A Long Wait
also Madhuri found the door locked. She was happy to have finished
her work at office early. She thought to have a little more time
all to herself before her husband, Pankaj comes around 8 p.m. Although
she does not have the duplicate key but she just wanted to take
a chance in case her in laws are at home. Generally Pankaj picks
her up from the office and together they come back home.
Pankaj’s parents quite
often go out at this time just to trouble her at least she feels
that way. Pankaj, a number of times told her to carry a duplicate
key to the door but she refused on the ground that she does not
want to enter the house alone. You never know what your parents
are upto! Pankaj could not protest. He knows his parents very well.
They can resort to any means to make Madhuri miserable.
When Madhuri came to this house, her in laws could not accept her.
There was no ceremony, no sweets, no traditional lighting of lamps,
no celebrations to welcome the daughter in law. That day is very
vivid in her memory. How she can forget that. Pankaj’s father made
a lot of grumbling and his mother cried as if her son were dead.
Madhuri was dumb founded seeing all that being enacted before her
eyes. She would not have troubled herself much if things settled
down after the initial hiccups. But that didn’t happen.
The tug of war continued.
Some times she does feel frustrated and wanted to move out of her
in laws house may be to a rented apartment. But the in laws behaviour
has transformed her will into a resolute determination to give a
bitter fight and she feels justice is on her side and no power on
earth could take away her fundamental rights. She is legally married
to Pankaj and she wants to see all her legal rights are respected.
She feels for those girls who are subject to harassment by their
in laws day in and day out. Are these in laws human beings? She
doubts very much. In fact they are animals in human garb. A society
which boasts of being progressive minded still burns, kills, harasses
those hapless girls who do not have any one to defend. But this
cruelty to human beings by human beings must end…
The calling bell rings.
It must be Pankaj, Madhuri thought. The sound of the
footsteps is well known to her. “How long have you been waiting?”
Pankaj enquired. “Not much, for about half an hour”, Madhuri told
him. Pankaj opens the lock.
“Madhuri you change and come to the kitchen for cooking, in the
meantime I will get ready with your cooking arrangement.” Pankaj
suggested Madhuri. “You can finish your cooking before my mother
“Yes, that is a good
idea”, Madhuri supported Pankaj. Other days Madhuri goes to the
kitchen after 10.00 p.m. by that time her mother-in-law would have
finished her cooking. It takes about two hours to prepare breakfast,
packed lunch and dinner. In the morning she hardly has any time.
By 7.30 they will have breakfast, pack the lunch and by 8 they should
be out on the street to be in office by 9 sharp.
That evening Madhuri
took a long time to cook. She prepared her favorite dish Rajma Chawal
and paneer pakoda. By 10 they were in bed. Fortunately next day
was Saturday, a holiday for both of them. Generally she goes off
to her parent’s house and spend two days with her parents, sister
and a brother. Pankaj also attends office on some pretext on Saturday
and comes back early to Madhuri’s house and they enjoy the Sunday
playing, gossiping, some times pay a visit to a theatre. Thus life
goes on in spite of hiccups being experienced by them on the weekdays.
happy at least when she thinks of Pankaj. He has been always
helpful to her. There was no air conditioner in her room when
she first came. She was just thinking of one such cooling
machine, Pankaj got the AC installed the very next day. Another
problem she faced was to commute to her office on Pankaj’s
scooter. As a pillion rider she was not uncomfortable but
the problem was how to avoid the sensuous looks of the people
who would just stop their vehicle or motor cycle almost touching
Madhuri is aware
that she has a healthy body and an attractive face so it is
natural for people on the road to look at her sensually. Madhuri
suggested Pankaj that they should own a car to avoid being
exposed on scooter and as it is also accident prone. The next
day they went to a Maruti dealer and firmed up a contract.
Some how, she could not tell Pankaj the cause of her real
She still wonders
how a few months back a young man who was completely unknown
has become the closest man in her life. Perhaps life is so
beautiful at times because of such unsuspecting developments.
In her office there still are a number of collegues who wanted
to make friendship with her. But they could not dent into
her mind not because they were not eligible bachelors, but
perhaps they did not have the passion for love which she found
in Pankaj. The day she met Pankaj in one of the company programmes
where she was the coordinator on behalf of their company where
Pankaj’s company was their client. Pankaj was in charge of
their computer stall. The logistic support was given by Madhuri’s
The moment she saw
Pankaj her heartbeat increased. His bright eyes and his body language
swept off her feet. She felt he was the man for whom she has been
waiting. Within two days, she forgot about home, relations, they
came so close as if they have been in love eternally.
After this it was
a matter of days before they got married. Of course Pankaj cautioned
her about his parents behaviour and that she may not be accepted
by his parents. But at that time Madhuri could not think anything
else except Pankaj. What does it matter if her in laws do not accept
her happily! What matters is that Pankaj has accepted her wholeheartedly
and he is always on her side. She is not afraid of the world as
long as Pankaj is on her side.
At the same time she
feels an obligation on behalf of those girls who are not treated
well by their in laws. The bill on Woman’s empowerment and protection
from any kind of harassment by their in laws, husband or other
relations is on the anvil. This bill is going was introduced in
the parliament in the monsoon session. Once it becomes a law she
will definitely file a case in the court of her harassment by her
in laws day-in and day-out She awaits for that day…
Story Teller Sukhendu
Roy Chowdhury, I live in Delhi and do outsourcing work for
an NRI. I love the Himalayas and would like to settle there. my