She5 mins 454 5 mins 454
She shuddered at the very thought of admitting her identity with the people she grew up with, the people who she trusted completely and the same people who had supported her relentlessly throughout. Nila had taken over a year to introspect and confess to herself what she truly wanted out of her life.
Nila had met Swati three years ago, they became friends quite effortlessly. While there were a host of common interests and shared perspectives on diverse matters, there were significant differences too that surfaced way too often. What mattered the most was that, Nila and Swati had learned and rejoiced making sense out of their disagreements harmoniously. Nila and Swati were happy to have found each other; for Swati, it was her first ever relationship, however, on the contrary, for Nila, it was more of a solace and a welcome start of a new journey after almost three years, post a disastrous six month old oppressive marriage. Since their purpose and intention were clear and honest from the word go, they loved each other very much. As much as they willed to take it forward and solemnize their relationship and did so wholeheartedly, Nila‘s family had always disapproved of her decision. She hailed from a traditional family who was shocked by her decision to live with a woman.
Nila was brilliant at her academics; she finished her engineering degree and just when she was about to start working, her family came up with a proposal. A marriage alliance from within the closest circle. The groom was well settled abroad and the family belonged to a respectable section in the society; therefore, there was no looking back for Nila and her family. Although Nila barely knew him, she had expected that it was natural to be so in an arranged marriage. She looked forward to a happy innings in her marital life.
Nila’s dreams and desires were shattered; her life lay in a dilapidated condition within a few months of marriage. While she tolerated the neglect and emotional torture that her husband made her go through, the moment she realized he did all that only to get rid of her and live with another woman, Nila stepped out. In fact, she regretted intensely that, Inspite of a marriage that clearly lacked any self-respect and love, she had allowed herself to endure living in it for even those few months. Left with no choice, Nila had returned to India.
Nila was surrounded by sympathy from all corners. She respected it. But, what she absolutely did not like was, how people blamed her destiny, her lack of sense in adjudging a person prior to marriage and how she had fled from the marriage without doing much et all.
A new start
Never one that gave up, Nila used her failed marriage and all the agony that revolved around the disastrous relationship to transform into a better person. She went back to her first love – teaching. Nila longed to teach children. Her parents supported her selflessly in her pursuit.
Nila took a couple of months to teach at an NGO, soon after; she started teaching at home too. Upon completing her bachelor's in education, alongside Evening teaching classes, Nila found a place at a prestigious school in the city. Nila’s patience, kind heart and empathetic attitude may have failed her in her marriage (in the words of outsiders); however, they proved to be the most winning qualities ever in order to succeed as a teacher. Nila not only taught but made learning her every day routine. She would not only do several courses herself in order to upgrade but also take up very many competitive exams time to time.
Nila’s mother saw her daughter grow so well. Tears welled in her eyes as she admitted how, at one point, the family had felt sorry for Nila because she was missing out on marital happiness. Many suggested to get Nila married again soon after the formal separation. That could make Nila happy again, they offered. Nila and her parents were against the idea. Nila definitely had not lost her hope in the institution of marriage but she wanted to take her time. Most importantly, Nila did not wish to use marriage as her only identity and source of joy. Instead, Nila endeavored day in and day out to carve a niche for herself in the society.
Nila’s parents stood by her throughout the arduous journey. Nila’s father even suggested that she start her own school. Nila was over the moon. She was on cloud nine to hear such amazing inputs. Her grit, dedication and an optimistic attitude was paying off dividends. She chose to credit all her accomplishments to her parents who were the real pillars of support behind it.
Just when everything seemed to fall in place, Nila left her parents dumbfounded when she revealed that she had discovered a great companionship in Swati. Nila expressed her intent to live the rest of her life with Swati, who shared a very enviable connection and a special bond with Nila. Though Nila left no stone unturned to explain how it was not so bad after all, her family was still in a state of denial.
Nila reluctantly lived away from her family due to constant fights over the matter. Nila contemplated giving up on the idea altogether merely for her family. But there was a flood of questions in her head instantaneously.
Wouldn’t she be cheating on herself by doing that? Her parents wouldn't like it one bit.
Wouldn’t that mean being dishonest? A coward, even! That was not her upbringing.
Nila went ahead and married Swati. She knew she had not done any wrong but her family needed time to make peace with it. She chose to wait. Wait for as long as she could. She did not wait blindly but regularly did her part to let her family know how a relationship had to have value and meaning. Gender of the two people in the relationship shouldn’t matter to an extent of disowning people entirely.
Nila and Swati knew that Nila’s parents would definitely understand it all someday. They lived in the hope of it.