My teachers loved me because I was counted as one of the most brilliant students in grade 9. Despite of poverty, support from my parents helped me get education. I wanted to become a doctor and serve my parents and the country. We are 7 siblings. My two brothers and two sisters are elder than me and are married. Two of the brothers are younger than me and study in grade five and four. My father is a laborer and my elder brothers work with him. In such a huge family, it is possible to fulfill daily needs in less income but it is not possible to bear the expenditures of the education. I know tailoring and embroidery so I used to bear expenses of my two brothers’ and mine education through the earning I made from tailoring and embroidery.
Life was smooth till our family went through the tragic incident of my elder sister’s death during pregnancy, which killed her child too. It was unbearable for my family as we loved her a lot but to her in laws, it was just normal. Her mother in law came to our house shortly after her death and shared that she wants to marry her son off. It was quite appalling for me but my shock doubled when I came to know she was here for my proposal.
Listening to this, I felt myself numb. My all dreams shattered as I wanted to study further and aimed to do so much in my life. My father tried to explain them saying, “Shazia is just 15 years old and too young to be married. She is getting education as well. How can it all happen so fast?” My sister’s mother in law was continuously forcing my father to accept the proposal. To my surprise, my parents agreed. They thought it is hard to find good proposals, so it is better to accept it and the burden of a daughter will also be lessened. Enraged, I collected all my energy and went to my parents and told them firmly that I didn’t want to marry. On this, emotional black mailing started and my father said that he has accepted the proposal already and he can’t take a step back now. He asked me to save his respect and not go against his decision. I didn’t have any other option but to accept this decision of my parents.
Hassan Ali was 14years older than me. He already was a mature person and took good care of my needs. I also did my best and ran his household properly despite of being too young. After a year I gave birth to a baby girl through C-Section. My health suffered a lot being a mother at an early age. Doctors advised to have considerate gap before the birth of second child. My husband was with me in this regard but my mother in law ordered us to have the next baby. She wanted to have a grandson and according to her it becomes difficult to give birth at the late age. Her attitude already got worse on birth of a girl so we decided to have a baby to calm her down.
With all this, my health condition was getting worse and I was unable to perform well for the house chores. My mother in law failed to understand my condition and said that I was making excuses. Regardless of how much she taunted me, she used to create misunderstandings between me and Hassan. Whenever he used to come for holidays, she would empoison him and then he would scold me for the mistakes I didn’t even commit. Instead of care, the only thing I got was advices to be a better person.
After pain and complications of 9 months I gave birth to a son again through C-Section. I fell seriously ill. My parents were guilty of their decision and were very upset about the whole situation. They took very good care of mine and after recovering I came back to Hassan’s house. Doctors recommended one month bed rest for me. One week after Hassan went back, my mother in law sent me to my parents’ home saying I don’t do any work at home neither would I leave the bed so she can’t do all the work by herself and handle me along with my children. She failed to understand that I was not healthy enough to do all that.
I was very worried about it all and used to cry every night. One day I came to Bedari with the CPC member from our village. Team Bedari gave me courage and soothed me saying my husband seemed sensible so I need not to lose hope. They told me they will meet Hassan once he comes for holiday. I wanted Hassan to take me home and take care of me and my children. When Hassan came, team Bedari met him. On discussing the issue, Hassan told that he wanted the same but was bound due to his mother. He was also unaware from what his mother did leaving me at my parents’ home. He said that I will live at my parents’ home until he manages to arrange a separate house for us. Meanwhile, he will bear the expenses for the children and my treatment. Bedari conducted separate meetings with us and provided us information about each other’s rights. They made us realize that the joy of our lives is associated with each other.
Despite of his mother’s disagreement, Hassan managed to take a separate home stating that it is better for him and his family. Finally, Hassan took me to a separate small house which was not less than the heaven. We are very happy and the reason behind our happiness is Bedari. I will fulfil my incomplete wishes by educating my children.
Note: The names used in this story are changed.