Benefits of Being Hit by 498A
One of my favourite opening lines of a book, The Adventures of Griswald Gnome: A Fairy Tale for Children of all Ages, are – “A reformed deformer, searcher of research, a regrind grinder, one who once faltered, but reflated and did rejoin as a joiner. If I might presume, I’m going to lecture you. This statement is my testament; my supreme objective is to preserve the perverse.”
And I am all of them. This piece is a lecture, which is perverse. This is the story of how I faltered in my life and reflated. This is how I researched and yes, I am reformed from the person who was in depression and finally got rejoined with my son and (current) better half. 498A was the best thing that happened in my life ever since I got married for the first time. And it was nearly 3 years apart. And as re-iterate this piece is a perverse lecture of benefits of being hit by 498A. I don’t say that the law is not draconian. But, I have a habit of finding positives in the most negative situations. This attitude has served me well in life.
Imagine you feel frightened to get back home. Imagining the worse mood swings your partner would be having. Having spent her day watching useless television, she would be ready to pick up a fight on this thing or that thing. Imagine that after the back breaking day she would keep you awake till wee hours of morning just to have a discussion on the topic which we had discussion on 100 times in the past. 498A was a break from all of that.
Benefit 1, It ended: I had once filed for divorce before I was hit by 498A. But, for the sake of my child and under the pressure of family and society, I compromised and brought my lovely 498A wife back. Some people however don’t change. Soon the same grind restarted, affecting my moods, my health, my work and my peace. When she filed a complaint in Women Cell, I sighed a relief. I knew instinctively this would be the end. Yes, 498A is hell. But as Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.” I refused to bring back my wife despite pressure from DSP and much to the chagrin of my immediate family as I was facing a certain imprisonment. Trust me, time in jail was much better than time with my 498A wife. I slept for upto 20 hours a day making up for the lost sleep. More often than not 498A means divorce is certain, whether in 6 months or 6 years but it is a given thing.
Benefit 2, I started smiling again: I remember the phone call I gave to my MD after I got released from imprisonment. He asked me in his style, “Hey Young Man! How are you?” I replied “Terrific”. His response is what was golden, “It’s good to hear terrific from you after so long.” Yes, that was real me. Always smiling, always laughing, always happy, always cracking jokes. I had lost the real me in the marriage. 498A brought back real me. Not only I started smiling again, I smile more broadly and laugh more loudly ever since and through the trial as well. When would you smile if you see the same unhappy, fighting and brooding person the first and last thing in the day. And what happens at home is reflected in every walk of your life.
Benefit 3, My health improved: There was a time in my marriage, when my acidity levels were very high. My blood pressure levels went too high. I was gaining weight and often had heart burns. Some people even suspected that my 498A wife was feeding me some nefarious substances. In any case, I think, it was her mere existence in my life that was nefarious. With her gone, my health started improving. I lost weight, my blood pressure has never increased ever since and I have no heartburns or acidity problems.
Benefit 4, I started meeting people I loved: I am a people’s person. I love people. I love talking to people. I love mingling with people. Be it my teachers of the yore, my uncles and aunts, my childhood bums, my cousins, my colleagues from wherever or the person I met at last weekly meeting. I love people because interaction is my lifeline. I learn from them. I work with them. I chisel my ideas with them. I play pranks and have fun with them. A bad marriage puts stop to all of that. Ever pestering and ever doubting spouse can be a pain in the neck. And when the spouse was loner and all she wanted was me taking care of her. I have had enough of this isolation. And four years of my cases. Not even a single day, I did not had at least two invites to spend evening with. It is a different matter that I could not accept all those invites and they kept on piling and getting repeated. But yes, I started meeting people again. Unlike I hear from most people, only two of my so many known friends and acquaintances ever avoided me after I was hit by 498A. And for them also, I say – Good Riddance. And did I love it? But that’s next point.
Benefit 5, You may find Love: If I were to write a book, it would be titled “Love in the time of 498A”. No doubt if the writer would tolerate my perforation of the title of his celebrated work, he would also tolerate my twisting his famous quote to “There is no greater glory than to wait for love.” Right after I was hit by 498A that I met a woman, who complements me and completes me. She did wait for over four years for her own conviction and faith in me. She also stood by her decision when most of her family was against it. To find such a person even after the ordeal of jail visit and long trial is worth it.
Benefit 6, My passions found an outlet: I was very fond of reading. To the extent that initially, my 498A wife used to call books as her “Soutan”. Soon, she started treated books like the real “Soutan”. Me reading a book was a cue to start a fight or invent one. With Mrs. 498A gone, my allegiance with books deepened. This time there was a purpose too. I got hooked on to law books amongst others. This website is just a fraction of what I have learnt from my renewed mistress – books.
Benefit 7, I found a Mission: There comes a time in your life when everything you have learned and done culminates into a defining decision. For me, my wife’s filing of false 498A was just that. I made it into a mission that not only will I bring back my son, get my family members out of this whole mess (both of which I did) but also to help others who get caught in the claws of this draconian law. After I defended and won my 498A and got my son back, I put all my energies to fight 498A and its allied laws. In last 5 years, I started a NGO- Sahodar, through which meet victims of Gender-Biased laws every week, I created this website through which the awareness reaches beyond boundaries and time zones, started “Sahodar Support Whatsapp Groups” for the current victims seeking support and legal advice, which incidently have grown to world’s largest men’s rights support group having more than 2800 members as on date.
Some of you may call me lucky but luck is the residue of preparation. I was a layman with little understanding of law like most common people. But I persevered to prepare myself to fight this battle. I am sure that going though 498A is a life changing experience for most of us but to make that a positive-change is completely dependent on the person who goes through it.
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