”Because I am a mother too!”
Mitali got married to Vivek almost fifteen years ago. Like many other marriages, their marriage too had been a run off the mill marriage. Mitali was a typical wife who looked after the house and children while Vivek earned. Love and charm was lost long ago. The reason was Vivek’s attitude. He always believed that men are superior to women in intellect and abilities. He never considered Mitali as his companion. To him, she was somebody whom he needed to look after his house, his two daughters and do whatever he liked. Mitali stood no where as far as all Vivek’s small or big decisions were concerned. She stood no where as far as his preferences were concerned. Vivek always believed in taking solo decisions. All he thought was about him self, his likes and his dislikes. Like many other couples, Vivek and Mitali simply lived together.
Vivek was not only self obsessed but was irresponsible also. Although, he had a job which hardly paid him, he was still not the kinds who would tread carefully with his income. To bring home his salary and look after his family’s need was the last of his priorities. He would rather blow off his salary on himself, on his cigarettes and alcohol, on endlessly entertaining his office colleagues over lunches and dinners at his house.
The party meals at home were always an elaborate affair regardless of what they could afford or what poor Mitali could manage. He never bothered about his wife who was already burdened with her own responsibilities and her never ending struggles for money to run her house. Vivek simply lived in the moment. The need to save for his daughters or make his and Mitali’s future secured, never crossed his mind even. Mitali often ended up struggling in the kitchen cooking and serving Vivek and his rather ungrateful friends with her little daughters helping her in whatever way they could.
Mitali was frustrated. She and Vivek used to fight also all the time but she really had no choice. Reasons were many. The most important one, she loved her daughters a lot and she had no where else to go. Her parents and siblings had never supported her. Although, she was a well educated woman but Vivek had never allowed her to work. He had tamed her completely. His pseudo ego was bigger than what Mitali was capable of. Infact, it was bigger than even what he himself was capable of.
Harish was one of Vivek’s colleague, who was a part of the gang which used to visit Vivek’s house every second day. Harish always noticed Mitali. Over the period, he had developed feelings also for her.
Mitali was not a kid. She saw it all but she preferred to over look. Harish would pretend to enjoy the parties but his entire focus used to be Mitali. He often looked for excuses to walk up to her and talk to her. He felt bad too for how Vivek treated her. He told Mitali once, “Mitali why do you take his nonsense. Come with me. I can give you a better life. Children can also come with us if you want. I love you.”
Mitali’s younger daughter, Sidhi was always the sensitive kinds. She used to notice it all and one day, she couldn’t help herself but ask her mother, “mummy Harish uncle loves you na? He wants to marry you na?”
Mitali kept quiet.
“I know he loves you and you also like him. Even me and didi like him. Then why do you ignore him? I think he is a good man and will keep you happy mom. Papa doesn’t even love you. He doesn’t care for you. He doesn’t respect you. Why are you even living with him? We can all go live with Harish uncle…” Sidhi asked many questions.
“Sidhi beta. Do you think that Iam not unhappy? Do you think that Iam not frustrated? Don’t I wish for a better life for myself and you both? Do you think I don’t wish to run away from all of this and find my happiness? Sidhi, even I want to be loved and cared for. Even I want to be happy in life for once. But please don’t forget that I am a mother too. May be I could trust another man for myself but can I really trust him with my two growing daughters! And I really don’t have to worry about anything as long as my two little angels are with me.”
Mitali hugged Sidhi and got back to her house chores.