So what is it about, Seetha, I ask Anu intrigued. She takes in a sip of tender coconut water, allows it to linger in her mouth,looks around languidly, her glassy eyes stuck on the wedding photo I had hung up on the wall the day before. That’s you!!! she cries rolling on the floor, well almost. I pick the newspaper, roll it up and whoosh!!! She ducks!!! Hate you!!!
But what about Seetha, I start on a note of tenderness a few seconds later.
Hmmm,Seetha… she was my aunt…Was???!!!! Is my aunt, corrects Anu.
When Seetha, a devout newly wed, entered the pooja room one evening at her in-law’s place, she was told bluntly that it was not for her to enter. Why???The MIL explained, actually, we are of a higher level, you see. We have got deeksha, my son, my husband and me. We are of a higher level than the Brahmins. So you cannot enter.
The next day when the devout son, the poojari emerged at 11 Ó’ Clock after the morning rituals,Seetha stood up to help him.No, No said the MIL, my son he needs me all the time. He can eat only what I cook. He is so used to me, you see.And she rushed ahead, pushing Seetha sideways,you see,he has to see me before he goes to office, otherwise its inauspicious!!!
Perplexed, Seetha stopped two things straight away pooja and seeing off her husband.Anyways, she thought its better for the MIL to do the seeing off, as it is he utters the unutterables every time he steps out of the house.It seems the MIL even advised Seetha not to sleep with her son as it would tire him.
Mothers!!! I sigh.
Wait, there’s more. When they go out the MIL pompously would sit next to her son and even eat from his plate. But wouldn’t Seetha object? Could she not do something??? Yeah, she could but some are born stupid, Anu shrugs off her aunt’s lack of defense.
And she grew used to living with people of a higher level, is it? Yes, what else.
A few years later Seetha picked up some skills in baking, started her baking classes at home and this gave her some confidence. But the loneliness continued .Eventually she approached the court for separation. These days she stays with her parents. But the husband??? I hear his mother is frantically seeking new alliance for him. I am sure, she will succeed. Its never too old for a man , is it?
She should have been smarter, I say .I somehow dislike people who cannot put up a fight for themselves. Your wish, Anu shrugs walking off.
As always, her observations gets me thinking.
I look at the photo hanging on the wall, what about it made her laugh like that?