Soumya Chopra

Abstract Tragedy Inspirational


Soumya Chopra

Abstract Tragedy Inspirational

Cuz It Was Not The End

Cuz It Was Not The End

5 mins

“The shattering of a heart when being broken is the loudest quite ever” I have read those lines many years back in a magazine, but the reality of those words stuck me some 20 years back when I saw a mother shattering all society norms, hiding her own pain and standing tall. 

It was a chilling winter day of early 2000 when we used to live in Gomti Nagar of Lucknow, that time it was still a developing area. Our neighbors have fixed the marriage of their eldest Son Gaurav with Tanu. Tanu has just completed her graduation was a very lovely girl. During their engagement I was also visiting Lucknow with my Husband, Gaurav and Tanu were looking like a match made in heaven. Soon their wedding day was fixed and my mother and Mahu aunty ( Gaurav’s mother) were watching and listening to all the arrangements with great enthusiasm.

Just like that, amidst all the joy and happiness, the day of marriage procession arrived. The wedding procession had to go from Lucknow to Dehradun by bus, so the wedding procession left early in the morning amidst auspicious songs. As it was a norm, that Grooms mother does not watch the wedding, Madhu Aunty, myself and some other ladies stayed back to welcome the new bride.

The day was spent in auspicious rituals and the night was spent in laughter and dance and music. The next morning, I got a call from my husband, “The marriage was successfully completed. The wedding procession will reach home by four-five in the evening.” A wave of happiness ran in the house, forgetting the tiredness and laziness of night vigil, preparations started to welcome the new daughter-in-law. Finally, it was four o'clock in the evening and now at the slightest noise, everyone's eyes started moving towards the door. Gradually it became five, six, seven and then eight o'clock. Now everyone's restlessness started increasing. “How come it's taking so long? Did the bus break down somewhere on the way? Maybe they stopped for tea and snacks on the way and did not pay attention to the time while having fun, but still, it takes too long.

A call came at nine in the night on the landline, “The car traveling with the bus has met with an accident, we will reach home late.” Everyone was shocked, Madhu aunty's complexion turned pale, as if every drop of blood had been squeezed out of her body. She turned and closed the door of the puja room. At 2 o'clock in the night, the wedding procession returned with Gaurav's lifeless body. Behind everyone came the new daughter-in-law Tanu, trembling like a deer. The newly wed woman stood silently in the red dress, gazing at her husband's lifeless face with wide eyes. But the mother-in-law, who was preparing the welcome plate for Aarti, remained inside with the door of the puja room closed.

What a heart-wrenching scene it was. Despite repeated calls, aunty did not come out even to have the last glimpse of her son. After two days the door finally opened. It was heart breaking to watch the pitiful cries of expressionless faces of his mother. Eight days passed like this. That day Tanu's father proposed to take her back, so I was sent to ask aunty. Mustering up a lot of courage, I asked aunty and got a one sentence answer, “Not now, after thirteenth.” It is very difficult to tell how the thirteen days passed. On the second morning of the thirteenth, when I brought tea for her, she was sitting. But the swollen red eyes showed that she had not been able to sleep the whole night. Holding the cup in her hand, she said in a tired voice to Tanu’s parents, “Samdhiji! As our children grow up, parents start to see their dreams being fulfilled through their children. But do everyone's dreams and imaginations come true? There are some unfortunate people in this world whose dreams are shattered like sand castles. But I will not let them scatter, I no longer have the courage to lose more than what I have already lost. Tanu was the daughter-in-law of this house, now she is my daughter. Security of her future is now my responsibility. With her this sentences she made a full stop to people blaming Tanu for the ill fate of Gaurav and calling her bad omen for the family.

Gaurav’s younger brother Saurabh had just started working in an multinational company. Saurabh was a young man with new ideas. In his view, Tanu was completely innocent. Gaurav's fate was responsible for this untoward incident, it was all god's plan and no one should be blamed.  

Both of them stood like a rock shielding Tanu from the world’s harsh words and doing everything in their power to make her smile again. She and Saurabh became fast friends and after one year fulfilling their mother’s wish both of them agreed to get married. 

Saurabh and Tanu got married in a simple ceremony. Everyone was astonished. At this age, where did aunty's inspiration come from to take such a strong and courageous step against conventions and superstitions? She gradually became introverted, but never allowed her daughter-in-law Tanu to feel that she was unwanted in the house. She stood as a shield for her son and daughter-in-law at every step.

After this marriage no one ever heard Gaurav's name from Madu aunty’s mouth. Even if it was mentioned, she would avoid it with some excuse. Sometimes, in lonely moments, perhaps Gaurav would shake his affection, then his eyes would involuntarily become wet. At such a time, if someone would ask, “What happened?” Then she would casually say, “Maybe something has fallen in her eyes. After two years, when Tanu had her son in her lap, there was finally peace in her eyes.

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