Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Justice Prevailed? Part 2

Read Part 1 Here

        Raju was ironing his shirt when he heard a loud commotion. He carefully switched off the iron lest his new shirt gets burnt. The roof of the small room outside had again started leaking. He must remember to get some dambar (tar) on his way back, he made a mental note. It was his mother who was as usual fighting over her pot of water.
        "Arrre bai, me pehle rakhi thi na baalti, tu kaise ayi re.. Me 15 saal se idhar paani bharti!! Navin ayi kya tu idhar!!"  ( I have kept my tumbler first, how did you come? I have filled water from here for 15 years. Have you come new here?")
        It was the daily hassle of living in a chawl with a common water supply. Raju thanked his stars that atleast this chawl had individual toilets. His  mother forcefully filled the water while still mouthing abuses to the lady who had pushed in her way.
        "Rahu de ga aai, bhara na paani abhi jaane de" ( Let it be mother, you have filled the water now let this matter rest") Raju tried to pacify his mother.
        "Tereko nahi maloom idhar kaisa rehneka!" ( You don't know how to survive here") she shouted at him.
        " Aai, abhi jyada din nahi rehna padega idhar" ( Mother, now we won't have to live here for long)
        This brought a smile on his mother's face.
        "Chal re, tera dabba deti hu. Aaj tera wo intereev hai na" she said and went inside with the water she filled.
        Raju went back to do his ironing. His sister Bela had already ironed and kept his clothes folded. Bela was already 19. In a year or two he would have to get her married. Proposals for girls her age had started streaming in their community but given their financial status no one bothered to ask her. Bela was stark opposite of his mother. His mother was fiercely independent and a fighter. Bela on the other hand was docile and shy. Raju often worried about her. How would she cope with the big bad world?  Once he got a promotion and office quarters to stay in, he would look for a good boy for Bela and marry her off.
       "All the best Dada" she smiled at him. She was the sunshine of their house. Never complaining and always cheerful.
       "Thanks.. Aren't you getting late for college?" he asked her.
       "Dada I m going to Siddhivinayak today after delivering the dabbas. Aai also is coming to pray for you."
        Raju looked at his mother working hard to roll the chapatis in time. She made dabbas for a living. When Raju was studying, she also worked as a maid for some extra income. IT was time he earned for his Aai and Bela to live comfortably.

        He got ready to leave. He touched Aai's feet for blessings. Like everyday he went to the bus stop to find Vidya waiting for him. She was tensed.
        They got into the bus. She worked in a jewellery shop close to Raju's office. Atleast they had this journey time for themselves.
        "Baba has called someone to see me today" she said.
        "It is not the first time na pagal. This time also reject him somehow." Raju told her.
        "He is baba's friend's son. Engineer hai. Baba will not accept my decision this time. Let's tell at home Raju." she pleaded.
         "Please wait for sometime Vidya. Bela is still unmarried." he tried to make her understand.
         This seemed to infuriate her.
         "Raju, Bela is just 19. I m 23 already. Baba is worried that I will not get any match once my age is gone. Just like you are worried for Bela, my Baba is concerned about me."
          For the first time in their relationship, Vidya had raised her voice. She was right. He was making her wait. How long can she avoid marriage? He loved Vidya and did not want to lose her.
         "Raju I understand the hardships you have faced. We have grown up together. I can adjust with whatever we can afford. I will continue to work. We will convince Baba." she herself consoled him.
         "Give me one day Vidya. A lot depends on this promotion. If I get promoted I will get the staff quarters. I can then talk to your father. Please manage this one day."
         She nodded in agreement. He wished he could kiss her then.

         "Mr Raju Sawant, you are called in"
          Raju prayed once more.

         "Bela, tell Aai that I got promoted!!"
         "Really Dada! Congratulation.." she cheered. She called out to Aai "aaai, make dada's favorite dish and sweet."
         "Bela be ready in the evening and buy a new saree for Aai from the money in the locker. I will buy sweets on the way. We have to go to Vidya's house!"
         "Why Vidya's house?" she quizzed.
         "To ask her hand in marriage."
           
         Aai was angry at Raju. He had not taken her advice in such a big matter. She had wanted Raju to first go to Siddhivinayak to thank the Lord but Raju had insisted on going to Vidya's house. Aai liked Vidya no doubt but was apprehensive about his marriage.
        With lot of talks and convincing, Vidya's Baba finally let go of the engineer and agreed to Raju. Everything was now looking finally alright.
       
        The next week Raju got allotment in the quarters. He shifted with Aai and Bela. He missed Vidya at the bus stop but that was only a matter of two months and then she too would be living with him. He started talking around in search of a groom for Bela. Aai could now afford to rest at home and Bela started taking beauty parlor courses. She was never too bright in studies but with this course Raju wanted her to be self confident and worthy of filling her own stomach.
     
        He managed to find a good family for Bela and luckily the family agreed to Bela's marriage also to take place in the same month, a week before Raju's marriage.
     
       With Bela settled in her new home Raju's dreams soared new heights. He could now concentrate on his life with Vidya. Aai wanted to visit pilgrim with her relatives once they got married.
       
       On that fateful day, Raju was out to collect his wedding suit on his bike. It was a hot day and he was sweating profusely under his helmet. Was it out of sheer exertion or was it out of heat, he felt his vision blurring. He parked to a side to drink some water. He patted his face dry with a napkin. He let some air get to him and then started back on his bike.
      The next 100 metres sealed his fate. He tried to avoid colliding with a bus which was taking a sharp turn and ended up not seeing the truck behind. It was his last moment turn which left the truck driver helpless to avoid hitting him.
      That day, just 2 days before his marriage, Raju died.

      A year later, Vidya got married to the Engineer her Baba had looked for her.
      Aai stays with her relatives and still makes Dabba for a living.
      Bela works at a parlor and helps her husband to run the house.

Wondering what's the connection???
Read the next part !
(to be continued)
       

6 comments:

Roohani said...

U know what? I envy u! U r so good at it.. I wish I can get more time to blog like u so that I can blog beautifully like u!

Upasana said...

I have read the first part and couldn't stop thinking about whats next! This one just added to the mystery! Brilliant job! Write the next one already!! :-)

My world, my thoughts, my musings...

I do, I do. said...

Great post! Keep it up! :)

maithili said...

That was so flattering :) I have read your blog and I bet you do a better job at it than I can !

maithili said...

Thank you Upasana for encouraging me with you lovely comment :)

maithili said...

Thank you so much..