In this episode of Ganatheya Dudimegagi Navu Manushyaru, we present the second part of the life story of Asha. Here she recounts all the experiences she had after she shifted to Bangalore from her mother-in-law’s abusive home.
One day while still at her mother-in-law’s home, Asha consumed poison to escape the tortures of her family. The most unbearable part of living there was the constant sexual harassment from her husband’s brother. When it became a police case, her husband manipulated her to lie about being depressed and suicidal. Even after this incident, the sexual harassment continued, while her husband disappeared, never to return. Instead of helping her escape, her mother-in-law demanded that she “adjust” with her elder son as Asha’s own husband had no plans of returning to her. “She said to me, just do what he says.” Frustrated beyond belief, Asha left the house and shifted to Bangalore. She had to make this journey alone as her family wouldn’t let her take her baby with her.
Bangalore brought Asha more misery. Her parents and sisters refused to support her and she chose to stay with a friend, who was engaged in sex work. To support herself, Asha joined a garment factory and started living alone. Living alone proved to be tough so she drifted into sex work to get by. In time, she met a man who was a friend of her brother’s and her own former classmate. She decided to marry him. The marriage was rocky as he constantly suspected her, a sex worker, of cheating on him with other men. She has grown addicted to alcohol but had found work at the NGO Swathi Manae. Sex work is behind her now.
Asha has also tried getting back in touch with her son, but her former family has brainwashed him and he refuses to speak with her. Today, her husband works as an autorickshaw driver. Both of them drink heavily to numb their sadness and somehow float about in life.
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