We fought again, and as always I went on to cry some more while hiding my tears and soft sniffles in the sounds of my Smartphone message and keypad tones. I went out in the balcony to find some peace and calm, which was fairly impossible to find in the apartment, where my mother still sat with her red angry face. We have been fighting more than ever now and being the quiet person that I was, I hated it all. Even staying in the house seemed impossible now and I just hoped I had another place to go.
I am Shreya, a girl from a typical society that doesn’t allow women to survive, if they do, they are reminded every second of their life that they were not supposed to be born and so should consider themselves lucky that they survived this long. This is a society that prays to goddesses for their prosperity and wealth and kills their daughters for a quite similar reason (girls are considered burden that should be gotten rid of at the earliest possible to save a lot of expenses.)
And at this point I missed Ravi a lot. I had been in love with him for the past 3 years, and although he also mentioned once that he loved me, he never actually seemed to have gotten over his ex. who he broke up with, long ago. I still could have forgotten everything, as everyone has a past and it doesn't have to coincide with the present or the future. However, the one thing that ultimately gave his intentions away, of going back to his ex, were the clear words where he accepted that I always was his second choice and given a chance he will marry his ex. Although, for sure the ex-talks scratched hard the wounds that the mere information of him having an ex that he still loved had inflicted on my heart, but being hopelessly in love with him I approved of anything he did. Being madly in love with him for god knows what reason, I only had one option and that was to support his decision, which meant at this point, I had no one to talk to, period.
My father, whom I actually loved, had never been an option, because I had long stopped talking to him due to the separation of my parents. When my mother separated from my father, I was the first of all my siblings to take her in with me, not just out of duty, but out of the love that I have always had and harboured for my mother, and even more for the simple fact that, this was finally a way to prove myself in front of my mother, who for some reason has always hated me. Hate might seem like a strong word, but somehow, nothing smaller seemed to better explain the relationship we had.
My mother, being a victim of the common custom of arranged marriages of India, had never had a very good life. And then, still living through all her responsibilities for whole of her life has made her a little bitter by this age. And although my mother and I have always been a part of a similar friction all our lives, due to many different reasons, I still loved my mother from the core of my heart and intended on making life easier for her even when I was still a kid.
But, whatever I tried doing or saying or buying for my mother, she never seemed to understand or appreciate. There were only complains and blabbering on how nothing could get any worse. It all broke my heart as I was actually trying real hard. Whatever I did, none of it seemed to work for her, and then I realized maybe our relationship needed more than just a few purchasable things and my efforts to get back on track.
Talking of getting back on track, we never seemed to get along, even when I was at school, we seemed to pick fights on almost random things, and my parents’ continuous and regular fights never made it any easier. The continuous shouting and arguments and at times occasional physical violence had made me a very grumpy and a-little-more-than-required silent. My parents had no time to care for me when they had so much of their own issues to be taken care of before they could manage anything, and yet, they had five kids.
Being the eldest, I felt I had to carry the burden of family prestige and so I did, while craving love and affection from any of my parents. My parents on the other hand, never cared much for their eldest, oddly silent, distant and comparatively a lot less prettier daughter. This was not some insignificant inferiority complex that I harboured over the years, rather, were actually my mother’s thoughts about me. I could even remember my mother reminding me that I should not compare myself to my sisters or brothers as I could never equal them.
And standing on the porch of my house with tears running down my face, I could remember my mother saying that the only way I could ever equal them was by taking another birth as a prettier and fairer child. A part of me broke that day, I was just a kid and taking my mother’s words to be true, I even tried taking my own life, to take another birth and be born as a prettier and fairer child, so my parents won’t feel ashamed of me. However, I learned the hard way that taking my own life was neither easy nor appreciated by many.
I have been suicidal a lot of times before and even today a part of me wanted to jump off the building and end my pitiful and pathetic life, but I knew better by now. And so, I wiped off my tears and went on inside to book a one way plane ticket, as by this point of time, I was completely aware that I was broken beyond repair, just like the insignificant fragments of a shattered glass. I felt equally trivial and lethal for anyone who tried touching me. And this, simply meant one thing, I had to go out of anyone and everyone’s life whom I actually loved and that included my mother, my siblings, my father and Ravi.
Having decided, I opened a new tab on the browser I was working on and replied to the mail from a company offering me a job in a smaller part of Delhi about a thousand miles away from this place and everyone I knew. I knew I needed a new start, I knew I wasn't capable of taking any more responsibilities and I knew I will need a place where no one knew me, and maybe I will never tell anyone where I was going this time. This will be my personal secret, a safe haven I always wanted.