All girls, standing in a circle, were looking at a village girl with ‘reverence’ as if someone was about to be ‘sacrificed’ for her ‘divine’ deity. The girl had closed her eyes as she was storing her tears and memories of the past good time.
It was the midst of the day, when the sun illuminated the world with radiant brilliance. But there was ‘darkness’ in her room, as whoever entered her room held a torchlight to cast faint glow in her room. She was silent as she committed an unpardonable sin and dishonored herself in her own eyes.
Even though, she was the focal point of discussion, occupying fraction of everyone’s thoughts, yet she remained unresponsive and unyielding as goddess of tranquility and calmness. She remained still as the calmest water nestled in the corner of the lake.
A crowed of women assembled around her, talking about her golden bangles, anklet, nose ring, and head chain. Some women were commenting on her modest dowry, nonetheless she remained in tranquil repose and her eyes were still sealed shut.
A drop of perspiration emerged from her forehead, making a path of gentle descent amidst her glistening eyes, and keep flowing towards the bridge of her nose where it delicately rested some time. After a brief interval, she raised her hand and whisked it away with the back side of close fist.
‘Even though, the girl was focal point of discussion, yet she remained unresponsive and unyielding as goddess of tranquility and calmness’
Different designs of Mehndi on her fingers, palms, and feet, including the toes, intricately incorporate floral elements. She was being portrayed as sculptures inscribed with verses on the ‘shrine’ of some revered saint. Her beauty, simplicity and elegance were resembled that of an embellished jar, which is placed in the corner of room, serving as captivating showpiece.
Drops of perspiration kept flowing on her oily cheeks as more women assembled around her and started walking in and out. All of sudden, blare of trumpets started echoing outside the room, the women who had been engrossed in commenting on her dowry, swiftly rushed out, leaving only a small circle of two to three friends standing by her.
But her eyes were yet to be opened. Women, from boy’s side, started conversing about her dowry. I saw a hive of activity; tradesmen came and went and agreements were met in a separate room. After half an hour, three of her family members entered the room, their hands gently grasped her trembling shoulders.
As they guided her out, a solemn shade of the holy book was ceremoniously showered upon her head. Finally, she opened her eyes and looked at her father. Thousands of tears flowed from her eyes as she gazed upon him.
As the owner of the cattle unleash his herd for sacrificial purposes in the slaughterhouse, the father tenderly embraced his daughter one last time before letting her go. Before getting into cab, she shrieked and released herself from one possession to another, without uttering a word.