Friday, July 13, 2012

Musings on stuff

It's the 9th of July, 2012 in Delhi. It's hot, humid, and any hint of rain seems to have evaporated from the face of the North Indian earth. I'm in the family court. It's freshly painted and completely air conditioned. The waiting room outside the 'court room' is small and is crawling around with people. Many of them are lawyers and the rest are people they represent. I scan around for faces of the people who are looking blankly at walls. Guys who are fiddling around on their Blackberries, women who are flipping through the files once again. Lawyers who are going over some documents efficiently, mechanically - admonishing their clients -'Why haven't you signed here?' or trying to calm them down - 'Don't worry, it will be okay.'

Since I am there for a divorce, I think that everyone is there for a divorce. (It's not true, of course. I'm at the family court and people there are looking to settle family disputes - divorce being just one of them. While I imagine the splintering of my own marriage, I wonder if someone out there had actually come for restitution. "No, your Lordship - I don't believe it’s over. Please sentence us to be together.") And since I am sad, I assume that everyone else is sad too.

Now, I've heard a lot of people say that people get divorced to take the easy way out. I can absolutely guarantee that the people who say that have never been divorced. In fact, my own experience has been fairly a dream run. There was no mud slinging, there was no child to fight over, no blame games (or not too many, at least), and no parental pressure at all. And yet, I can safely say that this is the most painful experience of my life. More painful than being in an accident and more painful than seeing my parents in the hospital and more painful than seeing my beloved city under siege. Yes, there is a certain peace at knowing that this is the right thing to happen. Or possibly, the most inevitable thing to happen. But that peace seems to scamper away fairly quickly.

In fact, I read about a research cited in 'Committed' by Elizabeth Gilbert (it's a wonderful book). According to the research, the number one hardest thing a person goes through emotionally is the death of a spouse. (Please note - a spouse. Not parent, not child, not even lover. Spouse.) And the number two reason is - yep, divorce. Divorce outranks the death of a parent, illness, bankruptcy, being homeless, etc. Number three, though, is interesting. The number three reason for gut-wrenching pain is a marriage almost heading to a divorce and then getting saved. That’s a remarkable find. (There are some astute inferences in the book.)

Anyway, back to the court. A and I enter with our respective lawyers. There's an Edvard Munch type of painting hanging behind the judge - a family portrait with silhouettes of a man, a woman, and a small child. The man and the woman are holding the child's hands. I keep looking at the painting and before I know it, the judge says 'Okay' and closes the file. The divorce has come through.

As I’m hustled here and there by the lawyers to sign here and put my finger prints there – I suddenly remember that it’s 9th of July. I had gotten married on the 9th of February and July is the month when I had been proposed to. These dates mean nothing to no-one and they must mean nothing to me as of this moment on. And I wish that, when the force of loneliness and helplessness hit me then – I wish I’d remembered that I’d taken the easy way out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I felt very connected, somehow, reading about your divorce and your earlier post leading up to it.

My own divorce was such a matter of fact thing, maybe because it happened 4 years after things fell apart, the 'living the separation' happened mostly in the first year...

I think i went through my angst when the relationship ended...i went through exactly what you described..i'm not feeling very prolific right now, so if i may, i will borrow from what you said:

"he prospect of healing, today, though is hard to bear. It's making me weary. Heavy-lidded and hunched. But somewhere deep down, I know that tiding over this phase will get me to a place that is free and peaceful. That knowing, though, is really buried deep..."