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Return To Her Home And Birth Of Swarna

Discussion in 'Stories (Fiction)' started by umaakumar, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    At the end of 4 months Vaithy came unexpectedly. Everyone thought he had come to see the baby and Sarasu.

    They welcomed him and after the usual courtesy and he had become comfortable he said

    “Tomorrow is a good day as per the calendar, so I want to take Sarasu and the baby home”

    Sarasu’s father and mother were stunned and and her father said “Yes I understand that it is a good day, but there are formalities to be done while we send her back”

    Vaithy looking at her father in all earnest said “Did I ask for any gold or anything, I just want Sarasu to come back home with me”

    Sarasu’s mother was not too happy, but she cannot be very strict with her Son in law so she meekly said “She is still weak after the delivery and the baby is too small, they need extra care, how will she manage the baby and house work, she needs time to recoup”

    Vaithy had a reply to that too and said “If I leave early morning, I come back only in the evening on most days, so what work she has, whole day she can rest”

    Vaithy was very firm and was not bothered about what his in-laws were saying. He looked at Sarasu and asked “Enna di what I am saying is correct know, are you ready to come

    Sarasu as per the custom who was feeding the child quickly got up and replied “I will go as per my elders wishes”

    Vaithy immediately raised his voice and “That means your parents have become more important to you than your husband, if you don’t want to come you can stay with them permanently”

    Sarasu’s father immediately panicked at the sudden raise in voice and tried to soothingly say “Don’t get angry and say such things, what wrong did Sarasu do, we feel she needs more rest”

    Vaithy did not cool down and said “Maama, That is exactly what I am saying, if she cannot come with me tomorrow then let her take rest in your house for ever, she need not come. In my family no women will go against their husband, see what she is saying, without obeying my command, is this the way you have brought up your daughter”

    Sarasus parents were very insulted by these words and angry arguments broke out between Sarasu’s father and Vaithy. Finally Sararu’s mother said“Don’t be so angry, she is after all your property we will send her with you tomorrow, though we are not happy”

    The preparations for Sarasu’s departure began and many food items were prepared so that she can eat on the way and preserve some for the next few days. New clothes were purchased for all three of them.

    Sarasu wept all through the day and her mother consoled her

    ” What to do, if your husband is so adamant, you have to live with him all your life, what is the use of crying, a woman's side is always by your husband. Go with him, if you keep crying you will catch a cold and your child will also suffer”

    Before leaving Sarasu’s mother gave her a lot of advice. Told her to try and stay away from Vaithy as much as possible. She told her not to stop breast feeding her baby as it would act as a contraceptive.

    Sarasu left feeling very sorry for herself, not because she did not like Vaithy, but because she wanted to spend more time here. She knew she would never be relaxed like she was in her mother’s house ever again. She left crying and her mother promised to visit her shortly.

    Life with the baby along with household work was very difficult for Sarasu. The child got a cold the minute she landed up in her house because of the change in climate and water. He wailed almost the whole night. He would sleep early in the morning. When this happened, it was time for her to get up and send Vaithy to work. She was always tired. She got extremely pale and weak. Everyone ascertained this to her breast feeding.

    Vaithy, who should have been her closest, did not see that she was not cheerful and bright. He did not lift his finger to help her in any way. If she said anything he would ask “Are you the only women in this world who has delivered, my aunt had seven children, did she not do all the work on her own” If by any chance the food was not ok or Sarasu asked for a little help, he would go out in anger and sleep outside. He would continue to do so for 2 to 3 days. This would upset Sarasu very much. She went deeper into a shell. When she mentioned this to her neighbor, the aunty said “Men are like that, we women should adjust”

    When Chandru started to walk and was a little over one year old, Sarasu was pregnant again. She very much wanted to go to her parents house as early as possible. She was developing severe leg pain and could not stand for long periods. When she expressed her desire to Vaithy, he was angry, he said “If you run away, who will take care of this house” On pleading again he said “If you want to go, go but do not come back” This went on for some time. She wrote a letter to her mother and asked her father to come and request Vaithy to send her there. But everything fell on deaf ears. When she was 8 months, Vaithy put his foot down and said he will not send her and said he will arrange a midwife to assist in delivery when the time comes. Sarasus mother came down to help her.

    She was upset to see her daughter’s plight. She was not angry about Vaithy, she felt he was a good person but short tempered. Had Sarasu been in a joint family, all the ladies would have pitched in and Sarasu would have had less work to do. This was the problem with the nuclear family. Chandru was very troublesome and needed attention always. Sarasu could never rest. Even when she lay down, her legs hurt horrible and any amount of massage did not help her. She was very pale and her mother thought Sarasu might not survive her next delivery.

    Not able to bear to see her daughter suffering she requested Vaithy one day “Sarasu health is not so good, she is too weak, now a day’s doctors are available, so why not we take her to a lady doctor”

    Vaithy said “is she is the only lady in the world who is going to have a baby!!”

    Her mother had tried all home remedies, but for momentary relief the pain would return. Her mother knew it was because of anemia and only medicines can help. So she kept insisting and finally she decided if she is meek things are not going to work out, so when Vaithy was about to leave for work she said in a strict tone “Can’t you see how Sarasu is suffering, she is not able to stand even. If we do not take her to the doctor I am afraid she too will die like your mother did, leaving Chandru as an orphan.”

    Before Vaithy could say anything she said “during my times we did not have doctors or hospitals so I lost so many children, but today when the facility is there why not we try

    Vaithy told her “Ok, then please take her and go, I have an important pooja, here take the money, hire a cart, and come back in one too “

    The doctor on seeing her condition scolded and said Sarasu was too weak and prescribed iron injections for about 10 days. The doctor also said the child's growth was not good.

    The doctor said not to have this delivery at home and once the pains come to bring her immediately to the hospital. She said it would be safer than having the delivery at home.

    When they came home Vaithy was informed and he listened to all this with irritation and said “did not our ladies have so many children at home??!! This is the problem if we go to the doctor, they want to make money so they will say something”

    When the time for delivery came Sarasu’s Mom took her to the hospital.

    It was here that Swarna was born. She was a small baby and her eyes sparkled like diamonds so she was called Swarna. She was born on the auspicious star of Magam. This star is supposed to be a very lucky star for girls. Her horoscope was drafted and everyone said she would live like a queen. They said she would bring lots of luck to her parents and always be a gifted child. With a lot of happiness and expectations the child was brought home.

    Her mom stayed with her till the baby was 2 months and left. Life was once again very difficult for Sarasu with 2 small babies. But like all things women in those days had to bear, she bore all in silence.


  2. mbharani

    mbharani Gold IL'ite

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    Very nicely written.. waiting for next chapter
  3. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Wonderful writing! I feel like I have been granted a window into the world of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers.

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