Previous- Fresh stabs on my bleeding wounds
I had grown severely tired of constantly being criticized over every possible thing. My eating of cream biscuits or Maggi or even rice; all of those were looked down upon. Anytime I had bought a few packs; since, they didn’t know where to buy the cream biscuits from (!!), Ratan would empty the packs in half a day. Hemant’s Glucose biscuits container never emptied. Savories were kept “hidden”, as if I was a kid. I hope you figured out that I didn’t eat or like the glucose ones. I had never ate one even in my younger days. No, I didn’t gobble them up like Hemant’s brother did. The packets never survived more than 15 minutes after they were cut open. I wasn’t able to survive the fact that I was being treated like an outsider or maybe worse; in my own house.
Or was that one?
I had owned a nice Camera; one with a beautiful capture lens. Since that was mine, it had to be nice 🙂 Often, Hemant had borrowed that before; till once, he lost it and had kept lying. I would have never found out if his mother had not gossiped that they owned a camera and Hemant had been careless to have lost that. One, I hate lies; two, I can’t stand careless people. I had bought that camera during my not so “good” days, only to have lost it that way. After having cribbed for over a year, Hemant had bought another one; however was duly submitted with P aunty. I wonder if she had also wanted to keep a count of our act too- actually she had wanted to!! I hadn’t been that devoted to her.
I had started to fill up drinking water for my 3rd floor, from my next door neighbor- Seema’s home. She was a tenant of that Madangir Auntie. Seema had quitted working a few month’s back and had wanted a major “company”. I had known of that but had also considered a few more things. Anyways, I too needed a friend- I had not turned into a recluse till then. She was a typical “behenji turned mod”, her husband was 8- 9 years elder to her, and a fine gentleman. I had noticed that Hemant enjoyed their Company a lot. Often Seema had barged in a few times to gossip and talk about what both the men had talked about. My relenting to her initiative would have gone against me- not that it did any good; given to her core selfish nature. Her sunsign was same as Himanshu’s- Pisces and date, same as mine- 11th.
A few times over, auntie P had called Seema in, at the 1st floor flat and had cribbed about my dressing sense; Seema herself wore peddle pushers and a short top. And that, we didn’t have a kid; she was already married for 4 years and still wasn’t planning for any. And also, how I used to roll the chapattis all in one go and store- to be prepare after half hour. SO WHAT?? Seema had wanted me to tell her to stop; that was out of my league. I am sure you all have already figured that out. One fine day, I decided that come what may, I was not to go to the 1st floor ever again. Karvachauth went by, I didn’t go down. Going down meant was to sit for “sargi”, the morning ritual of hogging up as much, to then FAST for the whole day. Why should have I? The whole year had gone by, no one had talked to me or had even responded, when I did, wasn’t there supposed to be some limit? Or patience? Or level of tolerance? Self respect didn’t count. I was their daughter-in-law.
In Quality, Swati Aggarwal had turned out to be one of the best managers’, for me to have ever worked with. Her quality of supporting the team, making them learn, prepare Quality related reports and also being more as a “facilitator” instead of a senior, was something that no one could ever replicate. She had then planned that Jaipur trip in January, 2005 that is memorable for more than 1 reasons. Of course, we had fun. Only that we had witnessed several of those doomed accidents and had met with one ourselves. Had she been not with us, the injured would not have been taken care of so fast and well. She was a complete package of a knowledgeable professional, manager and a colleague. She is on my Facebook profile. She had let me play all my pranks and had appreciated the most when I had stayed back for over 24 hours in the office. One of the data upload software (CRDB) had changed at the end of the month, and the data had to be re- uploaded- manually. The team members had hated me since then 😀
Although that I had asked for that Camera for the trip; I had not taken that alongwith. I had bought some sweets for Aunty P and “kachoris” (stuffed savory) for myself. Hemant had denied touching even a single one of those. Lady P had commented that I had gotten them packed locally and had lied about getting those from Jaipur; since I wasn’t dedicated to her. Whatever..!!
While at work, I had tried calling up all my yester years’ contacts. None of them were around. Obviously, it had been long. Only Himanshu was traceable. Whatever then followed, demands an individual post and about him. In short, he had given me the blow that I had least expected. All I had wanted was some legal support and a small support system for me to walk out of that place and start a new life. Instead, he had left me completely heartbroken. Perhaps, both Hemant and Himanshu were the same man after all; since I had liked Hemant primarily because he had made me think of Himanshu with similar mannerisms.
My 1st crush turned out to be my last crush!! The last one. Never could I feel for any man in the similar manner. I had expected help, since he was my class- mate and had been a close friend. All I now have of him in my mind is, BLANK; and a stabbing pain in heart, whenever I think of him.
Hemant’s parents had made that a practice of switching off the 3rd floor fuse as soon as Hemant left for work at 9 in the morning. I would keep awake with no cold water to drink and rest after my shifts. The whole of summers went by that way. I had tried to talk that out with him; he had once again alleged that I was lying. They had started throwing off the keys at me and had not let me enter the 1st floor house. I had then made a duplicate and handed over a set to him. I mean, I didn’t want them to just lock the Gate back at me after hearing the knock, open the Gate a little and throw the keys- as if I was an untouchable. BTW, it’s criminal to display that behavior towards an labeled untouchable too. And anyways, whats the definition of an “Untouchable”???
Swati had joined back after her marriage leave, and Himanshu Mahajan (our inter-mediate TL) had resigned; so had Kanchan Kakkar. Citibank Quality team had been under multiple TLs that year and had barely been able to adjust. The team had apparently broken up. Shuchi Rudra, had pretty tactfully joined everyone up for skip- level meeting and drive Swati out. Nilendu, Aashima and I too had sat in that meeting. Next, that was my turn. Pankaj seemed to have picked up some notion about me. Thanks to her again.
Like Himanshu M had once said that the whole of Quality was corrupt- I could then feel that.
It had become a task impossible for me to continue to work, amidst that plotting and also to survive at home, with similar, if not more; level of constant conspiracies. I could only think of that how when things don’t work out for me, becomes dead from all ends. Quitting Work was not at all the option. I had slogged so badly with extra number of monitors, on my then Manager’s insistence. Alas, if only she had awarded me with some credit points and not made that so bloody that I had to eventually leave Convergys the following year. I still maintain that that was because of our own team member’s callous approach. I knew the game; didn’t, that I was the pawn. Pankaj’s feedback then passed to one manager and then to others.
My then TL- Sheetal, had decided to revert all scores because she had not looked into the disputes on time. The operation TLs had disputed my marking. All relevant documentation supported that that was the correct marking; my TL’s indulgence and putting that across to Ops would have sorted that out. Seems; there were disputes all around, as if to swallow me down to the deepest recess. I didn’t wish to break down; yet, I was disintegrating. The 2nd half of 2005, had passed by as if that was a whirl pool sucking me in to the remotest cell- wherefrom no voice could ever be heard to the outside world.
To walk out of my marriage that was more like a coffin; I had needed a job. I could foresee well that that was soon going to be lost. My initiative to work beyond work hours and to even come over on off days (on that Manager’s insistence), had all backfired against me. The team- members’ support too was lost- not that they could or would have done anything or had even wanted to. As I said, that was a team member herself who had put the spot- light on me. Thank you, I have learnt never ever to trust peers. They could turn back at any point of time, and surprise you with a trick and never with a treat.
How I hate the fact that I am a Bong by birth. I have harbored a disliking for them- ever since a couple of them had conspired with my Uncle to throw me out of my home. One of them was a Multani though- LOL. That’s right, that’s a sarcasm; that’s the best they (these in context) deserve (from me). I wasn’t surprised with whatever was happening at work- the colleague I am referring here to was also a Bong.
Before I move on, Dear Bong friends, I have nothing against you..!! If at all, you have proved to be the best of all. Ruby herself being an Oriya..!! Infact, I have quite a few of my close friends who belong to that community. Please try and understand the fact that my dad, masi and uncle and every one in the blood relations have led me lead an orphan’s life. I have several times been questioned upon my Legality at my marital home. Keep all of those aside, being born out of a solemnized wedlock; didn’t I deserve a father and a mother, both together- at the same time and in the same house?
Hemant had already clarified long before that he would never stay separately with me. So what about the fact that- even I too was a solemnized and wedded wife of some man?
One day, when I was at Work, Hemant had shifted all my belongings out to a rented flat in MN. He had not contributed to buy any stuff; not that there was any space to buy some. My 4’ x 6’ bed, my clothes, the kitchen ware, my other articles; all were moved out to same MN area, where I had packed them from 3-1/2 years back thinking of to lead a “no more shifting” and a “stable” life. He had been talking to me to shift out for sometime. I had not wanted to. I had, as if known that that would have been a negative development! What metaphor! He had put me back to the same Locality where I had stayed before my marriage. Although I had requested to shift in to the same house where I had stayed in; he had refused. Anyways, why am I feeling bitter about that now? He had always been like that. You float a suggestion and pat he would slap his darn NO.
My moving out of my Marital Home had uncanny resemblance with that previous stance, when my Uncle had turned me out. I had seen that coming long back, and that’s why I had literally begged of Himanshu to help me. I had left all my potted plants in the similar manner- once again. I had created a mini terrace garden all by myself; the last time, my mom had. In remembrance, I had potted the same plants and species yet again; only to lose them just once again!! Mom died and I was thrown out of my home; I then married and again was thrown out of my home..!! Having said that, I haven’t been able to settle down since; wonder when I would – if at all- that is!
That was not the only thing happening that month. I had secretly been scared of the fact that I may have to leave my job too. I had harbored this faith that I had joined Convergys since I stayed with Hemant at his parents’ house. My fear was soon confirmed. In April 2006, Convergys had gotten itself scribbled under My Last Work Experience in my Resume.
I had joined Baxy soon thereafter. That was a totally different work- culture. Drama, deceit and diplomacy; all went on full swing. I had already been regretting having sat in that skip meeting. But then, I I had not, my span would have been even shorter. I was pro Swati- a fact known to all. Rachana Asthana- my new Manager (I like to address her that way), had reminded me of Swati Agarwal. As if Almighty had blessed me in turn of my guilt and remorse. A couple of friends happened. Though, it was more like my LIS life- quiet and aloof. I did use to laugh- alright, but had hardly discussed my personal life. Oh yes, gossips were full swing on. C’mon, a married girl was expected to harp about her “hubby darling”; I wasn’t doing that. I had left it at that. I had not mentioned of him even in my mind, lest it showed in my behavior. Talking of dualities; I hate to mention that I excel in that. Situationally, un-optional Compulsion.
A few more months were spent crying. Often I tried talking to him trying to work out things between the two of us atleast. The flat that I had stayed in, was a shabby one. Even then, I had merrily wanted to re- start my Married Life once again. I had sat spending most of my time with him, pleading him, to work our relationship out. He never ate with me and went to his parents’ place for dinner. He had instructed me to not cook for him at all. I would hurriedly finish my food; before his return from work, on my off days.
Another funny work @ Gab Technologies, where most of them stayed drugged during the shift, happened. It was then when I had also tried to obtain a Divorce decree from Court. The day the decree was to be pronounced; I had withdrawn my case. I had no place to move to and not even a stable job. I had made a huge spectacle of myself crying in the Court. Judge had asked me several times if that’s what I had wanted. I could see that he had seemed concerned. The agony that I had gone though that day is un- describable; and, I am not even trying- now. I had not shared this with anyone so far. How funny that was that we boarded the same auto to obtain a Divorce and then would have come back together perhaps; or may be not. He would have gone to work and I would have been left alone figuring out where to step. I had stood on one of those stones that are floated in the lake for passerby to step upon and cross. I could not stand on one of them for long; that would have become heavy for the rock and would have sunk that. Neither could I have kept stepping from stone to stone and keep myself in the middle of the lake till time- period unknown.
Soon, I had joined Sparsh: With Rachana again. Blessed?
We had shifted out of that shoddy place to another place in MN. I was successfully extracted out of my Marital Home. A great game and with Loads of Pain. However badly I may have tried to stay in, I was plucked off!! Hemant was to never “forgive” me for having created that “rift”, since I had done that. If only that had been one. Its tough for me to say what was worse- my stay with my in- laws or my Husband’s continuing indifference- to the point of completely ignoring my presence and our relationship!
Would that be safe to conclude that it was more of my Husband’s fault, instead of my in- laws’?
Did he ever become one? Even when there wasn’t a single soul to crib, cry and complain about me? Did he care about me? Who was I to him? I was already an orphan (even when my dad’s alive), had often been questioned upon my Legality. Now, I had turned into a complete public wh*re. One, who then dared to step out of her WED- “LOCK” and not mention of her husband anywhere- on papers or to people; in actuals i.e.,
What an irony, my legally wedded spouse- had turned me out of the same house, where he had made me go through uncountable sorrows; since he didn’t want to leave his parents- in action and even in words.