“Calm down Mohan. I know what suffering your heart is going through but we all know, whether her marriage was just a game but yet, it was true!! It happened in front of everyone’s eyes and Pujaari ji is the sole witness of it. How can we deny her fate, her ill-fate which she had brought with her”
Mohan anger rose high hearing someone saying her Geet ill-fate. His eyes were spitting fire. “Don’t ever try to call my daughter ill-fate Bhaiya!!!”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it”
Jagan got scared seeing his anger. He did not want to spoil his younger brother’s mood; he was the only source of income of this family. Mohan had been carrying expenses of Neer marriage and all spends of the house. Being a manager in the village fertilizer factory and educated till college he had good friend groups and he was the one who had brought an alliance for Neer from a good family of the city.
Though Jagan and Savita were elder but Jagan is a slacker always neglecting his duties and responsibilities toward family but Mohan never complained of it. He wanted a peaceful environment in the house. He had a small world with his Geet and could bear every hardship for her, making her happy but it seemed, his God was wanting him to see more suffering that He (God) played a playful yet cruel act with little Geet.
Well, this argument was not new for people of this family. Since one and half months they had been arguing like this on every small bug matter related to this marriage. Though Mohan knew what he was saying was morally correct but he even knew that no one would agree to his wish. He dragged Geet with and walked in his room.
He was lying in bed taking Geet with him. He was hell worried for her future. Looking at her just once, his eyes welled up with tears but lips smiled. Little Geet was sitting beside playing with her doll and combing her hairs, completely unaware of what had happened with her life which was unripe yet.
Mohan sat up and took Geet in his lap. He caressed her hair lovingly and kissed on her head. Small Geet looked up to him and found tears which were slipping down on his cheek, Mohan hurriedly wiped it but she had already seen them. She raised her small hand and touched her father’s wet face and saw with curious eyes.
“Why you are crying Baba’
“Nothing Beta, dust fell in eyes”, he wiped his eyes properly and smiled. Geet smiled back and again became engrossed in her doll.
Geet used to sleep with Neer when suddenly she started crying loud in the morning. Neer abruptly woke up hearing her cry and tried to ask what happened but Geet only kept crying. Mohan came running to see. He took her in lap dearly asked, wiping her eyes,
“What happened Geet?”
Geet hugged him tight and scared. She was shaking in fear. Mohan was hell worried for her because he had guessed the reason for her fright. It was not the first time she had woken up crying after seeing the same dream.
“Shh Geet, nothing happened” He patted her head.
“Baba they are shouting on me!!!” Geet spoke between sobs. “Pujari Baba is shouting on me, I did nothing yet he scolded me”
“Don’t cry Beta, I will scold him back. No one can make my baby cry, okay!”
Geet looked at him , feeling relief. The soothing lap of her father always used to give her peace of heart. She slept again swinging in his arms.
Later in the day, Geet was all ready to go school. Neer was making her hair and Geet was silently reading her ‘ABC’ book.
Neer- Geet ‘A’ for?’
‘Apple’ Geet spoke smiling.
Neer- “B for
Neer shocked hearing Maan’s name from her mouth after a long time. She made Geet look her,
“Geet, you still remember Maan?”
Geet nodded innocently. ‘Why would I forget him Didi, he was my friend and you know, what he had gifted me’
Neer shook her head smiling sadly.
Geet took out a gold chain was wrapping in black thread which she used to wear always after that day and showed excitedly
‘This necklace!!” She was so happy finding the world’s best gift from her friend Maan, who had been there for a few days, in her village. She again hid it behind her shirt.
“It’s beautiful na Neer di’
Neer nodded. She had been worrying for Geet’s future like Mohan and used to pray to Babaji, to bring her Maan back.
“Geet Beta, are you ready?” They heard Mohan calling.
“Ji Chachaji, she is coming” Neer shouted back. “Hurry up Geet, keep books in your bag!!” Hurriedly Geet started to collect her things and then hastened out but then again returned back to Neer
“Neerdi you forget something!!!’
Neer was confused and then she saw, Geet took out a small box from her drawer and showed,
“Put it on Didi, I can’t apply myself properly.”
Neer eyes welled up seeing sindoor in box but it was their daily routine to do.
“Hurry up Didi, Baba is waiting for me!!!” She was jumping in a hurry. Neer took out a little sindur and placed it in Geet forehead. Geet runs out waving bye to her.
Mohan shouted and Neer came running out what happened. She had just sent Geet and why uncle is shouting but as she looked him, understood that again argument was on the way on same topic.
“How many times I would have to tell you Neer, don’t ever apply sindur to Geet!!!”
“But Chacha ji, Maa.. ” She could speak further when she saw Savita come out, wiping her hand in her Saree Pallu.
“Neer, you go inside’
Neer silently left inside.
“I’m sorry Mohan, I know you don’t like this tradition but still this is all I do for Geet’s sake only. You don’t know what this villagers says about her when they see her head and neck empty. She is married for God Sake! Mohan whether you believe it or not. It was truth and no one can remove this reality from her fate”
Mohan knew he could not win over this conservative mentality. He looked at Geet who was again scared, looking at them with her beautiful big eyes and for her sake, he stopped arguing further. He made her sit on his cycle and paddled toward her school.