Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Anita's tears

Anita isn't someone who'd easily cry. Infact she's so strong, I draw courage from her most of the time. But that day when she cried on my shoulders, I felt my dreams crumble down with hers. I have always thought of marriage as the ultimate symbol of love. Being in a relationship is easy. You know you can walk out of it anytime. Entering into a marriage needs a lot of commitment. If a man is willing to give that to you, he really loves you.

Unfortunately, Anita belongs to the era of arranged marriages. The era in which a woman's wedding topped the priority list and was planned from the day she was born, while education, though imparted didn't even make it to that list.

Of course, right after a good proposal came in, her father without giving it a second thought gave her away in marriage. Did he ask her if she likes him? If he was the kind of boy she had always dreamed of or if she even wanted to get married then? In that era girls were never asked.

So Anita went away to her new house. On the outside it was all perfect right. Big House. A husband who looks decent and earns pretty well. Promise of a honeymoon to a foreign land. And of course many more luxuries to come. Well even the man she married was pretty nice. May be he spoke a little too much and seemed a little immature at times. But as they say 'he had a good heart'.

But is all of that enough for a happy marriage? Can the luxuries keep you satisfied? Can you truly be happy with a person you can barely connect with, no matter how nice he is?

Marriage calls for a lot of sacrifice. When two people completely different in more ways than one, take an oath to be a part of each other's lives until death does them apart, there are lot of adjustments to be done. There is need of understanding and need of adapting. Anita, of course belonged to the era in which women had no option but to comply. I can't say the same about her husband though. He didn't make an attempt to understand her or her family, or the small things that made a big difference to her.

But I guess it is always the small things that ruin relationships. I don't know what it is that he said or did, but when she cried that day, I knew that he had blown the last straw. She cried like one who had lost all hope in life. And the emptiness in her eyes, broke my heart.

As far as tears go, I classify them as 'tears of sadness' and 'tears of hopelessness'. Sometimes I cry to release the pent up emotions. 'Tears of sadness' as I said. And then there are times that my tears tear me apart. I feel like I'm so down, nothing could get me up. Life suddenly seems so glum that, even the brightest of things fail to bring joy. And those are the tears I classify as 'tears of hopelessness'.  

That was precisely how Anita cried. If Anita lived my life, a few minutes after the heart-wrenching sobs would have taken over her body, her phone would ring, a friend would fill her in with gossip and so many random details of the day that for a while she'd be totally distracted. And then she'd be suddenly reminded of a party she has to attend or an assignment she has to complete and her focus would be shifted almost completely. Even if the one thing that bothered her the most wasn't the solved, the many distractions would have made sure the problem was far away from her.

But Anita was forty something. She didn't have a job. She didn't even have a degree. She was six months away from becoming a lawyer when she became a wife. And Anita belonged to the era in which women didn't complete their degrees once they were married. She had two children. Both of them were too involved in their lives to care about her. She had no dreams that were soon to be materialised, no degrees to be completed, no parties to attend, no assignments to finish. All she had was her husband and a marriage that was based on incompatibility that grew every day. 

She belonged to the era in which women didn't leave their husbands, unless the man was a wife beater or a womaniser. Women didn't attend social social events without their husbands. To think that she'd have the courage to strike out on her own was an impossible thought. To think that may be she'd try to seek true love was pushing it too far.

Everytime the sound of her sobs, rings in my head, I think about all the things she deserves, but never got, All the love that was meant to be hers, but never found her and probably never will and how she will be reminded of that each and everyday for as long as she lives. 

As for me, I wish each and everyday I could do something for her, but the truth is, I am just a nineteen year old girl, who harbours the hope that someday with that perfect marriage, I'll watch my life magically transform. And once again the sound of the sobs rise from my subconcious and I wonder if I'm naive or simply delusional.


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