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The Fool

April 3, 2010

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 9; the ninth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

“I was such a big fool”! he said in a strangled whisper, with his face covered by his palms. “How could she do this to me, after so many years of our marriage?”

I was silently watching the man in front of me. He was number two in the list of richest men in India, his business was the largest conglomerate in retail, he had partnered with some of the world’s best luxury brands and was about to launch the Initial Public Offering of his company. He was a second generation businessman, who had made his father’s small venture into a worldwide known brand. He had everything going for him – fame, success, money, fortune, a beautiful wife – everything that a man wants in life.

“She was just 18 when I met her. I was the chief guest at the State Scholarship Programme where she was being felicitated for standing first in order of merit in the State.”

I stopped him. “You went there as a Chief Guest? How old were you, then?” Immediately I knew that was a very impolite question, but I had to know.

The 46 year old famous businessman answered with a smile. “I was 32 years and had received the “Most Promising Businessman of the Year” award then.” Before I could start the mental calculation, he offered the answer, “We have a 14 years of age difference, but that has never been a problem with us.” He looked at my raised eyebrows and his smile faltered. “She always used to say that she could respect me as a husband because of our age difference.” I urged him to carry on with his narration.

 I was stunned at my own courage. Was I actually doing this? I looked at the lawyer sitting across me, with a reassuring smile. “Do not worry. He will always want to settle it out of the prying eyes of the media. You will get what you want.”

I could not be so confident. That man was extremely cunning. He was, after all, one of the most brilliant businessmen in the country. I had struck him where it would hurt him the most. But now that the master stroke had been delivered, I was not so sure of my chances of winning. I may just end up being an utter fool. I was also nervous at the feeling of guilt somewhere deep inside me. After all, he was my husband of 12 years. “He is my husband, still,” I corrected myself. 

In the last 5 years in the profession, I have never come across such a case. When I received the call from my uncle asking me to meet Mr. Akshay Virat, I could not believe my ears. I asked my uncle again, “Is he THE Akshay Virat?” Now that the same man was sitting in front of me in my small 10 ft by 6 ft chamber, he no longer seemed to the ruthless, brilliant, super-famous and billionaire businessman, as portrayed by the media. He seemed to be just another helpless husband, whose wife had slapped him with a legal notice for divorce. “I want to keep this absolutely secret, at least for the time being. I cannot have journalists asking me all sorts of embarrassing questions. Moreover, the IPO is about to be launched. I cannot have my personal life ruin my company,” was his instant instruction to me. I knew that he had come to me not because of any superb legal acumen of mine, but because he was a close friend of my uncle, who had assured him of my integrity in confidential client dealings.

“I immediately knew that she was the person I wanted to marry. I was madly in love with the dusky, tall, lanky girl, with expressive eyes and an intelligence par excellence. She was due to join IIT, Kanpur but there was a problem.”

I looked at the man in front and realised how hard it must be for him to talk of his wife of 12 years. In one moment, she had turned all those tender moments into painful memories. divorce

I still remember the day he came to my house. Initially, I was surprised to see the renowned businessman standing at my door. Then I became acutely aware of my one-room small flat, an ailing father on the sofa and a toiling mother in the kitchen. My mother had just then, started one more of her tirades against father about how he was responsible for all our sufferings and how her daughter, despite being intelligent could not afford engineering studies. The look on his face told me that he understood everything all at once. “You should go to college. You are too intelligent to stop higher studies now,” was his confident take on my problems. I could not help but feel resentful towards this rich businessman, who did not understand why I took the decision of working instead of studying, thus dashing all my dreams by my own hands. “While you study, I shall take care of your family.” I was shocked, “But why would you do that?”

I still shudder when I remember his answer that sultry afternoon, “I love you and want to marry you. So I shall take care of your family just like my own.”   

I ordered for tea and asked my client to take a break.

“I was crazy about her those days. After I proposed to her in the heat of the moment, I knew that there was no going back. I had to have this girl. She was everything I wanted in my wife.”

I asked, “So when did you get married?”

“She took some time to say yes. She completed 4 years of engineering college and right after she passed out, we were married. I urged her to go for Masters in Business Administration and the next year she was off to Harvard Business School. She had an independent streak in her personality and I respected that. So, she never joined my company. She was busy climbing up the ladders of success in her organisation and I was busy consolidating my empire. We had the perfect life together.” He paused to gulp down the rest of the tea.

“What does she want now?” I wanted to cut the long love story short and get to the point. “I mean, apart from divorce, what are her demands?”

 I don’t know whether what I am doing is right or not. When I got into this marriage, it seemed to be the only right thing to do, then. I was young and ambitious, but from a lower middle-class background. I had dreams in my eyes but no means to fulfill them. Akshay came to me with promises to make all my dreams come true. He was all I had in front of me, to escape the drudgeries of life. I didn’t realise that even if I respected him, I didn’t love him. I thought I will learn to be a good wife and be the perfect woman he wanted me to be. But I was wrong; I became his wife, but never his lover. I simply failed to love him, despite all the love that he showered on me.

But I never thought I would be able to break free from my marriage, until the day he abused and hit me for making him look like a fool in a business gathering, when I mentioned my humble government schooling background to his business associates.

All hell broke loose after the party. I knew he was ashamed of my poor background, but never realised how savage he could be. In those moments of torture, I realised that I hated my husband. He was attracted to my intelligence and looks, but could not accept my past. He started on how I should be grateful to him for providing me with a good life and I immediately knew that there was never any love for me, but only a sense of achievement in winning me. I wanted to break free and live my life again. But I was also determined to teach the egoistic man a lesson. 

“I can’t believe that woman wants 30% share in my total wealth, two of my bunglows in the hills and one flat in the city! What audacity for a girl who could not even dream of such things a few years ago! I absolutely refuse to give her any of these.”

I added, “Not to mention all the jewelleries you had bought for her and 2 crores in cash.”

“Do you think the court will give her all these? She herself earns a lot.”

I nodded my head, “Her earnings will obviously have an impact on the amount of alimony that she is entitled to. But the problem is elsewhere. You will have to contest her demand and that means a long-drawn court battle. From the feelers given by her lawyer, she will not settle for less. So that means publicity and trouble for you.”

“No, young man. I cannot afford to have this being made into a huge issue by the media. They will eventually come to know of the divorce, but by that time, my IPO would be launched. Can’t you do something?”

I smiled at him, “Relax, sir. You won’t have to pay a penny to her.”

I never had the scope to breathe free in this marriage. I was always made conscious of my humble background, his favours in the guise of his love and his expectations for me as a wife. I was not living a life, I was just living my days. At least he should pay the price for my mental agony for the past 12 years.

“Why don’t you call a press conference and announce that you are divorcing your husband. This publicity will surely pinch him like hell, especially now that he has his IPO looming large,” my lawyer advised. 

“No, I won’t do any such cheap stunt. My private life cannot be made fodder for gossip in the media. Just make sure he gives me the divorce fast, along with my alimony.”

I looked at the lady and her lawyer sitting in front of me. I had just told them that my client was willing to give his wife the divorce she wants, but not a penny as alimony. “Then, we have nothing else to discuss. We shall meet in court,” was her lawyer’s reply. I requested them to sit down and think hard, since the consequence would not be pleasant for his client.

“What do you mean by that? What consequences of mine are you talking of? Only Akshay will suffer if he goes to court,” pat came her reply.

I called a constable inside my chamber. “One statement from this man will send you to jail. So please reconsider your alimony part and just settle with the divorce.”

Her lawyer was looking at me with narrowed eyes. “Do you think we are fools here? Listen, young boy, you are new in the profession and do not know what you are talking of. May I know how this constable can send my client to jail?”

I kept my calm and replied, “If this constable lodges a complaint that your client intentionally caused or attempted to cause disaffection towards his profession by any act or conduct of hers, she can be booked under the Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act, 1922 and thrown into jail for minimum of 6 months.”

The lawyer jumped up. “What nonsense! What is this law that you are talking of?”

I handed over a copy of the enactment. “Please have a good read. I hope you can then understand the grave consequences, sir.”

The lawyer was staring dumb-found at the few pages of the archaic law which is little-known but still prevalent. He looked like he had just been made a complete fool. The lady quietly spoke to me, “I withdraw all my alimony claims.”

Its time for me to celebrate my first successful case. 

divorce_pic

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Disclaimer: It is fiction and NOT based on any client of mine.

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31 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2010 2:20 pm

    Awesome post….And you are so good with human emotions…the male need for power, the sense of achievement…..the understanding of true love….Awesome, really is! And am a lawyer too, so may be I loved it even more!!

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 3, 2010 3:58 pm

      Thanks 🙂 Being a lawyer yourself helped you appreciate the trump card played by the narrator in winning the case for his client without dragging it to court.

  2. April 3, 2010 3:53 pm

    Good story.. many times it is the lawyer who makes things difficult .. and of course people have their ego.. I guess the woman was right.. a normal woman in her situation (with her intelligence and access to money through good job) would not want to live on the money of her husband….

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 3, 2010 4:03 pm

      Thanks 🙂 That is the common misconception tha lawyers make things difficult. A good lawyer will always try and simplify things for his client, like here, the narrator did 🙂
      The wife didn’t want to live off her husband’s money; as I said, it was more a case of teaching him a lesson for humiliating her humble background.

  3. April 4, 2010 12:55 am

    Why did you put the disclaimer at the end? it all seemed so plausible 😐
    Lol, great post though.

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 5, 2010 7:06 am

      I am happy to know that you thought the story was plausible 🙂 Thank you so much..

  4. April 4, 2010 4:05 am

    Your stories are getting better and better!

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 5, 2010 7:07 am

      Yayy ! thanks ? 🙂

  5. April 4, 2010 10:02 am

    the plot is on the right tracks….
    the narration is gud in parts…
    liked the fabrication 🙂

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 5, 2010 7:07 am

      Thank you, Mahesh 🙂 Do point out the negatives, too..

  6. Saravana Kumar permalink
    April 4, 2010 11:06 am

    Good One.
    Sensible too 🙂

    Yours Frendly,
    Saravana Kumar M

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 5, 2010 7:10 am

      Thanks 🙂 Why sensible? Because the husband won? 😉

  7. April 4, 2010 2:34 pm

    the story was lengthy,
    but the way you wrote it, i just couldn’t resist myself reading it
    very well written

  8. April 4, 2010 6:00 pm

    Wow… nice one 🙂 very nicely written……

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 5, 2010 7:09 am

      Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for your appreciation..

  9. dmanji permalink
    April 4, 2010 11:32 pm

    A very nice story and I was thinking about the poor lady who paid for having hired a lawyer without enough knowledge ….
    Cheers
    Dhiman

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 5, 2010 7:09 am

      Thank you! Let’s not blame the poor lawyer; he just got stumped by a smarter lawyer 😉

  10. Sourabh Biswas permalink
    April 5, 2010 4:51 pm

    Excellent story. Felt sorry for the lawyer though. 😉
    Yet another of one of the many instances where ignorance isn’t bliss.

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 5, 2010 6:02 pm

      Welcome to the blog and thank u so much 🙂 Very true – lawyers by nature of their profession should always be in the know 😉

  11. April 5, 2010 5:29 pm

    hmm…interesting read; i enjoyed it, though i didn’t quite understand the ending. what did the constable have to do with anything?

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 5, 2010 5:56 pm

      Under the mentioned law, if the constable files a complaint against the lady that any of her acts or conducts caused disaffection towards his profession, then she can be penalised. He was brought into the picture to pressurize the lady to withdraw her alimony claims…

      Hope that clarifies 🙂 and thanks 🙂

  12. April 6, 2010 11:37 am

    I love the way you narrated the story, the flow of it is really good. Enjoyed reading it 🙂

    Good work!

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 8, 2010 12:45 pm

      Thanks, Lena.. I am so glad that you liked it 🙂

  13. April 6, 2010 4:05 pm

    WOWO.. You know 80% of this is my story so far, THe only difference is not married.. that was to be end of this year.. But the girl anyway This post hit a nerve … I WAS A FOOOL…… or Made a fool 🙂

    but moving on…

    This was a excellent article…

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 8, 2010 12:46 pm

      Really???!!! It feels nice to know my story struck a chord somewhere with you.. Keep visiting and thank you so much for your appreciation..

  14. April 8, 2010 7:27 pm

    You are a great narrator, as you already must know… and even though I am really fond of the Law, the complete meanings of these Acts and stuff (in their most law-ish language!) sometimes elude me. You are free to call me dumb! 😛 🙂

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 9, 2010 11:02 am

      Hey, thank you so much 🙂 I shall tell you a secret – the law-ish language of law eludes many law students in the initial years, too 😉 Hence, I shall obviously not call you dumb 🙂 Chill!

  15. April 12, 2010 12:00 am

    hi Deb,
    firstly sorry. the blog didnt open for me for some reason during the last week.
    i read ur story of course, from my Google Reader and found it quite well narrated too.
    finally, it has let me come comment. and here i am.. 🙂
    i liked even that PS in the end 😀

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 17, 2010 10:38 am

      Hi, better late than never 🙂 thanks for your wonderful comments..

  16. April 12, 2010 10:38 am

    Excellently narrated. Liked the way you ran the narratives parallel from both the perspectives. Did not get the technical law point in the end though as I don’t have law background but like it when people incorporate such technical details into the story.

    Couple of feedbacks – Somehow I felt trying for money did not suit the character of the female protagonist. I would think a self respecting woman with a IIT and Harvard degree would only want to get away from this kind of husband. If you say revenge is the motive, I can’t think why she would want to revenge herself on someone because of who she has her IIT and Harvard degrees.
    Also I found the end a bit tame. Did not have a ‘Wow’ feeling.

    Posting after contest as I was out of town.

    By the way if you have time do check out my contest post as well. The Fool – FOOL

    • debosmita permalink*
      April 17, 2010 10:44 am

      Hello Fool, welcome to The Fool 😉 I can understand the technical point eluding you and that kind of prevented you from having the ‘wow’ moment. I realised that my layperson readers was not being able appreciate the twist in the tale for no fault of their own 😦

      On the point of the female protagonist trying to extract revenge in the form of alimony, well, all I can say is such a method is adopted by a woman, who is frustrated by the fact that she hates a man who has done so much for her; who felt that may be one day she will grow to love him, but failed. Gratitude, when forced, is a strange emotion…

      You will surely say a big ‘wow’ in the next post 🙂

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