Monday, February 22, 2010

Is it a blessing or coincidence?

As Kalpana was sitting at the sit out gazing at the starlit sky wondering how life for her had changed all on a sudden from one of endless joy to pathetic misery, she remembered that it was this day a few years back that her parents had left her after a gruesome road accident.The only child, heir to large wealth, was entrusted by elders to the care of a distant aunt who offered to keep the girl with her.There were no siblings to her parents and this was the only option available.

The aunt who initially seemed outwardly well disposed had really no affection for the girl.She spoke softly but was dominating and ruthless by nature.She put on an appearance before outsiders though seething within with jealousy at her fortune, good looks and pleasant disposition in comparison to her daughters.She was put in an ordinary school not distinguished for good teaching.All her pleadings that she also be admitted to the same school where her cousins were studying were in vain. She was made to toil in the house by making her do all the domestic chores that she had never done before in her luxurious life with her parents.Despite the hurdles the girl did very well in her studies and this embittered her dull cousins.She was not allowed to join engineering course which he wanted but compelled to do graduation in History like her cousins who had no choice due to their poor marks..They never mingled with her, always taunted her and made her a scape goat for their entire lapses.The aunt needed little prompting to side with her children and harass the pitiable girl.

They were liberally using the income from Kalpana’s wealth but spent very little on her.It was utilised on the worthless cousins in meeting their every whim.Both the aunt and her wily husband had on eye on her wealth and wanted full control over it before her marriage.

Tears trickled from the girl’s eye as she saw no redemption.She took out the locket that she wore and placed it on her eyes.She vividly remembered her visit to a sage’s ashram along with her mom some years back.The venerable old saint looked at the girl intently when she got up after prostrating before him and gave her a locket with a picture of a Goddess and said “Child, keep it always with you.Never part with it.When you have unbearble problems facing you,take it out and press against your eyes in prayer.The compassionate Goddess would take care of you”

Both the mother and Kalpana were overwhelmed by his kindness but wondered why he talked of problems when he gave her the locket. Even after she came to aunt’s house she refused to part with the locket and wore it on her neck with a string.The locket served as a talisman and a legacy bringing back fond memories of her mom and the visit to the ashram.

Kalpana wished to pursue post graduation on completing creditably her graduation.Aunt stood against it on the tenuous plea that as guardians they would like to see her married early.They wished to marry her off to a nondescript guy of poor attainments but related to aunt.It was their idea that way they could keep the wealth with them and the girl under their subjugation.When they tried to push through this by arranging for a betrothal ceremony the next day , Kalpana had none to turn to except pray.She thought there cannot be a greater misfortune than this and her thoughts turned to the sage and his advice.She prayed devoutly for his blessings as she placed the locket on her eyes and let things in Goddess’s hands.It was that night her aunt had a stroke that paralysed her limbs and left her speechless. She became a total wreck unable to comprehend or communicate.It is not known whether her incapacitation was just a coincidence or divine intervention.Be that as it may, the threat of Kalpna’s marriage to the idiot vanished and the girl heaved a sigh of relief.

But she had not reckoned with the evil uncle who saw greater urgency in getting the wealth atleast a portion of it transferred in their name.He along with his daughters intimidated her daily, confining her in her room,starving her of the food and in a variety of wicked ways.They compelled her telling that she can go her way and do what pleased her, if she transferred half the weath to uncle’s name.The torture was unbearable and she knew that even the fifty percent of her wealth was a tidy sum that she can comfortably live with.When she relented under duress and agreed to accompany her uncle to her lawyer who had all the documents,she was warned that she should tell the lawyer that she was gifting this out of her own free will and out of affection for them for taking care of her.
The family lawyer, a kindly old man and who knew her parents for years was not amused, with the way her uncle presented the matter and pressed Kalpana to make the statement on tutored lines.He could smell something fishy and see through the whole game.He told the uncle that he wished to talk to Kalpana alone before he could proceed further.

When prodded to tell him the facts truthfully and that her revelations would be safe with him she narrated in detail to the lawyer her predicament and sought his protection as she even feared for her life.She broke down and said crying.”I want you to save me from this veritable hell.I am tretaed as a slave there and physically tortured.It was the sage’s locket that saved me from the marriage they were contemplating with an idiot. I do not mind parting with some wealth if that wuld make my life happy” Even as she mentioned about the locket, she took it out and pressed it against her eyes praying that she come out of this ordeal.

There was a commotion outside.The lawyer’s assistant came running and said “The gentleman who accompanied the lady felt acute breathlessness and wanted water.Even before we took the water, he clutched his heart and collapsed” A doctor who was summoned pronounced him as dead due to massive cardiac arrest.

The lawyer consoled the girl telling”Your travails are over.I will tell your cousins of the changed situation and that you out of compassion would give them a monthly allowance provided they stop harassing you.You can stay with me till your marriage. I have no children.My wife will be happy.”

It was then the full import of the words uttered by the sage years ago and his foresight dawned on her even as she gratefully paid her obeisance to him


  1. Hai Partha,

    A Good touching story...but I felt a slight misconnection with your starting line and the continuation. You started off with talking about Kalpana in the sitout thinking of her illfortune...and its mentioned its one year after her parents' death. Then u start telling what happened to her with her parents' death. But somehow. the connection with the first line never came up nor a tht paragraph felt incomplete...Its just my personal opinion...

    Anyways good going...All the best for more beautiful stories...

  2. So that's the new age Cindrella...with the locket and the lawyer as her angels! :)

  3. Dear Partha,
    Good Evening!
    Each story of yours reveal your personality having a heart full of love,sympathy and concern.some good soul turns up and and solves the problems!
    And the religious practice is also felt in the stories.
    As usual good vocabulary and nice writing!
    Wishing you a beautiful week ahead,

  4. Once is happenstance.
    Twice is coincidence.
    Three times is enemy action ...

    Amazing touching story !!!

    Have a wonderful evening

    Kareltje =^.^=
    Anya :-)

  5. Thats great one criminal after another drops down....hope the real woprld could be free of such evil...Nice story loved the locket :)

  6. evry incident.. no matter magic or blessing or coincidence.. everythng happens as per gods will...