The dal was just right or maybe it needed more salt. She fiddled with the spoon and thought for some time. How did it matter? He was going to foul mouth her anyway. She wished he changed what he said; it was the same every time that started with her food and went to her family.
She had tried to vent it out to people she knew and reply was ‘office pressure’. Maybe it was, but she could not be too sure. What would she know? She had left work two years ago. She had loved her work. The financial freedom that came with it gave her the satisfaction. Her double degree seemed to be justified but she had to give it up because he didn’t like it. He didn’t want her to stress and get pressurized in the nasty office politics. He had emphasized that it was a bad world.
Euphemism was his greatest weapon and she couldn’t retort to it. He would run to his family and his mother would halt at their place. Blackmails would happen in pretext of advise and eventually she would give in. Like she agreed that it was the right time for the baby. She didn’t know if it was but everyone wanted it. She had pushed away the idea that society was like that but couldn’t ignore. The feeling was amplified by her relatives pressurizing her parents. Sometime, or most of the times she wondered if she lived in this century.
She poured the dal from the stove into a vessel. Her thoughts were somewhere else.The dal she had eaten at Mrs Sasi’s place tasted well. She yearned to go there often but there was no time. That is the reason she had given to Sasi. It came naturally to her, that lies, because she didn’t want another drama over anything. She had stopped talking to people, not that they were concerned either. She gave up on interacting because gossips flew and husbands suspect. Her parents had advised to stay on good books. Didn’t she do that for 22 years? Staying on their good books? Listened to them when they asked her not to go to parties or movies with friends? Is it a life time commitment of listening to someone you bound to? She had many questions but never asked them except in the altar of Gods.
She moved out of her Kitchen and switched on the TV. There was news of rape victim in Delhi. She empathized helplessly. She was a coward, she knew it. One who obeyed her husband and served him. Maybe everyone claimed that being a housewife was the toughest but she didn’t like it. Didn’t that matter? Shouldn’t she be the one to decide the ways of her life? At least the things that were trivial? Anger brewed in her.
He snatched the remote from her, like he snatched everything else. Her thoughts and emotions. But it didn’t matter because the norms were set. Maybe it was the safest and best for her.
The news anchor screeched about the atrocity of the incident. She prayed for the victim. Prayed for herself for she was a victim of another kind.