I happened to read the open letter from Lakshmi and I would like to say here that it has inspired me to write about my marriage which is at a crossroad, though the reasons are different. I would also appreciate it if you can publish my letter in a similar manner as I would love to get guidance from this beautiful, caring community out there
Contrary to Lakshmi`s, mine was a love marriage - in the sense that I got to know my husband first and we sort of understood each other before I introduced him to my parents. We met at work. I had just joined an ad agency, having done a course on visual communication after my B.A. in English literature. I was on the lowest rung of the corporate ladder - an enthusiastic trainee who was expected to never say `no` to whatever I was asked to do. Jatin was kind of middle-rung and we started interacting a lot as he was my self-appointed mentor. He had a clear 4 - year handicap and was very popular in the office.
I began to look to him for help, and he was always ready with his ideas and seemed to have solutions for almost everything. Naturally, we grew close. I would look for him the minute I entered the office and miss him if he was not there. People would club us together in all get-togethers and we became a `pair`. I could see that our relationship was entering a special phase. My parents had no idea of what was going on right under their noses and I could not pick up the courage to tell them either. It was only when talk started at home about finding the right match for me that I realised that I would have to tell them about Jatin sooner or later. He was a Punjabi and a total extrovert, while I am a South Indian dyed-in-the-wool Brahmin with no history of inter-culture marriage in my family.
I finally picked up courage when the arrival of a prospective groom became imminent and probable dates were being discussed. Of course, my parents blew a fuse and simply shut their ears to reality. "Unheard of in our family!" screamed my Mom, otherwise a real cool person. Stony silence - the reaction from my Dad. Hurt and incredulous - that was my grandma. Was I hurting too many people? I didn`t know if I was doing the right thing. But I knew I could not exist without Jatin. I told him we would have to wait and give the families time to adjust to the idea. Surely they would come around!
It was a few months later that my parents cooled down enough to agree to meet Jatin - the condition being that if they did not like him or feel he was not for me, I should agree to meet the person of their choice. Knowing that Jatin was a real charmer, I felt quite safe in agreeing to their condition. As if to prove me right, he had my parents eating out of his hands within an hour of meeting them. He spoke on every subject under the sun, easily and fluently and they were mesmerised. It was at the very end that he actually raised the issue of marriage. My parents were jolted out of their spellbound condition and exchanged guarded looks. They told him that they would have to think it over. I knew that half the battle was won. What followed happened faster than I had dreamed of. Jatin brought over his parents to meet mine - they were both in the IAS and quite broad-minded. My parents were bowled over by their graciousness and class, and after that, it was just a cake - walk.
Fairy tale so far? Wish it had continued to be so! We were married with great pomp as mine was an old, well-connected family, and well known in social circles. Our honeymoon was a dream - Jatin was the most attentive husband and made me feel like a princess. The first year went smoothly, and then, I got pregnant. I wanted to continue in my job for some more time, though the doctor had advised me to take it easy. Jatin insisted that I leave the job and concentrate on taking good care of my health but I refused to listen to him. What would I do twiddling my thumbs at home while he was away for long periods of time? He gave in, albeit reluctantly. But then, the unthinkable happened! At work one morning, when I was into my third month, I tripped and fell, and rolled down a few steps. To my horror, it triggered off an unbearable pain and I screamed for help. Jatin, his face white with tension, carted me off to the hospital. I lost the baby and with that, Jatin`s caring attention. He blamed me squarely for what had happened and nothing that I said would make him change his mind. In vain did I tell him we could always plan again, but he refused to listen to me. I have even given up my job thinking it would appease him. He has become a changed person after my miscarriage - distant and cool. We are two strangers living under the same roof.
Things have become unbearable. Everyone seems to hold me responsible, and I am eaten up by guilt. If only I had....these thoughts flood my mind and I have got into deep depression. Always the centre of everybody`s attention, I now feel lonely and neglected, having lost my husband`s love and care. What if he begins to find solace elsewhere? The ad world is full of bright, attractive, young girls. What if...God! These thoughts are killing me! Please, do any of you, dear friends, have a viable solution to my problem?