Tragedy

End of a Story

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In the wee hours of a Monday morning, the thudding sound of a fall was heard in a twelve storey residential building. The family living in an apartment on the ground floor rushed to their door to see what what had happened, what had fallen. It was not a materialistic thing.

Arrrrreee!!! This is Minnie, came a loud cry from one of the people. A crowd gathered there and took Minnie to the nearby hospital. She was bleeding profusely, fighting for her life. By the time she reached hospital she was dead.

Manita, a 23-year-old bright girl living on the tenth floor of this building, ended her life. She was her mother’s only daughter. She had done her post-graduation and was at home since the last three months.

Her mother Pankaja was the only daughter of her landlord father. She belonged to a Brahmin family. After wrapping up her education, her father found a suitor for her. Being the only child, she was raised with much love and care. Her wedding was fixed. She got engaged to the person her father selected. As the day of wedding was nearing, the family got busy in wedding preparation. Her father was joyous and arranged the best possible wedding feast for her daughter and for the town people.

On the day of her wedding Pankaja left home without any intimation. Her father asked all his servants to search for Pankaja. They looked for her everywhere in the town. Losing all hopes, he filed a police complaint. Even the cops failed to track her out. Her father worried about her all the while was unable to focus on any work. But there was no intimation from her.

One day when her father was returning from his farm, he met with an accident. A truck had mowed him down, killing him on the spot. The accident was so severe that it was difficult to identify him. His concern and worry for his daughter each day finally resulted in his death.

It was only after his death Pankaja came home to see her dead father.  She had married a Christian without bothering to tell her father. She lived a happy life with her husband for two years.  She gave birth to a girl and named her Manita. After two years, her husband abandoned her and his daughter only to marry some other girl.

Pankaja was a qualified woman. She was appointed as a government teacher in one of the schools. The responsibility of Manita was solely on her shoulders. She worked hard to give her daughter the best life possible.

Being a government employee she was paid well. Mother daughter lived happily. After her husband’s abandonment, Pankaja retained her Hindu identity. Along with her Hindu identity, she retained all her relationships with her mother and other relatives. Manita was given a Hindu identity. Pankaja told Manita about her father. She knew everything about her mother. In this big world, this mother daughter had a world of their own. But people around them never accepted Manita as a Hindu child. She was punished for the mistake her mother committed.

Manita was a girl who loved and cared for her mother all the while. As years passed, the bond between mother and daughter grew deeper. They were generous to all the people around. But Manita’s future worried her mother.

Now she was 23 and completed her education. Pankaja looked for a suitor in the Brahmin community for her daughter. But people belonging to Brahmin community knew very well that Manita was not a Hindu child. All the suitors she looked for rejected her daughter. Her concern for her daughter grew each day.

Manita was not mentally prepared to get married. She was in confusion. On the one hand she had her mother, who was stressed thinking about her daughter’s future. On the other hand she was not at all ready for marriage. She wanted to study further.

One of the relatives of Pankaja came up with a marriage proposal. The suitor was 45 years old bachelor. Manita could not refuse her mother when she was asked about this proposal. The suitor with his family members visited Pankaja’s home. They met Manita. Manita did not like the person. But her mother’s concern towards her stressed her.

Her mother wanted her to marry a Brahmin boy only because of her mixed identity. The suitor’s family liked Manita. It was Pankaja’s turn to visit their home.

On one fine day Pankaja intimated one of her relatives about her visit to the suitor’s house on coming Friday. Manita listened to all this conversation her mother had over a phone call with her relative. Manita in a state of indecision could not deny the proposal.

She believed that her mother would surely fix her wedding in her next meet with the 45 years old suitor. Next day in the wee hours of the morning she woke up, completed her daily chores in an hour, went to the terrace of the building and without a single thought about her lone mother in this world, jumped from there.

Her mother never imagined that Manita would take such a step. Marriage was not the end of life. Thinking herself to be the cause of worry for her mother Manita, a bright, decent, good looking girl ended her life.

It came as a blow to her lonely mother, who survived all these years only for Manita. After Manita’s funeral Pankaja was taken to the house of her close relative. But again and again she would remember Manita and recite her name continuously.

After four days of Manita’s death Pankaja visited her home all alone. Manita’s memory gave her a call every second. She consumed sleeping pills. By the time she was taken to hospital, she was almost nearing her death. The physician tried his best to bring her back. She retained her consciousness for a minute only to utter her unwillingness to live in this world. After Manita’s death, Pankaja was yearning to meet her daughter every second. Finally she reached the abode of God to meet her only daughter, for whom she survived all these years.

Manita could have spoken to her mother about the marriage proposal. If at all she was not comfortable with this proposal, she had many other options in her life. She should have told it to any of her friends. Marriage is not a mandatory thing to survive. But she took a wrong step and lost her own life. When one person ends his/her life, they are responsible for their own action. No one loses anything. People see it as an incident and forget. But who is a real loser?

The one who doesn’t want to face the difficulty, the one who doesn’t want to face life and its predicament.  Manita felt easy to end her life than denying a marriage proposal or convincing her mother for further studies. No parent would love to see the dead body of a child, whom they brought up with so much of love, care and hardship of life. You are responsible for your action and your life!

If Pankaja understood the fact that an alive daughter is more precious than a married daughter, she would never lose Manita. Parents need to understand the psychology of their kid and need to broaden their horizon of thinking. Marriage is a part of life not life itself!

In a span of week both mother-daughter ended their life. It was a thunderous bolt to all those who knew them. But people didn’t know it was not just the end of two lives but an end of a story!

 

 

Stuti Tiwari (INDIA)

Ms. Stuti Tiwari is Assistant Professor (on contractual) in Dept. of English, Central University of Karnataka. Reading books and writing poems, articles, short stories, realistic fiction are her hobbies.

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