Here I talk about a type of women who led simple and uncomplicated lives in their parent’s homes. They belonged to small towns and had no major aspirations or goals in life. It was all about being good, doing reasonably well academically and at the same time being well versed in household chores like cooking, stitching and the like. Having an interest in music or dance was an added bonus. The parents also did not have too many aspirations for the daughters and their sole aim was to find a good match for them. They were wealthy enough to target good families preferably in big cities.
So here I relate the story of the journey of this girl Simi who led a protected, sheltered existence with no real exposure to the world and its ways. She was a small-town girl with no real ambitions or aspirations other than to do what she had been told to by her family.
As luck would have it when she was only eighteen her parents were approached by a family from a big city who wanted a simple girl for their son, Anil. The idea was to get a girl who was young and naive and so could easily be influenced and moulded into the ways of the family… and then maybe controlled too… Not knowing any of this Simi and her family could not quite believe their good fortune. It was as if though whatever they had ever wished for had come true.
Thus the journey of Simi into womanhood began on a happy and positive note but she was in for a shock! All her dreams of living a cushy and comfortable life with her Prince Charming in the city of her dreams came crashing down the moment she entered her marital home. She realized that her Prince Charming was actually not so Charming! In fact, he was quite a spoilt brat who had been pampered silly by his parents. And now she was supposed to take over from them.
Anil was not only self-centered but extremely dominating and controlling. The icing on the cake was his temper and sharp tongue.
This young, innocent girl educated enough but not exposed enough had no idea as to how to deal with the situation. The husband seemed like a devil and the in-laws had left her to her devices. She had no life other than cooking, cleaning and taking care of the house. Anil treated her like a doormat and kept her confined to the house as she could not fit into his social circle. She was a country bumpkin according to him and so he was ashamed of her. She was all but a prisoner in her house.
Every evening when she looked down from her balcony she would see young couples going out together and longed to be like them. But alas !!! One day she mustered up the courage to tell Anil that she wanted to go out with him. But he gave her a look full of contempt and walked out of the house. She was heartbroken and could not stop crying.
Such instances left Simi in a quandary. She being an educated girl knew that this was not right and was totally unjust and unfair. But at the same time she did not want to tell her parents about her situation as she did not want them to feel bad and regret their decision. Also being from a small town she could well understand the societal repercussions on them were she to take any bold step.
She was confused, lonely and completely heartbroken and did not know who to turn to. From a protected and shielded environment, she was now by herself. She was a small-town girl living in a lonely world. Dealing with the household help, the plumber, the electrician, the grocer, she had never done any of that before and now she had to be in charge of everything. And if things went wrong she also had to bear the brunt of the husband’s wrath.
Into this world came their daughter which ended up adding to Simi’s woes. Having to look after the child along with everything else was just too much. She was now totally at her wit’s end and found it impossible to cope with the situation.
What she and people around her did not realize was the fact that slowly but surely there was this huge amount of anger, resentment and a kind of a hatred for Anil and his parents building up inside her. She was getting frustrated and embittered and could not find a vent.
This went on but as years went by she gradually started meeting people and interacting with them. Anil also could not always do without her. However these changes in her life ended up bringing out the built-up anger and resentment at the fact that she had been exploited and taken advantage of. That is when she decided to push back. She became determined to change her world and so started to connect with women around her. She learnt how to drive , converse in English and become confident and self assured.
The tables started turning, Anil and his parents realized that they could not always ignore her and started valuing her and depending on her.
Now everyone seems happy, everything seems fine, hunky-dory but is it really so ???
No, it is not. Simi cannot forget the past, she cannot forget how she was treated. She has become bitter, vindictive, materialistic and completely detached from everyone around her. What matters to her is the way she looks, the number of friends she has and the number of material possessions she has. Relationships, people don’t matter to her any longer.
Anil finds it difficult to understand her and now he doesn’t know how to deal with the situation. Her in-laws cannot relate to her. The daughter brought up in an environment of hate and resentment has no feelings for her father. She feels that initially her father and now even her mother has no time for her. She feels unwanted, unloved.
Thus Simi’s journey took her from a small town to a big city, from a simple, uncomplicated way of living to a materialistic, glitzy one and from a life full of love and happiness to one full of grudges and unhappiness…
Is that what her life should have been??? Was her dream of leading a happy life with her man an unrealistic one? Was her naïveté, her innocence to be blamed for her unhappiness? Should she have had more exposure in life before tying the knot ?? Was it her fault that she was just a small town girl??