Nyah, a pretty, bubbly and charming woman changed into quite the opposite, after a few months of marriage. She seemed more distant, reticent to talk and rather unsure of herself.
"What's wrong?" Amaka, her colleague at work asked, one day, realising that something was bothering her friend. After much cajoling, Nyah finally confided in her.
"Every single thing is wrong Amaka!
From the fact that like Lusala, my husband,
says: I am not as beautiful as his sister; I can't cook like his mom; I am not as qualified as his brother's wife; to the fact that the company I work for, is not as reputed as his!
" She said looking visibly upset.
Amaka felt sorry for her friend, but realised that Nyah held the key to solving her own problem.
"I just heard what your husband thinks about you But what I want to know, is what do you think about yourself?" she asked.
"Well, I think each one of those comparisons is unfair! My husband's sister was born more beautiful, there's nothing I can do about that!
His mother has been cooking his favourite dishes for ages now; I'm still rather new to cooking to match her experience, even if she gave me her 'top-secret' recipes!
The qualification his sister-in-law has is not even relevant to my field of work! And yes, the company he works for--is more reputed than mine--but so what?" Nyah replied.
"When you're wise enough to realise all this, then why let Lusala's words affect you so much?" Amaka asked her puzzled.
"Because, I feel there may be some truth in what he says," Nyah spoke hesitantly. "Like what?" Amaka wanted to know.
"Well, if I lost some kilos; I'd certainly look prettier. If I practiced more; I could cook better.
If I increased my qualifications; my job options would be more and joining a more reputed company--would mean higher pay and perks!" Nyah stated introspectively.
"If that's how you feel about things, then what's stopping you girl?
Instead of looking like your world has collapsed all over you--just go ahead and make the changes you want!" Amaka said with a smile.
"What's stopping me is the fear that after doing it all, it may still not be enough for Lusala.
There are times, when I suspect he is a very insecure person and just says all these things to make me feel bad about myself--so that, I am always under his control!" Nyah responded.
"Fair enough Nyah! Then, don't do it for Lusala...do it for yourself--for the good it will bring you!" was Amaka's wise counsel. However, it seemed to fall on deaf ears.
"What's the point of doing it Amaka? Every day, I try my best to please him...
to make him love me more, but all I ever see in his eyes is a growing disinterest and indifference towards me!" Nyah said in utter despair.
"When you do not love yourself anymore! When you do not respect yourself; or even admire yourself anymore! How can you expect Lusala to do so?
" Amaka reasoned with her friend, trying to drive home the point.
The words seemed to hit the nail on the head and Nyah saw reason in them.
Enlightened by the conversation, she understood for the first time, how she had lost her old-self in this self-draining mission to make Lusala love her more.
She now embarked on a new journey of self-love and self-discovery instead. She enrolled in a gym; got back in shape; accentuated her looks and made it a point to look her best.
After months of diligent practice, her cooking skills also started surpassing those of her mother-in-law.
As she discovered with the help of Google and You Tube, her mother-in-law's recipes were not that 'top-secret' after all!
Not content with 'just-average,' Nyah went on to upgrade her qualifications too.
And much to her own surprise; after some serious job hunting--she landed a prized job opening in the same company in which her husband worked.
"So, what did Lusala have to say about your new job?" Amaka asked Nyah on hearing about it.
"He just kept quiet! He maintained pin-drop silence! Lusala doesn't have much to say anyways these days, you see!" Nyah laughed, delighted about her changed circumstances.
Posted by Moushumi Roye Dutia (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)