The Forgotten Daughter

The Forgotten Daughter

6 mins

Reema, a lecturer by profession, loved and respected by her peers and students as well. She is sitting in her drawing room sipping her tea and reading newspaper. As it's Sunday she has all the time in the world to relax and also to indulge herself in a little heart to heart chat or gossip with her house helper, Sheela. 

Sheela, a young girl of age 19, comes daily to manage multiple tasks for Reema before she goes to college including making meals for her also and on Sunday, Reema lets her stay till evening as she is very fond of her and Sheela's companionship helps her to stay away from the thoughts which occupy her mind whenever she's free.

Though Sheela is a very happy go lucky person but it seems something is bothering her a lot today. She seems lost in her thoughts and perhaps a little angry too as her heartfelt sighs shows. 

Reema asks, "Sheela, what happens? Is there something bothering you? You are not yourself today and it seems to me you are angry too. Tell me, what happens and leave the work for sometime and talk to me."

In response, Sheela says nothing but her eyes are brimming with tears which she's trying to control very hard. Reema comes towards her and picks her hand and makes her sit on sofa and again prompts her to explain.

Sheela says, "Nothing di, nothing is bothering me. Today my parents are going to finalise my sister's wedding. Infact I am happy. It's all tears of joy."

Reema asks, "But isn't your sister younger than you? Is it a love marriage?"

Sheela says, "No, it's not a love marriage. My parents found out the groom for my sister."

Reema asks, "But you are elder one then why not your parents want to fix your marriage first?"

Sheela replies bitterly, "As I am the earning one. If they marry me then how will they get money from me in future. So marriage for me will never be in their mind, not today, not tomorrow.", and she starts crying.

And Reema on hearing all this, sits white-faced facing her old demons rising again. It's like her history is rewinding in front of her eyes with a new face of Sheela acting in it instead of her this time. And she gets lost in history.

Reema was eldest of three siblings. Her father was never much interested in doing work regularly so Reema had started to earn money from mundane tasks for her neighbours and helped her mother in every way from a very young age of 12 and studied hard too to help much better. She was good at academics and had sailed through all classes with scholarships. 

But she never wanted her younger brother and sister to work like her but focused only on studies. She wanted to provide them with all the facilities she couldn't have for herself. So she started taking tuitions. She was a good teacher so she always had a rush of students which was sometimes too hard to handle with her own studies but she did it all happily for her loved ones. 

As she completed her graduation, marriage proposals started coming but she didn't want to get married yet. She wanted to complete her studies and she knew that her family couldn't survive without her. Moreover, no one in the family encouraged her to get married. They always found some problem with the proposals.

Reema completed her studies and got posted as a lecturer. Proposals came for her now and then and she was ready too as her brother had completed his graduation, so he could also help the family. But out of the proposals that came, a few were rejected by her family and some which were good never came back after one meeting or two. Her mother blamed her 'grahas' for this as there must be some problem with her. Reema didn't have any answer for that as she too could not understand what happened always.

One day she felt ill in the college and came home early. She was just going to knock at the door but stopped herself and listened to the voices coming from inside. Her parents were arguing with a relative aunt who brought a very good proposal for her. They were scolding her that when she was repeatedly told that her daughter was not interested in marriage then why she brought proposals for her again and again. They told that aunt clearly never to step in their house again. An astonished and wounded Reema hurriedly turned back and sat in a park nearby. 

If she hadn't listened with her own ears she never would have believed anyone. Her own parents backstabbed her. She was not that naive that she could not understand why they did all this but it hurt so much like her heart was bleeding. HER OWN PARENTS.... Reema was unable to think beyond this and cried. She sat in the park till she controlled her emotions and came to a decision.

She knew that she won't get any proper answer if she asked her family straight away. So she decided to get a transfer. She applied for that. When her transfer order came, her family got bewildered. They told her to get it cancelled. Her brother even told her how would they manage without her income as expenses would increase if she stayed in a different city.

But Reema's mind was set. She told them that she would put money regularly in their account and for rest of the arguments, she simply played deaf. She came to a new city and hired Sheela.

It had been almost three years after her transfer in which her younger sister got married and brother joined a company but still her family wanted her money as they got so used to it. Not once in their mind, they thought about her. When she went to her home for her sister's wedding, her mother told her that she had stopped looking marriage proposals for Reema as she is older now and who in their right mind would marry her. Reema could not even believe that her family could stoop to this level but at last she had to accept that she was their FORGOTTEN DAUGHTER. For them, she was just a bank account.

Reema was so disheartened with her family that she skipped the idea of her marriage. She no longer believed in relations. Her colleague Ramesh had proposed to her many times but each time he got a freezing NO with a freezing look. She didn't have any feelings left, all frozen inside.

She came to present and asked Sheela what she will do now. Sheela has controlled herself a bit till then and replied while whimpering, "I will find a suitable groom for myself. I will not let them spoil my life though I will try to help them till my siblings get set but not at the cost of my happiness."

Reema sits speechless. Sheela, so younger than her, has the right attitude for life. She makes Reema rethinks her decision of never getting married again as she too gets lonely very much. Reema knows she is not yet ready to say yes to Ramesh' s proposal or anyone else but she will be in future no matter what her family or others think about it. She will no longer be the FORGOTTEN one. She will write her own chapters of happiness in her life.

P.S: For some of you, it seems a far fetched story or imagination but I knew such a lady. She was my teacher and we students used to make fun of her as her family wrong deeds made her a bit mental. Now when I am mature enough to understand her plight, I felt ashamed of myself and this story is my apology for my bad behaviour. I sincerely hope, she is happy and content wherever she is now.

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