Brothers Ingrate! *#


  1. Suman is a Sexagenarian bachelor-girl. She lives in a masonry house of three large rooms in a
    village in the Island of Majuli. She weaves cloth in the handloom for a living. She had been engaged in this
    occupation for more than four decades and had been seriously thinking of giving it up for ever since
    the last decade but finds it, time and again, to be the easiest to earn an income and make a living.
    She gets easily tired now-a-days while working in her loom, both from her advancing old age and the
    mental agony of being neglected and left-out by those whom she had thought of as ‘her own’.

  2. Five decades earlier the scenario was entirely different. And although Suman did not like to
    recollect, the memory of this painful situation comes to her mind often-and-on, spontaneously.
    Perhaps it was the sorrow and anguish which had made her memory indelible for, she wondered if
    memories mirthful would ever remain so deeply etched for so long in one’s mind? Of course she
    does not know for, in her memory, she had been storing only experiences of sorrow, anguish and
    pain from her childhood. And all these are crystal-clear in her mind from the start! And when did it
    begin? She vividly remembered the beginning, when her father died. At that time she was a child of
    ten years and reading in the fifth standard in the local vernacular school. In those days Majuli had no
    English medium schools. From the fifth standard the students were taught English as a subject and
    Suman had found it interesting to learn that language partly from her narrations of the daily
    instructions given by her English teacher, before her father who would feign to hear with rapt
    attention her narratives which would incite an indirect interest in her to learn more of that language
    and then narrate them to her father. And in the course of those fun-filled days, her father expired
    leaving an infallible void in her life. And although she did not feel the financial burden at that time,
    she lost the earlier eagerness to learn the English language wholeheartedly. She continued in this
    way for two years, attaining puberty and also conducting her two of the three younger brothers to
    her school (they all studied in the same school) and, also helped her mother in the plating of, and
    reaping of, the paddy. When it seemed she will grow up in this way to maturity, she received another
    shock. Her mother was washed away by the turbulent monsoon waters of the Brahmaputra when
    she was washing clothes with some of her neighbours at the Ghats (Bank). This brought Suman to
    another problem; from that time onwards she had to quit her school for, she had to earn an income
    to provide for the education of her younger brothers. So from that time on she moved from
    household-to-household in search of work. But in Indian villages, household chores are done by the
    women of the house and so Suman found it hard to earn a good-enough income. But one of her two
    aunts was a master weaver in the hand-loom and during her spare hours, Suman would watch her
    aunt weave cloth in the loom. She would do this thing and that alongside her aunt to help her and,
    also ask queries about the occupation of weaving and thus gain knowledge of it. In this way,
    between her menial works in a time of two years she learnt from her aunt how to weave cloth in
    the loom.

  3. Khitik-Khitik! The sound of the treadle being pulled-up and lowered in the loom could be
    heard from the gate of Suman’s house. From the intensity of the sound, one can guess the energy
    and vigour behind the person in the loom. It seemed Suman was motivated by something while
    working in the loom. Yes! She was motivated by the desire to educate her brothers to place them on
    their feet. And for this purpose she needs money! She knows that money is earned only through
    hard work. And being young, she had the energy to work hard. And so could be heard the intense
    sound of the treadles of her loom. Soon days passed into months, and months into years after
    Suman began weaving cloth in her loom. And soon a decade passed which saw her rise as a
    proficient weaver, the demand of her cloth going up, she began displaying her clothes in the fairs
    and exhibitions, suitors coming to her seeking her hand (in marriage) and, two of her younger
    brothers passing their matriculation and studying in technical colleges outside Majuli. And during
    this time, although she was advised by her aunts and neighbours to sit in marriage, she replied a
  4. ‘firm no’ to their advice and thus sacrificed a possibly-happy family life for the development of her
  5. brothers. And when some more years later her youngest brother passed his matriculation and
  6. concurrently, her first brother passed out of his technical college, she was unbounded with joy. The
  7. whole village showered praise on her and commented that her sacrifice has not gone waste. And like
  8. an adamantine child who would not give up his mischief easily, in the same way she continued
  9. working in her loom from dawn to dusk, weaving cloths and also making decorations in them as per
  10. the choice of her customers.
  11. Kh-i-t-i-k Kh-i-t-i-k. Suman’s loom does not make the same intense sound as it did some
  12. four decades earlier. The scenario has changed much from that time. Both her uncles and one of her
  13. aunts has died during this time. Both her male cousins live outside Majuly following their
  14. occupations and one of them has also taken his mother, her aunt, along with him. Both her female
  15. cousins had been married long ago. In a way she lives alone in the large plot of land that housed the
  16. three families separately once. During her hey-days, she had remade her cutcha house into a ‘pucca’
  17. one by taking a loan from a bank. She had worked diligently, and had made much money but, the
  18. education of her brothers and, the conversion of her house (into a pucca one) used up most of her money. It has been
  19. some two decades ago when the last of her brothers left his home for employment and has not
  20. returned since. The first two had left their home (and her also) long ago. In those days, there were
  21. no mobile phones but now, even with these useful and ubiquitous gadgets, they do not
  22. communicate with her. Her cousins had left their fields to her to be tilled and cropped (by her) but
  23. now she feels she has no use of them. The paddy given to her by the sharecroppers off her own plot
  24. lasts her the whole year. Since the last two years, her customers have been thin. This is because she
  25. cannot keep up her orders due to lack of time. She feels tired and drowsy now-a-days. The neglect of
  26. her brothers had been too big for her and has corroded her from the inside-out. She does not feel like weaving now-
  27. a-days, but has to nevertheless to keep body and soul together. And now-a-days no person looks
  28. longingly at her. It has been two decades when suitors stopped coming to her. She acknowledges the
  29. useless sacrifice she had made when she recalls her brothers. She did not at that time think that they
  30. would be so cruel and hard-hearted. She talks little now-a-days and would be lightened up
  31. occasionally by her neighbors who only cherish her sacrifice and bemoan the neglect, deceit, cruelty
  32. and stupidity of her worthless brothers.

* fiction. # published earlier as a short story in my story collection, ‘the grandee of gorokhiah gaon (and other stories).’

Published by indrajyoti dutt

Hi folks, I'm an ordinary guy who sells both life and general insurance to earn a living. I also have interest in writing and reading and so have opened this blog at WordPress. I hope my writings and other posts will be noticed by you and will also be commented upon to make them better and entertaining in the near future. Wishing the best to you all out there. Have a great time.

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About experiences, happenings, ideas, personal essays, random writings, etc.

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Welcome to my net-i-niche at duttz.in

About experiences, happenings, ideas, personal essays, random writings, etc.

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

The Atavist Magazine

About experiences, happenings, ideas, personal essays, random writings, etc.

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

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