By Arshi Yaseen
I didn’t understand why she cried, as I was too little to understand it. I was only seven then, but even when I grew old enough to understand it, I still couldn’t understand why she cried, for whom she cried. For her husband, who didn’t have anything in common with her. He was quite opposite to her in many ways. She was meek; he was loud. She was poised; he was authoritative. She was religious; he was not. She was social, he didn’t allow her to go out and meet people. She liked evening walks, he didn’t like it. The theory, two opposites attract each other, opposed strongly the nature of their relation.
She cried for losing such relation, she didn’t seem that insensible or she, perhaps, had realized the reality, but still carried it with a hope, like many other women of her time and even of our time, that her (good) time would come. In our culture that time signifies, a miracle will happen, a remarkable change will occur, the nature of the concerned party, either it is a husband or a mother-in-law, will change positively. It implies a covert meaning too, that embodies a typical domestic mentality, which relies on the idea of death of mother-in-law. Our domestic relations too involve politics like any social relation. It’s all about to have power.
Wait, suffer, and expire, until the time comes. Carry on a relation, no matter it’s founded on mutual love and care or not – to expect mutual trust in it is an exotic idea. Carry on a relation, as it socially secures a woman, anyway.
My Ma received the same knowledge. Her understanding was too a product of the same culture. How on earth she’d could give an exceptional response. Then she rightly cried. How she’d face her relatives, her friends and her neighbours, with a stigma of a divorced status, that everyone would hold her responsible for it, as the society fed everyone with the same set of beliefs. Here what people think about marriage deviates from its basic concept that a relation is saved mutually.
Anyway that day Ma lost the home that provided her with a place to live in, that privileged her rightful place in the society, a social status in the eyes of people. Everything in fact was a lie, in spite of knowing well this reality, in spite of so many differences, I believe, she would still carry that marriage if it did not end this way. It’s her truth.