She removed her yellow coloured cotton saree, stuck the bindi on the mirror and put the sakha pola(red white coloured bangles worn by married Bengali women) on the dressing table, she never liked wearing those, but she had better things to argue about than bangles. Slipping into the skinny black jeans and t-shirt she light her cigarette .She wished her mother-in-law saw her in this attire but her lawyer had strictly instructed her about her dress code.”You need to gain sympathy” the lawyer had shouted on phone.The only thought of her in laws made her sick.She moved across the room to reach the mini bar. She deserved a treat. This much luxury she could afford from all the alimony she has managed to bag.It was not actually alimony but pure blackmail. Rather lump sum to keep her mouth shut. Ghaar ki izzat(Dignity of family) costed them much. She was always good at blackmailing, something she inherited. She took out a bottle of beer and helped herself into to the super soft sofa and turned the tv on.Bollywood actress was dancing around the tress hand in hand with her love interest.
Her cell phone vibrated indicating a new message.
“We are ashamed of you!” Her father had texted.
She didn’t bother to reply.
All thoughts from her past lingered her mind.
“Give it time, all will be well. Its just one month since you guys got married. Lets send them on a holiday. The honeymoon was too short. What do you say samdhiji(her father-in-law)? We may get good news too.” Her father had declared as everybody (mother and in-laws) nodded to give their approval.
Her jaw fell to her knees. She wanted to laugh aloud.
“Are you joking? How can I make baby with him?” she argued.
A tight slap landed on her face. Not uttering a single word she went to the bedroom packed bags and left her in-laws place. She did not waste her words arguing rather a divorce notice arrived at her in-laws in a week.
That was the last day she had seen any known face until that morning in the court where she met her in-laws. No one except Ajay had come from her side neither did she expect anyone to.
Her mother-in-law was as usual creating a scene. She had problem with her, the crowd, the banyan tree and even the judge. She and Ajay could not stop laughing.
“Now its my turn to bear. You lucky you leaving” Ajay grinned.
“Divorce Granted” the judge finally pronounced the two magical words after three hours waiting.
The case filled was for mutual divorce so getting a divorce was not a problem.
“Daaiyan se pinda Chuta”(The witch left us.)her ex mother-in-law announced.
“Stop it mom!”her ex-husband protest followed.
For the first time she had heard him speak against his mother, she could not keep her eagerness to herself.
“You can speak?”She passed her remark in a very surprising loud tone, only to have the whole court room to stare at her. Ajay finally dragged her out.
The call on the landline brought her into senses.
“Your cab for airport has arrived madam. Shall I send the bellboy to get your luggage?” the receptionist inquired.
She was flying to Mumbai to join her new job. Her degrees finally found their real worth.
She felt like a new born baby. Happy.
As she was about switch off her cell phone before departure a message got delivered.
“Thank you so very much. How are you so bold? You gave me courage. I should have stood for my rights before, I shouldn’t have got you involved in all this but it was only way to stop the electric shock sessions. Forgive me please. Ajay just informed me about Mumbai and all. All the best. Keep in touch. By the way I am moving in with Ajay.”
Her ex-husband had typed.
“All the best to you too. Sure will inform my new number as I get it. Lots of love to Ajay.
Enjoy.” She typed back.
She was proud. She did not give a dam to what people thought about her. She was leaving Kolkata with her head held high.
“Where the mind is without fear.”Tagore’s words seemed more meaningful now.
Independent woman she was.
P.S. : Ajay is her ex husband’s boyfriend and her new best friend.