I came from a lower-middle-class family and was born and brought up in Chennai. I worked in a Multi-National Company for a couple of years, and ten years ago, I moved to Bangalore after marriage. I was barely 20 or 21 years old when I got married, and the requirement from the boy's side of the family was that they required the girl to be a homemaker and not to be a career-oriented person. That time, my family and I happily agreed because that was how I had grown up seeing my mother, my aunts and my grandmothers at home. Secondly, I did not have an issue because I did not have any passion for becoming something back in those days. Everyone around me prioritized home and family duties over anything else.
I quit my job and happily agreed to the marriage. I remember I never had any regret because of that either. I started looking after the elders in the family and my husband. I never bothered about my happiness, passions, and aspirations for life and did what society says a dutiful wife should do. For a very long period, we did not have any children, so all my time would go to fulfilling the needs and the demands of my family members. Little did I know that my life was going to change forever in the times to come.
My Life Was Going To Change
After six years of wedding, I was blessed with a baby girl. Since then, my priorities in life have completely changed. I would always think about my baby and prioritized my health and well-being as well. If I am happy and content, I could only provide my child with the attention and care she deserved. When she was a year old, my friends called me to inform me about something that entirely shook me. My husband had met with an accident, and he died on the spot. For some time, I could not even believe it. They say that there comes a particular point in everyone's lives when they realize their inner strength.
That was a period when I relaised what my strengths and weaknesses were. I could identify myself better in those days. They were some of the most traumatic days of my life. After hearing about his death, I could have reacted in several ways. I could have howled, shouted, cried and cursed my destiny. But then I realized that my daughter was just one year old, and she already does not understand what has happened in her life. At that age, she would not even understand what had befallen us as a family. When people started coming in and talking amongst themselves about it, she got pretty upset.
In those times, my only focus was that I should not break down no matter what happens. That was when I realised how strong I was. It was so difficult for me to accept the fact that he was not there with us anymore. My daughter was just one year old, and both of us had our entire lives around us. It pained me to imagine that she would not receive her father's love for the rest of her life, and she would never see him again. I realized that I need to come out of my shell of doing everything the way society wants me to. If I had to thrive for my daughter and myself, I knew I needed to think about myself and her over everyone else.
My first focus was restarting my career, but it is not easy to restart your career in the IT field. My friends came together to help me to restart my career. I would speak to my friends and read self-help books. It took me a good two months to come out of the shock of the massive loss. I was utterly dependent on him for every small thing. So when he passed away, I thought that since I was taking care of him and his family for so many years, they would not leave me in these trying times. I thought that they would support me and my decision about looking for a job and being independent.
I Had Realised The Value Of Self-Respect
When I got a job, I did not even look what it was and just took it anyway. If I had more time, maybe I could have found a better job. After a year, I could, fortunately, land myself with a job that would allow me to work from home.
There is still a lot of societal pressure that I face to get married again, just because I am alone and would not manage my child. I am entirely against this. I do not have an issue with remarriage, but I do not want to get married because I am alone. Because I have my daughter, I do not even consider myself alone anymore. I would not mind re-marrying if ever I need a partner, but right now, I am safe, sound and happy, and that is all I want.
I wish I could let people know that if I have taken a step forward in my life, it does not mean that I do not mourn the loss of my husband. It is a void that could never be fulfilled, but that does not mean that even my life would stop right there. If I had given up during the hard times, who would have taken care of my daughter?
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