(As told to Anney Sam)
Who is a gold digger?
Gold-digger is a woman who forms relationships with men purely to obtain money or gifts from them.
It is fabled that Azim Premji founder and CEO of Wipro, was dogged by several socialites with an eye to his several millions. He was a bachelor and seemed a likely target to the many gold diggers in his corporate circles. The story goes that one such gold digger was put in her place when Azim Premji, took out the bejeweled, hoity-toity lady to the samosa wala round the corner and ordered samosa chaat for all of 10 rupees in lieu of the seven star hotel she was looking forward to.
Well not everyone is as lucky to sniff out the predatory gold diggers. My brother was one of the unlucky ones. Though we had landed property and acres of rubber estates we were not particular that the girl be wealthy too. That Jomini came from very humble background would be a dignified way to put it. I’d say they were plain poor. When we went to “see the girl” there were 4 rather pretty girls in a shack like hut and all of them slept on one bed. When my brother looked hesitant the father quickly said he could pick whichever one he fancied. He was that desperate. He had 4 daughters and no money for dowries. We did not want a dowry.
To get hold of the property rights
So the marriage took place and from day one she behaved as if we had done wrong to her. She never participated in any family dinners and sulked a lot. She quickly produced 2 male children and began her quest to get a hold of the property rights. My father was bed-ridden by then and she began her incessant and silent quest to beat down my mother.
It started with daily dramas of how my brother did not have a job and she felt less among her peers. It was amazing to see how she had quite forgotten her own roots. She insisted on keeping the accounts and monitoring income and expenses of the estate, which was being handled by my mother and brother. She began a campaign of maligning my mother’s reputation as being a tormentor and a cruel mother in law. People who knew my mother figured that could not be true. Her children also could see quite clearly that their mother was lying, but were afraid to confront her.
Her little devil tricks
On another occasion she accused my mother and brother of physically abusing her and dragged them into the local police station. My brother who was already a diffident person now grew terrified of her. The shame of this event broke my mother’s heart who turned to religion and began praying to the Virgin Mary for solace. Almost as if by clockwork Jomini would stage dramas in the house with different themes – I was a target of some, when she would accuse my mother of siphoning off money to me, and other slanderous accusations.
Her aim was to get my mother out of the house, my father having passed away, my mother was the only person standing in the way of her acquiring the land and properties. My mother was equally adamant and turned a deaf ear to my pleas of relocating to Bangalore to live with me.
There were other little devil tricks she would employ to keep chipping away at the family. Once she shattered a set of expensive china and threw them into the estate area. On another occasion she charred my mother’s spectacles in the chulha or fireplace, where the rubber sheets were smoked. What took the cake was when I gifted my mother with a dozen plants in little pots for Christmas and the very next day she destroyed them by pouring boiling water on them. Poor plants.
My brother religiously took his medication for depression, and played the role of a witness. No comments – was his stance. On February 14 this year, my mother breathed her last. Now Jomini, (means – she devil in Bengali) is the sole owner, disburser of all the property, struts around with a sense of victory, her sole aim of laying her hands on the property and wealth accomplished.
Jomini the gold digger had finally declared in a recent outburst that she married my brother only for the wealth. Something that the whole world had guessed right from the beginning!