|a secret life (standard:Inspirational stories, 6000 words)|
|Author: Amlita||Added: Jul 17 2012||Views/Reads: 1707/961||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A lady editor of a reputed magazine secretly gives the glimpses of her childhood days. It shearly showed the rigid Indian village thinking. But the main thing that may leave a reader thinking is, was her real name prerna or rewati? And after her family’s|
Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story face with her milky white saree and continued “ she was destined to go, beautiful soul let her rest in peace!” shut her eyes as in prayers and chanted “ram ram..” It was night now the 2 years old girl, went to her father's cot, who was gazing at the sky and still raining his eyes. His tear would shine, in the faint kesosene light that lighted his thatched house in the varenda, as it rolled down his cheeks “ baba, ma won't come to sleep with us today?” “no . she has already went to sleep” “where baba, why didn't she sleep with me today baba?” “I don't know” “baba, why did you fire her today?? It must have hurt her! Thats why she left our house. Can you please, baba, bring her back, I want to listen to the story that she left half last night!” The man could not hold himself and hugged her daughter tightly and cried at the top of his voice “ she won't, she won't come back. How will I bring you both up without her!! Why did she leave me alone !!” Rewati held his father , brushed his hairs as her mother use to do when she did get hurt , kissing his forehead she said “ baba I know she went far away from us. She loved me that is why she went to shivaji to tell him to give you more money and me more dolls. Baba don't cry I m here , I will take care of you and daddi.” “daddi had already explained me all the things”.. this time it seemed being more lightened about a thing is more painful than being ignorant of. The man lost his maturity , crying his heart out for the woman who entered his life for as long as 6years. The girl would handle herself and her father with her shear innocence and her ignorance about death. “ but, baba the little boy who came today, cries more than you. even daddi could not stop him crying, he is a big cry.” Father smiled at her with is wet eyes and took her in his lap in the clear yet darkest of the night with stars studded into a dark sky roof, with a faint background music of a child's cry and a shaky voiced women consoling with her lullabies. 5 Days saw them grow up. Everything went back on track. Ravi , her younger brother , who was now 4years old, was now admitted to a local school in their village. Rewati , now 6years stayed at home, helped her grandmother with cooking and households. Her daily job was to help grandmother then make tiffin to father's farm , escort Ravi to school. On her way to the farm or the school , she would come across people making statements about cholera , hospitals lined up with patients at special service for cholera treatment . It was this time when cholera, an epidemic had broken out in the village. She would complete her cooking by 9am and take the tiffin to the farm and on the way back she would take company Ravi to home. She was always fascinated with the school activity, that she would see or that his brother would narrate at home about the day, the lessons in chorus, the bags, the lunch breaks , the printed books and writing on the papers with pen , every bit attracted her. She would always sit beside Ravi and ask him “hey how to write my name on this paper?” Ravi would innocently describe her the way to assemble the alphabets to write her name. 6 One day she had to walk to grosser's shop across the school. As the school came closer her way she could hear the children shouting in fun, teacher's scolding and lessons taught unanimously in rhythm. This tempted her to stay for a second and watch the mysteriously attractive chaos which added to the sweetness of the air. She stood outside the gate with a sag bag ,watching the girls run in the sand with their two pleated hair jumping in the air. Suddenly a window caught her eye ball's attention. She slowly walked towards it. The window outdoored the backbenchers . She could hear the teacher telling something about how education is important for everyone , unconsciously she thought “ahh this is what ravi was telling baba .the moral teaching class, yeah right,he used this name for this teaching!”. She was actually enjoying the scene , everything was so exciting for her. The boys at the last bench would look into their books for a moment and the next moment they would be poking each other. The boy who occupied the last bench seemed to have a worm in his brain, he would look into his box then suddenly he looked into the book and the very next moment he suddenly turned his head towards the window. He saw revati. Rewati got scared. But the boy ignored her. May be for him it was an regular scene, since in this village education for many girls was restricted to just peeping into the classroom. After a minute of heart trobe she resumed her view sighting as she realized the boy was no harm to her. Two boys at the opposite end of the window , lowered their heads and started munching on their steel tiffins. It was very new and funny for her. she got so excited , she started imagining herself as a classroom attendant , she could not resist and the next second she giggled loud enough for the whole class to hear “sir , they are eating!!” suddenly the whole attention was now not on the importance of education but on a strange girl peeping and laughing. The boys munching , with an reflex had their tiffin boxes in their bags but their poor little mouth could not speed up, their cheeks were produging out with parathas on their inner cheek walls. Rewati stood stunned . she wanted to run but by that time a tall shadow was already standing with a cane stick. “ good morning sir, sorry” and ran away, leaving the teacher stand on the window and stare her little bare feet elope from the place. 7 Wraped in a saree without blouse, the old lady started “does it take so long to bring two mere things from shop?” spitting her red bettle nut ‘masala' from her varanda. “no , it takes 15minutes” as rewati runs inside to escape her expert advices , which were just on marriages and girls' character. “then how come you took 30 minutes. I had sent you buy not to yourself produce them! Must have been playing with those street girls! See I am your grandmother , telling for your better, it won't profit me anytime. Stop playing with those girls , they won't make anything good but mere harlots. Spend more time , sharpening your kitchen skills, then only you can get into a good family, and if the family is good, they may not demand for huge dowry.” Seeing no response from the other side “ don't listen, you think this old lady's advices are useless, but they aren't , soon you will understand.” Then talking to herself and clapping and smating her masala “no one listens to me, after I die they will know”. All this while, rewati kept dreaming about the place she visited . Each scene would come to her and would leave a smile on her face, thinking how fun it was to be there. It was night , time for dinner. All four of them sat on the straw mat on the floor with a bowl of rice and fish fry , flavor accompanied with whole raw onion. Night was silent apart the chewing sounds by grandmother. Suddenly the silence was broken by a sweet voice “baba, why can't I go to school just as Ravi ? Baba, I want to study and eat tiffin in the class and wear those blue skirts and white blouse” Her voice grew excited as she went on speaking. Before any word expected from the man, the only lady of the house reacted “ this was the day left for me to see! Girls don't go to schools. I never did. And what are you going to do there, at the end of the day you would be sitting in someone else's kitchen. So instead of wasting your time even thinking about it try to learn how to make mutton curry or jackfruit fry!” picking up the eaten up bowl she went into kitchen murmuring something. Then father continued “ rewa, dear I would love to send you but see your grandmother is old , she needs a helping hand here too , had your mother been here I would never had had you stayed you at home.” Kissed her daughter's forehead and left. Ravi said , “didi had you been to our school today?” paused and continued ,“ please convince baba and you too come. It will be fun, we both will play and study together” 8 A morning ,fews days after, rewati's neighbour died of cholera. The scene was pathetic with the cries of the ladies around. That very after noon, there was a strange knock on the door. It was strange because no one in village knock, they would stand outside and scream the name of the person they want for. Anyhow father was late to farm , because of attending neighbour's funeral. Father opened the door, he had to welcome a troop of educated men. Rewati was instructed by her grandmother to go and serve water to them. They were men from government , who were there to encourage children's right to education. As soon as they saw the little girl one of them smiled and generously enquired, “what's your name dear?” “rewati” “do you go to school?” “no” “Why” “I have to help my grandmother , and get trained for my husband” He smiled and turned to rewati's father, “husband! Why sir, why do you want your daughter to be chained like a animal at some else's house? Sir don't you want your daughter to grow up big, so big that she not only can handle a family but can handle herself too?” Father reluctantly, “after all she is a girl. i.. ahmm.. I don't know” “do you have any other child?” “yes ,a son” “is he getting his schooling” “yes” “then why not your daughter ? is your daughter not a part of your life? Don't you love her ? you surely do sir ! then why this partiality!” rewati stood there listening to everything. Father continued, “yeah , my wife even always wanted her to grow and stand on her own feet, even I am sick of these backward ideas but still I don't know.. really ,I don't know!” “ sir, I assure you all security for her, she is our daughter too, we will help her in all respect. But please don't detach her from the fast moving world. Let her have her chance too and then see , what miracles she's gonna do. Leave about doing well at husband's house , she will excel in the house of knowledge.” Turning to her “dear do you want to get educated?” “yes uncle” and smiled, after all she can now wear her blue skirt and white blouse.  9 “son remember educating a girl will do no good but will only bring curse to family! You are not that small to melt with those men's word. They have nothing to lose, if anything happens ,its going to happen with us and we have to pay for it.” grandmother cried in her shaky voice with her ‘paan' stained teeth. “ma , even her mother wanted her to go . Allow her once . We will keep an eye . If anything goes wrong we will bring her out, no issues with it. And rather they said if we educate a girl then they said they will give some ‘laon' (loan) kind of a thing. Means they will give some money, which we can use it” , unaware of the system called loan, he remarked . “if you want destruction , go ahead. Later do not ever blame me that I didn't tell you the fact. Educating her , will bring destruction. Rest everything is on you, you have to face the music , because I am too old to live a long life.” Turns to rewati, “ rewa , dare you destroy my house ! go, be a madam but do spare us” 10 A governent affiliated school enrolled another name “rewati” ! She looked sweet and different in blue uniform with two plated hair along with black shiny shoes. A bag on her back, a small bottle hung on her neck and a smile as broad that it couldnot conceal her lost milk teeth . Red big chubby cheeks , fair but powder puffed face and pinky small lips! What else could her mother expected to see had she been alive. For her these small things were like a dream! And she looked like little angel ! An angel so innocent !! She could not hold her excitement . She hopped all the way the holding her father's hand on one side and his brother's hand on the other side..As she hopped, dust faded the shine of her shoe, when immediately she would stop , take out her hanky and polish it. As she reached the gate of the school she stood muffled if that was a dream! She bend backwards a bit to see if the window was still there! Yeah it's still there, and smiled. She signed her father to bring his ears to her mouth and whispered “baba I will eat my lunch in the class itself”,and innocently giggled with her hands on her mouth to hid the absence of her teeth. Thus the days went on . She would go to school in the morning, and would complete her home work by 6pm and then would then help her grandmother with the dinner. Even though grandmother's sarcastic comments was not to stop, she could not help the things go out her way. 10 2months later . grandmother woke rewati up and then went to wake ravi. “oh my god, my son is having fever!” “ama I can't go to school today, I am having loose motions and all the night I had been running to vomit. Let rewa go lone” “oh my son!! You take rest. No need of school until you get alright, see you have grown weak too” and hugged him. The next day even didn't see him in any better condition , rather he detoriated. Evey 30 min at the minimum he would rush . his face went pale no water could stay in his body . in just two days one can see the ribs getting more prominent and eyes went into its eye cave. “did you get hakim ?” she asked ravi's father. Who even rather seemed weak. “ya I did, he would come here by today evening. Ama I am really scared , what is happening to my son, he is looking terrible!” and handed coconut water to her. “ nothing will happen to my son. Till I am alive I will let no force to touch him. I am to go first . he will be alright you go and see what rewa is doing” “yeah, but maybe I am too not going to farm today.” “why ? and why is it you too are looking so weak?” “yeah actually am too having the same problem as ravi” “so why didn't you tell me? “ “I thought you take ravi's care and I am big enough to handle myself and as it is hakim will be coming, we both are having the same problem , not a big deal” Just when he was about to leave , she said in a worried voice, “I am scared!” “what?” “the curse has come!” “what!?” “rewa!” “what rewa? What curse?” “her education ! now the curse has shown its face” “oh ama education is a noble thing, it has nothing to do with our loose motions!” And went . That night neither did ravi nor his father kept their health! No one slept that night . hakim had visited him. He took his fees to say that they have the god's disease ,cholera! He chanted few ‘mantras' and assured him that he would he well soon, and gave them some herbal local medicines. Yet ravi bleeded his motions and so did his father. They continuously vomited. Their body didn't accept any amount of liquid. They would sput it out as soon as any liquid goes!! Stomach cramps took over them! Father suffered, but he did not want to divert anyone's attention from his son. Grandmother was continuously on her toe to help her sons out. They both were lying on the floor on a straw bedding and ama feeding them with spoons of lemon water, and here the little rewati could just hid and see them so helpless!! Since years , she had almost forgotten her mother's absence but this was the night when she actually could see her mother stand by her and smile with her hands on her head, “let god give you any amount of torture, you be my brave young beautiful lady! I love you all but I have been so alone out there for so long. You still got your work here. Please send them to me as soon as they finish their work” and smiled! Rewati's eyes was left wide open with an utter silence on her open mouth!! “no ma. Baba has got his kharif crops ready , he will take long. Ravi has homework to do. I won't go to school. I have work with ama. U go , I don't want you. they have lot of work here they will take long!” and two crystals of tears rolled midway her cheeks with the reflected image of all the three of them! Next day too conditions did not change for better. “ all because of you rewati !! all because of you!! you cursed us with our education !! yes you!!” echoed a shaky voice in rewati's mind all throughout the day . While the two body together suffered their souls , ama , the small,bend bodied lady ran from one corner of house to other to get things to relax them! And on her run she would give a hault to her tired body infront of her god he plea, “let them leave. They have still long journey to cover, take my old body . what will I do if you snatch them from me! That little boy was my gift from her mother, leave them!!!!!!!!!!!! Fine if not me, atleast think about that little girl! after them I am to go , then what is she going to live on!! Why we! Spare us, take me, torture me! Leave them! Rewati stood and just saw everything happen! Helpless! It was night. The first night was that day when they both slept a little. Ama napped sitting beside them. Rewati saw the whole thing! Every single comment every single day played in her innocent mind. She slowly came in the room. Stared at ama for a while and said, “I didn't mean to do ama, I am sorry”. Slowly went and sat on the floor beside the place where they slept. “ ravi get up fast na! lets play na. :'( , you know, the first day , when you were born you cried more loudly than anyone else! Don't be quite, cry ,atleast cry if not laugh..” Her tears fell on the boy's dry pink turned black parted lips. Suddenly when she turned to her father and again wishpered , “baba , I am right na, he cried more than you that day na! sayyy nah!!” her cry increased its intensity , “baba I said you , I will take care of you! why don't you give me a chance as you did for my school! Please get up , I will take your care just like ma, utho na!” , “ma please don't come, let me have them, everyone talking about their death! Ask them to keep quite na.. why not ! u are god ow and you can ask them to keep quite, do na! help me ma! I ruined it all!! I went to school and it happened! Ama was right!!!!” 11 They slept and kept on sleeping for a journey to meet ravi's mother! Shrunken dry cold bodies lied where they were last night. Father ‘s cold wrinkled hand was on ravi's belly, as if consoling, “your stomach ache will be ok, son”. And yeah, now its all okay. Nothing left in their hollow bodies to bear. Within no time the cold hollow body was then merely a white cloth laden puppet. They climbed up the wooden stage carried by four men. As they slept peacefully , rewati stood like a pole. A frozen pole ,left alone in dark cold winter night , all alone! Neither did a tear help her. She stood behind the door , peeping the men who took her father and brother far away from her. Each step they moved,as they moved nearer to her mother , the distance between them and rewati increased. The bitter alonliness and the emptiness in rewati's little heart increased. It ached! The fire reached the sky again! A moment ,and then ,they are gone! Gone , vanished forever into air. The going to farms , giving him the tiffins, together going to school , at pause ! paused with the pause of their life. Grandmother leaned on her stick way back to her house. No reaction no emotion. She went on , ahead. Rewati turned , saw her go alone , leaving her with the company of ashes and unburnt wood log.. turned back to the ashes. Slowly she walked towards them. Stood still. When suddenly breeze blew in. The dust of ashes slapped her cheeks. A small drop of water rolled on the grey sand. The drop stood there undissolved, like a crystal! A crystal of memories, a crystal of love she got, a crystal of grief, a crystal of her lonliness! Her eyes went down. She stood exactly where their cold skin were fumed. Eyes gazing at the ground when suddenly her little hands moved to pick up something. It traced a piece of brother's burnt blue pants . Her reflexes forced her to knel , hugged the cloth and sat there for long. “ma I requested you to leave them with me. But you didn't ! 12 The sun went down. Rewati went into her house. Slowly ,silently. “hungry? What would you like for dinner?” ama said casually gazing at roof. She shook her head and stood there expecting some reactions from her. “ya u ate my son's up. Destroyed everything for your own mere pleasure. Why should you be hungry now!” she took a pause and continued with a deep breath, “leave! Nothing left for me now just waiting to meet my son and ravi as soon as possible! You stay happy here with your school” got up and the small bend creature vanished into the kitchen. Under the night kerosene lamp and the grasshopper's ricket sound grandmother spread the straw mat , served the bowl of water rice . rewati sat down and saw, grandmother went in. “ama wont you eat?” “it's better to starve than to dine with my the person who for selfish shake took my family” The little girl would understand but very little of these sarcasm and taunts. She said to herself “had baba been here he would have feeded me with his hands!” left the food untouched and left. 13 Rewati and her grandmother had a tuff time after rewati's father's death. Slowly all the food grains got consumed. They were slowly exhausted with all the savings. To make their ends meet and keep their bread and soul intact slowly they had to sell their utensils, gold ring and their cow. Even though they went through a crisis and all the blame was put onto rewati's education yet she still continued going to school. Grandmother too didn't resist much keeping apart the occasional sarcastic comments on it. “rewati , rewati wake up! Its 6am. Get up!” “ama!” “what, get up, you are already late.” Holding her hand to drag her out of her bed. “oh god! Fever!!” And a one and a half year old fear shrugged her. Her flesh got goose bumps and a flash of all the old memories slided infront of her. This time the fear was double. She would not only lose another close one but also she would lose the only reason of her survival! How will I and why will I live after her!! What will I do if she leaves and death doesnot hug me!! These were some of the questions she would ask herself. “rewati , wait! I will bring you a some soup and then go calling for a hakim” She ran at at a speed of a child walking towards her aluminum pot and a stove. Two plates , one aluminum pot ,a stove, a serving/stiring spoon and two steel glass was all that was left which occupied a room's space , called kitchen. Grandmother would murmur something to herself as he sat down boiling the haldi pepper water and copping tulsi leaves into it. The pot was medium sized and the so called soup just touched the bottom of the pot. She let it boil to full and then transferred it into the bowl. The bend arrow structured lady, supported on a stick, hurriedly took the serving bowl with boiling liquid and was ready to head towards rewati's room. The liquid was hot enough to fire all through the food path in esophagus. Rewati's room and the kitchen was connected through an open varanda , which to was the entry for the house. Grandmother carelessly got up with her shaky hands , the soup played towards one side. She stabled it “got it!”,and procceded. Right hand took the walking stick, left hand palm was covered with a towel over which she gripped the bowl. She walked carefully engaged in her thoughts “ rewati !! oh you cursed fever! After them she was the only motive of my life. What would I do and how would I survive alone without her!nah nah, nothing must happen to her ! my old eyes must not watch a death of loniless.” Talking to herself ,she balanced her shaky movement so as to not to spill the boiling liquid , and again engrossed herself planning the whole day , what she's going to do , “let me quickly get her the soup then will go for the hakim baba and on the way back will bring some tomato for making her some soup at night, that will relax her throat too. But do I have enough money for vegetable and hakim!! Ohkay will first check for the money, if not enough will take my necklace for fetching some money and will then proceed. Butt................. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...........................” ! The bowl flipped while she was crossing the varenda, the boiling liquid burnt her hands, so in chase of saving from the heat she threw her stick to throw the bowl away when suddenly her broken back cracked! And then Clicked! And on ground! She slipped to the ground and went down the few steps on the pebbeles. Groaning in pain! She could do no help to herself. Her back was already broken her stick was yard far to take support and get up. Her face towards the ground just a inch held up. Pebbles all over pierced into her thin wrinkled skin, tearing them apart like a synthetic cloth. Blood smeared all over her face, arms and legs. Rewati was still asleep unaware of anything. Grandmother cried and groaned in pain for help. No ear was for help. The kept flippering at her place to get some strength to her legs. But the more she moved , the more peebles would tear her thin lining! She would cry for men for any one for god for her son for rewati , but only the pebbles and the stones around could hear her. Slowly her body fell tried of helping herself, she now stopped all her trials and started chanting “ram ram..”! she kept her miserable place there for an hour. No one could come helping for her. Suddenly a final cry , “rewatiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!” a long pin pierced her chest. she ceased! Rewati suddenly sits up “ ama!!” and went running for her “ammmaaaaa!!” “amma where!? Tell something??” “ama!” ama was lying breathless. Again another cold body was infront of her. “ama! Ammmaa”!!!!!!!!!!!! she took her in her hand and hugged her. Although she was a lady who didn't miss any chance to show her sarcasm view yet she was the one who played a mother, then mother and father together. Rewati owe her a lot. She was her only gaurdian. And for now rewati was all alone! No one to make her food no one to love her all she had was left to herself all alone ! just alone.. The house once so full, once so cheerful with the echos of a little boy talking all the time, a girl running all the corners of the house, the expert talkings of a lady , the lullabies of a woman ! all stopped at once. Just the crows and the wind that left the house silently dead! This was the childhood of a girl. where the girl go now? What did she do after that? Is her eyes still somewhere reading her story ? who one knows but she !” Tring tring , wiping her eyes “hello!” “hey miss editor prerna ! vivek here. Nice story buddy!! By the way who is this girl you wrote about, do you know her? Does she really exists or is it just your own friction?” Smiles to herself, “buddy you just said , it is a story! And ya this girl somewhere lives in me” the sweet smile broadens. She lifts up a photo frame, a little boy around 4years old in blue pants along with a little girl in white blouse and blue skirt in the center, tightly hugged by a young man and a old lady with tached house in the background.. Tweet
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