Her story - 1

(Illustration courtesy - Aishwary Khatri)

She gets told this is not her place.

She gets told she is a burden.

She gets told she needs to live with a man she has never met.

He is scary.

She needs to survive. There is nowhere to do.

She infantilizes him.

She makes his coffee just the way he likes it.

She does the same with her actual children.

She waits on her old parents, in-laws.

She runs the thenkozhal through the mixie to cater to the whims and fancies of her 90-year-old toothless father-in-law.

Parents die. In-laws die.

The children leave.

The couple grows old.

He retires.

She sees her son-in-law cook.

She is resentful.

She sees her son change diapers.

She is resentful.

She makes him serve himself. She complains that he doesn’t make tea. And then he does. Until her family visits. And then she runs around, serving coffee, remembering everyone’s sugar and heat preferences, shooing him out of the kitchen.

And then gets exhausted.

And verbally abuses him.

She is scared of silent spaces - she trauma bonds with her siblings, or anyone else who will give her the time.

They play a contest - “Who’s the worse victim ?”

They relive the past, over and over again.

She has her son and daughter, their partners and grandkids run around their entire lives trying to help her.

She is resentful and bitter of them and their lives. Nothing is good enough.

Does she fear the system, “them” or her own agency? One wonders.

And then she dies.

Leaving behind her lasting legacy of the next generation blame-gamers.

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