A friend of our family was abandoned by her husband nearly 25 years ago. The woman was forced to leave her husband’s home along with her just born daughter when the entire family turned against her & her husband watched her humiliation. Her parents became the rock of her shattered existence as she struggled to put back her life together, with a daughter, without a husband. The husband never left her entirely. He came & went as it suited him & she allowed this because she felt her daughter needed a father.
Her daughter & I grew up as friends & hence I would frequently visit their place. I saw the woman stuff herself with all sorts of unhealthy foods & grow fat as she neglected herself. But more strikingly I saw her visit all sorts of astrologers. Her parents were staunch believers in Karma & hence did not like her over dependence on astrologers & their predictions. They opposed her fervently while her come – and – go husband mocked her. He would make fun of her as she visited these astrologers & practised whatever solutions they came up with for her. She read holy books, fasted, visited temples near & far, did a great amount of charity. The years went by. Her daughter grew up, the lady grew fat & slowly but steadily her faith in all the predictions & astrologers abated. Today, she is far more stable mentally than she was 25 years ago as she sees that her daughter is on the verge of settling down. She herself will soon retire & with the wisdom which only bad experience brings she is ready to enjoy all her carefully made investments.
Today after many months I had gone to their place & ironically the husband sat there reading a holy book. The daughter told me he does that quite frequently now. He has started visiting temples & astrologers & reads a great deal of holy books. When I reminded her that her father hated all this devotional stuff she replied now he doesn’t. His own mother has abandoned him & has settled with her daughter & is leading a life of leisure. He is homeless as his old home fell down & he never saved enough to buy himself a new one. He says he finds solace in the holy books & worship now. Also, he has reduced to a quarter of what he was before. A very healthy & active man once, today he falls ill at the slightest exertion. He no longer eats much.
If only he had tried to understand that solace & peace of mind is what his wife sought when she poured herself over the religious tomes when he left her alone all those years ago his story might have been very different today. If only he had tried to understand the pain his wife swallowed down with the junk food & cared for her he might not have been sitting with his family as a guest.