Should she or shouldnt she ??
Has your brand new Dell laptop ever seemed to you like a person standing in front of you to butcher you ?? Well , for me , it has.. :) Yes.. I had my CF 2 mid term , the very next day and I was rushing through those slides , the day before the exam. I opened my IP messenger in frustration to join one of those 'I HATE FINANCE' groups .. I did not find any !! Boy !! Instead , was attracted to a particular group name that said அன்பிற்கும் உண்டோ, அடைக்கும் தாழ் ? I saw the number of people in that group.. a lone person.. who I havent spoken to much , yet a person who I knew fairly well . I wanted to join the group and so I did.. Those lines from the famous thirukkural kept ringing in my head...thanks to that IP friend of mine for makin me realise the power behind this verse :) I sat in my environmental management class , penning down a short story , based on this verse :)
It was a Saturday morning. Cool breeze felt the contours of my face. “Amma”, she shouted from the terrace. “Enna di?”, was the reply. “I want puliyodharai for breakfast. My friend is coming home”. Her mother was a lecturer, hurrying to college. “yaaru ma varaanga?”. Dheva kept on walking on the treadmill without answering. Her mother came close to her, “Who is coming home Dheva?”. “A special person amma”, came the reply.
Amma went to the kitchen and fried the groundnuts. A whiff of smoke from the kitchen, brought with it the smell of fresh puliyodharai. Amma placed it on the table. It was like a painting.. the brown coloured rice, garnished with groundnuts and green coloured leaves... the smell of ghee, inviting the onlooker to lick the vessel clean.
The sound of a car honking, distracted dheva from the “painting” to the new attraction.. A black colour Chevrolet entered their small and beautiful verandah. Dheva ran out. Amma was in her pooja room, busy offering puliyodharai to Sriranga Ranganathar, in the name of ‘Neivedhiyam’.
Dheva ran to the visitor and held his hand. “shh! Amma irukkaanga. Vaanga antha pakkam pogalaam”. She dragged him to the garden. The garden was small, but extremely well maintained. Roses, hibiscus, jadhi malli, gundu malli – all of them happily co-existing like a family. The way Dheva said “Shh”, even the roses bent their scarlet heads.
She plucked a rose and gave it to the visitor. The visitor bent down and kissed her on her cheek.
“Eppadi maa irukka?”, he asked. “Nalla irukken. Neenga?”.
“I missed you Dheva”, he said.
“I missed you too. But there are other things we should look into before i hug you”. “Sure kanna!”, said the visitor.
“Dheva!”, Amma called.
“Yaaru vandhirukkaanga?”. She saw Dheva and the visitor hand in hand and went red. “Vaadi inga!”, she yelled. Her eyes were red and swelled up with tears. Dheva said, “Amma, konjam kelunga”. Amma just refused to listen.
“Lakshmi”, the visitor spoke for the first time. “How dare you call me by my name?”, she fumed. Dheva said, “Amma, please, I like him. He is a nice man. He will take care of me, as his own”.
Lakshmi looked at Dheva in disgust. Dheva came running to Lakshmi and folded her arms in hers.
“Amma, please”, she said, “Its been 5 years since he started waiting for us”. Lakshmi did not speak, but the look on her face spoke “So, how do I care?”.
Dheva looked at sharath, the visitor. Sharath spoke, “naa inga vanthathu, Dheva kooptathunaala than”. Lakshmi shouted, “Dheva, ask him to stop talking”.
Sharath spoke again “Lakshmi please, I’ll wait for eternity, but don’t ask me to walk away. I can’t. Please”.
With this Lakshmi’s thoughts went back to the time when she met Sharath, her husband's friend. It was a Saturday morning again.
Krishnan, Dheva’s father was walking on a treadmill. Dheva, was a 12 year old girl then. Sharath entered the house with a box full of chocolates and cakes. Krishnan looked at Sharath and greeted him
“Vaada !! innaiku enna vaangina?. College lendhu idhe than. Daily you buy something or the other and now under the pretext of giving it to Dheva”.
Sharath replied, “Who else do I have in my life. My Dheva is my everything, ever since my wife passed away”.
Lakshmi came to the hall with a bowl of puliyodharai. “Vaanga vaanga. I made this for you, since you like it. “Thank you, Lakshmi”, said Sharath and asked Krishnan “Eppo oorukku pora?”. “Inniku”, replied Krishnan.
The day passed with all of them having lunch together. They watched a ‘mokkai’ tamil movie and were making fun of the hero who resembled a grizzly bear and spoke kill-joy punch dialogues. Evening came and the sun turned scarlet. Krishnan was leaving to the airport.
He dragged his luggage to the car and waved goodbye to his family and Sharath.
“Take care of them Sharath”, he said last, and came back, wrapped in a shroud. It was a gory accident. Dheva was too shocked and too shocked to even weep.
Aachi and Thaatha sat next to Dheva. They saw their daughter weeping. They were in Dheva’s house for a day or two. As they were leaving, they told Lakshmi “Appo appo vanthu paakarom ma. We cant take you with us. Your brother considers us a burden”.
“Seri appa”, Lakshmi said and hugged her mother.
A year rolled by and Lakshmi gathered all her self-confidence only to shine in her career and stood up as a ‘bold, self-sustaining, career woman’. Sharath knocked the door and Dheva opened.
“I missed you Sharath”, she said. “I missed you too kanna, where is amma?”.
“Im here Sharath, what’s the matter”.
“I want to talk to you about something”.
“Yes Sharath, tell me”.
“I want to live with you and Dheva. The last thing he wanted was that I should take care of you. Please, will you marry me”.
The glass bowl in her hand dropped. The glass pieces scratched her toes and she bit her lips. She winced and a tear drop trickled down her eye. That was the last time she ever spoke to Sharath.
“Amma, what are you thinking”, Dheva asked. Lakshmi was shaken awake from her memories and brought back to reality. “Amma, please. Shrath namma koodave irukkattum”.
“I love him Amma”, cried Dheva. Lakshmi winced the same way she winced when the glass bowl broke.
Things are the same way they were 5 years ago. Except that little Dheva has grown up and wanted her mother to have a life of her own.
அன்பிற்கும் உண்டோ, அடைக்கும் தாழ்? ஆர்வலர்
புன் கணீர் பூசல் தரும்.
When you love someone , you cannot hide it .. It comes out as tears .. and only those tears would heal the pain that you would experience as a result of hiding your love..
What stopped Lakshmi ?? Why is she confused ?? I do not know how to end the story .. I do not know what is right and what is wrong..
The Hindu woman is not only commanded, but also brainwashed into believing that she could not love more than one man. If she did, she'd be unfaithful, flouting the pathivratha dharma [duties of a chaste wife to her husband]. That holds, even if the man she might have loved once is now a mere shadow on her mind. She must wait patiently until she's reunited with her man in the next birth. Then, in every birth after birth, for eternity. No such prognosis or restraint for her man, though.
We have all been culturally tuned to think that IT IS WRONG.. Who framed these rules ?? A man ?? Would they be different if a woman framed them ? What am i to learn from what people call DHARMA ?
I dunno how to end this story.. I want the woman to get married.. But would she be condemned by the society ? How should she handle this ??
I leave it to u .... Help her out !!!!
PS : Thanks to Pravin for typing out the story that I wrote in class :)