A Woman’s Story

By Anuradha S. Bannore

It was a terribly hot day with the sweltering heat dehydrating people. Many fainted on the roads but one couldn’t stay indoors forever. One such sizzling afternoon Suruchi was forced to make a decision to take to the road being fed up of her house atmosphere. It was a small family of four members-she, her husband Rogi and two children. Besides being a devoted wife and a loving mother she was a very smart and a talented lady and a very good cook too. She did all she could to maintain peace in her house but unfortunately what she could never get was happiness and peace of mind for the ever dissatisfied Lord, Mr Rogi always found faults in Suruchi. According to his standards she was no good—maybe this was sheer jealousy for she far surpassed him in a number of things. He was a disgruntled man ever on the look out for disgracing her in public but foolishly she kept quiet for the sake of her family and peace. This emboldened Rogi to no avail. By profession though he was an engineer he had no sense of bonding the family with love. He hated taking up a job, preferred to be at home doing nothing other than scheming against his wife. He would ring up even her friends and talk nonsense about her to them in an obnoxious language. Suruchi had to bear all the expenditures of the house while he amassed his own.

He always pretended to have no money which was unbelievable as he earned a handsome salary whenever he had a job. He was also involved in extra marital relations. He was an extremely foul mouthed man and probably the biggest liar with no conscience what so ever. A big actor he was- his performance was never without an audience in front of whom he would rant out loud and clear what a disgustingly horrible woman Suruchi was! Still she never uttered a word in front of outsiders thinking it’s no good washing dirty linen in public and that probably made Rogi courageous and imprudently he would talk insensibly which the helpers of the house knew was far from truth and some of them even commented that Sahib (ie Rogi) shouldn’t talk such things in front of them—the uneducated thought so while the educated arrogantly spoke hysterically. He had no control over himself and behaved outrageously. The children soon picked up their reckless father’s way of talking and behaving – their attitude towards their mother was no better than that of their father. Suruchi was fed up of all this but still stayed and tried to keep the family together but when she couldn’t take it anymore she decided to leave the house. Rogi was an extremely conceited man who believed no one other than he had any sense—he used to even kick his children if they cried or if he was in a bad temper. He would beat and ill treat his wife and made her life agonizing. Her house was a living hell! He was bent on forcing her to take some drastic step.

Very often Rogi would kick her and throw her out of the house. Why she bore such atrocities is beyond one’s comprehension—for a family that had neither love nor care for her. Each one of them wanted her to be at his/her beck and call. Rogi believed he had got a maid whom he wouldn’t have to pay a single pie but could keep her enslaved. He didn’t realize what a woman could do when she lost her head and how very strong she could be. He would yell at her, ‘Get out of my house and don’t ever come back’. Ultimately being thoroughly sick and tired of everything she picked up her bag, took some money and her phone and left the house but no one bothered to find out where she was going. ‘The poor innocent babes had neither had a fight with her nor had said anything although she was being a wretch according to them!’

Suruchi was both physically as well as mentally absolutely at the end of her tether and could have done anything to herself. She roamed throughout the day in the scorching heat not knowing what to do. Ultimately being very tired she took respite in a poor but a kind woman’s hut. By now it had become dark. She was extremely exhausted and hungry. The woman offered her food but Suruchi accepted it on one condition that she would pay for it. At first the woman refused to take the money but when she realized that Suruchi wasn’t ready to eat even one morsel of it she quickly told her ‘Ok, I’ll take the money but you eat first, you don’t seem to have eaten anything. You are looking so very weak and tired.’ She then reluctantly asked,’ Why are you out in the night? You seem to be from a good family. What happened to you, beta (my child)?’ Suruchi looked up with tears welling up in her eyes. The woman was shocked. She immediately rushed towards her and hugged her patting her head like a mother does to her disturbed and upset child.

This kindness Suruchi had forgotten long before because her family only believed in snubbing and deriding her in front of everybody for these arrogant educated so called cultured people couldn’t see anything below their nose. Rogi would even torture her and try to kill her. He was no better than a maniac Jalladh (an inhumane, insensitive, vicious human being) on a rampage of making everyone’s life a hell especially of Suruchi. Her neighbours, who very often heard him yelling at the top of his voice advised her to file a police complaint against him but for the sake of her family and children she refused to do so but now she couldn’t endure it anymore. She was convinced that she was living surrounded by people who believed that each one of them in this whole wide world was perfect and honest which was far from truth. Suruchi’s dam of tears broke down as she sobbed on the old woman’s shoulder. Very gently she coaxed Suruchi to confide in her and when she heard her story she was shocked and chilled to the core. She consoled her and said, ‘Listen, God has sent you to me because that’s how my daughter was treated too by her cruel inhumane husband and son. They never had a word of appreciation or love for her and when she couldn’t tolerate it anymore she wrote a suicide note and hanged herself. I’m happy that at least her note has put both the husband and the son behind bars but that didn’t bring my daughter back. This happened about a year before and since then I’ve not had a single day’s peace and I go to temples, recite prayers and chant hymns. The priest at times allows this uneducated old woman to talk to youngsters especially girls. Though I’m illiterate I’ve educated them in facts of life and why they shouldn’t commit suicide for such useless men but punish them in the most severe way by lodging a police complaint against them. I also tell them such men are found all over the world. Earlier I believed only uneducated men are real Jalladhs but now I’ve discovered that educated ones are more and worse than the poor uneducated ones. I think education has completely failed in this field. In fact education has put better tools in the form of a very sharp tongue as well as weapons in their hands for breaking down and destroying others especially women and forcing them to commit suicide. You can stay with me as my daughter. I am a cleaner but you being educated can take up a good job and we needn’t share our salary but live together happily as room mates in this small hut of mine. From today it’s as much yours as mine. You are a God sent daughter to me. Don’t ever shed a tear for these heartless useless maniac creatures. God is watching each and every one of us and He will definitely do justice sooner or later in His own way. You know Beta, Baghwaan kee lila apprum paar hai (God’s ways are mysterious and beyond our comprehension)’ Such unheard words of humanism and loving care Suruchi had never heard in her husband’s house and she broke down once again and the poor but kind illiterate woman calmed her with a sweet song that she used to sing for her daughter.’ Soon Suruchi dozed off with her head in that motherly loving woman’s lap who had never ever gone to a school, had no formal education yet was far more educated than the egoistic, selfish, arrogant educated lot. Thanks to her that Suruchi now had a foster loving mother. She was happy she would never again be humiliated or ill treated as her own highly educated family did.

 

A note from the author: It’s a fictitious story. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is coincidental. This is a story that could be of any woman irrespective of the fact whether she’s married in an educated or an uneducated family.

 Education and Culture seem to be poles apart! Some men think of themselves as God which is an extremely foolish and a senseless belief. They are just arrogant men with a head too big for their shoulders! Such men need to be taught such a lesson that they will remember it till their dying day. This class of men seems to have neither any scruples nor any conscience. They should be meted out with the same treatment that they dole out to their spouses. No woman should ever bear such a torturous life.

 Let the police/cops, law take them to task. No human has the right to walk over another’s life. Marriage doesn’t mean getting a wife to be enslaved as your highness’s bonded servant. It’s surprising that even today, in this so called advanced modern age you have this sort of slavery existing. Marriage seems to have been misunderstood completely by some people who think if their son marries someone’s daughter he’s obliging them by doing so, hence he and his family have the right to treat her according to their stupid whims and fancies. It’s like when someone helps you some of them think of you as a bonded slave to dance to their tunes irrespective of the fact whether they are right or wrong. A weird world it is becoming out of our own doing!          

About the Author: Anuradha S. Bannore is a prolific writer and an alumni of Jabalpur University with M.A in English. She retired as a teacher and currently lives in Vadodara India.   

6 Comments

  1. A Woman’s Story by Ms. Bannore is poignant and realistic and despite the author’s note that it is pure fiction , many would find their reflection in the experience of Suruchi and may even find this a tale of their lives .
    The only difference is the end , hardly any find the mother depicted so tenderly in this story .
    A very absorbing and compelling story indeed .

  2. mrs bannore hits the nail on the head with this very realistic fictional story
    it reflects the many phases of man’s erratic nature and mulish ego that eggs him on to dominate and erase the softer feelings of a woman who according to norms has no wish to disrupt the life of her children and endures the rule of thumb and swallows tears of bitterness to keep the family intact
    suruchi, the main character of the story represents the traditional Indian housewife who suffers but keeps mum until she is driven to take drastic action
    an eye opener for the disgruntled male

  3. Thank you very much Ms Misra & Ms Diwakar for your appreciation of my fictitious story as a realistic one. I hope & pray sincerely that no woman ever waits till she is completely broken down to take any such drastic steps. My honest request to all parents is no doubt to teach their daughters not to be rude but patient but not to this extent that they can’t return to their own parents house & take the ultimate step of either suicide or leave their husband’s/ in-house laws house thereby becoming victims of prey for other wolves prowling on the streets to catch such helpless women / girls to dishonour them to the core

  4. A very absorbing story and close to many woman’s life. sadly like Suruchi many talented women are trapped and suffering from the brutality of heartless and selfish men who treat their wives like maid. I think society has to change so that these women can come out of this mental torture and live a happy life.

  5. Sunita Pohani says:

    A Woman’s Story by Mrs Bannore
    A fictional yet a realistic story not surfacing under the mask of education .

    Eye opener for women who are taking this brunt without uttering a word…but reminding them to have courage to say enough is enough…

  6. Thanks Asha Naik & Sunita Pohani for your views on woman’s problems

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