Rathna Nagaraj

Drama Tragedy


Rathna Nagaraj

Drama Tragedy

What Is Deserved And What Is Served

What Is Deserved And What Is Served

7 mins


 In another half an hour or so it is going to be coffee time. But for Bhavani still there was no time for lunch. Wiping her nose, she was boiling porridge. The hot food had become cold. After serving porridge to Shankarappa, she thought of eating food. With that intension, she kept more fire woods into the mud stove and fanned the fire trying to increase the flame . Her son and daughter -in -law who had taken her grand son to the hospital have not yet returned . The sound of the bamboo gate made Bhavani peep out wiping her eyes and nose with a thought that her son and the daughter- in law must have returned. But instead she saw her close friend coming with a smile on her face.

“ Oh! Sarala ! is it you! come, come, when did you come to the village? Are you fine? “

“ Oh! yes! I am fine. How about you? “

“ what fine? I don’t know what to say. Forget that, let me know about you. When did you come to your parents house? “

“ I came in the Seetha express bus say around 11 ‘O’ in the morning. I brought sweets and snacks for you. So I came here to know about you. How is brother? “

“ you can see him for yourself come inside “ thus saying she went to the kitchen.

Sarala went inside were Shankarappa was laying like dead corpse and asked him how he is feeling?. With tears in eyes he only shook his body as an answer to her. Bhavani brought porridge bowl there. Sarala’s eyes were set on her . Her face was wet with full of sweat, unruly knotted hair, out of hunger or due to ageing her face had lost its charm. Is this that Bhavani, a city bird who had come to village after marriage. Where did all are spirits and charms go? thus Sarala questioned her self. 

Bhavni a good looking delicate girl from the city after marrying Shankarappa she had come to this village . For sometimes she was very dull. Seeing her attitude the villagers had passed gossips on her stating “ will she survive here! “ and had turned their face expressing their dislikes towards her. How long will this type life will go on like this. She had got married and entered the house, where her husband Shankarappa, his unmarried younger brother Shekhar and younger sister Soubhgya , the hardworking mother- in law Sakkavva and father- in law Mahadevappa and married a sister of shankarappa that is Neelavva . Along with number of people, the house was blessed with all sorts of wealth and had treasured many things. Thus all these needed more attention and care taking, so there was no scope for ‘simply sitting and eating without doing nothing’. Laziness was frightened about the house and had hid behind Shankarappa.

For some months Sakkava had kept quite, thinking that her daughter- in law hails from city, first let her adjust to the village, later on let her take the responsibility of the house hold coarse. Days passed on. One fine day, she thought of mending Bhavani.

“ you see !  Bhavani , a girl after her marriage she will departure to her in laws house she will be deported from her parents house forever. In our culture we ladies become guests to our own family. Why do you feel it is a village, our village is no different to any renowned cities. If you appear dull the house will develop some bad sign. If your father would have been rich enough he wouldn’t have got you married you to this village of ours. Eat well. wear nice things. supervise the servants. Appear lively by that way our house also will boom” . Thus saying she saw that, the whole day Bhavani be active. Such a mother- in law who was running in and out of the house, the yama he made her to run towards his house. 

Her father in law Basappa while entering the house he had developed the habit of calling out for her by saying “ amma /mother Bhavani.”

For that the unmarried daughter of Basappa used to retart him by saying “ why appa/ father you can’t see me?”

“ No! No! no any such thought, don’t ever imagine such things. Like your mother went away living behind me, yourself in another three month get married and go away to your husbands house. Where as Bhavani will stay here only. Like Shankar if we also neglect her where she will find shelter? Other house girls are like our eyes . Lord Shiva will not be pleased if we don’t care of her properly. Likewise he had consoled her and made her to keep quite and drank the water and returned the glass to Bhavani and wiped his mouth with his towel which was on his shoulder.

In Basappa’s daughter’s marriage, Bhavani was carrying and she appeared as mahalakshmi before his eyes. Every now and then he used to look at the garlanded photo of his wife Sakkavva and tell her see our son and daughter in law appear like God's Parvathi Parameshwara pair. With such praises he had tied up Bhavani to the family. But Shankar his son became a Vagabond and spoiled his life. Shankar assigned his duties and responsibilities to his brother and father and was engaged in gambling at the gambling den and followed the demagogue and was crazy after politics. Not only Bhavani his wife persuaded him not to enter politics his fathers pleadings also had any effects on him. They were able to tolerate this attitude of him, but they couldn’t digest the extra marital affair with the village Prostitute Rangasani. Both Bhavani and Basappa were totally upset at this affair of him. At last Bhavani had decided to end her life by consuming poison, due to this threat, Shankar left the company of Rangasani, but other acts of him continued as usual.

Shankara was defeated in the election. His followers had started following the political won party. For his election lands were sold and granary got emptied in the house. Due to his sisters marriage the treasury box had already got emptied in the house. To maintain his prestige, he wanted sell the coconut grove and farm field. By that time,his younger brother Shekar was alert and demanded for partition of the remaining properties and decided to live apart separately. Until the completion of marriage process Basappa found difficult to avoid him from taking such steps. He became so tired and helpless.

Within a month or so some how Basappa found a bride for Shekar and got him married and distributed the property and made him to set up a separate family. For Shankar only one acre of land and the house which they lived in was shared to him. To get all these registered in the name of his grandson, Bhavani’s jewels were sold. “ This much only I can save for you my dear, kindly grow my grandson and my lineage. Thus he called out Bhavani as mother and kissed his grandson and he too left Bhavani to join his wife Sakkavva . Bhavani became lonely.

Thus she transformed herself into Ambabhavani the god of strength and courage. Shankar could not tolerate the abusing words day by day he became mentally physical weak. Not only he himself was weak, he was weak at work also. As a result of this, he swayed with paralysis he was totally bed ridden. Thus he became a burden to Bhavani. In all those times her friend Sarala backed her and consoled her. Where is the dull Bhavani of those days? now, where is the Bhavani who is toiling in and out of the house restlessly and has become a worn out coin . Sarala pitied her friend. Sarala was pondering with all these thoughts . At that time Bhavani interrupted by saying “ common let us have lunch” when both started to eat, vak! vaK! they heard the vomiting sound. No sooner Bhavani heard the sound she washed her hands and rushed towards Shankar with a vomiting bowl in her hand. Even Sarala too came there, knowing well the situation yet she said “ What happened brother ? “ as a consoling.

“ You go have food. Every day it is a same old story. It is my ill fate. Enough is enough, the life with such a husband “, with tears rolling on her cheeks she never bothered to wipe instead she took the container walked out of the fens and unloaded it into the gutter and came back and cleaned the container placed it in its usual place. She didn’t feel like eating she wanted to throw it, but Sarala insisted her to eat. She transferred the food to another plate and with no mind to eat yet she started eating.

“ Don’t feel bad, for so many years you have tolerated many things, little more is there to face, why do you feel weariness ? “ thus consoled Sarala.

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