Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)
TITLE: Let's Go!
By Helen Murray
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My husband’s words breaking in upon my married felicity should have set the alarm bells ringing.
“Australia! But we’re doing fine right here.” My mother had been insistent on the education of her daughters, and as the beneficiary of that I had an excellent career happening right here at home. There was no need to go away. I had a happy marriage, a beautiful son, and was lacking nothing of importance, so why a move to Australia.
“My family are out in Australia. They are very successful, and making very good money. We should go there and take our chances to do likewise.”
Yes, his sister was there with her husband, and the old parents, and certainly all the news had been good. I had to do some fast thinking. Leaving my own dear mother and sisters was not going to be easy, yet leave I must, for the sake of my husband, who had his mind set on Australia. It wasn’t as if we’d have nobody there – a whole family awaited us. My education would be the guarantee of access for all of us, and they would sponsor us as well. It was certainly a very good opportunity. Eventually I let him talk me around.
The day of arrival was remarkably different from the day of departure!
On arrival there were cries of joy, hugs, tears, sweet passion at Tullamarine airport, even before we clambered into the cars and wound our way through the beautiful gardens of Melbourne to a delightful white, two-storied mansion overlooking the river. There we took tea in the gardens, Aussie style, and then barbecued an unfortunate lamb for a delectable meal, woven between tales of old and new cities. Melbourne was good to us, and soon there was a new job, right in the line of my profession. This was going to be wonderful after all. Melbourne was full of every nation under the sun, so my fears of standing out from the crowd became simply a laughing matter.
I wrote my sister how wonderful it all was and encouraged her to come out also, with her new husband, and after a couple of years they also landed in Australia, a mere 800 kilometres away.
Those were the good days, and there will be good days again.
Today I returned to India. Welcome there was, but sorrowful. The bruising on my arms and neck were covered by the Australian skimpy fashion and I was glad to trade these clothes for the more loosely comfortable garments of home. My little son skipped gleefully by my side, shining two limpid, deep brown pools of water at me and assuring me that we would be alright now because he was here to protect me, bless him. One of my very first tasks would be to enroll him in a good primary school, and then go find a job to pay for it. I had arrived home penniless.
I had been so blessed to get out with him! I had been imprisoned in my sister-in-law’s home, subjected to beatings by my husband, listened to her constant reminders about how useless I was and how much I owed them, permitted no money, and afraid lest I should also lose my son. I had borne it for so long, but finally had to admit to my sister the truth about how we were living. Tickets awaited us at the airport – if we could manage to get there. My precious, distant sister had arranged that. My heart was beating so the whole world could surely hear it! A prayer – one of those helpless prayers – just simply “Help us Father”.
HE did. He sent the taxi man, one of our nationality, who understood all the bullying conversation that was going on. The family had to save face. The result was wonderful! They threw us out. Sister-in-law literally threw out my packed bags. They screamed at us to go, making it seem like our shame, not theirs! The taxi man loaded the belongings into the boot and away we sailed on the road to freedom and sanity, via Tullamarine Airport. My racing heart took rest there. How simply God, who hates violence, (Malachi 2:13-16) answers our prayers!
It was a puzzle, how a man can be such a delight to share life with, and how it can change so suddenly, dramatically and drastically, when he is surrounded again by his own people, the culture of his birth.
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