September 8, 2015
We got married exactly a year ago, Rhea thought fidgeting with her fingers.
He was late for the counseling. Two counseling sessions were compulsory if you file for mutual separation. Maybe divorce was as bad as they say. Why is Rhea so unemotional about it? She didn't want counseling. She just wanted this to be over. It would take a year to get over.
Rajveer arrived 30 minutes late. She was sitting in the counselor's office alone. He asked her about the marriage. She just said she was not happy, so she couldn't make him happy. She didn't bother to register or remember the counselor's name. Dev Maybe?
She had to bunk a whole day of lectures and travel three hours to reach the family court.
Rajveer didn't want to get divorced. He came to visit her a month before. He fell to her feet and cried like a baby. Rhea calmly asked him to leave and asked the security guard of her building not to let him in again. She went out to the stationery store near the building and printed a cropped, grainy picture of Rajveer. She stuck it on the guard's office wall and wrote below," Please don't let him in." In Hindi, English, and Marathi.
Rajveer's father was worse. All he cared about was his reputation. He never appeared even when the court summoned him.
Rhea and her parents spoke to the head of their religious community in Rajveer's city. She had to show the scars on her body to a lot of people. She had to write down everything that happened, which was another ordeal on its own. The head eventually forced Rajveer and his father to agree to the divorce or they would get ostracized.
And now he was late. He was expressionless when he arrived. "Sorry I'm late," his voice irritated her. She was shivering. The counselor noticed this. "Hello. Please don't be late next time or I'll have to mark a defaulter here. I'm Dr. Dev your counselor."
"Hello, Doctor. I'm Rajveer," he chirped with a wide smile on his face. He turned and looked at Rhea, "Hello."
She looked straight, didn't say a word.
"It's better we have your sessions separately. Rhea, I think we've had our chat, you may go home," Dev said.
She was giddy with relief. She breathed a sigh, thanked the counselor and left. She ran out of the court, got into her car and left immediately for Mumbai.