“Mummy, where is my Papa?”, Ziva blurted out the question angrily as soon as she entered home from school.
Natasha stood frozen in time as she tried to find a right answer for a simple question.
“Maa, why don’t we live with my father?’, Ziva asked again as she jolted her mother.
“Ziva, we know the rules,we should wash her hands as soon as we enter house. Go, freshen up.”, she tried diverting her five-year old daughter.
“No Maa, you do this every time! I want to meet my Papa. Everyone in school had come with their father today for Father’s Day celebration. I also want my Papa.”, revolted Ziva as her cheeks turned red in anger and tears rolled down her eyes.
She kept sobbing for hours, as Natasha tried to console her and fought an internal battle of how much truth to tell her daughter. It was not that she had wished this upon herself. Six years back, no one could have imagined that Natasha would be a single mother. She was happily married to Ananth, living a life of perfect housewife. Balancing her job and home efficiently.
Things took a wrong turn when she got pregnant and her in-laws came to live with them. It all started with hushed voices that they wanted a male child in their family. She took it lightly until Ananth told her that they will get the sex determination test for the fetus. Natasha became adamant and refused to accept his demand. What followed was months of mental abuse.
All hell broke loose, when Ananth tried to hit her in her eight month of pregnancy. She called her parents and left with them the following day. Ziva was born a month after this incident and no one from Ananth’s family came to visit her. They told her to dump her girl and only then she would be allowed to enter the house.
Last year Ananth had tried fixing things and wanted to come back to Natasha. But, it was already too late now and she could not trust him again. Thus ,she became a single parent raising her daughter alone. She has taught Ziva to be brave, bold and independent .
Today words failed her as she tried to explain Ziva the reality of their lives.She knew someday Ziva would look for answers and might question her for leaving her father. But, her daughter would understand why she choose lesser of two evils. Raising a child alone was better than raising her in a family where she was unwanted.
This post is my Day 2 post for #Barathon 2018 and prompt was ‘Lesser of the two evils’.
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