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By uppalapati Lakshmi Prasanthi
Wednesday, July 31, 2002
(A Sarcastic story with bitter truths and with a surprise ending. Name this story. Tell me how far I improved in my second story. What about the theme?)
Tring.. Tring... sound echoes early in the morning. Snigdha receives the phone and said, "Hello", yawning in the drowsy mood. After answering the call, her drowsiness absconds and she prepares to be ready. She is thinking of the call only. What to do? What to do? This was a call from her friend Sriya. She is very worried of some thing and she wants Snigdha to come to her home. When she asks about the reason also, she just wanted her to come to her home as early as possible.
Snigdha is the only daughter of Vijaya and Ramprasad. She is 22 years old.
She joined for her Post Graduation(Major) in Computer Science.She has one younger brother Murthy who is 20 yeas old. He is doing his graduation in Commerce.
Snigdha is a very friendly girl. Frank and bold. Slightly naughty, somewhat innocent. Sriya is her classmate while she is studying Graduation. Sriya is also of the same type in mentality like Snigdha. The only difference is Sriya is hardworking than Snigdha. Both have to shift to two different colleges to pursue their further education.
Snigdha's mother is preparing breakfast while her father is reading paper.
Murthy hasn't wake up yet. They are observing their daughter. She is something strange today. She is ready by 7:30 in the morning. It is very unusual. By that time they have to try hard to wake their children(Both completed 20, still they think of themselves as if they are 10 years old) up.
Snigdha never do any work in time. She read Paper and then brush and then go to bath, everything late. One has to remind her of time at regular intervals to be reciprocated with the disgusting looks of her. So strange for them, this scene of her, requesting for Breakfast.
"What's the matter Dear, today queen woke up early?", her father asked.
"To take up some important assignment ", she replied as if she is really a queen.
"May I know what it is?", her mother asked while serving her daughter the breakfast.
"No. It is highly confidential", Snigdha replied. Her mother tap her on her head, "See her pose", complaining to her husband.
After taking the Breakfast, she went to Priya's house to return her book.Priya is her classmate in Post Graduation. This is a subject in which she is incomplete because of absence to classes. Priya asked her," Today also?". Priya guessed that she might be absent because she usually hands it over in the college. She has brought it home means she is bunking this day also.
"Yes.", she replied.
"Why bunking unnecessarily? Tomorrow we have to go to Picture,"Manasanta Nuvve", know?", Priya questioned.
"Kya bhi kare baba?(What else can I do?) My friend Sriya called me and asked me to visit her." Snigdha replied.
"Go after the class", Priya suggested.
"No she wants me to be there as early as possible", Snigdha said.
"Why?" Priya doubted.
"I too don't know. She hasn't said anything but urgent. She sounds a bit tense and melancholic",Snigdha answered.
"Why? What would be the problem?", Priya questioned.
"That is what I am thinking. Uncle and Aunty are healthy persons. She has no old relatives to rest in deathbed. It is not the results time also. She is not in love with anyone nor any one proposed her. She has no troubles in that way also. So I can't guess. Let me go to her", Snigdha said.
Priya said, "Ok. Bye".
Snigdha shouted, "Yeh! Reserve a ticket for me too. I will come tomorrow".
She droves her Sunny towards Sriya's house. Aunty seemed to be puzzled at her sight. "Oh! After a long time, come, come! Sriya, see, who came for you!" , her mother enquired, "How are you? Any special news?"
"No Aunty! Nothing special. I just came for a casual visit. Actually I came to visit another friend here. As she is not there, I thought to visit you and go", Snigdha lied readily.
Sriya came down. She looked odd. There is something wrong. They both went to upstairs.
"Why late?", asked Sriya.
"Tell me. What's the matter?" Snigdha questioned anxiously. She no more can withstand this anxiety.
"I am angry on everyone. I want to shout. I want to.. I want to..." saying so Sriya beat the wall there.
"Hey, what is this? First tell me what happened.Aunty also puzzled on seeing me. It seems she doesn't like my visit today", Snigdha asked.
Sriya:"You know my parents arranged "Marriage looks" for me".
(Marriage Looks is something that parents arrange to let the girl and boy see each other before they agree for the marriage)
Snigdha:"oh! I see. What is your problem? I mean, What can I do now? Rather, What you want me to do?"
Sriya: "Tell that man that I am not interested to marry him".
Snigdha: "Oh! My God! your parents will literally kill me if they came to know about this. But how can I manage that too?"
Sriya: "I will anyhow try to get his phone number."
Snigdha:" Don't you know till now?"
Sriya: "See what they did. They told me this news yesterday night only . From then I was crying. I tried to you many times. Idiot! you might be browsing the NET, I got engage sound".
Snigdha:"Yes. One of my NET friends was chatting with me. He said that he is going to give a surprise to me".
Sriya:"Idiot! First give me some idea".
Snigdha: " My dear ! I will tell you some plan. You proceed like that. Not only this you can cancel any arrangement of this sort until and unless you wish so. By the way, why do you want to cancel? Let us see the guy. If you like him, then marry and we can get treat from him, dear", laughs.
Sriya begins to beat her "I will kill you".
Meanwhile her mother came upstairs to serve them some snacks. Her anxiety is to make her daughter eat something atleast in the company of her friend.
"I know she is complaining you about today's arrangement. See, this is very good match. What is her problem to agree? We asked her to be frank and say if she loves anyone. She doesn't say that too. How can we know? Don't we wish to get our daughter married?" she pours out her grief to Snigdha.
Moved with the words of her, Snigdha replied. "Nothing like that aunty! She is not in love with anyone. She feels it as early. She wants to enjoy some more time with all of us. She wants to get a job, enjoy sometime alone and then want to marry"
Mother in a disgusted tone, "What is enjoyment for you people? Husband also can be friend, you also can enjoy with him. He will permit you to study and do the job.If you people get proper matches, do your parents allow you to be alone? Don't they decide to get you married?"
Snigdha tries to convince her. "Ofcourse Aunty! Anyway I will convince her. You don't worry". She gave sidelooks to her friend. She knew that she will really kill her immediately after her mother gets down. Her looks will smash her , had they have enough power.
Scolding her daughter, Sriya's mother went down as she refused to take the snacks.
Immediately Sriya began beating her saying , You convince me, You convince me!!
Snigdha laughs, "Oh my mother! Leave me. Please forgive me. What else can I say to her? If I say to cancel this, she will beat me." saying this, Snigdha folds her hands as if she pray and said, "Oh God! What to do? If I say "Yes", daughter beats me, If I say "No", mother beats me."
Looking at her expression,Sriya cooled down but she is angry with her mother's words. " See these parents. They just do not give any respect to our feelings. Who are those people to give us permission? We are like free birds. We have to give them money and then we have to obey them for each and every thing. What is this? Who is he to sanction or permit me anything. I am individualistic in my own sense. I have every right to behave myself and decide about my future plan."
Snigdha very much agrees with this. She too gets emotionalised. "Yes, Sriya. No one ever understands us. They just want us to get married by hook or crook. If they like, they decide. No chance for us. Very ridiculous. Not only we, in fact , every girl thinks like that. But who cares?"
She continued, "They come and scrutinise us. These days another big joke. The supposed couple are permitted to talk with each other alone. What is that? He questions as if he is really our husband. Some sort of authority and poisonous looks. Why should we after all say about our feelings to a person who does not guarantee that he will surely marry us?
Once we get married, we have to part from our parents. These men will be with their parents only. We do not have any chance to look after our parents. Our own house becomes a different house for us. If anytime we come to our parents alone, they will fear whether we quarelled and come. They will never happy to see us again in their home alone.
How many people die because of dowry and attrocities made on them? They go and complain to parents. They convince and send them back only to get the deceased body of their daughter. It is the parents to be blamed." She became very emotional. She too got angry on everyone and the nature of parents. If these parents give us enough freedom to excel on our own , to be our own, they support us in case of differences, we can maintain our individuality and esteem. But it is not so. These husbands do not have any respect on us because they know very well that in our society, a wife has to suffer if she decides to stay alone, no matter whatever the reason may be.
So strange that, a mother do not feel weight when she carries a girl in her womb for 9 months, parents do not feel any burden when they bring their daughters up, but what is this age which adds weight to us? So ridiculous that the weight of the dowry increases with the increase of our age. These idiots require dowry from us. Damn these customs. If we decide not to marry if they demand dowry from us, what can they do? But the pity is, our own parents will not support us. Until and unless parents support the ideas of their daughters, there is no change for good happen in case of women. No equality can be achieved.
One more joke is that dowry is saved in the bank in the name of their daughter only. Did these In-laws can wait atleast for one more day for the dowry to be deposited in the bank? Until and unless we give the money before the marriage, it will not take place at all. Do any parents cheat their children? They give their daughter an equal share of what they have. What if it is late? This is all Sweet Coating.
Some men comment that In-laws have money, so what is the wrong if we demand it? If the In-laws are wealthy, they will demand it all thru the life saying that their daughter, their grand children etc., etc., What is that they take care of their wives and children?"
Sriya interrupted fearing that she will continue giving these points and she very much knew that it is very difficult to bring her back from this anger.
"Please girl! Look into the immediate threat. Tell me your plan".
Snigdha said, "You first eat these snacks. Your mother is not here. You first eat. You don't worry. Let him come. You implement the ideas which I tell you, he will run away without looking back".
Snigdha started telling these points.
1) You apply Oil fully to your hair and tie it as French Plat.
Sriya, "Ugly, as you do always." Sriya teases her friend.
"Listen me. You can tease later".
2) Wear the Saree which do not suit you. Do not wear Jasmine flowers. Wear "Chamanti" flowers.
"So Odd", Sriya said.
"I will kick you if you interrupt me. You should appear to him as a girl with dirty taste. Ok!", Snigdha said.
3) The man will ask to talk with you in closed doors.
3.1) You should not let him know your real nature. At the same time you shouldn't create a doubt in him that you are not willing to marry him and is trying to escape.
Sriya interrupts, "If the man don't accompany them?".
"Don't ask dirty doubts now. Usually these guys accompany. It is fun for them. Cat enjoys while rat suffers", snigdha confirmed.
3.2) You act like a proud and dominating type of girl. Men usually avoid this type of girls to be their wives.
3.2.1) When he asks your hobbies, Don't say that I read books, I like music etc.,etc., Say that your hobbies are Watching movies, shopping, enjoying parties. You emphasize on shopping. You say that "Shopping in the sense anything. I like to buy whatever it may be except hubby". You carefully observe the colours in his face to make yourself delighted that this match is not going to be fixed because no man however rich he may be can't tolerate his wife watching movies and shopping.
3.3) YOu tell him that you don't like to give dowry. He decides not to marry at this instant.
Sriya: "If he says, "yes" ".
Snigdha: "Let me continue. Don't interrupt. First listen".
3.4) If yes to this, the immediate arrow is "I do not do any job". He confess his decision to himself that not to marry you. No dowry. No job. No way.
Not giving any chance to Sriya to doubt again with an if, Snigdha says,
3.5) If yes to this also, you say that you are in love with someone else.
Sriya shouted with fear, "Oh! my god! I haven't loved anyone. Whom can I say?".
Snigdha get disgusted. "Does he ask you to show him? What a mad girl ! No man can ever intend to marry a girl who doesn't love him. What is there for him to know about the lover of an unknown girl?".
Sriya still fears(she fear about this lie and also her friend will beat for another doubt), "If he says yes and ask me about "What is the problem? !!".
Snigdha rather irritatingly replied, "you say that he can't marry you for 2 more years. So you have to wait. Obviously parents will not believe. So you kept it as a secret." Snigdha rather stressingly and sarcastically said looking straight into the eyes of her friend, "IF HE SAYS "YES" TO THIS ALSO AND INSISTS TO ARRANGE A FORMAL TALK WITH HIM,(sriya laughs), you tell him that he is not in town these days. Idiot! Are you the only girl whom he intends to see. There will be atleast a waiting list of 5 girls to his credit".
Snigdha still stresses, "IF HE DOESN'T BELIEVE YOU, then say that,"I want to live separately in a micro family , you and me that's all". That man's patience will reach its threshold and he will say goodbye to you and there ends the problem".
Sriya in a very low tone asked, "If he still agrees thinking that I might be joking?".
One can imagine the scene. Snigdha shouted, "Tell him that I will not marry a boy who doesn't respect his parents".
Sriya again doubted, "These days men are working abroad, if he takes it easy?".
Snigdha stood up to go and said, "Let us go. we will distribute your marriage cards".
Sriya begins to cry. Feeling sorry Snigdha sat down and tapped her friend.
"Mad girl! No man will ever marry even if he say so because why do they need specifically us only when they have so many chances to marry other girls? you don't worry. Implement this plan".
Sriya felt relief. She got some confidence now that this is not going to be fixed. She asked, "How do you know all these things?".
Snigdha replied, "I was a viewer and active participant in Kavita's Marriage looks. She invited me and Soujanya for her rather tense day. Though I don't like these things, I went there. Their parents insisted both of us to talk with that man. Soujanya is a reserved girl and so being a chatter box, I spoke with him like what are your hobbies? Do you value her friendships or not? etc., etc.,"
Sriya interrupted, "Don't you feel tense?".
Snigdha rather angrily replied, "Why should I ? That arrangement is not for me".
Sriya asked, "What happened then?".
Snigdha told, "He liked Kavitha and their marriage was fixed. We became friends. They came to our house also few times and we will meet whenever they come here".
Snigdha said, "Ok. I will leave. All the Best". Taking leave from her mother too, Snigdha returned home take lunch and wrote an article regarding the arranged marriages, dowry, foreign sons-in-law etc., In the evening she rang to Priya to confirm her tickets for tomorrow's film and also requested one more ticket for Sriya.
In the night, Snigdha waited eagerly for her friend's call. Phone rang. But it is not from Sriya. It is from someone else. She again began thinking.
Phone rang again. This time it is Sriya only. She sounds very happy. She thanked her a lot for she could successfully implement the plan and that man exclaimed that he may not marry her. Snigdha replied, "Ok. Dear. Have a sound sleep with SWEET DREAMS".
After that Snigdha began to browse NET and then she too slept.
The next day morning the phone rang. It is Sriya. She is tense. She is crying meanwhile. Snigdha worried, "What happened?"
Sriya sadly replied, "Their parents rang early this morning and said that they agree for the match. See that man cheated me. He said that he will not marry me".
Snigdha convinced, "Don't worry. We will think of any other option".
Sriya said, "No chance. Marriage is fixed in the next week itself. Only 7 days left".
Snigdha said, "Then you do one thing". Sriya very anxiously listened with a hope to hear, "You bring your marriage cards we will go and invite our friends".
Snigdha could hear a smashing sound of the receiver bombarding the phone.
Snigdha along with Priya and other friends went to Sriya's home convinced her and take her to the movie. They tried to comfort her saying that he might be a good husband like Aravinda Swamy in Roja, Shahrukh Khan in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai(Sriya very much likes the scene of Shahrukh bowing before Rani Mukherjee saying that a man will bow before three women. One is Goddess, the second is mother and the third is the wife),like Sanjay Dutt in Mission Kashmir,(Sanjay though having that much tensions as military officer tries to convince her rather angry wife by pampering her with a sweet song).
They told many incidents like this to convince her. Her would-be rang for her many times in that week but she hasn't talked with him. But that man surprised her by sending her so many gifts(not costly ones but the ones which convey the love of him on her) which she likes very much. She is very puzzled about who might have told him about these things. These tastes of her are known only by a few friends of her. That to they don't know anything about him and his whereabouts.
Meanwhile the day of marriage came. Snigdha bought two gifts. one for Sriya and the other for her hubby. Sriya got angry and taken away that gift and said, "You are my friend. Don't give it to him".
Snigdha teased her, "What baby? Feeling jealous. I am not giving my heart dear. I am just giving a gift".
Sriya beated her again and they both laughed but she hasn't agreed. Snigdha is Sriya's best friend. She doesn't like her friend to give a gift to a man who is marrying her against her wishes.
Marriage is over with all the rituals.
It took one week for the man to convince her wife and make her a friend of him. He convinced her in every possible way that he is not at all be like a husband whom she fears, but be like a friend and gained her confidence by behaving so. All the quarrels end to root a friendship.
He asked her that he will invite a friend to the home. She gladly agrees and is in that preparation to give a warm welcome to his friend. The door bell rang and when she opened the door, it is Snigdha.
Sriya is enlightened."Come, Dear! "
Snigdha quarrelled, "What Mam! Forgot me? Upto some days you daily rang and disturbed me. Now you forgot? That's why I decided to disturb you. It seems that you two are going somewhere !!".
Sriya laughed, "Sorry yaar! We are not going to anywhere but he invited his friend so I am waiting".
Snigdha said, "Ok. I too will see and meet your hub's friend".
Meanwhile her husband came and wished Snigdha. Sriya surprised, "How do you know her?".
He replied, "She is the friend who has given me the precious gift".
Sriya puzzled and talked to herself. "When did this idiot grab that gift from me and gave to him?".Looked rather angrily to Snigdha and questioned the same.
Snigdha laughed and said, "You check it yourself. I haven't given that gift. Ask your hubby only about the gift which he is saying about".
She asked him, "Show me the gift she has given".
He took her to a mirror and showed her image. She is surprised. She can't understand.
He explained her. Her husband and Snigdha (are)were NET friends. Actually she was talking about him only who said that he is going to surprise her. The matter is Snigdha herself told about the details of her friend, Sriya, to him when he asked to search for a good girl for him. He too liked Sriya and told to his parents. They approached them and the match was fixed. She forgot that she has given the details of Sriya to him. That's why he said that he is going to give a surprise to her.
The night of the "heroic day", it is he who first called to Snigdha before Sriya. She chatted with him on the NET and revealed him that she only has given all these ideas and not to misunderstand her friend. She told all the hobbies and tastes of her friend. That's why he could send gifts to woo her.
when he completed narrating this, Sriya ran to Snigdha and guessing that she will beat her, Snigdha too ran to escape from her while Sriya's parents and her husband watch them amusingly.
(I name this story as a "Surprise Match")
( I have written the above mentioned articles. I just included those names here. If anyone want to know more about "Marriage Looks" read my article, "Arranged marriages , a big wonder").
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|Reviewed by Phani Narem
That's a good story. Liked it!
Can you arrange a good girl like sghriya for me.(giggles)
There are couple of points which i want to mention here.
1) I want to see you writing in better Structure(SILPAM), i felt that it's toomuch of a conversation.
2)if you want to write in english! you can eliminate the odd references of "Oh my mother" ,"Rani" that makes dramatization a bit more! which looks odd
keep trying i am confident you can better with time. Read as much as possible, apweekly.com is a very good source.
check the latest pick in short stories "panthalu", which has a very good soul in it. I think that is what missing in this story.
Take it sportive.
you can reply me at NaremUS@yahoo.com
|Reviewed by Kalyan
"We asked her to be frank and say if she loves anyone."
"See these parents. They just do not give any respect to our feelings."
These are two contradicting statements, it appears as though the author is favorably biased towards the feelings of Sriya, by extention the rights/feelings of a young girl.
Even after having arranged for the so called "Marriage looks" the parents ask the girl if she is in love with someone(by extention take her permission) this only goes to show how concerned and broadminded her parents are. In a society as ours where almost everything goes by events/occasions rather than instances/moments how can parents ask their daughter if she is in love with someone just like that(that may be tantamount to suggesting their daughter to find a life partner) so the best occasion is to ask when they have already arranged a meeting between a prospective groom and the bride. After all the girl has her say in approving/accepting a prospective groom's candidacy.
As a society we go by certain broad rules:
A boy is older than a girl, however there is no punishment by law if somebody does not follow this.
The girl goes to stay with the boy(or his family). Illarikam(boy goes to stay with the girls family) is not a alien to us.
It is almost always compulsory for a boy to be working/earning and not so for the girl (unmindful of recession or a bad job market), there is no stopping a gril from marrying an unemployed guy.
In some socities the Bride&Groom together arrange for their wedding, here Parents do it for us. Is that not good?
"These days another big joke. The supposed couple are permitted to talk with each other alone".
This is one other statement that is confusing. The author says during the course of the story that girls are like free birds
"We are like free birds......... "I am individualistic in my own sense. I have every right to behave myself and decide about my future plan."
In the absense of the so called elders the bride has complete freedom to interview/cross-examine the guy/groom to know how close he comes to a her concept of a life partner. It is a one-on-one meeting, so where is the disadvantage for the girl?
An observation, before the marriage all through his life the boy always takes the left most position in any family gathering. A girl always takes the right most position(the better of the two positions). It is only after marriage and after such a long wait that the boy gets to move to the better of the positions. After his marriage the boy by default wakes up from the bed with his best foot farward and the better part is for the rest of his life. Me thinks all the wrangling that a girl does is because having to give up what is essentially a natural perk, the better and more progressive of the positions - the right side.
|Reviewed by srihari s adiga
|can u do something abt ur fcking languege|
|Reviewed by Kristine Snow
|A very interesting story and a wonderful insight into another culture and way of life. I liked the twist at the end. This story is about 2 friends who obviously know each other wel -. well enough for one to recognize a "soul mate" for her close friend. I really enjoyed it and will be reading more! You keep writing more!
|Reviewed by Sandie Angel
Very interesting story on the culture indeed! The only thing I would suggest is writing the whole story in past tense, as you have zig-zagged quite a bit from present tense to past tense and then to present tense. Seemed to me that you could not make up your mind what tense to use.
Stories are very often told in the past tense. That is why most of the novels in the stores are written in past tense. Very often, something has happened, and that is why there's a story to tell. Just when your telling something, something must have happened already for you to tell.
Okay, I hope I have made that clear enough. If not then pick up some books from the libraries or from the book stores, and you'll noticed that they are all written in the past tense.
Thanks so much for the invitation. I'm giving you a 10 for the story was very interesting.
Sandie Angel :o)
|Reviewed by Uday
|I noticed that both good and bad sides of arranged marriage are represented in an interesting way. With presupposed feelings, Sriya denied her arranged marriage. She didn't bother to inquire anything about
the guy. And rightfully so; Sriya did not like the concept of arranged marriage. But you have potrayed that an optimistic girl can look forward to a good husband even if it's arranged marriage. In this story,
the guy did his responsibility and found out the details of the girl and behaved appropriately.
What was wrong with the earlier story, I think you have made up for in the second one. Good job !
|Reviewed by Suresh
|It is a very good story which sketches the feelings of a normal girl about the marriage
and about a friend who tries to help her.
It is a well structured one.
|Reviewed by chanderkeswani
|You are keen & optimistic as far as relations are concerned.You are very much nostalgic about the out come of the happenings, arising out of a mingling between the relations & the peoples who generally adore them a lot.This story portray the actuall acting line between such relations.You have nitted it wel as compared to your last story.This is very much communicative,skilled & fine tuned story.I admire you for your attainment.....chander keswani|