(A poem inspired by a the story of a survivor supported by Shakti Shalini)
A widow – that’s no way to be
In this respectable society.
Luckily another man did she land,
When Piyush asked for her hand.
Was it sinister?
That he didn’t consider
Her two children a baggage
When he asked her for marriage
Relief washed over her family,
Even though objectively,
He was Hindu and she Muslim.
Her life had, otherwise, looked grim.
She converted on her own will,
But strife would come, still.
For when families are involved,
Problems are aplenty, hardly resolved.
Simran visited her maternal home,
Leaving Piyush alone.
At home her family would machinate,
Piyush they would criticise and bait
Simran got easily swayed,
At this Piyush was dismayed.
Dismay soon turned into anger,
He beat her, violently abused her.
The seeds of strife had been watered,
The careful mirage of love shattered.
Her children became a point of contention,
Hurting her was the intention.
Adding fuel to the fire,
Was his family’s ire.
From his family Piyush was estranged,
But with time that had changed.
When they were told,
Of the woman in his household,
A marriage interreligious!
They admonished as sacrilegious.
Tensions were creating a violent strife,
Between the husband and wife.
Shakti Shalini’s counsel was sought,
When Simran went to them, fraught.
Violence was taking a toll,
While reconciliation was the goal,
Familial expectation and reservation,
Had become the couple’s damnation.
Counselling became the solution,
And after some months came resolution.
They lived separately and he reevaluated,
Unhappiness in their marriage was fated.
Thence being violent he ceased;
Turned over a new leaf.
Not to let families create a rift,
They avowed, and happily thus lived.
(All names have been changed)