I am leaving The Sen Household.’
Supriya has recently become the daughter-in-law of Mrs Sen. She has married the only Son of the Sen Family. She is a journalist and has a very busy schedule similar to Arun, her husband who is an engineer.
‘I was married as soon as I had completed my Masters in Bengali. It was what girls of good families did. Thus I married Ajit Sen, a Government employee.
I still remember the time when his family had come to select me as their bride they enquired about my looks but no one asked about my education. I was silent, good daughters never spoke in front of elders.’
Supriya was handed a letter by the clerk in her office. She was surprised to see that her mother-in-law had sent the letter.
‘I ceased to become Dutta’s daughter and became Mrs Sen. I had everything what a wife desires but I didn’t have what a woman cherishes .I was like the bird in the golden cage. A good wife is supposed to take care of the household, look after her husband, bear a son. But no one asked me whether I was ready to become a wife or a mother.
I aspired to be a teacher and asked my husband to deliver my bio data to various institutions. I was never called for any interview and came to believe that I was not good enough. It was much later, when I found all my CVs kept in his drawer.
I was criticized for my inability to speak fluent English but no one cared for my depth in Bengali literature.
My husband often gave me expensive gifts. My cooking and looks were appreciated by all. Even Arun was becoming a fine man. I was a good wife and mother and had the perfect life as per society’s standards. But somewhere in becoming perfect I had lost Myself.
I truly love my Husband. But I also wanted him to understand me and realize my unspoken emotions .
I am proud of my son too but Supriya; you’re not only my daughter-in-law but also my inspiration. After the death of my Husband and marriage of Arun I realized ,I had nothing to be called as mine. I lost the purpose to live. But then I saw you, skillfully balancing between marriage and work and how you never lost touch with yourself; unlike me.’
I am Meenakshi, a woman who wanted to be praised more for her mind than her looks;
A woman who had unvoiced physical and emotional needs;
A woman who lost her very name by conforming to the needs of the society.
I am sending this letter to you Supriya because only you could understand my plight. In spite of having everything I felt very hollow from inside. Arun has his own life and so do you. And I want to embrace the long forgotten Meenakshi, want to experience the life beyond someone’s wife and mother.’
As Supriya read the letter, she was overwhelmed with emotions.
‘Supriya, I also used to write poems when I was all alone in the golden cage. That used to be my key to the other world. No one knew about it. I have spoken to a publisher, it would soon be publishing my very own book of poems.
All the necessary papers are kept on Arun’s desk. By the time you read this letter of mine I would be boarding the train to Darjeeling, that’s where I will be teaching Bengali in a boarding school.
With lots of Love
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