“This day too was about to end as one of my normal working days, until the police constable of my unit ringed me to inform that there was a father with his daughter waiting for me at my cabin. Maybe due to the sense of responsibility or the urge to end my duty hours as early as possible, I hurried to my cabin to meet them. Entering the room, my eyes went wide in wonder and incredulity when I happened to behold their faces. Just a single glimpse of his brawny face with bossed forehead and ponderous jaw sent a chill through my spine and I assume he was taken aback too, on my presence there. In fact, the startling expression on our face was not too much of a surprise because I was looking at my father-in-law standing in front of me with startled eyes and mouth wide open. His mere presence resurrected all my memories, buried deep down within me.
My mind went back to remember the day when that man, who was destined to be my husband, came to my house with his parents all dressed up in ritzy costume to see me for marriage. As per the custom, I was brought up in front of them and in the meantime, I, for the first time, was able to see him. Soon we were sent to the balcony to have some private conversations. But my demure character didn’t allow me to make eye-contact and every response to his query was replied merely either in a nod or a shake of my head and the one-sided meeting ended upon soon in five minutes upon which he agreed to marry me. Everything afterward was arranged between the families and I was only allowed to know the date of my marriage, refrained from apprehending any further matters.
Finally one month after, it was the day of marriage, when I, whom my parents have cared and protected from every menace for last twenty years, was about to be handed to some other family whom we knew hardly for one month. But after all, that was the tradition and the marriage completed. Suddenly the cherishing and contented look of my fathers’ turned into despair which was totally anticipated as I was the only daughter of my family. It was the first time I hugged my father with tears rolling down my cheeks and with the same sobbing face I had to bid him a good-bye.
I was almost drifted away with a stream of my memories when this sudden voice of her brought me back to that room. My sister-in-law in a very astounding tone asked,
“Bhauju, how come are you here, in this office and uniform?”
Even though being in anger, very calmly did I then reply, “Time has changed, my sister” upon which this very person standing next to her with his head tilted down said in a trembling tone “and so do have persons, my daughter”. My heart, indurated in these years of duty, started to deliquesce like a candle to hear the word “my daughter” but I controlled my emotions and asked, “What have brought you to me, sir?”
On hearing me, the man, once I knew with arrogant, egoistic and insolent personality, burst into tears at once and said,
“I am sorry for all my deeds daughter. I never imagined that what I sowed in my past would reap me apart in my future. I am sure it’s impossible to forget and forgive me. I assume so god decided to castigate me in his own way. I am too sheepish to ask for it but today I come to seek help for my own daughter from another daughter, whom I always humiliated and tortured without giving her the position she was worth of.”
Upon listening to it, with tears rolling down my cheeks, my mind again dived into the lake of those bitter memories, where a girl dreaming of a new life with a family full of ecstasy and prosperity stepped into a house to find all her dreams just to be a fantasy. Soon after few days, my husband, whom I had assumed to be an understanding one, turned out to be a monster to me, arguing with me for every minor mistake. I even tried to sort it out by having a conversation with him but all that I received in return was humiliation, foul words, and some few slaps. Burying all my pains within me, I had decided to live with the insult, but the matter went worse when my mother-in-law too started to show the same rough behavior towards me. With my only hope, I then went to talk to my father-in-law. It was then, the whole matter was revealed to me and I came to know that all the torture and pain inflicted upon me was because my father went short on his payment for me. He could not provide all the cash assured to be given as dowry and the consequence was, my condition. The days went by the same way and my condition grew up to be more and more dreadful. They even used to tell me,” now all the remaining due of your father will be paid by you by doing all the works of the house. At least we will save the servants’ cost out of you.”
More than a thousand times I had thought of talking this to my family but the thought of why to bother them for my fate refrained me. Finally one day I made up my mind and fled away from that jail and landed up in one of my friends’ from my college, who was residing alone for her higher studies and was the only hope of mine at that time. It was her shelter, where I perceived a sense of paradise embedded with care, love, and humanity and inspired me to carry on my studies, finally gaining what I am living up to at present in my life, a job with respect and responsibility. It was then, I realized that there may be a delay in god’s home but there is no denial.
Driving me out of memories I realized that I could not let that happen with any other women’s life and so keeping aside my personal vengeance I decided to help her. Even though I had hated her all my life, her sufferings compelled me to pity this poor girl and I made up my mind to succor every woman entrapped within this so called evil custom of our society, to finally bring it to an end.
Today after one year, I am pleased to see how those conservative and money-minded persons of one time have transformed to social activist, running an organization, which speaks against dowry system, the disguised crime of our society preserved in the name of tradition and custom.
Today again tears rolled down my cheeks, writing this, but these tears are shed in joy, satisfaction and a hope that sooner or later our society will change, in a hope that I will see “The Change”.”
Question and Answer with Homendra
1. Tell us more about yourself.
Talking about me, myself – I am a medical student currently at 4th year of my MBBS career at Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj. But instead, I prefer introducing myself as a keen learner with some affection and passion towards literature, especially in my leisure time. After all, it was once said: ” knowledge sharpens your mind, but literature broadens it “.
2. What was your thought when you apply to Wordism competition?
Really speaking initially I was not quite sure about writing up for the competition per say. Yeah, I am fond of reading novels and articles and even write some of my small piece of articles as recreational activities but somewhere I knew I was not quite dexterous in the art of writing. I don’t know what exactly made me do so, but seeing your platform, I felt of trying once as if it inspired me and I thought, “why not give a try once?” and furthermore the topic of this month was really exhilarating one, giving me an opportunity to bring forward a social message to everyone.
3. What are your dreams and aspiration?
Being in a medical career, or even though If I would not have been in this profession, I always wanted to pursue my career in the development of mankind. From the very beginning of my school days, I was always fascinated by reading the life history of scientists and inventors, amazed, startled and inspired by their contribution towards the world. That impression made me determine to bestow my life in contribution to this world for the development and betterment of mankind, be it in any aspect, any field or any quantity, significant or not but I will give up my life to contribute.
4. How do you feel being the Wordism Runner Up for Chaitra?
I am really honored to be presented as the runner-up for this month wordism competition as this is my first time, I wrote up anything for a competition. So I am abysmally glad to grab it and would like to take this as a source of inspiration for my future writings and by the grace of platforms like yours, I hope to improve my skill in upcoming days.
5. Anything you want to say for who is reading this!
Finally, to everyone out there who are reading this, I would like to say just two things for now:
Firstly, as this month topic suggests along with my piece of writing, I would like to acquaint you all that there are alot of preoccupied traditions and customs which even though being inhumane and we, being aware of its consequences, continue to follow it as a legacy, but friends, it’s high time for intellectual and enthusiastic generation like ours to bring about a CHANGE, a positive change. But as it is said, “Charity begins from the home, So first let’s change our mentality and we will behold a society, Beautiful and Changed”
Secondly, from my experience of life till now, I suggest every young mind out there to listen to your heart and pursue what it says before the brain may interrupt you and confuse you.
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