How my father bought a loving husband for me
Babuji, my father, is quite a successful businessman in my hometown of Bikaner. He owns three silver shops, one hosiery factory and a chain of sweet shops. That’s what bought me a degree in cooking from France and a very good-looking husband. Babuji opened a branch each of the silver shop and the sweet shop in Howrah when I got married. Babuji proudly proclaimed my wedding cost 1 crore. He also gave Prakash a Honda City car and bought us a flat very near my in-laws’ ancestral house. My father’s wealth ensured that I have a good life and that I’m well loved and regarded…
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A boy with no prospects
Prakash, my husband, failed class 12 and had zero prospects of making it big in life. He was into body building and a struggling actor when Buaji, my aunt, spoke to him about me. He had laughed and had vehemently rejected me on seeing my photograph. Prakash called me a chudail, a witch. But his father, who had a small saree shop in Burrabazar, had slapped him. Not for disrespecting a woman, but for refusing a wealthy proposal.
Prakash called me a chudail, a witch. But his father, who had a small saree shop in Burrabazar, had slapped him. Not for disrespecting a woman, but for refusing a wealthy proposal.
Prakash was having an affair at that point of time with Nazneen, a beautiful frail Muslim girl who lives close by. Theirs was a childhood romance.
Prakash was given two choices – either he found another wealthy girl or joined his father in the saree shop and converted Nazneen. Nazneen’s father too was well off, but not as well off as us. Nazneen, on the other hand, had agreed to marry, provided Prakash converted to Islam. Converting was out of the question for both Prakash and Nazneen and so I was the only option left and Prakash complied. Everyone knew that this marriage was a transaction of wealth. That’s how it happened for me, sadly. But even while getting married, I had hope…
A girl not beautiful enough
It was only after Prakash had consented that I was shown his photograph and frankly, it was love at first sight. He was muscular like Sylvester Stallone and dark, not overtly fair like a ghost. I couldn’t believe that after several rejections a guy like this had wanted to marry me. My father was buying me a handsome husband and I knew it and I couldn’t be happier.
All my life I was told that I’m too dark, too fat and that my nose was too flat for a marriageable girl. Even when I was in France the foreigners who I had heard liked unconventional women, never looked at me. In my entire life no guy had ever looked at me fondly. I hated it. But I could do nothing to change it. And here this man who looked like a demi god had agreed. I sent his photograph to my friends and everyone stared with their mouths agape. Surprised that I could land up with Prakash, my friends said my luck was good. I was elated, but couldn’t help but think that it was the money, Babuji’s money.
A fairy-tale wedding
My marriage happened in a palace and I was dressed up like a queen. I had smiled shyly when I first met Prakash, who had given me a grimace at first before quickly changing it to a sweet fake one. “You have a genuine heart-felt smile,” he had said and suddenly on my wedding day I felt that perhaps he was a good guy who genuinely thought that he was getting a girl with a golden heart. Alas!
We didn’t make love in the first few months. He didn’t touch me. We shared a bed but he slept off. There was ice and I couldn’t break it. He didn’t even speak to me much. One day I confronted him and he told me the truth about how he came to marry me. His relationship with Nazneen continued, for I had often overheard them talking.
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Love my daughter or else!
Finally I told my father about this. Babuji immediately came over and had an open discussion with Prakash and his family suggesting that if I wasn’t happy I would be taken home. And he also asked for a refund of the dowry. That was when I saw the power of money. Prakash changed overnight. He became a caring and loving husband. Within a few months I became pregnant with our first child. And I never heard the name Nazneen again.
I’m a mother to a lovely 14-month-old daughter and I’m pregnant with our second child. She looks like her father. I’m happy that my family life is normal and hopefully this child that I’m carrying will be a boy, who will carry the family name forward.
However, I know two things, the pillars of my family were bought with money. And no matter what anyone ever says, to this society I will always be the ugly duckling whom love will elude, for she never became the swan.