Previous- Life after My Marriage
It’s without any pun that I have addressed her as Lady P; even though, all she had ever talked about was Periods and Pregnancy.
We were invited for lunch, after our wedding, at Pink Town Houses- Gurgaon; at Arpana’s home. I was assured that Chartered Buses would be available and I won’t have to board the Sumo. As it was to happen, we boarded the Sumo. Hemant had sat at one corner, P aunty next, then I and then uncle. Couldn’t they have paid 100 bucks and not let those menial and labors get into the cab? Why couldn’t I be sat wedged between her and Hemant instead of her and Uncle? Wasn’t the sanctity then affected? I was sat in a sequined suit, completely decked up and all had sat gaping at me. The coming back was yet another similar ordeal in a DTC bus. Arpana and Sanjay had their prior plans for that evening even despite having invited us over. Twice that we had visited them, similar was her treatment. However, when ever they came over, I and Hemant was made to stay back. We had wanted to go over for watching a movie once; and at other time, we were dressed up just about to step out. Lady P had never discussed with me or Hemant before inviting anyone. No matter whatever the commitments may have been, we were always made to cancel all of those.
Dining at her brother’s place was yet another memorable incident. We had boarded a Blue Line (Public Transport- Bus) to Uttam Nagar, I had again sat all decked up with complete make-up and then was made to walk around the whole of Sagar Pur area with a veil on my face of my dupatta. I had felt highly Embarrassed; and that’s an understatement. Ever since, Hemant and I had traveled in Auto and the old couple had traveled in public transport. Can anyone tell me what had stopped them from boarding yet another auto?
Uncle had soon labeled me as a compulsive liar. Hemant had bought a few cassettes of old movies. According to uncle, it was highly uncanny of him to buy those. I might have pushed him to buy those– was uncle’s explanation about branding me as Liar. It was again improbable of Hemant to have bought washroom cleaning accessories.
My buying them a Washing Machine was taken to be my wanting to get rid of washing clothes. So, what about it? Anyways, I was not very comfortable washing everyone’s undergarments and had not done that too many times. Buying them the fridge on their Marriage Anniversary was labeled as my trial to cover-up my crime of placing my fridge upstairs. I wasn’t even let to fill a single water bottle. How did she expect me to survive in summers? Not that I cared what she thought of that.
Drop by drop, my blood had been drying up inside my veins. I wasn’t let to travel anywhere around. If I had not started to work again, I would have not been able to visit the salon too! Their relatives had all belonged to 19th century. Not that any visited ever. A couple of people who had come over had all exhibited their illiterate mannerisms.
My long nails on my left hand were a health hazard. Applying of nail color was ever greater. I had developed a lip allergy. I did not apply lip color for years; however, that was gravely criticized. My wanting to wash after reaching home was a mania. She had problems since I had refused to move barefooted around the house.
While sweeping and mopping the house, all slippers and shoes were sat on the bed and sofa. Upon objecting; I was asked to leave the cleaning, in the middle of the work and turned out. They never washed their hands after having food and wiped their mouth on their outfit. I was unable to even breathe and wanted to press “escape” key; only there were none. My hair was closely watched on Thursdays for sign of water. They didn’t wash on Thursdays. Several times, she took my arm to watch if I had recently waxed. By God’s Grace, I have very light hair; so could survive even without waxing.
Her elder sister-in-law stayed in Mehrauli in real rural set-up. Her elder son was schizophrenic; husband didn’t work, leaving that old woman to slog each day. Her second son had married a lady who was only bothered about her own family. Whatever.. Why couldn’t Hemant’s parents extend some help and support? How much it would have taken to support that lady if she was called in at their home to stay with them? Ditto for Shelly’s mother- her own sibling. That woman had passed away, out of sheer neglect by both of her sons and lack of proper treatment on time. If this is how uncle and aunty were to their own siblings, where was I to be counted in? If only I had known about all that before getting messed up. Hemant had pretty conveniently evaded talking about any of his relatives. He had said that no one was worth being told about and discussed. All of a sudden, they all had emerged, becoming as important as the Governor, the Collector, the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of SC.
I had handed over 50 bucks to that young boy who was in some way related to that old lady (don’t recall the relationship now), on our visit to Mehrauli. That incident too, was then scribbled in her diary; with notes that I had given him something that she didn’t know of and also was not told about later- a blatant lie. Hemant had not appreciated discussing about any of his relatives. Even going to their invites after our wedding was a huge task for him. Excepting Arpana, he had never mentioned anything about anyone.
Meeting her (aunty P’s) second Mami in Noida (the elder one being Arpana’s MIL), was equally nice. Anu, (younger mami’s youngest daughter) had remained unmarried till then, saying that she would not want to slog doing home- work if she earned good. I couldn’t agree more. My 2nd and last visit to their place was at her grand child’s 1st birthday. Her daughter-in-law was an air hostess before her marriage. I don’t recall her name as on date; neither if that was her daughter or son. Aunty P and I had traveled to Noida in an auto after my Evening shift; without any sleep. I was praised by all. Lady P had not appreciated that and had picked up an argument on way back home and declared war, no sooner we had reached home.
Shelly’s mother-in-law had wanted to meet me soon. I had gone straight to Shahadara after my shift. I was also deputed to shop for the Sahibabad marriage. That lady had traveled across the globe. She too had picked up an instant liking for me J Once, that I had visited Arpana, reaching her place directly after my night shift, I was pampered like a small kid. I had gone home with several Tiffin boxes, gifts and soft- drinks bottle; for me to keep sipping on transit. That was more or less in the same fashion as Shelly had sent me home, packed up with goodie stuff.
On my visit to Noida (sometime in April- 2003), I was received with a warm welcome. This was soon after our wedding as our 1st visit to their home. They had not attended my wedding; since, their daughter-in-law had just delivered only a few days back then. That Lady (Anty P’s mami), had wanted to know if “salad” was at all eaten back home. I had not answered anything; she had given me I-know-it-all smile. She had also wanted to know if I was treated well. On reaching home; I had puked all- in verbatim.
I was constantly pressurized to be wearing suits alone. It was warm. Wasn’t wearing clothes supposed to be in accordance to your comfortability? I was anyways not comfortable wearing a suit and work and am still not. If I were given a set- up wherein my deliverable was only to sit all posed, without as much as lifting a finger, with an a/c unit operational 24 hours; I would have. Once I had loved wearing them- now, I have developed so much hatred, that none of them have been touched; even once, for the past 3 years now
She had wanted me to chirp- the moment I see them. That evening, I had woken up only 10 minutes back and had gone down to the 1st floor. Not wanting to talk for sometime; I had kept quiet. I was labeled as snob. I had so badly wanted some silence; wherein that lady had constantly chattered that I was being a cat-like. Not wanting to play when the masters did. She had jumped several steps forward while commenting. Seeing the situation going beyond my level of control; I had hurriedly left saying that that would be better if we talked with Hemant around. Her habit was to twist and lie about the smallest of the things. I had suffered a few times already. Not wanting to take any more of that; I had left. The statement had backfired. After a few days and some more arguments; Hemant too had branded me saying that all I cared about: was him alone..
Shouldn’t he have felt special- even if that was NOT the fact? Hemant had picked up a queer habit of parroting aunty P’s statements within few hours. He too had accused me the way the Lady did; at times not even realizing that what those had meant..!! The Lady may have wanted to play around with me; what was happening to Hemant’s mind frame? Why he too had started behaving like he was my Mother-in-Law? He had overlooked upon the fact completely that I was at his house for him; because of him. And not for fun; since, there was anything but that.
Lady P had sat bitching about everyone around. However, the moment she saw them; she wobbled like a jelly. Despite my multiple requests, the 1st floor flat that was 1BHK, was rented out. I had wanted to stay in there. It used to be pathetically warm at the top floor. The old cooler was shifted upstairs and they had bought a new one for themselves. Every week, it used to break down. We were not allowed to buy a new one for ourselves. She had also wanted me to change my name to some other name that she wanted me to- formally. I had resisted and stuck. If I had known of his family’s obnoxious Dos and Don’ts so well; I won’t have agreed to settle down with Hemant. Anyways, I had married him to be with him; where was he?
Hemant had already declared his terms that either I was to do how his parents had wanted or else be on my own.
He had failed to notice that I either ways, was left on my own.