“Let us separate. We are not meant for each other. We hardly have anything in common. You need a drudge to take care of your mom. I am not willing to do that. Allow me to go amicably my way” Sweta implored her husband Bhaskar with tears in her eyes.
Hardly 27 and married for two years, she had great dreams of a happy and fun filled married life with a wonderful man. What she really got, after the intial days of honeymoon, was a husband who worked upto 10 pm in the office, came home tired and had no time to spend a few minutes with his spouse. She had to battle with his old mother whose vision was dim and hearing greatly impaired. To add to her woes the old woman was asking the same questions repeatedly affected presumably by Alzheimer. An executive in a leading publishing house, she found it difficult to manage despite the lady cook at home.
“Sweta, please do not lose heart. I love you very much. I think the pressure in the office would come down in a year when I am promoted to VP. I know I haven’t taken you out on holidays or spared enough time daily with you. You don’t have to be a drudge. If you wish I will employ one more maid to take care of mom. Sundays I will devote more time with you. Please bear with me for just a year” Bhaskar replied softly.
“Why don’t you put her in a good paid old age home with comforts? I get sick of her incessant questioning. I get headache daily when I return from office. There is no guarantee that VP’s position will change your nature. I have a life to live.There is no fun living with you. Please allow me to go” she said.
Bhaskar was an introvert while she was a bubbly woman who enjoyed company. Her colleague Ravi had become a close friend in the last few months. An engaging conversationalist, suave, he knew the art of saying things that made women happy. A handsome hunk, he had said he was single and unattached. Whenever Sweta poured out her heart to him of the listless life she was leading, he commiserated with her. He took her out for coffee frequently. She found in him the comfort and care she missed from Bhaskar. She enjoyed being with him and talking to him endlessly. One day when he suggested their having dinner together, she was not willing initially but succumbed to his persuasions.
It was there he said “Why do you persist with this unhappy marriage? He will not change being a workaholic by nature even if he becomes the CEO. He comes home tired and has no time for you. It is a drab life. If you are willing, let us get married. My parents are no more. I have a sister who is in London. Only the two of us. I love you. I promise to give you the life you are dreaming of.”
“Ravi, Bhaskar is a good man and adores me. He loves me no doubt but I see no change in the near future. I hate the nagging old lady. He is not willing to send her to old age home. I really do not know. I love you too but am confused.” she sobbed.
He put his arms around her and pulled her close to him. He softly said “You have to take some drastic decisions if you wish to live your life. Seek separation and we can get married within a few months.”
As he tried to kiss her, she pushed him away and said “I need time to think and talk it over. Dont rush me to do things that are improper meanwhile” she said.
Sweta remembered the conversation with Ravi at the dinner two days earlier. She knew Bhaskar was a good and loving husband but had no time for her. Even the occasional intimate moments were perfunctory and lacked passion. Ravi on the other hand seemed a pleasant type. Unable to decide she put her face in her hands and sobbed inconsolably. She didn’t know how long till she found Bhaskars hands around her.
He said gently “If you wish to leave me, I cannot hold you by force. I love you very much and would not like to lose you. But it is your decision. I get a feeling you have someone in view. Before you commit yourself to him, make sure he is genuine and not after your money. He might have known that you are a heir to a big fortune. Whoever it is get his antecedents checked discreetly by some good agency for this purpose. If they give a clean chit, you may do what you wish to. I will grant you freedom. If there is a change of heart meanwhile, I would be the happiest. Meanwhile lull him into complacence that you are working on your separation. Keep the boundaries till you get the feedback. Go to sleep. I will be watching the TV.”
She found him in the morning sleeping on the sofa. She felt a bit guilty. But she found the investigating agency and assigned the work to them. She avoided meeting Ravi by going on tour. When she returned the report was ready at her house. It was a shocking revelation of a cunning crook who had cheated many women in the past and had a wife and child. The wife refused to give him divorce just to punish him for his dalliance with many women. He had mounting debts and recovery agents were after him. In sum the report concluded that he was a cunning rake.
Just then Bhaskar walked in. She quietly gave him the report. He said “I knew but I wanted you to find out yourself. I have decided to change the job that will see me spending more time with you. I will employ another maid to take care of mom. I love you Sweta.I promise to make you happy. Please do not ever leave me.”
She fell into his extended arms and cried like a baby telling him “Please forgive me. You are a gem and a blessing to me.”