The brothers were happy that they had discharged their duty well. They had found a super arranged match for their only sister. After the loss of their parents in the Tsunami in Thailand, they hastened to settle her. She had been spoiled by them all and even though a free spirit, she was unworldly. Hence anchoring her to a worthy groom was crucial. Providentially they found a successful doctor from USA as her match. Their anxiety was over.
Maya sat curled like a red ball waiting for her newly minted husband. She barely knew him as things had moved too fast and all events for past month were a blur. Her heart was still grieving for dad and mom. Now grief jostled with trepidation, excitement and fear. She was still a virgin even though was cognizant of the birds and bees. Her heart was palpitating. Suddenly there was a scuffle outside her door and then her husband Yogi was pushed inside by his family and the door locked from outside. Maya curled further. Yogi gradually came to her and asked her to wear a comfortable nightdress. She quickly nodded and changed in the adjacent bathroom. He was already under the sheets waiting for her. Turning off the lights she crept in. Then began the assault on her body. He grabbed her and raped her without any foreplay. She was taken aback and bit back her angry tears. Soon he was snoring and she was sobbing heart broken. All her conjured visions of a Mills and Boon romance had bitten the dust. Her shamed spirit covered itself. Her hometown Mumbai had become alien. Her tender heart became numb-
A frozen block of ice.
Honeymoon at home in USA was also a nightmare. His passion was insatiable whilst her dreams had fled. Away from her old moorings she was lost. Friendless and penniless she was at the mercy of this devil, her husband. Her mind was boggled. She had to save herself and keep her sanity happen what may. Pride forbade her from confiding in her kith and kin. She bided her time. The dulled stars in her eyes now shone with a resolve to rise above this degradation. Besides carnal assault she also had to suffer emotional domination. In self preservation, she began to live and survive in a beautiful parallel world created by her mind. When the going got tough, she fled into her personal wonderland. This proved to be life saver and helped in maintaining her sanity.
Conditioning did its job well and she fell into the groove of a dutiful wife and mother of twins. The arrival of babies gave her a new lease to life and it changed for the better. Still she felt enslaved as she had no voice of her own. Her opinions did not matter. He had the final say. Now this autocracy made no new bruise on her psyche. Now during sex, she would conjure up the latest heart throb from her morning dose of soap opera stars and it became bearable. Other times she tolerated it as though swallowing that awful cod liver oil in childhood. She showered all her pent up love on her children and tried to bring them up to the best of her ability. She continued doing yoga which was a second habit from childhood. This helped maintain her body and soul. Her spirit stayed numb.
Dr. Yogi Desai was young and handsome and was not averse to fooling around with his staff. Late nights and emergencies made him stay overnight in the hospital and often he was away on medical conferences as well. The twins had started nursery school and now she had free time. Maya was quite imaginative and soon started writing short stories for children.
As a lark, she sent them to some local “Parent” publications and they got accepted. In fact they were well received and she was encouraged to send more. Emboldened, she sent out feelers to local papers to be a columnist. She was told to get a degree in journalism before venturing in this field. She determined to do just that. She finished a journalism course online and got her degree. Yogi paid for this without a murmur. She was proud of herself and celebrated it with her twins. Yogi had no time for her and was only interested in his kids. In the interim they had applied for her US citizenship and she was now a US citizen with a valid passport and she already had a driving license.
She was somebody in her own right.
Again she sent out feelers to the local and national rags and was accepted by a couple. She would send in sensitive social and topical pieces and soon her Pseudonym Nancy Dee (Nancy Drew derivative) became respected and other papers sought columns from her. She started making good money. Yogi was not happy. He did not like his wife growing wings and daring to come up from air from underneath his heavy foot. She rejoiced, he sulked.
TV channels had started hiring doctors and news staff from Asian countries. One of the major channels sent her an interview letter and she was beside herself with joy. She went ahead and made an appointment. The gods were on her side. The twins were already in junior high and doing well. His parents were with them for six months and so she had no worries. The interview went well and she became the anchor of channel CPS. She had arrived on her own steam. Now was the time to molt. She was ready to revolt.
Quietly she went to see an attorney and filed for divorce papers. Yogi and his parents were stunned. The twins had been gradually prepared by her and were stoic. They were close to both parents but preferred mom. Yogi fought for the custody of his children. The court asked the twins and they opted for their mom. Finally Maya molted skin of slavery sloughing it off and regaining her own self for self. Her mental and real world fused to become one. She was at peace. It took sixteen years to come out of her marital slavery. She had decided who to let walk away, who to let stay, and who to refuse to let go. No one would ever dominate over her ever again. She would call the shots for herself. Her brave spirit would not let her indulge in a meltdown when the going was tough. Now she allowed herself the luxury of thawing. She wept away rivers for all the ignominies her battered spirit had borne. she was cleansed.
(p.s.: this is based on various horror stories heard over the years from various transplanted blooms from India.)
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Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.
Seneca 4 B.C. ? 65 A.D., Spanish-born Roman Statesman, philosopher
Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.
Herbert Hoover American, President
There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit,
no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.
Ronald Reagan American, President
The human spirit needs to accomplish, to achieve, to triumph to be happy
It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life.
The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated… it is finished when it surrenders.
Ben Stein American, Actor
Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit.
We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.
Wilma Rudolph American, Athlete
Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.
William Ellery Channing American, Writer
Words alone cannot fully convey the realities of the soul or the greatness of the human spirit.
William Shirley British, Politician