The Unwanted Child.
The Unwanted Child.7 mins 12.2K 7 mins 12.2K
Many a times Shefali would ponder to herself... Was she really born out of love?
We live in a society where marriage and relationships are not necessarily based on love. People get married because they are of a certain age or because the biological clock is ticking or because they want to show to the society that they have a partner. And then as the story goes... sex happens and children are born.
Now... how many people want to think consciously about this? Very few ... Yet... knowingly or unknowingly children do face problems during growing up.
"Hey there... This is your ticket to Kulu. Just go from this menace and enjoy yourself..." Mahesh said to Pranita.
"Thank you. Thank you so much. I will immediately tell Abhay about it. He will be very happy.
Ever since we got married, I am stuck in this rut. There is no space for me and Abhay in his house and I don't gel well with anyone over there.
I hate it actually.
But what to do? ... Till the time Abhay pays all the installments of the new house, we cannot shift there.
But this honeymoon will indeed be a very good break!
Thanks, Bhai!", Pranita replied.
Mahesh was Shefali's maternal uncle and this conversation had happened only one month after her mother Pranita and father Abhay's marriage.
Abhay's was a joint family and he wasn't as well to do as was Pranita's parents' household. Only one month into a marriage she had started comparing her life before marriage with her life after marriage. She and her family members never left a chance to humiliate Abhay and his cousins. It was a casual thing for them... To look down upon anyone who was not of their standard so to say...
Abhay loved Pranita but he was too dependent. He did not have the spine to keep things in perspective as far as his self-respect was concerned. He was also innocent and did not really indulge in power games like Pranita and her relatives. Abhay was quite simple and always took things on face value without trying to understand the hidden meaning of what people would say until one day when it was too late!
"Our bus leaves tomorrow at 7.30 am. Bhai has made the hotel arrangements in Kulu. It seems it is a very good place. Lots of lush green plantations and just think about it... the season is also right... We are at the beginning of winter... I just can't stop imagining how good this trip is going to be.", Pranita said to Abhay as she was packing their clothes and making sure they had all that they needed.
"It's nice of him. Really.", Abhay replied." Do you need some help?", He asked.
"No. I am almost done... (Pauses) Oh ya... just get some dry snacks for the journey. Some chips and biscuits ... It will come in handy just in case the halts for lunch or dinner aren't as good. But I am sure, Bhai wouldn't disappoint us in any way. He must have chosen a reliable travel agency." Pranita replied to Abhay.
At seven years of age, Shefali felt three is a crowd! She never appreciated Mahesh's interference in their family. One afternoon she witnessed a terrible fight between Pranita and Abhay, but she hardly knew that it was just the beginning of the ugliest 20 years of her life.
After the first five years of marriage Pranita always described her and Abhay's togetherness as tedious and painful to Shefali. She always bitched about Abhay and his unresponsiveness to Shefali not understanding that she was not capable of understanding the nuances of their disturbed marriage.
Pranita always involved Mahesh in her home affairs and he too helped her in several ways. But Mahesh had different prophecies for his own life and Pranita's life. At the time Mahesh also had gotten married and his marriage was not a very happy one. He too bitched about his wife Seema to Pranita when Pranita would talk bad about Abhay. But Mahesh was two faced and very smart.
On one hand, he would help Pranita, vent himself a bit and get all the information about her broken marriage by playing sympathy games. But when it came to taking care of his own household, he was managing it pretty well. In a way he had double standards and was self centered that always ensured that his family life was going on fine, but, he would add fuel to Pranita's life who would be influenced by him and would end up screwing her own marital peace.
Since the time Mahesh had started interfering in Pranita's family life, it had been ruined, slowly and slowly... just like a termite chews up the most resilient wooden structure.
Shefali understood all this only when she turned 30. But until then she had always kept herself at a distance from Mahesh, no matter how much he would lure her into expensive and fancy gifts. She always felt that he was an unsatisfied soul who always wanted to make his presence felt in his sister's house.
Shefali liked several things about Mahesh. His tenacity, his ability to solve their issues which were very genuine thanks to Abhay who did not own up his responsibility for a very long time in the house and so Mahesh had become the father figure in her life.
But, years later she could not accept either of them. Neither Pranita and Abhay nor Mahesh. She sympathized Abhay because having known Mahesh and his controlling nature she had slowly started to understand what a weak person like Abhay must have gone through when she was small.
Many times Shefali had seen Mahesh humiliate Abhay and it was not a very happy thing for her. But, she could not do anything as it was Pranita who used to give even the smallest details of their house to Mahesh. Pranita never understood that the things in the house should not be shared with outsiders so frivolously and Shefali hated her for that. She knew that her father Abhay was making too many grave mistakes which could not be tolerated but she never completely approved the way her mother Pranita handled it.
Effectively Shefali hated both of them although she loved them like crazy because she was desperately wanting her parents to love her in return. But little did she know that she had grown up idealizing how her parents should be...
That she was in love with the image of those ideal Pranita and Abhay that were there in her mind. But the reality was different. Very different. And it hit her hard one day when she realized that her wait for getting parental love is never going to be over.
It happened just like that... Maybe because she had finally grown up and had started seeing things for what they are rather than waiting for her emotional needs to be fulfilled.
Shefali had seen too many fights, too much domestic abuse and now she had learned to distance herself emotionally from all the chaos that always went on in the background. She was only beginning to understand that all the noise in her head wasn't hers, it was theirs... They needed to deal with it, not her!
It wasn't that their family did not have happy times. They did. Many... But somehow Shefali was not happy there and that she was sure of.
One day when Pranita was boasting about how Mahesh had arranged for them to go for a honeymoon to Shefali, she suddenly grew silent.
Shefali knew that her sister Shikha was a planned child. She was five years younger than Shefali, and, Pranita always told stories about how she and Abhay were not sure of having a second child but their family doctor had suggested to Pranita that it was good if Shefali would have a companion. That is the reason why Shikha had come into their life. Shefali loved Shikha as her sister but she resented that she had been completely neglected by Pranita and Abhay after Shikha's birth.
So, when Pranita told Shefali that Mahesh had arranged for her honeymoon with Abhay and that she was conceived a month after that, Shefali felt, she was born just out of chance or lust or god knows what.
There was no thought, no need for her to come into their life or... for that matter... no emotional or mental or psychological conceptualization of her birth.
She felt maybe it was because of Mahesh that she was there in this world and it was only a matter of chance! Because, as far as her parents were concerned, she was probably UNWANTED.