An arranged marriage that seemed to be perfect.
Tears were rolling down her cheeks. She was packing her bags to return to her father's house. While she had known all along that her husband, Rameshwaran was a flirt, but a harmless flirt, she had not bargained for him to have an affair with someone else. Picking up her bags, she had a last glance at the house that was her home for the last two years. She turned around slowly and descended the steps of the house to go towards the driveway, where a cab was waiting. Anita quietly sat in the rear seat, lost in deep thought, while the cab driver placed the luggage in the boot of the car. A whispered question from the cab driver, "Shall we move, Madam? Brought her back to the present time. She nodded her head and the cab sped away towards the airport.
Anita was a beautiful girl belonging to an upper middle class family of Punjabis. Her family was very close knit. Her childhood life was spent in the erstwhile Punjab of the undivided India, which was now in Pakistan. She was the eldest daughter of Kartar Singh, a wealthy farmer of Punjab. She had four siblings, the youngest being almost ten years her junior. She had barely completed her college studies when tragedy struck the family in the form of her father's death. Her mother, being a very upright lady, refused to take any financial help from her dead husband's extended family. Therefore, the responsibility of her mother and her four siblings fell on Anita. She trained to be a Montessori teacher and obtained a job in a local school.
He was a great husband
Spending a couple of years in the teaching profession saw her getting great success as a teacher. She became very popular among her students. This was when her family members began talking about getting her married. In those days, it was a fashion in these regions to get a female married as soon as she turned eighteen. A common relative brought a proposal from a neighboring village. The "boy" was an army officer, a young handsome Captain. A meeting of the parents was arranged along with an interaction between the prospective bride and groom. Formalities over, the proposal was accepted, primarily because he was having a government job. After a brief period of courtship, Anita and Rameshwaran were married in typical Punjabi style.
After making sure that her mother and siblings would be looked after well in her absence, Anita joined Rameshwaran at his duty station. True to military tradition, she received a warm welcome from both Rameshwaran and his friends, in true army style. Rameshwaran was a loving, kind and understanding husband, who catered to all her needs. She was treated like a queen and she was loving it. However, little did she know that she was the guinea pig.
But he wanted only sex
Rameshwaran had one big weakness though. He had a very strong sex drive and he wanted to indulge in strong passionate sex every day. Anita too enjoyed the joys of sex. Thinking this was just the norm in the early stages of married life, she took it in her stride. She expected this to change with time. However, she was wrong. After the birth of their first child, Anita thought Rameshwaran would sober up. However, he showed no signs of calming down. His endearments now changed to demands. He would demand sex from Anita every night. Being the dutiful wife, Anita submitted to these demands even though she was not always "ready" for it.
A few years down the line, their second child was born. This was when Anita prayed for some relief. However, Rameshwaran's sex drive continued unabated. Moreover, the military life also took a toll on Anita and her body. She was kept busy both on the official and the social front. The excited young bride, initiated into the world of marital sex, had now become a silent partner to her husband's fetishes. Now she started longing for some respite. However, she did not get any.
His work move
During this time, Rameshwaran had an altercation with his bosses and resigned from his army job. After a short stint as a retired officer, he landed a job as the CEO of a multinational company. His new job took him to another city. Anita had to stay back to ensure continuity of the children's education. Rameshwaran would visit the family on weekends or sometimes, Anita would take the children to visit Rameshwaran. The sexual encounters of the daily kind were now converted to weekend encounters. Anita was happy with this new arrangement.
During one such visit to her husband's city, she noticed some changes in the bedroom. The changes were subtle but were changes nonetheless. Rameshwaran's visits to see her and their children had now dwindled to once a month. Increased workload at the office was the staple refrain for this arrangement. Anita was forced to accept this reasoning. However, she did have a nagging doubt about something being wrong. Was Rameshwaran being unfaithful? Was he having an affair, unknown to her? She kept asking herself these questions, but, there was no answer anywhere. She had no proof.
The other woman
She got proof, during a now rare visit to meet her husband. She spotted a "bindi" on the bathroom mirror. She did not use a bindi, then whose was this? She asked herself. Calling out to the housemaid, she chided her for not cleaning the mirror properly. The housemaid's reply stunned her to no end. The maid in her non-nonchalant manner said, "I keep cleaning, but madam always puts the "bindi" on the mirror". "What…..Who……Which madam?" Anita stammered as she could not believe what she heard. The housemaid then narrated the entire story of how a madam named Prerna, who was a divorcee, was a regular visitor to the house. Bit by bit, Anita tried to pick up the threads and piece them together. Her worst suspicions had come true, after all. Her husband was indeed having an affair.
When Rameshwaran came home that evening, Anita confronted him with what information she had about him. At first he tried to laugh it off by saying that the maid was seeing things. However, on being probed further, he admitted to it. At the same time, he said with a snarl, "So, what?" In the corporate world all successful men have another woman. Don't make a big fuss about it. You are getting enough money for you and your children. Then what is the problem?"
I am still taking care of you, so what is the problem?
Anita was dumbstruck by the reasoning to have an affair. "Don't you care for me and the children any longer? How could you do this to me? I have always been a good wife, a good mother and now this?" She broke down and sobbed uncontrollably. Rameshwaran pacified her by saying, "You are being foolish. You are undeniably a good wife and an even better mother. But, having another woman is a sign of success.
"I have always ensured that you and the children have the best of everything," Rameshwaran said as he consoled her. Brushing aside his statements, Anita said, "I can't stay here. I cannot stay with you anymore. You have cheated us. You have betrayed the trust I had in you." Rameshwaran, as though he expected such a move, said, "That's your choice. I would like you to stay, but if you mind is made up, I will not stop you." He then abruptly drove off in his car.
During the drive to the airport and during the flight, Anita was in a daze. On reaching home, she gathered he children and told them what had transpired between her and their father. She told them about her decision. She told them to be brave and that together they will face this storm in their lives. Fortunately, the elder of the two boys had just landed a good job in the IT industry and hence was in a position to support his mother and brother. They moved into a smaller house and settled down to a life without Rameshwaran.
Anita had decided to call it quits. She had decided to FORFEIT the relationship than FORGIVE her husband.