Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Promise

Saranya  looked at the mirror .  Her long waist length hair was shampooed and brown . Her dangling earrings were black metal and she wore not a tiny speck of gold anywhere. Her tiny black chain looked rusty over her faded T shirt. She looked as less traditional as a girl could be. Usually she would have loved this look. But today she hated herself.

A few months back , her look was a constant source of discord within the house. Each time she came down for dinner dressed this way, Sumitra aunty would make her life miserable. She would scold her head off ."Why can't you dress like an Indian girl. Why can't you wear some gold ornaments. It is not that your parents are poor and can't afford any of this." Saranya would ignore here completely and this angered her even more. Saranya's mother tried to make peace. She is here only for a few days and she is here for treatment. You have to be nice to her. And to her credit , she tried , but wearing gold ornaments and traditional clothes were beyond her."I can't wear ornaments just to please somebody". One day a frustrated Saranya shouted , only to find out that Sumitra aunty had overheard. From then on , she never uttered a word.

Months later, Sumitra aunty became weaker and weaker and lost all her hair after treatment. She would look at Saranya sadly , but did not say anything.Soon she became bedridden.One evening , she called Saranya to her side and said ,"When I was young, I used to love ornaments and new dresses, but my parents had no money to buy me anything.That is why when I see you not wearing any ornaments that your parents buy for you, I scold you so much. I can no longer wear them, At least I may see them on you.Her eyes filled with tears." Saranya understood. "Tomorrow. I will wear my new set saree and show off all my jewels to you and I will dress you up too. Let us take some photos then".

That was the last conversation Sumitra had with any body in this world.

The next day saranya sat alone in her room staring at the mirror. She looked as less traditional as a girl could be and first time in her life, she hated herself. On an impulse she took out her saree and wore it for the first time with out a complaint.She wore her gold chain and earrings. She looked at the mirror again . Tears were streaming down her face , but she felt at peace. She knew she had kept her promise and somewhere deep in her mind felt that Sumitra aunty too knew that  where ever she was.


  1. Hmm.. there must be hundreds of them in our generation.. :)