Divorce. why...? how...?
Dityaa walked along the dark alley, the dimly flickering and dying streetlight not of much help as she strutted through the muddy pathway. Her sleek pencil heels not compatible to the road ahead figuratively speaking, and as she reached the end of the road, she saw the gates of her apartment complex and heaved a sigh of relief. Finally, she was home… her cab had broken down a few meters away and she had chosen to walk it down, blissfully unaware of the challenge that lay ahead. But then she wasn’t new to such a curveball life threw her way. She huffed and panted reaching the gates and Ramlal the night watchman stood up in a jiffy to salute her.
“…Salam… ma’am… late today…?” He asked with his colloquial tang emerging from a mouth stuffed with his quintessential paan. Dityaa smiled and nodded not in the mood to talk. She had to rush home… the clock had struck 11 PM ages ago and Kanta mausi would now be fuming having lost her beauty sleep and her little angel Pritha would probably still waiting for her amma to arrive. All of four summers Pritha was an epitome of discipline and concern. At times her maturity to handle things made Dityaa wonder if Pritha was her daughter or was it the other way round. She chuckled as she got into the elevator and before it shut Mr and Mrs. Sinha from the flat above hers rushed and she held the door for them to get in. Mr. Sinha nodded a thanks while Mrs. Sinha snubbed her as usual. Dityaa was now past the stage where these innuendos troubled her. She no longer cared. Kanta mausi often gave her details of how she was the fodder for gossip in different kitty parties or even among the maids who held their own personal conferences… but they no longer made a dent in her self-confidence. The only thought that saddened her was Pritha being subjected to ill-treatment and ridicule for no fault of hers and just because her mother chose to ignore the social stereotypes.
Well… Dityaa was a divorcee for three years now. As the elevator approached her floor she sighed. Not a soul who stayed in their so-called cocoons of hypocritically happy marital lives could empathize with her. She had been dealt a bad hand but now she no longer complained. She walked into the house even as a sleepy Kanta mausi gestured to her that Pritha had slept off after waiting… probably tired after her Tennis lessons. The girl was a pro and had taken to the sport like a fish to water. She walked into Pritha’s room and kissed her forehead…her daughter was out cold! Finally, after freshening up she went into her bedroom and lay stretching on her bed giving her tired body cells a long-needed reprieve. She shut her eyes only to see Mrs. Sinha’s crumpled face as soon as she saw Dityaa tonight. Well… every woman thought Dityaa was after their husbands, while many of those male folks didn’t care there were some of them who made advances at her especially after her divorce had come through.
Dityaa went back her memory lane. She was an MBA from IIM-B and had gotten the high paying job straight out of campus and it was here she had met her ex-husband Manish. He was all she had ever dreamed of and following a whirlwind courtship they were soon married. Manish had been supportive of her career and that was what had appealed to her. However, about a month into their marriage her widowed mother-in-law had moved in with them, right into this house which Dityaa had purchased after a year of working for the multinational company where she was now the team lead. The lady had made Dityaa’s life miserable by her taunts and arguments and Manish who once was supportive had turned against his wife… within a year of marriage Dityaa had decided she could no longer tolerate the mental torture anymore and had given Manish an ultimatum to request his mother to move to another house … And then something a woman dreads took place. Manish forced himself on her one night in a drunken stupor. She had been down with viral and had no stamina to fend him off… the result was, Pritha was conceived. Her mother-in-law further began her tormenting for want of a male heir for the bloodline and Manish soon started to drink frequently. Her parents didn’t support her because they never approved of Manish in the first place… A tumulus pregnancy followed by a high-risk labour made it all worthwhile when she held Pritha for the first time. Manish and his mother didn’t even come to the hospital and Manish even had the audacity to tell her to give away the baby for adoption.
Looking at a day-old Pritha’s cherubic whimpers Dityaa right then had made up her mind. She was no longer going to be treated like a doormat and would lead a life being a right example for her daughter. She didn’t need anyone for support… least of all a spineless husband. She had contacted a social worker and the very next day sent a notice to Manish and by the time she had arrived home with Pritha in tow, it was cleaned off all negativity. It was a tough roller-coaster then on where she had to single handedly manage her demanding workload and a baby but she held on. Pritha’s angelic smile made up for everything and finally Kanta mausi’s arrival was a huge blessing. She was a widow thrown out by her son and daughter-in-law and Pritha thrived under her love and care.
Dityaa wiped the stray tear that escaped the confines of her shut eyes. She took in a deep breath and released a trembling sigh… she had come a long way in the last four years. But she knew difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations and she was led to Pritha… Her career was also going great and as for the society she had given up adhering to those norms. Her parents had warmed up to her off late but she wasn’t dependent on them in any way. There were a few good neighbors who didn’t gossip about her or her so-called divorcee character.
She strongly believed, if the society didn’t rush to a woman’s aide when she needed them the most, then their lowly opinions didn’t matter at all. She was optimistic, she would continue the multitasking to help Pritha achieve her goals in life. And if ever her daughter fell, she would be right there to support her. She didn’t need anyone to gift her a floral bouquet… she had planted her own flowers!
©priyagole. No part of the story can be copied or shared anywhere without the consent of the writer