Sacrificed dreams – this will probably how my autobiography will be titled, if I ever decide to write one. My story began as a very calm, simple and yes, sacrificing girl. Right from my schooling in an MCD school, I followed the path decided upon by my parents at every stage in my life. I was always encouraged to excel at everything – no, not to become successful and independent, but to become an ideal wife in the future.

My dad passed away when I was just six years old. My childhood was all about looking after my mom and siblings. I never got the time or the chance to think about myself.

Then one day, my mom told me that she had chosen a man for me. Obviously, I was not ready to take that responsibility. However, all I could say was a feeble ‘yes’, even if my eyes gave away how tired I was of shouldering all those unwanted obligations. Without complaining, I surrendered myself to my mother’s wishes – and to my husband-to-be.

However, a few days into married life, I realized how difficult the road ahead was going to be. My husband tortured me to no end, shattering me both mentally and emotionally. I had no option since my mother had already undergone a lot of pain in her life, and I did not want to burden her with my worries as well.

In 2002, I gave birth to a daughter. When I first saw her, I felt that she was my ray of hope.

The next time I was expecting, my husband forced me to abort as he said that his family could not afford to maintain another child. Neglecting my opposition to this, I was taken to the hospital thrice. Fortunately, however, all abortion attempts ended in failure.

Scared, I rushed back to my mother’s and told her about my wish to go on vacation. Meanwhile, my brother-in-law helped my husband get a job in Mumbai. I still remember the day when my life went from bad from worse. I was at my mother’s place, just six months away from having my second child, when I stumbled upon a note my husband had left. It said that he would be unable to maintain us, leaving us to our cruel fate.

This broke whatever little strength I had in me, pushing me into a vicious depression. I had no clue how I would raise my children. Thoughts of suicide became an everyday affair, and the only thing that desisted me from putting those thoughts into practice were my kids. They were my motivation to keep going.

When my in-laws did not accept me, blaming me instead for the loss of their son, my mom decided to take the responsibility of the three of us.

However, I did not want to rely on anyone. I started reading books and working hard, teaching myself the tasks of a beautician. It took me some time, but eventually I was able to become independent enough to pay for my children’s expenses. I take a lot of pride in the fact that my daughter is presently studying in one of the best engineering colleges in the country.

Meenakshi Bisht defied all odds to give her kids the upbringing they deserved

I really feel very proud of how far I have managed to come in life. And I have nobody to thank for this but my near and dear ones, my children and, of course, books.


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