Getting married is not strange.
Getting married is not strange at all.
I started chanting in my head looking at the stranger who is tying a knot with me.
The stranger who I met once, and without a word he agreed to marry me.
Sure, he is handsome outside but what about inside?
What if he is just like my father after all same natured people get along well. How will I survive if he treats me just like my father treated my mother all these years?
I peeked at him through my eyelashes when he applied Sindhoor on my forehead completing the marriage ritual. He smiled in content when he was doing that, like he had been waiting for this moment all his life.
After conducting a few more rituals, they sent me with him. I did not cry before leaving my parents house like all those girls. They hurt me too much to feel pain for leaving them. My brother Tej was looking at me with pure happiness in his eyes. He was the only one who loved me in that family but he betrayed me. He left me alone when I needed him the most.
It was a simple marriage with just our families. Tej insisted on registering my marriage then and there. As if I can leave my husband now.
God! That stranger is my husband now.
And His name is Karthik Shekhar.
After reaching his home, I was rushed to a guest room. For a manager in MNC he sure maintain his house well. It was a two storey individual house with three bedrooms and comfortable furniture. He must be earning a lot. I belong to a middle class family.
I glanced around the room but it doesn’t have anyone’s personal touch. It is like this room belongs to no one in particular.
“Can I talk to my daughter for a few minutes? ” I heard my mother asking his mother “alone” she added immediately to which she nodded leaving us alone.
I felt a hard grip on my wrist, I hissed in pain “Never say No to your husband, Sreesha. You should do as he says. For us women, husband’s words should be like Bhagavad gita. Respect him. Accept his every wish whether you like it or not.” My mother said grinding her teeth.
“Never disrespect him. Never raise your voice at him or you will have to face the consequences all alone. Never utter words like higher studies and job, see where they have landed you. Even your brother, who used to support you in everything denied your wish to work. As your father always say, work is for men, women belongs to kitchen.” My fits tightened hearing her words. Yes, my brother denied to my wishes, she doesn’t have to rub it in my face.
“Your wedding night is few hours away, Sreesha. If I heard one word against you from your husband I will not stop your father from teaching you a thing or two this time.” Reminding the day he slapped me one too many times each time I refused to get marry. If it isn’t for Tej, I don’t know what he would have done. He saved me and asked me to trust him and do as my father says.
‘Everything will be fine di, do as father says and I’ll deal with the rest. Just trust me. ‘ were his exact words.
So I gave in. I trust my brother but I couldn’t just forgive him for not stopping this marriage.
And my mother said wedding night! What am I going to say if he find out that I’m not a virgin?
What will I do, if he blame my family for betraying him?
What will my father do? Would he kill me? Or torture me to until I die slowly and painfully.
I wasn’t physically abused, sure my mother or father would slap me here and there for denying them or if I messed up with work but thanks to Tej, he always had my back. Even though he is a couple of years younger than me. He was my savior. My parents loved him to death and grants his every wish, excluding one thing that I should never call them mom and dad. So, Tej did what no sibling would do, he called them father and mother because they didn’t allow me call them mom and dad.
What are you planning this time, Tej?
“Answer me” my mother hissed dragging me to present time.
Right Wedding night. I nodded my head like a polite pet.
I’m not ready for that step with him. I barely know him. Will he give me time to adjust, if I tell me I wasn’t ready for this step yet?
The answer will be a big big NO! I know it, everyone knows it. But there is this tiny bit of hope fluttering in my heart saying he is not what he looks like. And there must be a heart behind those cold eyes.
But what if he wouldn’t agree to give me time? What if he force himself on me?
What if he find out that I was not a virgin an throw a fit?
What if he became abusive? Can I survive one more dominant person in my life?
What if he is indeed a male chauvinist and treat me like his slave?
His mother came with plate full of food and asked me to eat. I ate without complaining because I was so hungry as I’ve been pasting from the morning and it is like 4ish now.
His mother doesn’t look like those evil MIL’s in daily soaps. She looks nice and took care of her appearance well. She is like those women who doesn’t have to try to be beautiful because they will look beautiful even in some rugged clothes. And she smiles all the time, it’s one of her traits to attract everyone. Beauty must be running in their family. Karthik’s father was just like him, calm, straight, cold and did I mention handsome? He did not look like a old dude at all.
Hours later, Karthik’s mother came with a few boxes in her hands. I was handed a beautiful red colour saree to change into. They made me sit before a vanity mirror and started working on my skin. His mother experimented on my skin like I was a barbie and she was a kid to do make up and it’s hair. I’ve been in the same position for hours, stiff like a statue, not complaining about anything because I know they would do what they think is good. I don’t have to strain my vocal system to complain on a losing battle.
I was on a verge of closing my eyes as sleep was demanding it’s daily dosage. A snap on my head is all it take to return to the real world from the entrance of my dream world. It’s my mother’s handy work after all.
“Look at you, so beautiful” his mother beamed at me. I gave her a small strained smile.
I actually look beautiful with all the jewellery and stuff but I want him to know the real me, not the artificial version of me.
‘Shut up, Sreesha, you of all people know men admire beauty. Outer beauty not inner beauty. He will be just like others don’t you dare let your hopes high’ my conscience chided me.
As they said in some advertisement ‘Men will be Men’. After all my my ex belonged to the same category.
“It’s time to meet your husband dear” my MIL shook me gently. I nodded standing up.
When I was in front of what I assume his room, my mother’s grip hardened on my wrist again. This time I didn’t flinch because there is a hell in the room waiting for me, what can a little pain will hurt?
“Remember what I said earlier, Sreesha. I mean each and every word I said” I nodded again feeling numb.
My MIL opened the doors gently leading me to a room which is decorated completely with red roses. My favourite flower. I generally love flowers a lot but Red roses make me smile every time I look at them.
His mother made me sit on his bed arranging the saree properly. My mother covered my face with a heavy veil which weighs a ton.
My mother left first giving me a warning look but my MIL stayed beside me standing, her eyes trained on me.
“You don’t have to worry about anything, Sreesha. I raised my son better than you think” she said patting my shivering hand which is gripping the bed sheet like it’s life depended on it.
I don’t know what her words meant. she must be like those mom’s who turns blind eye on their children’s mistakes. Who knows what he had been doing all these years behind her back?
“You will be fine” she added leaving the room, closing the door behind her.
After few minutes, the door to the room opened revealing a six feet silhouette as the room is dimly lit.
I started hyperventilating. Every fear that have been haunting me were surrounded me now. I feel like I was in a small hole with limited oxygen supply.
“Sreesha” His voice made me jump in fear. I wanted nothing but to crawl in those shadows where he would never find me.