Even though there were no females left to get married to the men in my village, people refused to open their eyes and see the ‘problem’.
This is part two of the story where a woman narrates her experience of being in a village with almost no women. It is loosely based on true events.
You can read the first part here: Part 1.
The bride, Savita was left by her husband and Rajesh had found her and married her overnight. That highlights how desperate people in my village are to get married.
One day, some three months after their wedding, I had overheard an argument where Rajesh called his wife a ‘second hand thing’ which was already used by a man before him and that it was good that the man had abandoned her. I would often see Savita crying while standing at the window but since I was pre-occupied with fighting the villagers against getting me married and also because I was a bit of a coward I never spoke to her.
A few days later there was talks amongst the gossipmongers of the village that Savita was barren and Rajesh was going to throw her out of his house. We could hear loud voices coming from that house every day.
On the other hand, my father said he was fed up of everyone insisting on getting me married so that ‘his girl would stay in the village and not go out’. Then one night when he came home, he collapsed on the ground near the gate of her house. One of the panchayat members had threatened to outcast us if I was not married to his eldest son, who was 12 years elder to me. As I tended to dad with mom’s help and just as he was recovering we heard the sound of banging. The sound came from Savita’s house; she was banging the door – the rumours were true – she was thrown out of the house, as her ‘truth’ was now known to Rajesh’s parents.
My young mind rebelled against everything. If they were in so desperate need of wives, why did they kill their babies once they knew that the baby was a girl? Why were they harassing people like this? I had even heard stories about people abducting young girls to make them wives in a nearby village. I was scared to death.
Savita spent the entire night on the steps of the house. The next morning, my mom felt pity on her and brought her home. Once again this invited the wrath of the villagers. A panchayat was called that evening where our family and Savita were ‘summoned’.
Savita began trembling with fear when she heard the news. I trembled along with her. Just then, my father had come home early and had asked us to pack our bags. For a moment he looked at Savita and then as if he had decided to take the woman along, he went on doing his chores. I was surprised at the amount of courage my father faced and my trembling stopped. But Savita’s did not. She began vomiting.
Mother ran out from inside the house when I screamed out for her. And comforted Savita. A doctor was called who came reluctantly because he was dad’s friend. And then he told us.
Savita was pregnant…
To be continued…
Read Part 3 here: