Anamika a short story.

Life is mysterious. You never know what it stores in the future. Anamika was born into a very loving family. Loving parents, siblings, and relatives who loved her very much. She grew up in a family where everyone was supportive. All family members helped and encouraged her to fulfill all her dreams. She was living her life like a princess where everyone respected her and held her in high esteem. She was living the life of her dreams. All her wishes and desires were fulfilled with her sincere efforts and with the support of her family.

But, her life had completely changed after marriage. She had dreamt of awesome things that would happen in her life. Initially, everything seemed so lovely, full of romance. But, she never knew what would come next in this new phase of life. She could never have imagined that the life she was dreaming of had no place in her real life.

Her new family had no space for her dreams and desires. First, she had to give up her dream profession and take up another job, then there were restrictions imposed on her. Her new family members were indifferent to her feelings. Being a daughter-in-law she was forced to live a life more like a slave. She had to do everything according to the commands of her in-laws and husband. She had to get permission to do even the tiniest of things. She was in a situation where there was no looking back and no bright future.

She started feeling herself in shackles and there was nowhere to run away. She started adjusting to new rules and regulations, with new norms opposite from her own home. With each passing day, she tried to adjust and adjust silently. But, all she got in return was taunts and an indifferent attitude. Her husband sometimes beat her up in a fit of rage and the very next morning confessed to mistakes and promised not to repeat them every time she swayed in emotions and forgave him for being rude, abusive, and assaultive.

She was fulfilling all her responsibilities and duties towards family members and kids. But, even after that, she got insults only. Being a working woman she was managing all the expenses for the house. But, she never got respect and credit, and nobody was concerned for her.

Time just passed with the hope of her circumstances getting better one day. But that ‘One Day’ never came. Her condition was becoming more and more miserable. Life still went on the same track. She felt helpless and did not know what to do or where to go. She could not even go back to her own family where she was born and brought up, because of the hypocritical society. She felt like committing suicide. She was completely shattered inside yet she went on with life and fulfilled her responsibilities. Her bright life was all ruined because of this new chapter of marriage in life.

In India, the majority of women (daughters-in-law) share the story of Anamika. This is a very common scenario in our society. Many well-educated, financially independent women face this situation and continue to live in abusive relationships and suffer silently. They often feel hesitant to seek help or tell their friends and family because of fear of judgment. Struggling and suffering in silence because of “hypocrite society” and its norms. They spend their lives under the dominance of husbands and in-laws thinking that everything will be alright one day. Eventually, living in circumstances with emotional and psychological abuse takes a toll on women’s mental and physical health. Women stay in abusive relationships in the hope that things will change someday. Golden years of life pass in the hope of a better tomorrow. Nobody knows when that tomorrow will come into their lives if it ever comes. 

This poem is for all the Anamikas that live in our society. My advice to every woman who is living under these circumstances is to not spoil her present in the hope of a better future. Don’t suffer silently. Be bold and fight for your rights. Do not succumb to fear or pressure of any kind. Let your voice be heard. It’s your birthright to live freely and happily.

To Live Happily Is Your Birthright

Never suffer in silence
In a hope for a better tomorrow
When not even sure of the very next moment
Live your life in the present
Try to come out of the cage
Fight for your rights and do not restrain
Don’t remain captive anymore
Never surrender to any unjust behavior
Recognize your inner strength
Empower yourself with lots of confidence
No one will come to your rescue
Better you realize this reality sooner
You are no less than anyone
Prove yourself to this world
Live your life to the fullest
You can surely win this battle
Tread on the path of karma yoga
Go and get all your rights
Don’t bear the pain in the name of society
Following the herd blindly is not so wise
Challenge these narrow societal norms
There is nothing to be feared of
When you know deep inside your heart
To live happily is your birthright.

If you or someone you know is struggling in an abusive relationship, a mental health professional can help.

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