Joined: 13 June 2012
"$20,000. - Sold! Congratulations Thakur Vijay Singh She is yours!" Bumsukiya said...lifting Sugni's hand as though she was a prized item instead of the girl she was.
Sugni stared straight ahead stonily as she tried not to think about what just happened. She was just sold to the highest bidder, her body or she should say her virginity auctioned off to Thakur Vijay Singh, one of the most heartless Thakurs who made a habit of harassing every bedni that comes into his sight...and the spoilt son of one of the riches Thakurs and Vickram's sworn enemy in the area.
That should have brought her some satisfaction, but oddly, all she felt at the moment was numbness...maybe that was a good thing.
"Come on Sugni...let's get you ready to leave..." Her aunt said cheerfully. As she lead Sugni inside, they were escorted into the house by a few of the other bedni women, with a tray of money, ornaments clothes and other goodies. She herd people behind her celebrating as though her life was not just auctioned off but as though it was a wedding...
But that is to be expected as around here all these girls virginity had a price and they would most likely be sold one day. She was the one who was foolish enough to think she was any different. She was not.
She tried hard to ignore him standing there, but her eyes sort him out as if they had a mind of her own...he stood as though shell shocked again she was waiting for that feeling of satisfaction she thought she would find seeing the Mighty Vickram Singh broken but again all she felt was numbness.
As Sugni entered her room, where she was told to change in to some red lehenga Vijay requested she wore. Mechanically she did as she was told Sugni looked at the girl in the mirror ...trying to recognize the person standing in front of her.
"Thank God Sugni...you got back into your senses...and agreed to do this Sardakhi your MAMA organized. You know I never thought so many Thakurs would show up!" Naganiya said happily, she still could not believe he paid $ 20,000 for her.
For a moment, she was afraid when HE showed up, that it was all lost, that he would convince her to change he mind about the auction...or worse when he started bidding. She did not bet on Sugni, who saved the day saying she would go to the next Thakur who bid after him even if it was 1 cent more.
Naganiya smiled...when people were hurt in love they would do anything she guessed. Besides it was good he broke her heart, after all Sugni was a hot commodity, and with Vickram filling her head with all that marriage nonsense...they were all worried she would not follow her calling and join the bedni's.
After Sugni's mother died, she was left in the care of her Uncle and Aunt who were waiting for the day when she would be of age and start earning a living like her mother did. All was going well and she was following in the footsteps they thought, dancing and providing for them, until last year when Vickram Singh moved back into town and for some God-awful reason he became smitten with Sugni and she with him.
At first they were happy after all he was one of the most richest of Thakurs around here and they were sure he would pay top dollar for the girl. So after dangling the carrot for a while Hukum went to Vickram and offered Sugni to him if he would do her Sardakhi.
The tradition these bedni women have of going to the Thakurs. Instead of accepting the offer, Vickram exploded with claims that he loved her and wanted to marry her. Which was laughable because love was not a word in the Thakur's dictionary, and marry well that was reserved for women of their kind high class and old money.
The bedni's were just their playthings ...that is how is was and that was how it would be in the future. Everyone was shocked at the relationship these two shared...but then Luck was on their said as in the midist of all Sugni's wedding dreams and preparation...Thakurine Reva Singh shows up, the estranged wife of Vickram wanting to get back with her husband.
The fact that he conveniently failed to mention a wife to any one was the deal breaker and the reason that Sugni finally agreed when her uncle told her he had offers for her and she should accept them.
"Hey you can't go in there!' Hukum exclaimed...breaking Naganiya out of her thoughts. She and Sugni both turned to see Vickram standing in the small house at the bedroom door.'
"Sugni...Please...don't do this...Sugni...)
"Thakur Saab!" Naganiya cut in..."You can't do this...it is already done...Please...Sugni made up her mind this was her decision...now would you..."
"Maami!" Sugni said from behind her. "can you give us a few minutes..."
"Maami I won't change my mind...I just want to talk to him please..." she said.
Naganiya looked at Sugni then at Vickram she did not like this one bit. She looked to her Husband who had followed them inside, by the looks of it trying to keep it quite that Vickram had somehow snuck into the house. They both knew if Vijai found out he was in here hell would break loose. There was no love lost between the two.
"Ok five minutes and I am staying in the Hall...and Sugni..you can't back out now!" She warned , as she reluctantly left them alone.
"What do you want Thakur Saab, you lost the auction" Sugni said as she looked at him stoneyly.
"Sugni...please...don't do this I am begging you...I know...you are mad at me you have every right to be...fine you wanted to get back at me I understand. I am sorry ...don't do this to yourself...your worth more than..."
"Wha..Thakur Vickram Singh wah!...and It's all about you ...you are sorry...you are begging? Really?...You did not seem sorry when you...were planning my ...wait was it our wedding...that YOUR WIFE was not invited to ...or were you just sorry that you got caught..." she said bitterly...as she looked at him
"Don't... Don't tell me you were afraid...don't tell me wanted a divorce...or she left you...I don't want to hear any more of your excuses. I had enough of them!" She said. "Thakur Vickram Singh a man who prides himself in being honest ,boy you had me fooled . Then why not? I am nothing but a poor bedni who you fancied but coming out like the other Thakurs and making your intensions clear would not suit you. Oh no! you had to take it a step further and make the stupid girl think you actually cared about her,like she was worth the effort. No. let's just for fun pretend to get married to her...she would be grateful...why not I mean it's not like she would care if she was humiliated in front of the entire community when your wife returned and she was seen as nothing more than a FREE bedni right?
"Sugni no ,it was not like that...I love you ...I was never playing with you. Reva and I were over a long time ago. She moved out to concentrate on her modeling career...our marriage never worked...I was never expecting her to come back ...I was looking for her to get her to sign the divorce papers...I thought she would ..."
"ohh Please save it...I saw her...crying her eyes out for you to take her back...that does not look like a woman who does not care about her marriage...stop lying...I don't want to hear it..."
"Fine ...then don't hear it...But Sugni this is not you...you are not a bedni...You want me to stay away from you...I will...but don't do this to yourself please...It's not to late..." He begged looking at her desperately...
Sugni looked at him at his pleading and she could feel something in her stirring. No! She had to be strong...taking a deep breath she said softly...
"You know something Thakur Saab...when I was fifteen I was sent on my first Raai dance and every time I went there would be offers and every time there was always the fare that this time they would make me do my Sardakhi. I always knew that someday they would get an offer to good to hold back on. Then I would have no choice but to do what my mother did no matter how much I hated it. After all it is what we were born for. And it would take nothing short of a miracle for that not to happen. Somehow I foolishly thought...I found that miracle, that in this place of vultures and leeches there was one Human...who saw me for more than just an object, who cared about my feelings and my fears and me. But that was just a dream for a while a beautiful one...but then it turned into a nightmare. And I had no choice but to wake up. If not him someone else..."she said in a voice that became devoid of emotion. "This is Mawhari , the land of bedni's, and Thakurs...the land where we are nothing but objects I forgot that...we have no business having feelings or being emotional ...thank you for reminding me..."
"Sugni...it's time!" Nagaiya said as she walked into the room.
Vickram watched as she walked out the house, moving like a shell of a person. A far cry from the laughing happy girl he knew her to be.
He knew the only person responsible for this was himself. He was the one who did this to her. He broke her. The one precious thing in his life and he destroyed it, because of his one omission. He watched helplessly as she sat in the car with that smirking man.
His hand clenched in helpless frustration. Her path of self-destruction was all because of him!
Vickram walked into his house and wondered how things could have gone so wrong. How could he have been so dumb? He sat on his rocking chair in the den, as he closed his eyes, wondering where it went all wrong.
A year after he got married his marriage fell apart at the seams, his wife, Reva, a city bread girl had dreams of becoming an actress, model. Since he and his family had objections to that career choice, it became a topic of contention.
Then one day Reva got an offer she could not refuse, and she left, in the middle of the night wit a note saying she could not pass it up. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, months into years but he heard nothing from her.
Then his family moved back to Mawhari to see about the lands. It was here he met Sugni. He met her on his first day back when she came to pick him up from the train station. , on a cycle rickshaw as she needed money for some reason. She was funny...how the time passed in the short ride he couldn't tell.
Since then they kept bumping into each other as the village was small , Sugni was always doing odd jobs around.
The bedni tradition was one well known, so it came as no surprise to him when he saw her at the one of the Thakurs house dancing with the group of women. Later that night he saw her being accosted by two very drunk Thakurs and got her out of it. She could not thank him enough, and ever since if she saw him at a function she would somehow end up sticking close to him. Until the group was ready to leave. He did not mind as he began feeling protective of her.
It was not long before they struck a friendship. She had an innocents about her despite her harsh reality. She was bubbly and she made him laugh a lot. Soon Vickram found that his feelings were deeper than that. He fell in love with her.
And to his amazement instead of running from him when he told her, she reciprocated. Vickram wanted nothing more than to make her his bride, and spend his life with her. She was his world, so much so that he didn't even think about the fact that he was already married to Reva until he declared to his mother he wanted to marry her.
It was a cold shock when she reminded him that although Reva left him they were still married in the eyes of the law. Vickram decided that he was going to have to find Reva and get his divorce finalized , and he knew he had to tell her, but before he could she came running to him crying that her uncle wanted to do her Sardakhi... they told her to tell him either make an offer or step out of the way, as people were beginning to talk about the relationship.
Hukum came to Vickram's house with other Thakurs saying Vickram was trying to get the bedni with out paying the price. Watching Sugni be humiliated by these men , and talked about as though she was a piece of furniture set his blood boiling and he declared in front all of them that he Loved her and was going to marry her.
Before he knew it a date was set and preparations were being made, he tried to tell her after that, but she was so happy and and relived to be getting out of th e cycle Vickram did not want to burst her bubble, instead deciding to find Reva before the date.
No luck it was as though she fell off the face of the earth, until she walked into the house one day shocking every one. Reva being the drama queen she was started crying that she made a mistake and wanted to give their marriage another go. She was begging him not to divorce her, which Sugni became witness too.
Sugni felt that he was just like the others, that he was just playing with her. she closed her self off from everyone and everything from that day. Going so far as to agree to this Sardakhi.
"OH God ! Why did you do this Sugni...why" He cried. Vickram never felt this helpless and heart broken in his life. The worst part was looking at her, it was like watching a lifeless body just moving around. He broke her heart he knew but in the process his own got smashed to pieces as well.
"Vickram...you're back.!! You rushed out of here so suddenly...is everything alright?" Reva asked.
Vickram looked at her. as he sighed tiredly.
"No Reva...it is not alright...It's all over"
"What is?' She asked
"Everything...it's over...my reason for living is gone...pack your bags we are done!" He said softly as he closed his eyes...effectively shutting her out.
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