I sat with my cup of hot chocolate and watched the rain come down, it felt like the world was weeping for me. I hadn’t shed a tear in years now. To be precise I hadn’t cried in 11 years and 4 months. I suffered the marriage I was in for 11 years and 4 months constantly, day in and day out. Independent, successful, strong willed and a woman of substance they called me. No one but me knew the real story. I was a coward. I could not muster the strength to walk out on the marriage I was in.
I kept telling myself that things would be better and that one day I would be able to come back to a home and not a house. I told myself that I would be able to change him o perhaps even change myself, would be able to make him love me and cherish me. I deserved to be loved and cherished, I deserved to be cared for.
My marriage was like any other typical ‘arranged marriage’, I met him for the first time in my house, on 15th May 2005. Everyone in my house was excited about the prospect of this matrimonial alliance clicking. The horoscopes had been matched, the astrologers predicted a match made in heaven for the two of us. We were told that the boy was a true gem, and that we should not even look at anything else and just say yes. I have never been more confused in my life.
I dressed as simple as I could on the day when he came to see me; I wore a blue saree, tied my hair back and wore only a thin chain around my neck. I didn’t know what to expect. I entered the room with absolutely no expectations, hadn’t until that moment seen him or even his picture. I always thought that bells would ring, butterflies would flutter in my tummy when I met the man I would spend the rest of my life with. Unfortunately for me none of that happened. Yet, I thought he was the man. After spending fifteen minutes talking to me, he said yes. I eventually agreed to marry him. I was married in the month of September, a month which is known to be auspicious for good beginnings and weddings in particular. My wedding was one that people spoke about for almost a year after as well. I looked exquisite or atleast that was what I was told over and over again. Within me, I was lost, I felt like a puppy who had lost his way and had no idea which way to turn in order to reach some shelter.
My husband, he became my husband on 12th of September 2005, I even remember the time, it was 10:30 am when he adorned my forehead with the kumkum and then tied the mangalsutra around my neck. Today when I look back I realize that the wedding was much larger than I would have liked it to be. There were not less than 1500 people who attended it, food was made in such large quantities and money was spent in unimaginable measure. That wasn’t what I dreamt of, but then my husband also wasn’t whom I had dreamt of.
I always knew I would have to make many compromises and adjustments once married, it was something that was drilled into my head ever since I turned 20, the marriageable age. I was ready and willing to make those compromises even, but didn’t ever think that my life would be so bleak and lifeless. I loved colour, I loved life, I loved books, I loved movies, I loved parties, I loved my friends, I loved the rain, I loved the moon, I loved movies, I loved television. On the other hand my husband; he loved nothing other than me. What more could I ask for, a husband whose only sole love was his wife. Yet, I had a problem with that, I hated the fact that my husband had no interests whatsoever, no passion in anything, no motivation, no inspiration, no life.
I spent years living a lie, spent years dreaming of a life that I could have had, spent years fantasizing about that one man whom I loved immensely and who loved me unconditionally. I was an ideal wife, I kept the house beautifully, I cooked like a dream and performed all the other duties a wife is expected to perform with utmost dedication. That was where the problem was, it was all a chore for me, I never enjoyed the cooking, the love making, the getting ready for my husband. I did it all because I knew that was what a good wife would do, not because I wanted to do any of it. I had lost that smile, which many said was to die for. I lost the colour from my life and lost all the fun I ever had. I never complained and my husband, the man who was so in love with me never noticed what the marriage was doing to me.
Perfect in every definition of the word was what my husband was, he was a compassionate doctor, a cardiologist, he mended hearts and yet was unable to mend mine. We had enough and more of money, a house that was worth a few crores, a beach house where we never went and ofcourse imported cars in which I traveled alone everyday. I wanted small things from my life, I wanted to be able to sit in the morning and enjoy my coffee with my husband, wanted to be told that what I had cooked was nice, wanted to be told that I was looking pretty or maybe sometimes not looking pretty, wanted to be pampered, wanted to be swept off my feet atleast sometime. None of that ever happened in 11 years of my marriage. I never discussed this with anyone, because to the world my marriage was perfect. I had it all, a loving, successful and rich husband. I had resigned to the fact that this was what my life would be like and in my head I could live my dreams. The dreams in which I was happy, dreams in which I toured the world with the man I loved so much, I danced and sang and was myself.
Sometimes I told myself that probably because I had something to compare my husband to the problems were cropping up in my head, what if the only love I knew what that of my husbands, what if the only man I had ever been with was my husband. Then there wouldn’t be any problem. Probably then I would have been happier. But I knew that there was something intrinsically wrong with my relationship. I wasn’t happy, and wasn’t happiness one of the most important things in a marriage. I asked myself this question every day in the 11 years and 4 months that I spent sleeping beside my husband. Answer, I never got.
11 years and 4 months later I am sitting in my home, i am calling it my home now because it now feels like that. My husband died last evening. He died of a cardiac arrest. I should be feeling sad, I should also probably be weeping but here I am feeling numb, feeling like I can now do what I want to with the life that once used to be mine.