Monday, November 9, 2009

Cruel Who???

Chitrangada bapte, a very innocent and poor girl lived in the district of Ahemadnagar, Maharastra. Year was 1930. Chitrangada used to earn her bread by selling hand made “diyas” outside the temple of “Sai Bhagwan”. She, from the very beginning, of her childhood has started earning. She started up her venture under a tree shelter where, diyas kept on the cotton cloth, were sold to the darshanbhilashi’s. By now, at the age of 18, she has achieved a great advancement in her business. Now she has got a small shop also.

Chitrangada was a well known face in mandir circumference. Her habit was to visit temple daily. Her nature was such that in her free time she loved to help panditji in cleaning the temple’s aagan. Many a times she has helped Maharaaj in preparing prasad for langar. She was beloved. Her dedication in serving the Almighty was known to everyone.

She was not only good in paying service to Lord but was able enough to manage her business. She always knew the strategy to attract customers with her honey dipped voice. Her cute and innocent smile has always been proved powerful in retrieving consumers. I would not disagree, if she has got a list of loyal regulars to her shop.
Nanasaheb Bhosle, was one such loyal purchaser. He was working at the post of teacher in “Navya peeth vidyalaya” and was also one of the members of the district’s panchayat. He was a great devotee. Daily, both in the morning and evening time, he used to come to temple to attend “Aarti”. He has always bought diyas from chitrangada. Since, he was visiting temple from past 10 years so he was quite aware of the Chitrangada’s sincerity and innocence.

One summer day, Nanasaheb pitched Chitrangada for his son. He kept a proposal of marrying his son Vallabh. Vallabh, after completion of his studies from Varanasi joined a company in Ahemadnagar as an accountant. He was one of the most eligible bachelor’s in the society. Many people eyed him but irony was this that Nanasaheb has already made his choice.

During winters, both Vallabh and Chitrangada got married. And they lived happily thereafter atleast till that day.
That day, Chitrangada was preparing food. She was alone in the house. Everyone was away for work. Don’t know how? Through stove, curtains of the windows caught fire and whole kitchen came under the influence of dark black clouds. Due to suffocation and panic situation Chitrangada fainted down on the floor. People from neighbor rushed to her house with water filled buckets and after struggling for half an hour somehow managed to calm down the fiery fire.

And...................... they started crying badly. By then, both her husband and father-in-law arrived to the spot.

“Today is Thursday; Chitrangada was a great devotee of Sai Bhagwan. It will be good for her soul if cremation ceremony can be done right now. Let’s carry her body and fire it up” said panditji.
Within no time, stage of sandalwood logs was arranged and her body was fired. All of a sudden, as they lighted her body, heavy rains started. And so everybody was forced to leave the ground.

What Next?

Before proceeding, I would like to remind all the readers again that please keep in mind that the story is of 1930. 

Therefore, try to understand the psychology and beliefs of the people.

Also, I would like to quote a line again to give you a hint: Due to suffocation and panic situation Chitrangada fainted down on the floor.

Yes, exactly this happened last day. And see, the love of Divine was such that tears from heaven traveled down to earth to correct mistake of her beloveds. All the fire cooled down.

Next day, early morning, Chitrangada came back to her senses

Further, Chitrangada, unaware of all the happenings took her way back to home.

It was early morning, around 4 am when she returned back. She was amazed to see crowd in her house at this odd hour. She screamed “What has happened?” “Why you all are crying?”

“Bhaggoooo!! .......Jai Hanuman gyan gun saagar...........”. Within no time house got emptied except a few people Vallabh, Nanasaheb and panditji.

“We know you died young. But all of us take birth in the laps of mother earth with a preplanned and fixed life span. We won’t be happy to see your spirit wandering for peace. We will undertake all the cremation ceremonies once again. We express our grief on the sudden rain and thus a hindrance in your funeral process. So, please go back and just give us time to do the needful” panditji chattered.

“What rubbish! I am sorry for my tone. But I am fed up seeing people looking at me in a strange manner. You all have misunderstood me. I am still alive. I just fainted away. Believe me. Vallabh, your sweets is alive. Please don’t cry. Nothing bad has happened, God just saved me for you.” uttered Chitrangada

“How is it possible? People faint away for few minutes or for few hours but not for whole night. See Chitrangada we all have already expressed our grief on not completing your funeral. Please do not play with us else we will be bound to take serious actions.” again pandit’s words roared in the building.

“Yes, even I agree. You are a soul and not the body. Please go away. I loved you. But for sure I loved alive Chitrangada and not the dead one. I request. Go!” Vallabh gathered his senses and busted out this way.

“Please give me some time. I can prove you that I am still alive. Please pay me opportunity.” Chitrangada pleaded

“We have seen all form of spirits but have never imagined that such a good soul will become so evil after death. Spirits have all the powers. You will use your magic to make us fool.” Pandit howled

Realizing that the situation has got worsen Chitrangada decided to leave.

In the evening, she got her opportunity. The one she was waiting for. Vallabh was alone.

“Vallabh, my sweetheart, please.......please.......please don’t run away. I beg you. Please listen to me. Don’t you get a feel that it’s me? Your Chitrangada. Don’t your eyes see the truth? Don’t you believe my words? Can you even think of that I will play a game with you? You promised me that you will never leave me. You promised me that you will always be there for me. You won’t harm me. Don’t you remember your promises? If you will support me I will be able to prove myself. I need your support. Please stand with me in front of panditji and father-in-law. I will definitely win the case if you are with me. It’s high time for us to prove our love. I am not asking you to go against society but if we make a joint effort to make our elders understand that this time they are a bit mistaken we won’t be doing any sin. Please live up to your promises. Your silence is killing me.” Chitrangada was literally covered with tears.

AAh! Nothing happened. Vallabh remained Silent and Stoned!!! And left.

I personally believe readers can easily feel the “tadap” of Chitrangada by reading her sentences only. I seriously wonder how Vallabh’s feelings didn’t turn up by listening to it.

That whole night Chitrangada wept. She turned almost into half-dead. What an irony!! Half-dead having being full alive!!

Meanwhile, at home Nanasaheb is visited by his friend and colleague Daman Rao.

“Nana, my friend, I know you are lying in the ocean of sadness. You are confused about the situation. I am here to pull you out of this grief. Do not worry your friend has come.” Daman confidently said.

Daman further added “Friend, our society has certain customs. They are not built overnight. Our pandit’s have given their life in gaining knowledge. Please try to understand that you yourself have lighted up her body. How can you even think of her being alive? This is just not possible. We have seen ups and down in our life. We know Life in Total. Kindly don’t allow that spirit to be with your son and spoil his life. Better you convince your son and ask him to marry again. My daughter Raina is very descent. You won’t get any complaint from her.”

Wow!! A friend in need is a friend in deed. Amazing! Readers please let me know the term that can be used for a friend who enchases his self-interest by using his friend’s misery.

Well tried Damanrao! A good try of doing brainwash, of a person who is already in dilemma.

Don’t worry readers we will see its after-effects soon.

Next day, Chitrangada caught Nanasaheb on way to temple. She knew his timings. She followed him.

From back she summoned “Father!”

“You came again” Nanasaheb stammered out of his sadness.

“See Chitrangada, we all feel sad for whatever has happened. We never expected the turn of events in such a way. We sincerely liked you. We all were so happy to have you in our family. But at the cost of my son I won’t be able to accept you. I am sorry. We all have wishes in our lives but every wish does not come true. Please leave us.”  he added.

“Father, you called me daughter. I never heard, you saying me daughter-in-law. I cannot even dream of bothering you. I know you are sad and cannot hold myself responsible to make you sadder. But situation is this that I am bound to speak. I have to raise my voice against the happenings. Please keep faith in Lord. I am not asking you to challenge the knowledge of panditji. Even I follow him. I am simply asking you to realize the truth. For sure Truth is never against anyone. Truth itself is so big that we all stand very small in front of it. Truth is God. I am surprised to see that an educated person like you believes in all this baseless stuff. You believe the words of panditji. You believe in the words of a man, in a man’s interpretation. But you don’t believe in God. You don’t believe in ultimate reality. Don’t you hear the sound of your spirit telling you constantly that you are doing wrong? I know, you are denying its voice and considering it as a noise. It means you are denying the words of God. As our only soul is the house of Lord. I touch your feet father please don’t ruin my life. Please listen and care for the truth. Do not act like a surgeon who becomes partial at the surgery of his own son. Please don’t keep your senses away.” Chitrangada fell down on Nanasaheb’s foot.

“I am sorry. I have seen the life. I just can’t take your suggestion” Nanasaheb walked away.

Uff!!! What a disaster? Dear readers please do let me know the skills to “Educate the Educated”.

I believe Chitrangada tried her best to convince a father, wearing the blind love for his son. Not his fault, people call it as “parenthood”. But I differ a bit. “Parenthood” in my view is the practice followed by “Mother Earth”. She is our true parent. She is so very impartial. She never seeks difference between rich and poor, good and bad, girl and boy. She provides each one of us with same rain, same sun, same moon, same trees, and same vegetation. She never distinguishes. She never changes. It’s we who divide things. It’s human only who changes his law as per his demands. It’s we who practice differentiation according to our benefit. I perfectly don’t believe that if a person, who is also a parent and claims parenthood can hurt the other parent. Obviously, Nanasaheb made a hurt to Chitrangada’s parents by asking her to leave their house. Is parenthood about understanding pain and hurt of your own child only?

Dejected and defeated Chitrangada finally goes to her Lord for help.

“Sai Baba, see what all is happening with me, with your daughter. I tried my best to convince people. I gave my best of facts to help them understand the real situation. I pleaded them, begged them. Whatever was possible I did all. I am a human I have certain limitation but you don’t have any. Today also I will sing the same song which I used to sing in your praise during my childhood: ‘’Sai mere Sai tere haath main hai jaadu ka paani’ O my Lord I request you to do mercy on me. I am left with nothing. I am helpless. I asked for help to every living thing. I called for angels, sun, moon, trees, cows, tulsi plant, birds, water, air, fire, sky. I summoned every possible thing which contributes to the essence of Life, every thing which seems to be living. But none turned up. Lastly, I came to you. I tried to stand my case in the high court of society but failed. Now I have come up to you, in the Supreme court, in search of ‘Nyaya’. You have to do justice with me. If even for a single time you liked my serving, I account you for that. Please give me back my Vallabh. You are my last hope. My survival is now in your hand. Baba, give them insight. Encounter them with reality. Show them my Love. Do whatever you wish to do, just make things fine. I am killed my Lord. Help me!” poor Chitrangada crashed at foots of the Lord’s stautue.”

Chitrangada was not allowed to step inside Ahmednagar as everyone considered her spirit.

Therefore, she started living on her own in the outskirts of village. She was simply passing her time in hope of return of Vallabh and Justice from God.

Days passed. Nothing happened. Situation was as it is. Besides, Vallabh and Raina started seeing each other.

And here pain of Chitrangada crossed the boundaries. Finally she decided.

She dropped a note to villagers. She asked all of them to come to cremation ground. In her letter, she mentioned and warned everyone that presence of each one of them is compulsory else the spirit will befall as a curse on the absentees.

That day, the decision making day, each and every villager came down to cremation ground. None was left. They all witnessed a stage of logs and Chitrangada sitting over it. Then, Chitrangada took the fire and lighted her body. Everyone got their answer.

She communicated so much. But no one understood it. It was her silence that made them understood everything.
After writing down emotions of Chitrangada I am left speechless and highly confused.

I ask for your help to make me come out of my confusion. Please help me to point out the cruelest person.

My options do not include panditji and Damanrao. Why? They were the root cause of Chitrangada’s death. Absolutely No. Society always tries to influence your thinking in one or the other way. Life always throws it tricks to confuse you. People always, intentionally or unintentionally try to empower their culture on you. These are few hard core facts of our existence. It happens with each one of us differently. Nothing new about it. It is us who have to prove our worth as a human in such confusing and emotional time.

Problem is we don’t use our senses completely. We hear them partially and rest partial knowledge we capture from society and friend’s. Then we look for the resultant which we get after adding up both the partials and we count it as good full answer. Nice multiplication, addition, subtraction of Life.

I do not mean that one should not take help from society and friend’s at the time of dilemma. After all, many minds are always better than one mind during problem solving strategy. Even I do it many a times. But here case is different. Emotions and relations are something which we have to finalize and decide on our own. This is because it is we only who directly understand the importance of the person in our life. The pain and happiness related to the relation is felt by us only and not by the third person. Like, if I say I love my wife. Will you be able to actually measure down her importance in my life and the depth of my Love for her? You won’t. Yes, you can easily understand my loving intention for her. But not the actual feel. Therefore, I suggest when it comes to your true and important relationships kindly ignore the society’s standards and the belief’s of your friend’s and family members. They can only see the cover of the candy but doesn’t know the taste of the candy. Hope it makes some sense.

Oh, I just realized that I drifted away from the topic of our concern. Who is crueler? So your options are:-
a)       Vallabh: who broke all the promises and dint turn up to help and support his wife?
b)      Nanasaheb: who was influenced and was carried away by the suggestions of panditji and damanrao
c)       God: in whose hands everything was there but dint wish to help the poor child. Who forgot all her goodness and her devotion?
d)      All of the above

Well, apart from that I give you one more option: Chitrangada: who was not at all practical. One of the idiots who believed in all the bookish knowledge. An innocent female who wasted her life for such stone hearted people who dint understood her pain.
Umm, in my view, definitely I won’t blame Chitrangada. In my language I call it as Love. She had many other options also to exploit. She could have gone to other village and could have married another guy. But she didn’t. Her love was irreplaceable. In true sense this is Love which has lost its meaning in today’s era completely.

Source: Inspired from one of the stories of Rabindranath Tagore. I watched this story on television in my childhood. Only a few traces were left in my mind. I tried to build them up. In originol it is a story of a widow who do not convince society by her words but by her act. Complete story is re-written with major changes. 
* I am sorry I forgot the exact term used in Medical Science, where a patient under trauma looses his senses for a longer period of time.Kindly let me know, if you come across it. Thanks!

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