divorce – a termite

From Mayumi’s Diary..


Today is the 22nd anniversary of Sarath and my marriage that has survived this long and now suffocating to exist anymore. We tied the knot for love, to be precise for the love blossomed at the university. He is now an executive in a company, and I a lecturer at Colombo University. After the honeymoon years of our marriage, we have now got a twenty year old daughter, Nethra and an eleven year old son, Binura.

I don’t blame Sarath for all bitter things that followed since our bond started to fade with time. May be I was overlooking some of my mistakes. And I was never ready to accept them.. Still I’m not ready in front of him. That reason, that hollow ego may have worsened the already disputed situation. We had all versions of fights up to now, from trivial bickering to squabbles to serious disagreements upon things that do not seem to matter anymore.

One day Sarath confronted me about the status of our marriage. He very easily said, “I cannot do this anymore.” At that instant I was shocked. But then I had realized that this was obvious. It is not like I have not seen this coming. I agreed with Sarath without a tiny disagreement for the first time in a long time. Deep down in my heart, I’ve decided that I should end this muffled life.

Today we are going to discuss it with our children during lunchtime.

From a page of Nethra’s exercise book…

Today is the darkest day of my life. When we were at lunch, Papa told a thing that I have least expected to hear. -DIVORCE, DIVORCE -such a small word like a termite, how it changes lives at large.

  • D – Days
  • I – In one shelter with
  • V – Vivacity
  • O – Of belonging, without
  • R – Reconciling or
  • C – Coping with,
  • E – End.

I sometimes saw their arguments and verbal fights that continued for days. But I never thought of something like this. Perhaps I may have refused to see that possibility? Now what? Should I take care of Mama being the eldest child and a daughter? I don’t know. This is my first experience of a divorce. And I don’t expect any more of these experiences in the future.

I have always been close to Papa. Because he was more understanding. Mama is always in a hurry to fulfill daily chores, so that she overlooks important things. Papa gets to know when either of us – my brother and I – are upset. He comes to my room at such times when I cry behind a pillow and first of all instead of unrolling a list of questions like Mama, he tries to chill me up. He never noses into my personal things, because he always respected a person’s privacy.

But I love both of them equally. Sure that both of them have flaws and differences. Mama is frugal and Papa is a prodigal. Papa still cares about what he wears, but Mama does not give a second look at the mirror and fails spot even the creases of her blouse. Papa likes noise and Mama loves silence. But I have never thought of seeing this day. I want them both in one shelter. Mama could be the landlord and Papa can be the tenant, or if they like the other way, they can always switch.

Should I do something about this? Can I do something to reconcile them? Is there anything I can do within my range? I feel helpless, desperate and even hapless. Why us God.? Why did this happen to us? Will the court ask me whom would I prefer? How can I give an answer to that? Oh God! I want them both. Can I ?

Binura’s letter to Sarath..

Dear Papa,

Are you going to leave today? Are you coming after work in the evening? Why are you preparing your luggage? You only took it for our trips. If you leave, won’t you come with my favorite chocolate chips in the evening? From whom should I ask to bring me those chocolate chips if you are not going to come? Are we going to practice football in the weekend? Shall I wait for you? What should I tell my friends if they ask about you? What if somebody hits me or scolds me? What if my friends tease me? How can I tell you about those things? Papa I want you to stay for me to come to you at night when I feel scared of ghosts. I want you here to bandage my wounds.

Mama is here. But you need her to check the spellings of your office papers. Mama needs you to sew the rips of her skirts, because you are the our best tailor. And what about that evening-special coffee you both used to have together? How can both of you manage without each other?

Papa can you stay????

Your loving son.

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