From time immemorial
This has been a woman’s lot
That a man is more equal than she
History has not forgot
She toiled with him everyday
Made sure he was fed
Going sometimes without
Would anyone care if she were dead
She bore him sons
Despite incredible pain
Her daughters he rejected
‘Coz they brought him shame
He covered her up from head to toe
Treating her like some possession
Shackled her up in his house
Scourged her for his own indiscretions
Would you find people more hypocrite
In any other part of the world
Who deify innumerable goddesses
Yet smother the baby girl?
` Excerpt From ‘INCONVENIENT RELATIONS’
I AM WOMAN
“Can I speak to Shaan?” The voice was female.
Taking a deep breath, Ruhi answered, “He is still sleeping. May I know who is calling?”
“Tell him it’s Des. I need to talk to him. He hasn’t been answering my calls!”She had a young but high-pitched voice, a woman who was used to getting her way and who wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Ruhi bristled with anger. “You can call back in half an hour. He should be up by then.”She hung up.
Soon she could hear him in his room talking and arguing on the phone. She ran into the master and locked the door to shut out the sound.
Almost a month had passed since they had been together, and she still felt clueless about him. He was like a giant jigsaw puzzle with the key pieces missing. He seemed good at times, caring,
kind. Perhaps it was just his nature, and he really didn’t consider her special. What was certain was that he continued to see this other woman, and Ruhi’s presence hadn’t altered it. Her rival appeared larger than life, and she had lost the fight even before it had begun.
“Aren’t you going to eat?”
“I’m not hungry.”
“Well, that’s something I cannot say to tell you the truth. You have influenced my taste completely.” He smiled.
“Well, here’s my clean plate as evidence.”
“I’m not talking about food.”
“Then what are you talking about?” His guard was up.
“I have been here for quite some time now, and I still feel that you are a complete stranger to me. I was thinking…”
“What do you want to know?”
“What is she like? Who is she? What kind of relationship do you share? Tell me. I think that I have a right to know.”
“That’s none of your business. I don’t want to talk about it. Another four weeks and you will be back home. Let’s just leave it at that,” he said, abruptly brushing her off.
None of my business. She left the table before she threw her fork at him.
None of your business…
The words echoed over and over in her brain like a never ending sermon.
She sat on the bed with her knees drawn up; her tears had run dry. No words could be more hurtful or decisive. He had been done with her from the very beginning, and she like a fool had believed that she could win him over by playing the ideal Indian wife. He’d probably been laughing at her all along. I can’t stay any longer, I have to leave now! Papa will get me the tickets. Reaching for the phone, she hesitated. Her parents had no idea about what was going on. She had made a conscious decision to not tell them anything. They would be shocked, heartbroken. She had to break it to them gently, but for that, she would need to stay.
But how? Not like this!
Pulling off her maroon sari, she stuffed it in the bottom of her still mostly unpacked suitcase. She hated it. Then walking into the bath, she assessed herself in the mirror. If marriage held no meaning for him, why should it for me? If everything was going to come to an end in another month, why not now? Why continue with this charade?
Unclasping the sacred marriage necklace from around her neck, she laid it down carefully on the counter. Then, wiping off the vermilion dot from her forehead, she examined her face again.
She smiled. Finally, she knew who she was. She was Ruhi Sharma, and there was no looking back.
Do you sense a change of pace here?
The heroine of my book cannot take it anymore. Ruhi’s done trying and has decided to move on. She chooses to lead life on her own terms.
Don’t be deceived by her sweet disposition, or her slender figure for she is ‘Shakti’–a divine cosmic force that can not only create but also destroy. At the base of her spine resides ‘Kundalini’ energy–a powerful goddess waiting to be awakened.
She is bold and liberated. She speaks her mind. She is tough and vibrant. She knows what she wants and doesn’t compromise on her values.
Yes, at times she is also a tease, impulsive, confused, brash, reactive, headstrong, vulnerable, fragile, infuriating and… a spoiled brat, but she is who she is– her own unique self. 😉
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