Hello, my name is Mitali. Tonight I am borrowing a little bit of space on this blog to share my story. I don't know if my story will interest you, but I shall still tell it because tonight I feel like talking. My English is not all that great, so forgive me if I falter. I grew up in Nadia district in West Bengal and for most of my life I have spoken and written only in Bengali. It was only when I joined IIT that I was forced to start talking -- and thinking -- in English. Still, I am not very comfortable with the language. But do you really need language to convey an emotion? When a boy and a girl, sitting in the opposite berths of a train, start liking each other, do they actually spell out that they like each other? No, they don't. They don't even know what the others mother tongue is. It is their eyes that do the talking. You know what I mean, don't you?
So here is my story. But wait. Don't accuse the owner of this blog for writing a post while pretending to be a woman. Sometime ago, a woman called Shivani wrote her story on his blog too. I still don't know if Shivani is a real woman or a character born out of his imagination. But how does it matter? Imagination must be born out of reality. Shivani might have been his muse, but she has to be a child of reality. Anyway, I can't be anyone's muse: there is nothing special about me. I am pretty plain looking. Or so I think. Though when I was in school, the bad boys in the class used to pass lewd remarks. One day I had gone to the neighbourhood post office to buy some stamps, and there, on the wall of the post office, someone had scribbled in red with a piece of brick: "Mitali is sex bomb". I wanted to erase the line quietly but the clerk was watching me keenly, so I left as soon as I bought the stamps. He was looking at me as if he was imagining me naked. I felt disgusted.
Even at IIT I did not mingle with the boys too much. There was one boy I liked. Abhijeet was his name. He taught me how to smoke. Though I never quite picked up smoking. It was nice to take a drag from his cigarette once in a while. I liked him because he always made me laugh. But one night he was drunk, and he tried to rest his head on my lap. I slapped him. How dare he? Sex was sacred. I could not have given myself to anyone except the man of my dreams -- the man I would marry. Abhijeet could have been the man of my dreams -- maybe he was. But he was from Maharashtra. My parents would have never agreed. So he could not have been the man of my dreams. So I slapped him. Though I must say I felt very jealous when I saw Sunetra falling over him a few days later. Sex-starved woman, that bitch. I am sure Abhijeet must have slept with her, which only makes me feel glad that I slapped him. He was certainly not the man of my dreams.
My dream man was discovered by my parents in the matrimonial pages of the newspaper. It had to be that way: you never go looking for the dream man, he has to come to you. He was an IIT graduate himself but was now running his family business of manufacturing spare parts for the ordnance factories. I liked him the moment I saw him. He was fair, slightly chubby, just like a prince. We hardly spoke during out first meeting. I was very shy. I think he was shy too. But I remember him telling me, "I want you to take care of our home. Why do you need to work? If you don't take care of the home, who will?" I was floored by his charm. What he said made sense. Why work when he earned four times or five times than what I did, working in a company where I felt important only when someone's computer broke down. I was treated no better than a plumber. I gladly typed my resignation letter. That was the day when I felt sexy. My boss, however, scolded me for taking such a decision.
On our first night we had sex seven times. Yes, seven times. Can you believe it? Each time we would go to sleep, thinking that we were done for the day, we would start all over again. The sun had already risen when we decided, finally, to call it a day. The next thing I knew I was pregnant. Life could not have been more beautiful. What more could I have asked for? We were holidaying in Goa when I discovered I was pregnant. He was gazing at the sea from the hotel room when I came out to break the news to him. We hugged and spent the next two hours deciding a name for the child.
The first slap came two weeks later. That night we had hosted a small party at home for the dealers. It all went off well: I did the cooking and they all liked the food. But for some reason, he sulked all evening. It was as if his mind was elsewhere. After the guests had left, I asked him what was wrong. He did not reply and went about looking at some papers. When I asked him again, he slapped me. "Mind your own business!" he said. I was stunned -- well, that's an understatement. Even my father had never slapped me.
The next morning he said sorry and told me why he was upset, after which we made love. But neither my mind nor my body cooperated: both were still stunned by the slap. By the evening, a part of me had forgiven him but a part of me had not. The forgiving part told me: "After all, he is your husband. He is the father of your soon-to-be-born child. You are going to spend the rest of your life with him. So what if he slapped you. Maybe his mind was disturbed. Forget it, ignore it." The unforgiving part told me: "The slap has snapped something. Things are never going to be same hereafter. If he does that again, walk out."
I listened to my forgiving self. It was the easier option, rather than make a big issue out of one slap and walk out of a marriage that had otherwise made me feel secure and happy. After all, it was my own husband who had slapped me. That's what even my mother said. She said one has to make small adjustments in life. "You can't have your cake and eat it too," she told me something to that effect, "You are enjoying the best facilities in life, which I could not even dream of when I was my age." My father, however, sounded a little concerned. He said I could ignore the slap if it was only an emotional outburst, but in case I felt unsafe, his doors were always open for me.
The slaps, from then on, became a regular feature. He would slap me, then say sorry the next morning and everything would be all right till he slapped me again. The slaps, soon enough, became a part of my life. Initially, they would hurt me a lot, physically as well as mentally. But then I got used to them. Being scolded by the boss or slapped by the husband, what difference does it make. Your happiness depends on their whims.
Today I am 29. I have a four-year-old daughter, and a 35-year-old husband who slaps me when he is sober and makes love to me when he is drunk. I have no ambitions in life, except that when my daughter grows up, she should marry someone who respects her and does not slap her. Maybe a guy like Abhijeet. How I regret slapping him many years ago, that too for a silly reason. He was only trying to rest his head on my lap. He was decent enough to keep his hands away. Maybe the slaps I receive today on a regular basis is nature's way of taking revenge. But it's ok, am not complaining. I am pretty well-settled in marriage -- I am an obedient wife and a caring mother. What keeps me going is that when I go for the monthly kitty parties, the society women eye me with jealousy. I am the only one who is chauffeur-driven to these parties in a Mercedes. Their husbands still can't afford such an expensive car. A few slaps is just a small price to pay for the ultimate sense of security.
Only that there are times when other thoughts cross my mind. There are times when I wonder: I am only 29 and an IIT-grad and someone who the boys back home thought to be a sex bomb. Can't I just walk out of this marriage and start life afresh? Being 29 is nothing: many of my classmates are not even married and they are having the time of their lives. They get drunk and they decide which man to fuck, rather than having a drunk man force-fuck them. What fun! What is the point studying hard and getting into IIT and then landing a highly-paying job if you can't even have fun?
Abhijeet, by the way, is still not married. I think I can still say sorry to him about the slap and start a new life with him. But what to do: I have gotten so used to the slaps of my husband, the man of my dreams, that if he does not slap me at least once in a week, I feel he does not love me enough. It is his love that I seek. Nothing else matters.