“It all happened within a span of a few hours. Two powerful emotions got the better of me, on probably the most important day of my life- my marriage. As I stood there on stage looking at the mangalsutra going up my neck, I realized the profound value given to the sacred thread but was immediately consumed with disgust; disgust for all I could think of is how my words, just a while ago, would have affected my widowed aunt
Now, when my entire family was shedding its share of happy tears, I couldn’t help but only look out for her and ponder over how worries would have weighed in after she lost her spouse. And it was important, especially since I grew up in a tight-knit family, where she was most definitely a second mother, guiding me through every step of my childhood.
A very vibrant lady at heart, she faced life with an undying spirit, despite being subjected to some of its toughest problems. Growing up, all I witnessed was her going through abuse- both verbal and physical, especially since my uncle was a victim of alcoholism. While a big chunk of her marriage went about, battling these obstacles, the final phase got her taking care of his medical issues after he slipped into an unexpected coma, one day.
And all this was hard for me to digest, where I strongly felt she was better off without the man. Adding to this, I was also inclined to the opinion that she would finally feel free; empowered even, post my uncle’s time. But much to my surprise, the death of her partner only put her more into a shell, where she appeared almost having lost the zest to live. And it clearly manifested in her actions! Right from newfound reclusiveness, to only wearing white to even going bald at one point, she almost imbibed what was expected out of a widow.
The tipping point though, was when she skipped my pre-wedding rituals to sit away since that was the desired norm from a widow. All that while, I was locking up my emotions, in an attempt to understand her point of view. But seeing someone, so close, losing complete interest in the things she once loved dearly, slowly did kill me somewhere from within. And in a fit of rage, I expressed my complete disapproval at her actions.
I guess, it was pain from both ends that spurred the tussle, but in the blooming moments of my wedding, I was finally able to understand what the partnership meant to her though it was toxic. Of course, I’m still disappointed that I wasn’t able to get her out of the gloom, but things are better now. I do understand her belief and ensured to apologize a few years down the line. What I wish, going forward, is for her to realize that pain is inevitable, but suffering is a choice and possibly come out to experience happier times!”
Humans of Madras X Navarsa, winning entry no 1.
Emotions covered: Bibhatsaya (disgust), Raudra (anger)