The Death Of ‘Bangaaru Talli’ (my gold- like precious daughter)
Dedicated to my dear Nanna ( the dad who was only mine)
It took me eighteen long years to finally pen this choking feeling within, with which I’ve been living.
I’ll perhaps never be ready to do this but on the contrary I’ve been trying to bring it out and face it.
This goes way back to the first morning with my in-laws, sister-in-law and husband, just the day after the big day of my marriage.
Well as they say it’s a norm for the newly wed bride to wake up early..have a bath and get all decked up…with no reason or science behind it..which is still beyond my understanding…here I was all obedient, naive and of course a nervous wreck, standing at the kitchen door with my mother-in-law, after an early morning bath and all ready the way ‘a new bride.. daughter-in-law and wife’ is suppose to be.
It was such a strange feeling with all that vermilion, mangalsutra etc. and trying to sink in, all this ‘avataar’ of now actually being married.
Along with all this I could even sense that it wasn’t easy for my supposedly new family to come in terms with having a new person amongst them…but it was not that difficult a situation perhaps, as they were comfortably interacting.
But definitely it wasn’t that way with me…it was like a roller coaster kind of a feeling inside me.
Mother-in-law in the kitchen preparing tea…and me observing…she strained the tea in specifically a ‘Yera’ transparent glass.. remember Yera guys… I think the only glassware company or at least the most famous company of our times much before LaOpala and Borosil took over… well tea served in a Yera glass with extra sugar only for my father-in-law…then the tea was strained in a ‘big’ cup with the least of sugar.. well that was for Naya Navela Pati Dev.
She poured some in one of the smallest of the cups for herself and then I was handed over a normal cup with this ‘parivarik chai’.
And all got busy with their cups of ‘chai’.
I was still at the kitchen door watching all gradually getting involved with their stuff.
My husband placed himself on a comfortable chair with his chai and newspaper. I looked at him… anticipated..but maybe he was firm on not having any eye contact…as if I was some stranger or maybe hesitating to ask me to have that parivarik chai with him in front of his parents….the typical Indian thing for which none of us can blame anyone.
My mother-in-law kept moving here and there busy with not so busy stuff and her chai.
Well, I’ve still not mentioned, that there lay my dear sister-in-law…the daughter of the house…the youngest and darling of course ..on this folding cot …yes, it’s the same cot which every middle class Indian household has.
She was fast asleep there on this cot in the courtyard. I saw my father-in-law slowly going up to this cot where his sleeping beauty was unaware of what’s happening in the world.
He very lovingly made some place for himself on this cot and started to do something which I could immediately relate too. He tickled on his daughter’s feet…patted her with love and only love…he very carefully removed the stands of hair covering her beautiful face… while doing all this he with extreme affection in his voice and body language called her with many names.
Just for information, as we’re Telugu speaking people, the names being called out were naturally in our mother tongue. These names were special….because… they were exclusively called out by him for just waking his, and only his daughter every morning. Only he had that right and gave the same to her.
This very sight instantly aroused a feeling of some deep loss within me… I was restless within and an excruciating ‘pain’ tightened my chest and throat…this suffocating and melancholy feeling was, and is still unexplained. It made me time travel to the ‘now already’ past where in more or less the same way my and only mine..my nanna called me with such beautiful and exclusive names…Talli (O my mother)…Tallivadu ( my mother.. you’re the most precious part of my heart)…… Le..Amma( O my mother..wake up now)… Bangaaru(my gold)…Bangaaru Konda( you’re like the mountain of gold in my life)… Bangaaru Talli ( my gold like precious daughter)…and the very moment I realized and witnessed the death of ‘ Bangaaru Talli’…as I knew that from that day on wards to the rest of my life no one will ever wake me in this manner.
The heavy price a daughter had to pay to attain the status of being happily married. Bangaaru Talli breathed its last inside me and there its buried within till I breathe my last.
S Usha Cherukupalli
Usha is an enthusiastic observant, who records her experiences in the form of beautiful tales. She builds a connection with her readers through her story telling attribute.
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