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.
From this point on, Bhargavi’s life reads like a checklist. A checklist of “name what’s wrong?” alongside which Bhargavi wrote “here’s the fix”.
Bhargavi realised one of the biggest problem with her relationship was her lack of financial freedom even though she was also working. And she proceeded to fix this by opening her own bank account, and ensuring her salary went into another account over which Mohan had no control.
Once she had taken the step of meeting a divorce lawyer and the case dragged on and on for another seven years, there were times when, even as a lay person, Bhargavi could see her lawyer wasn’t doing nearly enough to help her reach the point of divorce and pave the way for a new life. She fixed this by studying the law herself, and is now the proud holder of a Law Degree that even opened doors for her at work in terms of promotion and better prospects.
Her husband wasn’t moving out of the house (which thankfully due to some disputes that Mohan had faced a few years back, was now in Bhargavi’s name). Hence the judge wouldn’t grant her a divorce on the grounds that they weren’t actually separated. Multiple accounts of police reports, parents appearing as witnesses to her physical abuse and mental abuse were shared in court. Evidence of her wounds and being physically assaulted by Mohan were presented in court. Her son was also eager to give his account of the tortures they underwent on a daily basis but the court found his testimony to be inadmissible. This deadlock situation went on for five years. Not even once during this time did Bhargavi waver from her goal and continued to fight with grit and determination.
Here’s where even fate decided enough was enough and Bhargavi met an old friend who was now a lawyer and hearing her plight, wanted to help. Although he was not a divorce lawyer, Bhargavi’s friend gave her sound advice and finally suggested the option of an out-of-court settlement with Mohan.
Bhargavi met Mohan and he agreed to give her divorce provided she paid him a few lakhs of rupees and also agreed that after the divorce he was absolving himself of all responsibility with regards to the children. By now, Bhargavi’s meagre savings were wiped out thanks to him. But she managed to borrow from friends and family and paid him money to get out of their lives. It was nothing less than a ransom. But Bhargavi happily paid it to buy freedom for herself and her children.
Finally divorce was granted by mutual consent. That was the day Mohan moved out of the house.
Bhargavi doesn’t remember her wedding date anymore. But she remembers that day late in 2015, when, after almost 18 years of suffering, she finally found freedom and happiness.
Her children blossomed under her care and are now growing up to be responsible adults in their own right. Mohan has neither bothered to stay his touch with his children, or offer any financial aid towards their upbringing. Which suits Bhargavi and her children just fine.
It is Bhargavi’s dream to become a divorce lawyer some day and use her Law Degree to help other women in similar situations who need advice and a strong advocate for their cause. She hopes to be able to do this someday once her duties towards her children are fulfilled and her debts re-payed.
For now, she is savouring the experience of living a full life, something that she has had to fight for, for nearly two decades.
Justice was delayed, but thankfully not denied. Bhargavi simply didn’t allow it to be so. And for that, hats off to her!
Illustrated By: Dr Anisha Kumar (Visit http://ignitingmypassion.wordpress.com)