One Thousand Lies

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is about a lady caught up in a marriage which has been foisted with lies.

Submitted: April 23, 2019

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Submitted: April 23, 2019



The faded bed cover draped over the lone window flaps heavily in the chill air. The window AC hums noisily in the background providing an apt background score. There is a worn fridge tucked away into the corner. The bed in the other corner is spread on the floor covered with a rumpled cover. There is one makeshift cupboard balanced on three legs. One suitcase which has seen better years. There is a table sort of arrangement which serves various purposes from make up to stacking up items. There is one photograph of a sunny couple, in their wedding attire with lots of flowers. The cooker and utensils are decked beside the fridge to dry. There is a rope strung across the wall, on which there is a silk saree and clothes anyone might find in a nominal household. The year 1997 is visible on the torn daysheet calendar.

She is oblivious to the calls from the corridor, "Akka, I have finished, you can start cooking." The kitchen and bath are shared with the family in the next room. The third room and hall are occupied by non-cooking bachelors who share another bath.

She has tucked up her knees tight below her chin and the hands tightly woven around the legs. It is still everywhere around except for the hum of the air conditioner and the storm raging on inside her head. It subsides, then again is choppy overwhelming her as is visible from the twitches of her face. The wet lines on her cheek are quite evident. The defiant look on her face betrays pent up emotions. The four walls of the room look like walls of a prison for her. The question throwing up the froth in her mind is

"How did I end up here? What did I miss? Why they did this to me?"

"How I missed so many things even after noticing so many obvious signs?"

There is no end to it and no answers. What was The Heavens before a month now seemed a filthy hell. The numerous promises of having a wonderful foreign life, a profession at a multi specialty hospital, a husband having a job in an oil company, everything vaporized in the moment she knew he was employed as a scavenger in a cleaning company. But how Shyam's family were able to dramatize everything when they staged the grand event of the wedding. Suvs, big houses filled with all amenities, a grand wedding, followed by his sister's too. It all seemed a dream. The stereos, TV, fridge, kithchenette, carved wooden furniture, the servants, on duty driver, all items that a crorepathi would have. There was this constant boast of "Oh, all these were brought from Dubai by Shyam." And all of them were brand new even without a scratch. Now it seemed that all of them were rented and were paid off with the money they took as dowry.

Reasons and what not did they tell when they took her jewels for his sister. They were not returned. His very sweet answer was,

"Why, can't you think of it as a present to your sister in law?"





At that moment she had felt it was ok. Now she is not able to reconcile herself to the fact that she and her father, mother and everyone else have been cheated. Even, all his relatives who attended the wedding were playing the part perfectly. A qualified doctor like her has been fooled. When queried Shyam's answer was a nonchalant,

"So what, you are now my wedded wife and you cannot go and hide that fact anywhere. I liked you and your father's wealth. Do not think too much. You cannot run away from here.

Even if you run away the panchayat will not allow for separation".

She was having some hope with her mother in law who had showered her with love. She had a shock when the facts were brushed aside with

"When a baby is born everything will become allright".

This was betrayal of trust, love and loyalty and the perpetrators of the crime roam around with pride with their heads held high. She had requested the restaurant owner anna at the ground floor to help and he had called her dad up. When she recounted the incident to her dad over phone, he almost had a heart attack. Yesterday, dad called up and described in detail how they had schemed with the broker and pulled the wool over everybody's eyes. It was some part of the thousand lies they tell to conduct a marriage.

She has decided. She had asked the restaurant owner for a loan which she can repay in India. He agreed after checking with her friends over phone. The visa status is visit and once she is back in India her, Shyam will not be able to track her. There is no endorsement of the marriage in the passports. She can still travel without his knowledge, as there is no hold on her. But, what if she is pregnant? That was a dead end or a U turn. The thoughts took awhile, "Why I have to carry the baby of a cheat, who never told me the truth? He took my money, my jewels and now I am penniless and dependant on him. It would be easier to start a new life away and without any reminders of this short and unfortunate liaison."

It is evening and the shaft of light coming through the bed cover has turned a bright yellow. Anna had told that the tickets were booked for the mid noon flight the next day. She has to get up early to pack up without Shyam's knowledge.

© Copyright 2019 Shreeshankar. All rights reserved.

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