Who is the Fairer Sex?
If you think women are the ones that need protection in a marriage, read this and think again.
Well, what do you know. I'm the younger sibling. My elder brother is married and lives in another city. He moved there many years ago. That would be soon after his graduation. Campus placements, and before we realised it, he was away. Over the years, his work became more stable, and finally after that one promotion he was waiting for, Mom started looking for a bride for him and got him married. My sister-in-law is a great woman. I envy my brother. In a good brotherly way, that is.
Today, I am married, too. Now ain't that nice. After my graduation, campus placements did not work for me and I took some time to get settled. But finally when I was in a stable job, my mom got me married, too.
My mother's all we both brothers have. Dad passed away ages ago. I guess I am a lot more attached to my mother than my brother. He managed to move out for his career; I doubt I'd have been able to make that bold a decision.
Cut to the present. Today I am married, with two kids. The elder is my daughter, and younger my son. Small, happy family.
Let's rewind and talk about the girl.
My job makes me travel sometimes. Not much, just sometimes. We're talking like maybe a couple of trips a year. That's not too much time away from the family, and no reason for the wife to complain.
One such trip comes to mind strongly. The memory's fresh, like it happened yesterday. The only thing is, it did not happen. I did not go. And that's exactly why it's so fresh in my mind.
My boss wanted to send me abroad for 15 days of training, all expenses paid by the company. I readily agreed and applied for a passport. The passport came in a month's time, and I was all set to apply for the visa. My wife was very, very cranky that morning. But I went anyway. The paperwork from the company was more than enough to get the visa, and in three days I was all set to travel.
The ticket was ready, and I was almost packed, when my wife tore up my passport.
Yeah, she tore it up.
She's like that.
It was very, very hard for me to explain to the company why and how the passport got torn, and why I did not fly that night.
I lost my job.
Three months of sitting at home and doing odd jobs, I managed to find work in another company. A few months later, we realised my wife is pregnant with our first baby.
We were really happy. My mother was very, very excited.
Nine months later, my wife gave birth to the prettiest baby girl that you'd have ever seen, and I fell in love with my daughter. She had the tiniest hands, the tiniest fingers, and the tiniest feet. She was so, so, so cute.
That night, my mother called up all of our relatives and told them that Goddess Lakshmi has come to our home.
And then we brought the baby home. And that was when my wife refused to breast-feed her.
She never breast-fed her. Never. Not even once. She blamed me that I and my mother are the reason she gave birth to a girl. She only wanted a boy. She never wanted a girl child.
I was aghast. There wasn't much I could do though. I tried everything I could to make my wife feed our baby, but she did not. I coaxed her the best I could, I threatened her, I tried to persuade her.
So I went out and bought a milk bottle and some nipples. Google told me how to sterilize them, etc. etc. and today my daughter is almost five years old and goes to school and is very, very naughty.
Then I had a baby boy. My wife never refused to breast-feed him. She breast-fed him, she cared for him, and did everything a mother does for a baby.
My mother initially helped me with everything. But then she got tired of the daily haggling with my wife, and asked me to move out. I took an apartment close to my work place, and moved.
Some mornings, I get up early and buy something on the go for my kids to take to school. The wife refuses to cook anything. It all depends on her mood. She might feel like cooking some days, she might not feel like cooking the others.
Don't judge me please, don't think crap of me. I'm just scared of the society to move out of this. I'm here for good. And I must stay here for my kids. They mean the world to me. I figure the way things are going, I've already ruined my life, but a divorce would ruin my kids’ lives. And I don't want anything to happen to them at all. They are my world.
Some days I look at happy couples playing with their kids in the parks or at the movies, and I think to myself what did I do wrong.
I see all these stories of domestic abuse on Tbg's blog, and I think, who are all these women? Where are they? We often talk about women suffering silently, but what about the men?
P.S. Domestic abuse does not have to be physical only. It can be a very traumatic experience, mentally and emotionally as well.
I have seen this case with my own eyes, and it makes me wonder, who's the fairer sex after all?
Isn't there any peace and happiness in a married relationship anymore?
Is this life for the youth when they get married?
This post was originally published on Desi Ghee and Coffee! in August 2010.
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