Today I was at a family court, where divorce cases are heard. As I waited there amidst couples who are no longer together, amidst pain, broken promises, broken hearts and wounded egos..I felt my limbs trembling. And a whole lot of energy rising in my heart. I could feel my head pounding with throbbing vibrations. And my stomach was churning. I was finding it tough to keep myself calm and maintain composure. The judge called a couple to the podium. And the old clerk ushered them in. The man was middle-aged and balding. He had two lawyers. The woman was in her mid-30s. she was with her aging father. The man had got along their 11 year old son and also his old mother.
The judge asked the woman why she did not want to go back to her husband when he was now ready to reconcile. At that the man’s lawyers put the boy in front and said, “your honour, look at this motherless boy, why cannot she come back even for him?” The judge looked at the boy and then again asked the woman, “Go back and try atleast for your son.” The woman said, “Your hounour you have no clue as to how much he tortured me. He used drink and piss on me. He pulled my hair so hard that a bunch of it came into his hands. Still I stayed on and one day he dragged me into the car and dropped me off at my parent’s place. There is more your honour, but I cannot utter them in public. I will share with you if you give me private hearing.”
To this the man said, “but now I am ready to change and look at your son.” The boy smiled uncertainly, the kind which is somewhere between love, pain and fear. The kind one sees on the faces of people going on a joy ride of a roller coaster.
The judge asked them to be quiet and spoke to the woman and asked her to wait and said that he would speak to her in recess.
When she was leaving the court room to wait outside, she called her son to her and embraced him and kissed him and said, “I love you son, but I cannot go back.” The boy was trying to be stoic and was biting his nails. He wanted to be brave. He came and sat next to his grandmother.
I was standing near the typist and waiting for my files to be admitted, when his eyes caught mine and for some time we were frozen in a gaze. He and I looked straight into each other’s soul. I told him silently to forgive his mother and father and himself. I told him try and understand your mother’s pain some day. Then I found myself warmly smiling at him and he smiled back. Grinning from ear to ear! Then suddenly he felt shy and ducked behind the seat in front of his. So innocent and pure. He got my message I felt.
My whole body was shaking with pain, grief, love and rage at the amount of constricted love that human kind is made to live with. I am surprised how I survived the energy of that place.
I too had gone to file for divorce!
I narrated this to two of my friends Hema Bhardwaj and Kiran Gulrajani. This is what they text me in response.
Kiran: “Everything and everyone is serving to awaken us…saying how may we awake from numbness.”
Hema: “It is sane to be shaking in rage and love and pain. In the fields of authenticity blossoms sanity…”