Rajesh is not in talking terms with me since an year. It started with Rajesh joining a leading club as a part of availing his company facilities. I liked to visit the club with him for an evening, enjoy facilities, make friends have dinner and come back. I noticed him spending his evenings and weekends too there. I was feeling that he is ignoring me. I had an exchange with him about the same.
I said 'Tum tumhara pura time udhar nahi bita sakte. Ghar ake ghar ko bhe dekhna chahiye'
Rajesh 'Ghar ko bhe dekhta hu. Mujhe bhe apne liye samay chahiye.'
I said ' Apne liye ya mujhse door rahne ke liye'
Rajesh 'Jo bhi samazna hi samjho'
That was the last exchange we had. He stopped talking to me afterwards. He looked at a wall and asked for his needs. He slowly started taking care of his needs and with that the little impersonal talk also ended. He stopped looking at me. He refuses to acknowledge my presence. I have realised that I have become an object in this house.
I am slipping into memories from the past. Early days of marriage. Rajesh used to return from office. He eyes used to look for me as soon as he was back. If I was not present in the hall on some pretext he used to be in kitchen to grab a glance at me. The presence of other members was not a hindrance to him. Sasuma never liked us being together. Her eyes and ears were always looking out for us and her dislike was felt by us. Rajesh is attcahed to his mother but he liked our togetherness and ignored mother's overbearing attitude. As time passed and wegot used to being together. He started taking me for granted. His love has faded into background and We have slipped into being Husband and Wife.
I started working as every one around was working and it was supplementing Rajesh's income. I also liked being independent earner and started having office circle around me. Slowly I realised that all the financial decisions were taken by Sasuma and the exepenses to be paid by me are alotted. I slowly realised that I was a part of relationship arrangement and I was present to take responsibilities without any voice. Even when I had some opinion and expressed it, Sasuma had a readymade answer to rubbish it. Rajesh sometimes used to support my idea but he never carried any weight in the house.
I was part of household activities like cooking and all domestics chore. Sasuma was always tired and exhausted and expected me to carryout all activities. Rajesh used to help me in the morning so that I could cook and leave for office intime. He has sympathy for Sasuma and he liked to help me as a way of taking care of his mother. As time passed his appearance in kitchen became rare. I became efficient in the chore and I was able to do all on my own.
Reshma's birth had brought cahnge in my life. I liked the little one and loved to be take care of her. As I resumed my service, my avalability to spend time with her reduced. I was left with doing essential things only for her and a maid took care of her needs. Reshme had started bonding with Sasuma. I was happy that Sasuma loves her. Reshma's name was selected by Sasuma and slowly her dresses and every decision about her was by sasuma. I realised I am present to play the role and my dauhter was no more a daughter but a grand daughter.
Rajesh used to take care of me during illness. He was always there to take me doctor , get medicines and nurse me. Sometimes I wished that I was sick so that Rajesh was with me and I was cared. As soon as I used to get normal Rajesh used to become more of a son and less of a husband. Even when he felt my point of view was correct he never had a urge to express it and take a stand.
I was in our bedroom with Rajesh. Rajesh wanted me to stich a button. I asked him to keep a watch on Reshma and started looking for a needle and thread. Rajesh was reading paper. Suddenly I heard screem and Sasuma was in and said
'Bachi ko dekte ho ki nai. Wo puja ke puja mandir ko kharab kar diya'
I couldn't reply but neither Rajesh was opening his mouth.
Sasuma 'Tumhara kam mujhe bar bar kyo batana padta hai'.
Rajesh was healthy always in general. But when he was sick he behaved like ladla. A simple fever or a severe stomach upset made him behave like a child. I felt taht I have two children to attend. He had his nackras. Everything had to be handd over to be served in bed. He used to call his sister collegues and narrate his sickness. By the time he was ok, I was exhausted. I enjoyed staying close to him during his sickness despite my extra load.
Rajesh was earning reasonably well but his salary was always spent in household expenses and my salary iin additional expenses which never gave any breather space.The joint family and Rajesh's role as a son has always left us in a hand to mouth situation. Some times I used to wonder where we were heading.
Sasuma's demands on me were never ending. Any amount of obdience and respecting her was of a futile effort. Her nags were on and on starting up gettiong up, cleanliness, way of dressing, kids and no other. As time passed Rajesh got into mode of demanding and nagging with least amount of empathy. I wondered that how can marriage transform me from a doting daughter to the job of slave like worker.
The birth of Vijay has not vhanged the scene much. I was getting tied up more with kitchen and looking after core of children and snatched all the time from me. I was spending less and less time with them and they started decoming independent and attached to Sasuma and Sasurji. Increasingly I have lost respect from from Rajesh and children too.
The lack of respect and concerm for me made me aloof interrnally. I became a person irritated and helpless. The system of mariage has become a burden on me and a bottom less pit. Respect , honour, love , concern made me disillusioned and pushed me to be a introvert. Our marriage had started drifting towards a stae of indiffernce and slowly Rajesh had started hating everything about me leading to point of no return with breakdown in communication. A marriage deviod of love, commitment,mutual respect and support can't be a marriage. It is trap for me to go nowhere. I wonder
'Why is this marriage still on?'