Joined: 10 April 2007
At long last , a new episode. At the end there will be a small revelation
"I am not getting married according to Tatha's whims!" shouts Dhivya suddenly, startling everyone. She walks out to the middle of the room.
Indhu gets worried. She can see where this is leading. "Wait ... hold on .There is a more urgent matter ..." Indhu's voice is drowned out by the ensuing argument.
"You keep quiet young lady! I am your grandfather and I say that your marriage will be arranged according to tradition!" Renganathan glares at Dhivya.
"Yes, arranged like you arranged Aunty Shree's marriage ... and see where that has led us!" retorts Dhivya.
"Shree?" Her grandfather looks puzzled. "What about her marriage?"
"Why don't you ask her yourself and try to fix the problem, instead of making arrangements for a marriage that will never happen!" Dhivya stomps off angrily, leaving her grandfather glaring at her.
"Akka, what is going on?" asks Indhu's brother. "What problem is there with Shree?"
Indhu sighs. "That's what I've been trying to tell you and appa. Shree is here -"
Her father cuts her off. "WHAT? Why isn't she at her husband's house? How many times have I told -"
"Appa!" Now all eyes are on Indhu. "Siva is abusing her. I won't send her back there."
Renganathan is at a loss for words. His daughter-in-law puts her hand to her mouth in shock.
"What are you saying, akka?" her brother asks.
"Yes, it's true, it has been going on for some years now."
Renganathan recovers. "Nonsense! Shree has blown things out of proportion as usual. "
"No, she has not," Indhu struggles to keep her temper. "It has gotten to such a point that she was hardly able to walk when I went to see her. I did not know the true state of things when we were in Tirunelvelli. The letters she wrote to us were always cheerful ..." She looks at her father. "I'm afraid arranging her marriage to Siva all those years ago was a big mistake."
Renganathan looks as if he has been slapped. "No! I never make mistakes."
"Appa, please be reasonable. Shree can stay with us for as long as she likes, Sangheeta as well. The divorce courts will eventually rule in favour of Shree having custody -"
"Divorce?" Renganathan is stunned.
"What else is there to do at this stage? Siva is a terrible man, both to his wife and his daughter. I don't think there is any chance-"
"No! No daughter of mine will divorce her husband. They can work things out. It cannot be as bad as you say." He looks around, seeking someone to blame. His eyes fall on Indhu. "You! It's all your fault. You moved up to Chennai and have been giving Shree a false taste of freedom. Now that's all she wants!"
"Appa, can you hear yourself? Her husband is abusive! Of course she had freedom here in my house, in his she was a prisoner! Worse than a prisoner. Even prisoners are treated with human rights!"
"No, no, no! I will not listen to this nonsense. No daughter of mine will divorce. I have had enough of this shame, I cannot survive it another time. Shree will go back to her husband!"
Indhu stares at him in horror. "Appa..."
"Don't talk back to me, Indhu. I will take her back myself, I will talk to Siva..."
"APPA!" Indhu screams, shocking everyone. "I have lost one sister because of you, I will not lose another!"
Just outside the room, out of sight, Dhivya listens to the conversation. Indhu's last sentence confuses her. Another sister? But Aunty Shree is amma's only sister ... right? What is going on here?
Her eyes light up. Aunty Shree will know. She quickly goes into her room. Shree is also listening to the sound of shouting from the hall.
"Dhivya? What is going on out there? Appa doesn't agree with Akka, isn't it?"
Dhivya shakes her head. "No. But Amma won't give up. You know that."
Shree smiles sadly. "No, Akka can be headstrong. She raised us all after our mother died. You know that, right?"
Dhivya nods, and sees her opening to ask questions. "Aunty, when you said Amma raised "us all", do you mean just you and Maama, or does that include your other sister?"
Shree's shocked look gives the answer away.
Coming up in the next episode(s): A secret from the past is revealed. Indhu's childhood friend comes to visit ... but will she join forces with Indhu, or Indhu's sworn enemy Arasi? And KG gets a call from Sri Lanka, calling him to come home urgently!
Joined: 11 October 2006
Joined: 08 June 2007
great chapter selvi. can't wait to read your next chapter..
Joined: 07 October 2005
Joined: 31 July 2007
Joined: 10 April 2007
Dhivya overhears her mother mention a sister she never knew existed. She confronts her aunt Shree about it.
And now ...
"What .... what are you talking about?" Shree tries to disguise her shock.
"Aunty, don't lie to me. I know what I overheard from Amma and Tatha's conversation. Who is this mysterious sister? How come thambi and I have never seen her?"
Shree looks around worriedly. Wonders what to say.
"You can tell me Aunty. What is the big secret you are all hiding?" insists Dhivya.
Shree sighs. Apparently the stubbornness that Indhu possessed was inherited by her daughter. "Your mother won't appreciate me telling you this. After all the trouble Appa went through to cover it up..."
"Cover what up?"
"Your mother and I weren't Appa's only daughters. I had another elder sister, Chandru akka. Indhumadhi, Chandramadhi and Shreemadhi." Shree smiles sadly. "Anna was very much Appa's son, always following him around, listening to everything he said. After amma died, it was us 3 girls for ourselves. We were very close ..."
Shree thinks sadly of the happier times and we see a flashback ...
A much younger Indhu, in her late teens, with her hair into two braids, swings a small girl - Shree - around. Another girl, close in age to Indhu, maybe 18 or so, watches while laughing and clapping.
"We told each other everything ... but there was one thing Chandru akka did not tell us ... not until it was too late."
A young man waves secretly to Chandru, signalling her to come over. Chandru smiles shyly and looks at her sisters. They are oblivious. She runs over to the man and he catches both her hands in one of his. From his back he produces a flower. Chandru takes it and puts it in her braid, giggling. She is obviously in love.
"She should have known better. After the breakdown of Akka's first engagement some months before ... only after much difficulty did Appa procure your father as the new groom, from Sri Lanka. She must have known Appa would never approve. But Chandru was foolish ... she wanted to marry him. And so they did."
Chandru and her boyfriend exchange garlands at the registry office.
"Chandru kept the marriage a secret, even from us. She knew Appa wouldn't approve. But then she became ... ill. We noticed the thali around her neck. She wouldn't tell us who her husband was. She said we would see when he came to the hospital to see her. He never did."
Chandru lies on a hospital bed. Indhu and KG are on one side, Shree on the other.
"Your mother was already married by then. In fact at the time she was expecting. Appa threw Chandru out of the house when what she had done came to light. Your parents took her in. But it was not to be a permanent arrangement."
A funeral scene: Indhu and Shree crying at the bedside of Chandru's body. KG and Indhu are each holding a baby in their arms.
"Appa refused to come to the funeral. People in the street were talking about it, the whole tragic mess. So we reached an agreement with Appa. We yould never talk about it again."
Shree reaches the end of her story. Her eyes filled with tears.
Dhivya breaks the silence. "But that's awful!"
"Yes," nods Shree, "that's why we decided to bury the secret and move on. Of course, it had repercussions for our future ... Appa kept a tight leash on his only remaining unmarried daughter - me."
"It's such a sad story. No wonder Amma never told me or Mahen."
"Yes, and you shouldn't bring it up with her either. She will be very distressed. She was closer to Chandru akka than me, they were only 2 years apart."
"Of course not," Dhivya promises. "It is a sad story, but I'm glad I know the truth now." She gets off the bed and leaves Shree thoughtful.
"The truth?" she muses to herself. "Not quite ..."
In Shree's mind we see another flashback: a baby exchanging hands ...
Hope you all liked the episode. This format may be better on television, i.e. the flashback is shown while Shree narrates over the pictorial. Please leave your comments if you like this episode, or how I can improve if you didn't like it. Thanks!
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