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Control 10

Acceptance is the key to moving on and yet, it the most difficult thing to do. For acceptance is not only about the external but, it is coming to terms with one’s own self. It is to finally believe in the reality of failure, of trying your best, of making unflattering choices, of taking steps towards survival and most importantly, of knowing that this particular relationship is over. Anu was in the midst of these raging emotions and felt herself to be at the bottom of the ladder. She felt that this end was something which she had somehow known all along, but had been trying to row the boat of her life against the current in the hope that the waters would flow in her direction one day.

Anu had seen the subtle signs on the first date itself after her engagement to Anil. She had been in a precarious situation back then, having just lost her father. Not wanting to burden her mother, she had agreed to the match. The subtle signs had become obvious in the next one to two years but by now, Anu had taken up the challenge to make it work. For that is how she was. She was always ready to take up challenges and then, give them her best.

This however was stale news now and Anu had to move past her own shortcoming and tell herself that,”Yes! She had failed in the biggest challenge of her life.” This failure was taking it’s toll on her and she was always confused and unsure of herself, unable to decide the future course of action. Anil’s behavior got from bad to worse. Probably he had also sensed that Anu was changing and his manipulation tactics were not having the required effect on her anymore.

Today, he decided to up his drama and planned the evening accordingly. Anu had shared her predicament with her friend and now, she had started talking to people and gathering knowledge about this kind of narcissistic behavior. This had become her next challenge. The more she read and assimilated, the more she understood the behavioral patterns. Anil had for sure doubted her intelligence. This time, she was ready for his next move. What was till now a one sided game, had now turned into a match and Anu was a worthy opponent. However, this was something that Anil would find out soon. And how?

Control 9

The next day started with a shocker. Anu had gone for her morning walk as that was her way of having some semblance in her thoughts. The children had already left for school. When she came back and rang the bell, Anil did not open the door. He had come back late the previous night, so she assumed that he might have fallen asleep. She kept on banging the doors and ringing the bell, but to no avail. By this time, the next door neighbor, Mrs. Suri also came out with the noise.

After Anil did not open the door for more than an hour and the neighbors had also tried everything, Anu decided to call his cousin’s husband who stayed nearby. By the time he came, Anil had gotten up and had opened the door. The only reason that he cited was that he had fallen asleep and couldn’t hear the banging. He very graciously said sorry to everyone and the moment everyone had left, Anu caught him smiling wryly to himself.

Anu then knew for sure that this man was not normal at all. He was doing all of this on purpose and the words of her in – laws also rang true. There was for sure, some imbalance somewhere and Anu realized that day a number of things. “Everything was not her fault. There was a lot of manipulation that was happening. A game was being played but, the purpose was not clear. She was becoming an emotional wreck because of the instability of his actions.”

Anu started segregating the incidents in her head and came to a conclusion that showed her that Anil’s behavior was anomalous. For the first time in these years, Anu decided to confide in her friend. Together, they started chalking out plans to get Anu back to her normal self. As Anu started this journey of sharing and asking for advice, Ashi and her husband gave her all the support she needed.

Nothing much changed initially as Anu had become fearful in the presence of Anil. But now she started gaining her confidence back, bit by bit. This slow processing of her thoughts and emotions changed Anu from inside and this also drove home the fact that she had been dreading to accept for so long,”Her marriage was over.”

Live life queen size

We always think of women to be meek and at the receiving end in relationships. Through the many stories that I write, which are of course inspired from the day to day life that goes on around me, I have been flabbergasted by the fact that most of us think that it is our destiny to be treated so. Where and how did this happen? Did our mothers pass on this baton to us, thinking that this is the most important thing to be passed on? Did our fathers rear us in a manner that we would have another male to take care of us? The old adage that your funeral pyre will be lit from the same place where your “doli” will go, still holds true.

Or somewhere down the line, we ourselves have imbibed this as our real nature and an heirloom hanging around our neck, which becomes our own noose. Do we spin webs in which we get stuck?
I had always been a topper in school. In Grade 12, I had the highest marks in Physics in entire Delhi. I went on to do my graduation from Hindu college and after that, had the confidence to do my Chartered Accountancy without batting an eyelid.

Choosing to become an entrepreneur with two small children was not a deterrent at all. I just thought that I could do it and I did. Then, how did such a person become so trapped in a marriage? And why? As I look back, nothing really does make sense. Was I in a time warp or did I suddenly lose my own sensibility? Through the many years, I have possibly come to one conclusion and that is:

We women do not know our own strengths and for us to know the real us, we need to put in quicksand. When we are there, we realize that we are made up of a different mettle. Then, the uprising happens. For a very, very long time, I kept on looking at others to solve and rectify the wrongs in my marriage. As was obvious to everyone but not to me, no one really cared. I was even told that since he feeds you and gives you shelter, what the hell is the problem here?

Well! The problem was there and that was that I was actually doing the feeding and providing the shelter. Only then, did the bulb light in my head? This meant that I could do it on my own as well. But till this realization,why was I ready to break myself up into pieces and face the abuse, I don’t have any answers. But today, I have one right answer.

And that is, that I did not ask the right questions? So get up and ask yourself that what are you doing in a relationship? Is it adding up the numbers or is it dividing your own self up?

And be brave and do what you want. The rest will fall in place. As an add-on, I clicked this bindass lady, living life on her own terms. When will we be able to come out of our closets and live the life we are born to live.

Control 8

A part of Anu knew that what was happening was wrong, but she did not have the strength to overcome and let that part surface. She was questioned for each and every small thing and she had to call Anil up if she was going to the market, to the kitty, to pick or drop her children or for just stepping out. This was also the time when Anil decided to not allow any extra helps into the house. Anu would have to prep and cook, do the rest of the work and essentially be at his beck and call.

By this time, Anil had taken to drinking and playing cards, so everyday there used to be a ‘mehfil’ at home where his garish friends would sit till late, cracking extremely offensive jokes and Anu’s job used to be to serve them the snacks and food. She used to be sitting listless till late for the food had to be served hot. The only saving grace was probably that Anil’s friends did not cross any line. They were respectful and some of the nicer ones even felt sorry for her.

After this whole entertaining was over, the other one would start for Anil. That would continue till the wee hours of the morning and then, he would sleep till ten. But Anu would have to get up to send the kids to school, prepare the food and keep the house perfect till the king would rise and shine. In between all of this, Anil had also started a new tactic. He had started keeping Anu on the edge by doing various kinds of acts which would lead her to believe that he was going to die soon.

When the umpteenth such act happened, Anu decided to let the family into the whole scenario. She had always thought that her in-laws laws were on her side, but she was in for a shocker. And another big revelation. The parents had always known that their son was abnormal and they had married him off, so that the wife would make him alright.

Control 7

Anil was a shrewd businessman and now, he started applying the business tactics on his marriage. He started slowly stifling Anu by boycotting her. She would have to be answerable to him for even going to the market, he would keep tabs on her if she were meeting her friends and, he would keep tabs on the money she spent. Anu felt that her small wings had been clipped completely and she started to hide in corners, trying to shield herself from his incessant questioning. His constant nit-picking and magnified vision was slowly breaking Anu up. And that is exactly what Anil wanted.

It is a good and an equally bad thing amongst couples that they know each other well. With love, it works perfectly. But when it comes to pressing the buttons, they know which buttons to press, what amount of pressure to be applied and when to press them. Anu could understand Anil’s game but, she found herself helpless in this control. Soon, she was reduced to a freaky, under confident caricature of her previous self. And this was the time, that Anil finally decided to clip her remaining wings.

Anu became a recluse and at the mercy of Anil. He would control each and everything, right from her phone calls to her movement, to her friends and her time away from home. The children were caught in a time warp and behaved like robots in his presence. Anu’s close friends noticed this change but, could not help for Anu wasn’t ready. But God does have his ways and the opportunity did present but, only after Anu had been reduced to a rubble. She would need all her strength to bounce back.

Control 6

Anil did not ask Anu anything for the next few days. He roamed about like a caged animal, trying to control his emotions for he had seen a spark in Anu that day. And this spark had rattled him from within. He had not finalized his next strategy as to how to make her come back to her previous format. For that is what was the aim of his life. To keep her in this preconceived format, something which he always clear about. There should be no discrepancy in her behavior and Anil would have to ensure this. She was his puppet, after all and this sudden display had been too much for him.

His plan was to pressurize her through the money he gave her for the household expenses. Slowly, he started to include each and everything in that amount. Anu would have to now buy her clothes, her children’s clothes, anything extra for their school, additional groceries for unexpected guests or a party and many more random expenses. Anu was taken aback but did not say anything. She understood this game way too soon. With this understanding, came the ways and means to cope up and Anu took this challenge head on.

She started to ration regular things and stopped sharing the expenses with Anil anymore. But with this, she realized one more glaring truth. And that was, that this marriage was no longer in the right state and try as much, it would not come back. There were undeniable cracks which were growing bigger by the day. As Anu was coping up with this monetary onslaught, Anil played his next card.
That card would become the foundation and a precursor for the step which Anu would be forced to take soon.

Control 5

The next day was just as normal as it could be and Anil was his usual self, with not a clue of what he had done last night. In his drunken state, he had violated Anu many times and this was also nothing new. After all, Anu was his property and he could do whatever he liked with her. She had always been labelled a “defective piece” by him and so it was his job to make her up to the mark for him. Wasn’t that the role that he had been accorded as a man? He was the husband, the owner and the caretaker, after all.

Anu had become used to this but, lately she had started resenting each and everything about him. This move to live as a nuclear family had probably been for her to have the realization that there was more to her and now, she vowed to reach there. Her moment came sooner than expected. She was offered an opportunity to help her friend in her business. It was something which would not pay her well, but it would make her independent.

For the first time in her life, Anu hid this information from Anil. The timings were suiting her and the work was for a few hours. Anu was quick to learn and Lisa was extremely happy with her. In due course, Lisa started depending on Anu more and more as she focused on her other projects. Anu soon became the face of this business and started handling it with perfection.

When one of her clients called in the evening, Anu talked to him with ease and also in impeccable English. Anil was taken aback and his mouth opened in shock. He never did know that this side of Anu existed. But in these few months, Anu had regained much of her lost confidence. She had been a convent educated girl, brought up in Delhi and had studied from the most prestigious institution, and yet, her she was. Facing abuse, day in and day out at the hands of her husband. “What the hell was wrong with her?”,she thought.

The moment the call finished, Anu knew that she was ready for the first time in her life after marriage to face Anil. Looking at her face, Anil did not ask anything that day. It was a big battle won. What would be the aftermath, she would soon come to know.