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Articles, features and write-up's on NRI life in the US, Canada and North America >> Features Achieve >> Articles

We are constantly on the lookout for articles of interest to feature on Please mail us articles you would like to see featured and we will be glad to oblige.

Work woes: IT couples feel the heat

Bullshit, thought Devika. Looking out of the window of the three-bedroomed high-rise apartment in California , she wondered aloud that if this is what they meant by heaven, she'd rather rot in hell. And maybe, it wouldn't be such a bad idea after all. At least it would save her the burden of having to put up with a tyrant of a husband, who insisted on terrorising her every waking moment.

With a chill running down her spine, she squatted on the floor to assemble the broken wedding photo frame. Reminded of her just concluded violent scene with Naveen, she broke into a muffled sob. Now, the tears had also stopped coming, having run dry for an year.

Reeling from her husband's volatile temperament, that increasingly assumed violent proportions, she felt a burning sensation in her right arm. A reflection in the mirror showed a huge swelling and a scar was on its way -- symbolising  Naveen's growing frustration with his work , state of being and maybe her, she shuddered to think.

The past one year had been a living hell for the bubbly and vivacious Devika. A new country, surrounded by new people and an entirely new culture stared at her face, while Naveen kept being drawn more and more into his work at the international IT firm , where he was working as a software architect.

All promises of a life filled with love and laughter that he had made during their whirlwind romance in Calcutta seemed unfulfilled and if the present state of things were any indication, she may have to do without it.Instead, life was nightmare. In an alien city, miles away from home and family, Devika had no one to turn to except for her husband ‘mild-mannered’ while at work and who turned violent once he entered home. She was baffled by the dichotomy in her husband's behaviour. A little prodding and Naveen burst out in spectacular display of tempers.

Scared and lonely, she never felt so helpless in her life. Gone was the air of self-assurance that surrounded her when she was working as an interior designer in India. Meeting clients, brain storming on new projects, friends, shopping, watching films, theatre -- Devika gave up all as Naveen breezed into her life, in her gravest hour of crisis, when she was trying to recover from lost love, after her steady boyfriend of 5 years died in a tragic car crash on the highway.

College topper, software engineer armed with an H1-B visa, charming, quiet, Naveen was the image of the perfect Mr Steady and Dependable. He seemed like someone that she could lean on in her trying times and would be there to guide her, always. And he promised her paradise, in California. Once in the US, the romance, the love and the bonhomie seemed to vanish. The marriage was headed for rocky shores as Naveen, unable to cope up with constant performance pressure at work, started turned violent at home. A dynamic job that required him to deliver his best at all times soon started taking its toll. The fear of failure began to haunt him as his bright colleagues posed competition.

Having been a college topper, he could not adjust to the fact that he was now mere second best, while his brilliant co-workers managed to walk away with kudos. Naveen kept thinking that his colleagues were constantly sniggering at his back, making fun of him.

Intense frustration cropped up as he felt like an idiot, not being able to perform, giving rise to numerous complexes in his head. His ego felt completely trampled upon and a not-so-good appraisal only aggravated matters further.

Finally, after much goading from Devika, he agreed to go in for counselling. Three sessions of therapy, an angry Naveen came home stomping one evening and asked her to stop bothering him, leaving her completely baffled. She knew that there existed a problem and unless arrested soon, it would become a menace, taking over their married life.

But, she was too intimidated by the thought of seeking outside help to repair their marriage. There were times when she was on the verge of making her mom privy to her anguish, but managed to hold herself back in time. She saw no point in adding to their anxiety, staying miles apart. It was her battle and she knew that she had to fight it.

He was a nice guy, but just needed to sort himself out a little in the head, she kept telling herself. Although she did not feel safe sharing the same roof with him anymore, she knew that it was a helpless situation, a dead end. The lack of a work permit meant that she was not able to work and was dependent on Naveen for financial support.

Venturing out on her own was ruled out and even if she did, it would be difficult to go back to India among friends and explain her predicament. Although she wanted to pursue an advanced degree in furniture designing to keep her occupied, the steep costs deterred her. And she did not have the grades to qualify for a scholarship.

Stuck at home, with nothing much to do except wait for Naveen to display his violent side, Devika sometimes wondered if having a child would bring some respite to her troubled life. But with a constant fear surrounding her, it was not fair that she subject another being to be at the receiving end of his anger.

What should she do?

( The names have been changed to protect the identity of those mentioned ) Lopamura Ghatak (ECONOMICTIMES.COM)






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