Tonima Mahmud Antora:
Today, after 17 days, Tithi’s mom has come to visit her house. She is always on the move to show disgust upon Tithi’s house as well as her lifestyle after her marriage. She never likes Tithi’s husband as she thinks that her daughter is far better and beautiful than the guy she married with. She forgets to make Tithi feel that she has done a great mistake by marrying this man. She usually comes to her house after a thousand times of request and after reaching home she used to sit on the sofa starts watching Star Jalsha. Whenever Tithi asks her to help, she just replied with great disgust and says that these works are not for her, and if she chooses a perfect rich man for herself then she would have a battalion of maids in her house. After being rebuked by these words, Tithi never asks her to help her. She used to do all her households when her child sleeps and also finish her class works at the same time. The time period is only two hours, in between these hours she has to finish cooking, washing her kid’s clothes, finish her bathing and if possible do the home works. The homework part is not mandatory, because not finishing home works can only make her disgraceful in front of the class but if she won’t finish her cooking she should starve because there is no one to help, either her mom or her husband. Once she asked her husband to have a maid to help her in the house, he replied in a harsh and mocking voice that she never understands the expenses of the family because she never earns in her own. Her husband and her mom never give any attention towards her as she is a useless girl for her mom with a newborn baby and a poor husband, on the other hand, she is a useless and sinful wife for her husband as she lives separately without her in-laws and she will be punished in the hell after death because she doesn’t take care of her husband’s parents as her husband thinks of. In the middle of everything, Tithi has to find a reason to live in. It is quite difficult but when she looks into her daughter’s face, it makes her feel that there is someone who wants her attention and love. It is just two hours past as her mom come, now the phone call from her uncle comes that she has to go to their house. Her Uncle is a rich man who has a very powerful job as he can earn more than his salary, you know what I mean. He got divorced long ago and has two sons and never got married again. Tithi’s mom finds a great opportunity to look after these two kids from long before when Tithi was in class 5. Because, his uncle’s house is too big and each and every room has adorned with lots of luxurious facilities such as – attached bathrooms, geysers, air conditioners, and the doorbell by which one can summon the maids to give food orders etc. Before marriage Tithi used to spend a lot of days in the vacation in her uncle’s house because of the family problem in her house as her father lived in the village, her brother lived separately near his office, and her mom frequently went to Tithi’s grandparent’s house. Then Tithi got very warn behavior from her cousins. But after marriage, things become changing day by day. Now- a- days, whenever she goes to her uncle’s house her cousins behave rudely and they show the similar kinds of disgust as her mother shows. Even her cousins used to call her husband by his name instead of calling him “Dulavai”. These two little kids; of course kids, Tithi has brought up them by her own hands as they were kids once; have a compact feeling that this guy ( Tithi’s husband) is not so rich as he never deserves any kinds of honor or respectful behavior. But Tithi’s uncle is not behaving in a different way, his behavior is constant. He always used to behave showing disgust towards Tithi and her family because they are middle class. But her parents never took these behaviors in a wrong way, what they saw in him that he is a lonely man having two little kids and they should be taken care of. But after a certain time, Tithi’s father finds it illogical and having an argument with her mom, her mom doesn’t want to stop looking after these kids. As a result, her father starts living alone in the village. Now, after getting the phone call her mom starts wearing a sari and tells her that she doesn’t know how to manage her house and kid, she has to go now. Tithi’s helpless eyes never make an effect on her mom. She just ignores all about Tithi’s life. Tithi remembers one day she has broken all the glasses and utensils of Tithi’s house as she hates her small house. She curses Tithi several times as she chooses a middle-class guy. She even leaves her own house and shifted into Tithi’s uncle’s house after Tithi’s marriage as this house is bigger and more facilitated than her own house. Whenever Tithi wants to go to her parent’s house her mother offered a greedy proposal to go to her uncle’s house as their house is much bigger and having the facilities of a five star hotel. Till now, Tithi goes to her uncle’s house three times and feels unwanted and finds it disgraceful for her husband. Her mom even ignores her son too. But she supports her as he has chosen a wealthy girl to marry with, though it is his second marriage. Her brother initially got married with a middle class girl. Her mom never does any kinds of good behavior with that girl. She finds weird kinds of excuses to show and end up giving a solution that this girl is not from a rich family that’s why her behavior is not good. At last, her mom and brother came up with a solution that this girl can never be a mother as she has a cystic operation. They rebuke her in each and every single possible way regarding this issue as one day that girl willingly leaves the house. Then they used to say that the girl was truly a barren one as she leaves the house without telling someone. After six months, she sent the divorce documents. Tithi’s wonder knows no bounds as she found her mother and brother talks about that it is better than the girl herself sent the divorce documents, otherwise they have to pay the alimony money. Still she loves her mom, because she knows that how much suffering her mom goes through and what’s the actual cause of these kinds of behaviors behind her past life. The patriarchal society has made a lady totally greedy, being stone-hearted, and supportive towards the men not women. When her mom was supporting her son doing such kinds of wrong with his wife, she never thinks of her past sufferings as she once experienced in her early age of married life. Or it may be the thinking that one woman wants the same to be done with another woman, the same torture and the same treatment. The new wife of Tithi’s brother, named Imli, is an arrogant, selfish and proud lady. Imli used to do everything on her own terms and condition and she never ever pays any heed towards her in-laws. Tithi’s brother named Rasel, tries hard and fast to impress her with whatever he can do. But the result is zero. Rahela, Tithi’s mother, never minds in any of her behavior because she belongs to a very rich family. Richness means everything to her. The characteristics and all other human qualities have no value for her when a person is a rich one. What can be the reason for her strange behavior? Is this the reflections of her past life? Or is it the cause of her upbringing? Or is it something psychological? Whatever the reason is, Tithi knows one thing that she loves her mom unconditionally, even more than her husband. And Tithi is also sure that her mom loves her more than herself.
(To be Continued…)
The writer is currently pursuing MA in English Literature from North South University.