My fondest memories of childhood are from the dinner table. The much awaited meal of the day, where all the family got together to eat and ‘catch up’. Mum, dad and us –the three siblings. We looked forward to hearing the gripping account of Dad’s day. He narrated it ardently as we sat mesmerised in the description. He held us together through thick and thin shaping our characters on the edifices of integrity and passion.
As I approached the milestone of matrimony, I entrusted my parents with the responsibility to take this decision. After much speculation and correlation of stars and planets, I became a wife.
As he hugged me tightly after the wedding, he whispered, “I always have your back. Remember that.”
It was a mixed bag of emotions, as I stood facing my new home. I tried keeping pace with my husband as he dashed towards the house. It felt strange, but I brushed it aside thinking that the hectic day may have taken its toll. Sadly, it continued. I would be left out from family gatherings, friend’s dinners on many occasions. Coming from a family, where communication and talking were the way of life, all this felt strange. I was snubbed. Initially by the husband and then by his family too! I was at a loss of words as the truth eluded me. But not for long!
It was devastating to learn of a previous affair and the fact that the marriage had been forced on to him. For days I couldn’t come to terms. The fact that my husband decided to keep this a secret was reason enough that he had no interest to make this work. He parted ways informally, choosing to move into a separate room and having no form of communication with me. The gravity of the matter weighed heavily and I retreated into a shell.
As negativity began to spread its tentacles, Dad made a surprise visit since I had not been returning their calls. The moment he looked at me, he knew something was amiss. On the pretext of meeting an old friend living closeby, he took me out of the house and confronted me.
“Beta, I am sure you are in some trouble. You have to tell me without fear. Please understand that bearing oppression doesn’t make you great, instead it makes you a party to the crime. Opression could be in any form…….physical or emotional”. “Now speak up”
I broke down recounting the horror of silence and stress I had faced. After I finished, he smiled at me and said, “You will end it right away” “I am waiting outside the door of the house, take the right call”.
Yes…I took the call. His mere presence gave me the strength to walk out and yet feel strong not intimidated. I felt lighter and happier walking out from the darkness and into the light and warmth of my Dad’s embrace!
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