I felt acknowledged, I felt precious, I felt alive with Shekhar and our wedding was quite appropriately a celebration of our love, yearning, companionship and affinity.
It wasn’t that he stopped loving me , it was just that he didn’t have time or the inclination to stand up for my choices or my freedom when his parents,( who lived with us )vetoed on them.
Stepping out of the house without his parent’s permission or even choosing to pray in my preferred way, were perceived as disrespect and eventually I started to question myself , for,I wasn’t meant to be a prisoner, I wasn’t meant to be a slave!
The endless compromises, the perpetual suppression, the constant choking feeling had started to weigh me down transforming me into an irritable, gloomy, short-tempered woman and then there were frequent arguments with Shekhar, some heated fights.
It has been five years since I last saw Shekhar on those steep, ominous stairs, outside the courtroom and i feel, perhaps, Shekhar’s purpose in my life was to teach me the meaning of yearning – the kind of longing that one feels for azure blue seas and enchanting white sands
Sometimes , I wonder if Shekhar ever laments his loss for not having taken a bold stand or how different our lives would have been with a little more understanding and acceptance from his parents but I have to confess that there’s a certain contentment and peace in flying free, un-caged and unfettered by shackles of subservient hopelessness in a new life where I can be fearlessly ME.
This is my entry for Six Sentence Stories at Zoe’s uncharted , the cue of the week being “stand”. Thanks to Zoe for hosting the challenge.
Note- This is a condensed version of a story i had written a few months ago.
It might also help to mention that a joint family structure where parents , sons , daughters-in-law, grandchildren live under the same roof, isn’t a rare arrangement in Indian society.