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Friday, December 28, 2007


Komal had not stopped crying in the past 24 hours, except during the two measly hours that she had managed to fall asleep out of exhaustion. Her stomach hurt with pangs of hunger and she sensed that her face might somewhat look distorted with the muscle strains. And yet she could not help it.

Komal had left Vivek's home yesterday. Vivek, her beloved husband who she had married against her parents wishes. Vivek, her boyfriend in college, who her friends had warned her about. Vivek, his parents' pampered child, who still clung on to his mother's saree, figuratively. Vivek, the childless man.

Komal married at 24, and turned 28 two months ago. Her first year of marriage was uneventful. Her second began with pressure from her in-laws to have a baby. Her third, Vivek and she tried desperately to conceive. They bought fancy machines to track her ovulation, she took herbs to improve her fertility, her in-laws visiting temples, and Vivek suggested certain positions for the bedroom because he wanted only a boy. Her fourth year turned into a roller coaster with her in-laws ill-treating her, calling her names, labeling her as "infertile", Vivek shunning her, and Komal's self-esteem plummeting. The herbs did no good and the Gods apparently were not listening.

Vivek and Komal had screaming matches everyday. Yesterday they had the last one.

Komal: "Why can't we just tell them??"

Vivek: "I have told you a million times that we cannot!"

Komal: "What is the point of hiding the truth. One day they will have to know."

Vivek: "NO Komal!! And if you wish to, you can leave the house right now!"

Komal: "All this is your fault!"

Vivek: "If only you would have been careful, this situation would never have occurred."

Komal: "And so you have no part to play in this?? Are you not responsible?"

Vivek: "No Komal, You are the only one responsible for this. Not me!!"

That day, Komal left Vivek' house. She could not believe that he was in denial. She was dumbstruck with his inability to stand by her and face his parents with the truth.

The truth was that Komal had been pregnant 6 years ago with Vivek's child. Naive at 22, and poor as students, frightened of the consequences, Vivek and Komal went to a quack to have their child aborted.

She killed her child 6 years ago. And Vivek killed her marriage today. Komal had nothing to say.