‘kadam chhota change bada’
This is a true account. I am hiding the identities of the people involved.
This is the story of Lipi. While doing her graduation she has fallen in love with a guy. Since love marriages do not consider caste and background, Lipi has had fallen in danger. You have guessed right! Her parents have been dead against it. Her father has been especially angry at this shocking revelation at the time of the girl’s marriage. However, they have agreed to the marriage thinking of their daughter’s happiness. The couple is basically from the ‘simple living’ lot craving nothing but the contented smile on the daughters’ (Lipi has a sister) faces.
I have witnessed the victory smile on Lipi’s face. Thus, the gala Bengali marriage preparations have begun. From buying Benarasi saree to hunting for the perfect caterer for the night, listing down to-do list and ticking off the invitees as they have got the invitations, everything has been smoothly accomplished. It has been the Valentine’s day Lipi and her lover have successfully procured new identities. The newly married couple has gained the blessings of Lipi’s parents. Thankfully, the ‘sasural’ has been very near to Lipi’s home.
Into this otherwise blissful marriage unfortunately, God has not granted her the wish of pro-creating. She has remained childless despite several visits to doctors. The couple has finally accepted their fate and has lived happily.
Ten years into the marriage and they have been well-accepted, admired and loved by both the families for their warm, loving and caring nature. And then, something has happened. All of a sudden, Lipi’s happy world has come crashing down and she could not prevent it. Can you guess? I hope you can.
One fine winter morning in the month of December, the month of Christmas Lipi could sense something wrong with her husband sleeping by his side. This is the strength and sense of a lover and a wife, may be! On checking his pulse she has found it to be missing. The doctor has come only to officially declare what the grieving family has already prepared itself for. Her husband has died in his sleep, out of heart attack! He has been only 44.
It is so simple to say “he has died” but one whose world revolved around ‘him’ can only feel the heart-rending and inexplicable pain. No word can console her enough. Nobody can empathise with her.
I have met Lipi the next February on Saraswati Puja. I have been missing the jovial and jolly Lipi. She has been smiling but for the world. The trademarks of a married woman have been absent! Although I do not support those, but still when you see a woman who has worn them proudly, stripped of her favourite marks, you feel sad. She has been remembering her husband on every topic we have been talking about. How he has loved roses! How he has relished homemade delicacies!
Soon after I have been swept off my feet on hearing about the ‘kadam chhota, change bada’ moment. The parents who have disliked Lipi’s love marriage are now gearing up for her remarriage. This out-of-box thinking is definitely expected from people hailing from the land of Raja Rammohan Roy, who had pioneered widow remarriage. They have been thinking of companionship of a too young widow. That’s good!
After rigorous efforts from the parents Lipi has finally given her consent to her second marriage. On a careful search they have been blessed with a noble man who, too, has been unwilling at first. He is 10 years older to Lipi. His parents have died and he is all alone. Only after genuine convincing the bachelor have agreed to marry a widow! What goes around, comes back, isn’t it?
This time the marriage has not been a gala affair. Only the very close and honest people have been the invitees. I have missed Lipi’s second marriage (I am staying out of my home town post marriage) but I have prayed for her bliss whole-heartedly.
Now when I see and hear about Lipi and her husband’s lovely relation I feel really glad. The photos I come across in social media are proof enough that Lipi has get over the nightmare. She is back with her affable smile. The trademarks are back on their place. I have met her new husband twice or thrice and I am impressed. He is a gem of a person. I feel she is happier than her previous one. However, this is ONLY my opinion. Perhaps that is why God did not bless her with a child in her previous marriage. Generally, it is difficult for a child to accept a new person as his/her parent. Whatever, they are happy, and that is all that matters. Only God can turn an utterly hopeless situation into something positive and vibrant!
I would like to mention here that these parents have always been reputed for their generous acts – be it taking care of their relatives like their own family members (who have never returned their favours) in their home or helping another woman remarry after her divorce. Therefore, when they have resisted the love marriage, it has been contrary to their otherwise ‘modern’ mindset. Perhaps, they have only been thinking of their daughter’s well-being.
This is a very powerful act. Very few can enact such strong roles with such dexterity and confidence. Hats off to this couple (parents) for showing such courage when widow remarriage is still considered a taboo. The incident proves how ONLY a modern mindset can turn a lemon into a lemonade. This need not come from just ‘education’ which majority confuse with. An illiterate person can be more modern than the highly-intellectual. That can generate small steps towards real development – first, within the home and later in the big society outside.
‘Drops of water make an ocean’
I dedicate this write-up to the continuous hard work, sincerity and selflessness of this man and his wife. In person I can perhaps never tell them how proud I feel to have them in my life. Hence, this is my attempt to make them and their activities famous.
Every change begins with a small step, whether it’s a change within your family, or the whole country! India’s hero Padman, had its digital premiere on ZEE5, on 11th May. Don’t miss this inspiring true life-story, only on ZEE5. Download the app and subscribe now. For every subscription, ZEE5 will donate Rs. 5 towards the personal hygiene needs of underprivileged women.