Chapter 3 The Birth

​Her life began on a melodious note, except for few quibbles, which signify a beautiful daughter in law and mother in law relation, life started to revolve around taking care of her family and  handling daily chores. Life always has been quite simple and uncomplicated, complications were never meant for her. 

Slowly she was acquainting to her new home and its people. Slowly but steadily she was building up new relations , putting her soul into the house and the people dwelling in it. Respecting elders and loving young ones was inculcated in her as taught to every child of our society. We are taught since childhood, giving love brings back love, but what we never realise is that life sometimes push us into situations which are at odds to what we have been learning our entire life. In beginning the ‘Love motto’ worked for her but she was oblivious of the hidden motives behind those smiles.

Things started to change slowly and gradually over a period of time. It Initiated with taking her jewellery which our parents gave and few burnt marks which her mother in law gifted because of her  rage. Her mother in law was a lady of short temper. She was cunning enough and has perfected the art of turning the tables. Tales of her wickedness can be heard from neighbours,  she wished if only our parents would have enquired about her in laws and their family, instead they overlooked everything for the house they own and somewhat established business. They forgot to realise money can buy everything but not  happiness. Happiness is  love reciprocated for care and love we give, happiness which is found in little things we often ignore. But as the deed was done, she had no other option but to live with the circumstances. If things have stopped there, she would have lived her entire life there but things got so sour that even burnt chapati were welcomed with burnt marks on her. Worse was even Harish supported his mother and turned blind eye to all what was happening. She was punished for the fact that even today girls are taught to be submissive since their childhood. Things beginning with pity wishes, ended up facing such circumstances.

She didn’t had heart enough to oppose what was happening with her neither did she told anyone about this, again for the fact girls are taught after marriage they belong to in laws. Little loopholes in our society sometimes bring unbearable wrath in our own lives. Aghast, it was just the beginning of the storm that was yet to come.

Situation began to deteriorate, she was thrashed now and then, sometimes it was from her mother in law and sometimes from my brother in law. It becomes difficult for me to understand at times, how can a woman fail to understand a woman, even after undergoing through similar phases of life.

As the burnt marks and the red eyes kept increasing, the silent storm had begin to build inside her. She bore all this for the family she left behind, for she knew her parents would never be able to fulfil the exquisite demands of her in laws.

For months, she was locked in the room without enough food and water, little corner of that tattered room acted as loo to her. It was then, she felt, it can never get worse than this, and a rebel was slowly being born in  that submissive girl. Limbs crying out of pain and eyes with anger, tears dropping down, was the volcano which atlast erupted. 

Broken limbs rather soul was what was left of her. Nothing left to lose, gave her the strength to break the shackles, which brought back the part of her that she misses the most and gave a new life to her withered soul and soon she was out of her place of confinement, stepping into world of eccentricity, oblivious to what lie on other side. All she knew, she was leaving the worst behind and was resurrecting herself.

Chapter 2: The New Begining

The Palanquin carrying my sister reached  destination by midnight, according to the ritual ceremony, I accompanied her till the destination. The street was just wide enough for the Palanquin to enter with one light pole enacted halfway to the road.
It was a single storeyed house, painted newly may be for the wedding. As we entered into the house, two ladies were already standing with a diya lit in a dish, a tradition performed for welcoming newly wedded couple.
Anuradha stepped inside the house with first stepping onto a vermillion plate leaving foot prints on the floor, first but not the last red prints she left in that house.
House had a little verandah with a tulsi plant in the middle, there were two rooms each on either sides, with the kitchen located in the right corner and in the left corner there was washroom, forming a new world for my sister to reside.
A chaos preceded all over the place, a chaos which occured for no reason.
As it was already late, everyone wanted refreshing tea and some food, which I felt our hosts were not liking much. Their countenance told a different story what their words were telling. From the very first moment I stepped in there the air was never so comfortable, making me feel fidgety.
Contrary to it, tea was served and pakora were prepared for all the guest.
The slight cold morning, passed on the freshness which was much needed.
In the corner of the house, I saw my brother in law sitting over cot, sipping  his morning tea. Around 11’O clock we were suppose to leave for the “pehla fera” ceremony after the wedding, addition to some delays, we left half an hour late. It was a two hour journey but we completed in two and a half hour, thanks to our much needed halt for refreshing drinks and tea.
The couple was received in a typical tradtional style with a grand welcome.
All the neighbours and relatives gathered around.
Few ladies gathered together to form a group around my sister, intriguing her as I can see my sister coying, surrounded by those ladies.
The Food preparation for  lunch was one of the best i ate till date, umpteen number of dishes were cooked, left me wondered how in the world my parents afforded such good food which was fed to many. It was one costly bussines, and the two day affair left my parents in debt for years to come. Chitter chatter, prattle and gossips was the sole affair I could observe happened that day other than the wrapping of gifts which took place in a room where no one was allowed to go, made me think of my brother in law as one the richest person alive, though he was not. Post wedding event went well, with my sister and brother in law  leaving for the day with some gifts.
And as my sister left the house that day,  it marked the New Beginning to her life.

Chapter 1 : The Sunset

 

A sheet of calmness is spreading over the sky, with the approach of the dusky evening towards the end. The Moon has already started peeking out of the sky, following the visibility of the stars which can begin to shine any moment. In a distant corner of the road outside of the house, easily identifiable amid the huge bunglows, I am sitting staring the setting sun. My childhood seems like yesterday to me when cracklings and laughter of Anuradha and I, use to echo around the house. She was five years elder to me and was always full of liveliness. We were from one of those families who were surviving on a three time meal, though sometimes we had to settle for a two time meal. She was the purest of soul I have ever come across. It was a daily ritual to hang around with her across the village in the evening, greeting everyone on our way and halt in between to play with our neighbour’s kids. In those days it was not rare, to spend time at neighboring houses as people were not much confined to themselves. They were more polite and much more helpful back in those days. Throughout my childhood, I was at her command in the evening which I enjoyed a lot.When I turned 11, she was 16 and things began to change a bit, she was not allowed to go out of the house in the evenings much, the reason to which i did not understand at that time. All it meant was the end of all the fun we use to have. But it looked peculiar to me then, more than this what I found awkward was that she was restricted to indulge herself in talks with boys, who were friends to her. For me, I was never allowed to question these changes. I always wished to be a grown up to understand the worldly affairs which seemed illogical to me. Unaware of the facts then, I was living through the golden era of my life,but just couldn’t recognize it.

Gopalnath Vidalya, a school in our village was the last institute she attended, and like it happened with  most of the girls of our village, after 12th class she was never allowed to go for higher studies, though being a bright student during her time. Things down the time have changed quite a lot now, 2-3 years back village got its own graduation college, changing the outlook of people towards the upbringing of girls.
She went through all of this yet never complained of anything. As soon as she turned 18, our parents started to look for the suitable groom. Across the social network, a word spread among  relatives and family friends so as to accelerate the search. In those simpler times of envelopes and postcards, the connectivity was a thing to understand and a pleasure to watch. The news for finding a suitable groom was spread across and tailing mails started to come in, within a month’s time.
With in a week of this event, our parents had enough of groom options to choose from, ironically my sister had none.
She was never asked an opinion in her marriage, as it was considered a taboo for girls to choose their desired grooms for themselves.
Soon the ritual of choosing the groom ended with all my relatives, our parents and our well wishers declared one guy which seemed suitable for her. His name was Harish, a shopkeeper by profession who owned a house in his village. His father was a farmer, who mostly spent his time at the house and his mother was someone who my sister will soon become, a housewife.
The preparation for her marriage started at a great pace and in a month’s time, her D’day came. With sweets, delicious food and fun all around I was the happiest of all, unknown to many facts and the possible consequences of the marriage, or I would rephrase it in a better manner, consequences of Anuradha’s life.
Midst of all hustles and bustles, chaotic sounds, thump of music and lots of rituals, by the time it was evening Anuradha was no longer a girl, she was a bride to someone, if not by choice.
Orange sky with setting sun, seemed to compliment her orange lehnga, and i wish it would have been just the Sun which was setting that day.