How many years would it take a pupa to become a butterfly?
You read me correct when I used the word years. For me, it took twenty long, draining years to start the process of metamorphosis — twenty years of bondage within me. I never tried to free myself of the chains of relations, and my responsibilities. Being a mother of two kids, I wanted to be like a warrior queen for them holding a shield to protect them from every kind of catastrophe. For me, my ultimate identity was being the mother of my kids. I felt proud of my role and how I played it beautifully and flawlessly.
But the mirage was shattered when my elder one asked me a simple question, “Why your eyes don’t sparkle, and the smile only remains in your lips?” “Mom, what are you hiding behind your smile?” I was quick to rectify him, but my soul was surprised how this young guy saw what others never realized. And I always thought I hid it well under the cloak of my happiness.
Behind the closed doors
Even though I was educated, I could never bring myself to face the truth that I was married to a monster in disguise. And I had no one to point the finger at since he was chosen by me, and this maybe was the primary reason for my silence for this long. I couldn’t disclose my feelings to anyone. Till now, I felt ashamed of my choice. I knew he was wrong from the first month of marriage. Once we got married, I saw an entirely different man. He was insulting; he abused me in every way he could. I had become a carcass long back with no rights of my own. I used to make myself understand even though the abuse was real; he loved me in his way. I used to search for love in his sexual abuse, beatings, and his bipolar behaviors. The struggle for self-respect, dignity I lost long back. When I wanted to come out from the closed-door, my promise to myself was that my kids would never see the pain I felt.
Now when I look at my journey, I feel I was like a scared mouse whose life was at the hands of the cat that won’t kill it but leave it half-dead to see it struggling vigorously for being alive.
I think many of us never come out of this life imprisonment. Whatever happened behind the bedroom doors should remain there, my mother had always warned me. I always kept that in mind.
But I was wrong. As a woman, I forgot my identity, my value. But as the saying goes, “Better late than never.” I think I am ready now to face the world and fight for myself. And after a prolonged silence, I took my power of writing to express myself. I felt a kind of accomplishment when I complained against him before the law. Even when the righteousness lawmakers asked me to forgive him since he was my husband and I had to serve him till my last breath. My stern reply was:
Does sperm donors have just one duty to fulfill? This man was just that for me
Somehow when I see married women with mangal sutra and vermilion on the forehead, I smile at the irony that fate and culture have put on us the women. Even after taking care of an embryo for nine to ten months, once the child comes to this world, our name is not attached to them. They are known by their father’s name. Why?
Why a woman’s happiness is always directly proportional to what kind of husband she gets or any other male characters in her life?
The unanswered question remains…
It all depends on fate or luck.
If you are lucky you would get the best
If you are unlucky, your death sentence is passed
And such a death sentence which won’t allow you to die
But forced you to live
The life of death
Each breath is a pain to take, and each step is chained
Each smile is a cry, and each song is despair
With each wings’ beat, the cord becomes tighter and firmer
But not without a silent prayer from the prey
To be free once again and run and sing and dance
Quick far from all, and hope to be hidden from all.
To live once again…
I am unsure about what is going to happen with the case and what is in store for me. I know one thing for sure, I am more than just awake, and there is no turning back. The transmutation was lignified by my elder one and my school buddy friends who came unintentionally back into my life via social media, but who showed me a speculum. They showcased me pages from my school days, where I was not scared, I was fearless. They showed me what I was and forced me to compare myself with what I had become. And I promise myself that I would never allow the fire to die down again within me, not just for my sake but for those who trusted me and loved me unconditionally.
“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”
This famous quote of Shakespeare is and should be the tagline for all the scared educated fools out there.
Be a butterfly even for a day.
Featured Image Credits: Incirlik