The Diaries of Laxmi - Part 2

I was born and raised in a small village in Tamil Nadu. Life was simple and I had never set foot outside of my village. I can't thank my stars enough for the education I received. For the good private school I was sent to, despite the financial difficulties my family faced. We didn't have much, but we had enough. My father may not have brought home a lot, but my mother was hard-working and loving. My sister and brother were my pillars of support and we grew up to share a bond like none other. That's partly the reason why, although my second pregnancy was unplanned, despite my husband's reluctance to have another baby, I decided to keep it. And I can't be happier with the beautiful baby girl we have in our lives today. I always knew deep down that I wanted my son to grow up with at least one sibling. Because no matter how much you fight while growing up, siblings always look out for each other.

When I met my future in-laws for the first time, I was not sure as to how I'd adjust with them. They were from the city, modern and fashionable, and I was terrified of my mother-in-law. She was so gracefully beautiful, yet looked so stern and strict. But I realized that I had it all wrong within a few days into the marriage. They showered me with love and treated me as their own. I began to love them more than I ever loved my own family. They grew more important to me as each day passed and I developed a relationship with my in-laws that quite possibly ran deeper than the bond they shared with my husband. I was raised to fall in love easily. Loving all of them came very naturally to me. And I thanked my stars everyday, for the happiness that my new family brought into my life.

It was my mother-in-law herself, who took the courage to broach this subject with me for the first time. I had known about my husband's "activities" outside of our marriage although I never confronted him. But I had made a promise to myself that the minute anything he did threatened to affect my children, I would pin him down and force answers out of him. For his sake, and mine, I wished that he would be careful. But as luck would have it, he was foolish enough to let things reach the family. People began talking about how he tried to bribe girls with opportunities to fame. And as expected, one offended/astonished/angry girl exposed him. I wasn't even aware of the fact that this news was circulating around the internet till my mother-in-law called me. Her exact words, loosely translated from Tamil, were , "I have something painful to tell you and I hate to be the one to break this to you. Although, I'd never forgive myself if I chose to remain silent and pretended as if I knew nothing about this. Before I tell you, I need you to know that you are like a daughter to me and I will be there for you no matter what happens. I choose you over anyone else because I know right from wrong." . And then she told me how one of her relatives informed her about a scandal flooding the internet. The rest is history. But the minute she started talking, I knew what was coming. I think I may have surprised her by being calm about it and telling her that I'd talk to him and clear things out. I really couldn't pretend as if I was hearing of this for the very first time. It was my father-in-law who broke the news to him. And guess what he did? With the ego that is always associated with celebrities and successful people everywhere in the world, he sent messages to the very same relatives who brought us the news. The contents of those messages don't matter anymore considering how I already mentioned the terms "ego" and "celebrity". The thing is, he doesn't attend many family functions because he's always so busy. But I do. And that too, on his behalf. As his wife. And the thought of facing the people that he insulted with those messages gave me a headache. He had gone ahead and put me in a situation that I had avoided all my life. I was left with the job of cleaning up after him and I hated him for that. I waited patiently for the scandal to die out, and once that had been handled, I called up those relatives and apologized. They were, of course, nice to me. Which could either be because they genuinely liked me, or because they felt sorry for me. Either way, I got through with it and tried to tell myself that none of this mattered. Nothing anyone said or thought mattered as long as my kids remained innocent and didn't get affected in any way.

During all the drama, I actually sent him just a single text, telling him how I wanted everything cleared up. I don't know what he thought of this reaction then. But I think he misunderstood me as one of those wives who knows everything but is still supportive of him because his money and fame were all that mattered. Or as someone who didn't get affected by any of this. He basically under-estimated me and expected me to love him and support him and have sex with him despite everything he did. He expected me to meekly tolerate everything. I partly blame myself for this because how could he have guessed otherwise, considering how I never confronted him in the seven years that he'd been cheating on me.

It's true. I didn't care about the flings and the one night stands. And I thought my children were all that mattered. I didn't know how much I loved this man until I actually confronted him. I didn't know how affected I truly was till I broke down in front of him. I didn't know how it would break me to find out that sex is replaceable, but love isn't. I felt replaced. And I couldn't help but explode. Seven years of pent up frustration and this dormant volcano finally erupted. And not for the kids either. She erupted for herself.

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