Author’s Note: Every one of my women with spunk stories are true stories, narrated to me by the women who went through these challenges in life, and overcame them with sheer grit and determination. Names have been changed to protect their privacy.
We left Simran last at a crossroad, a point in time where the life she had chosen for herself was making less and less sense. It is at times like this that we are at our most vulnerable state of mind. The soul craves for acceptance, for a friend to talk to, for someone to see you as a human being and for someone to love you.
Simran found all that and more in Raj, who worked in the same place that she did. He understood a lot of what she was going through because he was going through a very similar situation with his own wife. He stood at a crossroads too and fate brought them face to face, with the need for a companion combined with the need to keep up appearances.
Those who get rare glimpses at happiness and bliss value it more. Society will label them both differently and it won’t be a pretty label. But if you wanted to describe what was happening between them in the simplest terms, it was two unhappy people snatching whatever little happiness they could give each other, to make the rest of their life bearable. While Simran refused to consider leaving her husband for fear of putting her parents through yet another scandal and heartbreak, Raj had his own set of reasons for staying in his own unhappy marriage.
And so they created a bubble of happiness which had just enough place for the two of them to exist. While the two became a source of solace and empathy to each other, this was the time Simran found something that was earth shattering.
She found herself.
Simran felt like the past few years of her life, maybe even her entire life had been a dream which she was just awakening from. Through her relationship with Raj, she understood herself more and found the Simran who was hiding behind all the suppression, reserve and hurt of the past few years.
Life had given her wings and she wanted to fly away with Raj. But she was keenly aware she wouldn’t. For at home, her son awaited his mother. She was not just a lover and a wife. She was above all, a mother. And every single time when it came to a choice, the mother won against the lover.
Things went on for a couple of years. It was her birthday and her office colleagues decided to spring a surprise by visiting her at home and bringing a birthday cake and some gifts along. Raj accompanied them too. Their obvious joy to see each other was not lost on her husband and once her colleagues left, he confronted her. She would not spare herself with a lie. She admitted to the truth of her relationship and found herself summarily thrown out of the house after he had hurled every choice abuse at her. The housemaid and the husband took the opportunity of this lapse on her part to gang up on her and kick her outside the house.
Not wanting to be a burden to her parents, she went to Raj who was staying at a friends’ place. By this time he was separated from his wife and in the process of filing for a divorce. Two, three days went by. But the mother inside her finally won over the lover. She went back because she knew her son needed her. He was too young to make sense of what was happening. And so, she admitted defeat at the situation and went back to what was supposed to be home.
Her husband took some swift actions. She was forced to quit her job and subjected to verbal torture on an almost daily basis. She welcomed the change of pace from the high pressure job, and devoted all her time to her son.
It took Simran a few years to pick up the pieces from that point. But pick herself up she did. She found a passion in the field of educating children and began preparing for the necessary qualifications to work in this field. Slowly, painfully but with a grit and determination born out of years of being denied an opinion or a thought, she began taking decisions for herself. Her rebellion against his hold was a significant step for her and though it happened over a number of years, she wouldn’t let the Simran she had found get lost ever again.
This is where our Simran finds herself now. She broke all relations with Raj the day she moved back home for her son. She has managed to suppress the woman, the lover and the wife. Today, only the mother and the educator remain. And yes, a hope remains. A hope that someday things will fall in place for a better outcome than a half life. A day when she will feel complete in all respects, and not torn in different directions by the storms surrounding her.
I can only wish her the very best to find the courage to do whatever it takes to fully find herself and more than anything else, to believe that she deserves all the happiness in the world. I hope for a day when Simran will finally stop punishing herself for one lapse of judgement made decades ago. And from that self-forgiveness, start a new life and finally move on.
Illustrated by Dr. Anisha Kumar ( Visit https://ignitingmypassion.wordpress.com/)