Married to be Divorced
“Mary! its 8 O’clock in the morning. Get up please. Give me at least a cup of tea. I will be late to go to work”-John was trying to wake up his newly wedded wife.
About a month ago there was a marriage. It was the talk of the town. Two richest families of the town decided to merge in the matrimonial relationship. The competition was tough but the invitees benefited.
In the bride’s send off party, there were plenty of drinks to drown- local and foreign- soft and hard, tinned and bottled drinks were served. There were 20 different food items; some of the menu list was not pronounceable. The chefs with their starched hat muttered the name of the food; the person simply nodded unknowingly and the sample size food was dropped on his plate. By the time all the samples of the food was collected and one was ready to work on the food, the plate looked like a dust bin of a restaurant where left over of different clients were emptied. The chewable food was swallowed and the non palatable ones were spitted on the carpeted floor.
At least nobody remained hungry on that day. The quality was not discussed, the quantity were appreciated. “Hunger in Africa” was an insult to the occasion baselessly created by the media blah blah propaganda.
The marriage reception was not less. In the drinks’ list, a new item was more than the send off party- a traditionally brewed sacred elixir. The elixir had the strength of kick boxing-one sip made the head spin like propeller.
Food was categorized in 4 different sections- traditional local; continental; Indian and Chinese cuisines.
By the time the reception was over, a quarter of the visitors were on the floor-some were too drunk to walk; some had stomach ache from overeating.
After the last thanks giving part, every body left patting their pot belly adorned with satisfied smiles.
The well wishers, envying friends and ever protective parents had done their duties. The “just married” couple left for their honeymoon in Mauritius.
They were booked at the Coco Beach Hotel. At the hotel, a coach decorated to receive the newly wed was waiting.
It took them for an excursion around the hotel; on the hundred plus varieties of palm trees planted in the yards, congratulatory cards with their names written on it were hanging. The excursion took almost one hour. Finally they were brought to the suite reserved for them. The exhaustion from the chains of parties was forgotten as soon as they started their honey moon activities.
The next day early in the morning, they went out for a stroll watching the scenic beauty of sunrise. Once the sun had started shining, Mary refused to come out, she was afraid of getting sun tanned. At the pool side there were many activities going on- cooking exhibition, children’s swimming competition and swimming lessons for adults and children. In the sea, there were water sports. John wanted to join the crowd in the marry making. Mary told him that she used a lot of money to buy the cream to lighten her skin colour. And she intended to sustain her fair complexion for few months and sun rays were not good for her skin.
“Honey, when I married you I knew I was marrying a black bride. We are pure Africans. Our forefathers were black, we are black and you are my black beauty queen. If you become whiter I might even divorce you.”
The simple joke was not understood. Just on the second day of their honeymoon, in a far away place from mummy and daddy, Mary felt vulnerable to the word “Divorce”. She cried the whole day and refused to eat.
At night there were the entertainment programs in the hotel lobby-Latino dances. The slim girls and boys danced Salsa, Cha cha cha, Samba with the perfect technical expertise. John was thrilled. He clapped, he whistled, and he shouted. Mary also enjoyed.
After the entertainment program, they were walking on the paved footpath of the hotel towards their suite. The moon-light was shining down on them from above the sky, the sounds of the breaking waves from the Indian ocean were providing the background orchestra, the branches of the palms were drooping down to salute them, the sea breeze were brushing their faces with a soft whisper in their ears. It was a perfect romantic night. John put his left hand around her waist and they walked lazily.
“You should cut down your chocolate and cake intake. You saw how those dancers looked nice with their slim figures.”
Mary brushed off his hands from her waist, stood facing him direct and screamed “Didn’t you know that you were marrying a fat bride” and ran away from him. John called out her name repeatedly asking her to wait for him.
She never stopped running. Mary thought two disgusting remarks in one day of their second day of Honeymoon was too much. They were booked in the hotel for one week. Still four nights more to stay. She dialed her mother’s mobile. She was told to come back immediately by the earliest flight available. But her father waved off the discussion.
After one and half day, they reconciled. Mary accompanied John while he went for swimming and sporting but she sat in a shady area. Her ears were plugged with the earphone of her black berry and she wore Giant size goggles.
After coming back from their honeymoon, their married life worsened. John expected to be treated like a married man by his wedded wife. Mary expected to be treated like a queen as she was treated like a princess at home. She used to get angry when John woke her up early in the mornings. She preferred waking up late. She did not see the purpose of waking up early when she was not hurrying to go anywhere or to do anything.
She had never cooked anything in her life. The battalion of the servants did everything for her under her mother’s supervision.
When John requested for a cup of tea, Mary rang the bell for the cook; when John asked her to choose the shirt she would want him to wear, Mary called the butler; when his shirt button came off and wanted Mary to stitch it, the house maid fixed it for him; when John wanted Mary to escort him to the car and be kissed, the bell boy stood next to him.
When he came back home, tired after the day’s duty, he found her dressed up to be taken out for an outing. What john wanted was to hear her comforting words, to hear naughty and romantic remarks, to be fondled and to be loved. He longed for the homely atmosphere.
Mary found it boring to be sleeping and watching TV whole day. She was inside the house for the whole day. Thoughts of going out when John came back kept her occupied. She would pull out dozens of different cloths, not able to decide what to wear. But it helped her to forget her boredom for few moments.
While they were courting, John would pick her up everyday after his duty, then they would go for a long drive or eat in the cozy restaurants or go to disco or bar, laugh, giggle and shake in any way they liked. She could wear handkerchief size cloths, John did not mind. Life was full of fun and excitements.
After the marriage things had changed, John had changed.
John became very demanding. “Don’t do this, don’t do that; do like this, do like that” had become the daily routine starting words of the day.
He suggested Mary to come and work at his office, to learn the management ideas of their family business. Mary refused straight away “I can’t get up early in the morning”. Her mother phoned John one day and said “Can’t you hire an assistant?”
Sometimes they would not speak to each other for 2/3 days. Mary took out her anger on the servants. She rebelled against John by munching chocolates and cakes. Her bulimic habit shocked the servants. She provided perfect topics for the servants to gossip. The insulting words she used to the servants made them laugh at her all the more.
John invited some of his business associates for dinner. There were 2 female colleagues also. On the dining table, they discussed their business endlessly. It irritated Mary. She called john aside and told him “My father never discusses business at home. He finishes his business matters outside. Once he is home, he always talks to us. But you are turning the house also into your office. And why are those ladies here? What do they know about business?”
Mary found life intolerable. Exactly after 2 months of their much talked-about marriage, she threatened to leave John. He made an effort to make her understand that they were married and should behave like married people. The definition of “married people” was understood differently by both of them.
Both the families were rich. Both the families were industrialists, had a lot of common business matters. Both the families thought the matrimonial merger would bring cooperation and better dealings in business interests of both the parties. They were very very much extremely wrong.
Half of the gift boxes were not yet opened. They did not have time.
The small boxes did not appear attractive enough. They would never see the challenging note enclosed in one of the gift boxes “If you two ever remain married for six months and more, return me this note, I will surrender my business to you two. Wish you all the best”
In the right lower corner a name was written with telephone number inscribed.
One day when he came back home after work, he found a note on their bed saying “Mother has come to collect me. I am going home.” John wanted to phone and ask her which home she was talking about, instead he just asked whether she reached her parent’s home safely. John thought she had gone for a short time. At night he went to his in-laws’ house to collect her back. But he was driven out from the gate.
Months passed by, Mary never showed any sign of coming home, their home. John visited her occasionally. On his last visit, he was given the divorce paper, which he signed at the spot. They were married to be divorced.
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