Romance, Life

New Beginning

sidalok

2017-02-10 4 min read


Loud noise of slaps was heard from a room. “Why can’t you give me my heir? Do I not deserve it? Why are you like this?” A deafening thud and then all was silent, again. Beaten and bruised a lame figure of a woman tried to come out of the room but fell midway. Her face battered and her soul broken. Blood and tears, mixed together, gave an expression of her tormented, lonely, shattered life.

“She looks gorgeous, isn’t it Bibi jaan?” asked Ammi jaan without any feeling of regret, whatsoever. The girl in the picture was not more than fourteen years old and had just started showing signs of puberty. She had a short frame maybe 5’ 2”, a pretty face, and was very thin.

‘Yes, Ammi.’ replied the numb thirty-year old woman. She didn’t know what else to say. Her mother-in-law was asking her how her husband’s second wife looked. Even if she objects who will listen to her. When she had earlier brought up this subject to her husband, he was unaffected. And he was right too; he wanted an heir, which she could never give. And for the sake of her love, she was ready to drink this poison. So it was better for her to find a silent corner where no one else would acknowledge her presence and throw herself into oblivion.

A month passed and nikkah took place. Everyone was happy. A rich girl was coming to the home along with a large dowry. There were celebrations, feasts, and what not. Relatives from far off places had arrived to be a part of the wedding. The whole village was aware of the extravaganza. The only lost soul was Bibi. She was thinking of her own wedding. She was so happy that day. She wore an Anarkali suit with a peacock on it that day. Her mehendi laden hands were a thing of fun for her girlfriends. Though nervous, she was happy beyond words. She was finally getting married to the love of her life. She and Jabbal Sheikh were childhood friends. Both had grown up together and it was certain that they would get married. While the boy turned into a handsome man, the girl became a beautiful woman. It was indeed a perfect match. She came out of her world when the last rites were taking places. Listening ‘kabul hai’ three times was more than enough to hold her tears. Cursing her and wishing she had died much before this, she ran out of the hall. If only love wasn’t temporary, souls wouldn’t have felt so alone in this mercurial world.

Days passed by and the air gradually traced back to normal. Everyone was back to work. Relatives, with their freshly erupted pot-bellies, were flying back home. And the new Dulhan was no more the center of attraction, though she was still pampered and treated like a kid. She wasn’t allowed to do any work and servants were always present to attend her. Her sweet voice and cute activities were a treat for everyone around. Every mistake she did was taken lightly, unlike Bibi’s who was scolded every time for everything.

“Why am I never allowed going outside alone?” asked the little bride.

“You will fall in acquaintance with the black soul; that is why. You are so delicate, so we need to look after you. How are your nights?” her maid asked teasing her.

“Oh! Shut up! Don’t even ask about that. He is so old and unromantic. He just comes in my room to push his body against mine. And when satisfied, he falls into deep sleep. They just want their heir out of me. He never talks to me. He never cares. He never brings me presents. I feel so lonely here. Back at home, I had so many khalas and maasis for me. I have no true companion here. There is no one with whom I can share my pain.”

“No one is more pained than your husband’s first wife.”

Bibi was beaten up again by her husband. The reason was still the same. She was unable to conceive a baby. He had bitten her up so mercilessly that one eye was completely bruised, blood was oozing out of her nose, and her lips stood swelled. She couldn’t even muster the strength to get up. For two days, she was locked up in her room with no assistance. And when she finally came out of the room, all weak and aching, she was chided for ignoring and not doing the household chores.

The girl was way past her spoon feeding days. Though only fourteen, she had the maturity of a twenty-five year old. She knew what and how Bibi felt. Both of them had often crossed paths but none spoke to each other. While the elder one loathed the younger, the younger felt sad for her. They were slowly developing an unsaid, unusual bond.

Destiny is a good cook. She bakes juicy stories, and weaves them into the most twisted yarns, before getting them served. The younger wife finally got struck in the darkness of the Black world that she was warned about. She saw Bibi getting hit for the third time that week. Her soul was besieged. How can a man treat his wife like this? After her husband left with leather belt dangling around his neck, she knocked at the door. Bibi got up with her shaky legs ready to fall at any moment.

Bibi jaan, here, have some haldi milk. I’m sorry for being…” but before she could complete, Bibi slammed the door at her face. Hatred ignites a strange fire within you. While the toddler came for her rescue, as an ally, the elder one was too preoccupied even to listen to her. “How can you even dare to come here and try to show that you care? Don’t you have any shame? First you snatched away my Jabbal from me and now you are coming shedding crocodile tears. Allah, what a world you have made.”

Bibi jaan, I know I deserve your detest, but I have to tell you something. You already know that I’m bearing his first child- the reason I was brought here. We are on the same side didi, the side that is aggrieved for the very same reason. I can never get any of him, and you get the loathed scars. I have a little request to make, be in my room tomorrow, during my labor. I want you to be the first person my baby sees. I do not want the darkness to be cast on the little soul. I want to save it, for as long as I can.” “I am lonely too, just like you are; there is no one here to share my limited joys and abundant sorrows. We can never be friends, I know, we can never share a great bond; but just for the sake of my kid can be show that we both are soul sisters, please?”

 

The shaky legs seemed to gain a little strength. The pale, hollow eyes felt a flicker of hope. The door was reopened. A new dawn was finally entering both women’s life. Next day, a ray of light fought against the intense darkness, bent on rising to life, battling with all suffocation. The wives’ parched hearts found tenderness in each others’. As people say, “Their story was just a beginning. And there were no such things as the last word.”