How We Met

During my PhD, one evening I had gone to attend my childhood friend’s birthday party. There was a man sitting there talking to other people. He suddenly began staring at me. And you know after some time he came and sat next to me, and started talking to me. I didn’t know he was to be my future husband then. He was an electronics computer engineer. So when he sat next to me in the birthday party, he spoke to me, I spoke to him, we had a nice conversation, and I discovered that he was rather intelligent. He took my number during the party, and then when I went home, he started calling me every day. He kept calling and calling. I had told him that I wanted to go and defend my thesis. So he came to the railway station with my things. He was just considered as a friend of mine. So he picked my things and came to drop me and say good bye. Two days before I had to defend my thesis, I had reached the university in Kodai. He would call at the hotel every day and ask me how were my preparations going. So I would speak to him for ten minutes and then hang up. Then when I finally defended my thesis and won a big applause, I called him, and he said, “I am so proud of you.”

He somehow never knew that I had this problem (schizophrenia). It wasn’t evident through my behaviour, it was hidden. When I came back to Bangalore we began going around (going to different places) for a few months. One fine day he invited me to his brother’s housewarming ceremony, so I went there. I spoke to all of them, and then he said, “I will drop her to her place; I will not let her go alone.” Since all his sisters (including the one he lived with) were in his brother’s new house. What he did not tell them was that he was taking me to his apartment.

He drove me to his apartment, which was a very beautiful apartment, and while going up in the lift he said “you are welcome home.” He took me in and said, “This is the first time you have come to my apartment and we are alone here, and I don’t know how to make tea. So why don’t you take some sugar, add it in the water, and both of us can drink the sugar water. Because this is the first time you have come here and I want to drink something sweet, and I also want you to drink something sweet.” I told him “why do you have to mix sugar with water? I can prepare a very good glass of tea.” So I prepared tea, he enjoyed, and I drank it. Then I was sitting on the sofa, thinking of something I don’t know what, and all of a sudden I find myself mid air. He lifted me off the ground, and he is holding me in his arms, then he threw me up in the air and caught hold of me, and then he put me on the biggest sofa, and said, “You are the owner of this apartment and I am your husband, I won’t allow any other man to marry you.” I said okay. He said, “After the wedding you and I will stay alone in the apartment.” By then he knew nothing of my condition. Because it was never evident in my behaviour after I completed my MA. I learnt quite a few lessons during my MA and I knew how to protect myself very well.

Before marriage, we would go out often. He would come home to drop me and then we would go upstairs to my room for some time and stay alone. He wanted to explore me physically. Initially I said no because I knew that men liked to get what they wanted from the girl and then leave her after that. I said no for quite some time. Then one day he told me that believe me, I will marry you. Then I said okay. The first time we kissed, I went and vomited in the pot. Because I was not use to it, for me it was someone licking my lips. He said, “it’s okay. You are not used to it. But by the time we are married you should get comfortable with my body, and I should get comfortable with yours.” So we slowly started exploring each other.

Dr Lavanya Seshasayee, 35, schizophrenic