I am Shreyasi, funny, quirky and eighteen.
I belong to a conservative family that wants me to hitch with a man who is almost double my age and has a lot of money in his bank account. Money which will help my father pay all his loans, money which will finance abroad trips for my brother, money which will help my mother get some gold for her second daughter's marriage. I had to let go of my studies because my family wanted me to marry him.
What about my life as a wife, as a daughter-in-law, as a homemaker and then lastly as a mother? Will I be able to do justice to everything and with every role? And I slept with all these scattered thoughts.
The next day, as I get ready for the big day:
"Calm down, bub," I say to myself as I drape the red saree around my lean, petite body.
"Everything is going to be okay," I say to myself as I wear the ornaments that came from my in-laws as a shagun.
It is time for me to go. But there is something stopping me, and I don't know what it is.
The wedding rituals start, my father takes my hand in his hands. Showing his dominance over me.
As everything comes to an end, I am pronounced as being married, I am Mrs Shreyasi Nitin Mathur.
Something in me breaks, and I am not liking it at all. I feel like running away but I am not a coward.
I see his shadow as I make myself comfortable in the room where I am supposed to spend all my nights from now on.
He enters the room and grabs me from behind.
I am perplexed because I don't understand what he's up to.
A chill runs down my spine, and I feel something exactly where I should not feel it.
(A few days have passed, and I still am trying to make myself comfortable and adapt to the changes in my life. Unfortunately, one thing which is still hard for me to accept is getting close to my husband. But, the sad part is, who cares?)
He tries to undress me, yes, in last few days, he has never uttered a single word to me, we are married but he comes and tries to undress me. That is what he wants. Every day, I oppose and try to move his hand away from my hips and he grabs them more tightly and starts humping (and one more time, that unspoken soul inside me dies).
He tosses me on the bed and there, I see, the beautiful embroidered red saree that I wore this morning lying on the floor.
I look into this man's eyes and I can see greed in them. It feels as if he has been hungry for a lifetime and finally he has got a fresh prey.
His hands do what they are best at, and my so-called husband starts unhooking my blouse. I, on the other hand, experience a great loss and that too not for the first time, it now seems to be an age-old loss.
He turns and sleeps as he finishes his work and gets done for the day. I try to get up, but his hands are still on me. They DISGUST me, but they are on me.
I get RAPED every day, my confidence gets RAPED, my spirit gets RAPED and above all of it, my body gets RAPED. He married me, and now he thinks of me as his property.
(Months pass and this continues, I stay quiet and behave like a GOOD WIFE)
And this would be repeated every single day even when my body wouldn't allow him to do (on those days of the month). He would do it and leave me in pain.
Until one day... When I decided to voice my opinions and shut him up forever...
For the first time, I address him with his name and utter something looking fiercely into his eyes (if the truth is to be told, I was trying to find some lost love or pity). No, not because he is my husband, but just because I try to search for some humanity in this demon.
Is there any left? I ask in silence, and I hear 'NOTHING'.
I try to make him understand that I am not a part of this union which we have been labelling as a 'marriage'.
And what he does next is unexpected. He shows his physical control and hits me right on my face. He drags me and starts to undress me again. 'NO', I shout loudly this time. He didn't stop. I try to find a way to stop him and there's this mess that is going on in my mind; I have to stop him once and for all.
Yes, I am the same girl who was quirky, but this time my quirk and fun loving behaviour will not take me anywhere. I will have to fight him and be fierce. I stop him by collecting all the strength that I have, and I try to push him away. He wouldn't move an inch.
That's when I grab the vase kept on the bedside table and hit my HUSBAND hard on his head.
I can feel the blanket of silence shedded all over the room. Seems like everything has been ceased, the clock that was moving too fast has forgotten to sense the back and forth of the moment.
And that very moment...
But, hey? I ask myself: "What did you do?" I run back to where this man who was a husband to me till now was lying in silence. I try to move him, but as I said, he wouldn't move an inch…
Has everything ended now? Is this the freedom I needed? Have my all pains come to an end?
DO YOU THINK WHAT I DID IS RIGHT?
DISCLAIMER: All characters and incidents in this article are writer's own imagination, but the idea has been inspired by Khaled Hosseini's book, A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Cover image source: Deseret News