Just Another Story?

Malati. A teenager. She lives in a village near Canning. She went to school until three years ago when her father thought it wise to drop her out of school. Now she helps her mother in daily household chores. But why am i suddenly sharing Malati’s story with you all on my blog? Because it’s Malati’s birthday today. She will turn 18 today. It is a big day for a girl in a village. When you turn 18, you become a woman. You can get married.

To celebrate the day, her father promised Malati, he will take her to Kolkata and buy her saris. Malati was excited. Going to Kolkata was like being served moon and stars on a platter. She put on her best attire (sadly it wasn’t as gorgeous as the words intend to convey), powdered her not so fair flesh, put a small bindi on the forehead (hoping someone just might take notice of her).

Outside Sealdah station, Malati was asked to wait. her father had gone to make arrangements for a taxi. She could not believe it, She would ride a taxi. Never in her dreams had she ever boarded a four wheeler. She was excited. And then her heart skipped a beat. A tall, handsome man (like the man who visits her dreams often) was walking up to her. “Tumi Malati?” he asked in his husky voice. She was not in a position to reply. She was dumb founded. All she could manage to do was keep looking at him. Gathering up all the courage, she shook her eye lids in the affirmative. The man smiled. “Ami Tapan, Tomar Baba tomi dakche. Chalo ( I am Tapan. Your Father is searching for you, Let’s Go)”. And he held her hand, a current flew through her veins. Like a newly wed wife, she followed the man,whom she did not know even five minutes ago.

At the taxi stand her father was waiting. “Malati, Ma amaar, ekhane ekta kaj peye gechi,onek taka. Ami tor sathe Bajaare jete parbona Maa. Tui Tapan er sathe jaa. O chena lok ( I got some work here, they will pay me handsomely, i cannot accompany you to the market, please don’t mind dear, Tapan will accompany you,Go with him, he is a friend).” Then pulling her close he whispers in her ears ” Ok khushi koris, pochondo hole tor biyeo hote pare or sathe (Try to please him, if he wills you two can get married)”.

It was surreal. She was on a date. On her 18th Birthday. In a taxi on her way to Hatibagan. With a stranger who could become her husband in future. At Shovabazar, the taxi entered an alley. Dark, stinky, most houses had windows which never open. And through the open ones a few females stared curiously at her. “Eta amar para, amar mashir sathe dekha korate enechi. Chalo ( This is my Para, i brought you here to introduce you to my Mashi)”.

They entered one of those dilapidated buildings, one woman was sitting by the stairs, on a chair. Her grey hair was tied in a bun at the back of her head, wearing  a torn sari and an almost non existent blouse, she was counting money. “Taxir awaaj peyei bujhlam tora eli. Baah khaasa meye. ki chandpanaa mukh. Goron o bhalo ( I understood you are here,when i heard the taxi stop outside. What a beautiful girl you have got, such a pretty face)”. She waved the money over Malati’s head and gave it to Tapan. “Ami ok ghar bari dekhie ani. Sob bujhie sujhie nei ( Let me show her around the house, explain to her how things work here)”.

Tapan was sitting on the verandah outside and counting the money. He heard a shriek. It was Malati. Crying. Pleading. Wanting to go home. Cursing her father, cursing him. But he had no time for this. His next “would-be” wife is waiting at Howrah.

About Agnivo Niyogi

Typical Aantel, reader, blogger, news addict, opinionated. Digital media enthusiast. Didi fanboi. Joy Bangla!

Posted on July 17, 2010, in Personal Musings. Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Mast che =)

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  2. Thank you che🙂

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  3. Aditya Nandode

    So! Did u visit red light area? To get this story, or is it fiction?

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  4. @aditya no i never visited any RLA. but these stories are common practice in villages, and you read about them in newspapers and see them in documentaries! Nah?

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  5. well written…..just wish stories like these would never have to be written

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  6. so true re! it pained me to write something like this @aneesha

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  7. Short, crisp, sad, annoying…nice example that the poverty rules and the rulers are fathers, uncles, relatives! I appreciate that the fear of censor compelled you to choose the figure 18 otherwise it is sometimes in single digit defying all the nature and hearts in our society.

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  8. siddharth chakraborty

    sad story .. What hurts the most how could the father sell her own daughter just for the sake of some money !! Such people should be castrated in front of public !!

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  9. That was so touching! It moistened by eyes .

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  10. @pathak more than poverty….i wanted to highlight the fact that a "father" sold his daughter!@sid this is reality my friend happens daily….wives,daughters,sisters are sold off everyday@prerna while writing it my eyes were moist too

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  11. loved the narration .. even when one knows where this is headed, i did keep reading ! kudos🙂

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  12. @bhumish what is mast? and what u find in this blog to laugh at????@Aagan bhai rula dia re tu…

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  13. @boxie arrrre by mast bhumish ne shayad mean kiya tha acha….

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  14. @aagan maine isme hasnewali koi baat nhi dekha bhai, am sorry to say…

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  15. @boxie obviously isme hasne ki koi baaat nahi hai…ise likhte hue mujhe bhi dhukh ho raha tha

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  16. @aagan thts wht am asking to bhumish..

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  17. few days back, i was caught in the rain with a friend of mine, she had sum cakes n we shared it in the warmth of the shade that protected us.When i felt a tap on my arms and turned around, there was no one until i looked down at the face of a boy of around 5 years.his big bleary eyes, a plastic bag on his head was all that protected him.I was moved so deep inside lookin at his face that i ddnt notice him pointing at his sister.A girl hardly ten years old.standing on long bamboo legs with some cheap dark lipstick on and a bowl in hand.her feet were tied to the footrest on bamboo sticks.she cudnt even get to the level of shelter and so she was standing there…gettin drentched in rain.and hence her lil bro was begging for her.What could the coins in d lil boy's hands do to change this situation?nothin.i looked around.few people laughed as if it were a nice show.SUch things have become so common that they fail to stir emotions nowadays.even if they do, theres always the convenience of ignaorance.maybe thats wots meant by "mast che".Final word, the intention is not to attack personal ground but to poke conscience.

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  18. commenting after that comment would be pointless! its perfect! @sanjukta_das

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  19. Some one you might know

    It may seem a little callous, but this a story one gets to hear all too often! All too often, why is that now when there are so many laws passed everyday for the emancipation of women that the infant mortality rate for females is 50-25% more than the male infant death rate? Why is it that we seem to see more lechers ogling at women, whereas many of their "kind" practice Honour Killing, "Khap" court executions etc etc? Well dear bloody chauvinists, if I had a cigar clipper I would clip your precious ……. with it, dear bloody chauvinists, you claim to maintain honour, and you buy and sell the many Malatis, dear bloody chauvinists, revenge is a lady, and doubly deadly to your chauvinist kind.

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  20. Somesh Mukherjee

    nice. kahani mein twist. Ganda WaalaTwist though. Don't we all wish we never have to write or listen to such stories, ignorant that they are happening even as we read this. Girls sold for money to Masi's who also buy the police. "Des mera Rangrez re babu…"

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  21. i am writting to you just to let you know that i have got my website. They are lovely, but I will never be able to afford one,And if I could afford one, it would be the Cupcake, that was the best.

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  22. Good fill someone in on and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

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  23. What Is An Enduring Power Of Attorney And Why Do I Need One?

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  24. thanx a lot for liking it🙂

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  25. yea. your blog is really great

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