*Jasmine, 28, is an investment banker in Bangalore.
From lover to a ‘beast’?
‘So how many bosses did you ‘please’ to bag this!?’ I heard Bhaumik snigger when I walked in with the Best Zonal Manager Award. The fourth one in a row.
Jasmine married Bhaumik after dating him for two years. They were colleagues at her previous office. Both hailing from Calicut, they soon became quite close. Bhaumik helped her settle down in Bangalore when she got a job here. He helped her calm down when she was scared and felt lost in this new big city.
She felt safe and comfortable around him but one year into their marriage, Jasmine saw a very different side of Bhaumik.
‘Rules’ of love
Bhaumik had laid down ‘rules’ that I followed – all in the name of love and care. My ‘curfew time’ to get back home was 10 pm. Today I was a good three hours late. I quickly changed (I knew Bhaumik didn’t approve of that short black skirt I was wearing) and went to bed, without a word. Anything I said would only make matters worse.
I had learned not to argue, retaliate, confront or just talk when Bhaumik was angry! Lying in bed, with tears rolling down my cheeks, I asked myself, ‘Why am I letting him do this to me?’
I sometimes felt I was two different people. To the world, I was this cheerful, happy, confident and ambitious girl. I was doing well at work and had wonderful friends. But then, in my own home, I was quite the opposite. I preferred being quiet and was always trying to do things the way Bhaumik liked and ensure he doesn’t get upset or angry. This double act was killing me. I was losing my head and losing myself.
Bhaumik was not all bad. When in a good mood, he would pamper me and love me. We had a good time in bed too. But it all had to happen the way he wanted and when he wanted.
His choices, my way of life
While out for dinner, we always ate Chinese because that’s what he liked. It didn’t matter to him that I preferred Indian. Sometimes we went shopping together. I liked short, pretty floral dresses but that look of utter disapproval on his face would put me off and eventually I ended up buying something of his choice.
Last evening I put on my favorite red top. Teamed with a short black skirt, my heels and a dash of red lipstick – I was all set to rock the Awards Night. As I was stepping out, Bhaumik glanced at me from his couch and mumbled, ‘You don’t really have legs to flaunt you know! And red?’
So what if I thought I looked great? So what if all my colleagues thought I looked gorgeous! Red isn’t my colour, thought Bhaumik.
For once, I decided to not care. I was determined to have a good time and I made sure I did. And I knew I deserved it. So when the party was just warming up around 10 pm, I didn’t rush home. I stayed on and it was worth it.
One life – live it
That night, after Bhaumik’s disgusting comment, I cried myself to sleep like so many times before. But I woke up with the realization that there was my whole life in front of me, to live the way I choose to. And it is not fair for me to let ANYONE come in the way.
*Person in the picture is a model