Was This Love Or Something Els
Was This Love Or Something Els
Sometimes we know the truth and yet we cannot do what we should do. Love often happens to be the greatest culprit. Whoever said that love was one of the simplest of emotions, was utterly wrong. It changes the wiring of the most logical of brains and make them behave irrationally and weakly. If I tell you the story of my friend, you will know what I mean.
This friend of mine, I’ve known her since college days. She met her current husband in college itself. It was a paint-the-town-red kind of passionate affair. So their getting married seemed the only logical conclusion. Both being Bengalis and both being from the same caste, there was no parental opposition. It was quite a fairy tale wedding, replete with an array of my favorite non-vegetarian dishes!
Within a year she was blessed with a child and soon after that her husband got himself a job in Canada and so they left. We kept in touch through emails, because international telephone calls were still quite expensive in those days. Then time did what it does best- it got us both bogged down with raising a family and earning a living. The communication went down and slowly became abysmally less.
This was till a year ago when I got a mail from her that she had come back to India. And wonder of wonders – she was in Delhi. We set up a rendez-vous at the All American Diners at the Habitat Center. Something told me it would be a long conversation. I could not have been truer with my prediction. What started in the morning ended late evening and what she said to me during that span of time shocked me.
They were in their 16th year of marriage and through all these years she had suffered at the hands of this man. Not one incident of physical abuse, but immense mental torture. Right from blaming her for anything that went wrong in the household to forbidding her to wear certain kinds of clothes in public. From making her cut off her contacts with all her men friends to not letting her talk to her parents on weekends simply because she had to cook for all his friends who were coming over. She went on telling me- incident after incident – and I silently listened to her. Her face was expressionless and calm, while incessant tears rolled down mine.
When she finished, I sat there silently until the waiter came with the bill. The walk outside should have been refreshing, but I felt stifled. My friend answered the questions that were running through my mind.
“You want to know why such a free spirited and independent thinking person like me is still in this marriage?”
“You want to know why I didn’t tell you all this much earlier?”
I nodded again.
Her answers had dumbfounded me. She said she had not yet opened up to anyone except me. And this was not because she was scared, but because she wanted to protect her husband. It wasn’t because she was scared of leaving him and starting a new life, but because she still loved him.
“Love? You have got to be insane! I screamed at her.
She responded with one of the calmest of smiles and a nod in the affirmative. I had tried to make her see reason and tried to tell her that this was not good for her, but she just refused to listen. How can one reach out and help when the victim is going around wearing rose tinted glasses even after so much abuse?
We are still very much in touch, but we never talk about her marriage any more. It’s a topic left for time to unfold. I can only hope that someday she will realize. Till then all that I can say is that IS THIS LOVE OR SOMETHING ELSE?