Betrayal in Relationship
Betrayal always does not mean disloyalty.
“It does not make me more or less committed to the relationship,” said the newly married Emilie to her mother-in-law who happened to be the professor of the best college in town. She expected the educated woman to understand and interpret her situation. She was born and brought up in a Christian household, sent to a convent and she was soft, docile and benevolent from the outside, only a careful reading of her inside out would give away the impression of the rebellious thoughts that her mind nurtured secretly.
Atul was the one and only son, a devout Brahman and the only tragic flaw in his character was that he was madly in love with a girl from a Christian household. He was madly in love with his childhood darling Emilie and he had decided not to settle for anyone apart from her, he was headstrong and timid right from his childhood and his mother wished he was a bit flexible so that she could convince him to marry off their caste but at last she gave up and accepted Emilie as a part of her own family.
It was more of a contract and less of a beautiful bond to Emily, although a professor by profession her mother-in-law confirmed to all the typical norms of an Indian bride, she defended herself on grounds that one should never mix up the professional and personal domain. Emily did not apply vermilion on the parting of her hairs, she did not think it was a compulsion to wear conch-shell bangles just to show that she is married or taken.
Emily wondered why Atul wasn’t expected to wear the wedding ring all the time for the world to know that he also belonged to someone. Was it because she was from a different family or was it because they believed women are fickle minded and give way to lechery and hence they are made to wear conch-shell bangles, the ornamental fetters that estimated a woman’s worth. She wished her mother-in-law realized the insult she hurled at herself because she was also a woman.
Emily was often advised to stop working as a Researcher and take up the job of a teacher so that she did not earn more than her husband, Atul did not mind it at all, but other members of the family were bothered about the fact. A woman should only earn as much is needed to provide for her and earning more than her masculine counterpart is nothing short of a sin. To them, it was her diplomatic manner of putting down her husband. She was always mocked at for actively taking part in political discussions at breakfast with her husband and father-in-law.
Even the elderly relatives mocked at her for being her kind, she had imbibed the western culture and her own family was trying to force eastern doctrines on her, she was a constant tug of war with herself. There was no second thought that she made Atul’s world go round but he remained silent to keep discord at bay. He could neither go against his mother nor his wife, in fact, he insisted Emily on obeying his mother’s orders, after all, it was she for whom he fought against all odds and now it was her turn to return the gesture.
Emily had not in the least expected that Atul would turn her down and betray her hopes and aspirations, existence became claustrophobic and she gasped to breathe in peace for she was always torn between two mediating hemispheres. Who was to be blamed? Atul fought for her with his mother so that he could marry her and hence he was under the impression that she would live up to the expectations and win over his mother someday. Emily, on the other hand, left her home and loved ones for Atul, and now he also betrayed her hopes.
Emily’s mother-in-law always blamed herself for letting this marriage take place; she should have obeyed the astrologer and found Atul a better match. After all, the match is made between equals, and Atul would have eventually moved on. Destiny and destination are different; destiny betrayed all three of them for none of them were happy with their current position. Betrayal needs not come from an outsider, expectations hurt, the universally acknowledged phrase reckons the fact that change is the only constant and people are traitors and betray their near ones to their own benefit.