Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Fading Light!

Diya, she was named! Diya which signifies light but ironically her fate made her the carriage of darkness for her family! Her mother loved her initially but couldn’t tell her, she wouldn’t have understood anyways. Then it was her father and grandma, who were expecting a male child. As if this wasn’t enough, fate played another joke, she was blind. With four more girls, her mother soon started hating her, cursing her and telling her that she was the cause of all the troubles, all this now, when she was able to understand! How much her mother wanted her to die, but she grew up, thin, lean, with a pale skin like withered leaves, rotting in the soil, with freckles all over, like a seventy year old, she grew up with the eternal wheel of time.

Time flew…Her father was no more in a job, all what he did now was drinking and drinking endlessly. A mother with a burden of four girls and one blind girl, she thought of nothing but of ways to live, to survive. All the five girls were put on the roads, in the shabbiest clothes they had, to beg, to beg for money, so that they can survive, they can live a life which was worse then death itself! Time passed and so did two of her sisters. They cried but only initially, as later they speculated that maybe another world, a world unseen was anyways better then here. They no more cried for the dead but smiled and prayed for their happiness. Diya grew up, begging, begging and begging amidst the cribbing and nagging' of her mother.

Time flew…The eldest sister was married and it was time for the other one to go to her new home. It was that day, when things went worse once again. Diya was still out there in the streets begging, not for a look of kindness but money! She used to beg near her home as her blindness limited her. She felt a pang of hunger and remembered that no one was at home, as they had gone for those little preparations left for the wedding. She felt nauseated, thinking about how it would be to see the ugly faces. She was just thirteen but the array of her mind was mature enough by now, she knew the ways of the world. Engrossed in heavy thoughts, she was crossing the pavement when even her inner world went dark!

She was lying somewhere but she felt, it was a strange place. A strong smell swept across, she tried to get up touched by the unfamiliarity of the place but then she heard her sister sobbing.

She asked her, ‘why are you crying?’

All her sister replied was, ‘you met with an accident, why do you go on the road alone, couldn’t have you waited! You always bring trouble, a quarter of money kept for my dowry has been spent on you now, who will marry me, tell me, why did you do this!’, and she went away.

Next came her mother, how desperately she wanted her to touch and kiss her, how she wanted to embrace her mother and cry in her lap but fate hadn’t destined her to experience love or bliss. All she was able to bag from her mother was a few slaps, scoldings, and a voice full of hatred, a realization that how unlucky she was. Three days after she was brought home but she didn’t hear any voice during all these hours. Both of them were quiet, maybe angry at their poor fate, she thought. However, she knew everything will be fine, she knew it. One day later, a man came and gave some money to the mother, he was asked a lot of questions but he refused to answer any. Five days later, the ‘barat’ came; her sister was finally getting married without any hassles. She heard the family of the bridegroom coming in and she knew it was time. She skipped out of the door and no one noticed her, anyways she was always ignored she thought. After a turn, a man was waiting for her, she recognized his voice, the same man who met her in the hospital, the same man who came to her home and gave money, yes, he was him. He took her in a rickshaw and they entered a building, the same strange smell swept across. She recognized the place; after all, she had spend three days there!

She was made to change and laid on something, which they were moving fast but quietly. She could hear them speaking faintly, the same voice and one of another male. Something was rubbed on her thumb and an imprint was taken on a paper. They were saying some unfamiliar words, words which she didn’t understood, words which she never had heard, words like ‘operation’, ‘kidney’, ‘doctor’ and lot of them, like that. Then she heard that word again-‘transplant’, yes, he had asked her for this and she had agreed with the only condition of those two thousand rupees. She was told that she could die too but for her the marriage seemed an imperative thing. The day was decided that very hour and she was asked to keep quiet about everything. Going through all this, she suddenly felt as if she was pricked, slowly sleep came to her. Once again, her inner world was sleeping but it had a sense of tranquility this time, she felt it! As she wilted away to an everlasting darkness, her mother lit crackers, her sister was smiling, they were happy, it was such a joyful day for them! Walking past, she noticed a flickering flame of one of the diya's, she picked it up and placed it in a sheltered place, making sure that it lit!

5 comments:

Anupama Kondayya said...

You have at the same time highlighted two horrific realities through your story - how children are forced to beg and end up making it their profession, the second one of organ sale. Great work!

ShAkE Inc. said...

beautiful...

NEHA CHANDOK!!!!! said...

@ anupama...
in bernard shaw's wrd..."poverty is the mother of all crimes"...

thanx for droppin a thot!

@shake inc.
thanx for d appreciation!

Aditi aka Jiggs said...

A very touching story,has bought out the reality of some of the worst things that poverty makes people do.
Well written

NEHA CHANDOK!!!!! said...

@aditi/Jiggs...

thanx for leavin a thot...