“Next month is our fiftieth wedding anniversary. Ours was a typical arranged marriage. He was dominating, I was submissive, and we barely knew each other before the wedding. I had always been against dowry but my father gave him Rs. 20,000 at our wedding. When I finally told him I did not like it, he said he would pay it back in installments. He kept his promise and I fell in love with him.
Many years later, in 2005, we were on our way back from Kochi to Bengaluru when a truck drove head long into our car. My son and grandson escaped unscathed but my husband and I were a whole different story. He slipped into coma for three days, was bedridden for six months, and we took nearly a year to recover. We were in our sixties.
People deal with trauma in different ways. After the accident, I found my release in painting. It was as if I was reborn. The ability to express in a whole new medium kept me rejuvenated. Unfortunately, my husband could not find such release. Today, he suffers from early stage dementia. From a person who used to run the house, he is a child who throws tantrums. Sometimes I feel like anything would have been better than this kind of mental deterioration. He is in his own world. He doesn’t realize what I am going through. Mine is a one-woman army. Thankfully I have painting to fuel me. It keeps me going.”
– Usha & Prabhakar Rai
Story By – BeingYou | PC: Vishwanath Velu
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