It hadn't ended with the bow that she'd have liked to tie it up in. And yet she wanted it not to end badly. She consulted nobody but her inner voice, and sent the letter. “I don't want anything. No alimony, no maintenance. I want nothing from the house save my books and shoes. I don’t want the house. Or for you to get me one. Keep the car; you drove it anyway. Keep the company, and everything we earned together...However, may we end peacefully?
“The answer was an email from the husband drafted quite clearly by a lawyer. His texts seldom exceeded the letter, K (okay). His love letters? None. Work mail? She wrote all of it. This was a seven-pager with a turn-of-phrase unknown to the man. It accused. It cursed, within the confines of legal language, and it ranted. It went to pains to secure him of everything she’d given up basis her letter. Basically, read backwards it said: how dare you move on?
Advocate Kranti Sathe in her Khar office. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
When you get such a reply to your profoundly Zen feat - breathe. Shake yourself, and do not cry. It is no longer between two unhappy people, ruled by emotion, even as they terminate what was to be happily-ever-after. This isn’t him, you wail. Or even, this is so like him. Well, either way, it is and it isn’t. It’s much of him and most of Tundra. Tundra? His lawyer who’s colder than the Arctic. Say hello to the twosome: divorce anger, which now defines him and Tundra, the divorce lawyer.
Months after she received the hate mail she decides to go see him. There’s nothing to fight, she reasons. She’d reassure him, yet again, and they’d be spared needless negativity. She walks up to his office unannounced. Quivers within but on the surface it’s a warm, sunny day. Knocks. Masks the tremor in her voice by a sore throat. Are you okay? Home alright? And office… we haven’t lost sponsors to our turbulence, have we? But all she says is, “May we please part amicably. Let us not come down to lawyers — there’s nothing to contest.”
Tenderness defined them in their early days. And this last meeting was just so. He relented. Yes, they’d end gracefully. A week later she received a notice of trespassing. She had turned to her yet-husband but now a man she does not know, the letterhead says F.I.G, addresses her as “your client.” Incidentally “your client” is Ebola. Only deadlier. Classic bitch. Stuck-up. Uncompromising. And her mission in life is to make “my client” miserable. “Heart broken.” It took a legal notice for her to reconcile to the fact that he hated her. And that he now had someone feeding his fury. Or rather, feeding off it.
Divorce acquaints you with much but the pick of the lot has to be divorce lawyers. Everything that shouldn’t go wrong will, now. Everything that can be clearly understood will be misunderstood, misinterpreted and misjudged. Accept it. Sit back. Be a spectator in the drama where you play the lead. And allow someone with absolutely no interest in you, your marriage or your life to take charge and unleash vendetta. Or not.
I got the best in the business, and told Kranti Sathe that I’m springtide, and never mind Tundra. Refreshingly, she turned out to be summer breeze. At my succinct and, perhaps, emotional brief: Get this over with, she did not sense an easy prey. Rather, showed me both spring and fall objectively. Promised success either way. But once certain of my certitude; added her sunniness to mine. And we chased nothing. Yes, nothing. A good lawyer fights for your pots and pans. But an exceptional lawyer allows you to let go, and pursue life instead.
Kranti allowed me my end, my way. Take a step back. Pause. Is it your lawyer or is it you? Seeking the end but not without inflicting pain or even extracting spoils.... There are givers and there are takers. There are the bearers of pall and the chasers of positivity. And these designates don’t change in the face of tribulation. Victims will be victims even as he leaves behind everything. And the victorious, in seeking that prerequisite equilibrium, shall not factor losing all else. And so, malign not Tundra. He is, for you are.
PS: Happy seekers, dial Kranti. Victims, beware! She’ll dislodge your raison d’être.
Nupur Mahajan is a sum of many parts. Ideas are her business even as her creative streak sees her straddle television, advertising, publishing, radio and brands. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.