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Vaithys Progress And Hostel- Chapter 5

Discussion in 'Stories (Fiction)' started by umaakumar, Aug 27, 2021.

  1. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    In my younger days i have seen marriages where the brides parents struggle hard to please the grooms side and I remember during the wedding of my elder sister, how stressed my parents were.

    But today when i see the youngsters attitude to marriage, I wonder why people were not so strong those days. Why did education take a back seat while bringing up a girl.

    I am glad things are changing (but not changed). When my daughter got married her In laws kept insisting i should get her a apartment, which i refused. Both of her in laws were educationists, imagine how narrow the mind is.

    Thanks & regards
    Uma
     
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  2. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    Life with Nagaraj – Chapter 13

    When Swarna arrived at her new home the arathi was taken. She stepped inside. She was amazed to see the size of the house. About a hundred people could be served food in the hall of the house. There were 2 kitchens, one in which coffee was made and the other where cooking was done. Chandru had not exaggerated when he said it was like a palace. She saw the luxuries like the sofa and cot with soft mattresses, the swing in the living room adding beauty to the place and the tulasi maadam in the centre of the house where there was an open space.

    People not invited to the wedding were coming to see her. This was more out of curiosity to see who could have married such a man. Little did they know that she was a victim to their richness and not married out of love.

    All her sister in laws and brother in laws and their families grouped in places around the house and kept talking and joking. No one ever thought of including Swarna in the conversation or asked her to come and sit with them. Swarna kept sitting in one place feeling totally out of place. She was also very sad thinking about her home and her Mom. Nagaraj sat with her for some time and lay down and slept. Her mother in law lay on a mat and slept. Swarna too was extremely tired and exhausted. But how could she express her desire to lie down in these new surroundings. She kept yawning.

    Swarna wanted to use the toilet urgently, but how to ask? She kept looking here and there from her seat to see if she could spot something like a toilet anywhere. But she could not locate anything. Finally she called one child and asked ”Can you tell me where the toilet is” This child immediately shouted “Kalyana ponnu wants to use the toilet” Then one of her sister in law took her to use the toilet. The toilet was located in the end of the back yard. This was a long lane and end connected to the next street and had a back gate. There were small houses on either side of the back yard and these were given on rent. All the people came and stood at their doorstep to see Swarna. Swarna thought to herself “Oh, they get rent too” She was mentally calculating the amount of rent they would get till they reached the toilet.

    The toilet was a dry latrine, very common in those times. Every morning one guy would enter through the back gate and clean this toilet by removing all the dirt and dumping it into a bucket. He would wash this toilet with bleaching powder. This man would not be allowed to enter anywhere else in the house. When people saw him on the road, they would quickly move to the side to let him pass. It is hard to believe today that we had people doing such kinds of jobs to make a living. This was later abolished by the Government in 1993.

    One of the sister in law, saw Swarna sitting uncomfortably and told her “See this is your house, so go and change from this bridal dress, wear something light” Swarna quickly went inside and opened her bag and sat and cried for a while. She changed into another saree and went to the backyard to wash her face. She felt much better after splashing lots of water on her face.

    Once inside all of them were sitting and discussing how the wedding was conducted and what a poor family they were.

    Many further things discussed hurt Swarna very much; they spoke like she was not present.

    As the evening came, Swarna was asked to light the lamp, which she did dutifully. Then her mother in law said “Chuma don’t keep sit, plan what we should have for dinner, see how much food is there in the kattu chandam kodai”

    Swarna was shocked that she was ordered around and that too, a few hours after she had come. She silently went into the kitchen and opened the packages. One of the packages had lemon rice which was spoiled. It had a strong smell of rotting. One of her sister in law came near her and asked “What everything is spoilt is it, I thought so, and your people would not have used good rice to cook this”

    Swarna was hurt but did not want to stay silent and said “The cook who did the cooking for the wedding, the same person cooked this item, the weather is so hot that it would have spoiled”

    Sister in law in an angry tone “I too know it is hot, I have been cooking for so many years, so don’t lecture me”

    Swarna kept quiet. She then opened the curd rice packet and put it into a vessel. She was about to add water and dilute it as it had thickened when her Mother in law came and said “Don’t add water, add some milk. We only add milk.” The other sister in law standing close by said “don’t bring your house ideas into this house” Swarna laid the leaves and the food about to be served. Swarna first served water into the tumblers. Then one of the brother in laws said to Swarna “You go and sit let my sister serve the food” Swarna replied “It is ok, I will help out “

    The minute Swarna started serving; this brother in law got up and went away. Immediately one of her sister in law came and told Swarna, “Go and sit, he told you in a polished way that he did not want you to serve, you did not understand” Then addressing her brother “Dey Nirmal, come eat I will serve you”

    Swarna was offended, her heart was heavy and any minute she would burst into tears. She sat still controlling her tears. Once everyone had eaten, she removed the leaves, cleaned the place and ate by serving herself.

    Her mother in law then told her, “Keep all the old food outside the kitchen, we will throw it out tomorrow, wash the kitchen and then you can go to sleep”

    Swarna did as instructed. She was overcome by all the talk and ill feelings that everyone had towards her. She finished her work and came out of the kitchen. Her mother in law said “Nagaraju is in that bedroom you can go”

    “OH that is it” She thought, no milk in a glass, no fruits and no flower decoration as she had dreamt. She walked fast and entered the room where Nagaraju was fast asleep. She closed the door and sat for a while and wept at her fate. She too lay down and all the fatigue made her go to sleep very fast.

    To be continued.....
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021 at 11:33 AM
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  3. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    At times, I felt am reading novel of Dr Lakshmi In Weekly magazine Ananda. Vikadan. (\\\"லக்ஷ்மி\\\' வாழ்க்கையிலும் எழுத்திலும் மருத்துவரே!- Dinamani)

    A dull phase in life for Swarna. A few hours before reaching her new home, she was somewhat in limelight. Now through her, we were reminded by you of our national mission called
    Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, or Clean India Mission.

    While doing engineering in 1964-67 , to save hostel fees our residence shifted close to the college from city. In that house we had, only the dry toilet as described in the story - at the far end and top open. It was a night-mare to use this toilet especially in night having a queasy stomach. One Has to pass through eerie dark space with wild growth and plants carrying bucket of water.... very nasty to use.

    Looking forward to DIL VS MIL, FIL, SIL,BIL VERBAL pyrotechnics BATTLES & tortures.
    Thanks and Regards.

     
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  4. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for your feedback. Today many of our youngsters have never heard about the dry toilets. I have seen it just once, when i visited my ancestral home for my grandmothers demise. My sisters and me refused to use them, and it was s difficult time for my parents. What more there were lots of pigs around and you had to chase them out before you went in. How disgusting.

    While writing this story i wanted to include this part about the toilet so that youngsters will know that such thing existed and it was a fellow human who did the cleaning without gloves and other sanitary things.

    Thanks & Regards
    Uma
     
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  5. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    Swarna finds love – chapter 14

    As was her habit Swarna got up very early. She went out of the back door and reached the toilet before anyone else got up. She had her bath and washed all her clothes and dried it. She was surprised that no one had got up yet. As she was walking in, her Mother in law got up and said “you need not get up so early every day. The milk man will be coming soon. Here take this vessel and keep it out, while you are waiting for him wash the courtyard and draw the kolam”

    When the milk man arrived and she bought the milk and came in her mother in law was in the kitchen and asked her to make coffee for everyone.

    After tasting the coffee her Mother in law looked at her and said “You need to learn lots.”

    Swarna next sorted out the vegetables and started cooking. All the members of her husband’s family did not do anything to help. Everyone walked in and out of the kitchen. Swarna was used to cooking for only 2 to maximum 3 people and she did not know the correct measures. She was too scared to ask because everyone was not treating her right. They thought just because she was married and had come as a daughter in law, she had to know everything.

    Swarna made Pongal, chutney and sambhar and told her mother in law the food was ready. As usual when it was time to eat, she was asked to wait in the kitchen and the serving was done by one of the sister in laws. When Nagaraju was eating, he said the Pongal was good and immediately it brought out a comment like “Yes wife’s cooking will be good. It is not even a day yet and how he has changed”

    She was too tired of all the work and cooking for so many people.

    Three days were hectic like this until one by one everyone left. After they left the house became very silent and work became so much easier. Her mother in law would give her constant advice on how to cook and what quantity. She would also help in cutting vegetables and did all the small work.

    The first Friday after everyone had left; her mother in law gave her a heavy gold chain to wear. She said her daughters did not know about this and she had bought it for the person who would marry Nagaraju. Swarna was thrilled. She had never worn a chain that heavy.

    Her Mother in law then told her “No need to wear that yellow string, you can now wear the thali on this chain”

    Swarna was surprised and asked “Is it not compulsory that married women need to wear the yellow string??”

    Her Mother in law said “No not necessary, what is important is that the thali should be around your neck, being on a chain or on a yellow string is personal choice”

    Swarna was surprised that a lady who was older than her mother had such a modern view of everything. When Swarna’s face showed her feelings her Mother in law said “See we have to change with times, Brahmins are not respected anywhere now, most of the government jobs are going to other caste people, which has made youngsters from our community to move to other parts of India and abroad looking for good jobs. Our girls have also to move there with their husbands, if we insist on all traditions to be followed, then we will be foolish. You have to change with time and circumstances. Girls now a day are wearing only a 6 yards saree, unlike me who had worn the 9 yards from the time I got married. We need to make adaptable changes to our lifestyle”

    Swarna was surprised that there was so much freedom to choose in this house. Her mother and grandmother always wore the yellow string.

    It was now more than 8 days since she was married. She was feeling happy and more relaxed. She liked her Mother in law who was not a dictator. She would just mind her business.

    More surprising for Swarna was that her Mother in law though had attended only primary school would go to the bank on her own. Go to the fields during harvest time and supervise things there single handedly; take care of issues relating to the tenants. Was a money lender on a small scale. When it came to accounts, she would do all calculations mentally. She would go to the post office to make trunk calls to her sons or daughters when required or she felt like talking to them. This old lady had progressed so much from the olden ways.

    Nagaraju made his first move towards her on the Sunday morning. He came into the kitchen when she was cooking and suddenly hugged her from the back and kissed her. She was instantly alarmed at his behavior. He lovingly said “Swarna you look really beautiful, I love you so much, but I was waiting for you to settle down before I showed my love”

    Swarna did not know what to say and started blushing.

    Then Nagaraju went to his mother and said “Amma I want some money, I want to take Swarna for a movie today “

    He then came to her and said “Get ready after lunch we will go for a movie, it is a new release”

    Swarna was delighted to get out of the house. Immediately after lunch she got dressed in a new saree and went to her Mother in law and said “I will go for a movie and come back”

    Her Mother in law gave her some money and said “Buy some flowers for your head, Nagaraju might not know”

    But Swarna was surprised when Nagaraju took out a string of jasmine from his cycle box and gave it to her when they stepped outside. Off they went for the movie. During the interval Nagaraju bought her some goli soda.

    After the movie instead of going home directly he took her to a lake and both them walked hand in hand. Swarna was embarrassed as so many people were known to Nagaraju and they smiled and asked him “What new wife!!!! Hmmm”

    After a long walk both of them went home. As they stepped inside her Mother in law asked her “Why are you both so late, the movie would have got over long time back, you should have been home at least one hour back”

    Swarna looked at Nagaraju who just went inside to change and she said “Amma he said we would go to the lake so we went”

    Her mother in law with a very concerned look said “OK, but next time don’t go wandering after dark, it is not safe”

    Swarna quickly changed her clothes and started getting dinner ready.

    That night Nagaraju was highly love strung. Swarna never thought he would be that kind of a person. For all his looks he was a romantic. He kept saying he loved her very much.

    On most evenings after he came back from work he would take her for a walk around the town showing her around. He bought small gifts for her. Slowly Swarna started liking him. So what if he looked like a mad person, he was a nice person at heart. It looked like there was a lot of goodness stuck with the ugliness outside.
     
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