A small square dull dusky face showing no signs of happiness or sorrow; nervousness or excitement, big brown eyes with no wonder or curiosity, with no spark of affection or innocence, lips that hardly ever formed a curve as if they know the root cause of pain is happiness, poorly developed muscles covered with thin single layer of epithelium, nerves and bones trying to peep out as if she hasn’t eaten in ages and that too when she comes from a very rich family. She was different.
I always thought girls at a young age only think about new clothes, matching hairbands, having the newest sketch pen set, using the fruity sketch pen in every drawing, pink strawberry scented eraser, dolls, the kitchen set they saw at a friend’s place, days left to their birthday, which friend to take while distributing toffee’s and questioning every new thing they saw or heard from someone. But, She was different.
At the age of 12 she couldn’t even read or write simple three-letter words but she was excellent in cheating and lying. It wasn’t like she was a rich spoiled kid, more like she is actually dumb. And not only dumb, her class fellows even considered her deaf as they felt she never listens to anyone. She was punished daily and still no improvement. Teachers were so frustrated with her that they don’t even mind beating a small kid with sticks and she was so used to these that she didn’t mind them. Instead it was a part of her daily routine. She wasn’t the sincere, studious, garrulous, punishment-fearing girl, She was different.
Not every girl is born to such loving parents, who have given birth to six daughters just for a son.
Not every girl is given food just to make her live.
Not every girl learns to make perfect roti before mastering “A”.
Not every girl is sent to school just to accompany her brother.
Not every girl is beaten brutally if found with books.
Not every girl realises, at her tender, that she is a burden to her parents.
INDEED SHE WAS DIFFERENT!
She didn’t know that she is a widow now or that she was married. Well, when I was her age I couldn’t even spell marriage. But being a widow was quite comforting, according to her.
No heavy 6m long sari, covering her 3ft long body obstructing her walk.
No jewelry-bedecked on her body, obstructing her movements.
No vermilion messing up her silky black hair. No need to learn different cuisines as there is no one to impress.
No need to stay hungry for the long life of her so called partner who parted away leaving her alone.
When she turned 11, she was sent to her in-laws’ home to spend the rest of her life, with them. Everyone there gave her a warm welcome, no hard corners and taunting. Her mother-in-law took her as a replacement for her 5th son.
As years passed by, she grew up. Puberty did a magic on her. She blossomed in the love and affection she got. But growing up had its own side-effects. She started questioning everything. The usual calm and composed girl started turning into a rebel or should I say, the trammels and torments turned her into so. The white rags, the bland food, tied hairs, and staying home all day long was not comforting now. The prohibition to visit religious ceremonies and places annoyed her. The laugh and giggle of girls of her age burned her inside.
And amidst this mess, she got attracted to her elder brother-in-law. She knew her feelings towards him were illegitimate, not only she was married but he was married too. But there was no one to guide her. Whatever she asked for was denied, so she didn’t even dare to ask this. He sensed her feelings for him. And instead of showing her the correct path, he started playing with her mind. He started alluring her. The teenage with hormonal imbalance, confused and frustrated mind, and misguidance eventually led to the biggest mistake of her life. She confused attraction for love and surrendered herself. He started using her for his pleasure. After two-three abortions she also came to know that he doesn’t love her. But it was too late to mend things.
Slowly, the news spread. And they punished the culprit. She was raped by all the brothers. According to them she was one desperate woman to call all this on her. She hadn’t even recovered from the heartbreak and this happened. She was broken. Her heart wrenched. Her soul cried for mercy. But no one heard her plea. No one came to her rescue. After that day, she became a public property, used by people as and when required. She was turned into a whore.
But, as we say, “In God’s home there is a delay but no denial.” When this news reached the panchayat, they were shocked. They can’t believe it all happened under their nose. They came forward to provide justice. And yes, they granted her justice. No one used her from then onwards. No one talked ill about her. No one ever saw her lustfully. She was no more considered a pollutant contaminating the whole sea.
She was given poison.!!
A cold winter morning. Deep red rising sun.Gelid drops of dew on green turfs, beautiful as pearls. Clear and blue sky. Foggy misty atmosphere spreading its charm all around.
Lazy season, lazy people snuggled up in warm blankets. Closed Gates. Abandoned Streets. No or very less movement..
Amidst these, there they are, lying in the corner, basking in the mild warmth of the sun, pleading it to stay for more time and warm up their body.A cool wind blows and rejects their plea.
This is the season they choose, to multiply, to increase their numbers, to mark their presence in the future of the planet. One can see small puppies walking behind their parents, sometimes following a random trespasser in the hope of getting food. Only to be shoo’ed away later, with a feeling of disgust.
I see them searching the bins, for food. Poking their nose into packets to find something. Little do they know that the growing awareness about community hygiene, waste disposal, shortage of food for the ever growing population had left them shelterless/homeless and with no food..
A pup entered a corner house thinking his pleading eyes will make people give him food. Ha! He is no cow, giving him food will not give them a golden ticket to heaven. After the kids were entertained, he was kicked away
A fragile body, weak bones surrounded no layer of fat, was making it impossible to bear the chilly winds but he was a tough guy. He hadn’t given up on life.
His mother was wandering in the search of food on the main road and suddenly she saw her kind passing by in a luxurious car, excited she followed the car, not acknowledging that she was on the main road. When people are squelched on footpaths then who cares about her on the roads. An overspeeding vehicle drove over her, crushing her hind limbs. She shrieked out of pain and tried to drag herself away from the road only to be hit by another vehicle.
Next day people found two dead bodies. One of her and second of her puppy. He finally gave up on life.
He was in front of her. He had travelled all those kilometres just to meet her, to have a couple of words with her.
But she hesitated. She stood there, surrounded by all her relatives.
She didn’t raise her eyelids to look at him. Her lips moved but she lost the sense to frame sentences.
She stood there frozen and numb.
It was their first and only meeting before marriage. But there was no excitement on her face. Just calm, serene, sadist calm. Or in the words of her friends “Yaar, isse to apni shaadi ka craze hi nahi hai” (she isn’t even excited for her own marriage)
She sat there in the centre of the hall, head low, cheek red, pupils marching left to right, lips trembling. She was quaking in her boots. She just wanted all that to end soon.
After dinner, they went. Everything went well. Her parents were happy.But she had that sick feeling at the bottom of her stomach. She couldn’t make out “Why”. Was that because she was getting married or the person she was getting married to.
He was below average guy, no sharp features, dark complexion but a good job.
He was 7 years elder to her, and his specs made him look even older but he was from a good family
She couldn’t say much about his nature in a single meeting but he had a good background.
It wasn’t like she couldn’t say NO to him. Even that guy sensed that she wasn’t happy with the marriage thing/he doesn’t deserve her and hence had asked her multiple times whether
she likes him or not, whether she is happy about the marriage..whether she is being
She didn’t utter a word.
‘Cause she remembered what happened the last time when she said no to a proposal, thinking its her life, thinking its her decision,
thinking she had the right, thinking it will hardly matter.
She remembered how she was forced to quit her job and stay home as according to her relatives she has fallen in bad company.
She remembered how her parents have fought over this issue millions of time.
She remembered how her mother was taunted on every occasion for not being able to find a groom for her.
She remembered how her mother begged every distant relative to find a groom for her.
She remembered how her father cursed himself for being a father of a girl.
She remembered how her mother has not slept peacefully since then.
She remembered how every family member was worried.
And she realised she was born to married.
She was married at an age when;
She thought females in saree were her aunt,
When aam-panna was everything she wants.
When getting 2paise as reward was the moment of proud
And things were cheerful and loud.
Getting a hand-woven doll was her greatest desire
She was a cute cuddly liar.
She was married when she didn’t even know what marriage is, and
That loneliness is going to turn out to be her greatest bliss.
She was married at thirteen, to a guy probably 10 years elder to her. Why?
Because her father thought it was once in a lifetime opportunity to get a well-settled guy like him, as groom and that too at a very low cost.
A farmer and father of 5 kids wasn’t able to arrange that low-cost wedding properly hence was punished. He was not allowed to meet his daughter ever. But to his relief, his daughter was accepted in the boy’s family. Such relief.
An immature age and hurried circumstance left her clueless about her surroundings. All she can make out was “she is going to a new home, new family but without her mother. She won’t accompany her there like she used to do while going to school. Will she be allowed to go to school there, she asked her mum, in a low voice. Her mum looked at her, sobbed fat tears and bade her goodbye.
The new home, new family rather than welcoming her were mourning over the money they can’t get. Mourning because they thought that the bride will be bedecked in gold, mourning because they thought they got a golden hen. Mourning. Disappointed.
Few even considered remarriage of the groom. But groom answered them with a plain “NO”
Hence they had to accept her in the family.
As time passed by she got settled there, she adorned every relation, she made everyone hers. She became the part of the family.
It took time but she stopped being scared of her husband, she learned that he owns her, she accepted that a “husband-wife” relationship is meant to be that way only. Her will doesn’t exists.
Two years later she gave birth to a stillborn and doctors declared she can never be a mother again.
Sixth sense or the sub-conscious mind whatever you say,she suddenly woke up from her peaceful sleep to face the bitter reality. He was lying next to her and before she could react he closed her mouth. She is probably 9 or 10 years old , too young to understand what was going on and He, her cousin, in his late teens, too young to be that cruel.
He started moving his hand all over her body, touching her everywhere, making her cerebral cells register lust, define greed in new terms.She turned pale and terror got imprinted in her eyes. She shivered. Her brain sending cold chills down her spine. Her mind jammed with all sort of questions popping up. She actually couldn’t understand “how to respond” “how to defend” “how to protect herself”, at her tender age she was too naive to realize that she need to protect herself.
A loud bang outside made him conscious and she was spared that night. For a few minutes, she lied there, all blank wondering what happened what was real or just a weird nightmare. But soon she realized even her nightmares are not this cruel. He has came to stay with her family during his winter vacations. She has met him for the first time in her knowledge and was very happy to have a BROTHER. There was no one in her society who wasn’t told “Mere bhaiya aaye hain” (My brother has come). Though being a shy kid, she didn’t started interacting with him.
She was JUST A KID. Never had heard or seen anything like this. Her brain had no clue what to do in such situations. It explored even the remote corners but nothing useful it came up with. She lied there STILL, figuring out answers to her questions, “What was that?” “Why bhaiya touching me?” ” Why it felt so gross?” “Why am I feeling this awkward” “What am I supposed to do now” “Should I tell mom?” “What would I tell her??..” All the why’s and whats kept revolving in her mind. She kept feeling disgusting but couldn’t make up the courage to talk about this to her mom. At last She decided that she’ll stay away from BHAIYA, no interactions, nothing at all.
After that night she kept herself clinged to her mother. Not leaving her side even for a moment. But that night kept haunting her. She couldn’t actually sleep after that.
One day when She came back home after school, she found Mom was not at home. She was terror struck. Not making a sound she headed back thinking she would stay at neighbor’s place till her mother comes back. Suddenly, he held her hand. She busted out crying. He held her hand more firmly and locked the door. She tried all possible means, she cried loud, screamed at the top of her voice, kicked him with legs, pleaded him to leave her alone..but it didn’t affected him. “Bhaiya, meko janna hai” (I need to leave, brother) didn’t wrenched his heart. The home that was once filled with her sweet squeals, was now filled with her painful screams.
She held her white top close to her face and the familiar smell immediately stuck her, an overwhelming grief knotted her stomach. “He has a new girl in her life” Her eyes turned wet and a tear drop fell off.
Its been a year since he broke up but she never actually got over him. After the intimacy they shared, he left her saying she is annoying and immature. He left her saying she is stalking. He left her feeling miserable. He left her cursing herself. He left her, Just like that.
All the year she just tried to be a part of his life, no matter how small it is. She absorbed everything, faced all embarrasments and never lost her calm. As all she wanted was “HIM”. So every now and then she used to pop up in his life to check whether he is fine, to hear him or should we say to keep reminding him that she is there whenever he needs her.
So when this afternoon she asked him half jokingly “what is he doing online, when he say he has a real life” he replied her saying “she is online”. Her mouth fell apart. His words pierced her heart, deep down she felt pain. She blocked all the sources of contact and went straight to her room. But even her room didn’t provide her any solace. She sobbed fat, salty tears. She cried and cried and cried
His friend enquired “ohho *life* who is she buddy”?? You never told us anything about her :/
He smiled and said there is no one
You lied ? You have no one in your life?? asked his friend.
Yeah! I can’t see her suffer like this. Thinking that am committed to someone will help her in moving on.
And you say He didnt love her 😉
She completed her graduations. Her parents,like any other parents were concerned about her marriage. But unlike other parents they were too damn concerned. Why?
They were parents of TWO DAUGHTERS.. You see, having a brother, a real one, is still an important criteria for selecting a girl as a daughter-in-law in their community. I don’t know how the real brother serves her sister or her in-laws, after her marriage but as my mom says “keh diya na, aisa hota hai,to hota hai”. (I told you, this is how it works)
Initially they were calm, asking known one’s only, but gradually the search turn out to be an aggressive one. Asking everyone, talking to even distant relatives to whom they haven’t talk since ages, making a matrimony profile,and what not. In short everything. In this time she completed her post graduation too.And to add their misery, she got spects….
How the hell, the doctor prescribed her spects, she is only 23 and she always have food rich in Vitamin E in her diet. “Ab kon krega usse shaadi” (Now who will marry her)
It’s not that they didn’t get any proposals, as we all know sex ratio is very low in our country, for every girl there are about 5-6 guys. But then they rejected guys as they were either from a low profile family or were less educated then her. “Inna kyun padhi ki ladke nahi mil rhe, kaha tha ladki ko itna mat padhao” (why did you study so much now it’s hard to find guys, I already said don’t let her study so much )
She was beautiful, or to be precise “FAIR”, educated, intelligent, smart, and was well aware of all the household chores and a professional in “cooking”. But you know all these things are ignored just like newton’s third law is ignored in Rohit Shetty’s movies when one doesn’t have money to be given as dowry.
Dowry though illegal but the top criteria for selecting a daughter-in-law. A rich-reputed family wants nothing from the girl’s parents…… other than the money spent by them on their son’s education. Sometimes i feel like people educate their son for the sole purpose of taking dowry just like people visit malls for the sole purpose of clicking selfies later to be posted on social media. And those sophisticated families they don’t want any dowry…whaaat?? yes they don’t want dowry, they want the money spent by them on the marriage. You see, no dowry..
They just wanted a good family, where their daughter can live happily. Of Course they consider those asking dowry are good people…to quote my mom’s words “jab inna kharcha kia hai bete pe, to mangege hi na” Aur jo KHARCHA beti pe kia, “tu apni padhai pe dhyan de”.(“when they have spent so much on their son, obviously they’ll ask dowry” And what about expenses on the girl? “You concentrate on your studies“)
No one asked what she wants, no one was bothered whether she was ready for marriage, what kind of guy she wants to marry. Nothing. And as an “adarsh bhartiya beti” (Ideal Indian daughter) she didn’t even utter a word. Obviously she was hurt by the sudden change in the behaviour of her parents. She used to be the apple of their eyes, and now they don’t even have any time to look into her wet eyes. Yeah she knew their parents love her, and are doing all this for her happiness, but what they missed is to see
whether she was really happy??
Amidst all these depression came a good news. A good guy, from a good family, with a engineering degree, wants to marry her even after knowing that she doesn’t have a REAL BROTHER.. “Arey itna aacha insaan kahin nahin milega, devat hain ye to” (You won’t such good person anywhere, he’s godlike). They just want FEW lakhs, a car, furniture, clothes, heavy jewellery and nothing else. “itna to shaadi me sb dete hi hai” (everyone gives at least this much in marriage) One has to secure their daughter’s future no.
So the first round of selection took place, and both the families approved each other. In the next round his sister approved her as “bhabhi” (sister-in-law) *giggling*. In the next round his mother father and other relatives approved her as “bahu” (daughter-in-law). And in the last round he approved her as “wife”. Did she approve anyone?? “hamare yahan ladkiyo in sab mamlon me nahi bolti, tu padhai kar” (The girls here do not speak in all these matters, you study)
So now the product has been sold. But wait..
. where is the sales agreement???
So here comes the point where She has to prove her love for him.
She actually love him. No infatuation. No attraction. Feelings!!!
But why can’t He see that. Why he needs a proof of that. She has heard from male friends, read quotes, seen in movies..”relationships are not all about intimacy”. Even the first time she made love to him was a kind of task for her..a highly regretted one. Now she don’t know how to react..Is everything so pratical in this world?? Is love all about getting laid?? Was he right?? Is there no place for emotions??
Million thoughts were running on her mind, which made her numb. Words were not comming out her mouth. Framing sentence appeared to be an alien art.
A part of her kept saying don’t be a fool, he don’t loves you..think wisely. But his lie was the only thing that made meaning to her, for which She craves, what She always wanted to hear. Hence She gave-in, She hugged him, He kissed her..
She was not ready.
She declined firmly
He absorbing the circumstances left her saying that they are totally different people and derive different meaning of love, They can’t be together even when they both love each other..
She stood still, not knowing how to react. He hugged her and bid her goodbye
She stood there..STILL
Is She meeting him for the last time? Are all the couples in this world alike?? Was She wrong???
The day has something good in it. The sun was extra bright, the birds were more chirpy and her heart, it was blooming. But what made
her happy this?? What made everything this lively??
A call.., a call from someone she never expected. Someone she bid goodbye to, though reluctantly and on a sad note but there was
nothing she could have done. She couldn’t hide her excitment, with sparkling eyes, quivering hands and shivering voice she took the
call. He wanted to meet so asked her if she was free.Her heart started doing sommersaults, She felt like she has been granted, all her
wishes. Without wasting a moment she said YES, she never looked on her schedule when it comes to him.
She tried to pretend as if she was taking this meeting casually, warned all the butterflies in her stomach, taught them to behave so that
he can’t figure out how happy she was, assuming he was interested in knowing how she feels or how she is. Silly!!!
They met, he took a room to prevent uninivited stares and stories. He, following the custom, complimented her. She smiled and asked
about his life. She kept jumping from a questions to another to confirm if he was fine and doing well.
She : You got new hairstyle? But you look good with your hairs down
He : I look good, always
She : But i love your hairs that way, more!!
He : And I love you…
She : what
He : I always did , you screwed everything… Look, I love you, make love to me!!
She ignored the second part and hugged him, Commited her love for him. She was well aware that her insecurity, possessiveness,
irritating and annoying behaviour has brought their relationship to an end. But was glad to see that his love came back to her. Silly!!!
He : Make love to me.
She : (lovingly) Stop it. No.. I have got so much to share..I missed you like hell..Thankyou for forgivi….
He : We can always talk after making love.
She : (surprised) Please. You know am not that comfortable with this love making thing.
He : But its not the first time right?
She : (shocked) * You know I didn’t want to make love..did just for you.You know I take it as sin. You know how much i felt guilty
about, our love making. You know what I feel about it.You know how insecurely I behaved after it* Why are you behaving like a
typical cheap guy?
He : After the havoc you caused in my life don’t you think you owe me this.
She : (shattered) *Owe you. Owe you sex because I love you. Because I wasn’t strong to accept the drift in you after we had sex.
Because I can’t see you talking to your ex* I apologised from the bottom of my heart after realising my mistake.
He : Oh common… Its kind of compensation. And we too love each other so there is nothing bad in it.
She : You love me?
He : (irritated) Ofcorse I do. Why else am here..
She : (sobbing) then can’t you just drop this idea of yours for my sake
He : C’mon don’t act like a kid. Don’t start this crying thing. I can take this. You don’t even love me. If you love me then do it for me.
She : (convincingly) I do love you.
He : Prove it.