One has heard of wronged spouses seeking justice, but in an unusual case, a 19-year-old girl has knocked on the doors of the police after her twice-married mother fell for the charms of a younger man and walked out on the family. In a painful reminder of the trauma faced by children from broken homes, the teenager, who is studying engineering, has made a desperate plea for succour to the authorities.
Life has been a roller coaster ride for Sushma, the complainant, since she was a toddler. She has told the police her mother Mansi Sharma (name changed), 43, a native of Bengaluru, got married to Sanath Kumar in early 1992. The couple was happy and Sushma was born in 1996.
But problems surfaced after a while and Mansi fell in love with a businessman, Naveen Verma, from Jaya Nagar. She sought a divorce and, in 1998, she got married to Naveen. She took along Sushma, a two-year-old toddler then. Mansi had two more daughters, now aged 10 and 6, with Naveen. The going was good till a few months ago when she met a musician named Prashanth and allegedly left them for the singer.
Police and the counsellors have been left befuddled by the case. Sushma, in her complaint on June 7, says her mother has ruined their lives. “I am doing my engineering in Bengaluru. My parents separated five months ago and my sisters and I started staying with our mother. However, two months ago, a common friend introduced my mother to a singer named Prashanth. Since then, she started spending more time with him, leaving us to fend for ourselves.”
“She would send him messages and even photos of herself in short dresses,” she has stated.
The teenager has said her mother often lied and went to her lover’s house and had even taken off on trips outside the city with him. In a tragi-comic role reversal, the teenager found herself pulling up her truant mom. “When I asked her about her absences, she warned me not to interfere in her personal life. She even told someone in my hearing she wanted to marry him.On May 15, she fought with me and left home, leaving me and my sister alone. I went to Jayanagar police station and lodged a complaint.”
The police directed her to Vanitha Sahayavani at the commissioner’s office. Sushma told the counsellors there that she and her sisters moved in with Naveen after their mother left them. “Our mother says she wants to live life her way. This is affecting our future.”
Sahayavani has taken the statements of all the family members. Mansi, who was also called, maintained she wanted to live with the musician and she was not interested in maintaining ties with anyone from her past. However, when asked about the kids, she kept mum. “Mansi says she was not happy with the second husband and she has found a new man in her life,” Saraswathi, a senior counsellor at Sahayavani, said.
Saraswathi says there’s not much they can do. “Mansi is unwilling to go back. The family will have to approach the court now,” the counsellor said.
In his statement to the police in February 2015, Naveen has said the early years were good, but things started going downhill in 2012.
However, the situation spiralled out of control in February after Mansi allegedly went to the cops with trumped up charges against him. “Her first daughter is very upset with her volatile behaviour and, hence, has gone to the cops. I have looked after her since she was two years old, and I consider her my daughter but due to all this stress, she has moved out and is living alone,” Naveen has stated.
Mansi says while it’s true she has left Naveen, the reasons are not as alleged.
“I walked out due to his harassment. I will look after the kids and I am ready to give a divorce, but he has to give me permanent alimony, besides maintenance for my children and me,” she told the counsellors.