Nidhi entered her house at 7:30 pm after her computer classes just to see her husband sitting on sofa, in front of TV. She kept her bag on the table and got the order, “I am hungry, get my dinner quickly”. Without thinking anything else, she just rushed to the kitchen to cook for him, he entered the kitchen and slapped her saying, “How many times do I need to tell you to take a bath before entering kitchen, don’t you feel dirty? Learn something from my mother. Actually, she was right, I should have listened to her and should have got married to a well-cultured girl from our community”.
She left the kitchen went to the bedroom and locked herself inside. She did have tears in her eyes though she was used to this everyday torture. She used to get slapped for smallest things and at times for no reasons at all.
Nidhi was a computer engineer, born and brought up in Nagpur, a well-known city of Maharashtra state. She was a bubbly girl, loved by all. She loved to be like boys, so she was tagged as a tom boy. She stayed in Mumbai for a few years for her engineering studies and then went to the U. S. for few days with her brother. And there this story started. A guy named Anand saw her there in a supermarket, and it was a love at first sight (as he claimed, though she never noticed him).
Then after few months he saw her in Mumbai, where she was staying in a hostel and was working with an MNC. He started following her and contacted her friends. He proposed to her several times and her answer was No. Her friends tried convincing her that she is too lucky to have such a man who loves her a lot and it felt like a filmy love story. But she did not want to get into any relationship so she was firm on her decision.
After a while she went to Nagpur to meet her parents, and shockingly this guy reached there with his family with a marriage proposal. She was stunned with all this. Her family was happy though they belong to different caste and community. She was still not convinced but her parents told her to say yes as they felt this was the perfect match.
Finally she agreed and they got married. Few months were too good. She was happy that she listened to her parents, though she had to follow too many rituals set by his family. After six months or so they started staying separately. She thought now I will have all the freedom. I can resume my job, can have good time with my husband in my new home. But she had no idea what is going to happen to her here further.
She was being judged and harassed for smallest things. She never wore western clothes after getting married thinking that her in-laws are bit conservative so they won’t allow. But it was okay when they are staying separately. But she started going through bitter experiences very soon. He was more conservative. A highly educated officer at work place but an illiterate orthodox man at home. And the worst thing was that her husband used to slap her or beat her with belt or any other thing over smallest issues. She was harassed for wearing western clothes, for not wearing dupatta with salwar kameez, for not wering bangles and bindis and for what not?
And this torture started increasing as she did not conceive for a longer period. She was blamed for every bad thing happening in their life. But even she did not want to have a child as somewhere she was dreaming a free life away from this man. That’s why she had taken up some computer courses to upgrade her knowledge. She was cold in bed and at times felt like she is getting raped, yes marital rape is not an offence in India and she was getting raped every other day. She was not willing to have a child while having such a sadist husband who never respected her feelings. Who was so narrow minded that he forced her to break all the contacts with her friends. He forced her to delete her social media accounts too. He was not just insecure about her having other men in life but he was against having any friends. He kept saying I don’t have any friends so you should not have. We both are enough for each other. Initially Nidhi found this cute but slowly it started irritating her. He kept checking the society’s entry register too to check who all had come home in his absence.
In between she consulted with an astrologer though she never believed in astrology. He saddened her more. He said this is never going to end and she will commit suicide very soon. Overall everything was hurting her. No rays of hope she could see.
One night they had an argument over something and Anand tried hurting her again. But this time it was horrible. He was drunk. And he threw his glass of liquor over her. And then threw a burning matchstick towards her. She escaped from it. Locked herself inside the bedroom. He started banging the door. And she said enough is enough now, I will file a police complaint now. He got scared with her reaction. He never expected this and started pleading and giving several fake promises. But she did not want to listen to him anymore. She had made her mind that she has to leave him else he can kill him anytime. She did not want to spend another moment with this psycho. The door banging stopped after a while. She opened the laptop and booked a flight ticket from Mumbai to Nagpur. She left home at 4 am ensuring he was fast asleep. Took an early morning flight for Nagpur and reached her mom’s place. Her parents were happy with her surprise visit. She had a nap for a while. After that she decided to tell everything happening in her married life to her parents.
Post lunch she spoke to her mother. Her mother was hurt and horrified but reacted strangely. She advised Nidhi to go back to Anand’s place. Her mom said, “Beta, such things happen in life but you are not supposed to take such decisions. He just loves you a lot and is a bit insecure about you. That’s it. And your father is a heart patient. He cannot take such stress. Stay here for a few days and then go back.”
Nidhi was shocked to hear such piece of advice from her own mother. By evening her husband called her mom. And pleaded to Nidhi. Though she was not convinced with his pleas, she decided to go back to Mumbai. This time she was not hurt because of him, but because of her mom’s words. She was hurt with this typical mentality.
She returned to Mumbai with a heavy heart. Few days were all lovey dovey from Anand’s side. But again the torture started. But she was calm. It didn’t bother her anymore. What she had decided to do is take up a job and work towards a better future. Fortunately she got an opportunity very soon. And started working though the salary was too less. But it was giving her strength for working towards a better future. She decided to go far away someday, when she has a good amount in hand.
Nidhi met me after a long time. This time stronger and happier. Though she had not left him, she was not letting him bother her. She had stopped attending all the family functions at both the sides. And was living for herself only. I cannot say why was she going through this, but I was sure she will get out of this very soon. She was a strong woman, just had lost trust in everyone. She had just decided not to give up, and prove the astrologer wrong enough. She was not going to give up at any cost. And suicide was a faraway thing.
While leaving she said few words that I keep remembering; “If you spend a few days with a puppy, you start loving it. Anand is a human and my husband. And I still love him. I know I am wrong but I can’t help it.”
I did not want to judge her. Right or wrong, it was her decision. I just wish a good life for her. And she should get out of this hell soon. She is a strong lady and an example that how not to give up at any cost.