completed her sentence...

"I am your sister-in-law....Sanj! I have every right to talk in this family..."

" dare you??????"

"I will not keep my silence today Raj! I can't compromise my child's education with someone's luxury..."


A strong slap she could feel in a fraction of second....she could see the red eyes of Raj clearly. Probably, he was getting set to give her another slap.....

Her son who was behind her pallu started crying loudly......Nobody said anything, except her Mom-in-law...."Shalini!! This is none of your business....please move away immediately!!!"  

Many times, Shalini thought of getting separated from Raj. She had the capacity to lead her single life being a software Engineer by herself. But thinking of her son's future, she tried to ignore that thought. 

This time, Shalini was stronger….. She did not bury her anger inside her chest. She was determined to visit the court next day, to understand the procedure of divorce.....

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