When I met him for coffee, that was the first time we met in person,
Yet it seemed like I had missed all the signs,
I threw caution to the wind and sipped hot coffee as we looked at the river flowing by,
It was blissful in the Calcutta winter to find a piece of my own heaven with someone special.
Yet I had a strange feeling my stomach like something was amiss,
I ignored and dug into my food, brushing aside all the doubts.
That afternoon would lead to the first of many dates,
I did not realize I was a part of an endless wait,
I dressed in my pink Forever 21 dress thinking a night out at Park Street deserved it.
A voice in my head warned me to take it slow,
But I was in my high Steve Madden heels, all set to party and on the go.
I met his drunken friends at the party,
They thought beside him I looked too pretty,
Then they realized I had brains and was witty.
He seemed to be happy to let me soak in the limelight,
I did not realize I was drifting away into a spot that would be too tight.
I knew he worked in a MNC and had a great job,
His friends thought I was a social snob,
I knew I did not match their levels yet I thought love would work it all out,
Little did I realize he would only want me to pose and pout?
He had little ambitions and soon enough we ran out of conversations,
Even then I ignored the sinking feeling in my stomach,
I watched him and thought if I was weird,
To doubt someone and think they were vague,
Then he dropped the bomb,
I would be a part of his career abroad,
A pretty wife amidst his well-done interiors,
Tucked away in a small apartment in California,
I would be cooking away all day to soothe his appetite and indulge him,
My MBA degree would be of no use,
Cause Uncle Sam thought my qualifications were not of use to them in their country.
I would be decked up for every house warming and Diwali party,
Maybe go to an odd event alone that was arty,
Weekends would be about trips close by,
No one would realize and soon my qualifications and professional skills would become a file in the bureau.
I would be thinking of ma’s hot cup of chai and dialing the phone to converse,
While I would rethink why I had married him in reverse.
Giving up a promising career and leaving my family and friends far behind,
I had come to a new country to help my husband achieve his, because my ring finger had a golden band.
I had to slowly kill my dreams and squash any outrageous demand
I was a princess according to his middle class parents in a foreign land,
Only my pink pillow was wet every night with tears,
I had no one to share my darkest fears.
It was all fine till he came back home smelling of foreign cheap liquor,
I was his entertainment and legal solution.
I was living a life which was not a compromise but a fricken lie,
All I could do is live everyday and pretend to be happy during phone and Skype calls on the weekend,
I could not wait for everyday to end,
I thought of my 21 year old dreams fresh out of college,
Now they seemed faraway illusions,
I was trapped by legalities and being the dutiful daughter,
There would be nothing wrong with me every, nor could I be to them a source of bother,
I was living an Indian dream and playing the role of my life,
Only my emptiness within my soul knew what it was to be only “his wife”.
And relatives thought I had a life full of holidays and restaurant dinners,
Little did they know fate had shattered my confidence, I no longer felt like a school topper.
I was a part of a system, a society that thought marriage was the be all
They did not realize it only ended dreams and led to endless fall.
I snapped myself out of the reverie and went back to making mutton curry,
After all today afternoon’s lunch was all about impressions
I had to cook for my husband’s boss and colleagues
In my California kitchen my parents thought I was living life with bliss,
Little did they know every moment I was only thinking of them and trying hard not to miss.
After all I was a dutiful daughter in a foreign land,
The gold was now replaced by a solitaire wedding band,
Everything was allowed only my dreams were banned,
I was a pretty wife living a fancy life that looked so grand.