Previous- Shaping up my Mind- II
Mom often called in my friends around- Nimphiya, Deepu and Sonia for evening parties. Bread- rolls, Stuffed savories and other sweets that she made at home used to be the menu of the evening. Neenu studied in a different section in my school, Deepu- Rohit was her brother. They lived in Janta Quarter across our house. For years, we had addressed her as Meenu, till one day I had dared to ask auntie that why she addressed her as Neenu. We found out that she had always been that, we had addressed her incorrectly. LOL. Sonia was a year elder to me; she stayed at the ground floor of our building. Her elder sister- Daisy had later sat for PMT and was selected too. Ravi was elder to Sonia and younger to Daisy. They were Goyal and businessmen. Auntie was like a friend to all. She pronounced- Mafatlal as Muftlal, Chunchoo (our upper floor neighbor) as chonch (beak/twig) and a few more disrupt-ciation that I don’t recall of now. She had cut her hair a trendy length and mom too had jumped in- Great. That’s right; we belonged to that typical orthodox family, where wives never trimmed their hair. A couple of years later, in remembrance, she had cut them short. Mom was just like me a complete Rebel- just that she was handicapped at an “appropriate” time.
In short, she too had experienced similar things in her teenage and was forced out of her maiden house. She had then idiotically married my dad.. If only she had not!!
Often, mom made me sit pretty in her gold jewellery in the evening. I ranked 3rd in Academics in 2nd standard, and as promised, she had bought a Red Lakme Lipper and a Red Yardley and Mauve Tips n Toes nail color. I am sure- you may be musing that how I have recalled the brands too- that’s all I have- remembrance. She would sit me telling me to study well, achieve good grades and not to be worried about any other redundant ideas. How she used to tell me that getting married was not the ultimate goal for a woman, but being self- dependent was. She had often lectured that a man was never worth compromising one’s self- respect upon. I had known that she was bitter mouthed; but, had she fore-seen my future too?
She had sat me and narrated all that she had suffered till then. In her maiden family, in her marital family and all about the then on- going tortures.. I would always be grateful that she did that; or else, I would have miserably failed to gather my wits every time things hit me on my face. Not that I am a huge success or some; atleast, I am not sat on my husband’s mercy. She had equipped me very well and just on time.
Mom had asked me to move out of the room when I had just strolled in. She had been bleeding. She had aborted accidentally and had grabbed a sari to soak the blood. Even though that she had recovered within the next few hours; she was forcibly admitted to Geeta Gupta Nursing Home in Shahadara. She had received the Medical Attention the same night and everything seemed to be fine. Whatever then happened in that Nursing Home; scarred my thoughts about bearing a kid- forever. She was operated upon when there was absolutely no need. It seemed that the Doctors not knowing the course of action had operated upon her. They had lacked proper instruments and had injured her uterus. If at all, a D and C procedure would have been more than enough. However, she was cut open on her abdomen yet again. The “disciplined” doctors had then obtained my father’s “permission”, if he wanted the uterus to be fixed back in place or removed. The Hospital had lacked the required instruments and had damaged the uterus beyond any repair; it was as perforated as a sponge. My dad being dad; had wanted a woman to stay one, for her life- if at all she was to live- after that, i.e.,
That redundant baby- carrier bag was sewn back to her abdomen that had always felt like a heavy stone to her. She could never lead a healthy or a normal life again. Addressing my dad as Bloody B*stard, would be a lesser degree of the synonym- for whatever he had done to her; then and at other times too. He was a well educated man and a B.Sc graduate then. Wasn’t he aware of the complications that he had so seeded? I was alive and healthy; couldn’t he survive his rest of the married life happily, with one child and healthy wife? Actually, he couldn’t; and not even otherwise. He had the darned audacity to abandon a crippled woman, actually two, that reflected upon the Theory of Evolution. He was a straight descendant of a canine, who after littering baby, wagged his tail off, wagging his tongue for a newer opportunity.
Just who the hell a man is to decide upon a woman’s medical condition? To hell with all the doctors and their Medical practice. She had already survived a caesarean; I was born. There were complications back then too. The Doctors had advised to terminate the pregnancy. That would have been I. They had also advised her against any thought of conceiving soon. Whatever I diagnosed of later, while appearing for my PMT; it appeared a case of RH-/Rh+. There weren’t any shots available back then to suppress the antibodies. A couple had to wait for 8 -10 years before planning their 2nd issue. Here, the father himself made a major issue out of a simple prevention or the lack of it.
The sadder part: Even though that I had found out about the complication after years, since dad had not shown the medical papers; nothing could be done. I was late. The doctors had confirmed of what I suggested as a probability. 3 months is all I could spend, after sharing with her the reason of her sickness. For eighteen years, she had lived in the state of oblivion.
Dad and mom had stopped talking then. Great, Dad and uncle anyways never talked; mom too had joined in. Dad had felt left- out; since 2:1 was against him. He was the minority and so was I. I had been in a tight spot- Who to talk to and who not to. I used to be silent most of the time, since I had not wanted anyone to get offended on hearing me speak with the other one. I had not approved of his beating up my mom; I had witnessed a few of those mis- ventures already. In retaliation, I too had stopped talking to dad. This was exactly where I had begun to become a loner.
As I write this- I feel that all of that had happened only yesterday. It’s tough to realize that mom is no more and that I am writing my history. My- Story; one that has been A Miss (girl’s) Story, A Miss-ed (out upon) Story and has been a Mystery. It has often been Mis- told too. This is not my childhood memories or teen- age dreams or any fantasies. These are blatant facts, brutally forced upon me to live- and I am here to testify them. My hatred towards the societies’ favoring men, my feminist ideas or a vision that is often labeled as vindictive- I have put them all across here Anyone who wants to know me- has to know about me, has to know all of these.. Anyone who wants to know why I am the way I am, would have to read this. Anyone who wants to know of my thoughts about Life would have to read this.
I have witnessed my mother suffering at an age; that most of the women today, spend dating. I have seen her getting crippled over a small thing like bearing a baby. I have seen her being poisoned about everything around and for all the valid reasons. I have too been tortured by the same set of men, who had turned my mother into a “mummy” in her 30s- exactly my age now, or even younger maybe. She had stayed captivated because of the two men that she had loved at different times and none had defended her. Against each other- Ironically!!
Avani Mama wasn’t a blood relation- of whatever I recall of him. Last I met him before shifting to IP Extension. Once, he had told mom that the two men she had loved were two big time a*seholes (mom had changed that for me to donkeys). He had been a part of Indian Army. Incidentally, both the donkeys are still very much alive. I so wish that they too get to read this but once written till the conclusive end, to realize the level of dastard that they have been- even if not admit and accept. That won’t be worth it anymore. The two men had left me so hurt and in a situation that I could not express my grief when mom passed away. I had not cried the morning she had died. I knew I had lost her- crying would have made me go weak on my reflexes. I couldn’t afford that. I was left all alone to sit and strategise my next move carefully. I had not cried even a single tear. The only two things I had been concerned about was to do her last ritual exactly the way she had wanted to (she had often talked to me about) and my future life. I could see and feel- that that had been primarily ruined.
There are so many things that are common between me and mom. She too had suffered in hands of her father, 2 brothers (both my maternal uncle- one blood relation and other cousin) and her husband. Whoever knows me personally can imagine how my mother had been- bubbly, witty, rebel, confident, intelligent, in sync with changed times.. Only she had been hauled by a few men as if to drag her existence to death, well before time.
The atrocities that she was made to go through are indescribable. The intensity of those hurts cannot be expressed in words. She was brutally incapacitated and then made to slog; waiting for death to take her. Not even that- she could not die since I was too young..!!! All she harped upon was “Meena paurh!” (Meena- my pet name; just study!). I am so sure that she had known what was in store for me. I don’t wish to be with men- my views have been completely distorted about them. I won’t be able to love them the way it is required. Besides; what if I too end up in the similar fashion? Crippled and with a child to bring up!! I would neither be able to live or even die. Worse, my husband too takes a walk- a part that has happened anyways to me and then be left with no- one around- that’s just the blatant truth of my being for the last 16 years now- ever since I lost mom. Don’t want the rest of it or anymore of that.
So intuitively, I have tried to break the pattern. I have undergone the same pains and phases as that of my mom. She had no option to walk out of her torturous marriage- for her own good; that would have then become the worst for me. So, My Life is the most important thing to me. A woman in her late twenties had completed scarred her state of being to bring me up. Now, I can’t let her sacrifice be wasted. I am not going to ignore my state of being for anything and anyone. A woman practically my age had given up all her desires and wishes to take all atrocities in her stride to be with me. I just can not waste her Penance. All she had ever wanted of me was to become self- dependent. She had wanted to see me as a celebrity. She had wanted me to become a Legend and celebrate Life. She had wanted me to reach that ultimate level of stardom, where I would not be dependent upon others to lead my own Life, where a man would think zillion of times to even approach me- much less harm!
She had wanted to achieve all that she could not through me. An educated, well- read and self dependent woman, working to earn for herself; wherein, she may never be dependent on her husband or any other man for her expenses. Was that too big a dream? She had wanted me to adopt a baby girl and bring her up in the most lavish yet disciplined manner and then, imbibe the same values in her; was that unrealistic? She had wanted me to live, to laugh and celebrate every moment without having worried to be beaten up or shown down; was that too much of an expectation?
I certainly don’t wish to lay unconscious, torn open from the middle and my husband bargaining or negotiating the best deal of my Medical State. I don’t think I would have let my husband survive more than that, if I had been in my mom’s shoes. I am not Divine- don’t expect forgiveness. Moreover- who are you to ask my forgiveness and for who all- the butchers? Who then not only handicap one woman; but all connected with her? I dare any man do that to anyone.
I am in a state now, where I don’t trust any man in my husband’s role. They are fine till I don’t know about them. I too wished to be loved, to be with a man and be with him forever. I WISHED; not anymore. And why men; you would soon notice that I have maintained a huge distance with everyone to save myself of any conceivable relationships and heartbreaks thereafter.
They say a childhood is the best period of one’s life; I am yet to decide what was in My Life. I was growing up, my conscience was shaping up. To become- what I am; As I Am.