Sumera B. Reshi
Mehjabeen Akther, 25, a resident of Hanjiwere Payeen, works as a domestic help in uptown Srinagar. Six years back Mehjabeen got married to a cab driver (Nasir Ahmad Reshi) who lives in an adjacent area. It was a love marriage and worked well until she gave birth to a son. The affection and love turned sour. Cupid turned his back from her. Her husband started quarrelling with her every now and then. Life no more stayed rosy. The glitter and fragrances vaporized once the relation turned acidic.
Nasir was a changed person and his indifference put the life of Mehjabeen into jeopardy. She lost precious years of her life waiting for a person who she loved the most but Nasir was no more hell over heels for Mehjabeen. A beautiful dream turned into a long chilly night.
They lived separately (away from parents) due to family issues. Nasir’s family didn’t endorse this marriage and didn’t recognise Mehjabeen as their daughter-in-law. Earlier, Nasir did everything to lure Mehjabeen for marriage but the kinship turned acidic once Azaan Hussain was born (her first son). The birth of a son gave immense happiness to Mehjabeen. She thought things will change for good but she was unaware of the ill-luck that awaited her. Indifferences grew after each day. Instead of love, a wide gap filled the gap.
Mehjabeen and Nasir lived separately away from Nasir’s parents. Later both of them went to live with Mehjabeen’s parents and lived there for three years. Nasir was very caring earlier but then he started beating up Mehjabeen. Benevolence turned into malevolence. They began to fight often on pity issues. And the time came when Nasir’s parents settled the issue with their son and invited both Mehjabeen and Nasir to their home. For sometime everything went on smoothly. It was neither smooth nor a turbulent ride for Mehjabeen. It was a compromise on part of Mehjabeen. Her life became a living hell. Yet she decided to live with Nasir. Alas! Things went from bad to worse. Nasir and his family closed all doors for Mehjabeen and her two kids (Azaan Hussain (5), and Zaid Hussain (3). Inner hatred heightened to an extent that it led to divorce.
“It was a forced divorce. Mehjabeen was dragged to this decision”, said Gh. Qadir Sofi, Mehjabeen’s Father.
What happened to Nasir is an enigma for Mehjabeen. She is yet to comprehend the situation. From a bright light, her life metamorphosed into gloom. Nasir fell prey to drugs. Today, he is a drug addict and consumes drugs. Her often loses his wit and in that unconsciousness he loses his decision making power.
Azaan and Zaid are unaware of the situations. They are ignorant of the things happening around them. For them, few coins and some toys make their life. As of now, they live freely, roam here and there not knowing what is in store for them. Mute and immaculate innocence is visible on their faces. They have no idea what they have lost and what is in offing. They are lost in their childhood. What lies in store for them? What are they heading to? At least they need something to hold to. They shouldn’t go to sleep empty stomach. And to support them, Indo-Global Social Services Society (IGSSS) pledged to help them out from future despondency.
With the help of a local advocate, Bashir Ahmad, IGSSS took her case to a local court (Pattan Court), filed the petition and received a court order on 24th December, 2012 in which the court ordered to give three of them (Mehjabeen, Azaan and Zaid Hussain) monthly compensation of Rs 1800/- each which comprises Rs 5400/- per month. The second hearing of the case is on 2nd Feb, 2013. However, Mehjabeen got the custody of her kids until they achieve an age bar of seven (7).
Earlier, Mehjabeen had attended RTI workshop organised by IGSSS. She was so impressed that when this tragedy befell her, she sought the help of IGSSS. That is why IGSSS linked her with Legal Aid.
The organisation (IGSSS) can’t return salad days of Mehjabeen but they have vowed to help these innocent and young souls. At least Azaan and Zaid should have a decent living until they grow up and enter an age where they can decide their fate and future strategy.