The legal dangle
My divorce case was in the mediation phase. Mediation if you could refer internet, would say a third party mediator facilitates meeting of two parties in a lawsuit. But my mediator had other plans.
It was the second round of mediation then. I went all prepared. I had to be more prepared since I was going to share space with the same person who I dread, the same person whom I had once trusted blindly, only to be cheated upon in all possible ways, my ex.
This is how the second round progressed…
Sensing the hostility between me and my ex, the mediator decided to talk with both the sides separately.
I was trying to make my point clear – “I don’t trust leaving the child with her father living in a different country even if it is for two months. The proposed change in terms of visitation is not acceptable to me”.
The mediator added. “I completely agree with you. Just now I attended a case where a girl was ..”
“I don’t want to hear anything about any other case”. I had to cut him short. “I am concerned only about me and my child”.
I think my voice had trembled a little.
Gaining confidence, he grinned and added: “I am coming to your city to visit my friend soon. I am hoping to have some fun time with you there. Alone.” This was not the first time the mediator showed such behavior. He had tried making bawdy comments last time too.
I had to call the ‘discussion’ off. I wanted to look into his eyes and bore into his soul, but I couldn’t. Instead I fixed my eyes on the calendar stuck on the wall behind him. Words started gushing out of my mind and the mouth echoed it.
“Sir, I have made my stand clear on the case. I would defend my child’s safety until my last breath. And for your offer, with due respect, women reach this stage when they run out of all other options in life. It is never joy or escape for them. They are seeking protection from Indian Judicial System. People like you, who are guardians of justice, should not capitalize on our helplessness”.
The mediation attempt was not a success for the case. Riding back home, I started analysing everything that happened in my life till date. After all, the divorce was not really a bad thing. It helped me gain the confidence to stand for what I believed in. The lengthy legal struggle, taught me how to voice my opinion in a very diplomatic way. I became financially and emotionally independent. When every plan on future went haywire, I learned to live in the moment. And today I added a feather in the cap – I fought back subtle sexual harassment from an authority.
As I was writing my journal, my daughter interrupted. “Amma, do you regret marrying father and having me?”
I faced my daughter and looking into her large baby eyes replied. “No. I don’t regret marrying your Dad, because you are worth all the trouble I go through. You gave me the noblest reason to live for. You are my hope for a better future, and it is never going to change”.