A couple of weeks ago I was married in a simple ceremony. After the paperwork I was given unceremoniously given a ‘Thaali’ and I stepped into my husband’s house at the auspicious time of 9:30 am. Things were good in the beginning. My husband was very kind and considerate. Then things began to change. I was given a lot of work to do. My husband became a cold unfeeling task master and I was made to work the whole day and even late evenings. I had no respite on weekends too. I was given a small amount as pocket money which was barely enough to keep my body and soul intact. Even holidays when everybody was enjoying the break, I worked like a dog. I longed to go home in the evenings and I called my parents when I could take it no more. But my parents like most Indian parents advised me to keep trying to make the relationship work. My friends were sympathetic but many were in a similar situation. And whenever I could steal the time I would meet them and we would weep on each others shoulders.
After a some time I got the courage to walk out of the relationship. I threw away the ‘Thaali’ and savored my new found freedom for a whole new month. Friends and relations were aghast as my husband was a well known person. And then the gossiping about me sitting in the house and all that. I started to feel the pressure of the society. And soon I fell headlong into another relationship…. and another ‘Thaali’.
I guess God felt pity on me because this time my husband was a nice man, who treated me with great respect. He encouraged me to study further and even gave me a better stipend so that I could be independent. Slowly under the guidance I became more confident as a person and began to grow professionally and personally. I was allowed to go home in the evenings and during weekends and I looked forward to getting back to his home every Monday. I am still married to him.
I display my ‘thaali’ (access card) proudly around my neck as I am proud of this relationship (just completed two months of successful Internship in this organization). And the result of this loving union is the big bundle of joy I am holding in my arms now (I just got a raise!!! ).