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Rani

About Haridas Patil

He is a teacher of English at V.N.Godhani School , Surat. He served at Teacher training college for two and half year.He writes on educational approaches, teaching methods , and techniques. He regularly writes story and articles on Blogger.He likes activity based and practical teaching.He loves reading and group discussion. By qualification he is an M.A.Bed In English

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Prologue

On the threshold, Rani was sitting with her head on her legs. Dejected, resented, and gloomy she was. She thought that the whole world was against her. Her difficulty was not new to her family. They knew that every month she had her menstrual period. But this time it came during the auspicious festival of Navratri. It was very sacred festival for the whole community.
“Rani, take this glass of water and tea. I am keeping them here.” Somebody spoke. She heard, but said nothing and kept looking at the door where her mother in law was standing and speaking to her. Her sister in law was also there and abusing her condition. She told Rani that she would not be allowed to touch most of the things during her menstrual period. They considered that it was a bad omen for the family to get periods, especially during the Navratri. It was a curse! Hence they kept her away from the kitchen, temple, water pot, and the bed. They blamed her luck and tortured her mentally.

Part 1

At a time, she was totally blank, innocent and ignorant about it. She was not as educated as her husband, but he followed only the feelings of his family and not rationality of her condition. Instead of taking her side, he was with the family. He kept silent and pretended to know nothing. It was reported to him that it was a bad sign for the society. So he kept himself far away from it.

On the other hand, Rani was grumbling to herself about her ill fortune. She started blaming her parents and God. She debated within herself why God created the woman for suffering, horrible treatment and secondary status in the society. But she didn’t know all these were baseless.

At a time her husband rushed towards her and spoke rudely, “Hey, take this tiffin and go to the farmhouse, work there. Please don’t come unless you are called.” She nodded her head and kept her mouth shut. Earlier she thought that her life partner with great qualifications would be a good man. She soon realized that his qualifications were just some degrees on a piece of paper. In reality it had nothing to do with life. He was a puppet before the family and had no personal view on anything.

Suddenly her mother-in-law again shouted at her for being lost in a useless reverie. Every month Rani suffered same thing as if she was a pet animal, criminal enough to slow down for a few days. She was surprised that nobody could stand by her. She took the tiffin and started walking toward the farm. Every step she took with heavy heart and kept the question burning inside her heart. Where on earth did she make a mistake?

On the way she was looked at disgustingly by the people who lived around. They kept looking at her with a feeling of hatred. Everyone must have heard the family shouting at her and knew the reason too. She felt naked! Rani walked slowly, looking down. She didn’t have the courage to look at them. The social pressure was as if the entire world deserted her.

As she came near to the village temple. she stopped there and kept thinking for some time. Perhaps she wished to go there and place her questions before the God. However, she knew that she was not supposed to enter the holy place. So she sat on the footsteps of the temple. She held her head into her legs and began weeping. No one was there to console her or even understand what she was going through. Even the priest stood there by observing her, but was restricted by the social rules. He was perhaps wondering if he’d need to stop her from entering the temple, lest she spoiled the sacredness of the place. He was there to observe the rituals and safeguard the customs, instead of helping the needy.

Part 2

By God’s grace, one of the school teachers, Leela, noticed her. She came forward asking her why she was weeping. But Rani didn’t have any word to express her grief. Again Leela teacher inquired politely. At that time the priest, who was standing there, told everything he could in crisp words and resolute voice.
As that teacher heard, she was shocked and resented this social restriction. Though she was educated, she knew better than to dare raise questions at the wrong time and wrong place. But she couldn’t hold back either.

“Now the Navratri started yesterday, so it is really bad omen during this auspicious week”, exclaimed by the priest.

“So?” Leela blurted out. “It is God’s blessing. Why are you looking her with disgust? At least understand her feeling.”
He bounced back arrogantly, “Oh, this is a holy month and I keep the fast for the Goddess Ambe, please ask her to leave.”

The lady teacher was really upset. She thought for a while and took Rani with her to the school. There she discussed the issue with other teachers. They too were shocked over the social stigma women still suffered in an educated society. By that time, the news reached the family like a flash of lightning. They turned up there. The husband yelled at his wife and raged with the teachers. Slowly the whole village gathered there. They started grumbling about Rani’s shamelessness. Most of them started abusing the teacher Leela for her interference. She with her colleagues remained firm in their stand and didn’t leave Rani alone.

People started discussing among themselves. They wanted to take the issue to the panchayat. Despite of the tension, the teachers took an initiative to visit each and every woman of the village. They reached out with the plea that no woman would play the garba until and unless Rani got proper respect. They passed the message to each and every woman, trying to convince them of the evil which had ruled upon them for years. This year, the Ravana must be burnt.

Hour by hour all women came out of the houses and gathered at the temple. They declared that they would not take part in playing garba. They willingly kept the fast for Goddess Ambe, in order to get justice for Rani. The whole village came under threat due to the women’s action. Near the temple, the entire village thronged and it looked like a fair. The people stood in a group and murmured. No one was in a mood to listen to the women’s decision. Though it was Navratri, yet all garba grounds were empty. No music played, no one danced.

The elders of the village were in tension. They sent for the saint who lived on the foot of the hill. Within a span of time, that saint came into sight and called all the villagers along with the women. He requested all of them to keep silent. “The Goddess Ambe is a symbol of unity and love. The woman is a shadow of the Goddess. So why are you behaving differently with her. She is a symbol of love and sacrifice. We have to respect her, as much as we respect the Goddess Ambe.”

All were in full attention. The saint started sinking in. Somewhere they realized their blunder.

“Please understand this girl’s feeling.” He said again. “Without her the Navratri is incomplete. If you insult her, goddess Ambe would be insulted too. When the women have come together to show their unity, don’t you see Ambe in them?”

The family slowly came forward and apologised to the saint as well as Rani. All women were pleased and settled the matter. With full devotion Rani was taken to home. They swore that they would not repeat what they had done to her. The saint went back, preaching the glory of Goddess Ambe.

On the threshold, Rani was sitting with her head on her legs. Dejected, resented, and gloomy she was. She thought that the whole world was against her. Her difficulty was not new to her family. They knew that every month she had her menstrual period. But this time it came during the auspicious festival of Navratri. It was very sacred festival for the whole community.
“Rani, take this glass of water and tea. I am keeping them here.” Somebody spoke. She heard, but said nothing and kept looking at the door where her mother in law was standing and speaking to her. Her sister in law was also there and abusing her condition. She told Rani that she would not be allowed to touch most of the things during her menstrual period. They considered that it was a bad omen for the family to get periods, especially during the Navratri. It was a curse! Hence they kept her away from the kitchen, temple, water pot, and the bed. They blamed her luck and tortured her mentally.

At a time, she was totally blank, innocent and ignorant about it. She was not as educated as her husband, but he followed only the feelings of his family and not rationality of her condition. Instead of taking her side, he was with the family. He kept silent and pretended to know nothing. It was reported to him that it was a bad sign for the society. So he kept himself far away from it.

On the other hand, Rani was grumbling to herself about her ill fortune. She started blaming her parents and God. She debated within herself why God created the woman for suffering, horrible treatment and secondary status in the society. But she didn’t know all these were baseless.

At a time her husband rushed towards her and spoke rudely, “Hey, take this tiffin and go to the farmhouse, work there. Please don’t come unless you are called.” She nodded her head and kept her mouth shut. Earlier she thought that her life partner with great qualifications would be a good man. She soon realized that his qualifications were just some degrees on a piece of paper. In reality it had nothing to do with life. He was a puppet before the family and had no personal view on anything.

Suddenly her mother-in-law again shouted at her for being lost in a useless reverie. Every month Rani suffered same thing as if she was a pet animal, criminal enough to slow down for a few days. She was surprised that nobody could stand by her. She took the tiffin and started walking toward the farm. Every step she took with heavy heart and kept the question burning inside her heart. Where on earth did she make a mistake?

On the way she was looked at disgustingly by the people who lived around. They kept looking at her with a feeling of hatred. Everyone must have heard the family shouting at her and knew the reason too. She felt naked! Rani walked slowly, looking down. She didn’t have the courage to look at them. The social pressure was as if the entire world deserted her.

As she came near to the village temple. she stopped there and kept thinking for some time. Perhaps she wished to go there and place her questions before the God. However, she knew that she was not supposed to enter the holy place. So she sat on the footsteps of the temple. She held her head into her legs and began weeping. No one was there to console her or even understand what she was going through. Even the priest stood there by observing her, but was restricted by the social rules. He was perhaps wondering if he’d need to stop her from entering the temple, lest she spoiled the sacredness of the place. He was there to observe the rituals and safeguard the customs, instead of helping the needy.

To Be Continued in Part 2…

At a time, she was totally blank, innocent and ignorant about it. She was not as educated as her husband, but he followed only the feelings of his family and not rationality of her condition. Instead of taking her side, he was with the family. He kept silent and pretended to know nothing. It was reported to him that it was a bad sign for the society. So he kept himself far away from it.

On the other hand, Rani was grumbling to herself about her ill fortune. She started blaming her parents and God. She debated within herself why God created the woman for suffering, horrible treatment and secondary status in the society. But she didn’t know all these were baseless.

At a time her husband rushed towards her and spoke rudely, “Hey, take this tiffin and go to the farmhouse, work there. Please don’t come unless you are called.” She nodded her head and kept her mouth shut. Earlier she thought that her life partner with great qualifications would be a good man. She soon realized that his qualifications were just some degrees on a piece of paper. In reality it had nothing to do with life. He was a puppet before the family and had no personal view on anything.

Suddenly her mother-in-law again shouted at her for being lost in a useless reverie. Every month Rani suffered same thing as if she was a pet animal, criminal enough to slow down for a few days. She was surprised that nobody could stand by her. She took the tiffin and started walking toward the farm. Every step she took with heavy heart and kept the question burning inside her heart. Where on earth did she make a mistake?

On the way she was looked at disgustingly by the people who lived around. They kept looking at her with a feeling of hatred. Everyone must have heard the family shouting at her and knew the reason too. She felt naked! Rani walked slowly, looking down. She didn’t have the courage to look at them. The social pressure was as if the entire world deserted her.

As she came near to the village temple. she stopped there and kept thinking for some time. Perhaps she wished to go there and place her questions before the God. However, she knew that she was not supposed to enter the holy place. So she sat on the footsteps of the temple. She held her head into her legs and began weeping. No one was there to console her or even understand what she was going through. Even the priest stood there by observing her, but was restricted by the social rules. He was perhaps wondering if he’d need to stop her from entering the temple, lest she spoiled the sacredness of the place. He was there to observe the rituals and safeguard the customs, instead of helping the needy.

Part 2

By God’s grace, one of the school teachers, Leela, noticed her. She came forward asking her why she was weeping. But Rani didn’t have any word to express her grief. Again Leela teacher inquired politely. At that time the priest, who was standing there, told everything he could in crisp words and resolute voice.
As that teacher heard, she was shocked and resented this social restriction. Though she was educated, she knew better than to dare raise questions at the wrong time and wrong place. But she couldn’t hold back either.

“Now the Navratri started yesterday, so it is really bad omen during this auspicious week”, exclaimed by the priest.

“So?” Leela blurted out. “It is God’s blessing. Why are you looking her with disgust? At least understand her feeling.”
He bounced back arrogantly, “Oh, this is a holy month and I keep the fast for the Goddess Ambe, please ask her to leave.”

The lady teacher was really upset. She thought for a while and took Rani with her to the school. There she discussed the issue with other teachers. They too were shocked over the social stigma women still suffered in an educated society. By that time, the news reached the family like a flash of lightning. They turned up there. The husband yelled at his wife and raged with the teachers. Slowly the whole village gathered there. They started grumbling about Rani’s shamelessness. Most of them started abusing the teacher Leela for her interference. She with her colleagues remained firm in their stand and didn’t leave Rani alone.

People started discussing among themselves. They wanted to take the issue to the panchayat. Despite of the tension, the teachers took an initiative to visit each and every woman of the village. They reached out with the plea that no woman would play the garba until and unless Rani got proper respect. They passed the message to each and every woman, trying to convince them of the evil which had ruled upon them for years. This year, the Ravana must be burnt.

Hour by hour all women came out of the houses and gathered at the temple. They declared that they would not take part in playing garba. They willingly kept the fast for Goddess Ambe, in order to get justice for Rani. The whole village came under threat due to the women’s action. Near the temple, the entire village thronged and it looked like a fair. The people stood in a group and murmured. No one was in a mood to listen to the women’s decision. Though it was Navratri, yet all garba grounds were empty. No music played, no one danced.

The elders of the village were in tension. They sent for the saint who lived on the foot of the hill. Within a span of time, that saint came into sight and called all the villagers along with the women. He requested all of them to keep silent. “The Goddess Ambe is a symbol of unity and love. The woman is a shadow of the Goddess. So why are you behaving differently with her. She is a symbol of love and sacrifice. We have to respect her, as much as we respect the Goddess Ambe.”

All were in full attention. The saint started sinking in. Somewhere they realized their blunder.

“Please understand this girl’s feeling.” He said again. “Without her the Navratri is incomplete. If you insult her, goddess Ambe would be insulted too. When the women have come together to show their unity, don’t you see Ambe in them?”

The family slowly came forward and apologised to the saint as well as Rani. All women were pleased and settled the matter. With full devotion Rani was taken to home. They swore that they would not repeat what they had done to her. The saint went back, preaching the glory of Goddess Ambe.

The End

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6 Response Comments

  • Ankita_Noni21/11/2018 at 7:55 PM

    This is a story of most of the girls. Every month girls suffer not due to periods but due to social stigma around periods. Girls are the symbol of motherhood and that very motherhood is possible due to periods. So “periods” which is equal to “motherhood” is something pure and auspicious not an omen to be looked down upon. And it is to every men and women please don’t think period to be your weakness, it’s our strength and symbol of maternity which is pure. So touching God and other holy things won’t make that impure. We are part of God. So let’s celebrate the motherhood together unitedly.
    Thank you

    • Haridas Patil23/11/2018 at 4:51 PM

      Yes you are absolutely right.

  • RINKY22/11/2018 at 12:58 AM

    In this modern time its sad to see the existence of certain families who considers this issue as a “curse”. To start with, somebody else has to settle this issue in a family is itself a matter of shame. How a woman herself can tag it as a curse is to be questioned when she herself has undergone by this in her early days . This is the most discussed topic of today. To bleed is a matter of pride not curse. Still waiting to have an open minded society.

  • Haridas Patil23/11/2018 at 4:55 PM

    Ma’am still the people including educated disgust the women and they say that the women are not allowed to touch even the water pot. I am really disturbed by this attitude.

    • Saisharanyadash06/12/2018 at 9:07 PM

      Yes they do so
      ..
      .

  • Saisharanyadash06/12/2018 at 9:06 PM

    I loved the story and the message behind it.In today’s world of discrimination against women and girls I want to say u thank you for your very well written story and message that we should respect girls and women.

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