Dowry harassment and a young woman’s endless ordeal

Newsroom24x7 Staff

dowry menaceNew Delhi: 26 year old Kaamini (name changed to protect the victim’s identity) , on Monday (May 18), lodged a complaint with Delhi Police accusing her husband, father in law, mother in law, two sisters in law, and their husbands of hatching a criminal conspiracy and fraudulently inducing her to marry Vijay (name changed) by dishonestly and fraudulently concealing his impotence and claiming that he was a healthy individual who could lead a normal married life.

The complainant has reported to the police that the accused had dishonestly claimed that Vijay was a highly qualified, hardworking and an ambitious man leading their family business, all of which was later found to be false.

According to the FIR registered by the Police, the accused had approached Kaamini’s family because they wanted to look for a good looking woman from a conservative background so that after marriage they could dominate her and make her do whatever they wanted. They deliberately chose to look for an alliance far away from their residence since they wanted to ensure that their son’s medical condition remained within the family. The girl’s consent to marry Vijay was obtained by fraud, and after marriage, he raped her using sex toys.

Kaamini’s version as recorded in the FIR says:

Vijay subjected me to unnatural intercourse, rape and inflicted emotional and physical cruelty on me. My mother in law, sisters in law and their husbands instigated Vijay to perform unnatural intercourse on me and inflicted cruelty on me. To ensure that I did not disclose his impotence to my parents and friends, they tried to relocate me to Panchkula and later, to Canada, but they failed. They caused fear in my mind by repeatedly reminding me of the social stigma which would be attached to me and my family if Vijay’s impotence is made known to anyone. The accused persons conspired and pressurized me to undergo IVF for conceiving a child with Vijay, causing great amount of trauma and physical and emotional cruelty on me compelling me to think of ending my life. My father in law dishonestly employed me in his company and gained lot of business by making use of my expertise. He dishonestly withdrew substantial amount of my salary to ensure that I did not have any money left with me to meet my regular needs. My father in law mother in Law in connivance with my sisters in law and their husbands  criminally misappropriated all my jewellery and valuable articles worth crores of rupees and have also misappropriated my BMW car worth about Rs. 50 Lac. The accused persons have refused to return my jewellery, valuable articles and important documents (school/college certificates, PAN card, driving licence, passport etc.), which continue to remain in the possession of my father-in-law and mother-in-law.

Kaamini has introduced herself in the FIT as a 26-year old woman belonging to a Punjabi family and a resident of Delhi. Her father owns a jewellery store where she was working before marriage.

Narrating the developments leading to her marriage with Vijay, the victims has said in her FIR that in April 2012, a panditji met and spoke to her father about an alliance with Vijay who belonged to an affluent business family from south Delhi. Panditji assured that Kaamini that he had himself had met the boy and he knew the family very closely and represented that and that she would lead a secure and a happy married life. He represented that the Vijay’s family was interested in seeking an alliance with a good-looking girl belonging to a conservative Punjabi family not living in South Delhi.

Kaamini’s father also spoke to Vijay’s father, who told him that he and his wife had seen my photographs and found Kaamini very good-looking and suitable for their only son.

The FIR in Kaamini’s words:

They were interested in exploring the possibility of a matrimonial alliance. After deliberations and discussions, my parents agreed to meet Vijay’s parents to explore matrimonial prospects. The boy’s father my father and fixed a meeting and insisted that the families along with the boy and the girl should meet.

My father also agreed and our families met around in third week of April at a 5-star hotel. Vijay’s parents represented that their only son had passed his higher secondary from a public school in Delhi and done his BBA and was responsible for handling the entire business of the family.

Vijay and I had a brief chat alone during which he came across as a broad-minded individual who respected independence of women. He represented that he grew up under the influence of his mother and sisters and knew the importance of respecting a woman. He told me that he led a very active lifestyle and was very health-conscious. He stated that he used to regularly visit Ozone gym near his house and used to play cricket on a regular basis. He also told me that he would prefer to marry a working woman. Since it was our first meeting and things went well, my family decided to proceed further with the alliance. After the meeting, panditji called us and informed us of their keen interest in our family. After much pressure and repeated calls from their side, my father finally agreed to the alliance and the boy’s father called and congratulated us.

At that point of time,  Vijay called me in the afternoon and we spoke at length. He told me various things about himself, including that he was deeply involved in his father’s business but still used to balance his professional life with his personal life. He then said that he wanted to take me and my siblings out for dinner that evening with his sisters and brothers-in-law. I also needed to understand Vijay better so I agreed to go with him. In the evening, I along with my sister  and  brothers reached Vasant Kunj and met Vijay and his sisters and their husbands.

We had dinner and generally had a good time. His sisters were very friendly towards me and his brothers-in-law also behaved decently. They all complimented me for my looks and said that I was the perfect match for a smart man like Vijay. They said that Vijay had a great future since he has been single-handedly managing the family business at such a young age. After dinner, Vijay and I went for a drive in his car, during which he complimented me for my good looks and said that he always wanted to marry someone as beautiful as me. He also spoke about his past relationship with a girl who had broken up with him in February 2012 which left him heartbroken. He said that he wanted emotional support and that was the reason why he wanted to get married. I agreed and only demanded that he should remain loyal post marriage with me. He assured me that he would not betray my trust.

Since we had decided to meet only during our Roka ceremony, Vijay called me a number of times on before that and we chatted for long hours.

Our Roka was fixed for April last week in a five star Hotel in Delhi on the demand of Vijay’s father. The Roka function was organized by my father for about 60 guests and my family distributed gold coins totaling 310 gms to their family and friends. My father also bore the expenses of the function amounting to Rs. 3 Lacs. My father also gifted a gold chain to Vijay and cash envelopes worth 3 lakhs approx. to the immediate family members. On the day of the Roka ceremony, it was decided that the engagement ceremony will take place second fortnight of June, 2012.

My father-in-law demanded that the engagement ceremony should take place only in a 5-star Hotel since he intended to invite other affluent persons from his business circle in Delhi and that the ceremony should be in keeping with their status. After making inquiries, my father suggested a few good hotels to them. However, they were not satisfied with the proposed arrangement and insisted to do it themselves and asked us to pay for the entire ceremony. Since they were very assertive on their demand, my father agreed. My father-in-law also demanded a BMW 5 series car for Vijay and asked my father to make arrangements for cash saying that he himself will buy the car. To meet their demand of a luxury car, my father gave Rs. 50,00,000 for the car, to my father-in-law. We were later informed that instead of purchasing the car in Vijay’s name, my father-in-law purchased the car in the name of one of their companies.

In the last week of May, when I had gone to Vijay’s residence, my mother-in-law gave me a list containing names of their guests and against each name an amount was mentioned and she asked me to ensure that envelopes containing these amounts were prepared well in advance so that the envelopes could be given to the guests on the date of engagement. After a few days, my mother-in-law called me over to her place for shopping and took me to a shop in South Extension-II and selected more than a dozen Sarees for about Rs. 4 lakhs and asked me to pay for them. When I asked her the reason for the same, she said that these sarees were to be given to their guests at the time of engagement and that I was required to pay for them. Since I was not carrying enough money, I called my brother to bring money and later, we paid for the 18 sarees and 1 suit selected by my mother-in-law to be gifted to their guests. Few days later, my father got a call from my father-in-law and he asked my father to discuss the modalities for payments towards the engagement ceremony which they had arranged.

My father alongwith my ucle reached their house to discuss the matter. During discussion, my father-in-law showed his dissatisfaction with the Roka arrangement and said that he would like to personally make the arrangements for the ceremony since he had better experience after the marriage of his two daughters. He took my father and uncle to Maurya Sheraton Hotel and got estimates for the arrangements for around 350 persons which according to them came to the tune of Rs. 16.50 lakh after a lot of bargain. My father-in-law asked my father to arrange Rs. 16.50 lakh towards the total expenditure of the engagement ceremony and deliver the same after his return from London on 9th June. He also told my father to arrange for various jewellery and silverware to be given as gifts to their guests at the time of engagement.

My father was taken aback on hearing their demand since no such expectations were shown by my father-in-law before or at the time of Roka ceremony. However, to avoid any obstacle in the wedding, my father reluctantly agreed. On my father-in-law’s return from London, an amount of Rs. 16.5 lakh was paid in cash and was delivered to my father-in-law at his Souith delhi residence by my brother.

Our engagement ceremony was held at a different 5-star hotel in New Delhi. The engagement ceremony was attended by about 350 persons out of which about 300 persons were invited from the boy’s side. The arrangements were very lavish and the boy’s side did not spare even a single opportunity to show off. As demanded by them, we gave a diamond pendent set with chain to my mother-in-law, a pair of diamond danglers each to my sister in laws and cash envelopes amounting to about Rs. One lakh and a diamond Ring to Vijay, One lakh rupees to his parents and cash envelopes totalling Rs. 5 lakhs and sarees to their relatives and friends. Their near relatives also gave cash envelopes to me. My mother-in-law also gifted me a diamond necklace and a diamond ring. Immediately thereafter, Vijay demanded that the diamond necklace and the cash envelopes given to me along with the jewellery gifted to me at the time of Roka ceremony should be handed over to his mother for safe keeping. I was compelled to hand over the cash and the jewellery to my mother-in-law. At the end of the engagement ceremony, my father-in-law met my father and uncle and praised the event organized by him with our money. He demanded that he will organise all the wedding functions himself keeping in view his status and told us that we will have to pay for all the functions.

My father and uncle had no choice but to agree to his demands so as to prevent any conflict.

During the last week of July, when dance practice for the event was going on at their residence, my father-in-law and mother-in-law called me aside and made me write a list of their relatives and friends to whom gifts and cash envelopes at the time of Sagan and Wedding were to be given specifically and for this they reminded me time and again during my visit for dance practice.

The pre-wedding celebrations lasted for three days in  August 2012. The wedding ceremony took place in August 2012. During the Sagan ceremony, on specific demands of my father-in-law and mother in law, we were made to give various jewellery items like diamond sets to my mother-in-law and my sisters in law , Gold Kadas to Male members of the family, gold coins totalling 241 gms, a gold chain, a Rolex watch and cash to Vijay and various gifts and cash envelopes amounting to Rs. 6.50 lakhs to relatives and friends. As demanded by my father-in-law and mother-in-law, various cash envelopes amounting to Rs. 2 lakhs were also given by us at the time of Milani. Like in the past, the venue and the arrangements for the wedding were made by the in-laws and my father was asked to pay Rs. 50 lakh for this

The money was paid in cash and delivered to their residence in parts by my brothers on various dates during the last week of July and first week of August when we used to go there for dance practice.

After the wedding, we reached home at about 5 AM. Vijay pretended to be tired and did not come close to me. My mother-in-law started taunting me for not bringing enough jewellery along with me. She said that she had given much more to her daughters at the time of their marriage and I did not bring enough jewellery despite belonging to a family of jewellers. I immediately told my father and on hearing this he sent gold bars weighing about 2 Kgs to satisfy my in-laws.

The day after our wedding, Vijay took me to his sister’s residence for a dinner party. There, he drank heavily and we returned home only about 7 the following morning. The same thing happened the next night as well and this routine continued for about a week. Thus, in the night we used to go to his sisters’ residence and in the day Vijay used to sleep. Our marriage was not consummated in its first week. I indicated this to my mother-in-law and she said that he was still engrossed in the wedding celebrations and life would come back to normal after our honeymoon trip and Vijay would be able to resume matrimonial life. My mother-in-law stated that these things are normal and they should not bother me and that they happen in every household.

Since we were to leave for our honeymoon, my mother-in-law told me to give all my jewellery, valuables and all important documents to her for safekeeping. I believed my mother-in-law and entrusted all jewellery, valuables including the gold bars and all important documents (school/ college certificates, PAN card, driving licence etc.), to my mother-in-law and she took it to her bank. Later she told me that she had kept all my jewellery, valuables and all important documents in her bank locker.

In second fortnight of August 2012, we left for our honeymoon and we went to Greece, France and Spain. In Greece, Vijay would take me out for dinner but would drink heavily and would return to the hotel in an inebriated condition preventing any kind of physical intimacy between us. The same thing happened in France and Spain. He was only fond of drinking and did not show any inclination to have sexual intercourse with me. Since weeks had passed after our wedding and our marriage had not been consummated, I confronted Vijay to take our marriage seriously and behave like a newlywed man. On this, Vijay confessed to me that he did not have any inclination to indulge in sexual relations and was not in a position to consummate the marriage. He also told me that unlike other men, he does not get aroused and has never experienced any erection in his life. I was shocked to hear such a thing from him since his conduct prior to marriage was completely different from what he had just stated. I was taken aback since prior to our marriage, Vijay, his sisters and brothers-in-law had repeatedly kept stating that he was physically very active and healthy and his lifestyle habits as claimed by them also suggested that he would be potent enough to consummate our marriage. I could not control my emotions and I immediately called his mother and confronted her with this condition of Vijay. After some denial, she admitted to knowing the medical condition of Vijay. When I repeatedly questioned her as to why was this not disclosed to me prior to the marriage, she avoided my questions and just blankly told me that immediately on our return, she would arrange for medical assistance for correcting the problems faced by vijay. She told me not to discuss this thing with my family or friends since it would bring disrepute not only to Vijay but also to the whole family. I was scared to reveal anything to my parents as they are very emotional and simple people and they would be dejected to hear that they were induced into marrying off their daughter to an impotent man. I chose to believe the representations of my mother-in-law and kept quiet. We reached Dubai in first week of September 2012 and checked into a five star hotel.

My in-laws were also in the same hotel and my mother-in-law came to meet us. She stated that such problems were very common and once Vijay gets physically comfortable with me, he would be able to consummate the marriage and lead a healthy married life. She brushed aside my concerns and asked me to wait for improvement in Vijay’s health.

Vijay was unable to get physically intimate with me and also refused to consult any doctor regarding his impotence. Whenever I tried getting physical intimate with Vijay, he used to indulge in foreplay and could not sustain any prolonged sexual activity with me. To hide his inability, he also brought various sex toys. I pleaded with him that he should not indulge in such things but he threatened me and said that if I did not agree, he would tell my parents about our relationship and would send me back. In spite of my crying and pleading not to indulge in this, he penetrated my private parts using these toys which was extremely painful and traumatic. He said that he would indulge in such activities on a regular basis and I should be mentally prepared for it. When I spoke to my mother-in-law about this, she said that it was very normal for adults to use sex toys and said that till such time Vijayreaches a position to be able to lead a healthy married life, I should adopt such means to satisfy my physical needs. She further warned me not to talk to anyone about it otherwise it would bring disrepute not only to me but the entire family as well. Despite having been forcibly subjected to unnatural intercourse, I could not complain about the same or discuss about it out of fear which my mother-in-law had created. From later part of 2012 to March, 2013, Vijay continued to insert sex toys in my private parts which left me traumatized. I bore the pain and the trauma out of fear of humiliation.

In the last week of October 2012, My sisters in law along with their husbands came home for dinner. While they were discussing about our married life, I told them about Vijay’s medical condition. His sisters told me that use of sex toys was quite normal and they also encouraged Vijay to use them more often to meet my physical demands. After being subjected to unnatural intercourse for months, I requested Vijay to stop indulging in it since I started pitying myself and became depressed.

In October, 2012, my father-in-law called me and said that he was looking for someone to take care of his work since he was pre-occupied with other businesses. He suggested that I could work in their own company and help Vijay with his work. Vijay also agreed to let me work on a condition that I would travel to work and return only with him. On the insistence of my father-in-law, I started working with Vijay. In a matter of few days, I came to know that Vijay was never serious about work and was not even regular to the office.

I was devastated to know that I was dishonestly induced to marry a person who was not only impotent but also incapable of working. During the course of my work, I also learnt that my father-in-law was involved in the business of making pirated movies, and before my marriage he was also caught producing and selling adult x-rated movies and was prosecuted for it. On my first Karva Chauth after marriage, my mother-in-law demanded that customary gifts and cash were to be given to both her daughters and their husbands from my side. My mother-in-law also said that whatever gifts my father brought for me, two more of the same type should be arranged for gifting to Vijay’s sisters. Despite having spent lavishly on my wedding, my father arranged jewellery, cash envelopes and other gifts to be given to my in-laws. A pair of diamond bangles was gifted to my mother-in-law and cash envelopes were given to my sisters-in-law and their husbands. Similarly, on the eve of my first Diwali after marriage, my mother-in-law demanded gifts and cash to be given from my side to her daughters’ families. My father agreed and gave cash envelopes among various other expensive gifts to my sisters-in-law and their husbands.

My father also gifted me a pair of diamond kadas, which was later taken away by my mother-in-law. Again, on the occasion of Lohri in January, 2013, my mother-in-law demanded jewellery and cash for herself and her daughters and their husbands. She also taunted me for not giving enough to Vijay’s sisters on Diwali in keeping with their standards and told me to ensure that this time around, everything was up to their standards. My father agreed to meet their demand and gifted a pair of diamond danglers to my mother-in-law and cash envelopes to my sisters-in-law and their husbands. My father spent lavishly to satisfy the greed of my in-laws at other occasions as well, but they were never satisfied. During the weekends, Vijay continued with his flamboyant lifestyle and would return home drunk. I was fed up with such lifestyle and spoke to my mother-in-law about it. I told her that I was unable to live such a miserable life and felt cheated by marrying Vijay. I wanted to go back to my parents’ house to discuss the matter with them. I was scared and confused and did not know what to do. My mother-in-law told me that she would get medical assistance for Vijay and she said that a change of environment could also help us. She proposed to shift us to a place near Chandigarh because their new factory in Himachal Pradesh was almost operational and required continuous supervision by someone like me. We moved to Panchkula, where despite the best of amenities available in the house, Vijay was not comfortable staying in Panchkula and wanted the flamboyant lifestyle of Delhi.

On weekends we used to return to Delhi, since Vijay wanted to maintain social ties with his friends and acquaintances. His drinking habits worsened and our marriage continued to remain unconsummated. This routine of shuttling between Delhi and Panchkula continued. I continued to work for their firm and helped my father-in-law with his business and took up responsibilities. When I asked my father-in-law and mother-in-law about Vijay’s lack of interest in work, they said that he doesn’t need to work since he was the successor to their business and could employ anyone for the same. My father-in-law also took away Rs. 50,000 every month from my salary using self-drawn cheques. By my hard work, I managed to expand the business operations of the company to cater to various sectors and we were awarded work by many big companies. The revenue of the company also grew substantially due to my sheer hard work and competence.

Whenever I tried talking to my mother-in-law about Vijay’sproblems, she avoided it on one pretext or the other. Around April 2013, their relatives started asking them when we were going to conceive a child. My mother-in-law requested me not to disclose the medical problems of Vijay with anyone in my and their families and assured me that she would ensure that Vijay undergoes a medical treatment to cure his impotence. However, despite the assurance given to me, she never took my concerns seriously and did not speak to Vijay about the treatment. I decided to disclose everything to my father-in-law and request for his intervention. I met my father-in-law and told him about the marital problems faced by me and requested him to take Vijay to a good doctor. He then spoke to Vijay separately and later took an appointment with a doctor. During the visit, Vijay was physically examined and the doctors advised him to take recourse to invigorating pills such as Viagra (Cavetra) to enable us to have intercourse in a natural manner. They advised us that Vijay’s impotence could also be because of his drinking habits and further said that an intercourse in the natural course may help him overcome these problems.

Following the doctor’s advice, Vijay took medication but he remained completely impotent. I informed my mother-in-law that the problem continued to subsist and requested her to consult an expert. Later, I along with my mother-in-law met a doctor at a Fertility Centre in South Delhi. After hearing about the problem, he doctor advised us to consult anothr doctor based in Mumbai. I along with Vijay reached Mumbai in mid-2013 after taking an appointment with the doctor.

On a thorough examination, the doctor observed that in addition to the impotence faced by Vijay, he also suffered from Peyronie’s Disease (penile curvature) and anejaculation. He explained that even after medication, Vijay would not be able to engage in penetrative intercourse since he was biologically incapable. He also said that Vijay would also not be able to inseminate me naturally due to anejaculation and any conception would require medical intervention. The doctor prescribed certain medication and advised us to meet him every two months.

After our return to Delhi, Vijay was reluctant to take any medication. Inspite of medication, I did not see any change in his condition. We again visited Bombay to meet Our doctor after about two months. As advised earlier, the doctor used various apparatus on Vijay to induce ejaculation but all his attempts failed. We could not see any success with the treatment given by the doctor.

Meanwhile, Diwali had arrived, and just like the previous year, various expensive gifts of silver and gold and other things were demanded by my mother in-law and Father in law and my father arranged for the same.

Around November 2013, my mother-in-law suggested that I should go for artificial insemination to conceive a child with Vijay. She told me that birth of a child may improve our marital relations and may also change Vijay for good. Initially I refused to agree to the procedure since I could not foresee a lasting marriage with Vijay but my mother-in-law forced me to undergo the procedure to conceive a child with Vijay and also represented that one of her daughters also conceived in this manner. She assured me that birth of a child would change my life and it would also help Vijay be a responsible husband. Since I had not told my parents about this problem and I was threatened not to disclose the same to anyone, I did not know what to do and under coercion I agreed to conceive a child through Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). My mother-in-law immediately arranged for my medical check-up and forcibly took me to various doctors to explore the possibility of IUI. I was forced to undergo numerous medical check-ups. I continued to manage the operations of the company while Vijay used to sit in the office and pass time. However, while I spent sleepless nights working on improvement of the company, Vijay was never bothered to find out about my health and well-being and remained a recluse. By mid-January 2014, I was forced to undergo the procedure and was medically prepared for the IUI procedure, in which I was administered subcutaneous injections on a daily basis for a period of 30 days, which were extremely painful. However, I had no choice but to bear the pain under the pressure of my mother-in-law and father-in-law. On few occasions when I refused to go to the doctor, one of my my sister in law forcibly took me to the doctor. I and Vijay went to a renowned Hospital in Bombay for undergoing the artificial insemination procedure. Vijay underwent an electro-ejaculation procedure with which the doctors extracted sperms to be used for the proposed IUI procedure. However, the doctors opined that the said sperms were too low in grade for a successful insemination. Thus, all the pain and trauma that I had been going through for months was rendered useless because of Vijay’smedical condition. The doctors advised that the sperms be frozen and told us to see our doctor in Mumbai again for further advice. My father-in-law also reached Bombay and we met the doctor. After going through the entire medical record, our doctor advised us to go for an alternative procedure for artificial insemination. On his advice, we met another doctor who in turn advised us to meet yet anotehr doctor in Delhi. In March 2014, my mother-in-law met this doctor, who advised her on an alternative procedure called Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and further suggested that the sperms be extracted from Vijay using a process called Testicular/Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (TESA). After undergoing the procedure of ICSI, we again returned to the Mumbai Hospital where I underwent the procedure of artificial insemination. I returned to Delhi to await fertilization.

I was advised to undergo a blood test to ascertain the outcome of the insemination. The blood test indicated failure of the entire process of insemination. My mother-in-law got furious on getting to know that the fertilization failed. She started accusing me of being infertile and said that she would get Vijay married to another girl who could conceive. She called her daughtrs and their husbands to the house, and together they all ridiculed me and taunted me for having failed the procedure. After having gone through so much, I could not bear the insensitive outburst of my in-laws. When I tried calling my mother, my mother-in-law snatched my phone away and threatened me not to involve my parents in this matter. She said that if I dared to disclose the  matter with anyone, she would ensure that my sister’s marriage would break and she would spread nasty things about me and my family so that no one would marry her. I got so scared that I promised her that I would not disclose the matter to anyone.

After undergoing the traumatic experience of a failed IVF, I decided to take a break and distract myself by getting involved in the wedding preparations of my sister. For most part Mid-2014, I was busy with the wedding preparations at home and used to commute from my South delhi home. My mother-in-law pressurized me to stay at home and did not permit me to reside with my parents fearing that I would reveal the entire matter to my parents behind her back. Even during my visits to my maternal home, my mother-in-law would send a Security personnel along with me to ensure that I returned home on the same day. Before we left for pre-wedding celebrations, Vijay approached me and threatened that our personal problems should not be shared with any other person otherwise he would ruin my life. Later during my sister’s wedding functions, Vijay saw me crying while talking to my sister. He immediately called his parents and accused me of disclosing his medical problems to my sister. My father-in-law and my mother-in-law got furious on hearing this and they started threatening me that they would ensure that my sister’s wedding is stopped. I begged them and told them that the conversation with was not regarding Vijay. They told me to immediately leave with them and not attend the wedding function. After much persuasion, they permitted me to participate in my sister’s wedding function on a condition that a security officer remains along with me all the time to keep an eye on me. Though I was subjected to such inhumane treatment, I concealed my emotions and pretended to be happy.

Immediately after my sister’s wedding, my mother-in-law started pressurizing me to undergo another round of IVF-ICSI. She said that these procedures require multiple attempts and only then a child birth would be possible. However, going by the past experience and the fact that my marriage with Vijay was troubled, I thought it prudent to wait for our relations to get better and then only plan for a child. Around first week of July 2014, I told my mother-in-law that if I were to undergo the procedure, I wanted to discuss the matter with my mother and also wanted her to accompany me to the hospital. On hearing this, both Vijay and my mother-in-law got furious and Vijay started shouting at me. My mother-in-law outright told me that if I did not undergo IVF-ICSI procedure, she would ensure that Vijay divorces me and they would find another match for him who could bear a child for continuance of the lineage. Vijay also agreed and said that he could find any number of women to bear his child. My mother-in-law refused to permit me to talk to my mother about this and also said that taking her along to the hospital was not possible. When I tried to reason with them, their aggression towards me kept increasing. I could not make up my mind to undergo the process of IVF. Finally, during the first week of August 2014, I spoke to my mother-in-law and told her that I was not mentally and emotionally ready to undergo this process and that I had sufficient time to conceive as I was only 26 years old. After hearing this, my mother-in-law again warned me that this decision of mine will have serious repercussions. Slowly, the behaviour of my in-laws as well as that of Vijay towards me worsened. They stopped talking to me or even responding to my questions. I was not even served food till the time I asked for it myself. They also withdrew all other amenities which they had provided to me for good two years. They stopped providing me a vehicle in order to prevent me from moving out of the house. Whenever I asked for my jewellery, my mother-in-law avoided returning my jewellery. Seeing the change in their behaviour, I used to call a close friend to take me out. Because of the stress, I slipped into depression thinking that I may be at fault for the ruin of my marriage. I tried to persuade myself to somehow undergo the IVF but I failed. I was unable to withstand the pressure created by my in-laws and I started thinking of ending my life.

I felt helpless as my sister had just got married and disclosing anything to my parents would ruin her wedding. I was extremely stressed and felt isolated which caused emotional depression. I used to cry in the bathroom and my mother-in-law showed no concern. At one point I considered committing suicide. I couldn’t eat or concentrate on my work. To overcome my emotional problems, I also took sessions with a psychiatrist. Vijay also stopped taking me out to social functions which added to my miseries. Even during our second wedding anniversary, when we all had gone out for dinner, I felt so dejected that I broke down publicly and neither Vijay nor my in-laws tried to console me. Immediately after the dinner, my mother-in-law called his daghtes and their husbands over to the house to talk to me and convince me to agree to the IVF-ICSI procedure. I resisted all their attempts only because I felt that a decision in haste would not only ruin my life but also the life of the child which may be born. Vijay’s brotehrs in law told him that he should use sex toys more often. They asked me to stay away from my social circle because they feared that I might divulge my problems to a friend which may hamper their social standing. Later Vijay told me that he was under a lot of pressure to take medical treatment for his impotence and our relocation to a foreign country would also enable him to think things through.

We visited Canada and London where we stayed with their distant relatives. In Canada, my mother-in-law and father-in-law started meeting real estate brokers to look for residential properties for me and Vijay. I was not keen to relocate out of India but reluctantly stayed quiet since they did not ask me for my opinion. In Canada, my father-in-Vijay nd mother-in-law taunted me for not conceiving with Vijay and said that despite doing so much for me they were only asking for a small thing in return which I should not refuse. After our return to Delhi, Vijay agreed to undergo surgery for correction of his penile curvature and we also flew to Bombay. Initially Vijay was scared about the results of the surgery but after counselling with thedoctor he agreed. Next day, I got Vijay admitted in Hospital. After the surgery, the doctor advised Vijay to not engage in any sexual activity for one month to enable him to recuperate. Using this as a pretext, my mother-in-law shifted Vijay’s belongings to another room and asked me to avoid any physical proximity with Vijay which may obstruct his recuperation. Initially I did not sense any mischief and continued to stay alone and also took care of Vijay. Slowly, my mother-in-law started preventing me from even talking to Vijay or administering his medication only on the ground that he was getting tempted to be close to me.

In December, when my parents came to meet me after a long time, they sensed something wrong with me and asked me to come and stay with them for a few days. I told them that I will talk to Vijay and then come over the next day. when I spoke to Vijay about staying with my parents for a few days, he bluntly refused and said that if you decide to step out of the house, then I will not call you back ever. Overhearing our conversation, my mother-in-law also stepped in to support Vijay. While both of them were shouting at me, my father-in-law came into the room and tried to control the situation. He rudely told me that if I wanted to go back home, then I could do so and that no one would care to stop me. I requested my mother-in-law to give me some of my jewellery so that I could dress up well before leaving but she refused. I returned home leaving behind all my belongings at Vijay’s residence. Since the events were too traumatic, I decided to stay for two days with my parents.

During my stay with my parents, I told them everything about my married life and the trauma my in-laws had put me through. Initially, they also tried to convince me to try and patch up with Vijay. However, during my stay with my parents, neither Vijay nor my in-laws ever called me to talk to me or enquire about my well-being. Sensing some serious trouble, my father spoke to my father-in-law and they decided to meet to discuss and sort out the matter. In last week of December 2014, my parents met my parents-in-law. Even before they could sit to discuss, my mother-in-law said that she wanted a mutual consent divorce for her son and was not interested in letting me back in the household. My parents tried to reason with them but my in-laws continued to be adamant on their demand. When I got to know about this, I tried calling Vijay but he did not answer the call. My parents tried to pacify them and we tried talking to them but they refused. They also blocked my mobile number which had been registered in the name of their company after my marriage. Around second week of January, after considerable efforts and persuasion, my father-in-law agreed to meet my parents again to discuss the matter further. My father along with my uncle  met my father-in-law and mother-in-law . Even though they tried to reason out with my in-laws, my in-laws refused. My father-in-law proposed a lawyer’s name to work out a legal solution to the problem. When we met their lawyer, he offered to prepare the documents for a mutual consent divorce stating the reasons that the couple were staying separate for more than a year and temperamental differences. My father objected to it saying that the truth of Vijay’s impotence should be the only ground for divorce and refused to make any false statement in the court. On this, my father-in-law said that if he were to say so, then he would also allege that I was leading an unchaste life, leading to breakdown of marriage. He also threatened to have me implicated in a false case of theft and told my father to consult a good lawyer because I had invited trouble by fighting with them

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