Yes, she is so beautiful… My princess…
She is and she always will be, my sweet, little princess… My daughter… My only daughter. She looks very beautiful always, the way she looks into my eyes and says, “Papa, I love you. You are the best dad in the world…” I will miss her. Yes, I will miss my daughter so much. Today she will leave her house and go. It’s her marriage today and she is getting ready. I can see her in the reflection of the mirror. She is wearing a dark pink colored lehnga and a glittery golden dupatta covered her head. She is wearing very heavy jewellery and a light shade of makeup. I don’t know for how long I kept looking at her… So pretty my baby is looking today. She is just out of the world…
I can never forget that day when for the first time I took her in my arms, 23 years ago… I always wanted a daughter, but my first child was a son. I was happy as I was being a father for the first time, but when I became a father of a girl child, I was the happiest man on this earth. As if I got everything in my life and wanted nothing else. She was in my arms, with those small hands and that innocent face. All my wishes were fulfilled in that one moment. She was all I wanted. My Tamanna… She is my Tamanna. I gave her this name in the hospital itself, when I took her in my arms, the feeling I had forced me to call her by that name. Everyone in the house loved her, but I loved her the most. She was only 8 months old when I bought her a bicycle… I know it was foolish to do that. She could not even walk at that time and I wanted her to ride a bicycle. But whenever I saw her crawling towards me, I felt that she might hurt her knees and that was something I could never bear.
I remembered everything about my daughter. Every day in these 23 years were like a new life in itself. She knew I loved her a lot, and I knew she is my life. Well, everyone knew it. I looked at her once again, she was showing her henna filled palms to her friends. I know this is her last day with me. She will be my daughter for lifetime, but from today, she will be someone’s wife, and someone’s daughter-in-law. And they will have full rights on her. I will not be able to see her everyday like now. I will not get that tea and newspaper from her like I did till date…
I came out of my memories when I felt something on my shoulders. It’s my wife, “What happened?”
“Then why are you crying?”
I realized I had tears in my eyes. I wiped them off and faked a smile. I looked at Tamanna once again and that smile on her face brought a smile on my face. I went to see all the other arrangements of the wedding. I don’t want anything to go wrong. I had saved money for this day for 23 years. I was saving for my princess’s marriage since she was born. And every time I saw her smiling, I wanted to give her everything. She deserved everything that existed in this world. And so, I wanted her marriage to be very special as well. After all this is the most memorable day of her life. Today she will get married. She will take those beautiful memories from her maiden home to her husband’s home. From Miss Tamanna Maheshwari, she will be Mrs. Tamanna Malhotra. And along with the name and house, her life will be changed.
I don’t know how I will live without my life. I was having mixed-emotions. On the one hand, I was happy for her as she is going to live her new life with her husband, who will love her and support her for next seven lives; and on the other hand, I was upset as I knew today my child will leave her house, her name and her father… And I knew, what I was feeling from inside. But, I was carrying a smile on my face, I wanted to be strong and I was a strong man.
I went outside, all the arrangements were perfect. All the gifts were kept on the table, the decorations were done, the cuisines were ready, and the stage was set. Everything was done and it looked beautiful. Everyone from bride’s side was happy from the arrangements made. I hoped the same from the Groom’s side as well. I call my son and told him to be near the main entrance so that we can know when the Groom and his family arrive. I have arranged a grand welcome for them. It will be a perfect wedding, for my perfect daughter.
After the Groom arrived, and all the customs took place, it was time for my daughter to take those seven sacred steps of her life, those seven sacred promises to be together always. She started walking, around that fire, hand in hand with the Groom. I got back to my world again. The first time she started walking, those first steps she took, her hands were in mine. And today, she is taking those steps for a promise to be his. I remembered everything, as if someone had played all those moments of past 23 years in front of me. Her favorite baby pink colored frock, her small bellies, her first day in school, her childhood, her teenage, everything…
It was the time for her to leave me, a custom called Bidaai… The most difficult moment for both me and my daughter. She had changed her dress and now she was in a bright red saree… It was time for her to leave. She was hugging everyone present there and was crying. It was the most difficult thing to see, because I could never see my princess in tears. I tried to escape from the situation, but as soon as I made a move, she hugged me tight and cried aloud. I could not control myself at that moment and I hugged her back and tears rolled down my cheeks. To appease her, I told her about her new life waiting for her, the happiness and the love she is going to get. She still was crying and this was tearing me from inside. But this time, I couldn’t help it. She had to leave. She had to go. No excuse could make her stay. And with the hope and wishes for a wonderful life ahead, I bid her a farewell. I could hardly speak anything as she entered the car that I had gifted her husband on the wedding. Only a few words came out of my mouth,
“Here goes my Tamanna… Love you my princess… Stay blessed…”
My father loves me lot… I see it in his eyes, everything is new in my new house but one thing that I am missing is my dad. Here everything is dependent on me… There I was depending on my father and my father liked it… I really miss him. But this is my new home and my new family, and I have to adjust with them... They are very orthodox type of people, I am not saying they are mad, but they are a bit different from a normal family… My hubby, my sweet hubby always takes care of me but when he is near his family members, then he always projects that I am nothing for him. But I understand… They are his family and he has to give more attention to them as compared to me... He always, in the night would say, “Dear, I love you so much but please try to understand. I have to look after my family’s feelings. After all, they came before you in my life.”
Ok… Not a big deal. He is mine at the end of the day, or say on the bed... He loves me and tells me everything... But sometimes I think that someday if it happens that he gets to choose between me and his family, then whom will he choose??? I know the answer but I don’t want to think about that… One day, I was surprised, when he came and said that now we need to have a child... And the shocking part was that when I asked him why suddenly today he wanted to have a child, he simply laughed, “Hahaha…” and then said, “My parents want a child… Then want me to give them their grandson…”
“Ohhh!!!” I was shocked. Then I asked him, “Do you want this child or not?” He took a pause and said, “Yes…”
I am unable to understand anything… Whose decision is it? My husband’s or his parent’s? And the worst part is that he never asked me about it. He did not even bother to know that I needed a child or not… Was I prepared to give birth to a child or not?
And then the day came… I was not well and was taken to the doctor. After a test, they got what they wanted from me. I was pregnant. That day my life changed… My in-laws every day asked me to take care of the baby. They never asked me how I am feeling… And whenever I tried to discuss this with my hubby, he would say, “Don’t listen to them; just do your work…” But how should I make him understand that he left the house in the morning and came after 8.00 pm; it is easy for him to say that but it’s not that easy for me to ignore them because I have to be there for the whole day… But I am very happy, I am going to be a mom, and a part of me will be in coming in this world very soon… It will walk, will run, will talk…. And he/she will call me mom… One day I told my hubby that I would like to be the mom of a girl child. And to this he suddenly replied, “No I want a boy…” When my in-laws came to know about it, they shouted at me and said, “You will give birth to a boy… Do you understand?”
I got numb to this…
It was my 7th month …
My mother in-law said, “This is the right time to call Mahatma Ji… What do you think?” She asked to my husband.
He said, “As you wish mom…”
Many times I asked my hubby that who is Mahatma Ji… He ignored me all the time, and finally one day he told me, “He is very popular and a known person of our family. He will be here to give his blessings to our son…”
“And what if it is a girl?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I don’t interfere in my mom and dad’s decision…” and he went away.
This is not a game… This is my life, and who are they to take such kind of decisions about my child.
After a few days that Mahatma came to our house. He made a Hawan-Kund at the center of the hall… I remember my doctor said that smoke is very dangerous for my child. When I reminded this to my husband he said, “No problem, he is a very famous Guru Dev. The smoke of this Hawan will not affect you… I had no option but to be the part of that supplication. Suddenly Guru Dev called me and said, “Child, try to look in this Hawan and tell me what you can see…”
I saw only fire and I told him that. He again said, “Concentrate and see properly. Tell me, what do you see?”
I again said the same thing…
“She is not going to give birth to a boy.” Guru said looking towards my in-laws.
“What is this? Will somebody tell me what is going on?” I shouted…
My husband took me inside the room and closed the door from outside… I obviously now understood that there is something going wrong, and I am worried about my child. I am missing my dad but am not able to contact them; now what should I do?
After some time, the door opened and husband came in…
“Why are you shouting? Just keep quiet and eat these pills.” He said handing over 2 pills to me.
“What are these for?” I asked him.
“These are the pills for abortion…” he said very casually handing over a glass of water to me. I was so shocked. How can he tell me to kill our child?
“It is our child, dear. How can you say that…”
“Just shut up and do what I say…” He interrupted.
“But why are you doing this to me?”
“Because there is girl in your womb, and I don’t want to have a burden on my head.”
“But how do you know that?”
“Guruji told us… And now if you are done with your stupid questions, just have these pills…”
“No, I won’t have them. I’ll not kill my child just because she is a girl. She has the right to come in this beautiful world. She has the right to live. And what if my father would have done that to me? I would not have been in this world. No, I will not kill my child. And we are not even sure that it is a girl child. Just because that Guruji of yours has told you that it is a girl, you want to kill it? What if he is wrong? What if it is a boy?”
“He can never be wrong… And now will you have it or not?” My mother-in-law shouted at me.
“No Maaji, please don’t do this…” I begged in front of her.
“She will not understand this way… Let us do something else to her.” She said turning towards her son. Yes, today I am sure that he is only her son, and not my husband.
They came towards me, and I was so scared now. I did not know what was going to happen next. What are they up to? What are they planning to do with me? My sister-in-law entered the room with kerosene in her hands. Now I think I had a clue about what was going to happen. My mother-in-law came towards me.
“Don’t come near me. What are you people doing?” I cried out.
“Don’t waste any time beta,” she said to her son holding my hands tight. “Just go ahead. Don’t worry; it will be over in a few minutes.”
“No… Don’t do that to me. I am your wife… And I have a child in my womb. Please don’t…” I tried to rescue myself and looked at my husband for some love and sympathy; but everything went on deaf ears. He started sprinkling kerosene on me. And in a flash, I was wet in it. My sister-in-law handed over a match box to my mother-in-law and she gave it to her son.
“Don’t kill me please…”
“You didn’t want to get separated from your girl child na, now go to hell with her…” My mother-in-law shouted and signaled her son to move on.
I got unconscious after that. I thought I was dead. This was my end, but when I opened my eyes, I was in the hospital. I tried to turn left but it was not possible for me to move. I looked straight, “BURNS WARD” it read. I was covered in a white sheet but I could breath. I was still alive.
“She’s 95% burned. It’s very difficult to save her, she’s critical…” I heard the doctors say.
And then I came to know that the report said that my child was no more. And the doctor said, “One more thing I want to tell you. You son is no more. We could not save your son in her womb.”
After a few minutes, my soul left my body. I was dead. I gave up. I could not become a part of this cruel world. I hope my father can overcome this situation of life. I remember when I was getting married; he was full of tears as I was going to be a member of other family. Now, when he will know that he can never see me again, I don’t know what he would go through.
I wish I could talk to him once for the last time. After knowing that my husband wanted to kill my girl child, I wanted to thank my dad for allowing me to breathe in this world. I wanted to thank him for loving me so much. And I just wanted to say, Dad, I really love you…
And his Tamanna left… Forever…
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