Updated: October 26, 2021 8:48:53 am
Bollywood actor Evelyn Sharma has turned into a podcast host with Love Matters with Evelyn Sharma. The podcast, co-produced by The Indian Express and DW (Deutsche Welle), discusses relationships, sex, and everything else that impacts people’s lives. In the latest episode of Love Matters with Evelyn Sharma, comedian Kaneez Surka opens up about her divorce and the stigma around it in society.
After hearing from a listener who had just gotten a divorce, Kaneez recalled how difficult it was for her. She said, “It took a lot out of me to take that call. It was not just leaving the marriage—the personal idea of leaving where my life was going on. My life came crashing down. I was taught as a woman that a man would look after me. I was 24 when I got married. I was such a baby. I was so young. I thought life was good and great. I met my ex-husband through his brother.”
She added, “I thought it was a love marriage, but he thought it was an arranged marriage. From the start, we were on different pages. We both came from the same sect of Islam and same community. That was important for him. He already had an idea of marriage when he met me. But for me, I came from a liberal background. I could marry anybody. That was not an issue. I also had this different idea of how we would date. However, as soon as it got serious, he proposed to me.”
Things began to quickly unravel after the first day of marriage. “After our wedding day, we had a huge fight. I thought if we should call it off. It was a struggle from day one. Three years later, I was just exhausted. There’s a lot of pressure on women to make the marriage work. I booked relationship and sex therapists. I was clawing at anything, just to find out why it couldn’t work.”
Kaneez Surka also mentioned that a woman’s validation in the eyes of the world depends upon her marital status. “When a woman gets married, she’s suddenly this valid adult in the world. I got divorced and I felt the invalidation. A lot of people were talking about me behind my back. A family member, who I was so close, thought that I was to blame,” she said.
Luckily for Kaneez, her parents were supportive. “My parents were very supportive. They knew I was having a hard marriage. I remember my dad teared up and told my mother, ‘I think this marriage is killing my daughter’s spirit.'”
At a wedding, when asked about her marriage, Kaneez Surka clearly said that she was divorced, which surprised her mother, who wondered whether they could begin to tell people. The comedian said, “I am not ashamed. This is not a secret. I knew that this was the best decision. No gossip would make me feel like I have taken the wrong decision.”
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