You were a victim of the stereotypical patriarchal norms that force women into marriages devoid of love. The epiphany of your husband on your very wedding that he cannot love you and your reply, "Toh aap humshe kya asha rakhte hai," marked the beginning of a social contract disguised in marriage.
Though you searched for love to satiate your physical desires in people who betrayed and abandoned you, yet I admire you for the fiery spirit you possessed, you wore your heart in your mouth and always voiced your opinions. If only the quest of being loved didn't blind you, you would have suffered less. Your rebellious nature is an inspiration to all women whose voice has been suppressed by the series of impositions inflicted on our gender.
Your only sin was, you were born poor and that too a woman who belonged to the lower strata of society. At a very tender age when you should have been yourself studying, you took the responsibility of running the family and raise your little sister. You were a mere toy in the hands of lustful pretentious men like Vinod Agarwal who tried to physically exploit you taking advantage of your helplessness being a housemaid, but you knew how to preserve your self-dignity.
Your journey ends on a note of misery where you are falsely accused of a crime you didn't do just because you are poor and you don't have any means to fight back but amidst everything I loved the way how you took care of your little sister and always shielded her like a mother.
Dear Priya and Bharti,
The bond you two shared are unique yet heartwrenching. You both hailed from two disparate classes of society but both of your struggles were similar, i.e to suppress one's identity to conceal one's sexual preferences. You both were the puppets in the hand of society as it made you abide by its definition of a normal human being.
Bharti your agony from being deprived of a job because of your caste is relatable to not only women but to all those people of society who face discrimination every day in every field because of their caste and Priya your existential crisis in putting up with a loveless marriage and questioning your sanity in not being able to love your husband evokes sympathy in our hearts. Priya and Bharti both of you were perfect for each other but it was Bharti's unfulfilled desires to replace you in getting the job she always wanted and your meekness in putting up the show of a happy wife that prevented this relationship from developing.
If only you both were selfless and courageous you two have made a perfect couple. Yet those little moments which both of you spent together will remain as a souvenir of this forbidden half-love.
You were trapped in a marriage with a megalomaniac who never loved you and your daughter the way you wanted. While you were trying to escape from the pangs of an unsuccessful marriage, it was Kabir's love that made it easier for you. The thirst of your parched soul was quenched by Kabir's unrequited love.
While Kabir was honest and true to you, you never revealed to him that you were married and can speak, maybe because you were scared of losing him, who was your anchor at times of your despair. The sign languages that you both used to express love symbolize that more than words its feelings which matter. However, this love was forbidden as you could never shirk your responsibilities as a mother and the norms expected of a married woman.
The final revelation and your bursting into tears for letting go of your true love makes our heart heavy. Your life is the epitome of sacrifice and is synonymous with many housewives who bottle up their emotions wearing a smile. Those numbered days of your bliss will be forever engraved in my heart and in a parallel universe someday when you have liberated yourself I envision your union with Kabir.
By Srilekha Mitra