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Suparna Deb

Drama Inspirational

4.0  

Suparna Deb

Drama Inspirational

Penance

Penance

7 mins
391


1990

Helen was getting ready. From groom’s side some people were coming to see her. Her brother had asked her to get ready neatly so that this time they say yes. Already there have been 4 rejections. He does not want to delay anymore. He has 3 more sisters to marry off. With single person’s salary how much can he do. Poor brother, mom and dad left for heavenly abode putting all the burden on him. She must look great today so that they select her. Helen thought.

2 drops of tears rolled down her cheeks. Why is her life so dependent! Why cant she be independent and lead her own life. Is marriage everything? She is a graduate with good marks and she should be able to find a decent job. But she cant. Its tradition. Girls of her family are not allowed to work. They must learn how to be a good housewife and then get married. Being independent is looked upon as being arrogant. Good girls have to be always like cows, that’s what her father used to say. 

“What is taking you so long, they are almost going to reach,” her brother shouted from other room. 

“I am done brother. Call me when they come”

“Here they are. Please come. Please come.”


Two brothers had come over to see the girl. Helen was not sure who of the two was the groom. The first guy was tall, handsome and very silent. The second one was doing all the talking. He was short and round. It must be the second one, she thought. The first guy is too handsome to look for someone like me. It was time to serve them food. Helen slowly went out with all food items to serve them as was the tradition. She placed them in front of the brothers and quickly took a glance at the second brother. “Not bad,” she thought, “Now he must like me.”

The brothers started munching the food and started discussion. The tall guy asked her about her education and interests. The short one asked if she knew cooking and knitting. She answered all the interview questions politely. She had to pass this examination. After some time the question answer session got over. The brothers got up and left saying they will let them know their opinion in couple of days. 


2 days passed. On 3rd day, news came from groom’s side. They were ready for marriage. Since there is no good date for 3 months later the marriage must happen in 10 days. Helen was both happy and sad. So soon she has to leave her house! 


All the arrangements were made in a hurry. When the D-day came it was lovely weather. They called Helen to come to the wedding mantap. Helen was still filled with anticipation. When she went near the mantap, she took a quick glance at the groom. Oh! This is the tall brother not the short one. How come he decided to marry her! She is so lucky to have got such a handome and qualified husband. She could not believe her own luck. The marriage went off peacefully. Helen was very happy. Soon it was time to leave her ancestral home for her new home. 

It was late at night. Her in-laws were a joint family. 2 brothers and parents lived together. This was their first night. She did not know what to expect. She was waiting for her life partner. This is the man with whom she has to spend rest of her life. She has to fill his life with happiness. Her parents must be smiling from heaven, very content with the selection. She also felt grateful to her brother who worked so hard to marry her off. Just then the door opened and Sahil entered. 

“How are you feeling?” Sahil asked.


“Feeling OK,” Helen kept her answer short. Her heart was pounding with anticipation.

“I am very thankful to you that you decided to marry me despite knowing the truth.”

The earth seemed to move under her feet. What is he talking about? 

“What are you saying? What truth?” Helen asked.

“Oh, what do you mean! Dont you know that I am sick. Did they not tell you? I have schizophrenia. But they say if I get married and lead a normal life I will become better slowly.”


Helen was about to fall off. In a moment the whole world seemed to rotate around her. How could this happen. How could her brother not tell her such an important thing. What will she do now? Should she go back? or Should she end her life. Of course she cannot live with him. Oh, what to do. Helen closed her eyes ,”Dear God, please give me strength and show me path.” 

“I do not want to cheat you. We had told everything to your brother. It looks like you were not told about this before. In any case, I will not force you to accept the marriage. It is upto you to decide. After all, its your life.”

Helen kept listening. How can a man be so generous and yet so unfortunate. It must be his ill luck that he got this disease. But what will she do now? She can never go back. Once married, even for a day, people will not accept her back as maiden. She has to become independent. 

“I will not go back to my home.” Helen said. “I want to do something so that I am not burden on anyone.”


“Sure, I will help you. You can start applying for jobs. Once you get one you may leave.”

“Thank you so much.” 

He is so kind. Helen thought. 

Helen had got a separate room for herself. For next few months she kept searching for a job. Sahil helped a lot in preparing for the interviews. The last interview was very good. Today the result should come. She got a phone call, “You have been selected for the job.” This is the moment she was waiting for. Finally she has got the job. Suddenly she felt bit sad. The time has come to leave Sahil too. In all this, the way Sahil helped her was incredible. Does she really have to leave him? He has been very decent, helpful, knowledgeable and responsible throughout. May be this disease is nothing serious. No she will not leave him. Whatever be the disease she will stay. She was waiting for Sahil to return from office. Suddenly, she saw one of Sahil’s colleague bringing him. She ran to him. 

“What happened? Why are you holding him like this?”

“He had an attack in the office today. Take care of him.”


Sahil looked very scared. He was trying to hide himself from everyone. 

“They will kill me, they are coming. They will kill me.” Sahil was murmuring continuously. 

“No one will kill you Sahil. I am here. I will take care of you.” 

“You move, you bitch. You are also with them. You are conspiring with them. That’s why you have come to my house. You will also kill me.” Helen was shocked. She had never heard such foul language from his mouth before. Is this how a man changes in attack? 

Sahil’s brother and father came running. They took him inside and nursed him throughout the night. The next day he was little better with medicines. They took him to doctor. Helen also went along with them. 

“Are you his wife?” The doctor asked. 

“Yes,” Helen replied.


“You must be very bold, daughter, to have taken this decision. I bless you both. May God give you strength and courage enough to treat this whole thing only like a disease. He will need a lot of care and love, not hatred. You have to very patient. Ensure that he always takes the medicines on time and is not worried by anything. Any kind of worry is harmful for him.”

Doctor’s words kept ringing in Helen’s ears. Will she be really able to handle this? Can she have so much patience? But what about Sahil? What will happen to him if she leaves him. How long will his parents take care of him or his brother? May be they will send him to some asylum. No, no. This cannot happen. She cannot imagine Sahil moving into asylum. 

She has decided. This will be her penance of this life. She has to make Sahil better. Come what may, she will fight this disease and bring Sahil back to her. She will give him the love and care he deserves. Yes, this will be her penance.


2015

Helen is getting ready for Disha’s marriage. Disha is her only daughter. She is a lovely young doctor. The boy she has selected is also a gem. They will surely live happily. She remembered her own wedding day. Was it a lucky one? 

Yes, of course it was. She has a lovely family with a kid and a flourishing career. It was not easy, there were very tough moments when Sahil used to get attacks but God was by her side. She had the strength, patience and courage to tide through everything. 

Looking at Disha and Siddharth together in the mantap she smiled contentedly, “Today my penance has become successful.”

#theinspiringwomen


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