Saturday, September 03, 2005

Progati - The tale of Progress (Part IX)

For those of you who are still following it, here is the next part of Progati: A tale of Progress. If you guys have forgotten what has happened so far, well i'm giving the links to the earlier parts:

This episode is again a short one, hope the next one will be longer..... and sooner! :)

"Your troubles?"

"Yes, my troubles. All you people thought I had a fantastic time. Didn't you? You thought I was the independent Rewa, the free spirited Rewa, the Rewa who had no responsibilities. But you couldn't have been more wrong. Rewa was neither free-spirited, nor was she free of responsibilities. Rewa was an innocent girl, whose innocence, family and happiness were robbed from her at one stroke. The first twelve months at my mami's house were the worst days of my life. She treated Rachna and me like dirt. She didn't care whether we went to school, whether we ate our meals, whether we were living or not..."
Her voice trailed off, and I felt she was the eight-year old Rewa once more, reliving her hell.

"And one day, I got the solution to my problem at school. I was picked up by my teacher to perform in a school play. It was more like stand in the school play actually! But it was the route of my escape. I spent that whole afternoon at school, and when I returned home in the evening, my aunt didn't even bother to enquire where I was. I realized that as long as I was away from home, my aunt didn't bother about me. So, in spite of my stage fear, I began participating in as many plays and dances as I could. Soon, I moved to debates, sports and what not. This is where I met a lot of people and I realized I could be a real charmer if I wanted to. That's when the stubborn Rewa transformed into the popular Rewa. I kept Rachna with me as much as I could, and my aunt was happy to have us out of her sight as long as possible. That suited me just fine, for when we were out, both of us could forget the venom she spurted out at us. Rachna was the intelligent one, and she began spending as much time in the library as I was spending in all my various activities. Did I tell you that she is now doing Ph. D in bio-informatics at Georgia University?"

She was proud of Rachna, almost as a mother would be of her child. The pride showed in her voice, her eyes and her expression. She was the mother goose and Rachna, her goose ling.

"Yes, you did", "only about ten times" I wanted to add, but decided that this wasn't the time for humor.

"I always wanted her to be a doctor. She is so intelligent and so hard working. She used to study all the time. I was heart-broken when she had to give up her medical seat because uncle wouldn't fund her education and I couldn't get loan. That happened two years after we moved from your locality. Uncle bought a better house in a better locality, but mami's behavior towards us didn't become better. I was working in a small accounting firm at that time, and was paying for Rachna's education and all of her needs. I didn't have the money for Rachna's medical education, and she had to give up her seat. That's when I decided that I had waited enough. There was no point in waiting anymore. That's when I asked Nabin to marry me!"

That was surprising. She asked Nabin to marry her! Even though no one had given me an indication, I had assumed that it was Nabin who had asked her to marry him. This was so unconventional. But then nothing about her was conventional, wasn't it?

It was only then that I noticed, heavy raindrops had arrived to give company to the howling wind outside.