Though I have come across with so many cases with different faces, the face which I saw two days ago has lingered on haunting me time and again.
She was a young lady of aged about 24 or 25.Her name was Shenbagam.She looked ugly to the core. She was black in complexion with a oval face, protruding and uneven teeth, big eyes, bony cheeks, larger lips, abnormal height, a hoarse voice, with an unintelligible and incoherent speech, coupled with her uncanny dressing sense, but with a good physique of an ideal woman. But for her good physique, one may even mistake her as a transgender, but undoubtedly she is a female.
Through her unintelligible speech, I came to know that she went to school up to fifth standard but thereafter she could not continue her studies because of the recurring insults heaped upon her both by the students and by almost all the teachers.
She got married just fifteen days ago. Considering her looks, even though she was not interested in marital life, it was her father and her maternal uncle, arranged for the marriage and she was forced to marry her maternal uncle’s son. Her husband never spoke to her after the consummation of the marriage. It was her first and last union with her husband. With no reception from any quarter in the marital home, she was forced to quit the marital home a week ago.
Two days ago she met me. She narrated her experiences in the marital home, though it was only for a brief period. From the second day of her arrival, she was treated just like a servant maid. She was served her last with the remnants of the meals, left over by others. She was forced to lay on the floor, though she had been given a cot and a cushion bed by her father. On the third day, she was forced to give up all her jewellery On the fifth day, her husband brought his paramour into her marital home. On the sixth day she was forced to clean all the vessels of the family, wash the clothes of all the members including her husband’s paramour. On the seventh day, she quit the marital home. When she reached her parents’ home, she was treated rather as an unwelcome guest. Both her elder brother and his wife looked at her with askance, spewed venom upon her. Her father, an aged man was helpless.
When I heard her story I was terribly upset, though as a lawyer I was expected to be stoic and view things in a dispassionate way. She asked for divorce and maintenance from her husband. I explained the legal position that she becomes eligible for filing a petition seeking divorce from her husband only after one year. I agreed to apply for her maintenance.
I felt terribly sorry for her. I cursed the nature for endowing her with ugly looks. She might be ugly in her looks, but she was human with a beautiful mind.