A satire; on the social evil of begetting an heir
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-very small, I remember Tau’s bahu not get pregnant. So, they 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!
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.
Then after all hurry-worry of marriage, I reach my new home. Oh! Big house.
Women come to see my face. They lift pallu and say, ‘She so pretty, she will give strong son.’ I tired, but I smile. Only after lunch I get time to sleep. Ahhh! Finally bed. Babaji ki jai ho!
Is someone touching me? I open eyes fast. Husband grinning at me. Oie-Ma! He looking Abhishek Bachchan. I smile. His hand on my thigh. Ohhh nice!
Like that start my married journey.
“It’s already one year, Bahu not pregnant,” complain Sasu-Ma. “I think something wrong with her.”
“Arre.. stop grumbling,” Sasurji say, “If she can’t give boy, we will marry our son again.”
I see, Sasu-Ma very happy with idea. She call my Amma, “Your daughter barren! One year no child. You give big dowry to blind us to her fault!” she curse Amma.
“No, noooo,” Amma beg, “She no barren. Our Babaji can help. I will take her there. Please!”
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.
I go to aashram, full of this hope. 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 disciples, “Take her to special pooja room.”
I go. After sometime Babaji come.
I look at him. Is he mad?
“You want child?”
I move head up-and-down.
I shocked. 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. Noooo…, then what happen to me?
Slowly I walk to bed and lie down. Women like cows, just to have child. Afterwards, Babaji give me Surkha also.
I give birth to son, everyone very happy with me. 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.
Haha….Sasu-Ma, it is not Babaji’s fruit, it’s his seed.
Surkha – Allahabadi Surkha are a variety of guava having deep pink color inside instead of the typical white color and an apple red exterior skin.
Kamaal – Amazing ( Amazing Surkha)
Babaji – A god man who is revered in the family
Jai ho – Praise be
Tau – Father’s elder brother
Bahu – Daughter-in-law
Aashram – Place where Babaji resides
Pitaji – Father
Pallu – The end part of saree that is used to cover the face
Oie-Ma – Expression of surprise or happiness
Sasu-Ma – Mother-in-law
Sasurji – Father-in-law
Laddos – Type of sweet