My self Sushila. I come from small town. My family very religious, following all customs and rituals. And of course, following the great Babaji. Jai ho!
You know, when I very small, I remember Tau’s bahu not get pregnant. So, Dadi take her to Babaji’s aashram for two days. When leaving, Babaji give her Surkha to eat. A month later Bahu with child. Oh! Just like magical fruit in Mahabharat. My respect for Babaji grow. Babaji is god!
Then later Bahu give birth to a son. Oh, how my Dadi, dance with happiness. She tell Bahu, to rest and look after the son. I very surprised. Earlier, all day Dadi scold her and make her work, just like she make amma and my sisters work. Now, she make all of us work more, as Bahu needs rest, she says.
I see happiness on Bahu face. I wonder about the powerful surkha. How it give power to her to sit with Dadi all day and my amma and sisters and I work.
One day Pitaji say, “You now seventeen, your marriage fix.” He not ask, just tell! I happy, I sad. But more happy as I shop, lehenga, sarees, bangles and what not.
Marriage girl get new things in house otherwise only Bahu get new things. When badki marry, she get new saree and we get her old clothes. Even amma wear Bahu’s old saree. Dadi said no need for amma to have a new saree, anyway she give birth to girls, so money always going away in dowry. When manjali marry, she get new clothes. Amma and I again get old clothes.
So finally, I happy. I get new clothes now. Dadi show the sarees she got me. All red, pink and green sarees. Oh! They so pretty.
I turn to show amma my sarees and see that she sad. I walk to her, “Amma, you take one saree,” I say. She say no and walk away. Amma never smile. I look at Bahu, she laughing and playing with son. I remember Babaji and surkha.
“It’s already one year, Bahu not pregnant,” complain Sasu-Ma. “I think something wrong with her.”
I make face.
She like dadi, always asking for kushkhabari.
Husband happy, I happy, that not khushkhabri?
“Arre…stop grumbling,” Sasurji say, “If she can’t give boy, we marry our son again.”
I see, Sasu-Ma very happy with idea. She call my Dadi, “Your grand-daughter barren! One year no child. We send her back, you keep her!” she curse.
“No, noooo,” Dadi screech, “She no barren. Our Babaji can help. I take her there. You wait and see.”
She explain about Bahu. Finally, Sasu-Ma agree. I happy to get away from her house for some time. They, all time saying, you giving no child.
Oh, Babaji please give me fruit also, so I get child.
I pray as I remember how Bahu got surkha and she got son and no one shout at her anymore.
I tell Husband not to worry, “I go for two days. Then I back.”
I go to aashram, full of this hope. So many people come sad, then go looking happy. I think Babaji need so many surkha to make all people happy.
Then my turn come. I stand infront of him and look at him with big smile. I know he help me and I go back to Husband.
Babaji look at me and say, “Ohhhoo…. This child is cursed. I will have to cleanse her. It will take two days.” Then he tell his disciple, “Take her to the special pooja room.”
I go. After sometime Babaji come. I look at him with respect.
Now all my trouble over.
“Lie down!” he say.
I tell him, “Babaji, I am here to get surkha, so I get child. You help Tau’s Bahu.”
He laugh and laugh. He then say, “Oh! You are beautiful and stupid. Perfect combination.” Then he come near me and push me to bed.
“You want a child?”
I move head up-and-down.
“Then lie down and I will fulfill your desire for a boy.”
I look at him. I don’t like how he look at me. I don’t like him so much now.
“Lie down,” he order.
Is he mad?
So, this the truth!
I want to run but child more important than listening to insults, every day.
Bholenaath! What to do? If I run, they marry husband to another girl. Noo…, then what happen to me?
Women like cows, just to have child.
Afterwards, Babaji give me Surkha also.
I give birth to son, everyone very happy with me. They give me gifts.
One month after, big ceremony at home. All are invited.
Sasu-Ma tells everyone, “It is Babaji’s miracle. His fruit made bahu pregnant.”
She give laddos to all who come.
I hide smile under pallu but I laugh in my head.
Sasu-Ma, it is not Babaji’s fruit, it’s his seed.