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Work woes: IT couples feel the heat
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
should she do?
The names have been changed to protect the identity of
those mentioned ) Lopamura Ghatak