Running a household means saving, scrimping, conserving, preserving. Basically making every purchase last till you’ve extracted every last rupee/paisa spent on it. Hence, you find most Indian women preserve pickle jars & odd bottles & pots & pans. We don’t like throwing away old anything around the house. Will we ever want to throw away our husbands? For us, marriage is for keeps. We girls are programmed to make things work (most often – single handedly!). THE END is not an option we consider. It’s a rare woman who wants to knock it all off.
I chose to walk away from my first relationship because I realized I was trapped in a “headed nowhere” situation. We both had our well-paying jobs, his parents’ complete support, a nice car, a plot of land purchased to build our future home in Kannur (Kerala); we also had a long history of having stood beside each other in good times & bad & seen the highs & lows of life. But then, gradually we realized that, we had altogether different tastes, worldviews & expectations out of life.
I wanted to experience life. The job, the money, the savings everything was meant to fulfill that desire; the means toward that end. He wanted security, a highly predictable, well orchestrated, comfortable life. I wanted everything in extremes. He wanted everything to be in moderation, a sedate existence. His only extremity was food. My only moderation was food. He could lie on the sofa & watch Malayalam movies starting Friday 6p.m right through Sunday 11 p.m. I couldn’t wait to go out into town during the weekend.
Life had become a cycle of working, saving & buying. And more buying. And more buying. Whether it was buying furniture, vessels, electronic goods, car, household items or investing in policies or paying the rent or the credit card & phone bills, even recreation & entertainment expenses, I did it with complete affection for the life we shared together. I never once worried about the future. No woman just throws it all away. After all, a home is built with a great deal of hard work, persistence & patience tinka tinka jodke.
But some relationships are best when you let go of them. Because clinging on to something in the hope that ‘it will all work out in the end’ or simply because you’ve no one or nowhere else to go, is just not the way to live life. If something ties you down, if it doesn’t let you grow as a person, in whichever direction or whatever way, it’s just not worth it. For a relationship to work, both people must want it to happen & work towards it. If it doesn’t work, it’s not your fault. There’s only that much you can do. Relationships need a little maintenance. One person can fight for it but you get tired after a point & just let it go. And it’s best that way.
If there’ve been women, who’ve walked out of relationships, it’s always because things went way beyond their highest point of endurance. Why should anyone put up with verbal & physical abuse? Or a life where your only reason for existence is because your spouse wanted an unpaid cook, maid & nurse all rolled into one & at no extra cost other than the two-meals a day deal? Or the only opinion you’re allowed to have is saying “yes” to whatever she/he says, her/his every whim & fancy? I know of several women living just this kind of life right now as I write these lines. When I see them & the sordid lives they’ve surrendered themselves to, I wonder, if this is marriage, the most sacred of all human institutions, then I’m better off being single. In some cases, The End isn’t such a dirty word, after all.