STORY-UNEXPECTED

STORY-UNEXPECTED

Every Sunday , I used to go to the Public Library . One day , a young , fair lady passed by me and stopped. She smiled and wished my good morning :”Are you not Sham”, she asked.

“Yes . And you? How do you know my name?”

“I came to your Thaluk office . I am Sunitha , My family is Paliyam” “That is a big aristocratic family ; you used to rule that area” “That was long ago ; now we are bankrupt”

“I cannot believe it. Come, we will sit in the garden and talk” We became friends.

“We are a large tharavad. After land reforms, we lost our land . Men indulged in drinking and sold our home land , piece by piece”

“You can approach the Court and get an injunction”

“That is all cumbersome. Let us marry and take me out of this hell.” “Take me to your home ; I shall approach your father.“

The next Sunday we went to her home. She categorically said that she will marry me only. They enquired about my details and were satisfied. Then I took her to my house . Mother was glad because she had been pressing me for marriage .

Now both familie met and date of marriage was also fixed.

We were walking along the road . A speeding motor bike knocked her down. People surrounded her and took her to the hospital. Doctor did surgery and then told me: “She may never conceive” I never told her .

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STORY-CHRISTIAN

CHRISTIAN

I live among Christians , though I am a Hindu and somewhat proud of being so.

Along with my Christian friends , I regularly attend the Sunday mass. My girl friend Celeste make it a point to sit by my side. After the proceedings are over, the Father would ask:”When are you joining our religion?”

“I am already a true Christian. Jesus was anti-capitalist , but your Pope is a very rich person”

He smiled: “No one can defeat you in a debate.”

“He was top in the college,” Celeste added.

On the way back, she asked:”When can we marry?”

“Without a job , how can we live?” “I will speak to my father; will you do any job?” “Of course , I am in need of some engagement.”

One day she came in her scooter and took me to her father. He seemed to be really glad:”I like to see you two married; what is the dely?” Cele replied:”He wants a job first.”

“That is true ; why don’t you join our business?”

“I will think over.”

Cele took me to my home . It was her first visit . She was surprised to see the photos of Guruvayoorappan and Jesus , side by side on the wall. I said:”This is symbolic. We are together”.

For the first time , she kissed me , hot and sweet! It was with difficulty that I disengaged. We sat embracing , in a sofa and disussed her father’s proposal:” I am afraid that joining his business empire, will compromise my principles . Many transactions may be illegal, I am afraid.”

“You can quit when you feel” So we went back and told him I am willing to join. We went to the town and enjoyed seeing a movie.

Soon I went to Kanhirapilly and reported for duty. I was accountant and found the work easy enough. Celeste’s letters came regularly , pleading for early marriage ; after six months she came with her father.

I was in a dilemma ; I don’t want to convert to Christianity, but marriage is inevitable. “Sir, will you agree for register marriage?” Cele supported me . Being the only child , they wanted a pompous marriage .I said:”The registration can be confidential; a reception can be arranged in the Church at home” . So it was agreed .

In the Registrar’s Office, she appeared in bridal costume . I could hardly believe my eyes! She looked like a real angel, with her long , azure eyes and a smile which remained etched in my memory forever.

Her father commented :”You are looking at my daughter , as if for the first time. Are you sure she is the girl whom you love?”

We all laughed . The registration over , we all returned . That night we stayed awake for a long time , her body entwining mine, naked as I wished. “Celi, how happy I am! For getting you , It is a small sacrifice that I became a Christian. You know , a Crown Prince of Britain loved a commoner. As the Palace refused their marriage, he relinquished Office ; they went and settled in America.”

“Thank you , dear!”

SISTER-IN-LAW

STORY

I was working in a Project in far away Rajasthan, quite happy to work among people who are friendly and amiable. As I was passing contractors’ bills , I used to get money from them , without demanding it. One day I received a letter from my father that y marriage has been fixed and I must come home immediately. I was not at all happy because I was shy of women and had no interest in sex. But I could not disobey my father and went home. In those days there was no rush of passengers and I went by train from Kota.

All arrangements had been made and y marriage took place within a week. The brothers of my wife , Sunitha were well educated and we became friends . “Have you got quarters there?”, they asked . I nodded . I understand that the dowry was ten thousand and that was the main consideration , because the same month my sister was given away in marriage .

We went to visit mutual relatives and after one month, we returned.

In the office , I gave a party and they gave us presents. Sunitha was slow and I helped her in the kitchen. She did not take the initiative and we had no sex . Of course , we shared the same bed and lay arm in arm. It was a joy to fondle her soft body.

After about six months , she complained about some pain in the chest and was admitted in the hospital. She was subjected to thorough check up . The Doctor advised immediate operation:”She has multiple problems about her heart , liver , lungs and kidney . The heart requires attention now. “

I informed on phone . Her brother and younger sister came immediately . Her brother went back , leaving the sister here , for my assistance. It was then that I came to know of her:”What is your educational background?” “I am B.Sc.(computer)”

“In that case , you can get a job here itself’ I will talk to the Manager.”

Within a week , she was appointed in Stores section. She and I did all work of the kitchen and went to office . The condition of my wife had improved sufficiently and our neighbor agreed to look after any urgent needs. Now she slept alone . Because of the heat , Kalpana and I slept on bamboo cots in the front court yard. She said she enjoyed the open sky.

********

Several months passed before her (my wife)health deteriorated . She passed away because of pneumonia . The cremation was done at the Project sight. For the eleventh day , her parents came . They took her ashes to be immersed in the Ganga at Hardwar. From there they went to Kashi and Rameshwaram. I felt a sort of relief.

As she cannot get away from her illness , death is better. OF course , she was very loving and I loved her.

Our Project was situated in a forest , near a river ; There were hills on the opposite side .Kalpana and I used to roam about in the hills . There was a sizable presence of Keralites and we used t observe Onam festival . She was always active on such occasions and became popular. She was not a beauty , but quite charming and vivacious. Many people sounded me about her marriage ; I told them that I have no say in such matters.

One day she asked me :”Brother , why don’t you marry? You are strong and handsome , you must not waste your life.” “I have no sex urge.” “Marriage is not for sex alone , companionship is more important”

I looked into her eyes . Does this girl love me? Somehow , I could not ask her:”Do you love me?” She understood my dilemma ad gently pressed my hand. That night she lay in my bed and caressed me . I enjoyed it. I think she consulted her brother . Within a week , he proposed our marriage and we went home ….

STORY-TWISTS IN LIFE

SHIVA TEMPLE

I live near the very old Shiva temple and go there daily to offer prayers. There is a big pond in the east ede of the temple , where the villagers take bath.

I bathe there and , without changing cloths , go inside . First Lord Shiva and then Ganeshji on the left side , that is our habit. Give five rupees and the poojari , a Namboodiri gives sandal paste and flowers offered to the idol (Prasad)

One day I saw a young man , not seen before , sitting in the dais (mandapam) before the Lord , where only Brahmins are allowed. He was very young and fair like an Englishman . There is the sacred threat and a tuft of hair on the shaven head indicating that he is a Brahmin.

I enquired of the poojar:”Who is he? From where did he come?”

“No one knows . He does not know Malayalam and I do not know English. He spoke in Samskrutham also, but who knows it? I saw him sitting and meditating , when I came to open the temple .”

My curiosity was roused and I came back from home , after break fast . He was still there. When I went near , he asked in english:”What can I do , fair lady?”

“Namasthe! I am a teacher living here . I wanted to know about you; your native place , the purpose of your visit etc. If you like you may come home and have something to eat.”

He came with his bag which contained many papers , apart from his clothes. Father welcomed him . He said he is an Assamese , did his Doctorate in Temple architecture . He has already been to Tamilnadu, but was more impressed by Kerala style temples From Coimbatore , he came to Trichur .

I said:”There are many Namboodiris here. In their houses there are granthas written in palm leaves; most of these are in Samskrutham which no one knows.”

Mother brought dosa and sambar . After eating it , he praised her cooking. I said:” I have to go to school. Stay here as long as you choose. Of course we are not Brahmins .”

“I am not orthodox. But I have to cover the whole of this beautiful land. When you come back , I will be hear.”

My sister was standing very near to him . I told him:”This girl will take you to Namoodiri homes”.

Thus a unique friendship developed between us . Did I love him ?

Xxxxx

He left after a month . I had not seen him since . Months became years and I almost forgot him. My marriage with a man of our caste proved a failure , though we never talked of divorce. The sort of companionship , which I felt towards the Assamese gentleman , did not exist between us.

So I returned home , from my husband’s house. A tragic event turned all things upside down . There were heavy rains and storm which destroyed the eastern part of the temple . Even the stone pillar with wick lamps fixed around it fell in the pond , because the earth underneath gave way. Continuous rains had made the mud pulpy and amorphous . We were all shocked . I do not know how my Assamese friend knew about it.

He called me on phone and talked to me in Malayalam:”Do you recognize me ?” “Yes but how did you learn our language?”

“It is easy; there are books . I have some urgent message for you. I shall deposit five lakh rupees in your account . Organize the people and carpenters to begin work tomorrow itself . The wood work must be in the existing style ; no change should be introduced. I may reach there within a week.”

So the atmosphere got electrified . All people were surprised at the man , whom all had forgotten , who took so much interest in this god forsaken temple .

My sister became excited. She used to get letters from him. She could not reply because he had no permanent address. But they were in touch. He used to call her on phone. One day she blamed me for not expressing my feelings for him:”I know you loved him ; why did you not tell him?” I now regretted it. I asked:”Sister, tell me frankly –do you love him?”

“Yes, I do. But it is you whom he loves.”

During the subsequent months , all saw how near we were emotionally. People assumed that we are going to marry.

When I mentioned this , he smiled:”Let it be that way, “ he said.

It was then that I mentioned my unhappy marriage . He looked at me for a long time . It was a moonlit night . Then he slowly pulled me to himself and said in a serious tone:”Life is precious. We should not fritter it away. Mistakes can and should be corrected.” He kissed me …

STORY-ROBBERY

ROBBERY

My father sent me to the bank , to fetch gold ornaments from the locker and fifty thousand in cash , for my sister’s marriage. It was Monday and there was a long line in que. At last my turn came and I kept all things in my bag and got out.

Some miscreant was watching me in the bank itself and he snatched the bag from my hand . I ran desperately to catch him . I got an iron rod , left behind by construction workers , and hit his head hard. Blood was rushing out and he fell down . Before people could understand what was happening , I ran with the bag and knocked at the door of my friend Nalini. I hurriedly described what happened and gave her the bag:”Dear, call my father and give him this bag. Tell him I have taken ten thousand from the bag.” I kissed her good bye and got out of the house.

Where shall I go? Bombay? I do not know Hindi. In fact , I have never been out of Keralam and was somewhat afraid of strange places. I grew up as mummy’s boy ; somehow completed my studies in the school . So I called my uncle and explained the circumstances . “Do not worry , boy. Come to me and we shall think of some way.” He lives in a village near Aluva and I decided to go there. When things get cleared , I can come back.

Uncle and aunt were very glad. “You have become big and handsome. How are things there? What about your sister’s marriage?” I explained the developments and how I am involved in a murder case. My cousin sister was very much shocked. I said no one had seen me . A local newspaper has given a report without mentioning my name . It seems the fellow is not dead. He is in the ICU , unable to talk. He has seen my face and can easily identify me.

“I have an idea. At Mukkam there is no grocery shop. You work in Peter’s shop here and learn the trade. Then we can set up a shop at Mukkam.” The next day I joined the shop. The work is easy . Goods come in a van and we unload it . There will be rush in the evening , at other times it is easy. Peter himself sits at the cash counter. Before the shop is closed at 8.30 PM , I help in tallying the account . In his absence , I am the cashier.

I found that most people have a pass book and we have to write the amount in it each time. Even rich people prefer monthly payments . Ladies enjoy talking to me and my own self esteem increased. After one year , I set up my own shop.

I used to talk on phone with Nalini “You can come back safely. The police has closed the case . The fellow is all right now , they say. “ “ I have set up my own grocery shop and am making good profit, as it is the only shop here.”

“Your father asked me recently whether I am willing to marry you. I think he has spoken to Daddy. Are you not eager to see me? Or are you in love with a girl there?” “Will you be jealous?”

“Oh no! It is a man’s privilege. He can pick and choose. We are helpless. “

“Mukkam is a tribal area Women come without blouse . Something like a bath towel covers the breasts

You have not shown yours.” “You naughty brute . Can’t you enjoy our face?“

“I am hungry . You must give me soothing to eat.”

Thus the days passed . I made good money and was confident of making a living without help .

One fine morning , her father came to see my business. He discussed with my uncle. , who talked to my father .When I married , I was thirty five.

“Whom should we thank?” I asked.

“God”” “Or the person who tried to rob me?”

“God appeared in the guise of a robber !”

STORY-WIDOW

WIDOW

I was married to man working as driver in Dubai. We have two girls , still in school , when the sad news reached that he died in an accident. All the villagers came to offer condolences and we had to wait for two days , for the dead body to be brought here for cremation. I felt numb ad could not cry. I have become a widow at twenty five

Through the good offices of the villagers , I was employed as maid in a play school , walkable distance away from home. The play of urchins enlivened my heart and brought money also , thogh not much. Some months passed . One day, Leela , m y child hood friend, came to see me. It was then that the sorrow eating my heart , burst out and I wept on her shoulders…

“Come Medini , do not cry. Come with me to Bombay ; I will fix you up in the factory where I am employed . Get ready . Let us go as soon as my leave is over.”

We bought some cloths , umbrella and a bag and went by Mangla express. It was my first journey outside Kerala and I was thrilled to see the scenery . In Bombay it was raining heavily and I found it difficult even to walk.

The next day I joined as clerk in the stores section of a factory manufacturing tyres

.. My salary was two thousand ; my friend and I stayed in the same room.. My boss was a Marathi , quite elderly and well behaved. I wrote a letter to mother-in-law at home.

On Sundays , we went to the Mahalakshmi temple . A lot of people visited the temple daily. Leela has many friends and all expressed sympathy for me . They all told me to marry again. I said:”Who will marry a widow with two children?”

“You are young and beautiful ; many will offer their hand .”

“But now , my priority is to settle my children , “ I retorted.

Some two years passed smoothly ; then came the bolt from the blue-my daughter is missing. When the phone came , I applied for leave. My boss booked a seat by the next available flight and I went home much vexed and ready to receive any bad news. It was my second daughter that was missing . They had informed the police. Our neighbours believed that she has run away with the auto driver. I was relieved ; love marriage is no crime . But , at least , she could have chosen a man with better status.

I went to the sea shore with Surabhi , my first daughter . “Suru , do you think that I neglected you and did not give enough love?”

“Oh no ; we love you Mom. It was my sister who was neglecting her studies and went to see cinema with the driver. I cautioned her , but it was of no use. Most probably , she may be pregnant. “

“After plus two , I shall take you to Bombay . there are good colleges there. “ We sat there until it was dark. The sea consoled me. Soon the lovers came with a marriage certificate and photogra of the couple. We received them gladly and then she went to her husband’s house ; she was only fourteen years old and stopped going to school . Their family was quite well off .

I returned to Bombay. Leela consoled me:”Marriages are made in heaven, she is lucky to be in love. I envy her.”

My boss too shared the same sentiment. He still look smart and once told me:” Madam , I like you . You know I am already married and divorced. Do not ask me why. Think of my proposal with a cool mind . If you are ready … “

I cut him short:” Nothing till my daughter is settled.” He looked disappointed.

Almost at the same time , a man came and talked to me in Leela’s room:”I am your husband’s friend. I had come to your marriage and liked you at that time itself. Leela told me all about you . I am ready to marry you.” “Thank you ; wait till my daughter is settled; at least, till she gets a job”

When I brought her to Bombay , I took a separate room and saw Leela rarely. After studies , she too was employed in our factory as a clerk and all went well until…

I had taken half a day’s leave due to a headache . When came to the factory , I heard voices of laughter from the Boss’s room. I went near and slightly opened the door. My daughter was sitting in his lap , with her legs on either side of the chair and they were kissing…

I quietly withdrew and ran to see Leela . When I emptied my heart , I felt relived. Leela :”I shall write to the man who proposed to you.”

MY SISTER

MY SISTER

Savithry , my sister is at the last stage of terminal cancer of the uterus.

She is diabetic for the last thirty years at least ; so surgery is risky. Now they are to begin Ayurvedic treatment , as a last resort.

She served as teacher at the school near  the railway crossing gate at Thirunnavaya. Her marriage was solemnized , when I had just joined Railway Audit service and so could not attend it. (See my blog -Svithry’s marriage)