Sunday, August 30, 2009

Same Sex Marriage


By Nalin Verma



Lajvanti raised Malhar with care and sacrifice. In her early 30’s Lajvanti looked more like a mother than a young woman attracting peering eyes.

The loss of husband early in life, probably, robbed her off the exuberance that is usually natural to women of her age. Moreover, the values of the high caste Brahmin family she was born and married in, coupled with the responsibility to raise her son had made her look more elderly.

A government employee, her husband died in boat mishap while rescuing the marooned people in an Indian state of Bihar village. Lajvanti fell on the ground slipping in coma as she heard about the end of her man. Life was a smooth affair so far with a caring partner and giggling toddler.

The suddenness of the event which robbed her off her spouse-the most precious thing in archetypal Indian woman’s life- blanked her. With helping neighbours around, she regained her senses to find the four year old crying. She was weighed down by the very idea of living and raising the son without her man.

But then time is a great heeler. Lajvanti who was a higher secondary passed out got teacher’s job in a school on the compassionate ground. The Indian government service code ensures the widow a job befitting to her qualification if she loses husband on duty. She lived in Patna-capital of Bihar.

Days passed into months and months into years. Lajvanti moulded herself into the role of a dutiful teacher and dedicated mother. Malhar, growing as a jolly and smart lad brought smile back on her lips. After all, Malhar symbolized a reason and also an inspiration for her to live, work and nurse rosy hopes.

It was late 1970’s and Malhar had become old enough to engage her mother in gossip and laughter. The mother too tried to be playful to the son. Usual to mother-son relationship, they broke into friendly banters at times.

“Look son, you will marry a girl of our caste when you grow old enough to become a groom”, Lajvanti radiating a winsome smile on her lips told Malhar.

Malhar retorted, “Oh mom. I am too young. What is the use of talking about my wedding? I will obey your wish when the time comes”.

And ordinary woman born and brought up in the upper caste, Lajvanti adhered to the family values she had been raised in. She wished her son scale great heights in his career but stay stuck to the ‘divine’ values.

Still in class IX, Malhar was as naughty as bright at studies. He made her mother proud by always topping in his class. But he invariably came with his toes and fingers wounded at clash with his peers. The mom shouted at him and he laughed as if the clash and bruises were just a part of life at his stage.

Lajvanti got up early in the morning to dress him up, feed him breakfast and leave him at the school bus stop. Then she would take bath, offer prayer and cover her frail frame in simple attire from head to toe to leave for her school.


            *             *                    *              *

Malhar secured over 95 per cent marks in his plus-II examinations. Sharp in science subjects, Malhar then cracked the joint entrance examination to get to the Indian Institute of Technology-the top notch engineering institution famous as IIT in India.

In next four years, Malhar cleared the IIT with flying colours to land in job with a multi national company in USA.

It was in late 1980’s when Malhar was about to leave for USA. The mother was somber at her son leaving her for far away land. But she was proud of Malhar going to what was the prime destination of the Indian techie. By doing so well, Malhar had added to her sense of achievement. After all, Lajvanti had devoted whatever she had for Malhar. She lived for Malhar.

“Malhar! You are going abroad. It is OK. But do not marry a foreign girl. You will marry only to an Indian girl”, Lajvanti commanded.

Malhar giggled. “Mom! I simply get intrigued at your silly talks. I am not going to USA in search of a bride. I am going there to do a job. I will marry according to your wishes”, he equipped, making her mom smile and mutter, “After all he is my son…the piece of my heart. My son will never go wayward”.

Despite all his naughtiness and vivacity Malhar was a doting son. Behind the veneer of boyish gusto was the awareness of how his mother had smilingly sacrificed whatever she had to raise him. He abhorred any sign of gloom on her face. He cracked jokes to smirk her.

With Malhar away in USA, Lajvanti spent time reading newspapers and watching TV channels. She was unable to comprehend how a female and can marry a female and a man can marry a man when an Indian court of law ruled that marriage in same sex was just and legal.

“What type of court it is? How can matrimony take place in same sex? How can a child be born if a female marries a female and a male marries a male? How will the generation grow? Why are the law and courts preaching something not ordained by Mother Nature?” These questions haunted her. Even-though he was thousands of miles away, Malhar always flowed through her breath and through her thought process. She did not express her anxiety about her son to others. But in the back of her mind she was worried about the son’s response to the legal promotion of the “grubby” idea of coition in same sex at the time when he was living in an alien milieu far away from her.

Gaining in glaze on his face, Malhar returned to her mom on a leave after working for a year in the US. While offering food to Malhar one day, the mom mumbled, “Malhar! I will like you to marry a female only”.

Malhar retorted, “Mom, first you asked me marry only in caste. Then you advised me to wed only an Indian girl. Now you are advising me to marry a girl only”.

“I have another idea”, the son full with pranks went on to say, “I have got a nice friend. If you agree I will marry him. You will be happy in the sense that you will get two sons instead of a son and a daughter in law who seldom goes well with mother in law”.

Lajvanti felt the earth slipping away from beneath her feat. Shocked, she fell silent, looking blankly at his son. “Did I raise you to see this day”, she feebly muttered before breaking into sobs and hiccups.

Malhar soon sensed how his pranks had a convulsed his mother.

He naughtily submitted, “First get your mind stable about my future spouse. I will marry the girl you approve. But be sure you will not change your wish next year”. Smile was back on Lajvanti’s lips. With a sigh of relief she mumbled, “My son…the piece of my heart… I know my son will never go wayward”.

2 comments:

  1. Though the start was good. In the end, it felt stupid to me.The brought up was going at a good pace and i was expecting a nice ending. Anyway, it can be changed for a very good story. I feel the plot has very good potential.

    Thanks for sharing this story.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi prince,

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions too. It is my pleasure if you suggest specifically the change I should bring about to make the story better. Thanks again and warm regards

    ReplyDelete

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