It was a busy day up in the hills. A long trail of colourful ribbons and lights had adorned the route that stretched from Baishali’s house to downhill passage which was lined with lorries, vans, cabs that were loaded with tents, flowers, fruits, wrapped presents which were the much needed items for Baishali’s wedding. Nestled in hills, her house had been painted in white and it bore analogy to a white tulip clustered with green leaves from distance. Brimmimg with energy, the food, the music, the laughter and the chaos had lifted the vibration of the place.
And there sat Baishali, encircled by women from family, friends and relatives, wearing a subtle expression that didn’t express the tumult of her mind as she performed the rituals with her hands dabbed with henna. The women surrounding her continued to sing the folk songs and taking their turns for indulging in rituals and evidently more interestingly to get clicked with the would be bride.
Baishali,was a protected child, as a norm abided by in a patriarchal clan where women were naysayers in important family matters. Although Baishali’s father had been exemplary in supporting women education, due to which she had a postgraduate degree in her hands, he kept an apparent distance from her since childhood which was unfathomable for a child’s fragile emotional need of fatherly affection.
As she sat with her hands clasped for prayer a plethora of memories cramped her mind…memories of happiness, annoyance, belongingness with her family, friends and anxiety for the unknown future that awaited her…as she feared a halt to her expressive self….all emotions grasped her attention…of the rhetorics that disseminated air of the son cult and that she should abide by her brothers even if they were younger to her…and even of the times when she was conveyed by family women how girls could only be as guests in their parents’ house and the real home was that of their husbands. She remembered the times how her father favoured her the most amidst her two brothers, whenever he was put to select amongst their desires and choices and eventually fulfill them too…but still there had been unexplained expressionlessness.And today as she was to get married,she longed for her wait to end.
As the ceremony came to an end she went to her room exhausted by the day’s activity and soon her busy mind was overtaken by sleep. A sudden thudding of footsteps by children playing outside disturbed her slumber and as she woke up,to her surprise,she saw her father sitting by the chair beside her bed. Before she could enquire him about his visit, he came forward and caressed her head asking ‘’Ek baar uth k apna ghar nahi dekhegi beta?(Won’t you get up and have a look at your home once, my child?) ” The one sentence put halt to whole farrago of emotions,the long wait and unanswered doubts that now rolled down as tears of joy.