“I wish more women realized that helping another woman win, cheering her on, praying for her, or sharing a resource with her, does NOT take away from the blessings coming to them. In fact the more you give, the more you receive. Empowering women doesn’t come from selfishness but rather from selflessness” Selene Kinder I had posted a story ‘A Mothers Resilience’ yesterday. This is a sequel to how her husbands, brothers wife manipulated the most vulnerable moment to profess her superiority and destroyed the marital relation of my friend. To begin with a little background about my friend who was also my colleague then. She was a successful working woman unlike her sister-in-law who was a housewife and had a 5 year old daughter then. My friend adored her daughter and there was never a time when she did not shower the choicest gifts to the girl or her sister-in-law. She never had siblings of her own so she really loved her sister-in-law like her own sister. To me the sister-in-law seemed more like a conniving lady. I have always been a very skeptical individual perhaps someone who trusted her instincts more. In this case here was the reason why. My friend conceived a month after marriage and reportedly a month and half later this sister-in-law of hers got pregnant too. The part where she called to inform my friend about her conceiving seemed less of a coincidence and more of something she planned, felt more like competition. My friend hushed me saying how I am so critical and judge people. We even had a small argument over it. The d-day arrived and you are all aware about how the baby was born. But what I got to see that day was something that blew off my mind. Remember I mentioned how the family never informed the critical condition of the baby to the mother. This was something planned and directed by this so called babhi of my friend. Since I was not a family member I couldn’t speak much but I kept a hawks eye on this woman. Sometimes during crisis your instincts speak and while I noticed my friends hubby frantic and desperate hearing the condition of the child I could literally sense an eerie relief displayed by this babhi. There was this sly mode of happiness in her eyes and she was constantly discussing something with my friends hubby and it felt more like a complaint about my friend than a family member encouraging him to be strong. I felt like a critique then and kept saying to myself just be quiet. But I was proved right. Initially this babhi thought that I don’t undersrand Marathi but her silent conversations with other members of the family was something that proved my instincts to be right. When the in-laws family came in she pretended to cry and equally blaming my friend stating she was the reason the baby was in that state. She gave more importance to work resulting in the baby to be born with lung issue. And when her family came in she seemed to have these light happy conversations. I was already seething with fury. There she was this woman, a mother to be not only ruining the marriage of another woman but feeling happy and superior seeing another woman in distress ! There were times when my friends hubby accepted and started blaming his wife followed by other members of the family. I felt helpless. On one end my friend lay there unconscious unaware of how critical her child was and on the other end there was this woman who was manipulating the situation to her benefit. The drama queen did not stop there. I heard she went home with her family collected a few neighbors and was literally mourning as if there was already a death in the family !! All this to gain attention and prove that she was the only woman in the family who cared for the well being of her husband and brother, her kid. I could literally see and hear how much she had made my friends husband hate her. At that point of time his wife seemed a culprit to him. Someone responsible for the critical condition of his child. Its sad how some people manipulate vulnerable moments and destroy relationships. Throughout those 25 days I was unable to say much to my friend. Although I could sense how disappointed her babhi was with the turn of events. But she was successful in creating the rift between my friend and her hubby. Damage had been done. Whenever my friend called to discuss she told me he still blamed her and he never looked up at her as his wife after the incident. They are not divorced but there is nothing between them. I did tell my friend later about what transpired. She said she knew as during the 25 day stay at the hospital many a times he confronted her saying his babhi told him that his childs critical illness was due to her and had even slapped her once when she tried to defend. This time when I met her we had a long conversation. She was in an unhappy and loveless marriage. But she stayed for the sake of her child. As for her babhi, ‘karma’ is like 8 they say, what goes around comes back around. Her whole agenda was to have a boy child to show her superiority as the elder bahu of the family. But as fate had it was a girl. She had blamed my friend for being a bad mother, a twist of fate her own negligence costed her the life of that child at 3years. Women being an enemy of another women is a curse to all womankind. Instead of empowering our fellow women we try to bring them down with jealousy, showing superiority. Its high time we practice what we preach and empower our fellow women , uplift them instead of letting our own kind down.