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Thursday, July 05, 2007

This Happened Closer Home

A family we know very closely, close enough to share the same compound was looking for a match for one of the sons. The message was sent across families they know and finally the marriage was solemnized with a family friend’s daughter.
The couple took off to UK where in the MIL insisted that the DIL stays with her as the couple’s respective jobs were in separate cities and she could stay with her until the son managed to move to her city. Time flew and on her 1st anniversary, the DIL requested her MIL to let her join her husband. After a great deal of convincing, the couple got round to staying together.
The wife used to wake up in the morning apparently confused at the deep sleep she used to fall into night after night. One night she decided that she would be careful and abstained from drinking and eating. As the couple turned in for the night, she pretended to fall asleep.
To her horror, she discovered her husband wake up and get decked up like a girl and walk out of the house. The shocked girl followed her husband and found herself in a hotel. She managed to confront her husband in a hotel room.
The husband and wife returned home and they had a showdown. Apparently the husband even beat her up.
The wife called up her aunt who advised her to collect all her jewels and walk out. She pocketed her jewels in her coat and walked out of the house and reached her aunt’s place. She filed a case, got divorced and today is settled in Delhi and working, peacefully.
The relatives pretended that they were all this time unaware of this boy’s preferences.
The incident left me shocked at what arranged marriages may bring in. The parents try hard to uncover all details of the other party before solemnizing the marriage yet many end up getting cheated. Regarding this incident, I have too many whys to ask but I know there are no answers to it. While this account of mine just indicates the bare bones facts, my mom has an extremely filmy version told first hand by the girl’s family. As humans, we think such things happen to others, unknown to us. The moment things happen closer home, we sit up and think.
In a tragic incident last week, my opposite door neighbour succumbed after his car was hit by an oncoming bus as he was turning into the ECR from boat club. The door went into his stomach. The wife was hysterical and in and out of consciousness. We could not muster the courage to tell her 2 kids aged 6 & 11 about the loss. The frightened kids were taken to the hometown along with the sedated Mother for the funeral the next day. We haven’t heard from them since then. Just 2 weeks ago he wanted to co-invest with a few neighbours in a plot of land. So much to do and all left half way. Normally any accident leaves us disturbed but we carry on, drive away from the scene and live our life. But this one made us get involved beyond the accident spot. Scary and Sad.
I leave a thought behind.
As parents, our kids are our responsibility. Can we make an –“In Case of Emergency Flowchart” and pass on to close relatives/ friends???


artnavy said...

gives me the shudders
did u see honeymoon travels??

why deceive?

Gauri said...

True to life Itchy - such incidents do leave one thinking .... and wondering ...
There was this family in Bombay too - I heard this the last time I was there on holiday - their son apparently has some serious health problem but they wilfully chose to hide this from the girl's family and she got to know about it only after she was married to him.
A few months and a nasty divorce later, she sure is free from him but what kind of a scar must this whole thing have left on her mind ?
My question was and is - when his parents and he himself knew about this health problem, why go ahead and spoil someone else's future too ?
The human mind works in very vicious ways sometimes, does it not ?

Just like that said...

I personally know of a senior acquaintance at work, who got married to a woman with great fanfare, at a late age.
A fellow mallu, the lady came to me in tears after some weeks, asking me if I could 'talk' to her husband, since we were friends. Apparently he had a problem getting intimate with her.

At office the guy used to say that his wife was a country bumpkin, and that that was why he didn't take her out anywhere.
But the guy was a closet gay. Some months later, she went back home and later they got divorced.
What I found sad about the whole affair is that he couldn't stand up to parental pressure, but was willing to totally ruin an innocent girl's life!

Which is one of the reasons I support gay rights. It would help these people live a life of their choice, without spoiling others' lives.

Hip Grandma said...

A list of what to do in case of emergencies would be a good idea.not b'cos something is going to happen but rather because life springs surprises and not all are pleasant.A list as the one you mentioned may be useful to those who handle the crisis.

Shome said...

you know, the 'happens to other people' theorem is fast falling apart.. The more I experience, the unspeakalbe is happening closer home. and thesad part is that we are still calling it 'unspeakable'. I am glad you put up this blog. There are many stories to be told, but i thnk the point is that we need to wake up to the fact that it can happen to us. Nicely done...

lumi said...

Sometimes I take for granted how much freedom we have in the American culture to pretty much be ourselves. Although there are some good points about arranged marriages, this only holds true if both sides are completely honest which often isn't the case.

My best friend was forced into an arranged marriage and was miserable beyond all belief for three years. I urged him to seek his own happiness and not his mother's and he divorced his wife. I was his mother's public enemy #1 for a while but even she saw how much happier he was and she and I are quite friendly now.

Another friend of mine got married and was diagnosed with a highly treatable cancer but she cut and run saying that she wasn't equipped to deal with such a thing that it was the man's responsibility to be strong. Her family claimed fraud against his which was pure BS, how do you know you are going to get cancer? Needless to say his recovery was complicated by being abandoned but he is finding his way again and recovered from the cancer.

A third friend of mine was engaged in an arranged match and he had the opportunity to meet his fiancee and spend some time with her. Things that he told me didn't jive and I raised my concerns to him because he is such a sweetheart. Eventually it all came out and the innocent she claimed to be was far from reality. He broke the engagement and went on his planned honeymoon to Thailand and Vietnam by himself. Said he had the time of his life :)

Unfortunately I somehow don't think these are exceptional stories and that seems to be a product of India having one foot in the 19th century and the other in the 21st century and not knowing which way to go.

Usha said...

I cannot understand why they need to ruin another person's life when they know marriage is not going to work for them. I keep hearing many stories like this. At least this girl had support and the courage to take action immediately.
There have been some who have suffered unnecessarily longer.
It is a brilliant idea - the emergency flow chart.

Kalpana said...