Ritu Kumar



Ritu Kumar




5 mins

The car sped along the high way. Maya sat at the back seat looking at the trophy that she held in her hands. As she held it, memories flooded her mind. Years rolled back to the day of her wedding, the day she was entering into a new realm of her life. A day that was going to change her personality forever.

Maya was a bright student pursuing her graduation at one of the premier institutions of Delhi. She had dreams of making it big and getting a plum job. However destiny had something else in store for her. Her father had suffered from a second heart attack and she was at the hospital attending on him. Mr Kalra and his wife, their family friends came to look her father up. Little did she know at that time that life would take a 360 turn. The Kalras left after the usual small talk. Two days after their visit, the land line rang – Maya’s mother answered the call. “Good evening Neera,” Mrs Kalra said. “ I have a proposal for Maya.” “But Mona, Maya is still in college and we haven’t even thought about her marriage,” said Maya’s mother. “Then think about it now. I am telling you; you won’t find a better match for her.” Mrs Kalra went on for the next ten minutes.

Finally, Maya’s mother hung up after promising that she would discuss the details with her husband and her in –laws and get back to her. Neera, of course, did nothing of the sort as she strongly felt that her daughter was doing well and had a bright future ahead. Three weeks later the doorbell rang and Mrs Kalra stood at the door with the same proposal but this time with renewed energy. She came storming into the house and sat for an hour finally convincing Maya’s mother and grandparents to meet the prospective groom’s family. The meeting was arranged. On the D day both the families met and also the boy and the girl. There was an instant liking on both sides. The boy, Shekhar’s parents, promised that Maya’s education would not come to a stop and she would be allowed to carry it till she wanted to study. (No one, of course, read between the lines - allowed - an indication of what was to come.)

Shekhar and Maya had a courtship period of seven months and they were nothing short of a ‘Mills and Boons’ couple. They did not leave anything undone in the rule book of romance. Those seven months are still the most prized memory in Maya’s consciousness. However as all good things come to an end, this also did. Marriage changed everything. Her doting parents in- law and her husband transformed overnight. She felt like an egg in a saucepan ready to be fried. She was expected to play the ‘sanskari’ daughter-in-law, taking care of all household chores and execute them with a smile. Her books and studies were to be put on a back burner.

However, Maya did not give up. She turned herself into a machine. Playing the good daughter –in- law during the day and with her books at night. Winds, though were blowing against her. This young bride had to encounter a new problem and a new challenge every hour. A new allegation every hour, scolding and tears. Maya’s confidence which used to be sky high was now being shattered every moment . She was on the verge of a nervous break down and felt life had ended before it had started. She did not want to tell anyone about what she was going through. Her parents would not be able to take it.

She just knew one thing- she had to change things- how and when – she had no clue of it.


As they say it, “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”, this did happen for Maya. One day after five years of her wedding she met an old friend, Roohi, while grocery shopping and as their conversation advanced Roohi told her that she was heading the HR department of an on-line publishing firm and they were looking for stories from amateur authors. Maya thought that she had heard something wrong and her heart skipped a beat. Before she could react Roohi spoke again, “Hey Maya, why don’t you contribute something? You used to always contribute to school and college magazines.” “But I ! Are you sure?” answered Maya. Roohi assured her that she could and gave her mail id.

That night Maya opened the lap top, with fluttering fingers. She thought she would not be able to type a single word but when she sat to write, her fingers started flying and within no time she had typed and mailed the story to Roohi. There was silence for a complete month and then suddenly it seemed that a cracker had burst. Maya’s name was all over the place. Her story had become the talk of the town. There was a looking back after that. Maya’s pen wielded a story after the story. Maya had become the author of the year and she had been invited to collect her award.

Maya again felt her trophy. The journey had been very tough and tiring but the rewards had been sweet. She had just not achieved just public accolades but she had broken the domestic shackles that had tied her till now. It seemed to her that she was reborn and had a new road to scale in front of her.

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