They never walked together, she was always slow or maybe he was always fast for her. They have been married for 15 years now, he developed his problem of nerves in a very early age and was asked not to lift anything heavy. She carried the bags filled with vegetables when they were walking towards their society from a weekly market.
“Do we have eggs in the house”, he asked as they entered their apartment.
“No, I forgot to buy them”, she said in a very low voice.
“Which world are you living in these days, kitchen is the only responsibility you have…” he was irritated. He mumbled something and kept on walking.
Her face was not beautiful anymore, she developed wrinkles and dark circles covered her hazel eyes. She was short and has gone a little fat, bringing up 4 children has taken a toll over her. Lately she been weak, as if someone is draining life out of her.
They entered into this 3 BHK flat in a society, the house was neatly done. She had done her studies in interior designing and had a very classy taste, though due to family pressure she married the son of a family friend at a very early age and marriage did put an end to her dreams of becoming a designer.
She walked into the kitchen took out a glass and served water to his husband, Suresh. She was the only daughter of her family and had been silver spoon fed all her life, but who knew life was going to be too hard on her. Her parents did marry her in a very wealthy family thinking money can give everything to their daughter and years of friendship with Suresh’s family did assure them that Suresh is gonna be a great husband. But god had different and painful plans for Swati.
She sat on the dining table next to the kitchen when he said, “Swati, did you wash my night suit today I can’t find it”. She stood up promptly and said, “Yes, I will bring it for you”. Every time he used to take her name there was sense of fear, it seems she has never looked into his eyes. She walked in her own bedroom with terror.
“I kept it on the bed”, Swati said.
It was mid-June the kids had gone to visit their grandparents in Kanpur and therefore the house was in dead silence. She doesn’t have time to look at self or perhaps now she doesn’t care now. She tied her long beautiful hair in a bun and started kneading the flour. She works very slowly now, it took her half an hour to knead the flour for two. She was lost in the idea that her man with whom she saw her entire world, for whom she gave up her career, raised his kids is shared by so many women all out in open.
“Did you fill the ice tray”, he said in a furious voice.
There was silence in the kitchen for a minute and then he walked to her, held her hand and took her to the bedroom.
“How to expect me to make a drink now”, he said showing the whiskey glass to her.
Her face turned red she was wondering, how stupid this man is there is ample cold water in the freeze but she didn’t answer. He shouted at her, “Say something”. She knew silence was the only way to let this pass, after all 15 years have taught her a lot. But today was different rather past one week has been different, he was mad and he slapped her, she fell on the floor and tears started falling from her eyes.
In these years, it was not the first times she was slapped. She was slapped for every mistake she made and may be slapping was too less she was often beaten by him. She was his punching bag as every loss in business was taken out on her and years of family relations sealed her mouth. She got up and went to the kitchen like it was a regular affair, finished her work and waiting for him to come to have the dinner.
It was 10 and she didn’t know what to do she missed her kids, they kept her busy. The walls were her only friends in their absence. Often she sits back and thinks how life could have been if she didn’t marry him.
In her mind, there was a world she wishes to be in… full of colors, full of happiness but then she knew its all in her head.
2 hours passed, she was siting like a statue on the dining table and thinking when suddenly he came out with the glass in his hand. He was drunk and could barely walk. He was yelling at someone on phone. Asking for answers to something coz he just said, “Tell me.. why??”
May be it was one of the many woman he had relationships with. She stood up and was going to the kitchen but he held her hand tightly and brought her close. He was smelling her hair and touching her face although for Swati it was no more romance. She could only smell whiskey and somehow she knew what was coming next.
“Who made you my wife? Do you see that picture, our wedding picture why aren’t you the same? Why have you become so ugly? Why aren’t you Neha?”, He said. His grip was strong and it had started to hurt her. She tried speaking but couldn’t, she just tried to hide her face between her arms to show resistance. She forgets he had the right over her body because they are married and he took no time to make her realize that. He held her from her waist and kissed her tight. She didn’t respond, he went mad and pushed her against the wall and said “You aren’t pretty but i would still do you”.
She was crying, she was broken from within, happiness was not existing in her dictionary She gathered some strength and said, “Please let me go, I don’t want to do anything, Please let me go.”
“oh please..!! Even I don’t want to do with you but do you see another woman around. No so stop this I dont want anything you ugly”, he said with a grin on his face. It was either the idea of dominating over a woman he loved or it was the idea of making her scared to death he loved, no one knows. As Swati took a long breath beliving its all over, he took her to the bed room and threw on the bed. She kept on crying, mourning and was speaking something in a feeble voice but she knew no one would come to rescue her, that man in front of her would do what he had been doing since past many days.
She couldn’t move maybe she didn’t wanted to, maybe she was too scared, maybe she thought of her 4 little children or maybe she knew it’s of no use she wondered if he realise if it was his 4 children who, she gave birth too made her loose her beautiful body,it was her motherhood which gave her no time to look after her skin, it was the man for whom she thought she would devote her life to would give him some love…she was wrong.
She was just a woman lying in front of a man who wanted to use her body and she wondered how unlucky she is because she was helpless.. the society has given her no such right.. she was tied to him by the worthless, faithless, useless and unequal relation called marriage which is sold to all such woman in the name of culture,family,respect and religion.
As he finished his regular doing, he pushed her to the other side and slept… it was no more painful… it was just the feeling of being raped in her own house, in her own bed by her own husband.