Lakshmi married Aravind when she was just twenty. Her education was upto tenth grade in her village school. Aravind owned a small shop and they lived happily for a while. But then Aravind had an ambition – to become a Cinema Director.
Soon Aravind and Lakshmi moved over to Chennai, the film-capital of the South. Aravind did not want to do any other work and spent all his waking hours looking for a chance in movies. Meanwhile they had two children – a boy and a girl.
The responsibility of running the house fell on Lakhsmi. Lakshmi, like any other wife had enormous confidence in her husband’s talents and went out of the way to support him. She did odd jobs around, worked as a part-time nurse, ayah and maid and provided for the family.
Aravind did not earn anything. Lakshmi did not mind. She even gave money to Aravind quite often so that he can go around the studios looking for work.
At last Aravind got a break. He joined a famous Director as his Assistant and learnt more about the tricky trade. In a few years he was given a chance to direct a movie which was a big hit. He never looked back. He was booked for a dozen movies and the whole family was bathing in luxuries for a while.
When Lakshmi thought that she can now sit back and enjoy life, she was in for a rude shock. Aravind got too intimate with a buxom heroine and announced his decision to live with her. Lakshmi, because of all the hardwork and responsibilities, looked much older than her real age and was no match for the sexy heroine who spent all day in beautifying herself.
Of course Lakhsmi was not on the street. But nothing in life is more painful than ingratitude and when that comes from someone close to you, well, there could not be a greater hell.
She had enough money to live a normal middle-class life. She reconciled herself to the harsh realities of life and started focussing on her two children. She brought them up nicely and with some difficulty could provide education upto their school-final level. Now the elder son was ready to go for a professional course. He wanted to do engineering. Lakshmi did not have that kind of money.
Lakshmi’s mother was living with her at that time. When Lakshmi was worried about the cost of her son’s education, there was good news. Aravind was now exasperated with the sexy heroine and he wanted to re-unite with Lakshmi and his sons. Lakshmi discussed the matter with her mother.
“It’s a godsend Lakhsmi. Don’t even think about it. Welcome him home. You see afterall men are men. We womenfolk should just grin and bear it. You should accept him, if not for your sake, for the sake of your children. Your son can go to the Engineering college. And your daughter can dream of a decent marriage.”
Lakshmi accepted Aravind in a confused state of mind. Aravind was however a completely reformed man. He cried and was even ready to fall at Lakshmi’s feet for the wrongs he had committed. He told her that he was now a changed mand and promised on his children’s lives that he would never go astray hereafter.
That night, after the re-union festivities were over Aravind and Lakshmi had some time to themselves.
Aravind held Lakshmi’s hands and said, “Lakshmi, I have given you a lot of pain. But in spite of all that you were true to me. I don’t deserve you, dear.”
For a second there was a glee in Lakshmi’s eyes. She hugged her husband and said in a very clear voice.
“You also should forgive me. I was not always true to you. When you were away I had an affair with my cousin. Loneliness was killing me. I was simply driven to that. But it was over soon. My mind is very clear now. That was the reason I could easily forgive you.”
Aravind was furious now.
“You slut! How dare you confess your affair to me! Do you think I am such an idiot to be cuckolded? I have had enough. You are destined to suffer alone for the rest of your life. Go to hell.”
Aravind walked out of the house and marriage again. Lakshmi was unruffled. For what she said was a blatant lie.
Her mother was furious.
“You selfish girl, you have ruined your children’s lives. Even if you had had an affair you should have kept quiet. I know you were true to your husband,. But why did you lie to him, when he had come to you as a changed man? See your children are suffering for your crime.”
“Ma, my identity is more important than my children. I was ready to forgive him for his affair. I wanted to know whether he was matured enough to accept an affair from my side. What I said was a lie. But it brought out his true colours.
He thinks I am a doormat which will accept anything. I wanted to tell him that I am a human being with feelings and emotions. If my children suffer it’s not because they are my children, but because they were fathered by a crook who had no scruples.”