Here is a story about a lady who led a life in her own style. I thought a lot on what should be the name of this short story...Finally presenting you -
She was born to a mother who saw her only for a minute. Mother died during her birth. Father got her married to a boy at the age of 8. She remembers that she wore a sari for her wedding. The groom was rich and cultured and was 19 at the time of marriage. A big joint family welcomed her. She played her days to adulthood with the kids of the household and neighbors without even realizing the concept of Marriage. She never went to school nor did she attempt to read and write. Father died when she was 14. She was not mature to understand that she was now an orphan baby in the hands of her husband & his family. Life went on for her.
Hubby ran a hotel in the city. Wife was left in the village house 300 kms away. He visited her twice a year. Hubby's father was a angry dominating man. He ran the house and the agriculture business at the village. She feared him. She learnt cooking from hubby's grandmom who was her best friend and infact her unseen mom. At 15, she became a mother. Unknowingly an additional responsibility fell on her tender laps. The baby boy was a boon for her. She realized slowly that she was the mother and not just a friend to her son to play with. She had no idea that baby delivery had to happen in mother's place and not at husband's place. It would not matter because she did not have a mother's place nor any siblings who cared.
Sooner than expected, she had delivered 6 children. During this time, hubby's father died, hubby grandmom fell terminally ill and bedridden. Hubby decided to handover the hotel business to his cousins and came back to the village to take care of the aging and dying grandma. Eventually death caught up. Grandma died. That was the first time she had seen death at close quarters. She was shattered. The lady with whom, she could share everything is no longer there. Grandma was everything for her. The old lady had taught her life, had explained adulthood, had pulled out her children from her tummy, had bathed the children, had combed her hair, had wiped the tears when in pain, shared jokes etc etc. The void would never be filled. Grandma remained in her heart and on the wall of the house.
But the children and the attention that they needed diverted her attention back to life. Children went to school. She immersed herself in household affairs. Never ever bothered to check whats happening outside her small world of her house. She did not know what was her hubby doing with the money he earned from agriculture. She was happy and content. She believed in her husband. And husband never ill-treated her. The love and respect was immense and mutual.
Her 3 sons went out of the village for earning bread. They started hotel\bakery business and grew rich. Father provided some financial support for the setup. She was happy to see her sons prosper. She was also concerned about her 3 daughters marriage. She dearly missed her husband during the days when he was in running a hotel in city. Those were the days, she wanted her husband with her. She told her husband that her daughters should not suffer the same fate. She wanted the daughters to marry officials and not businessmen. Finally her wish was fulfilled. All 3 daughters were married off to govt officials and were happy in the city. Sons also stayed in the city. She had turned 50+ then.
For her - Grandma was now a sweet long cherishing dream. Death had taught her to back her strengths. She used everything that she learned from grandma. Children were an inspiration.
They were alone now in the village. Husband and wife. It was almost a retired life. Part time agriculture. But major time was free-time. She realized that husband she had was an asset. He had all the good characteristics of his grandma. He took good care of her. They fell in love with each other again. Yes it happened. Occasionally they visited their children in the city and the children them in the village. Never did husband and wife go separately out of station. It was two or none.
Summer time was the time she enjoyed most. It was a full house when the children and grandchildren visited them. She tirelessly worked in kitchen cooking delicious sweets for the children and took time to play with grandchildren. Infact she longed for somebody visiting her home.
It was indeed a happy life!
-----> Interval <------
She will continue!