“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse and at 19 when I cleared my SSC, I thought that I could become whatever I wanted — but I was wrong. My parents forced me into getting married to a man who lives in a nearby village. I accepted their decision, moved away and tried my best to become a home maker. A few months into our marriage I was pregnant and at that age I was scared, but little did I know that I would have a lot more to fear. My husband, brought home another young woman, casually and began living with her without even giving me an explaination. I can’t describe those feelings into words. There’s no worse pain than emotional pain and I knew that I couldn’t live like that.
I left him and came back here to Bombay only to find that there was no comfort back home either. People were doubting my character, asking me humiliating questions about my child and treating me like an outcast. At 20, this was a huge burden for me to bear, but it was the fact that I had a child in my stomach that gave me strength. I ignored what people were saying and silently began working to support myself. My brother allowed me to stay with him as I worked at multiple houses to support myself and save for my child’s needs. I kept myself so busy that there was no time to listen to anything that was being said and it got even better when my son was born — my entire struggle melted away. With great pride I sent him to school…I still remember his first day. There were times when it was tough to juggle my jobs, cook for him, pick him up for school, but we managed and managed really well — today he works at a machine factory and has a beautiful family of his own in a small town near Bombay. I could have lived with him, but I love my life here…
Yes, I am a divorced woman, but my life has had more meaning than that. Let me tell you that the initial challenges have made me a strong independent woman. Through this process, the one thing I’ve learnt is to keep growing and pushing forward. Since the past 10 years, I’ve joined a library and read two books a week…which has helped me grow and understand affairs of the world. I also stitch quilts and bags as a side business while continuing to work as domestic help at a few houses.
At 60, I’m not only a single mother, but a single grandmother and I’m not ashamed to be called a ‘divorcee’. In India we only have modern technology, but no modern thinking. Being divorced isn’t bad, sometimes there’s no other way out. Hopefully, someday we’ll be more accepting…but until then I’m not going to be embarrassed –I’m proud of the life I’ve lived.”