A tale of a Middle class Indian marriage (based on true facts)
Jai was quite excited, as finally he was about to meet Abha with whom he was chatting for sooo long. They came across each other on a matrimonial website some 9 months ago. He was particularly interested in this girl as she was from a very poor family and was looking for a future as a housewife (she was working because of financial crises and she became net savvy at the workplace).
Whereas Jai’s family had been through business turmoil from past 10 years leaving him stranded in a sales job after a mediocre BA degree due to financial crunch, but the blood of a business man could secure him a position as a manager with a leading brand. Thus the status of family was restored in the society along with their repute of a principled family.
Their house too was one of the last left properties as it was in Jai’s moms name. It was a commercial property but of a 450 sq ft. it was office cum residence of the fathers dying business and elders brothers’ struggling business was operated from that prime location in Mumbai. Brother due to shortage of space was staying far with his family in Kalyan.
The family was chasing their repayments of debts. And Jai was of the right marriageable age. He got proposal in abundance but he was rejected when it came upto family crises. Keeping this in mind he had updated this girl about his condition too.
They finally met up. Abha was the good looking girl next door. She too found that die hard, hard working attitude in Jai. One of the highlights of the meeting was, She told Jai “I have learnt to kill my Hunger, I have been skipping lunches, so you do not worry about my adjustments. Further I am marrying outside my biradari because my circle is burdened with Dowry.”
Jai melted on this and was weeping from within, though nothing was evident on his face, But he fell for her, he was also confident that he will give her all the happiness and she would never miss anything in life. He said “with me you do not have to adjust as I will never put you in that situation, and if need be I will skip lunches, but feed you.” Jai was also overjoyed as Abha told him that she would prefer to be a housewife since she has been working all her life till now.
They got married and it was dream wedding for the girl, as family members of Jai realizing the status of the girl and took just 11 people in the (Baraat) wedding. Abha’s father, a god fearing man, was actually quite happy as he did not expect the wedding to be so nice as their community was full of Dowry Takers and also was happy that the daughter managed to get a good groom on her own and rescued him from the burden of Dowry. He was pretty loud about this fact in his circle.
Jai’s parents sold the office flat and bought a very big house in outskirts of Mumbai and also repayed some of the debts immediately after Jai’s marriage anticipating a joint family with a reunion of the elder son. They were in the euphoria of getting a chance to practice their principles.
But for a girl from a small time town of MP who loved Mumbai like any other up country individual, could not resist the illusion and speed of this city, equations changed later. She suddenly started demanding to Jai that his parents will have to leave the house, she also got lured to the costly lifestyle of the city, to which Jai was not fascinated. The parents left home but had to come back as once a working girl, Abha could not manage the house alone and fell sick and Jai could not manage with work pressure.
Abha who had not tasted this freedom and pampering had lost her senses. Her demand grew on this simple family who has been living on smart money planning and savings amid their tight finances; given to understand the debts to be repaid. Abha had different problems and those were of having a flat of her own as an anniversary gift. Differences started to grow between Abha and Jai. Jai also realized that living alone and slowly having a flat on her own name was the ultimate goal of her life, her status among her sisters was also high as she was married in Mumbai as compared to the rest. The couple had verbal fights, Abha crossed limits at times and threatened to kill herself and write a suicide note with everyone’s name. With Jai’s parents back in the house now Abha wanted to go to work and she found a job too.
Jai was supporting but was worried and confused about Abha’s uncertainty, both he and Abha displayed the unforgiving tendencies since Abha picked up quarrels on petty matters not worth a bit. Meanwhile Jai discovered about lies that he was being told before marriage by Abha and he was in no forgiving mood. He discovered her love for someone whom she loved once was still fresh and was reminiscent in her talk very frequently. Her broken engagement and above all her unforgiving nature on petty senseless matters and attention seeking tendencies. And her contact with her past love who was married now with his own family, was all kept secret. Everything seemed so different now.
Finally Jai settled down with new facts and decided to sort it out and talk it out face to face with Abha. But, Abha got in to blame game, Sulking and self mutilation and more lies. Abha could not convince Jai on the frequent lies and she rather felt at loss and exposed. In fit of anger or may be to blackmail, She scratched her wrists, injured Jai who tried to rescue her. She pushed the Mother In Law and abused the sick Father in law. She was out of control. They all had to hold her to calm her down; which she later misrepresented as mass violence on her by all of them.
To avoid embarrassment, she must have lied to her parents and brothers about whatever happened. They were very furious and pledged that they would not spare Jai. In a personal meeting Jai could not bear the false charges that Abha put on him and his family members and was not convinced as to why she was behaving erratic and what was her motive behind scratching the wrist. After all attempts in vain, they mutually decided to separate. The mutually appointed middleman took over negotiations for Alimony. But Abha swore that she would not co-operate and will see to it that all of them are put behind bars.
Abha calls up Jai after 6 months of separation and threatens Jai, about Police complaint and a petition if her hefty money demand was not fulfilled. She said she knew law better and advised Jai not to debate or be smart on alimony issue. Time passed by Abha’s family never responded to the settlement offers, 2 years later middle man worked out on the divorce settlement. The threat of police and torture of blank calls, prank calls, threats, streedhan and heavy alimony demands etc had kept the family under pressure which affected the health of Jai and his parents. Finally one day a bitter and loss making divorce settlement took place with police involvement Jai and his family were shattered.
Jai’s performance at job was affected, he was demoted in his job, but bosses mercy spared him from being jobless. One day was on his way for a Cold sales call. He saw a beautiful charming girl in that office. He realizes it was Abha, quite changed, She was having her Full dabba of Lunch (may be her favourite alu ki sabzi or simla mirch), he quietly slips away from the scene unnoticed.
Somedays later he also saw her again in that area, carrying the bag with the brand name of nearest Gym, Jai gathers that she must be going for a workout after office hours to maintain herself by burning extra calories, from her stock of happiness. That was also her definition of high lifestyle in Mumbai. She also spoke good English now.
Jai sighed “that she got actually married to Mumbai and never to me, Now well settled here, may be married again, drained my pocket in name of alimony and this foolish 498a law, used all my contacts during divorce and now my money, where as she continued working here, showed her status as unemployed on paper, and if I tried to out smart her with these proofs then she threatened me of this logic less and false 498a, 406, 307.”
Jai, now a 33 yr old diabetic, with increasing grey hair and thinner than before, advances to a medical store for buying the costly medicine that his parents’ health demanded. Proud about the fact that he is still with his parents but was also yet to recover from the situation that the divorce episode left him financially drained and now he was skipping Lunches.
He noticed something, smiled and said to god that “Abha used to skip lunches because of her financial situation, I compassionately pledged that I would not allow Abha to skip lunches, if need be then I would skip. I am happy that she is happy and God allowed me to keep my promise.”
For the ones who trusted Abha’s Story labeled Jai and his family as Liars, villains and said they deserved the DEEPSHIT. Religious Jai and his family assured themselves by believing that they are the actual survivors. And the act and attitude of Abha told Jai that he was a ‘loser’ just like any other male and he helplessly realized this.