This is my second article in the series, ‘To the Geet Without Aditya Kashyap, and The Queen Without the International Vacation’. This is dedicated to the women who are going through a break-up, or a divorce. They may not have necessarily found someone else, or have the luxury to travel to discover themselves like our Bollywood heroines. How would they heal? You could read the first part here.
I was waiting in the family court. As I looked around, I felt like I was the youngest person to be here. I probably was.
‘Why me!! Why does everything happen to me!! I don’t deserve this!’ I thought to myself or was probably screaming to God.
An older lady wearing a silk sari who looked very strict pointed towards my legs. I looked at my legs. Then at her. What was she trying to say?
“Don’t cross your legs. It is considered disrespectful to the judge!” said a slim, pretty looking young girl sitting next to me.
“Oh ok.” I uncrossed my legs, embarrassed. “I did not know that!”
“You are here for…”
“Yes.” I nodded. “You too?”
“You have kids?”
“Oh no no! We were just together six months. You?”
“I have two daughters. Nine and seven years old!”
“Wow! You look so young”.
“I am 29!”
“Oh! Just three years older than me!”
“Yeah I got married very early.”
“No Arranged. You?”
“Same! You have come alone?”
“Yeah. My father used to come with me. But he has not been keeping well since last week. Ever since I separated, I moved in with them. My mother passed away from cancer last year. Since then he has become weak. He was hospitalized. Low BP. Past four years have been like hell.”
“Oh my God! You are going through a lot!”
I watched my parents outside the room, looking out for me protectively.
First time, during that day I did not feel like a victim. I felt grateful.
“Do you work?” I asked her.
“I have started teaching. Completed B.Ed. I was not working earlier. But since we separated I had to. Two children I have to support.”
“Was he giving any child support?”
“No nothing. That is why this process getting delayed. He is not agreeing to give a penny. I have been struggling like anything just to survive!”
A man in a fluorescent coloured shirt walked in and spoke to my lawyer. The lawyer then came and said something to me.
“Is that your…?”
“That’s his brother!”
“What a bright coloured shirt he is wearing! Who dresses up like this in a court!”
“He is a very moronic person. Maybe he thought this is a wedding.”
She giggled. I giggled too. The lady in the silk sari gave us a sharp look. We felt like two school girls being scolded by a teacher.
A hefty looking man entered. He looked very aggressive.
“That’s my…”, she said.
“Oh! You both look like a mismatched pair!”
She smiled. “Yes, you both too” – She said, looking at another man looking equally aggressive. “He looks much older than you too!”
After a moment, she said, “You know the Judge should grant us just by looking at their faces! They look like they will start hurling abuses here any minute! I mean just look at them! ”
We both laughed again.
“No they won’t. They would not take such a risk here. That behavior is reserved for the wife.”
“These idiots don’t realize how they ruined our lives. They deserve to be alone because of their behavior and actions! It was our horrible fate that we ended up with them. They will grow old and regret everything! We will find someone else!”
“They will too!”
“Isn’t that scary?”
We laughed again.
“Doesn’t matter to us. We have to focus on our lives. You will be fine. You are a strong woman! And you have to live well for your kids. Have faith in yourself”
“Yes dear. Everything will be fine! You too be good. We are getting our freedom today. This is day to celebrate!”
After the hearing, I stepped out of the room to have a discussion with the lawyers. It was time to leave. I went back to the room to look for my friend. The stranger who had made the day light. Who made me laugh on a tensed day. With whom I shared hope. Who took away the loneliness.
Her hearing was about to come up. She was standing in the queue. She was also looking out of the door, probably looking for me. I smiled and waved. She waved back.
To all the Geets and Ranis out there, my two cents and non-expert yet tried and tested advice:
- Count your blessings. There is no end to suffering in the world. Look around you. There are always people dealing with so much more. I get annoyed when people tell me the same thing. But it is the truth. It is also the only way to go on.
- Don’t underestimate the power of small joys in life. Little moments help in healing. Be greedy for them and grab them all. Sharing a lame joke with a stranger, going out with friends, watching an old comedy movie, downloading the latest Punjabi number and playing it in gym, ordering brownies, binge-watching Friends and Seinfeld for the nth time, 2 am Maggie, playing with your niece. Do it all. When you laugh, you laugh. It does not matter if you were sad the moment before.
- Remember why things ended. Either someone was not good to you, and you had to make the choice to leave or someone left. Either way, they choose not to be with you. And there is nothing you can do about it.
- Keep loving yourself. Your relationship with yourself is the most important. Keep working on it! Only you can nurture it!