• Does life give second chances?

    Another party and another friend’s daughter getting divorced after a long separation.

    I see the parents of the young girl. Watch them as they fend off well intended however intrusive questions by friends and relatives. Everyone knew about it but the ‘oh dears’ and ‘what happened?’ continue unabated.

    The men and women separate. Amber glasses in hand the men surround the father and lament on the costs incurred.The ladies with shiny goblets surround the mother … tsking… at her daughter’s destiny. The facade of friendship developing cracks.

    The girl stands witness to this melee. All seeing, she tells herself to breathe slowly chanting in her head that she has made the right decision whatever they may say. With unshed tears and an aching heart she meets her parents almost accusing eyes.

    Why could you not have bent just a little more? They seemed to be saying.

    The rhetoric that the Indian mindset is changing… broadening, becoming more accepting of divorce or even remarriage is blatantly used by the upwardly mobile. I can’t say that it is rejected outright since one has the statistics to back it up, the increased acceptance viable in the number of cases filed.

    But I find divorce is an event, a life changing one undoubtedly, but only a speed breaker. It is the life one leads post that event is what I find more pertinent to explore as eventually that is what counts. The variables that factor in the quality of life that is allowed …yes… allowed for one gender in particular.  The stamp of a divorcee and by extension being seen as damaged goods is still a scary proposition for girls and their families.

    Harshali Singh is the author of  ’A window to her Dreams’

    Sitting in upright ivory towers of metros, tapping away at the keyboard, I wonder how competent are we to judge the powers that are at work. The relevant question here would be then that can we take a justified stand that the ones that hold the power to chart the course of a life will do so without any kind of self-motivation driving their decree?

    We have all heard of horror stories about women being pressurized for all kinds of favors because she was unable to hold her marriage together. Voices, squarely placing the blame of the breaking of the so called sacrosanct institution on only one set of frail shoulders. Holding hostage a forehead with a red dot and a vermilion filled thin parting  as the standard of a happy marriage, choosing to close their eyes to the bruises she may carry just a couple of inches below.

    We have all heard of horror stories about women being pressurized for all kinds of favors because she was unable to hold her marriage together

    On the other hand you have the “my son can do no wrong” variety. “She wants too much… freedom… choice to live her life on her terms… some space… to live like a human being and not a glorified and yet unpaid help…” the blame is heaped on, unrelenting and usually by someone who has experienced the dark side.

    So the man gets off, 7 times out of 10, brushing away the dust of broken promises and expectations like flint. This in no way negates the trauma that the man may go through if the tables were turned.

    The divorce is a reality and you pick the side you are on depending on who your friend is, the girl’s side or the boy’s and if you are friends with both… then God help you.  Then life happens, the everyday drudgery of pitying glances, plans of how to ‘settle’ you now. You become a commodity, the burden that needs to be quickly passed on onto the next set of manly shoulders. Your course is charted by well-meaning and loving family who sometimes look at you as if they don’t know what to do with you. In my book ‘ A Window to her Dreams’ the Sharma family, though loving and wanting to protect the eldest daughter when she comes home after being subjected to violence at the hands of her husband Rafi, falters with too much justification for a wrong that was committed by another.

    You don’t fit in the two boxes that have been made for you – a young virginal girl and a married lady. As it is with Aruna, who faces the scraping away of her confidence slowly but steadily, making her feel less as a person by the one who has sworn to stand by her side.

    Would she not ask herself, where do I fit?

    The third wheel in all gatherings , the whispered about story in any and all functions and parties henceforth, the example of mistakes to avoid for girls about to be married. Always the one holding the short end of the stick at the end of the day.

    Is that your destiny? I ask.

    Rise , rise and take over  your life , your path. Own your choices. Make compromises if you have to but never give the control of your life in anyone’s hands again. Once in a lifetime is enough. Find the strength within as Aruna did. Pick up yourself and dust away the past hurt because all that it is doing is keeping you shackled to the pain.

    If you are meant to,you too will find a Bhuvan who with love and patience will wipe away the torment and if not, always remember that you are… enough.

    ***

    Harshali Singh is the author of  ’A window to her Dreams’ – Excerpt shared by the author

    She is a New Delhi based Member Judge at the Consumer Forum, an avid reader and a passionate Painter. Her Book ‘A Window to Her Dreams’ was launched in 2016. When not busy with the various roles she has undertaken she is usually found with her books and her family, which include two teenage children, a mongrel named Bruce and a very patient Other Half.