The Last Letter

Day 5 of the Write Tribe Festival of Words  Today’s prompt: Write a letter. Well, I cheated a bit. This post was published in a women’s online magazine long back. Many readers then had asked me, if this letter was real. Let me clarify, this letter is not real. It is purely a piece of imagination and any resemblance to any person is coincidental. 

Dear Husband,

I would be gone by the time you get this letter. I know you would be shattered, not because I am gone but because I dared to do something without your permission that maligns your ‘carefully built’ image. The control freak in you would be shattered at my audacity. You had always projected to the entire world that you were the best husband and I was extremely blessed and happy to be with you. However, this letter should reveal the truth.

Many would call me stupid and many would blame it on depression and regret not having taken me to a psychiatrist. Rest of the world would call me ‘characterless’ a ‘fallen woman’. However I feel this is not stupid. You have left me with no choice. I feel sorry for my child; who would be the only person to miss me.

I know soon after receiving this letter you would complain of headache and ask your bhabi or sister or niece to make a nice adrakwali chai for you. They would oblige because you are the boss in this house. There is not a single soul in this family who can dare to say a word against you. I also never had the courage to say anything to you on your face and that is why I am taking this easy way out to escape from you forever.

You are a decent man with high moral standards, great values, honesty and integrity. You are an ideal man without any known malice. The kind of man all mothers want as their son-in-law. You have never done anything wrong in your life. You came from a poor family and you slogged to study. As a teenager your only concern was to score good marks and get admission in a good college. You succeeded. You became a doctor. You became the first doctor in your family and village. You made everyone proud. You became a role model for your family.  Kids in your village were asked to look up to you and become like you.

After becoming a doctor the hospital became your world. You never partied, smoked, or drank alcohol. You never dated a single girl. And, then you met me through a matrimonial site. We were like chalk and cheese yet I agreed to marry you. Firstly, I liked your sincerity and secondly I was going through a bad break-up and just wanted a shoulder to cry. Foolishly, I presumed a perfect life with you.

Initially, everything was perfect. You gave me more happiness than anyone else had ever given me. In the initial years you made me feel like a princess. I was happy with you. However, my soul was never happy with you.

Even though. we were going through honeymoon phase, yet you realised that I was a free spirited girl and that bothered you. So, you started clipping my wings. The first step was to force me to quit my corporate job. Your mother helped you in this. Next step was to domesticate me. From day one, you started comparing me with the others in your family. You started telling me that all women in your family were great cooks, great mothers, great homemakers and I was the only incompetent one. You tied me to the kitchen. You just wanted me to cook throughout the day. I obeyed, as I wanted to make you happy. Soon after I got pregnant and life became smooth for you. I was finally a caged bird.

Throughout the day I was cooking, cleaning, taking care of the child, spending sleepless nights, and getting criticised by you. I was not protesting. I was just accepting everything. The house used to be always full of relatives. You loved to have relatives at your place and my house was always overcrowded. I was feeling tired and that was the time I started feeling depressed. You spent most of your time in hospital; whenever you came you were too tired to do anything. I was also tired but no one cared. We never went for movies or dinners. Your idea of a perfect life was to eat food cooked by me at the comfort of your home. You never had friends. You hated when I made friends. You used to throw a tantrum each time I went out with a friend of mine. I stopped socialising. Your concept of socialising was to only go out with your extended family members.

To escape the drudgery of housework and child care and also to resurrect my career I joined my old company. However hell broke loose for you. Every day after returning from office I used to find you fuming with anger. Every single day you created so much trouble for me that life turned into a living hell. Unable to bear this I quit my job once again and I was back to being a housewife. Nobody supported me.

You never trusted me with your money. Even though I had credit cards, you had deliberately linked them to your phone number so that you could track all my transactions. I never operated any of the bank accounts and you operated them on my behalf. I had to take your permission for every single penny however you never consulted me in how you spent money. I know behind my back you spent a lot of money. It is not that you spend money on wine, whiskey or women but nevertheless you spent as per your wishes.

You want to have a great public image as a doctor as a human being. Your patients are ever grateful to you, they love you. Your family loves you. Your family consists of your parents, your brother, your sisters, your nephews, your nieces, your uncles, aunts, cousins and son. I was definitely not family, I was just an appendage. However to the world you wanted to project us as the happiest couple and funnily people fell into your trap and believed it. You are a messiah to many people due to your Good Samaritan act however I wish I could do the same. My parents also believe that I am lucky to have you as my husband.

As an adolescent I always dreamt of a husband who would be my best friend. However what I got was a boss. I can never discuss my emotions with you. Initially after marriage I used to fight with you, argue with you however now I have realised the futility of this relationship and just keep quite. There is no point arguing with you all the time. Whenever I argue, you stone wall me and stop communicating till the time I surrender to your feet. I have now stopped everything. I have just become numb and indifferent.

I have now stopped expecting anything from you. I need to escape from you. Do not try to search me. Even if you do, I promise, you will not be able to find me.  Within few months I will also take my child. You will be left with nothing but your ego, false vanity, narcissism and pride. May God give you good sense and sanity.

Good bye

Your ex- wife

I am taking part in Write Tribe Festival of Words #6

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37 thoughts on “The Last Letter

  1. the bespectacled mother says:

    Good Lord! The first line made me imagine she was taking her life. Thank goodness for in the end I realized she was moving away. This is a sad reality in most homes. Sometimes the husband is responsible, many a time it is his mother. Domesticating a well educated woman, clipping her wings, making her life a burning hell if she fights back are everyday stories I have seen closely. I am sure you must have a got an overwhelming response for this letter when it was published earlier. It is too good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Esha M Dutta says:

    What an apt letter! This is happening to so many women across the world today. If women stand together and not across the fences pointing fingers at each other they can tackle things so much better. I can see how both the women feel on being wronged by the man…and rightly, so! I think the ending is just how it should be. A very strong message for all women! Great post, Tina

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      Most don’t or can’t…it is not easy to write these kind of letter when one is in an abusive relationship. Thanks Sheetal for visiting and commenting.

      Like

  3. Shilpa Garg says:

    Being controlled and manipulated by husbands and in-laws is a sad reality for so many women.
    Glad that she took the reins of her life back in her hands unlike most women who continue to lead miserable lives. Good one, Apeksha!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ishieta@Isheeria says:

    This is an exceptionally well written and importantly articulates something which needs to be discussed and changes to happen in our society. So so many women would identify with this. Actually, this should be part of the curriculum, to sensitive people to the reality that women are human!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vinitha says:

    Wow. Who can put up with such a controlling husband. Good for her that she left at least now. Tolerating for this long was unnecessary but then we can’t leave just like that. I’m glad that she decided to live in her terms going forward. Good one, Balaka.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alice Gerard says:

    This is a really well written letter that really describes a domestic abuser. First he isolates her and then he controls her every movement. Sadly, many victims of domestic abuse are afraid to leave their abusers. This woman is very brave and I hope that she has found safety.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Moon says:

    Such a heartfelt letter. Thanks for sharing the thoughts and bottled-up feelings of many educated , well settled women who are forced to give it all up in the name of marriage. And yet un their matrimonial ads, the groom’s family make sure to include ” convent educated and professionally qualified”etc. What duplicity! Why would a cook and a maid need so many degrees ? Also, another pertinent question is urban women from middle class or affluent backgrounds these days are not educated and equipped by their parents to marry a wealthy man and land up in the ” occupation: housewife” bracket , so why this irrational ,sadistic pressure ?
    This was a beautifully written letter, Balaka . As for the ex-husband , I heave a sigh of relief and say ‘ good riddance .

    Liked by 1 person

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