Not All Women Are Perfect
Not All Women Are Perfect10 mins 381 10 mins 381
Amrita, 28, unmarried, heartbroken thrice, resides in the 'city of joy'- Kolkata. Presently in a complicated relationship with a married man who has two kids. He is in his late 50’s and she is in her late 20’s. Amrita knows this man when she was 10. I know that you might have already picturised her as one of those negative characters that we see on television who breaks a man’s family or should I say the Sushmita Sen of Biwi No.1. hmmm… I would ask you to hold that thought for a second as you might want to or not change your opinion by the end of my writing.
After completing her masters, she could have joined an organization from her placement but her luck did not support her much and she could not land a job in her hometown through placement. Then again this man who has always supported her family came to her rescue and provided her with a job in his office. She needed a job and a decent salary. He was giving her both. She took after having applied to almost all available companies present in her town who never called for an interview. Doesn’t that look like a game planned by fate?
9:30 am, She is getting ready for her office which is ten minutes distance from her home by car. Worn a black Fab India kameez, she placed a black bindi at the centre of her forehead between the two big beautiful eyes she has. Her eyes remain lost in know not what thoughts, that she breathes less and sighs more these days.
As she hopped into her shared Uber today for office, she found a married girl may be younger than her carrying a few months old child in her lap. Earlier she would smile but today she ignored the mother-child eternal love sight and kept staring out of the window. Was she jealous?
Amrita struggles every day to realize that yes she is left with some dignity only if she has not lost every minute of her once ‘never done an error in life’ rule. She is financially quite independent (at least that is what she thinks). Bought a home too on bank loan recently. However, every time she passes a woman of her age carrying a child or one showcasing married signs, she feels the void in her life.
Amrita’s mother is a housewife and father who is in service (although he crossed his retirement age way back) sometimes provokes her for marriage. Once they even took a paid membership on Bharat Matrimony after her last no-tagged socially accepted relation broke, but that never turned into any fruitful event as far as I know. She is reluctant that marriage is not what is needed presently for her family. After all, who would take care of her parents? She has no brother to take the responsibility (though I hardly see any guy taking care of his parents, not trying to sound anti-male but that's what my observation is)
Once, she too dreamt of a family. A husband. A child. A home. But nothing happened. ‘Colour-Red’ is her favourite, by the way. She feels happy whenever she touches a red banarasi saree. This holi, when somebody smeared red gulal on her face and colour on her forehead smudged making her look like a newly wedded bride, she quickly clicked a selfie without letting anyone notice it.
Amrita’s childhood was full of turmoils like any other Indian girl belonging from a lower-middle-class family. She saw her father always dominating her mother. No, there was no domestic violence but like many families in our country, her father too exerted a male dominancy. Her grandmother disliked her as she was a girl child and even cried on her day of birth. She saw estranged relations and fights in the family (between her father and his brothers) for a property.
Amritha remembers how her Jethu (father’s elder brother) took everything including the gas cylinders. She remembers how she got upset when she ran to open the refrigerator and saw that it was not there. (as that too was taken by her jethu)
Amritha would not enter the classroom after lunch period in school as that time the school office would call for her as she would be the only student in class who never paid her fees on time.
Amrita’s struggle did not just limit to financial disruptions. She struggled even to select her stream in her higher secondary. Like typical parents, hers too forced her to take up science and like expected that she knew, she performed miserably. Mathematics was just like any foreign language for her. However, later she got into arts and humanities and performed well enough to top the University. She then acquired her two post-graduation degrees and thereby finally proved her point that she was not wrong to have to want to study arts in her higher secondary.
Amrita’s father had very little hope from her and considered her as a girl who would somewhat graduate and gets married. He always was biased towards his elder daughter. Amrita knew it. Yet, she never complained. She grew up playing by herself the ghar-ghar game. She would stay at her aunt‘s (father’s sister) place, coz the couple had no child and loved her like their own’s. But her aunt’s husband fua ji demised in 2007 after which her aunt started staying with Amrita’s family. Amrita’s aunt too died in 2016.
The past relationships that Amrita got into were unsuccessful. Amrita feels that she too was responsible for the break-ups as no guy would want to take the responsibility of the girl’s parents and why should any guy?’ Like in the movie, ‘Piku’, Deepika’s situation was. Amrita watches that film often and becomes emotional every single time and gets up rubbing her eyes.
The other day, when she was with her present relationship man and his daughter suddenly called him, she felt a lump in her throat. Was she guilt? She often checks on his wife’s Facebook profile and breaks into pieces of humiliation inside. On the day of Shivratri when she kept a fast for that person, she saw a picture of him and his wife on Facebook as it was their anniversary. Her day got ruined that instant. But the only weapon that made her feel better was to cry. But by shutting herself in her room.
Amrita has been physical with this person but has never gone for intercourse for she feels that it would break her promise to her mother of not losing virginity till she gets married. While you might think her to be a hypocrite, but her decisions were not based on a lot of available options.
Amrita never wanted to be in such a relationship. This man in the past gave her enough hints to make her realize that he liked her but she never responded to those. Her last breakup and a need of someone to trust landed her finding love in him. This story does not have any intention of making this lover of Amrita’s an antagonist but now that she is with him, she would never want to break his home. She wants him to be happy as he has done a lot for her family. Yet a desire to live a life of with dignity could never go off her mind and that keeps on wondering. Despite knowing everything, at times Amrita becomes quiet. Very quiet. She keeps staring out of the windowpane of her room and wonders how life would have been if fate was not so harsh on her.
This man- Jagat is an entrepreneur and a successful man in his life. He is a responsible father and a dutiful husband. He not only takes cares of his wife’s all needs and luxuries but also of her family. Jagat’s in-laws stay with him. But for some reason unknown, Jagat and his wife Nilu do not share the same house. They live in the same complex, while Jagat stays on the first floor, his wife and her family stay on the twelfth floor. They go on vacations, share smiling photographs but yet nobody knows the real reason for them staying separately.
Jagat is a caring man and there are many people whom he has supported several times. Amrita’s family is one of them. Jagat got in touch with Amrita’s family when twenty years back, Amrita’s elder sister Koel who is an exact opposite personality and a very open-minded girl called him on his office landline for friendship. Koel’s friend Ruchi gave her Jagat’s office number (in 2000, mobile was not there, so landline was what the communication point for distance talking).
I know this definitely puts a sign of interrogation on Jagat’s character, but being a human, he too needs to satiate his thirst to talk to someone. Maybe Jagat prefers talking to a woman. Well, Jagat and Amrita somewhere fulfil each other’s emptiness. Jagat does not always like to be with her. There have been incidents when he refused to come to her place or take her out. He likes his space. Even Amrita is not always happy with him, but when she misses her normal life or being with someone, she desperately calls him to be with her, though she is disappointed most of the time.
Why did she get into such a relationship when there was no commitment? Well, it was not always like this initially, Jagat promised Amrita that he would marry her in a few years after divorcing his wife. But after six-eight months, he gave the reason for his children and that marriage would not be possible. He then promised her that they would go in a Live-in relation which too got washed away like the previous promise. Is Amrita still a fool to be with him? No, as time passed, she realized that she knew it from the very beginning that he would never marry her. Koel warned her too. But Amrita has passed the path of believing and dreaming long back. Maybe she wanted to ruin her personal life. The day she went for the relation, she very well knew the consequences. She is no fool. She just opted for self-destruction.
Her subconscious mind often hits her that she took the easy path of survival and for fulfilling her family’s needs. Somewhere she has utilised Jagat and that’s why she cannot accuse him. Then, is Amrita a culprit or a victim?
Amrita hardly wishes anything for herself when she visits a temple. The only wish that comes out of her mouth is for the welfare of everyone she knows. As days are passing by, Amrita is becoming grey each day. The colour grey defines the losing colour of life for Amrita. On one hand, Amrita imagines herself in her 50s’ draped in a light colour saree with grey shoulder-length hair. But she imagines herself alone even there. While on the other hand, she has child-like characteristics and that's why she often decks up just to think that she is happy.
Amrita dreams that one day, her life would be different, she would not have to lead a life of guilt or envy. That one day, she would live a life of dignity and not a shallow one.
Why is a woman always judged on her present relationship status? Why is still in 2020, people call her a slut if she wears a mini skirt? Is she always going to be a pain in the eyes of society? Well, well, you can judge her. She doesn’t care as she has walked through the skeletons and skulls of those who sit on a fake pedestal of respect.
6:35 pm, ‘Leaving’, is the text that she Whatsapps Jagat every evening before leaving office and ‘Reached’ after reaching home. Today, she wrote the same but while sending, a thought just stroke her mind, ‘if Jagat was not there, whom would I have texted?’, sighed and sat in her shared Uber for home...
to be continued...