It was a
month of April. As the sun rose up, the hot waves were blowing. At the noon,
the atmosphere was grave and heated. Even not a single leaf was moving. Due
to extreme heat, a whirl-wind was formed and shaped a tower. It started to
move containing uncountable pieces of dried leaves and rags. It shook the
branches of trees violently. Crossing the street, it ran into the fields.
Some children were running after it laughing and clapping. Some ladies had
forbidden their sons for afraid of any mishappening. Most of them enjoyed
the peculiar sight.
girl about fourteen, named Malti was sitting on the floor before her door,
so sad and uninterested with the surrounding. She had gloomy face putting on
very simple trousers and frock. Some times she looked to the ground and some
times to the sky, too much grieved. Lines of tears were shining over her
cheeks. Some lines were dried up and some were fresh. Neither she was crying
nor mourned but sobbing only. It was seemed, her melted heart was flowing
through the eyes.
yesterday, Malti was a care free girl running after butterflies in the
fields and repaying the cuckoo’s melodious tone in the orchards. Always she
was a laughing girl like a blossomed flower. She was lovingly to all, most
preferably to the old women and the brides. She helped the old women to
fulfill their requirements. She was habitual to help the brides peeping at
the doors. She served them buckets of water from the well and to make joyful
their crying sons. Such problems were intolerable for her. Whole the village
was considered her own house. She was natured to help the sufferers. She was
never noticed tired. She was far off any misdealing or arrogance. Most
often, she was discussed among the ladies,-‘At the day, whole the villagers
will burst into tears, Malti will leave the village to be married.
shall be like a blind and handicapped. By whom; we shall be noticed and be
protected’,-The old woman expressed anxiously.
‘Whatever there might be, she is to leave this village after marriage. She
can not reside here forever for us. We have also left our maternal
village,’- One of them said pointing out the custom.
The father of Malti, Janak was a peasant scarcely to earn livelihood by
cultivation and pet animals. He had cows, buffalos, oxen and a herd of
goats. In the herd, there was a black over joyed young he-goat called for
Kalu. The herd was completely under guardianship of Malti. She was fully
devotee to the herd. Often, she rubbed them gently and patted their backs.
The goats licked her cheeks and fore head. When she was standing with grains
in her mists, she was covered by the herd. The goats were trying to reach to
her mists standing on two legs. At last, they had the grains over her palms.
She felt tickling to the palms. She fed them green grasses and leaves also.
She served them gruel also.
One evening, Malti was sitting in the court yard with her parents and two
elder brothers, Jivan and Kishan. She was rubbing the legs of a goat.
Looking at Malti Jivan taunted,-‘When Malti will leave this house to be
married, we are to bound to send so many goats with her’.
request the father of the bridegroom to arrange only goats in the marriage
procession of my beloved sister. She is related to the herd by heart and
Daddy, note my brothers. Both vex me always’,-pretending to weep Malti
innocent daughter, be care free of them. My both the sons are empty minded.
They are out of social traditions. Marriage processions for higher status
are arranged by the elephants, camels and horses; not by asses and goats’. Mother
of Malti, Sajani was anxious for Malti neglecting domestic tasks. She was
not interested to cooking and other house holds. She was engaged in herd as
well as serving brides and old women. One day, Sajani advised her-‘my baby,
you should be well trained for cooking. Where ever you shall go to be
married, the art of cooking will be needed specially. In the society, the
ladies skilled in cooking are well regarded. Your husband must have tongue
and stomach too. Malti did not reply orally but denied the mother slightly
playing with the lips. Sajani was annoyed and looked angrily at her husband
sitting behind. She rebuked him,-‘you do not make she understand but always
praising for her mischief’s too. For forth coming days, you will repentance
certainly and weeping’.
go. I will face my misfortunes. Do you had come to my house well
trained’,-asked Janak boldly?
at Jivan Kishan narrated,-‘Dear brother, the goats of Malti will bleat so
sound that nothing will be heard. So there is nothing for anxiety’. Sajani
stared her husband and ran to the kitchen.
Janak had to bear all the expenditure of the family. The house had only
traditional income by cultivation. So
expenses were tight budgeted. His both the sons had shared the labor of
farming. Janak had ease but the income as it was. Due to increasing
dearness, family maintenance was uncontrolled. When he looked at impregnated
cattle, he felt happiness for some moments. The income of the impregnated
cattle was very like to the income of cultivation. The lenders fenced his
house before carried the corns to the house. His face was glazed seeing the
jumping kids. They were looked him like currency notes.
Malti was turning into youth. Janak was anxious to get her married. He
decided not to invest the money for family maintenance earned by selling the
kids. He decided to preserve the money for wedding cost of his daughter. He
made up his mind to curtail the domestic expenditure and to have a cheaper
diet. None could die of cheaper diet. After dinner, he would have a sound
belch at the door. Listeners would consider a rich diet in his family.
morning. The breeze was blowing smoothly. The herdsmen were carrying their
cattle to the fields. The tied cattle to the tubs were bellowing. The cattle
having calves at stables were trying to turn back. The herdsmen hardly
managed them to get out. For the time being the surrounding was disturbed.
In the front of Janak’s house, there was a bush of bamboos. Some bamboos
were straight with distinctive height but some were bended towards the
ground. At the top of a bended bamboo, a nilkanth bird was sitting and had
balanced it spreading the wings. It enjoyed of swinging. Another bird of
same race reached there flying to disturb it. The first one resisted it
opening its bill. Janak was sitting at his door in a loose cot very like to
the covered, basket of a juggler. Due to his physical load, the stings of
the cot had got down. The goats were crossing beneath the cot and also
rubbed their backs. Janak was looked tilted. At a far distance, an
executioner, a trader of flash known as Jalil was looked, coming towards
him. He wore a long dirty cloak and low in cloth. He had lethargic steps
putting a stick on his shoulder. He was chewing the betel leaf. His thick
lips were layered with betel spittle. His loin was more encircled than his
chest. As a whole, he was structured a giant. As he came near by Janak, he
threw spittle to the ground and said addressing Janak-‘Good morning master,
how do you do’?
well. You have come out very early,’-replied Janak.
the morning of April is cool but as the day passes, it gets hot. I am to
move village to village and also to cross so many streets of a village in
search of goods. It takes time’, - Jalil replied.
At the time, Kalu, beloved he goat of Malti came there jumping and started
to rub its head with the hanging legs of Janak. He patted its back. It began
to push him into the cot. As Jalil saw Kalu, he came in need of it. He asked
is it yours?’
‘Certainly, unless it has not a wrestling with me’,-pushing out its head,
sell it’?-demanded Jalil.
present, what shall I get of it? I think, it would be sold latter on fed
this is your misunderstanding. I know well of its race. At present, it is
well intoxicated. After a few days, it is to fall down. It will not be
maintained in spite of rich feeding’,-Jamil made understand Janak.
shall you pay for it?-asked janak.
guess its weight now’,-saying he held up the goat and considered. Putting
advised,-‘O master, it is auspicious moment of the morning. The tradition
should not be undue bargaining. In a nut cell, let me know your demand. If
it is considerable, I shall discuss you; other wise I move ahead.
hundred rupees’,-Janak demanded hesitating.
if you admit for three hundred rupees, I just make you cash payment,’-Jalil
course, the value of the pet animals born and brought up in the house is not
realized appropriately. Rupees three hundred were not a less amount but at
once acceptance was beyond the rural mechanization. He did not desire to
bargain more as the goat was to fall down. He got down of the cot and
forwarded to Jalil. The goat was rubbing its neck putting between the legs
on Janak. Pointing out Jalil, he addressed-
really, in this morning, I swear; I am not greedy so much. I admit you but
extra rupees thirty is required for garments of Malti who has nursed this he
goat by heart and soul.’ Janak valued Rs. thirty only for the mothering of
Malti. Her precious affection was sold by some coins. He had thought that
she would be cheered up in a new dress.
can not deny for this. Malti is very like to my daughter,’-saying he put out
Rs. three hundred and thirty of his purse and handing over to Janak he owned
the he goat. At the moment,
Malti came there running but panting. What ever she looked there was more
painful than her death. One side
she viewed currency notes in her father’s hand and other side going Jalil
scribing her beloved Kalu. It was out crying and resisting its best not to
move ahead. For the intolerable sights, she was shocked deeply. Actually, at
that time, she was also very like an animal not to protest.
Handing over the currency notes to his wife Janak prided-
sold Kalu for its price as well as the cost of Malti’s garments also’.
not be sold cheaper’-doubted Sajani.
at all, Jalil has paid such amount under excitement. I was not to miss the
chance,-he trusted his wife. Looking at the gloomy face of her daughter, she
did not comment any more. She moved into the house to lock up the amount.
Property must be secured.
realized helpless. Except sobbing at the door, there was no alternate for
her. Selling of Kalu was traditional for other family members but for Malti,
it was emotional.
to the herd and found Kalu missing. Its spot was vacant. She burst into
tears. Since the moment, she remained faint. She never jumped in the
streets. She did not move to help the poor old ladies and awaiting brides.
She had encircled herself in the house. Kalu was always remembered to her.
Perhaps, its mother had forgotten it as it had grazed as usual.
day, Janak was smoking at his door sitting in a cot. It was 04 o’ P.M.
nearly. The sun was not so cruel. So many sparrows were jumping and
twittering in the street. Some were rolling over the dust which was a
natural symptom of rain falling but the weather was fine and fair. Janak
lauded-‘O Malti, get me a glass of water soon’. On calling he was coughing
also. He had pressed his chest by both the hands. Hardly, he controlled the
coughing. Actually, curtailment of budget for family maintenance effected
badly to his health. He was weaker. Malti had come fast there with a glass
of water. Seeing perplexed his father, she started to rub his chest gently.
Meanwhile, Jalil was looked returning to his house by the street. He had the
same dress recognizing his profession. He was stepping up chewing betel.
Before him, almost five he goats were moving tied along with a string. As he
came near by Janak, he saluted him-‘Good evening master, are you well?
I’m well. To day, you have traded well,’-replied Janak.
fully depends up on chance. Some time, I get a little scarcely, on other
hand, a lot of business easily.
Master, on purchasing your he goat, I was under deception. I could not get
the flesh ad it was considered. I could not guess the actual weight,’-Jalil
traditions run after luck. For the hope of betterment, the peasants throw
the grains to the unsecured fields. Some times, they turned back by heaps of
grains and some times they are devoured. Business and cultivation are not
like a service confirmig to be paid either it may storms or hailstones’-Janak
correct. I am to run through loss or gain daily. In the process, I earn my
loaf’-Jamil regretted. He moved quickly as the herd had gone strayed. The
version of Jalil ‘For purchasing your goat I was under deception’ was meant
well to Malti. Whole the sketch was appeared before her eyes. She realized a
volcano in her body. Later on, blood circulation of her veins was dull and
lowering palpitation. Her all the body organs got down poor and helpless
darkness had fallen down. All the creations were under rest and asleep at
night. All the members of Malti’s family had a dinner. She had gone in the
bed empty stomach.
at dawn. The cock crowed. The crows were flying over cawing. The little
birds were twittering in the bushes. All had awakened except Malti. She had
lost her morning. All the family members were engaged to their routine
works. Till, Malti was in the bed. Looking at her, Sajani shouted up but
there was no response from that end. She rushed to the bed and tried to
awake rebuking her. Malti was no more. Sajani cried bitterly running out of
the house. Listening to her all the villagers got to gather. Janak also ran
with his sons as fast as he could. All were at a loss. With the help of his
sons he carried out the dead body to the court yard. It was fenced by all
the sobbing villagers. Opened eyes dead body was laying in the court yard.
It seemed, the eyes were telling,-
carry me to the house of Jalil. Perhaps, there may be fulfillment’.