When I met my wife A, before even the meeting ended, I knew she was the one. And she knew it too. Later in the evening she, with a lot of hesitation, mentioned that she was a single mother. What will society say about you? she asked. For some reason, it didn’t bother me one bit. My only question to her was, Will I have the authority or right to discipline the kid when we see fit. She said yes. Later that night, after all the texting was over, I thought about the hardships but I couldn’t think of any.
But A, on the other hand had a lot of reservations. She was even mentally ready to let me go. As soon as I came home one day, I opened the topic to my parents and came clean. Before even I could finish a glass of water, they said yes. But they also reminded me, I have to be more matured than I was then. They were more worried about A and little V and their life with me. This was March 2020.
Dad didn’t want to increase A’s anxiety and let my mother and A meet first. In a couple of days, I met A’s dad and little V. Things went well. Before the families could meet, came the lock down. A and I were so in love and we spent almost every single minute being in touch through text or video calls. A’s family too was happy with the alliance. But still there was a fear of what the world would say. Slowly the thoughts crept in my mind too.
I have only a handful of friends. When I spoke to them about this, not one person even raised an eyebrow. Rather they were very happy that I am finally happy. They took a liking to Little V immediately after just seeing him in video calls. Little V too is very fond of all his uncles and aunts. Though some people, some who even had doctorates questioned if I was settling. They might have been genuinely curious, but their tone put me off and soon they were out of my life.
It was almost four months for the government to relax the strict lock down measures. A, decided to surprise me and my parents by coming down all the twenty kilometres to meet us. Mom was very happy and we went to see my dad in his workplace. When we went there, my father was already burping and sweating. But as he saw both of us he started sweating profusely. He couldn’t even say anything to except sorry to A since he was not well. A started with a bit of sadness and I took my dad to hospital.
Turns out my dad was having a heart attack. A was heartbroken. Already she had a taboo to fight and now she will be branded as unlucky. She didn’t bother me with all those details but since my father was taken to hospital for emergency surgery, she came back to be with me. She was with me when we took my dad to operation room. Even when he was having a hard time breathing, my father told A before he went into the operation that it wasn’t her fault and in fact she saved his life. If she hadn’t planned a surprise that day, I wouldn’t have gone to visit my father and we couldn’t even think of what would have happened.
Two days later in ICU he told me, perhaps his heart couldn’t take how lucky I got with A. It is a blessing to have such friends and family around. All this while, no one from our friends side or family side asked even once, what if she has caused the divorce? For that we will always be grateful. But it wasn’t same with A. When the marriage was fixed and she went to invite people, they had so many questions. “Is he divorced too?” “If not, why is he marrying you? For money and property?” “May be he is impotent” so on and so forth.
We decided we are not going to preach people since we had better things to do. It is futile to blame or educate them too because if they were inclined, they would have educated themselves. We stated facts, we smiled and moved on. We understood that society is basically a bigger community of people we surround ourselves with. There was one section of people saw our union as a message or an anomaly. We decided to stay away from them. There was another section who understood two people came together because they loved each other. They are our circle, society and family now.
All we can do now is to make sure bring up Little V to be non-judgemental and make sure he doesn’t make anyone uncomfortable comparing their life with societal norms. Society is what we make it to be.