Today's Thought: “A medicine cat has no time for doubt. Put your energy into today and stop worrying about the past.” -Erin Hunter, Rising Storm

Me, My Husband and Schizophrenia

Arti Arlene Martyris

Schizophrenia. That is what Atharv suffered from. My loving and most kind husband, whom I left to suffer when he needed me the most. I’ve been sorry for a few decisions of my life, like when I was in my early twenties, and I had fought with my family to marry Atharv before I almost eloped with him. Then when I got pregnant and aborted our baby without informing him. There were a few other things I have done that I am not very proud of, but for leaving him alone with Schizophrenia, to suffocate for months, I am ashamed, even today, after 20 years have passed. 

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that can be found in people of all ages. It is a mental disease that controls the affected person’s way of thinking and behaving. From the cases that I’ve read about, patients suffering from this illness tend to lose touch with reality. I’ve seen my husband hallucinating, seeing delusions having thoughts and movement disorders, and it is very disabling.

My name is Vidya Thakur now. It used to be Inaya Hussain before I was married to the love of my life. I am a widowed mother of two beautiful and successful businesswomen. I’m 75 years old, and this is my story. 

It was the December of 1980, the old-fashioned era, but those were the best days of Bollywood. As for me, all I had for entertainment then was a radio and a yearly visit to Raja Ram Cinema Hall. Atharv, however, belonged to an affluent family. He had a personal television in his bedroom and two German Shepherds to play with, in his backyard.

“Inaya, I can’t do this. I don’t want to go to to London. My parents are trying to get me married to foreigner. She is Dr. William’s niece, but I don’t love her, I love you.” Atharv was telling me with tears in his eyes. “Can’t we just run away?”

“We can’t. I mean I can’t. My dad will get a heart attack if he learns that I have eloped with a Hindu boy. The society will laugh at him, and my little sister. No family would want her hand in marriage. You know that. In fact, I can’t even be out of my house like this. I’m supposed to be wearing my burkha not a salwar kameez.” I said pulling my duppatta up to cover my head. “Do you know what my father would do if he found out?” I was sad, with tears in my eyes and a handkerchief in my hand to cover my face incase somebody sees us sitting alone on a bench in the park. I had made us both cry by telling him that we needed to end our relationship or we both are going to be killed by our families.

“Alright, I should go or they’ll come looking for me.” He said, and left to go horse-riding. It was his weekly routine with his uncle, Brijesh. 

Brijesh mamaji, the villain of our love story. He destroyed his own family, took advantage of Atharv’s sickness, ruined his career and eliminated every bit of moral values that his parents might have ever put in him, only to get his hands on my skin. Ironically, Arthav worshiped mamaji with all his heart. He loved him and respected him more than he respected his own father, Ranvijay Thakur. 

“I don’t like Brijesh mamaji at all Atharv. I don’t like the way he looks at me.” I was telling my sweetheart while we sat beside a tree in the forest. We met once a week on Sundays, it was when we was allowed to go out roaming with his driver in his father’s vintage car. 

Mamaji loves you as a daughter, Inaya. He is the only one who knows about us and is making arrangements for us to elope. After my final exams next year, I am not marrying Dr. William’s niece, you and I will be gone from here.”

Days passed and the exams were over. It was a Friday evening, I was going home from my music class. A child came running to me and handing over a letter. I opened it immediately, and it was from Atharv. He said to be ready at 1 am that night. We were eloping. I was ready, this was all I wanted. But then I thought about my family. How it depended on my father’s income, and our home was mortgaged. My only sibling, Saman was still in school. The last thing that my father needed to hear was his elder daughter eloping. I waited for Atharv to tell him I won’t go. Exactly at one a horsecart arrived at our door. I quickly boarded the cart and immediately hugged love with joy. We kissed and the cart began to move.

I was about to tell him that I can’t go with him when he whispered to me, “I can’t wait to touch your body.” I smiled a little, but then I thought of Mamaji and his lustful stare. It was dark in the cart, so I reached out to his mask to touched his face and it wasn’t Atharv. The disgusting beast pushed me back on my seat and tied my mouth with a cloth. I screamed but the rider did not stop the cart. He began pushing his sickening hands inside my clothes, and I was screaming on top of my breath, struggling to get away from him. Luckily my leg pushed a wine drum off the cart and it hit a few people sleeping on the street. I heard them abusing the driver and rushing to hit him with stones. I managed to push Brijesh away with a jerk and lurked out of the window waving my hands. These people saved me that night. They ran toward the cart to help me. Within a minute we were surrounded by the locals and the cart was made to stop.  

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I told the whole story to Atharv’s father that very night as we were taken to the Thakur. Atharv was there, he admitted that he loved me and was planning to elope with me. Thakurji, immediately offered me his son’s hand in marriage as compensation to what happened to me. Mamaji was not jailed as I had wanted him to be, but had lost his job, his reputable status in society and Atharv’s respect. We were happily married within a month.

After two years, Aradhna and Isha, my darling twin daughters were born. Things were going well until one day when I returned from a puja ceremony with my 8 year olds, I notice Mamaji was sitting in our drawing-room, right next to Atharv. My husband had been acting strangely since the last few years. He talked less, didn’t enjoy the cinema like we used to. He has lost all his friends and had even stopped going for his favorite horse-race sport. 

He was sitting here with this animal sort of a man, and crying his eyes out. I told my daughters to go to their rooms. 

“What are you doing here?” I said to Mamaji. He didn’t respond.

“What is he doing here, and why the hell are you crying? What the hell is going on?” I screamed at the top of my voice looking at Atharv. 

“I am sorry beti..” I heard the pig speak. Once again that disgusting voice, that I never wanted to hear in my life.

“Don’t call me beti.” I made it clear, very sternly. “Just get out of my house.”

He left and I went straight to my bedroom. I was getting a headache. I threw my bag on my bed. 

“Sweetheart, I didn’t know who to talk to.,” Atharv said, as he followed me to the room and closed the door. “I am seeing Danish again. He has come back. Mom and dad do not understand me. Mamaji is..”

“Don’t take his name in this house. He tried to rape me have you forgotten that? Haan? Have you? Because I haven’t Atharv. I wish I could take off and burn the parts of my body that he touched. How could you bring him back to our lives after what he did?” I broke down in tears and sat down on the bed holding my head.

“It’s been over ten years..”

“So? Am I supposed to just forgive him and forget everything? Haan? Tell me. Look at me I talking to you damn it.”

“I don’t know who else to talk to?”

“Why can’t you talk to me?”

“I can’t talk to you Inaya.”

“Vidya” I said correcting him as I glared at him with rage. “According to your parents my name is Vidya, so just call me that for God sake.”

“You are my Inaya, I will call you Inaya.” He said, softly as he sniffed and wiped his tears. “Danish says not to talk to you or he will hurt you. He doesn’t like you.”

“Fine, I have no idea who this stupid Danish is, and I don’t care anymore. I can’t stand this son of a bitch visiting my house. It’s been a year since now, who the hell is this Danish? If I tell people that you are talking to someone who does not exist they just going to call you insane, and I don’t want that for you. Damn it, it’s almost as if I don’t know you anymore Atharv,” I yelled and walked out of the room to get myself some water.

The next day I packed my bags and took my daughters along with me to my mother’s place. Was I selfish or was he? I don’t know but we both wanted to feel better. It was sad that we were feeling better without each other. Mamaji moved in with Atharv while I was gone. I didn’t write to him for two months expecting him to come take us, but he didn’t.

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It was killing me inside to not be near him, so I decided to visit him. I left the girls with my sister and went to the house with my mother to see him. She rang the bell several times but it went unanswered. As I pushed the gate it opened.

“Why is the gate unlocked? Where are your servants?” said my mom.

We went inside and Atharv was sitting alone on our bed, staring at the wall. He looked at me and smiled. My eyes filled with tears as I saw him sitting there, disturbed, hurt, and forgotten. I ran to hug him but he ran further away from me. 

“Don’t come near me, I told you Danish doesn’t like it.”

“Who’s Danish?” My mom asked. “What is wrong with you beta?”

“Maa, wait in the kitchen, let me talk to him,” I said to my mom. She left and I went inside the room. “Where is Mamaji Atharv?” I asked him, “And where are the servants? Why is house in a mess?” 

“Atharv,” I said again, but he was lost somewhere. He slowly walked towards the window trying to catch something in the air. 

“What are you doing?” I said to him.

“Atharv,” I said softly, too scared to disturb him but eager to understand what was going on in his head.

“Can you tell Danish that I love you, and I want to take care of you?” I couldn’t hold my tears back, my husband was devastated. I could feel the pain he was going through. He needed me and I had to do something. 

“Danish is not here.” He responded pointing at the garden outside. “He is sitting outside.” 

“I want to talk to him. I am going outside.” I said and walked right out. 

“No, he will kill you. Inaya, don’t go.”

“I will,” I said and stopped walking. “You want to stay with him, or with me.”

“I want to stay with you.”

“Then let him go.” 

“He said he will kill you if I stay with you.”

“But, why…” I said and realized that something is not right. I told my mother to stay with Atharv. I told her to cook something for him and rushed to meet his parents.

“Papaji, Maaji” I screamed as I entered the elegant mansion of the Thakurs. My mother-in-law came rushing out of her bedroom. She never liked me. There wasn’t the slightest inch of a smile on her lips. “What are you doing here? Where is my son?” she asked as if I was holding her son captive and blackmailing her for a ransom. 

“He is at home. I want to talk to Papaji. Where is he?” I said. 

“Talk to me.” She said. 

“No, it’s something different. I don’t know if you would be the right person to talk to.” I insisted.

“If it is about Atharv, I want to know. I deserve to know Vidya.” He sounded concerned but I didn’t care.

“I am sorry I can’t tell you because..”

“Danish?” she said. I stopped talking and looked straight at her. He understood and almost fell to the floor. “No, no, not again. Why is this happening to my son?” 

“What is happening to our son?” Papaji entered the house with a rifle in his hand. Maaji began crying out loud. She hugged Papaji and said, “Danish.” The gun fell from Papaji’s hand when he heard the name. He hugged her back and in a few seconds they were both walking towards me. 

“Since when?” Papaji asked. 

“A few months,” I answered.

“And you didn’t think it was important to tell us?” Maaji yelled at me. 

“I… I didn’t know what to do?” I didn’t dare to tell them that I wasn’t with him all these months. “Mamaji was supposed to tell you about it?” I said.

Mamaji? Did you leave my son with that bastard?” Maaji yelled again. 

“Vidya beta, Brijesh is the one who is doing this to your husband,” Papaji said. I could not believe my ears. I left my husband with the man who was destroying him. How could I not see this!

“Go home to your husband, and do not let that disgusting creature anywhere near him,” Papaji said. “I will be there with your mother and Doctor William tomorrow. Go home now child.” 

I rushed out of the house, got into the car and instructed the driver to go at the highest speed possible to reach home before Brijesh arrives. When I reached home, I heard my mother screaming, “No, no, Inaya, no beta, don’t.” I rushed but slipped on the stairs and hit my head. I was bleeding but kept moving forward. My mother was holding Atharv’s feet while he was trying to hang himself from the fan in our bedroom. The driver and I joined my mother and brought him down. “Inaya, leave the room. Danish just told me that if I kill myself you will be safe. So I should die. I love you Inaya, I can’t let you die.” 

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Much more than being sad, being sorry or broken inside, I was furious. I was so angry that if Brijesh would come anywhere close to me I would kill him with my bare hands. I would strangle his neck and smash his face until it is unrecognizable. “Where is Mamaji, Atharv?” I asked my darling, very politely. “I need to tell him something before I leave you.”

“He told me not to tell you where Mamaji was?”

“Who told you?”


“And if you tell me he will kill me?”


“Well, the police has caught Danish.”


“Yes, he was a bad person. He tried to rape me.”


“Yes, Atharv. At 1am. 10 years ago. He told me that you wanted to elope with me, and tried to rape me in the horsecart.”

“But that was Mamaji.”

Mamaji and Danish are the same people.” I said, and added, “They are both going to jail.”

I was able to calm my husband down. Ram Kishore, our driver, brought some water for Danish. He was tired and exhausted with all the mental and physical pressure. I could see he felt peace as I sat next to him and tried to calm him down. This is what I should have done two months ago, instead of leaving him with that monster. I learned that day that I was the selfish one, not Atharv. 

The next day Papaji and Maaji came with Doctor William to our home. Doctor William began his treatment of Schizophrenia. Maaji told me that he suffered from the same mental illness as a child, and Brijesh only made fun of it, and was caught trying to make him see someone called Danish. 

One day when I was sitting in the garden, Ram Kishore was watering the plants in the absence of the gardener. After I asked him, he told me that Danish was Atharv’s younger brother, who had drowned and died after falling in a well while Atharv was chasing him for a cricket ball. Atharv blamed himself for his brother’s death and Brijesh, instead of tell him that it wasn’t his fault, instead convinced him that it was. He also put it in Atharv’s head that Danish’s soul is haunting him and Brijesh could see the soul too. Atharv began to see Danish everywhere. He tried to jump off the building and used to walk out of the house in the middle of the night to look for his brother. The parents found out about Brijesh’s doing, and they punished him by taking back all the property he was given as a gift and leaving him with a company to run and earn his bread. Atharv was treated by Doctor William and he was cured at the age of 12, after two years of struggling. He never told me about it, I am not sure why, and I decided better not to ask.

The second treatment of Schizophrenia lasted almost 10 years. He was never completely cured, but we had found a way to live with a third person in our life. Danish, without Brijesh’s culprit thoughts and horrifying ideas, was a wonderful person. Atharv would take his medicines on time else Danish would not like it. He would go out on walks and talk to his family because Danish wanted him to be happy. This time I was Danish, and I was wife and his best friend.

Atharv, left me alone five years ago at the age of 75. I have no idea where Brijesh is or what happened to him, because Atharv didn’t care, and he didn’t want me to care. I never let anger or sadness touch our lives again. Me and my daughters have kept my husband happy while he was with us. I am sure Danish is taking care of him now, wherever they are, together.

Arti Arlene Martyris

I’m Arti Arlene Martyris. A freelance content writer and blogger with over 5 years of experience in technical and non-technical content writing. I love traveling, reading, writing writing and writing… Some of my best works have been appreciated by Google and WikiFeedz is darling to give me an opportunity to write for them. I love to interact with my reader. Kindly comment and share my blogs if I have been able to interest you with my work.

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