The 10 Commandments for the Divorced Indian Woman


The 10 Commandments for the Divorced Indian Woman

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


very 20-something Indian can tell you of the pain that comes with being single. “Shaadi kab karni hai?” is every parent’s clarion call because of a fear that their progeny might run out of time and never procreate. Or worse, seek sex and happiness in friends and casual partners. The Indian version of Maslow’s Pyramid has a fourth level at its base that reads “Marriage and children”. You could be starving, penniless, and living from hand to mouth, but you always need a spouse to command some social credibility. Your mind, heart, achievements, nothing matters. Someone’s need to want you in their lives and bank account will determine the respect you command.

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines a divorce as “an official or legal process to end a marriage”. Very simple, no hidden clauses. The reality, however, is a set of Russian Matryoshka dolls designed to confuse and harass even the most patient people. Every time you think you have unearthed the final layer, there is another layer waiting to be discovered,  only to destroy your sanity yet again. A divorce is messy even if it is mutual; it becomes its own heady cocktail of mad rage, weird customs, misplaced righteousness, and tunnel-vision perspectives when you add family, friends, and social customs to the mix.