“Are you sure you can make a life for yourself on your own after this?” I asked her, because I was concerned about her life, I wanted to make sure that she does not see ‘divorce’ as a terrible personal defeat and crumble under that pressure later. What actually happens may be a far cry from what one expects out of divorce. A wealthy woman can handle the situation of a divorce better, with less mental anguish, because she can be sure of her next meal….but this frail, young girl is totally ill-prepared for divorce- she cannot dream of basking in the luxury of alimony, nor can she think of parental support, but she says she wants a divorce. With a protective hand around her little daughter’s waist, she stood like a picture of determination, I could see a glint of confidence and self-assurance in her eyes, probably sprouting out of sheer emotional pain. I could feel the same mood in her daughter too, a mere five year old, who must have been treated like a ping-pong ball between an angry, hurt mother and a worthless, drunkard father. Though marriage need not cement or validate emotional bonds, at least it should assure decent life and security. If they also are put at stake, why should any one continue in a marriage? This is the question she asked me. I very well remember how her grandfather’s last wish on his death bed pushed her into wedlock with her maternal uncle, who was unemployed and a drunkard. When she came with a ‘mangal sutra’ dangling on her tender young chest, I knew that she will not be able to bear the burden of it, biologically and emotionally she was not ready for it.. She had dreams only of higher education, higher goals and aims. She, being our live-in servant’s daughter, grew up in our house, and I as a young bride, took to this little bright eyed girl of six, who smiled shyly at me on the very first day I entered my new home. Then began my journey as her mentor. I took pride in her academic achievements, I tutored her in school subjects, and also gave her the pleasure of teaching me some math- we were sure of subjects we were poor in. I gave my shoulder when she needed to cry over ‘less marks’ gave a big hug to celebrate over ‘good marks’. Though she called me ‘akka’ it always sounded like ‘amma’ to me. When she graduated from a good college, our whole house -hold rejoiced, at her grit and determination. But the flip side of her life proved to be her marriage. There is so much of imbalance between her and her husband- a case of throwing pearls before a swine. Now when she stood before me with that little daughter of hers, I felt I should support her decision. Today, after months of grueling time, she stands free, from a severely abusive husband and unsympathetic family. She is working in a good firm, she is single-parenting her daughter skillfully, instilling in her constantly the thought that she should never feel inferior and that there is a winner in her.Am I not proud to be a God- mother to a girl like her ???!