"Trudy, is everything ok?"
"Does he shout at you?"
"Is he beating you yet?"
Hema and I were standing in the kitchen. Her face and voice reflected deep concern. I almost laughed. Mike doesn't shout, and I can't imagine him beating any lady, especially his wife.
The same three questions, asked in the same order were repeated time after time for six months after I arrived back in England as a married lady. One by one the ladies would get me alone, usually in the kitchen.
These Gujarati ladies were my firends. In many ways they were like sisters. They had helped me celebrated my engagement "Indian" style!
After asking the fourth time, Hema looked at me in exasperation. "Trudy, you don't have to hid anything. You can tell us, we understand. We want to help you."
These dear ladies could hardly image a husband who never beat you. Once they realized that Mike didn't lay a hand on me, they relaxed. Mike became their hero. He became their "guru" (spiritual teacher). If they had a problem or a deep question they would come for a visit. Yes, we would talk, laugh and drink endless cups of tea. But it was Mike they turned to for counsel and the answer to their questions.
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