In Revenge, prior to her marriage to Haroon, beautiful Jhmur had been attending a university in Bangladesh. It was on campus there that she first met Haroon and within weeks, the two were falling in love. During their short courtship, Jhmur and Haroon led exciting lives together. Jhmur explains how they went to restaurants, shows, and danced together. Haroon particularly liked Jhmur’s sense of humor.
But after their marriage, Jhmur crosses the threshold into her husband’s home and finds herself enslaved. Now, she must give no thought to any study or professional work. Instead, she not only waits on Haroon’s every whim, but it is expected that she must also satisfy the needs of her husband’s family.
Haroon has several brothers and sisters, not to mention a difficult, demanding, distressing mother-in-law, who harasses Jhmur into following time-honored, time-consuming, demeaning traditions. Jhmur must keep her eyes downcast rather than look at any family members. She must keep her head covered and is no longer permitted in public without a proper escort.
Most distressing to Jhmur is Haroon’s dramatic temperament change. Now, he has little time for her other than as a female body to satisfy his not-so-frequent sexual urges. When not making tea, preparing meals, or cleaning, Jhmur spends much of her time in the loneliness of her room. In addition to her marital entrapment, Jhmur is pregnant. She tells Haroon.
To her anguished shock, Haroon rebuffs her severely. He will not believe his seed impregnated her. Because so little time has passed since their wedding nuptials, Haroon wrongly reasons that Jhmur was already pregnant before their marriage. He becomes obsessed with his wife’s alleged unfaithfulness, even though she swears her womb carries his child. What dejects Haroon most is what neighbors and coworkers will think of him and his family once Jhmur’s secret “unfaithfulness” leaks out. The thought crazes him.
As a result of his pigheaded, pigeonholed thinking, Haroon insists that Jhmur have an abortion. Although she cannot fathom Haroon’s sick reasoning, following tradition, she must obey her husband — there is no choice after marriage. Again and again Jhmur tries to convince irrational Haroon that she is carrying his child.
The abortion sickens Jhmur. Her husband has killed what would have been her first-born but she must continue her distressed marriage. Dullness resumes. But peeking out her window, she sees a handsome prince-of-a-man working in the garden next to Haroon’s home.
Jhmur secretly gazes at him. She swoons over his muscular, shirtless torso that glistens with sweat in the sunlight. She pictures him naked lying next to her as they tenderly consume one another again and again. She imagines what it would be like to escape with this gentle hunk away from the drudgery of her daily life. In due time and with unequaled secrecy, Jhmur and this gardener meet.