Useless7 mins 16.1K 7 mins 16.1K
Born in a lower middle class family, Parul desired to be rich. She always dreamt of wearing branded clothes and jewellery, driving expensive cars and travelling all around the world. As luck would have it, she and her husband Jugal were two different coins altogether. While she was highly ambitious, he was easygoing. He was happy and content with whatever he had, no matter how little it was. He was of the belief that he will get whatever is written in his destiny and no one can change it. While Jugal appreciated Parul’s quest for wanting more from life, he did not like the way she took it to her head. She never appreciated the blessings she had and cribbed about the luxuries she couldn’t have.
Jugal loved his wife dearly but he was depressed by her constant criticisms and comparisons with his best friend Dinesh. Her permanent words were, “ You are useless. You are good for nothing. You have no ambition in life. I am the unluckiest woman in the world as I am married to you. Why don’t you learn something from Dinesh? Sarita was flaunting her new gold necklace the other day.” The words would mostly be the same but only the items would change. Sometimes it would be gold, at times her branded clothes and at times, it would be a new four wheeler purchased by him. Whenever Dinesh purchased something new, Jugal and Parul squabbled in their own home.
In the beginning, he started saving and stopped spending money on himself, just to fulfil his wife’s demands. He would buy her an expensive gift of her choice so that he could see her happy and smiling. On receiving the gift, Parul would be happy for a day or two and then she would start her cribbing all over again. No matter how hard Jugal tried, his wife was never happy. She always complained. He tried his best to make her understand that Dinesh’s job and his job were completely different. Hence he received a handsome salary compared to his and he couldn’t afford a lavish lifestyle like him. She never agreed with his justification and disrespected him always. Matters became worse and worse. He just couldn’t figure out what to do. Her words demotivated him to such an extent that he started feeling that he indeed was worthless and good for nothing.
They argued and fought almost every single day. Whenever Parul and Jugal had a fight, their 5 year old son Veer would start crying bitterly in a corner of the room, equally scared of both his parents. Jugal hated going home at night. Communication was reduced to a bare minimum, only if it was required. Even though he was still in love with his wife, her problematic behavior hurt his mind, body and soul. Day by day, she was becoming more and more demanding. He started hating himself for her behavior, unable to determine the cause. Whenever he thought of a divorce, he reminded himself of his son.
As far as their relationship was concerned, Jugal felt emptiness and loneliness around Parul. All he received from her was negativity. About himself and his lack of meeting up to her expectations. He was now fed up with her and didn’t have the courage left to tolerate her. Without informing her, he filed for a divorce. He was about to hand over the divorce papers to her one day but a shocking news stopped him. His friend Dinesh suffered a massive cardiac arrest that night and passed away before he could be admitted to a nearby hospital. Jugal was now even more devastated. Leaving his wife was one different matter. This was his best friend who left him without giving any warning or intimation.
Jugal and Parul tried their best to console a crying Sarita and her two innocent children. His sudden death had given them a huge blow. Parul, who always compared her husband with Dinesh, was aghast as well. They visited Dinesh’s house frequently. For his wife Sarita, her troubles refused to die down. Her primary concern was taking good care of her children but she was more disturbed by the unceasing calls of bank officials who called her asking her to pay back their money. Apparently, their flat was taken through a loan and they still had to pay a few instalments. Not only that, most of the luxurious items purchased by him were through different bank’s credit cards and he had over exceeded his credit limit. As Dinesh was no more, the entire burden came on Sarita to pay all the money back. Sarita, who always flaunted her new purchases whenever Parul visited her, now cried about the different instalments she had to pay to different banks.
Parul noticed Jugal becoming quieter and quieter day by day. She knew, in her mind, that she was the one causing him pain but Dinesh’s death had shattered him completely. Seeing Sarita’s condition, she had now realized her mistake. Dinesh had purchased luxury with others’ money without thinking about the future, while Jugal spent his money according to his income along with saving for their future. She had been wrong in judging both of them. One day, after returning from Sarita’s house, Parul decided to apologize to Jugal. He was standing near the balcony door, deeply immersed in his thoughts. She went and hugged him from behind, tears refusing to leave her eyes.
“I am sorry, Jugal. Please forgive me. I have always been a bad wife to you. How wrong I was to compare you and Dinesh! I was a fool who never realised your true worth. Whenever I saw Sarita wearing something new, I pressurised you to buy me the same thing. Or maybe even better. I never thought of how they were spending their money. Or how you will manage to afford the same thing. I kept demanding always.” She wanted to speak more but something about Jugal’s behaviour made her cautious. Normally, whenever she cried and hugged him, he would hug her back and wipe her tears. Though he didn’t push her away, he just stood like a statue, emotionless. After a long time, he pulled himself away from her grip and looked into her eyes.
“Poor Dinesh!!!! He doesn’t even know that I lost my wife much before I lost him.” Parul looked at him, confused.
"What are you saying? I am right in front of you. Please don’t utter such words.” Jugal opened his bedside drawer and handed her a brown envelope. She quickly opened it. On seeing the word ‘ Divorce’, her hands started shaking.
“I was going to give you these papers the day Dinesh died. But I couldn’t. None of us were in the right frame of mind.” Her tears continued flowing as she saw her husband, calm and composed. She went towards him and held both his hands.
“Please don’t leave me. I love you. I can’t live without you. I am sorry for all that I have done. I promise to stay as you will keep me. I will never demand anything from you anymore. We have a son, Jugal. Where will he go? He needs us both.”
“How can you love me if you don’t respect me? Respect comes first, Parul. Love comes much later. You and Veer were my world. We had little, but we were happy. I wanted to create a heaven for you. But you decided to make our lives a living hell. I have always loved you. Maybe, I still do. All I wanted from you was your love and a little bit of appreciation. You failed to give me both. You should have been the one encouraging and supporting me. But you made me a criminal in my own eyes. You made me lose my self confidence. You forced me to hate myself. You always called me useless. Now you can leave this useless guy and find someone who you think deserves you.”
“You are not useless, Jugal. I am. I am sorry. Please forgive me.”
“Saying sorry won’t bring our relationship back to normal. You have constructed a wall too high between us which can’t be demolished. I always wanted you to realise your mistake. But I didn’t know that it would happen at the cost of my friend’s death.”
“Can’t you give me another chance? Can’t we start fresh, Jugal?” Jugal took a deep breath and looked at his wife, as if he was seeing her for the very last time in his life.
“I really don’t know. We both need a break from each other. You can go visit your mother’s place for a few days. Take Veer along with you. If you don’t want to go, then I’ll go somewhere. After a few days, we will try to sort this out. Or maybe we won’t. I don’t have the answer to your question right now.”
He kissed his wife’s forehead and left the house with a few of his belongings. Hoping he would find the answers to the many questions which were cropped up in his mind.