Daughters in Law – Part 4
By: Thiyam Ningol, Dr. Nalini
It was the first weekend after New year. Asha brought some presents for the children and came to visit Yanula. But Yanula was not there at home; had gone to visit one of her friends. Noor was baby sitting the children. He found it was the perfect time to teach Asha a lesson. The children were very happy to receive their presents. Noor sent them away to go and play with their new toys from their aunty Asha.
“ I thought I gave you the freedom to start your life. I was very clear on that day.
But you followed me up to here and trying to destroy my life. If it is what you want, then get it.”
Asha was not aware what he was talking. Suddenly, she felt being pushed on the sofa and he forced himself in to her.
She remained motionless, trying to realise what happened. Noor gathered her cloths, threw them to her and ordered to get up and get out of his house before his wife came back. He could not wait for Asha to leave. She was hurt physically and mentally. She could not even dress up properly. Noor became impatient; he pulled her out and slapped hard on the face. He forgot that he told the children to play out side. They saw their father beating Asha, started crying. Ignoring the children, he dragged her outside the gate and locked the gate.
When Yanula came back, her son came running and crying” Mummy, papa beat aunty.
Aunty punished, aunty cried. Papa beat hard.” Before she could gather the meaning of her son’s crying, Noor thundered on her- “ I warned you. You encouraged her to come. She was nothing but a nuisance; she wanted to ruin our family. I knew her from home. If ever I see her again or I will hear you talking to her, things will go worse.” He walked out without waiting for any comment from his wife.
The incident puzzled Yanula. There has to be a reason of the hatred. She would wait but she would find out for sure.
She waited for the atmosphere to cool down. Noor behaved as if nothing happened. Slowly the children had forgotten their aunty. The toys had been thrown away.
Nearly eight months have passed. Neither side had tried to communicate. Asha was ashamed, felt guilty and cheating on her friend. Her strategic plans had turned out disastrous. But her respect and love for Yanula remained unchanged.
Very unexpectedly, one day while she was on duty, the reception paged her that she had a visitor. She had 30 min lunch break.
When they saw each other, both were surprised. Yanula found Asha very pregnant and Asha never expected to see Yanula on that part of the country.
- Yanula, I confess I have a long story to tell you.
- I am all ears. I would like to know everything.
- I cannot tell you here. I have few minutes only.
- I have come to attend a seminar in the neighbouring township. I wanted to take this opportunity to meet you. Noor does not know that I am here. The rest of the people have gone for an excursion and here I am. I hope you will not hide anything. I will wait for you to finish your duty and we will talk.
How long she could hide? The truth would come out one day. It was even better if she could tell her all the truth. Asha was ready to face Yanula.
Yanula tried her best to remain calm but from time to time she had to sip cold water to control her anger. She paced in the small hostel room of Asha. It was not easy either for Asha. She pleaded Yanula not to mention about their talk to Noor. It was all her fault, she admitted.
-I did all these things because in our society, woman has very little space. Till today, people think I am happily married to Noor. And the fact that I am in Cyprus is all the more convincing to the people. I swear to you I will never stand in your way. I will leave this country soon.
- What about the child you are carrying? If you never wanted to destroy my family really, why did you sleep with him?
- He raped me. While I was still hurt and confused, he chased me out from the house by force.
- Did he beat you?…….. You don’t have to answer. The children saw him beating you. How many months’ pregnant you are? About 8 months?
Yanula also admitted that she was not in the best of her situation. They agreed to meet again soon and decide together how to come out of the mess.
Asha felt very relieved. The burden she was carrying in her heart had been lifted. She owed to Yanula for understanding her situation.
She had earned quite a handful of income. Even if the worst would happen, she could support herself and her child for few, comfortable months till she could get another job. She had started looking for jobs in other countries. She had planned to be as far as possible away from her past. The only way to do it so was to be away from the people she knew. She had the advantage of being a nurse and a multilinguistic, she knew it. She was optimistic of getting a job easily. But how was she going to take care of her baby- the idea frightened her.
She had lied to Rehema and her mother in law about how she became pregnant. The news that she was pregnant with Noor’s child was more than enough for her in laws. They never quarried and she never supplied the details.
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