“Chachi look, Bhaiya broke my doll!!!”
5 yrs old Geet came running to the hall where her aunty was sitting with some guests. Five pairs of curious eyes (two men and two women and an elder old lady) turned toward the child, who was standing there and crying before them.
“Chachi see na!” Geet comes to her aunty and shows her torn stuffed-doll. As she faced the people before her, everyone’s eyes widened seeing her and they got shocked.
“Savita ji, Is she married??” Question arose in everyone’s mind, looking at Geet with a filled head with red Sindur and tying Mangalsutra in neck, wearing a little frock which was coming till her knee. She was holding her doll in arms and was sobbing.
Savita, Geet aunty got sacred. She did not want to disclose the truth before would be in-laws of her elder daughter who had come from the city. They had come to see Neer, Geet elder cousin, 18 yrs old and was supposed to be marrying soon.
“O nahi ji, how can she be married ji.. We are not that conservative. Yes of course we live in village but our thoughts is far above from this low mentality people who believe in child marriage” Savita spoke with extra sugar coated words, but inward she was hell afraid.
“Then why she was wearing Mangalsutra?” The old lady asked curiously. She called Geet to her. “Beta, come here”
Geet first looked to Savita and finding permission she walked toward the lady. She made Geet sit in her lap and heeded to her Mangalsutra which was so big for her small neck. It was hanging till below her chest.
“Its real gold” Lady was surprised along with all presented people there, leaving Savita alone who was scared.
“Haan ji Maaji, its gold. She must be playing with her friends and in play would have worn my Mangalsutra. Haina Geet!!” She stared at the little Geet who was yet not realizing what was happening there.
“You were playing na Geet!!”
Geet nodded. Yes of course she was playing with a doll.
“Yes, I was doing my doll wedding but Bhaiya broke my doll” she again complained, caressing the messy hair of her toy.
“It’s okay baby, we will bring a new doll for you” The old lady said lovingly, seeing the cute innocent child who was looking not less than a little fairy on earth.
Guests got satisfied, thinking in play Geet would have worn the divine marks of marriage. They continued their process and finally Neer marriage was fixed.
In late evening, Geet sees her father returning back, without waiting for anyone to say, she rushed to bring water for him.
Mohan who was removing his shoes, bending down, looked up and saw Geet, his little beautiful daughter. Looking at her, his every tiredness and worry used to vanish off in no time. Every time her face made him remember his departed wife, Rano and the ocean of love started to flow down in the form of tears but he never showed his tears to anyone. He smiled looking at Geet, took water from her hand and was to drink it when his eyes fell on her Mangalsutra and Sindoor. His veins started fluttering strongly in fury. Without drinking a sip he carried Geet in arms and hastened inside.
He stopped before his elder brother room and said in loud sound,
“Bhabhi, what is this!!”
Hearing his shout Savita came out running along with her husband.
Neer also came running out from her room who was dreaming about her marriage. Mohan removed Mangalsutra from Geet neck and showed,
“This Bhabhi, what’s this!! For God sake how many times I would have to tell you all I don’t accept this marriage which happened with my daughter. We all know it was just a game dammit!!!” He wanted to remove Sindur mark from her head when Savita stopped him.
‘Mohan please, don’t do this it will bring unfortunate in Geet life”
“What unfortunate I don’t believe in this rubbish!!!” He placed Geet down on the floor. Sacred Geet runs to Neer and hides behind her. Neer placed her arms around her protectively.
“Savita said right Mohan, you should not have done this. Should not have removed Mangalsutra from her neck, it can be unlucky for her’
“What unlucky Bhaiya. Look at her age. She is only 5 years old Bhaiya,she has not even started living her life properly . What unfortunate can harm her when her own people are not letting her live her life in freedom? In this tender age she has been forced to obey all rituals which a married woman does when we know, her husband never would come back, Maan will not come back Bhaiya he will not!!!!