Overburdened with work, Sunaina Kulkarni loved working round the clock. Busy wiping the dripping sweat from her forehead with the corners of her sari, she hastily glimpsed at the clock. The clock struck a quarter to six, while she lifted the last bloomed roti with her tongs. Having a sigh of relief, Sunaina had learnt the art of cooking even though she was the one who hated it the most. Twenty-five years into marriage, two adorable kids, she had learnt each move, likes and dislikes of her husband. Being masters of literature, she always thought of soaring high, however, marriage brought new responsibilities and she hugged it with all the ease.
The doorbell rang and she hastily ran to open the door for her homecoming husband. Haughty, difficult husband plunged the bag to her and without giving a glimpse ordered, “I need a cup of tea”. Without beholding the sight of her wife, he shifted himself to the room. Sunaina ran behind him with a glass of water. “Look at yourself, what do you do for the entire day? At least be presentable, when I am home.” She hurried herself up to make a cup of tea for her husband who went for a shower. Darkness prevailed when she walked towards the kitchen. She turned paralytic and couldn’t move. Years of thoughts and deeds suppressed and it burdened and hovered her time and again, walls circled and eyes just lost the view. Voices echoed and she could picturise herself right in front of her. “No uncle no, please don’t do this to me. This is dirty, what are you doing? She could see her neighbour who was a rich and wealthy person who touched and caressed her at wrong places. She tried voicing against him and speak to her mother. However, being measured as the low middles class family, her mother asked her to keep quiet as it would be difficult to get a good match for the family. “Keep mum Sunaina, log kya kahenge, who will marry you?”, eyed her mother. Sunaina voiced was suppressed and she underwent the physical abuse of the middle-aged man who was one or two years younger than his father. Speaking up against any man would lead to the downfall of the girl itself. Patriarchal society it was, after all!
She jolted and she could hear the voices again. As if deep into her slumber she tried moving but as if someone tried squeezing her neck, she could hardly hear anything. Coming off the flashback, she jerked when she heard the voice of Mrs Khanna, their lawyer. Mrs Kulkarni, Are you okay? asked her lawyer. What is all these Sunaina, and what is Mrs Khanna doing here? remarked her husband. Before Sunaina could speak up anything, Mrs Khanna, a feminist, ardent and an honest lawyer began with ease, Mrs Kulkarni has filed a divorce case and a police complaint against you. Police officers are on the way and will be here in no time. Mr Kulkarni was baffled and with his eyes opened couldn’t utter a single word. He couldn’t believe his eyes and ears and was in no position to question.
He woke up with an instance to whack Sunaina for having lawyers and police at home. However, Mrs Khanna stopped him promptly. “Mr Kulkarni, a police case has been filed against you for abusing the teenage girl right staying beside your house. You have been abusing her physically day in and out. The girl along with your wife has filed a police complaint against you. Also, Mrs Kulkarni has lodged a divorce. Police had already arrived and she could see her husband accompanied out of the house with the police. He shouted but she couldn’t hear anything. On the sofa again, she lost herself into a deep slumber as she was ultimately out of the rancorous circle of keeping mum! She had successfully broken the glass ceiling of silence.
This post is written as a part of #BreakTheSilence with Fertility Dost, India’s trusted platform for managing fertility health. #FertilityDostContest