1914 & 2014 - Life Of A Woman
1914 & 2014 - Life Of A Woman7 mins 556 7 mins 556
IN 1914 :
“Saraswati, I have told you not to enter the kitchen without taking a bath. And wear the saree that is hanging outside. Only after doing that you can start cooking. Tell Parmanand to get coals for the sigri from the stores.”
Saraswati slowly nodded her head in affirmation. Then she went to the bathroom which was outside the house, took bath with the stored water in the metal bucket, that was pulled out from the wall. Later she proceeded exactly the way her Mother-in-Law had told.
By the time Father-in-Law and Ghanshyam – her husband came for lunch after three hours, the full meal of daal, two vegetables, roti, rice, sheera, and pakoras was ready, which was cooked on the coal sigri, under the supervision and instructions from Mother-in-Law.
“ Mataji, Please teach Saraswati to prepare the daal properly. It lacks your touch and balance of spices.” Ghanshyam looked at Saraswati after lunch was over and commented.
IN 2014 :
“Ma, Rohan was remembering your Pakora-Curry yesterday. Can you please email to me the recipe? I am sure I can get all the ingredients here, in Canada. I would love to give it a try ! “ Sonu was talking to her Mother-in-Law during weekends when both she and Rohan were not working.
The next day, her Mother-in-Law replied. “Sonu, This is the recipe, my girl. I will email it to you in 10 minutes, but I am sure you will not need it once you cook it yourself. Let me tell you that people who are fond of eating, make good cooks invariably, and you are one of them! “
Sonu smiled and happily replied, “Thanks Ma”, while driving back from her job. After reaching home, she checked Ma-in-Law’s recipe in the email in her mobile, and within 15 minutes, a meal consisting of Pakora-Curry and rice was ready! “ Rohan relished it so much !” The next day, Sonu messaged her Mother-in-Law while driving on her way to the office.
IN 1914 :
“ Your mother had sent the message and was asking after your health, but I have replied that we want our firstborn at father’s home only. She need not come all the way unnecessarily. “ Grandmother-in-Law was talking to Saraswati. Of course, the delivery had to be done as per the system of the family. They did believe in consulting the doctor, but everything was organized at home. And the baby should be delivered normally. Luckily, everything went off well, and after the full term, a healthy baby was born. There was happiness all around.
“Congratulations! Firstborn is a Baby girl! Laxmi in the house !”
Mother-in-Law could not resist commenting to Saraswati’s mother when her parents had come to pick her up after the delivery. “ Congratulations, Samdhan Ji! I am happy that we have a healthy grandchild as the firstborn, though a girl! Next time, we must have a son as the family lineage should continue. “ Before Saraswati and her parents could enjoy the birth of her daughter, the decision was out!
“ Saraswati, Let me take care of the Baby. You don’t have to get up from the bed at least for one and a half months. And listen, eat this laddoo made especially for you, made with pure ghee and other spices. You will be as thin as before within no time! Besides, the baby needs your care and mother’s milk too, so you should be well nourished. “ Her mother was pampering when she went to their house.
Saraswati was sitting all day free, and did not know what to do, when she had not to get up from one cot for at least the next 40 days - all the days and nights – And the first week had hardly begun!
IN 2014 :
The news of Sonu’s pregnancy was conveyed to her in-laws by Sonu’s parents. “Congratulations Samdhan Ji! Sonu is pregnant! “ Rohan’s parents were very happy. “ So happy to hear this news, Mrs. Agarwal! After eight years of marriage, we get to see this happy day! Right away I will talk to Sonu! “
“ Please take your time! She has an important meeting today. Why don’t you call her at the weekend? “
On Sunday Mother-in-Law called, and congratulated both Sonu and Rohan. Sonu appeared to be under stress. “You will be fine, my child. I will be there whenever you want me to come.”
“Mumma, please don’t catch the next flight to Canada. There is still a lot of time. Besides, I will take leave only after the completion of 8 months.”
After discussing who will take care of Sonu during her pregnancy and the delivery with her mother, Mother-in-Law messaged to Sonu.“ Dear Sonu, I will be coming for your delivery during the last fortnight. What is the big idea to come early? Since you might be busy and working at the office. I am happy that you are attending the pre-delivery classes there. This will be helpful .”
“Your mother called up yesterday. Since she is going to be busy during that time, I don’t mind coming for the delivery initially. She can come later after three months so that the Nanima gets to spend time with the newborn. “
“ Since Chachi Ji was coming to Canada, I have sent some namkeens with her that you like! “
Sonu was anxious with a constant bombardment of instructions from Mother-in-Law. She wondered if the decision to have a baby was not too soon? Besides, her working mother could not come for her delivery, when she would need her the most. “ Anyway, let me face this now as one more challenge. “ Sonu sighed.
IN 1914 :
“I am extremely sorry Saraswati. “
Saraswati was at her father’s house who had passed away last week. She was informed as soon as possible, by sending a telegraphic message at the local Post office. Due to a long distance between Ludhiana and Gwalior, it was difficult to reach in time for father’s last rites. However, when she reached home, her mother was crying incessantly, so also many other ladies of the house. Saraswati joined in too. Only if she had known about father’s fatal illness beforehand, then she could have planned to travel and see him for the last time.
“My child, now that your father is no more, Lalit Uncle has taken charge of the whole property, land papers and important documents and Aruna Aunty has that of the ornaments. You will be gifted with one gold necklace as decided by the elders. And of course, you know that there is no tradition of sharing the property with daughters in our family. You are welcome to come here, as many times, till I am alive. “ After a few days of Sonu’s stay, her mother gave her the updates on the family property.
Saraswati asked, “ What will Pravin Bhaiya and Dinesh Bhaiya get? “
Mother replied, “They are the heirs of all the property in the future. After LalitUncle. But Mayavati also gets the same gift as you later. “
This meant that soon the doors of her father’s house would be closed forever. But what about her brother Pravin Bhaiya and cousin brother Dinesh Bhaiya ? Will, they are not welcoming me in the future ?
Saraswati merely said, “Yes” to the decision.
IN 2014 :
“Sonu, Your father has taken very ill. You must take the next flight to India. And do not worry about Sanju. I am here to take care of him.” Rohan broke the news as Sonu returned from the office in the evening. Rohan had already requested for an urgent booking for Sonu’s air ticket to their agent in Toronto.
Sonu reached Gwalior, India within the next 48 hours. Mahipat Ji breathed his last after seeing Sonu on his deathbed. Her mother, as well as everyone in her family, were appreciating how Sonu could reach India to see her father at his last moments.
There was a quiet in the house, and the chanting of Bhajans was going on continuously. Lalit Uncle and Aruna Aunty also arrived from Bhopal the next day for the funeral.
After all the rituals were over, mother talked to Sonu, “ It is a good consolation that you could reach Gwalior in time, to see your Daddy last. He left this world peacefully. He has made the will that he had been discussing with Gupta Uncle for some time. “
In fact, Mr.Gupta called Mrs. Agarwal the next morning. “ Neelamji, Now that all the rituals are over, I would like to read out the will of my friend in the presence of you and Sonu.”
The next morning saw Gupta Uncle reading out the will of his dear friend Mahipat. He had divided all his property, land and investments equally among his wife Neelam, daughter Sonu and son Vikas.
Even the ornaments were to be justly distributed between Sonu and Vikas’s fiancée.
After a few months, Sonu and Rohan donated the inherited money at various Charitable organizations, keeping aside a token for their son Sanju.
This magnanimous gesture was appreciated by the whole family.
Sonu returned to Toronto with peace and satisfaction, inviting her mother to come and stay whenever she felt like.