The Invincible Moonsheen

Part – 12

(Telugu Original “Venutiragani Vennela” by Dr K.Geeta)

English Translation: V.Vijaya Kumar

(The previous story briefed)

Samira comes to meet her mother’s friend Udayini, who runs a women-helping organization Sahaya in America. Udayini greatly impressed Samira. The four-month-pregnant Samira details her inclination toward divorce and the causes that lead to her decision. Udayini tells her to take any decision after listening to the story of Tanmay.
Shekhar writes a letter to Tanmay, an intermediate-studying girl, who saw her at a wedding ceremony. Tanmay, a bit passionate, develops an interest in him and gradually comes closer to him. Elders welcome their proposal and get married to them. Shekhar and Tanmay started their new married life in Visakhapatnam. Tanmay gets pregnant in half a year.


          Tanmay felt something drowsy when she was awake and fell asleep immediately.

          As long as she was awake she could not eat anything else due to an upset stomach and giddiness. 

          Jyothi looking at her daughter’s pale face ran her hands upon her cheeks consoling. When she felt something to tell her, Tanmay broke into tears. 

          Tanmay said, “Amma, I won’t go to him,” she sobbed and choked and could not express her feelings in words stuck inside her throat. 

          But her mother took it differently, she said consolingly, “Don’t cry amma, perhaps he was held up in some work, I ask your father to make him a call.” 

          She was tucked in a blanket turning towards the wall, not knowing whom to tell about her distress, sobbing and moving her palm on her abdomen she started whispering to her baby.

          She felt illusionary that the little life inside her listening to her mind through the tips of her touching fingers.

          “My Sweetheart! I don’t know whether you are male or female. Whomever you are… you’re my gold, Many things I must say to you nanna, those concerns only to you…being a little living sprout can you understand me? Well, sleep well…We get to chat together tomorrow onwards! Let my problems keep me aside, I will tell you many beautiful things, okay?”

          She felt relieved from her grief as if someone listened very attentively to all of her misfortunes. She was relaxed and cheerful.

          She realized one thing. She was not alone in the world. A baby is there with her.

          “Yes, now she can openly converse with the baby growing in her and can read out books to her, can sing songs and play with her later once she comes out. She felt delighted that every problem was solved.

          “Never be deprived of hope nor discouraged in life. The only goal of my life is to bring my child into this world safely” She made a strong resolution in herself.

          My child is for me, and  I, for my child, are mutually dependent on each other.

          Suddenly she was reminded of her mother who brought up her with the same spirit she is experiencing now and her love for her mother became tenfold.

          She walked silently to her mother, chopping vegetables in the kitchen, and sat close to her, leaning on her shoulder lovingly.

          Jyothi asked, “Eat anything?”

          She kept silent, closing her eyes filled with gratitude for her mother.

          “Mom, how can I reveal my gratitude for giving birth to me?

          I too have a little one soon, I don’t know how much pleasure I feel now, perhaps you might have undergone the same experience then!”

          She said to herself.

          But said outward,” Mom, please come and lay my side for a while”

          “Okay nanna, I just come and join you, finishing this fry which you love most… meanwhile go to bed if you feel tired,” Jyoti said.


          Shekhar called less than a week later.

          He directly called into question before any customary talk, “When will you leave for our house?”

          Her sickened feeling doubled with that question.

          When Tanmay was about to raise her voice Shekhar came down, “Hay, look here, You’re married and have a family of your own with a husband, you have a responsibility to keep along with. Not thinking about such things, how do you stay like a suckling mother’s milk baby there? 

          Her head began to spin more with his rude words.

          She disconnected the call, not bothering about the consequences.

          Now Jyothi lifted the call.

          She could understand that Shekhar’s mother was talking on the other side.

          “What kind of people are these? While the girl is suffering from morning sickness they are quarreling to send her to their home! Shouldn’t that boy have any common sense? He was like a puppet in her mother’s hand, what a pitiable thing! we fall into a filthy ditch of such people!” She began to fling the vessels in the kitchen.

          Bhanu Murthy leaned back to a wall silently and said looking at her, “Leave it, perhaps they want her to look after some time! We send her a few days and ask them to send her to us in a week or so. Distance is not a matter! Why should we make a fuss out of it?”

          Tanmay wasn’t able to think of anything.

          If anyone helps her to sit and offers food she is eating something.

          She was feeling exhausted, she could feel her pulse feeble.

          Jyothi said strongly, “Look at her, she is weak and in running down condition, I won’t send her, if they call again, get ready to react to them”


          Three months later Tanmay felt relieved from her nauseating sensation. She is sleeping well now but feeling a bit lethargic. Though all those odors are not pleasing her so far, she is now able to wander around.

          Shekhar was uncompromising, calling her frequently.

          After a head bath, she came out into the sunshine and sat relaxed on the verandah.


          When she heard the voice and the letter in the handwriting of Vanaja, Tanmay felt delighted.

My most beloved Tanu!

          I don’t ask you how you do. Because you’re with your loving partner and living in your dream City! I can imagine how beautiful your life would be because you forgot your dear friend! Umm…what else…?

          Visakhapatnam, Sea…New marital life…tell me fast…fast…

          Let me tell you about my life!… Till his return home from work, I enjoy reading embroidery designs, etc. My pleasure has no boundaries with my Sudha whether you believe it or not! The people here are from distinct cultures and languages yet very sweet-hearted. Our house owner loves me like a daughter as she was alone. Her children were doing jobs living somewhere. Sudha’s parents are living five to six hours away from us. They are good-natured. Everything is going well now. I talk with my mother now and then from the booth. We are a small family, no phone till now!

          By the way, what about your M.A.? Haven’t you applied to University?

          It seems you need to appear for an entrance exam! Are you preparing for it?

          I just wrote to this address expecting you to receive it. At least drop a line to this friend from now onwards.

Always in love

Yours loving


          She folded the blue envelope touching it warmly.

          She sighed deeply, telling herself, “At least Vana is happy though I am deprived of my happiness.”

          What she loves most in Vanaja is her strong mindset. She never breaks down under any circumstances. She surprises her with her maturity of elderliness though she is not as very elderly as her. “You always remind me of my pursuit, Thanks, Vana!” She paid her thanks to Vanaja in her heart.

          She almost forgot her academic goal.” I must inquire about it once I go to Visakhapatnam” she said to herself.

          She wants to write a letter to Vanaja. She couldn’t feel comfortable writing anything about her condition. She doesn’t want to disturb her friend by writing about all of the pains in her life. She shrank back. She thought, perhaps Vana might expect a response from her, but what could she write?

          Time melted away with her thoughts. Though she wants to read books, who will bring her books from the library?

          She began to read Bhagavad Geeta available at home. When she started reading the slokas with paraphrases she felt a great resilience from it.

          In the evening, Shekhar called her. He was crestfallen and low-spirited. Tanmay felt nervous about him regarding his dullness.

          Within two days Tanmay has to move to Shekhar’s house. Looking into her face when her mother said, “Take care of yourself, amma” Tanmay replied, “I’m fine Mom, don’t worry about me, if I feel any uneasiness I’ll come back”

          Jyothi said, “By the way, tell Shekhar that the cot and dressing table are booked through Navata Transport in the evening. Get them after two days”

          Tanmay is relieved a bit, as Shekhar’s mother’s first question will be obvious about it.

          Bhanu Murthy accompanied her daughter with fruits, sweets, and many other things.

          Shekhar got the night train and came by morning. He directly dashed into her room who was asleep and began to pull out her saying, “Hay, Snoozy! Sleeping simply not waiting for your hubby though coming after a long interval?” He smiled then.

          Tanmay, who was sluggish, could not understand what he meant.

          Sarcastic or real.

          He continued, “I waited all these days for your arrival, but you come here now, after camping at your home all these days!”

          “My mom said the cot and others were sent, so now I suppose, you can come to our house,” Tanmay said.

          What did you say, our house? That’s your mother’s house. This is your house, where you were now! Stupid, know that first! By the way, mind it, it’s not simply enough to give away cots and things! You people made the most disrespectful fuss in the marriage which cannot be excused in a lifetime.” 

          Tanmay reminded the serenity of sloka from the Bhagavad Gita and subdued her pain.

          “How is my son? Are you feeding him well? You are so bony! You seem you’re more skinny now” running his palm on her stomach.

          Tanmay let her body to his pleasure whatever he sought from it simply without any swell of emotions.


          In a week, all the family members went to two movies.

          Tanmay didn’t like all kinds of movies. She had a terrible headache. As soon as she arrived home, she felt something “tumble” inside her stomach. 

          She touched that protruding hump suddenly. It moved again.

          Tanmay has no bounds to her pleasure, “My baby is moving!!” She wants to cry aloud! She eagerly wanted to share this ravishing feeling with someone. She called Shekhar busy chatting outside.  

          “Hay! What happened? Why are shouted like that while busily engaged in business affairs?”

          Shekhar looked at her incredibly.

          Tanmay hesitantly said, “I am tense about something in my stomach”

          Tanmay fantasized it greatly, if he puts his palm on her stomach she thought of holding it firm and would love to say, “See our baby is moving inside,” 

          Shekhar said, “Let me fetch you some cool drink, what kind of fuss is it while discussing serious matters? Why didn’t you say any such silly things to my mother?” Then he fled. 

          Tanmay, running her palm on her stomach, wherever the movement she felt, gossiped to the baby most lovingly,” Baby, have you heard everything? Don’t bother with all these things, I am here for you, we can chat together.” 

          Meanwhile, Devi came there and asked her, “Do you feel any uneasiness?”

          “No, Attaiah! I feel something moving inside, that’s all” she said.

          “Wow, these things happen! Babies start kicking from the fourth month, don’t be embarrassed! Shekhar wants to go the next day! He wants you to accompany him. Please tell him to stay here a few days and then go.”

          Shekhar proposed that night about their trip.”You are comfortable at home all these days, but my situation is horrible there cooking myself, I have no more leave further, pack up everything, we go by evening train tomorrow.” 

          Tanmay felt happy in her heart.”I must go to University, ” she said to herself. She called her mother.

          “Why? You’re still sickly and getting ready to go with him, that guy never listens to anyone, take care of yourself” said Jyothi.

          Devi is saying, ” Hay Ammay! tell your mother that we don’t have any sort of celebrations like Seemantham etc.”

          Jyothi suddenly retorted listening to those words,” That Maha Thalli 

          seems to be thinking of avoiding expenditure!”

          Tanmay felt uncomfortable due to those silly disputes. She disconnected the phone.


          On arriving in Visakhapatnam the next day, Tanmayi came to know the happy news.

          As Shekhar’s grandfather’s outhouse is old and being demolished, Shekhar gave advance to a rented house somewhere outside.

          “Even though the house is far from my grandfather’s house, it is close to my workplace,” said Shekhar to Tanmay.

          Leaving the main road, crossing two or three small lanes, where the road descends a little, a she-buffalo was tied up there. He drove beside it and went down into the lane. One of two adjacent portions. There is a narrow cement square in front of the house. Front porch room. Inside is a small central enclosure and behind it is the bathroom and a water storage tank.

          As a she-buffalo is tied to the side of the window, in the middle room for ventilation, it can never be opened. Half of the front porch is meshed, so people inside the home can be visible to passersby. 

          The kitchen is almost a dungeon. As the outside bathrooms are completely sealed with asbestos sheets, it is always clammy as the tap water never seemed to dry. The steps leading up to the small patio outside alone are a bit of a relief there.

          Tanmayi did not like the house. That’s what she said.

          “Do you think I’m a landlord? Be satisfied with it at least we have a place to hide in this great city with my meager salary,” said Shekhar.

          The bed and dressing table arrived by Navata transport the next evening.

          Shekhar brought an old mattress from their grandfather and spread it on the new cot. He said, “What shall I do, it’s my Karma! As you’re the only daughter, I expected a lot from your side, this is what is happening! I deserve this! 

          Soon after Shekhar went out, Tanmayi started cooking and cleaning the house. As the doctor told her not to do bending and weight lifting, she started following it regularly.

          She took out an old dark-colored saree and tore it into pieces and used them as drapers on the mesh of the verandah.

          She took out from the old furniture a knitted woolen parrot cage and hung it on the front door.

          She spread the newspapers on the racks of the wooden cupboard on the wall and kept her books and clothing neatly.

          In the kitchen, she packed the bottles with all the materials Shekhar brought. The pans, vessels, water containers, and everything were washed and kept in order.

          In a week everything was kept on track.

          She became habituated to falling into bed whenever she got leisure and spent her time chatting with her unborn child if not sleeping.

          One day a three-year-old girl from the adjacent portion was seen lingering outside the mesh door. Tanmay called her inside.

          Behind the girl, her mother also entered. Laxmi the neighbor asked Tanmay about her running month. Tanmay felt curious when she learned that her husband was working at University as a clerk.

          Tanmayi hesitantly asked, “Would you mind asking your husband about the procedure of admission please?” Though she asked she felt something uneasy in her mind whether it is proper or improper to ask at the very beginning of their introduction.

          Laxmi said, “What is there amma? You can ask him yourself…I don’t know such educational matters well.”

          The next day, Laxmi called Tanmay while scraping the coconut chutney, to taste whether the salt was sufficient or not. 

          The chutney tasted delicious. She felt it would be a great appeasement to her taste buds if eaten with ghee. But she couldn’t dare to propose it.

          Tanmay felt very happy when Laxmi brought in a big bowl after ten minutes.

          Laxmi said smiling,” When we were pregnant we longed for food, especially the flavors from our neighborhood. I’ll send you something to eat. Your face is pale and withered. When the baby is born and grown up you should remind me without forgetting my name!”

          Tanmay became emotional, her eyes filled with tears at her affectionate gesture from an unknown person.

          She decided to herself, “I must take care of any such unknown person she would come across at any time in her life!” 


          Shekhar getting inside suddenly declared, “I have some urgent work in Orissa, come back in ten days. If you can’t stay here alone, I’ll drop you at grandfather’s house.”

          She felt something nauseating the odor she gets from him.

          She said pleading with him, “I have told you many times not to come drunk”

          “What? can’t you bear it once a week to have a party with my friends? Why should I bother about your problem? Stop that bloody wretched debate and get me some food with a smile on your face” 

          “What is this?” Looking at the University application form on the dressing table, Shekhar asked scornfully.

          “An application form for M.A. course. Our neighboring woman fetched it” Tanmay said.

          “You’re exceedingly endowed with a lot of patience to do such things! Haven’t you armed competently to fight with your husband still? No such bloody venture to save the nation” He said mockingly.

          “It’s just an application form for admission. Not like any seat allotment. I just thought of sitting for the test before the delivery!” She turned back saying this.

          She deeply sighed, who was already asleep, “Umm… Baby! Will you please study with me at least?”


(Continued next month)

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