You Only Live Once

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Casually, I asked her, while we were working in the kitchen, “Where does your husband work?”
She replied, “He doesn’t work”.
“Is he unwell or needs a job?” I asked with concern.
“Actually, he doesn’t want to work. I support him and my kids”, she explained.
“Isn’t he responsible for his family?” Her calmness baffled me.

“My requests to him to work for our better future has always resulted in abuse. How long can one endure that? I’ve made peace with my situation. I’ve learnt to let go. After all, you only live once”. She said with a contented smile.

Write Tribe Prompt
This post is inΒ responseΒ to Write Tribe Prompt # 3
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42 thoughts on “You Only Live Once

  1. Goes to show different people have a different take on “you only live once”. This doesn’t seem all that uncommon in India though. The term “contented smile” at the end there indicates to me that she’s quite happy with her life. And surely, that’s what’s most important?

    • Instead of cribbing or being frustrated about it, she has accepted her situation. She has moved on. And that has given her the inner peace hence the contented smile. πŸ™‚

    • I guess, once we accept the things that we cannot change, we get some kind of insights/understanding… and this helps a lot.
      I read this somewhere about dealing with such situations: β€œName it, claim it, and let it go.”

    • Oh yes, it is certainly not easy. And what stumped me was that an uneducated person (never been to a regular school, I mean) like her is so wise and mature in handling her life’s trials and tribulations!

  2. I don’t know who you have in mind,but,our maid has an identical story.
    One feels so sorry when one sees or hears of such people.
    But,we have only one life.

    • This is the story of my maid. True, there are so many of them who have to lead a life of abuse and misery, very few are able to come out of such sorry situations, though!

  3. wise lady although life must have been really harsh for her to accept reality so coolly… we have so much to learn in life, will keep this line in mind the next time I feel like cribbing…

  4. Isn’t this the plight of most of the maids in India?? And I know many educated Men also doing this!! But I like the spirit of your protagonsit. She is taking the situation head on instead of crying over it.

    • Very true, even educated men subject their women to a lot of physical and emotional abuse. This is my maid’s story and her outlook towards her life taught some big lessons. Another thing I like about her is that she is always smiling… a difficult thing to do under the circumstances… but not for her!

  5. How many of us are really contented with life! I still remember my growing up days when we had not a tenth of the material possessions or worldly pleasures that our children have and we were contented with life. But our kids want more, and perhaps, this more will never be enough…sigh! Gone are those days. ..I must give it to that lady who has come to terms with her life and what it has to offer!

    • Agree with you, times have changed dramatically and so has the contentment or satisfaction levels. What this lady has taught us is that… there will be challenges in our life, always, tackling them with a positive attitude, makes all the difference!

    • The sad part is that she was never asked… the decision was just dumped on her and she had to do that! The worst, the decision was taken by some council… not even her family! 😐

  6. Good post, Shilpa. This again shows how far today’s Indian women have come, they are no longer choosing to be victims of family’s decsions or situations but have the conviction to step out of their painful circumstances and find a ray of sunshine elsewhere. Best of all, they are ready to work hard for it.

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