Yasmeen’s maiden name was Sujata. After getting married to her Muslim driver she changed her name to Yasmeen and converted to Islam. Yasmeen or Sujata is my mother-in-law’s neighbor.
When she was around 19 years old her parents decided to get her married. She was a beautiful girl and ever since she was 14 years marriage proposals came for her. Her parents took her out of college against her wish and got her married with many shenanigans. She was a reluctant and unhappy bride though.
Within a fortnight of her marriage trouble started brewing. Her husband and his mother used to tease and taunt her at the slightest context. They criticised her for everything. They didn’t like the furniture that her parents gifted, they felt she didn’t bring enough jewelry, and then they started to force her to ask her parents to give more money.
Within a month she got pregnant and this was the time when instead of taking care of her the family started torturing her for more dowry. She was beaten and starved. Her life became hell. On the fifth month, her husband kicked her so badly in the stomach that within a couple of days she miscarried.
She used to complain about this to her parents but instead of supporting her they always asked her to adjust and not leave the matrimonial home. The torture increased with each passing day. The only person who probably understood her pain was their driver Amzad. In fact the day she miscarried it was Amzad who took her to the hospital.
Often her in-laws used to starve and lock her in a room. In those days Amzad used to supply her food through the window. Sujata’s parents knew about her ordeal but they believed that things would become better slowly. Her father used to give money to her husband whenever he demanded. Her parents were scared that if they did not fulfill the demands then they would send Sujata back to them and they wanted to avoid abandonment at any cost. They were scared of the social stigma more than the death of their daughter.
One night the torture became unbearable. Her husband entered the room dead drunk and started beating her mercilessly with a belt. Sujata couldn’t take the pain anymore and she ran out of the house and straight went to Amzad’s house. She pleaded him to give her shelter. Within few days Sujata converted to Islam and informally married Amzad. Her parents disowned her.
Amzad got a government job as a driver soon after getting married. They shifted to a house nearby to Sujata’s parents but her parents refused to talk to her. They even didn’t speak to her when they met in the market. Sujata looks happy in her new life but her only sadness is that even after so many years her parents feel that what Sujata did was not only wrong but a sin. They blame Amzad for everything. They never feel that it was Amzad who saved their daughter but feel that he broke her marriage, converted her and made her life sinful. What can we say about such blind parents?
P.S: Names have been changed to protect identity.