The Story of my Marriage

 

She was peeling potatoes when she heard her father shouting at mother. Although it was nothing different from what she had heard in last two years but it still affected her. The father, who grew Paneer in the courtyard for her, who went in the thunderstorm to buy chocolates on her birthday, who couldn’t talk to her without crying when she went to college, is regretting the day she was born. She could feel her diaphragm reaching the new low, filling up too much air inside which made her choke. Her heart started beating hysterically thinking it ain’t gonna last long.Her mother, who had never taken a single decision in her life independently, who was too scared to go against her husband, stood by her even though her father was going crazy.

Sitting in the back seat, she kept feeling that she is leaving her everything behind. Every now and then she would check on her mother thinking that mother would ask the driver to turn back any minute. And when they reached the destination, she felt like going back to her father, who said he would rather attend her funeral than give his approval, who is disgusted that she is his daughter and moreover would be happy if her decision turns out to be a mistake. 

Stepping outside the car she saw the love of her life, in her favorite pink shirt. His warm eyes, loving gaze and smiling lips made all her worries vaporize into oblivion. For the first time the thought of being together, didnt seem impossible. The choice was never between her parents or her choice, it was between their choice or hers. Her head became clear, heart felt light and lips curved into a smile. She held his hands and walked into the court with her mother besides her and the faith in her heart that someday father would accept too.

Mess

He had hit the small tool kept in the corner with his leg making the vase do somersault all the way to the floor and break into several pieces with a loud thud. Mother who until then didn’t know how to react to the recent development got a hold of herself and made him sit on the chair. Fuming with rage sitting on the chair, father kept clenching his fist thinking of what or who to break next.
The house which was a warm and happy place has turned hostile blending with the situation. The air felt cold and heavy, the clock’s tick tock found the most appropriate moment to get acknowledged.
She heard her mother talk to her father in slow hushed tones but she couldn’t make out what she was saying. Words were vibrating at frequency unknown to her. She sensed slight terror in her sinking heart which was beating in perfect coordination with the clock. She wanted to think logically, analyse, reason with what’s happening outside of her room but she felt paralyzed in her throat.
She had thought about it a hundred times and ran the whole scenario in her head a thousand more times still it never occurred to her that it could turn out into a movie scene.
How can she even think loving was easy that too when the person is of the same gender.

Cravings

She felt craving for the purple, succulent, pear-shaped berries she saw in the forest during her stay there. When her husband got to know about her pregnancy cravings he became rather happy as if he found solution to all his problems. He called for his younger brother and soon it was decided that she along with her brother-in-law will travel to the forest and relish to the taste of those delicious berries.

On the day of the journey, she got ready and reached the gates to witness a strange sight. Unlike all other time when she travelled in palanquin accompanied by maids, she found an isolated carriage standing before her. Adding to its ominous outlook her brother-in-law looked more indifferent and cold than all the demons they have met on their earlier stay in the forest.

Understanding that the gossip had reached her husband she sat on the carriage and allowed herself to be carried into the forest. Upon reaching there she got down and asked him for any message. Breaking the silence he had maintained since morning he replied ” You cannot tell anyone who you are and why are you living in the jungle”.

She looked him in the eyes as a mother trying to read a child’s mind and said ” Only I, can see myself not as a victim and thus he is relying on me. Go back, he needs you. I am Sita and I can never be abandoned. He is Rama, he can never abandon me” and walked away to never meet again.

-Inspired from Sita by Devdutt Pattanaik

Education.

Education is replacing oxygen to be the lifeline of today’s generation. The fact is evident from the number of trees uprooted to the number of trees planted. In the world of smartphones to smart bathrooms, only education holds the formula to generate smart humans.

The recent developments throw light on the rat race where everybody is trying hard to get into esteemed schools and colleges so that they can later be placed in ‘paying salary in 6-digits’ firm. But she didn’t spend her day in scorching sun and nights under cloudless black sky working her flesh out, saving every single penny so that her daughter can earn big money.

All she ever wanted was respect in everyone’s eyes. As a single mother, she had passed through lusty eyes, staring as if capable of undressing just by their vision; hoarding hands stretched to not leave her contour untouched; devilish legs walking in her direction blocking all possible escape routes and bullying lips leaving no stones unturned in passing lewd comments at her and yet she had kept her hopes alive in the form of her daughter, naive, innocent and unharmed, who graduated today.

Sitting in the middle row, listening to loud cheers after her daughter’s heart-wrenching graduation speech talking about the struggles of a teenage girl from ‘juggi-jhopadi’ to an MNC, did make her proud but the disgust in her daughter’s eyes when they fell upon her made her reconsider the job, education is doing.

Why selling skills, talent, knowledge considered noble and not the body. Infanticide is a punishable offense and yet when she didn’t abort her child, the child grows up to be embarrassed about its existence. How is she guilty if her parents sent her to a brothel? Why her daughter feels humiliated in her presence.

Isn’t education making us smart?

Read more about her at Sex For Sale: Prostitution, Pornography, And The Sex Industry

Dreaming.

She walked down the aisle in the loving embrace of her father, dressed in a milky white gown, complimenting her skin tone and bedecked in jewels. She looked mesmerising. Her smile was contagious, her lips formed the perfect curve and her eyes, they appeared to twinkle like stars. It looked as if she was radiating happiness all around, with each step she was taking towards the man of her dreams.
Finally, her day has arrived and she was going to get married to the guy she loves. She felt she was the happiest woman to have ever set foot on the Earth.

But when Father asked her if she takes him, as her lawfully wedded husband, a harsh realisation came rushing towards her. “I can’t be this happy”, she thought to herself.
Yes, it has been long since she was this happy.

She remembered how she had spent last few years trying to reason with everyone, trying to explain that she understands the importance of her decision,that she wasn’t ready for that big a responsibility, that she needs to find her centre before being the centre of someone’s else life and that she wants to know the guy, have feelings for him before she is married to him. But she assumed that was too much to ask for, as no one appreciated her ‘boldness’ rather labelled her as a clear case of parenting gone wrong.

Her relatives, who until now, didn’t care if she was living or dead, had suddenly started showing a great deal of her interest in her life. She was in her twenties, and so it was their prime responsibility to see that she gets married as soon as possible. According to them, she was old enough to get married but not enough old to decide with whom.
No, no they weren’t forcing her or imposing their decision on her just convincing her to make the ‘right decision’. She had never taken any decision for herself, just meekly followed what others said but this time she had decided she was not going to let anyone intervene. A spineless creature stood up and that did hurt.

But she didn’t succumb to their wills. It was her life and hence her decision. When she wants to marry and to whom is going to affect her whole life and she is not going to let anyone ruin that for her. She tolerated everything and everyone until she came across him. And after that everything fell into place.

Standing in the middle of the church, pinching herself, with everyone glaring in her direction, eagerly waiting for her to say ‘I do’ did make her look stupid, but she didn’t care anymore.
She was not sleeping. But it was indeed a dream.

THE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

Its 5’o clock in the not so chilly winter Sunday morning. And the one who wakes up in the afternoon so that he can have breakfast and lunch together, has just woken up.  The question arises why? Arey nahi nahi, iski CBI jaanch karane ki koi zarorat nahi…….(No! There’s no need for a CBI inquiry) The thing is, it is his BIG day. He is going to face his first  interview. He sucked up all the internet data viewing youtube videos on “how to behave in an interview?”  Yeah. I pity him too. He doesn’t have an unlimited data plan. Poor he! But still he didn’t lose hope.  He searched for the most frequently asked questions, found their answers, learnt them by heart. He asked seniors about the most suitable answers for the diplomatic questions. He go-ogled his friends, relatives and everyone who was remotely related to his interview.

He revised all the key topics, took bath and dressed himself up in his best clothes. Suddenly he left something in his stomach….what was it? Butterflies? Yeah might be, as he was excited…..But then medulla “se uski khushi dekhi nahi gayi’ (couldn’t see his happiness) and it told adrenal to make him nervous..And he grew nervous, dragonflies replaced the butterflies, the warm wind  was now cold and unpleasing, the kiss of blood on his cheeks was now appearing to be gross.. He chanted the well known mantra “AAL IS WELL” but it felt like his heart was unaware of the fact that it can be fooled. So he resorted to the scientific method to calm himself down, “Inhale….Exhale”.  He repeated the exercise again and again but to no help. Even the staring eyes of his dad , scolding lips of his mom which occasionally reminded him how lucky he is to get this GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY and the bravery folklore telling mouth of his brother couldn’t provide him the needed solace. Then he checked the time and decided to reach the venue first.

He reached the venue an hour earlier, and went through attendance hall and documents verification centre. There they made him write something in Hindi. You got it right,Hindi hamari rashtriya bhasha hai” (Hindi is our national language). Fortunately he remembered a great poem so he thought he has an edge over other candidates who were writing the essay, every child learns in the 1st standard. Not  “gaaiy hamari mata hai” (cow is our mother) but “mera naam xyz hai” (my name is xyz). But as soon as he started writing the poem his cerebrum realised that from childhood he has been poor in Hindi so he can’t write a poem that he learnt in 6th or 7th standard without mistakes. So he made mistakes. He visualised the environmentalists cursing him, the tears of the trees, the end of the earth. He offered his apologies to them and with a heavy heart asked for another sheet. The officer there, gave him the whole notepad, and smiled. He took the notepad and smiled back. Sheldon, was he?  No, it was just that the whole episode brought his morale down and made him nervous again.

After waiting for an hour he was called for the personal interview. He felt like his heart is going to pop out. But he knew it’s a do or die situation so he struck a deal with his heart and it agreed to settle back in lieu of getting a chance to pop out later…..vo kehte hain na “ dill ye ziddi hai” “…..ki manta nahin”(As they say “stubborn heart” …. never listens). He entered the room, greeted everyone morning, at 12 in the afternoon. Everyone greeted him back correcting him. He greeted them again, this time afternoon. But while doing so he missed wishing the lady sitting at the corner. The lady took note. He was told to sit down and as soon as he sat down on the chair they started firing questions. Yes, they show wrong on television, nobody asks water. He answered their questions hesitatingly; he fumbled and stumbled on every answer. They caught he was nervous. They asked him more out of the league questions to see if how he performs. He stopped answering questions, saying that he doesn’t know the answers. They told him, he can leave and he assumed that he lost the race to someone else.
He came back home, disheartened.  Her mother was  furious at first but seeing him disheartened she realized that it’s not the right time to be angry. “Itna dukhi nahi hote beta, ye nahi to koi aur sahi. Maana ki duniya me ladkiyon ki kami hai par mere itne achche bete ko koi na koi to mil hi jayegi. Arey jab Sharma ji ke nalayak bete ko ladki mil gyi to mera beta to investment banker hai. Han ek chance to gaya par har kisi ko pehle hi baar me ladki mil jaye, zarori to nahi” (No need to be so depressed son, if not her then someone else. I agree there’s a scarcity of girls on this planet but my handsome son will surely get someone. When Sharma Ji’s unworthy son can get a girl, why can’t my son who’s an investment banker. I agree we lost this chance but everyone doesn’t get a girl in first try) she told him to cheer him up. But they both knew they had lost the GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY….

After a month they got a call from the girl’s family informing that they were coming to their place as their daughter had selected him. Smile returned to their sunken faces. Her mother thanked god and offered prayers. They were so happy today. Their lineage will continue to exist on mother Earth for assured one more generation.

Save Girls, only Few are left.

Why?

 

[Chai…chai (nariyal le lo nariyal)chai…chai….cha(samaajik gyan..saal 2014)ai…cha(ki sabse badi khabro ke sath )ai..ch(akhbaar)ai..chai..]

[Chai…chai (coconut, buy coconut)chai…chai….cha(General Knowledge..year 2014)ai…cha(biggest news)ai..ch(newspaper)ai..chai..]

There were people all around. Some heavily dressed, stuffing their mouths with everything they came across and some other moderately dressed with their berths overloaded with luggage, occasionally eating gujiya’s from their lunch bag.

Few couple daring their kids not to move an inch and few other elite people listening to music, playing Subway Surf lying on their brand new bed sheets as “Ew railway’s bed sheets are so tacky” while ordering lunch from pantry.

Amidst these people there she was, on the upper berth lost in thoughts refusing to eat anything. Why was the usual “playing antakshri in train is so much fun” girl so upset.

There were people all around. Men with coffee cups standing at a distance, crying women surrounding the bride and gossiping women discussing bride’s saree. Few kids were standing there with “why are they crying ” faces while few others with  “can we go home now” faces. The halwais’ are in dilemma. They can’t decide whether they should start eating or wait for the bride to go.

The drivers are ready to kill the one who decided to come early as they have been waiting since evening.And amidst all these people there she is, no tears in her eyes. Looking at everyone she tried to cry and even succeeded. But why was the usual “emotional” girl not crying on her sister’s bidai (valediction).

[Sindoor daan ke liye kanya ko bolaeye] (call the bride for rituals)

There were people all around. Men with 2-3 plates of snacks in hand. Women with 2-3 layers of make-up on face and 20kgs of gold on body.  There were few men with “I don’t want more paneer pakore” and women with “Who wears so much gold these days” regretting their decision. Kids were walking behind the cameraman to appear in as many pictures as possible.

The place was so crowded that even ants will suffocate to death. But still people were laughing and welcoming others whole-heartedly. And amidst all these happy people there was sad she standing in a corner. She was so much excited about the marriage then why was she not happy?

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“Mom I am home”
Mom: I have been waiting for you. Look what you have done. (Shows her the cell phone)
“What? You only told me to book tickets”
Mom: Yeah but you booked four.
“So?” (Puzzled)
Mom: Your sister will go with her husband.
“oh”

That was the first time she realised marriage is not just about sarees , jewellery , gifts..there was so much more to it. Being younger she grew up on her sister’s thing. Her old uniform, her shoes , her bags, her pencil box , her hair bands, her clothes, her books, her notes, her projects, her crafts …everything.  But she never thought that one day she had to grow up on her as well

They were nothing like the conventional sisters. They didn’t have the same taste or similar opinions. Neither had they accepted each other’s differences. They used to fight on every possible disagreement, there were cold wars every second day. Their relationship faced repeated events of “Mummy’s rule” and went past the heat of “Papa’s Punishments” many times, but they always stood together. They were always together.

And now all that seems meaningless. Now she won’t share their bed, she won’t be there to play antakshri, she won’t accompany her on shopping trips,  she won’t even be able to see her for days. Somebody from the outside has claimed his rights on her. Now he will make her laugh, he will make her angry, he will fight with her, he’ll asks her “why is she mad” and he’ll be on her priority list.

Since she is married to him, she is not hers anymore.Nobody said that but now she knows not only betiya, behene bhi paraya dhan hoti hai (not only daughters, but sisters too are someone else’s treasure!)