Chapter 219: Payal’s Story

“Pyaar vyaar sab kehne ki baatein hai Khushi,” she scoffed, “Tumhare bhi toh itne saal ho gaye shaadi ke, tumhe toh pata hoga, shaadi ke baad kuch rishta rehta hai kya? Bas wohi zindagi ki daud main bhagte raho, kabhi is taraf toh kabhi us taraf! Pyaar akhir hota kya hai?”

It was as if a damn had burst and without waiting for an answer Payal continued speaking while Khushi listened in shocked silence, “Pyaar is a temporary state of mind, when a mixture of factors particularly biological clock and hormones make you believe that you cannot live without another person and if by some coincidence that other person is also on the same page, then both will be in ‘love’; but there should be no illusions that love is forever,” she sneered, clearly completely disillusioned.

“Par Jiji,” Khushi found her voice, but Payal was in no mood to let her speak, she continued without heeding, “Before marriage, it is the distance between the couple that make them yearn for each other, the rarity of their meetings, the sweetness of stolen meetings, keeps the flame of passion burning, you count the minutes till you can be with each other, even if it is to steal a glance at your beloved’s profile,” she laughed humorlessly, “Aur pata hai, kabhi kabhi toh wohi kaafi hota hai, unki ek jhalak, ek nazar par mahine guzaar sakte hain, in the first flush of love you make lofty promises and vows of undying love, companionship and togetherness; you are in the seventh heaven of delight, sab kuch badiya chal raha hota hai, you have a spring in your step, a smile in your heart, a sparkle in your eyes, a song on your lips, phir,” her voice broke.

“Phir?” Khushi whispered.

“Phir,” Payal cleared her throat, “Phir shaadi ho jaati hai,” she turned to Khushi and smiled mechanically, “Kahani khatam.”

“Par jiji” Khushi couldn’t believe her ears, “Aise kaise khatam? Pyaar toh hamesha ke liye hota hai na?”

“Hamesha!?” scoffed Payal, “Khushi tum ab bhi sapno ki duniya main ho!” she affectionately cupped her face, “You are so naïve and trusting, tumhe kuch samajh hi nahi aata, ya phir samajhna hi nahi chahti! Kabhi kuch hamesha ke liye hota hai kya?”

She sank down on to the couch, and mused softly, “Shaadi is like a goal or a terminal station, beyond which there is nothing; the initial years may be that of a fool’s paradise when you are too naïve and foolishly in love, you give your best you are on your best behavior and you are excited because it is all so new, there is so much to learn, there is so much to do and then your child is the culmination of your love and togetherness, your cup of joy is full. You are content and then you settle down into domesticated bliss. Only it isn’t bliss, is it? Exhaustion and monotony takes its toll and dissatisfaction creeps in. Life becomes an battlefield where togetherness takes a back seat; each of you have well demarcated territories, the home is your turf and the office his, as the newness and the novelty wears off, the need or the pressure to impress your partner is no longer there and you begin to take your partner for granted; your partner too looks for newer conquests, other challenges, wants to prove his worth, make his mark in the world while his wife sits at home, takes care of his needs, his kids, his parents.”

“Par Jiji,” Khushi intervened, “Each day is new and different, har roz kuch na kuch naya hota hai, hai ki nahi?”

Payal shook her head, “Hume toh nahi lagta! Life becomes like a clockwork routine, everyday is just like the other, you even know what he is going to say,” she smiled, albeit sadly, “Every morning after he comes back from his jog he will say, ‘Mumbai weather is terrible, pata nahi log kaise rehte hain’; he will pick up the paper and curse the Government and its policies while sipping his tea and the same old biscuit; perhaps share a word or two with Yash or Ankit before getting ready and coming down for breakfast, then he will grumble about the traffic and what a waste of time it is, how many crores are lost due to traffic, idling engines and leave. He will come back in the evening and by then he is too tired to even say anything, he will just loll in front of the TV till it is dinner time, then sleep; bas ho gaya na din khatam?” Payal challenged Khushi.

“Nahi Jiji, aise thodi na hota hai, chuttiya hoti hain, tyohaar hote hain, aur aapke bachche kitne pyaare hai!” Khushi protested.

Payal’s face softened as she looked at her sleeping son, “True, the children are the reason I go on, their love, their laughter everything about them keeps me going,” she sparkled and then drooped, “But then again I think for how long? Yash is already going to school and is busy in his own world, dekha na mere saath ayaa nahi? School and friends are more important, ghar toh bas sone aur khana khane ke liye hai! And in a couple of years, we will be constantly fighting in the little time that we do spend together over homework! I guess it will be the same story with Palash in a couple of years,” she shrugged, “Where does that leave me, trapped inside the walls of the house, with not a minute to call my own,” she looked helplessly at Khushi, “Can you imagine, a prisoner in my own house, everyone leaves, even Maji is better off, she disappears each day to one of her numerous kitty parties, movies whatever, everyday she has something planned, but I, I am stuck at home,” she fell silent.

Khushi was very upset; she hugged Payal and tried to rally her, “Par Jijaji toh ghumane lekar jaate hain na aapko?”

Payal’s lips turned downwards and she swallowed heroically, trying to hold back her emotions, “Haan par bachchon ke saath kahin ghumne jaana is a big pain, we always end up arguing or the kids get a yelling; it is just not worth it.”

“Jiji, you should leave the kids at home,” Khushi advised.

Payal laughed sarcastically, “That is easier said than done Khushi, Yash ko toh chhod bhi doon Papaji ke pass, par Maji refuses pointblank to look after Palash and I cannot really put the whole responsibility on the maid can I? Suppose there he throws a tantrum, tab toh Maji ko aana hi padega na usse sambhalne ke liye, I will never hear the end of it,” She paused and said reluctantly, “Aisa nahi hai ki we haven’t tried but then a couple of times we have made an effort to go for a movie together because Papaji encouraged us when only Yash was there, Maji would invariably call up in the middle of the movie claiming Yash was very cranky and she would make me speak to him, howling away,” she shrugged, “Aise koi movie dekh sakta hai kya? Anniversaries par bhi yehi hota hai, she too wants to go out with us and expects a matching gift for herself, waise bhi Aakash is not too fond of going out; ‘Main toh roz hi bahar jaata hoon, meetings main bahar ka khana ho hi jaata hai and so on and so forth’; tum samajh rahi ho na main kya keh rahi hoon?” Payal questioned her.

Khushi looked at her rather helplessly, “Haan,” She twisted her fingers and said reluctantly, “Haan, I do agree, he is busy in his work most of the time and there is a routine schedule daily, but aisa nahi hai ki hum isse pareshaan hai,” she clasped Payal’s hand and tried to explain, “Devansh ke baad humara bhi bahar jaana bahut kam ho gaya hai, par phir bhi kabhi kabhi chale hi jaate hain,” there was a faint flush on her cheeks, “Nahi toh ghar par hi ek saath main time spend kar lete hain.”

“Ghar par ek saath time spend karein!” Payal was astonished, “Impossible, koi chance hi nahi hai! Maji hai na humare saath time spend karne ke liye,” she said rather bitterly, “Waise toh ghar par nahi hoti, par bête ke aane se pehle zaroor pahunch jaati hain!” she made face and raised her hands helplessly, “Rahi baat bahar jane ki, kya fayda? Main toh bol bol kar thak gayi, aur kitna jhagda karoon, waise bhi we don’t have any common topic of conversation any more except for the kids. In the past eight years that we have lived together we seem not to have gotten to know each other, he doesn’t know what I would like or what are my concerns and I don’t know what he is working on, what are his plans, woh kya chahte hain, even if I ask he fobs me off saying that I wouldn’t understand, while my viewpoint he is just not interested! Toh saath bahar jaayein bhi toh kya baat karein? Sirf khana khane jayein? Isse toh achcha bachchon ke saath hi chale jayein, kam se kam mazaa toh aata hai.”

She was quiet for a while, “And what can I say about Maji, the less said the better, we will never see eye to eye about her, he thinks she can do no wrong, I am over-sensitive and uncooperative, while I,” she shrugged, “I know she is manipulative, interfering and petty; over the years, I think she has been the primary reason for our arguments and has caused a lot of bitterness between us,” she swallowed and turned away, ““Main toh samjha samjha kar thak gayi, now I don’t even bother to protest, kya fayda hoga, ek aur jhagda bas aur kuch nahi. I just swallow it, deal with it and carry on as best as I can, while he focuses on his work,” she turned around and looked at Khushi squarely in the face, “Pata hai Khushi, kabhi kabhi toh lagta hai sirf bachchon ke wajah se hi rishta chal raha hai; And the worst is when at the end of the day he asks you ‘tum karti kya ho?” to Khushi’s distress, a lone tear slipped out, Payal sighed defeatedly.

A/N Sorry aap log bore toh nahi huye na? Bechari Payal, bahut dino se kuch kehna chah rahi thi. Waise I am very keen to know your thoughts on this, so how about sharing them?

  • Can understand and empathize with Payal as this is what usually happens
  • Payal is a loser
  • Who cares about Payal?

Click here for Chapter 220

28 thoughts on “Chapter 219: Payal’s Story”

  1. Payal’s story is very common. Payal is such a caring and gentle woman but she is not appreciated (Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki). A lot of marriages survive because of the children while they are little. Once they are grown up and fly the nest that is the end of marriages and these days a lot of women wants out of loveless marriage.
    Thank you for the jhanki in Payal’s life.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes that’s the trouble with women I think, they give so much of themselves hoping and expecting to be deified in return. But people are notoriously ungrateful with convenient memories and all too soon all that she does is taken for granted. Once the children too leave, there is no way she can convince herself of her indispensable status. That is why I do believe no matter how tough and difficult it may be especially during the initial child rearing years she must a) maintain her individuality as a person with a job a hobby a cause other than home and b) have girl friends – joh samajhte hain 😀 But then of course you know all this as I have bleated ad nauseam on this topic in Moonshine!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dahlia, I think in asli duniya, many women are in the same boat as Payal, and if you are a home maker, you do get taken for granted. and if you live with a MIL like mamiji, and a husband that’s constantly balancing the ladies in his life, life can suck big time. But it’s up to each one to make life better for themselves or at least try to get their partners to understand their expectations from the marriage. Easier said than done, of course, who are we to judge the person or situation. Every relationship requires both involved to be invested in it. Did Payal try to assert herself and make her desires known or did she remain passive? A lot would depend on that. Also, if she were financially independent, even if her family is wealthy, her life would be much more in her hands. Many women don’t have the courage to rock the boat because they are so dependent on their husband. I think having children later, after you have established an understanding with your partner, would have given Payal more time to figure things out for herself. Khushi and Arnav, were far more sensible. In fact It was Arnav who realised that Khushi needed that space to grow even if she didn’t know that herself.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree with you. Both people need to grow and develop their own mark and identity to achieve mutual respect and ensure continued attraction. Sadly, Payal jumped into things (including babies) without thinking of the long term.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Very true and also I think Payal is over-adjusting and subservient. She needs to be more assertive. But then again poor girl is probably terrified that if she does do so, her MIL may just send her packing which would just create more trouble for her and her family. I cannot help but rail against this traditional system which is so heavily tilted against women. The family structure and ‘societal’ attitudes needs to be completely overhauled.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes Anu I completely agree with you! A lot of credit has to be given to Arnav. He is the one who insisted she spread her wings, without his (overbearing?) support Khushi would have likely gone down the Payal way with no identity of her own.

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  3. Very interesting observations Ferdi and Anu.

    While Payal’s circumstances are what they are, I think she herself must also accept her share of the responsibility for the state her life is in. She has always come across as meek and docile, and it is a fact of life that the more you give in, the more people around you take. You can understand why Manorama’s taunts would hurt, because although directed at her they would be words which insulted her family and that is very painful. Her monologue tells how she has lost respect for her husband, and that I feel is worse than having to put up with Manorama. But, has she made any attempt to build a life outside the home? Has she made any friends? With maybe other mums with kids? Maybe develop a hobby or try to study something? I can’t believe she doesn’t have a couple of hours twice a week to do that. But, she has to make the effort to go out and do it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes.I agree Payal should have asserted herself. She should have gone beyond the Subji Mandi and joined a group of like-minded mothers. She could have made some time and taught how to do chikenkari embroidery. She could have done a lot of things but she could not. She had no encouragement from MIL or husband. It was not in her nature to be assertive like her sister Khushi. Like Khushi, she gave in to her husband but Arnav was clued into Khushi and encouraged (or discouraged sometimes) her to express herself. Akash, on the other hand, did not see beyond his nose and his Mateh.
      Oh dear, what am I writing? All a load of codswallop? I better stop.
      Good Night everyone.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. No dear, you are making complete sense! Also these girls were brought up in a conservative home, where marriage and babies were the end goal. It was Khushi who showed some enterprise and decided to earn a living and support her family, Payal remained the conformist. Aakash was the stereotypical Indian male, tied to his mothers apron strings and even to get married to the girl he wanted to he had to enlist Arnav and Khushi’s help. So what did Payal expect? Her only goal was to get married, it could have been anybody, why blame only Akash.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Exactly why blame only Aakash? Everyone is to blame, Manorama for being so petty, Manohar for letting her get away with it, Akash for sitting on the fence twiddling his thumbs and Payal for not asserting herself.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Not a bit of codswallop there at all! It is only those who are comfortable in their own skin and are confident in themselves, who have the ability to give their partner wings to fly.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Absolutely right Ruchi, (we) Payals have to have that vision when entering the ‘institution of marriage’ i.e. have the future the bigger picture in mind. Our children’s lives are ours only until they fly the nest, what then? It makes sense to nurture herself during this time (no matter how difficult), like you say learn something (no need to go out even – there are a zillion online courses) develop a hobby which will engage her with once the empty nest phase happens.

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  4. I have a little real-life anecdote to tell. A few years ago my neighbour(in Dar es Salaam) Renukaben Vyas was telling me about her experience when she got married. Her mother in law (and her sister in law) did not treat her well. Vyasji, her husband noticed how his wife was being ill-treated. So he talked quietly to his mother and explained that since they brought someone’s daughter in the house, she should be treated like a daughter and not a servant. Renukaben had a lovely smile when she narrated the story. She had her champion in Vyasji.
    Sadly Renukaben died tragically in a car accident before her own son got married. So I don’t know how she would have treated her daughter in law. But the son and his wife are looking after the aged Vyasji.
    Good afternoon Dahlia. Looking forward to the next instalments.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A salute to Vyasji! May his tribe grow, women need more considerate and empathetic men like that to pull women out of the abyss they push themselves into. Thank you for sharing this heartwarming story Ferdi 🙂

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  5. When you get a manipulative person in your life , no mattee how much you try these bitterness spread at your home causing problems in your marriage life. Specially if Akash does not see the ugly side of his mother their marriage can never be normal.

    Poor Payal

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you… i tried few times to steal some me time but was unable to do. All my sisters and brothers were together celebrating our Eid holidays. So it was impossible to have a lone time..

        Liked by 1 person

  6. For Manorama’s behaviour, everyone is responsible. “Dil ki buri nahi hein”, is that it? What about her crass actions which costed Gupta’s their livelihood?
    What about her acid tongue and manipulative behaviour? The result is Payal’s suffering. Not an iota of support from Akash.
    Though Arnav is also responsible for Manorama’s current state, only Arnav and Khushi could have done something, but, they are neck deep in their own issues.
    I agree that Payal needs to take the first step to stand for herself.
    If it is one against one it will be easier. But it will be one against two with neutral Mamaji, not so easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Damn Payal! That was depressing. This is reminding me of Sridevi’s speech at the end of English Vinglish on how when you can’t stand up for each other, you must stand up for yourself. Love that movie btw. Such an amazing feel good movie. That’s it, plan for Sunday is made!!

    But I got to say, emotionally abusive and non-communicating Arnav I would take a 100 times over spineless and selfish Akash. Atleast in the first case, Pyaar toh hai you can work with it. In the second case, I honestly can’t say pyaar hai because agar respect hi nahi hai toh pyaar toh bahut dur ki baat hai! Plus that baggage with comes with Akash in form of Manorama… *shudders*. Its not that I want Payal to be selfish and take away Akash from Manorama’s life… But she is the major reason they never developed that bonding with each other. The problem is they married out of infatuation and not love. Mano is probably ignored by her husband and has to impose on her son too. It’s actually a vicious cycle and probably one you want to stay out of unless you are okay with living your own separate life from your husband.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Payal was always meant to be a contrast to Khushi. She was the one who crossed all her Ts and dotted all the Is. Her monologue was also long overdue… Maybe as a counterpoint to Khushi’s struggles with work-life-Arnav balance?
    Life happens and those who over compensate and adjust with everyone can’t prevent the build up of resentment. I don’t think that she is a loser or irrelevant in any circumstances. Hobbies, causes, work, friends…. Anything and everything that helps one have an identity outside the family are essential and Payal’s character just shows that.

    Liked by 1 person

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