I had earlier written this post for the   Indusladies International Women’s Day Blog Contest

Now am submitting it for the Violence Against Women blog…. 

Let me free…
This is about my dear friend, P and what went through and how she
thought it was the castle she built in air coming alive…
Innocent, starry eyed, having just celebrated her 21st bday, P, like every other girl had big dreams, and all she wanted to do upon graduating from B.Com was to get married. Not just that, she dreamt that she will find a guy who is romantic, sweet, caring and take care of her like her family did.

About 2 months after our graduation, her father’s business took a toll and he lost a lot of money. They were literally living hand to mouth, which is when P decided to work [she was smart and good in Finance & Accounts]. She landed a good job with a leading Bank and took over the role of bread earner at home.

A bit of background on P – she was the only girl at home, sandwiched between 2 loving brothers[younger brother had a bit of brain development issues and was a slow learner]. Her father was into jewellery business[which her older brother joined] and mom took care of the house. A simple family, they protected and pampered her. No wonder then she was fairly naive and clueless about the real world.

This was when SR, a dear friend of ours got engaged, and we were all involved in her wedding perparations[dates were May 5th and 6th], performing at the Engagement ceremony et al. P was there religiously everyday, until suddenly she started missing practice and wouldnt answer our calls. One day, me and R went over to her house, and confronted her. She then spilt the beans about having found the man of her dreams and was going to tie the knot soon…

Thus began our mission – “get information from P on this mystery man and make sure he was legit”.. She gushed over how good looking he was, and that they had found him on a matrimonial site. Her parents had spoken to his parents, and the guy, S, and all they wanted was P to come as she was, no dowry, no nothing. The wedding date was fixed for June 5th [ less than a month away]. All she knew about the guy was he lived and worked in Canada, and they chatted for hours every day which is how she had fallen for him flat… We couldnt knock any sense into her, and on June 3rd , she and her family flew to Bombay, met S, and on 5th they got married.

Time flew, and a year passed therein..One wednesday evening[still remember the day, i had just returned home from work], i received a call from an unknown number, it wasP,and she was crying, between sobs requested i come over to her house.  

“When did you get to Chennai?” i exclaimed.. 

“Dont ask me anything aaroo, just come over na”, she replied..

It was then that i came to know of the longest year in her life.I knew she had spent 2-3 mths with her inlaws while her visa was being processed and how they had  changed from sweet caring souls  to harrasing her for money.. She in turn pushed her father, who had to pledge some jewellery and material to cough up whatever he could. 
What we dint know was – when she landed in Canada, a rude shock awaited her. S dint have the job, nor a home as he had mentioned earlier. He was working in a small firm making a few hundred dollars a month. Life became tough till a friend of his helped P land a job with an Insurance company. 

What must have been a blessing became a curse, as S couldnt deal with P earning more than him..

There started the physical sexual abuse, to a point where P had run away from home, taken the help of a friend  she had made and flew to India with just her passport. Unfortunately, her parents here convinced her to go back to her husband and work things out. They believed a girls place is with her husband,no matter what he did/said.  They spoke to S, apologizing for their daughter’s behaviour. 

S sweetly promised to take her back, provided P stops talking to her parents. The stupid girl went ahead and returned, only to face the same music all over again, until she got pregnant during one of his sexual bursts. Inetween all this, her health took a beating, and she had to undergo several surgeries.

It was only then that hard reality hit her and she made up her mind . Using the pregnancy as an excuse, P convinced S to fly her mom over to help during pregnancy and delivery. She kept us posted that she intended to return with her mom and baby and never go back.

Her son was born in Jan 04, she along with her mom and son flew to India under the pretext of rest;with our support and a lawyer friend she sent him Divorce notice under physical abuse and harassment clause. However, she did have to return to Canada for another year to work, earn a bit so she could fend for her son, while her parents took care of him. S did try contacting P, reconciling, but she was not going to go back to that life again. 
We were sad that she went through this, but glad that atleast she came to her senses. She is now back in India, remarried a wonderful man who loves her and her son as if his own. 
Just wish, she had been smarter back then and saved herself all this heartache.. 

She says “I have so many bruises, but the one that hurts the most is what S did, just because we were financially low and i was naive and blind to his follies.. but aaroo, am happy now, touch wood… 
I wish and pray that no one else is so lost that they fall blindly for a guy who makes so many fake promises and is cautious with their life…. and listens to their friends 🙂 “

Stand up for yourself… Do what you think is right for YOU and i pray all you women [wives, daughters, mothers, mothers-inlaw and every other woman out there] understands the TRUE VALUE of your life and DOES not bend over just cos of some silly SOCIETY or so called “family reputation”… YOU matter more than anything else!!  

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