Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nadine, Chapter twelve

Patel rented an old unit at Scanlan Street for Nadine and Gopal so they would not be too far from him. It was less than ten minutes walk away. Gopal did not work, he did not have to. He stayed at home and drank and watched TV. He only had a smattering of English conversation lessons in his village school, and he refused to speak English because he said the Kiwis laughed at him every time he opened his mouth. Nadine pretended she did not pick up any Hindi during her short stint in Gujerat.

Gopal’s repertoire of words was ‘bullshit’, ‘f*** you’ and ‘shut up’.

There was hardly any conversation between Nadine and Gopal.

Communication breakdown,
It’s always the same,
I’m having a nervous breakdown,
Drive me insane!

Both were singing the same song until the situated ruptured. Gopal became violent and he beat up Nadine. At times, he locked her up because she disgraced him, he said. He did not like her to go out with her unruly girlfriends; he did not like them to come to the house. He said, girls in India were gentle, demure and never talked back to their husbands. Nadine was, as far as he was concerned, a bride from hell. Her friends were bitches and witches and they had no respect for him. This would never happen in India. He was ashamed of her when his friends came and watched cricket on TV.

Patel could not do anything because it was a disgrace to an Indian father if his daughter was not a good wife. Patel pleaded to Gopal to treat Nadine better or to leave since he did not love her.

Gopal said, “I will leave when I am good and ready. Don’t forget, you cheated me and married a non-virgin daughter to me. Besides, she is a cold bitch. You can see for yourself: in India, most wives would have been pregnant long ago. But no, your slut thinks she is too good to sleep with me.”

Poor Patel did not know that Gopal had come with an agenda. Gopal had no intention of making Nadine his wife permanently. He only wanted to come to live in New Zealand. Marrying Nadine was his ticket to come here. He just had to tolerate this wild girl until he got his permanent residence. Meanwhile he was enjoying a Kiwi life-style of booze and cricket and being a couch potato, watching all sorts of TV. He was provided with free food and lodging courtesy his father-in-law. He liked sex and domineering over Nadine. The more she resisted him, the better he enjoyed it.

Gopal imagined he was sleeping with the popular Tina Munium, the Hindi star of movie “Karz” since he did not like Nadine and Nadine did not like him. He would not move out because the Department of Labour, just up the road at Great North Road, was sending officers to monitor to see that his was not a marriage of convenience. In the interview when he applied to come to New Zealand, the officer had grilled him and kept asking if his marriage was a marriage of convenience, since he did not even know Nadine and Patel.

Once Gopal got his PR, he up and went with his pocket lined with the fat dowry Patel had given him to be his son-in-law. In no time, he found another wife, a Fiji born Indian girl, Shanti.

Shanti’s social visit pass to New Zealand had expired and she was an overstayer. She desperately wanted to live in New Zealand and thanked her karma that Gopal wanted to marry her. She was even contented to marry a Maori or a Cook Islander for a ticket to stay in Auckland. What Gopal did not realize was that the table had turned. Shanti was planning the same trick to play on him as he had played on Nadine. What an irony, Dinesh was waiting in Suva for Shanti to be legal in New Zealand.

Nadine could not wait for Gopal to leave. Thankfully her friends had taken her to the family planning clinic at K Road for her contraceptive pills which she painstakingly took to make sure there were no little Gopal satans to complicate their lives.

When Gopal left, Patel told Nadine that she could come home. It was not safe or nice for a girl to be living by herself. Nadine did not want to come home; Chandra did not want her back. She stayed on at Scanlan Street. Patel was devastated but he continued to see her on Sundays and give her grocery and pocket money and pay her rent

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