Monday 26 May 2014

In a whirlpool of lies and deceptions

“I did not elope … I married you in front of thousands of people,” screamed Prerana at Vikram. “I understand, calm down,” he requested. 

“How can I calm down? Time and again you have been saying to forget and forgive things. I have tolerated enough for the past six-and-a-half years. Not any more…,” she continued. 

“Try to understand my situation also,” he pleaded.

“Why should I always adjust? Why should I always compromise? Why should I always understand you and your family members? What about my feelings? What about my sufferings? Didn’t you see how your mother and brother told lies in front of you?” she asked.

Prerana and Vikram married six-and-a-half years ago against the wish of their parents. But that does not mean that they eloped and secretly married, they courted for four years, waited for two years so that Vikram’s parents agree for the wedding. 

Vikram, the middle son of an orthodox Malayali parents, went against his parents to choose his life partner, a Kannadiga. His parents tried their level best to convince him not to marry Prerana, even calling her father and telling him not to disturb them and they would not accept her as their daughter-in-law… They kept on pushing the matter of their wedding citing the issue of elder brother, Sanjay, who was supposed to go to New Zealand, who has never gone there till date! Read more about his story in this earlier post

Things changed or appeared to have changed after the divorce of Vikram’s elder brother Sanjay from his wife Leela. But things didn’t seem to have improved. The greediness and avariciousness of his parents neither decreased nor ceased to trouble him. 

In between all these, younger brother Rakesh went a step ahead… being the favourite of his mother, he had a feeling that whatever he does, whether right or wrong, he would not be questioned, he would not be rebuked, but pardoned and accepted whole heartedly. He eloped with his childhood friend, school sweetheart Deepa, and secretly married her nearly two years ago.

Deepa, in spite of knowing the greediness of his parents, was more than eager to marry Rakesh, at any cost. Deepa didn’t mind to marry her lover even though his parents had abused her and had accused her of brainwashing their son for years together. His mother had accused her of stealing her son. “You trapped my son. Didn’t you get any other guy? You had many other guys in your class, you should have chosen any one of them,” she had asked Deepa.

Deepa and Rakesh knew each other for 11 years. In fact, Deepa attended the wedding of Prerana and Vikram and nobody got any inkling that she was the girlfriend of Rakesh! Being the eldest among the three siblings, her parents insisted that she marries soon. When Rakesh told about his relationship to his parents, they strongly disagreed, as expected. Interestingly, both belonged to the same caste, same community and same class. Moreover, both studied together in school and were of the same age. 

Rakesh’s mother even openly told Deepa that she would never agree for the wedding. She had accused that the character of her mother was not good and people talk all rubbish things about that woman and they have a mad person in her family. It is then Deepa sought the help of Vikram to convince his parents for the wedding. 

She knew that she had to struggle like Leela, but was ready to face anything, after all she was madly, blindly in love with Rakesh! More than that coming from a poor family, she loved to be a part of a well settled family. 

The funny part is when Prerana was blamed by her in-laws about brainwashing and trapping their son, she had said that she would support Rakesh if he falls in love and wants to get married to a girl of his choice. Vikram’s father had shouted back at her, while the former kept mum: “You have spoilt my son and my son Rakesh is not a fool to fall in love.” 

They kept on insulting Prerana for years to come that she trapped Vikram. Every single day Prerana felt that she made a mistake of marrying Vikram. Even after six years, they had not stopped mentally harassing her… She was caught in their whirlpool of lies and deceptions...

When Rakesh's parents learnt about his secret wedding, once again the blame was shifted to Vikram and Prerana. Vikram's mother accused Vikram  and Prerana for supporting them to elope and cursed both son and daughter-in-law that they would understand her pain when they have their own child eloping with somebody. Later, she enquired about it with Deepa and when she bluntly refused that she had never married secretly, Rakesh's mother backfired again at Prerana and Vikaram for no fault of theirs! 

Later, When the news spread like a wildfire and relatives, friends and neighbors learnt about their secret wedding, Rakesh's parents had no go but to fix the wedding again to show the public that it is a fixed alliance. As usual they didn't reveal about fixing the wedding to Vikram and Relatives informed Vikram and Prerana that the wedding of Rakesh's and Deepa had been fixed and they have already started distributing the wedding cards. 

Vikram and Prerana were not new to such attitudes from their family and Prerana agreed to attend the wedding, as Vikram had convinced her that his parents will never be biased and things would improve, and the error in the wedding invitation was to be neglected! Vikram and Prerana went 10 days before the wedding and what more, yet another world of lies and deception was waiting to open in front of them! 

Rakesh's mother showed three saris and jewels purchased for the bride and asked Prerana if they are nice. Prerana said they are nice and asked back if the bride liked them, as it is important for the bride to like them as it is she who will wear them. Rakesh's said there's no need to ask the bride and his mother's choice is final! Prerana and Vikram kept quiet thinking things would never improve in that family. 

Vikram was also surprised to see that his mother has purchased a third sari for the bride and asked the reason behind it and she shot back telling that the bride would wear it when she will go back to her parent's house on third or fourth day after the wedding. Vikram and Prerana were shocked to learn that as nothing of that function was held for Prerana when she had married. 

Surprisingly, rather say not that surprise for Vikram and Prerana, his mother had bought saris and dresses for all the relatives except for Prerana. After showing the bride's saris to her, she said that she didn't buy any sari for Prerana. When Vikram said he would take Prerana to buy a sari she nodded her head. Prerana purchased a sari for the wedding and an Anarkali dress for the reception along with a gold necklace and four bangles at a Jewellery shop using her credit card -- which she later paid using her two fixed deposits! She had to buy saris and jewels, as Rakesh's mother had taken back the saris and jewels given to Prerana during the wedding...

When Rakesh's mother saw Prerana's sari, she became upset and asked where she bought it. When she learnt it was from the same shop where she had purchased saris for the bride and all her relatives, she kept on seeing that had she seen that particular sari she would have purchased it for the bride!!!

When Rakesh said he wants to buy sandals for Deepa, Prerana suggested that he should just ask her to buy what she likes and he can give money to her and he shot back saying that cannot be done and he himself would buy it! Though not surprised, Prerana felt happy that at least now they are buying everything for the bride, for They had not bought anything for Prerana and whatever was purchased by Prerana was shown to relatives and friends that it was bought by in-laws! 

Later when Rakesh bought some shirts to be given to his uncles, his mother's brothers of course and not father's brothers, his mother was upset looking at the price tags that the shirts were expensive. She kept on taunting Vikram and Rakesh for spending so much on buying those shirts and even suggested that they should get them exchanged for cheaper ones! God knows if she got them exchanged or not...

Every day guests kept pouring in and Prerana was made to wash dozens of coffee and tea cups after serving to guests. When relatives asked Rakesh's mother that she could have kept a maid for a few days till the wedding gets over, she said there was no need for one as Prerana is there to do work! Prerana kept helping with the dishes and cooking food continuously and whenever she went to the room to take rest or to attend a call or to use wash room, Rakesh's mother complained to the guests that she's too tired of doing all the household chores alone, especially preparing tea and washing the dishes! 

When Rakesh's uncles visited the house, his mother prepared a glass of Horlicks with extra cream, she had saved since morning, for Rakesh and served it to him. After all, guests were given watery tea and the thick milk was saved for Rakesh. When one uncle asked why is she not serving to Vikram, she said: "He has a wife, if he wants she will give it to him. Rakesh is still a small boy." Vikram laughed at her and said, "yes very small boy, so small that in a week's time he's getting married!" 

When guests asked if there was any photo of the bride, Rakesh's mother said they didn't have any. "In fact, we had seen Deepa's cousin sister for Rakesh. That match was not good, so we settled for this girl (bride)!" Yet another lie on the face of relatives and friends, who already knew that Rakesh had an affair with Deepa and eloped with her two years ago and had even married her in a temple secretly. They laughed stealthily and talked to themselves in a hush hush manner when Rakesh's mother went to the room to get the saris and jewels...

Rakesh's mother's partiality didn't stop there. Two days before the wedding when Prerana wanted to go to a beauty salon, Rakesh's mother opposed it. In spite of that when Vikram took her out and returned, she was boiling with anger. When Vikram asked if everybody had finished their lunch, she didn't reply, but started to throw the mats and plates on the dinning table. Throwing vessels and plates in the kitchen was not a new thing and Prerana had witnessed it earlier also in that house, but this time she went a step ahead in throwing the mats and plates as if she is throwing food to dogs. Prerana felt bad at her attitude and refused to have her lunch and nobody said a word or asked her to eat. 

Nobody asked Prerana to have dinner. She cried and slept off and Vikram was not in a state to console her as he himself was badly hurt by his mother's behaviour. Next morning, Prerana kept herself in the room and nobody asked her if she's hungry. Lunch time passed by, everybody had lunch except Prerana. Nobody in the family bothered that Prerana did not eat for a whole day, she missed four meals. 

In the evening, Vikram told his mother that he's taking Prerana to a temple and took her to his friends house where they served them fruits and snacks. Later Vikram, took her out and bought her snacks and convinced her to eat dinner at his house. Prerana had to agree seeing the sad face of Vikram. 

The funniest part was, Rakesh's mother went to a beauty parlor and got a facial, hair color and eyebrows done, besides manicure! Nobody dared to say a single word... She came and tauntingly asked Prerana if her eyebrows look beautiful and if she's looking bright after the facial!

Vikram was helpless, sad and was feeling very bad by how his parents were treating Prerana in front of him. He could neither support his parents nor support Prerana, he was caught in between them. A day before the wedding, Rakesh's mother told relatives and friends who had come to meet her that all the saris and jewels were selected by the bride herself! Vikram and Prerana were shocked on hearing this. She and her son had told a white lie just a couple of days ago when asked about the saris and jewels. 

On the day of wedding, Rakesh's mother kept her husband's relatives at a bay and made her relatives to perform all the rituals. Prerana kept the company of Vikram's friends and their mothers during the wedding. Rakesh's mother moved around as if nothing has happened and was cheerful in the wedding hall, which she never did during Vikram's wedding. 

After the wedding, it was time to get ready for the reception and when the bride was ready, Rakesh's father asked his wife to take the bride to the hall and switch on the AC. Can you believe it? Yes, switch on the AC! When Prerana had married and she had got ready for the reception and was sweating, nobody had bothered to even show the courtesy of making her sit under the fan, let alone switch on the AC! 

When Prerana showed the partiality being done, Vikram kept silent and agreed that he would directly go to the reception hall with her instead of visiting the bride's house... They had not done this for the elder son's wedding and Vikram and Prerana kept on noticing the changes going on.

When it was time for family photo in the reception, Prerana stood for one and refused to take part in their drama. She asked Vikram, "what is the need to have a family photo when they have not even considered me as a family member? It's been six plus years since we are married, they have not kept a single wedding photo of ours and now you ask me to pose for a family photo?! That's very funny. It's time to make people know that they are faking relationships and all is not well in this family..." Vikram was shocked by Prerana's reply and felt humiliated in front of his relatives. 

Prerana and Vikram were so disgusted at the whole affair that they decided to go out of the house the next day, as the break from those people was much necessary for both. Both took a friend and went on a one-day trip and returned late night. 

Funnily, Rakesh's mother gave him the same bed sheet given to Sanjay and Leela and then to Vikram and Prerana for their first night! Prerana and Vikram laughed how the same bed sheet served the purpose for all the three sons and wished at least they had purchased a new bed sheet for Rakesh and Deepa...

On the second day of the wedding, Deepa was busy chatting with Rakesh's mother and when Prerana went to the kitchen to help in cooking, she was asked to prepare veg curries. When Prerana agreed, Deepa handed over a knife to her! Yes, a knife! Handing over a knife to the hand results in a fight, they say, and ancestors never lie when it comes to experience. Till date, Prerana and Deepa are never on good terms, one because of the misunderstanding she created between Vikram and Prerana and another because of the misunderstanding she created between Prerana and her in-laws! The knife magic??!! Hmmm, maybe!!!

 On the third day after the wedding, Deepa came and asked if the sari she was wearing was proper. Prerana was taken aback when she saw that she was wearing the same sari which she had presented to Rakesh's mother long ago. Deepa's relatives came to take her home and a sumptuous lunch was arranged. Rakesh's mother asked Preraran if she can prepare lemon rice to all the guests, around 20-25 people and when she was silent, Vikram said that it's better to order food from caterers. She agreed and the food was ordered from outside. 

Relatives asked Prerana what color sari had she got when she had married. Prerana remained silent and said that they had not given any sari and such a function was not even held then.

Deepa left with Rakesh to her parents' house and Prerana left with Vikram to her parents' house. A wide gap had been created between Prerana and her in-laws and Vikram felt sad about the whole affair. After leaving Prerana at her parents' house, Vikram confronted his parents and asked why they did partiality between Prerana and Deepa and why they told lies to Prerana. His mother bluntly said, "we did not do your wedding properly and wanted to do our younger son's wedding properly!" 

Vikram was dumbstruck listening to what his mother said and decided to take a major step without informing his family, probably the first one in his life and it was just the beginning of it. He had never imagined that he would end up taking that step... Though sad, yet happy to know the true colors, better late than never, he went ahead with the idea which had been popping up in the head for the past few days and a friend and well wisher had also given a positive reply to go ahead with his idea. 

He went back to Prerana's house and discussed the matter with her and both agreed to go ahead with the decision which changed their life forever. Because one half of their heart always knew that some wishes would never come true, still the second half waited for magic and miracles to happen and that magic and miracle happened with the dawn of the new year. They both began a new journey and decided to keep Vikram's family away from all major decisions in future, after all it was their life and they didn't want any more troublemakers to spoil their happiness. 

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