Special credits-Astra07 (Tears don’t have values)
Time Period:1995-2005, and Now
Marriage – Part 2
Marriage- isn’t a dream to every girl? Yes… it’s a dream for everyone’s life once they start to dream about their better half… they will expect about some qualities in their better half… they will get a hope about their marriage… as they will get a better half whom they expected… will the hope exist at the last? I don’t know … I can’t say with my perception. But, At last, I lost the hope… hope of getting married…
“Call your daughter, Mr.Ram…”The boy’s father told my father while biting an pakora.
If we have saved the money which we spent on snacks for these occasion till now , at least we could have repaired the fan in our house.
In the five years, he is the 100th boy who came to look me. won’t you guys congratulate me ? I did century in this… ok, I won’t be anger on you if you won’t congratulate me.
“Suji, Take Rago here…”My papa said to my maa.
As usual, I took coffee tray in my hand.
“Rago…”My maa started but I blinked my eyes in assurance. I nod my head down… don’t you guys know? It’s a girl’s first quality… be silent… shouldn’t speak never ever that too infront of inLaws at least upto your marriage… I know what you want to ask me.. isn’t it faking? This is the question you wanted to ask me naa. Don’t you guys know? For a marriage, we can even tell thousand lies… it’s not my statement… it’s the society’s statement…
I came to hall where everyone sat… I started to serve everyone coffee and tea while everyone is staring me as I am a wild animal which escaped from Vandalur zoo… even I don’t like to be standing as a doll to everyone but what can I do? The boy smiled to me. I smiled but I didn’t smiled… such a type of smile I am giving to every boy whoever come
to see me… a dramatic smile… because I lost my true smile in these occasions…
“Rago, Say Namaskar to everyone…”My Papa said.
“Namaskar…”I said by holding my hands before without looking at everyone. What can I do, friends? If I look at anyone, they will give me a name. Sorry, they already gave me in the previous occasion…
“Bhabhi, This girl is directly looking at our eyes. She should be mannerless girl”One of lady in the boy group announced in a high pitch but in a low voice as she was saying a secret.
Isn’t it looking directly into someone’s eyes won’t tell about our honesty? How come it became mannerless? I don’t know guys, atleast if you know tell me. Because I want to get married… before my parents think me as a burden.
“Rago, sit beta…”My Papa said.
I sat on the floor. I know what you guys want to ask me… is there no enough chair? There is enough empty chair and enough space also… but girl should never sit equal to the boy… different thoughts… different society… don’t you guys think like that?If you think like that, give me Aasai chocolate… I said first…
“will your girl sing?”One of the lady from boy side asked.
I know what my papa would say next… I made ready myself…
“She don’t know that much… but ,she will sing swami(God) songs”My papa said.
I kept silent for a minute… The same father once proudly announced everyone for my winning at district level music competition… it was my passion…It WAS…
What can he do? “What will a girl do by singing? Teach her cooking. It’s enough…”My dadu’s decision lit the pyre for my dream. But , I am very thankful to my papa for supporting me to complete my bachelor studies… Now, I am a teacher…Private school teacher…
“Rago…”My papa said which made me observe my surroundings.
“Kurai Ondrum Illai Maraimurthi Kannah!( No grievances have I )”I started to sing… Though there is a lot of grievances in my heart, I always choose this song… because it always gives me a peace… may be it’s because , my maa always used to sing that song as lally to me.
I stopped after five minutes and again kept silent.
“Your girl sang well. Will she cook well?”Boy’s mother asked.
“My daughter cooks very well. Even you will praise her once you eat her handmade food”My papa said then boy’s mother just smiled.
“Auch..!” I screeched a little after controlling me as someone suddenly pulled my hair.
“Don’t mistake me. your daughter is having a long hair. I thought it might be fake as her jewelleries… what can we do,Ram ji? Being preventive is a good .”One lady justified her act without any regret.
I wondered even womens like her are living in world… won’t they think about the feelings of the girl who was sitting here? They also a girl naa…
“Ram ji, you can take your daughter inside”Boy’s maa said in a authoritative tone.
I hate the attitude she shown to my parents… But, I couldn’t say anything… ANYTHING!
I stood and walked towards my room.
“See Ram ji, we like your daughter. My son is working as peon in Government office. Government servant he is. How much you can give for your daughter?”Boy’s mother asked directly.
I looked at her eyes from my hide out. Doesn’t she have any remorse for asking a price for her son? Doesn’t she have any regret to ask “DOWRY” from the family which gives their girl to her family?
Marriage is a business… a pure business… for them. it’s like a bidding…who gives higher or satisfactory bidding… they can finalize the boy as their Inlaw…
What a great society is? Yeah, it’s a great society where girls tears don’t have any values… their dreams always needed to be crashed… their perceptions doesn’t have any value… she is just an object to fulfill her husband’s desire… she is an unpaid servant for her husband and family… where her pains and illness even doesn’t get notified… even their life doesn’t hold any value…
“we can give 200 grams for our daughter and 40 grams for Groom. After that , we can gift the household products also…”My papa said.
It’s not so easy for him… it’s his lifelong earning… which he earned from his younger age by his hard work… That boy’s family is asking easily like a leech which was drinking blood, they were sucking my parent’s money… sometimes, I wonder.. Here, Price was fixed for boy .Then, why did the girl sell to boy’s family? you can point me . even ,you can advise me… Marriage is Pavitra Rishta.. Yes, it’s a pious relationship. I can’t refuse. But here they were making it as a business… I learned one thing in all these… In marriage business, girls were giving the money and getting sold… where money becomes a base of relationship, how could it be respectable one?
“Ok, we will send a letter after discussing with our family…”Boy’s maa said a common dialogue for rejecting the proposal. May be we were not upto her expectation.
My papa stood to sent off them…
I started to take off my jewelries and get ready in my normal attire for my job…
“maa, I am going to school…”I said while she entered with worried look.
Nowadays, my marriage worries eat her mind a lot.
“At least take rest rago. From morning , you are preparing snacks then got ready. Take a leave,Rago…”She said in a pleading tone.
“Maa, we have to earn at least to serve them snacks…” I said without realizing.
Tears suddenly come out from her eyes… I hurt her even I didn’t mean to do.
“Maa…”I hold her hands.
“Forgive us,Rago. We are even not able to make you marry… such a useless parents we are. You are bearing a lot just for the sake of born as our daughter”My maa said.
“Arre Maa… who said like that?see, Most of my friends didn’t crossed their schooling but you made me as a teacher… you gave me education to stand on myself… don’t worry about my marriage… if Madras biriyani has a fate to be Kolkata dog’s food, my rajkumar’s fate also ends with me… don’t you trust on durga maa?”I asked her.
Only god’s name convince her then my worst jokes… I know hyderabadi biryani and Kolkata dog was the worst , but still my maa was the most innocent creature… she will even smile for such jokes.. but only for my jokes..
“hmm.. Your beautiful smile … Now, see, How much you are beautiful? Stay there like this.. I am leaving…”I waved my hands and left to school.
“Hey Rago, what happened? Is there any good news?”Swara then shayamala asked me.
I nodded my head in negative.
She is also like me but a bit senior to me in this.Her parents are also searching a groom for her for the past 6 years… while Shyamala was two years junior to me in this.
“I am getting late for class. Once I come, we can speak…” I said and left to class.
“Phir pagal vanakkam (Good Afternoon), Tamil Amma…”Kids wished me.
It’s the only place where I can lost myself … my profession…
“Manavargale, Nama innaiku yenna padika poram…(Students, what are we going to study?)” I asked them.
“We are going to study about Mahakavi Bharathiyar’s history, Tamil amma…”One of my student answered.
Bharathi… The only man who dreamt about women’s freedom in this society … who supported women in his poems… who fought for them … if he would alive, he would fight against dowry where women becomes villain in another girl’s life…
“Manathil Uruthi vendum… Vakkinil Inimai vendum…(Heart should have courage… words should have sweetness…)”I started my class with one of my favorite poem of Bharathiyar.
I returned back to teacher’s room where Swara and Shyamala were already waiting for me. I gave a smile while they made a place for me in middle of them to sit.
“If I would have been a boy, I would have married you, rago… he is just unlucky…”Swara said.
“without dowry?”I raised my eye brows teasingly.
“How could without it? after all swara is a teacher.. we want atleast 400 grams gold… since, Swara is liking you a lot, we reduce upto 320 grams gold… but not lesser than that. Then, what will happen to groom’s bride? Isn’t it,Rago?”Shyamala said in a dramatic tone.
“Haan… haan…”I said while laughing while the two laughed along with me.
“hey.. where is lakshmi teacher?”I asked as lakshmi teacher was not there… she was a married girl but a bit silent… she never took leave…
I looked at Swara and Shyamala’s face… it’s fell down suddenly… But, what could be the reason?
“lakshmi teacher attempted suicide… she was admitted in hospital… She was out of danger now”Swara said in a low voice.
“What happened?’ I asked… it’s a huge shock to me. she is so timid. How come she got courage to try to end her life?
“It’s very simple ,rago. Lakshmi teacher husband is a drunkard. He lost his money including Lakshmi teacher’s jewels in business… he tortured Lakshmi teacher to get more money from her maternal home to restart his business…She can’t ask her parents… she can’t bear…”I lost my senses… How much he should have tortured her that she took such a decision?
“haan…”I looked at Swara blankly while she was calling me for a long time.
“Rago, This world is not only with such a people. We can get a good sasural”Swara said and patted my shoulders.
“we CAN…”I smiled at her hopeless words…
“Swara, what are that women organization people do? why can’t they protest against dowry?”Shyamala asked by deviating me.
I looked at Swara… which type of counter she is going to give.
“I already told you naa a group who came to look for me previous week…”Swara asked. But why did she asking irrelatively?
“haan.. even the boy’s mother had a quarrel with your father regarding dowry… as she was expecting more…”Shyamala said.
“isn’t she part of any women organization?”I asked the swara pulled my cheeks.
“you are the only one who are so brilliant in our group Rago. She is not only a part of women organization. She is the leader of local women organization.”Swara said which made us laugh a little about our situation.
We came out of school as school hours completed for today.
“let’s go to market… I have to buy some vegetables.”Swara said while we both nodded.
We went to market and Shyamala was enjoying the bargaining the vegetables.
I heard a huge cry at corner of market…
I walked over there…
There a man was beating a girl mercilessly.
“yenpa, why did you beat that girl?” one old man asked from crowd.
“She is my wife… I will beat her or even I have rights to kill her… who are you to ask that?”That man asked.
“It’s matter of husband and wife… why shouldn’t interfere in this?”Another man from crowd said which made the crowd disperse in a moment. I just looked at the girl who got beaten up… Her pleadings… is it marriage even gives to right to husband to beat like an animal and kill his wife?
“Rago, what are you looking there? Come,we are getting late…”Shyamala dragged me with her.
I reached my house somehow…
Now, I am scared about my marriage… what would happen if I end up with a abuser or drunkard or a person like lakshmi teacher’s husband? it will not only affect my life… it will affect my parent’s happiness also… I know there is a lot of good people in this world… but still, there is a fear in my heart which couldn’t swiped away easily.
“Ganga… Ganga…”A Small fine voice called a girl who was so busy in reading her mother’s diary.
“Ganga… Sanskar and his family will come in 10-15 minutes.Can you please check for Yamuna ?…please beta” Sumi said.
“Aunty don’t worry… I will take care of her…”Ganga said with a smile.
Sumi went to see another work while Ganga entered yamuna’s room.
“hmm.. Finally, you are going to marry whom you loved… so lucky naa, getting married to a person whom you love a lot”Ganga said while dreamt about it.
Yamuna gave a smile.
“It’s all possible because of you,Ganga. Thank you very much. You made my parents realize about my love .”Yamuna said bit emotionally.
“Are you trying to cheat me with simple thanks? I want a treat in subway. Be ready after this “Ganga said in a playful tone.
Horn sound was heard outside of the house.
“See, your Sanskar has arrived.Now, I have to bear your eye love stories .”Ganga said with teasing smile.
“Ganga…”Yamuna screeched with a blushing smile.
“Ganga, take Yamuna to hall…”Sumi signed.
Ganga nodded and took Yamuna outside.
Yamuna entered with coffee tray while snacks were already going on.
Ganga looked at the scenario which reminded her about her maa Ragini. A sarcastic smile played in her face .
“Shekar ji, My son is a doctor. You already know that. I know you will give dowry according to our status. I don’t want any adjustment in that”Sanskar’s mother said.
Ganga looked at Sanskar’s face which doesn’t have any regret for asking dowry the Sanskar’s maa.
“I have seen her before… but where?”Ganga thought.
“Shyamala ji, Yamuna is my only daughter. I will never let you disappoint in that.”Shekhar said.
Shyamala gave a satisfactory smile while Ganga looked her shocked.
“isn’t she my maa’s friend?”Ganga thought.
“Let’s take sweets,Shekar ji”Shyamala said and offered the sweets which was offered by Shekar as snacks.
Both the sides smiled as alliance is fixed.
“Are you the same shyamala aunty from kallidaipattu?”Ganga asked openly while Shyamala looked at Ganga being surprised.
“She is my daughter’s friend,Ganga”Sumi introduced.
Shyamala just nodded.”How did you know about me?”Shyamala asked.
“My maa Ragini told me a lot about you especially the talks about women.”Ganga paused.
“You are just looking like Rago. The same eyes…”Shyamala stood and caressed Ganga’s face in while she missed the glass in her hand and coffee was spilled in her saree.
“Ganga, take Shyamala ji to Yamuna room. “Sumi said.
On the way to Yamuna room,
“Aunty, you , My maa were most affected by dowry .Still, you are asking dowry. Are you asking for your doctor son’s pride? “Ganga asked .
Shyamala smiled as she remembered her old days.
“Haan beta… I’m asking for my son’s pride. Just imagine, if I tell girl’s family that I don’t need dowry, How will they react? Happy ..?no beta… they will investigate what is wrong with my son. In these years, Girl’s family habituated to give… we are habituated to demand… dowry became one of a custom in marriage, Ganga…”Shyamala said in a calm voice.
“Aunty, you are still in your time of society. But , a lot of things has changed. Girls got education… they are excelling in a lot of departments… even they are serving in our nation’s defense organization . we are not in the state as yours,Aunty… then, why can’t we try to change dowry also? everything needs a small step,Aunty… why can’t you do that?”Ganga asked.
“Yes, There is a lot of age gap… but , I am also in the same society where you are living now Ganga. Girls got a lot of rights… There is no suicidal because of fake stomach pains … There is no one beating their wives in front of everyone in roads at least in cities… women are excelling in every department… but , it’s all a mirror image of a small group which was educated… if whatever you are telling the truth , the girls ratio should be getting increased, Ganga. But it’s not…Still, baby girls are getting killed in a corner of village just for the reason, she is a girl… Her education rights snatched away from her just because of the reason of poor parents and she is a girl…. Still, The government are arguing that the maritial rape is not a crime… still, some politicians are telling that rape is happening because of girls…
Have you thought what would be the mistake of 5 year old kid or a old women or a mentally unstable girl to be getting raped? Nothing is their mistake other than born as girl… Before, People watched husband who was beating his wife… Now they are putting a drunkard who raped a mentally unstable girl on the road in the broad day light on facebook live instead of stopping him and punishing him… The old age homes are getting increased nowadays . is it a growth which you are telling? Sorry ganga… you are fooling yourself … The place which you live and see and the reality which you can’t see is different… completely different which you even can’t imagine… you are seeing the exceptions who achieved against the society… but still, there are a lot of girls who lost their lives in the hand of society including your maa… my friend Ragini…”Shyamala stopped.
Ganga looked at Shyamala being shocked… she also heard all these news … but the effect is different now…
“These things , you maa might be didn’t say… she expelled out of house just because she gave birth to a girl… to you… she could have fight against her sasural… but she chosen to live alone just to give you a good life… My another friend Swara, she was killed by her sasural to make her husband remarry again… so, they could get dowry again… I witnessed the worst sides as the good one’s… in these years, I learned about society more than you,Ganga… still, it’s not changed it’s face for women’s… it only knows to taunt women’s… still, Women’s tears don’t have any values in this society though she is educated or excelling…”Shyamala said .
Sumi entered Yamuna’s room.
“Shyamala ji, is it everything ok?”Sumi asked.
Shyamala gave a smile.
“Actually, I am speaking about my old friend with Ganga. We will come in few minutes…”Shyamala assured.
“Ganga,I am not saying the society is bad or something. But it’s not the same what you are thinking. We have to live along with the society. We have safeguard ourself and run in the life journey.”Shyamala said.
“are we not a part of society?”Ganga asked as a final question.
“we are just a part of society,Ganga”Shyamala finished with a smile.
Shyamala and Ganga came outside…
Sanskar’s family got ready to leave…
Shyamala went near to Shekar.
“Shekar ji, I just spoke for my relative’s sake.. no need of dowry… just give me my house’s, Mahalakshmi “Shyamala said while caressing Yamuna’s face.
Ganga Looked at Shyamala with a smile as she felt truthfulness in her words…
Sumi and Shekar were looking at her Shyamala’s face being shocked.
Shyamala started to walk outside.
“Shekar ji, Have you investigate about Sanskar correctly? He don’t have any problems. Isn’t it?”Sumi asked being worried about her daughter’s life, which can only hear Shekar then Ganga.
Shyamala turned and gave a meaningful smile to Ganga.
Ganga returned a painful smile while Shyamala’s words ringed in her mind…
It’s just my views, friends and sissies… Tell me about your views.