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Vaithys Progress And Hostel- Chapter 5

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

  1. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you.
    The progress on an even keel and no derailment. It has almost reached the present generation. Nice narration and choice of words & phrases.
    I presume entire story is written already and released here in instalments with reasonable gap. That is superb indeed.
    If the story is in Tamil it could be published in popular Tamil magazine. But print media is already in doldrum. Yet trying no harm. There are good editors like to have stories of nostalgia spanning three generations and pay reasonable compensation.
    Surprise and suspense that contributes for shocking twists befitting modern society are the ones in box office hits. Looking forward to accommodating narration of such scenes.
    I attempted but not sure I got satisfaction in

    Farewell With Fruits & Knife To Save Thirumangalyam (mangalsutra)
     
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  2. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sir,

    Thank you so much once again for your feedback. When i wrote this story i was not sure if anyone would like it. As always i first gave it to my immediate family, who were very critical. I wanted someone to correct the errors if any. But no one was forthcoming.
    In between all this I started travelling to USA frequently as my granddaughter was born. This story was entirely forgotten.
    Now i am in India, and cannot travel. This brought back my half finished story and i completed it. Started editing it and then presenting it here.
    Though i am a Tamilian, i never learnt to read or write Tamil, mostly because of my education in Bangalore. Hence i can express myself only in english.
    FB from readers like you is what keeps me going and wanting to write some more stories.
    I read your Farewell with fruits..... with great interest. It was a great story and i am hoping to hear more stories from you.

    Regards
    Uma
     
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  3. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    Nagaraju – chapter 18

    Krishna was now going to school. The school was nearby and he had lots of friends. Swarna was taking care of the household very well. Her mother in law travelled frequently. Since she had so many sons and daughters, she started visiting them. She did not need company for the travel and even to north India, she travelled alone. She would say “Now Nagaraju has his own family, why should I be sitting in one place? That is why I keep visiting my sons and daughters. That way I will know them and their children better”

    Once when her Mother in law had returned after visiting her daughter, Swarna and she were sitting and talking about various things. The mother in law said “Pavam my daughter Gnanam, you know she never leaves the house to go anywhere, her husband does not like it at all. He is very suspicious of her. He keeps fighting with her. She told me of this torture many times while I was there, but what to do; she has to stay with him since she is married. She has to bear it for the society sake and her children”

    Swarna innocently asked her “Ayoo pavam, she is a graduate, why not she just leave him and find a job and take care of her children, why suffer like this, in that movie that heroine did just that “

    Her Mother in law said “Real life is different from screen life. What will society think if she ditches her husband, and graduates and all was done for getting her married, not so that she would work. In those times, all boys wanted a graduate girl, so we send all our daughters to college so that they can get married, not to work”

    When Krishna was in the 4th standard, Nagaraju started having some health problems. He was having hand tremors and when the local doctor suggested that they go to Tanjavur to see a specialist. His mother was worried out of her head. She said “I have taken care of you for so long, I don’t want it to be anything serious”

    She called her eldest Son and told him to come immediately. They visited Tanjavur and after many tests the doctor confirmed that he had Parkinsons a rare disease. He said it is only the beginning stage and he would live many more years and not to worry. He was prescribed drugs and told to come back if there were any other problems.

    His mother was shattered because she knew what the disease would do to a person. It was a slow death. Her elder son told her not to worry and to be strong. More than anything else his mother was worried about what would happen to Krishna if she died before he finished school.

    They reached home and Swarna was eagerly waiting to hear what the doctor said. By the look of everyone she knew it was not good. After Nagaraju retired to bed, they sat around and her mother in law said he had this disease. There was no cure, but at present there was nothing to worry about.

    Swarna started weeping and cursing her fate. Her mother in law said “Don’t worry, I will not let you down, I will be with you till my grandson stands on his own legs”

    Nagaraju continued in his job and the visits to the doctors continued. For every visit one of her brothers in law would come and they would go.

    After about 2 years one day, Nagaraju had a fall at his work place. He hurt his head and needed stitches. He took leave till the wound healed. But slowly his falls started happening more frequently. It was either on the road or at his workplace or at home. He had to quit his job for his own safety. The doctor’s visit from being twice a year started getting to 3 months once. He was not fit to be taken by bus and they had to hire a taxi.

    After much thought one day Swarna’s mother in law said “You know taking Nagaraju to the doctor is costing lot of money, he is also not working now, so we should think of shifting our residence to Tanjavur near the hospital so that we can take better care of him”

    Swarna knew what she said was the best. She saw that it was good as she was also terribly worried.

    Vacation time was the time Swarna dreaded most. She never had the liberty to go and rest in her mother’s house, but all her sister in laws with their children would come for a month or so and it would be hectic being ordered around and doing all the house work without any help.

    During this time when all had gathered the discussion of selling the house was put forward, though none of them had a share in this property. Her Mother in law wanted her daughters and sons to take whatever they felt had sentimental value to them before she disposed of anything. All almirahs which had been locked for ages, were opened and stuff brought out. Some of the almirahs keys were not found. There was a safe for which the key was not found and everyone was very curious to see what it contained. It was something that had belonged to one of their great grandfathers. Amidst all this each of the daughters took what they felt they needed. Some kitchen utensils too were taken by them. Some memories of their great granddad and mom which were preserved were taken by them. So many photos were also distributed. One of the brothers wanted the big cot for its antique value.

    Once they all left, the rest of the belongings were still too much to be shifted and most things were not needed for a small house or family.

    They owned agricultural land which was a shared property between her father in law and his four brothers. That is how the rice, dhal and tamrind for the house came in and was stored in the granary. The crops grown there not only fed the three of them, but the rice was sent through transport to all the members of the family.

    Now that the matter for disposal of these lands had arrived, her mother in law visited the lands and made enquiries about the value and if any buyers were there. Then she selected the highest bidder and took advance from that person.

    All of Nagarajus' uncles came for signing the documents during the sale. When the amount was to be given to them, they all said they did not want the money and to keep it for Nagaraju. Similarly, they told her if the house is sold she can keep the money and they do not want a share.

    Swarna was surprised that such brothers and sisters existed, who would forego so much money to their brothers family. She was thankful that they had a large heart.

    Swarna was now hoping her mother in law would give all this money to her for safe keeping. But it did not happen. Her mother in law never mentioned what she was going to do with the money and one fine day out of curiosity she asked “Amma what are you doing with all the money that you got”

    Her mother in law said “I need not tell you, but you will know later and be happy. You do not know how to handle finances. Don’t worry I will never let Krishna down”

    Once the lands were sold there was no need for the granary, Swarna and her mother in law spent days together cleaning the same and removing the entire paddy and sending it to the mill. Once this was cleaned a suitable buyer was found and it was sold.

    Then they started clearing the house room by room of all its furniture, photos and brass utensils. Some of the paintings in that house were priceless and without knowing the value all were sold. They had a library of over 1000 books which was sold to the old newspaper man. Finally they brought a key smith to open the safe which was locked and the key lost. Everyone was eagerly waiting for jewels and cash to come out of it, but it contained letters written by the world leaders to their great grandfather during the freedom struggle. All of these were burnt in the fire to make hot water for the bath.

    Now that the house was empty, they locked it up and went to Tanjavur to see a suitable house. They stayed in a distant relative’s house for a few days and found something suitable. For the rent her Mother in law was prepared to pay they found one small house with a single bedroom. After asking swarna to stay back with Nagaraju here, her mother in law went back and packed all the balance stuff single handedly and loaded it to a truck and returned.

    Swarna was reminded of her mother’s house. She was back to where she had started. The only cot that could be accommodated here was the one in which Nagaraju lay down, the rest of them slept on mats on the floor.

    Her mother in law after living so many years in comfort in a large house, did not utter a word or grumble. She accepted what was available and adjusted very well to her new surroundings. It was Swarna who was very irritable and angry that they had come so low. She kept blaming her fate. She would tell her neighbors that she lived in a palace and it was unfortunate that she had to come and live in such a small house.

    Krishna was admitted to a school close by. He was now in his teens and without proper interaction with his mother or father he was confused on so many things. He was not doing well in his studies and whenever he brought his report card home his mother would scold him. But Swarna did not know the value of education, as she had not studied much.

    Nagaraju was frequently taken to the doctors and his condition was slowly getting worse. He could not walk anywhere and would stumble often. Doing his daily work like brushing his teeth and walking to the toilet needed help. Swarna was overworked as her mother in law could not support Nagaraju while he walked. Nagaraju had this adamant habit of not believing he was sick. So given a chance he would get up and try to move on his own. But in most cases he would fall. Sometimes he would even walk out of the house. By now the neighbors came to know of his condition and they would walk behind him, or alert Swarna.

    Her mother in law was an iron-willed lady. She did not gieve nor cry to see her Son like that. She said it is God's will, but we should keep encouraging him, and not weep in front of him. For all the discomfort life gave her she was never angry. Another 2 years passed thus.


    To be continued.........
     
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  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:To narrate a story spanning three generations with Tamil flavour hidden itself is a great feat that deserves applause :clap2:.

    When you were rejoicing with birth of grand-daughter, it is natural other things become secondary for a while. There is nothing like getting promoted or elevated to a coveted status like “ grandma” thanks to that baby. Trust baby and your daughter are hale & healthy. My blessings to them.

    I am truly delighted that you thought of continuing with your writings which must be a great stress buster since you love to write.

    The read is excellent and am happy that you had posted further chapter today of the serial story.
    I thank you from bottom of my hearts for reading that farewell with fruits and knife. It was easy to write because I saw them Off at the VT*station, Bombay now Mumbai
    *( now it is Chathrabaji Shivaji Terminus). If you can spare time read and post your valuable comments of story recent one in the link
    A Date With Ekadasi Vradham(fast)

    Thanks and Regards.
     
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  5. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sister @umaakumar,
    Am glad that you had pictured swarna’s MIL differently from being a Hitler Woman.
    The vicissitudes of life nicely narrated by introducing Parkinson’s Disease that not only dilutes the finances of the family but adds to ennui of other family members. From the narration it looks you did notice at close quarters a person with PD and their family falling from affluence to penury.

    Some passages I could relate very well. My grand father collected substantial stamps and coins. When the house in village was renovated by dad I had picked up them along with hundreds of story and academic books in English & Tamil. It includes books by great writers in English and Tamil. Vai mu Kodhanayaki Ammal was one such. I sold them in piecemeal to have idli Vada sambar . Only years later, I realised the values were far far greater than the pittance I got. Dad brought from there maharaja’s cot and table with many drawers.

    This chapter too is very nostalgic. Looking forward to more twists and turns...

    If time permits, I wish you to read the story in link
    Humour - Me, Spouse, Her Dad And Stress In Pressure Cooker

    Thanks and Regards.

    God Bless.
     
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  6. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Uma, you write very well, in an easy to read manner. I echo Thyagu's compliments and his observations since the start of this story. For anyone who grew up in India or visited grandparents, the story's characters and events are so relatable.

    When you described the kitchens and the outside bathrooms, I was thinking back to the huge houses we visited when very young. By the time we could start to remember, things had improved. But I still vaguely remember the visits from times before the kerosene stove and before running water.

    There are so many incidents and conversations from the story that stayed in my mind long after reading the episode:
    - Vaithy's nature of "I know what is best for the family." He will not listen to his wife but a chance comment by others about a good education changes his mind and sends kid to hostel.

    - Some men from traditional families too support the wife in their own ways. Kicha supports Revathi without too much drama when his parents come to live with them in Bombay. Later, Chandru tells his mom, “No I am telling you to let Usha be herself.” Nice. A woman will happily sacrifice many jasmines from her husband if he says that to his mother un-prodded. : )

    - If a man brought up in a urban family supports his wife and believes in equality, it is to be expected. When a man who grew up in a traditional household supports his wife, it is something different.

    - Swarna sitting all by herself and lost after arriving at new home. The bride is at the center of everything during the wedding. But when all reach home, people are so tired and only want to discuss how the wedding went. Often, the bride is totally neglected. Might not know where the bathroom is, and too afraid to ask for even water or tea/coffee. And like in the story, sometimes she is sitting still in all the bridal finery. Then, a small kindness from one person will help her.

    - >> "OH that is it” She thought, no milk in a glass, no fruits and no flower decoration as she had dreamt."
    This. So many of my friends went through this disappointment. : ) One told me, it was an old tattered faded bedsheet covering the bed, mismatched pillowcases. Didn't even look it had been washed recently. Forget about flowers and decoration, some said the room's windows hadn't been opened for a while, another said the dust made her sneeze. : )

    - Swarna's MIL's character is so realistic. She is a mix of the MIL stereotype and also so much kindness to DIL at times.

    - Swarna preferring to have the baby at in-laws place and not go to mother's place... This has been a controversy that I have heard about many times in our extended family.

    - Overall, looks like Swarna's MIL is a better MIL than Sarasu is to Usha. Life is like that.. Even after her experiences when younger, Sarasu ends up like she does towards her DIL.

    I am glad you decided to pick up the half finished story and are posting it here. Well done.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
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  7. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I need this, so made it. : ) Corrections welcome. : )

    sarasu.png
     
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  8. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Looks like Visu is the dark horse here. Why hasn’t Sarasu been to visit him and the Gujarati DIL yet? It would also give Usha a break.
     
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  9. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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  10. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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