The Invincible Moonsheen

Part – 16

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

English Translation: V.Vijaya Kumar

(The previous story briefed)

Sameera comes to meet her mother’s friend in America, Udayini, who runs a women’s aid organization called “Sahaya.” Sameera, who is four months pregnant, feels very good about Udayini and tells her that she wants to get a divorce, and the circumstances are conducive to it. Udayini says to her,”In the morning, I will tell you the story of ‘Tanmayi’ and after listening to that story you may make your own decision.”  Tanmayi and Shekhar, who met at a wedding, got married with the permission of their elders. A new camp will be opened in Visakhapatnam. Tanmayi gets pregnant within six months of marriage and comes to her house for delivery.


          It was decided that the name giving ceremony would be celebrated in Shekhar’s house in the first week of the 3rd month, when the baby completed its second month.

          Phone rang in the morning.

          Shekhar ordered,” Enough is enough, you spent all these happy days at your home, it’s time get your baggage ready” 

          She hasn’t any patience to laugh at his sarcastic words.

          “You camped at your home all these days not allowing me to see my son. As soon as the naming ceremony is completed there, in the next week, we should move to Vizag from there. All these days I was starving and dead. get ready” Shekhar said.

          When Jyoti overheard his comments she felt discomfort and said to her daughter, “What kind of people! oh! Don’t I love to keep my grandson for a few days with us? you are still a feeding mother, and not totally recovered, the neighborhood surely despises us for such stupid things. We send you only in the 5th month, after that naming ceremony in their house, ask your husband to bring you here.”

          Tanmay couldn’t  understand her mother’s critical comments, nevertheless she knows what would be the answer of her mother in law and her husband to this question.

          When Jyoti observed her daughter’s silent face she said curtly,”It’s okay, why should I bother if you have any concern about it!”

          Tanmay got upstairs in the evening with her baby, enjoying the evening breeze and the serenity of the atmosphere.

          The baby’s eyes were  wide open looking at the surroundings around him which is totally new to his comprehension.

          “Wow how cute you are! look at that sky! how beautifully the orange color changes its hue on the horizon! my grandmother used to tell a story about a grand old woman who had  spread the whole sky with turmeric and kumkum…” Tanmay is greatly delighted to whisper many things into her baby’s ears.

          “We must learn how to live without any pains about the future,” She sighed in great relief as if she was reassuring it to herself.

          Tanmay doesn’t want to accept that her life is not in her hands, but it’s…

          “No immediate solutions in the near future to many of the problems we are in, it is doubtful whether there are any or not. Yet, we strongly hope a day will come to make our dreams come true, Nanna! Believe me, you should not forget two things in your life, one, your mother and the second, hope in your life. You do the first one by yourself, and I will make you the second one for you! reassured, looking into her baby’s eyes deeply, lying in her lap.

          The baby was laughing at her as if he understood everything. Tanmay became thrilled when she imbibed his laugh into her heart.

          Tanmay held her baby’s hands tightly for some time looking into the sky deeply. She was lost in her thoughts. 

          She went back to her life, many thoughts are coming from a series of incidents. Whatever she wanted in her life, her parents immediately attended. They always treated her as a small child. They never believed that I have my own identity. Though it was not to show my individuality, I loved Shekhar and wanted to travel with him and married him without listening to my parents’ words for the first time of my life.

          When she got married, she came under the guardianship of Shekhar’s family. Here nobody knows or cares that I too have some individuality. The unfortunate thing is the situation has greatly deteriorated after the marriage rather than any betterment.

          She doesn’t know how long she has to continue her life in these unfair conditions or rather continue her studies further. she was totally upset thinking of her present condition at that moment.

          She was all together helpless about getting acceptance from Shekhar about her education and at the same time if she gets a seat in university, how could it be possible to continue with this small kid at home? It was quite embarrassing to her. she felt distressed with these series of thoughts.

          She suddenly remembered her life before her marriage, “How beautiful it was and how liberal it was!”

          As and when she looked at her cute moonlit kid, she was relaxed and became courageous and hopeful.

          She became conscious about her depressive mood and wanted to come out from it, thinking that it’s a waste of time to think about the past. She collected her spirits and assured herself whispered to her baby, “Nanna, let’s cheer up, shedding this bloody mood. We too have good days in our lives,” 


          Tanmay stepped into her mother-in-law’s house on the previous day of her son’s naming ceremony celebration.

          Jyoti and  Bhanumurthy accompanied her with a banana plantain and the brass vessels filled with other paraphernalia as a customary offer. Devi invited mother and baby after she performed the drishti ritual into the house. Shekhar joined them in the late night by train.

          After dinner Shekhar’s father started a formal conversation,”Ah, Bavagaru, at last they had a child and the burdens obviously increased. As you know these things are very common in middle class families, did you think of it?”

          Bhanumurthy is a bit fumbled for words and ready to say something coming out from the confusion. In the meanwhile, Shekhar’s mother intervened declaring,”What would anyone say anything about it? She is only the  daughter to them, and they need to take care of  her…it would be a great support that land under the canal transferred on your daughter’s name… what would you say Annanya garu?”

          Jyoti  suspected about it for a long time. These people who didn’t care about seemantham are shown  immense importance for the name giving ceremony, with this hidden agenda! That guy never came to us, so they planned it to happen here, in the name of a naming ceremony! Oh, what sort of people are these!

          When Jyoti about to intervene into the conversation, Bhanumurthy came out with the statement saying,” Ah…true Amma…it’s right…She is the rightful heir of our every property, yet, we are surviving on it at present…as you know we have none other than that piece of land…moreover the recent floods devastated everything we procured…and we promise you, that as a legal heir of our family, we give away it to her…but…later…”

          “I don’t think that it’s that much difficult to get on in such a remote village for both of you, isn’t it? The couple are facing hardships in the city. Our son’s earnings hardly meet room rent. We are supporting rice and pulses…” Devi hinted at her intention.

          Tanmay felt trembled and she feared in which way the heated discussion would lead, and she began to sweat suddenly.

          Shekhar was adamant standing nearby as if he was supporting his parents silently. He signaled Tanmay not to open her mouth.

          Bhanumurthy added,” Yes, of course! it’s true…we should also help them as much as we can, but never leave them when they are in trouble.”

          “If it is not possible to give the land, better you can share the house,” Devi said.

          Tanmay looked at her mother’s face which turned red with intolerable anger.

          Jyoti looked despisingly at Tanmay.

          Bhanumurthy rose up to take leave said,”Please give us some time to think of it” and he turned towards Tanmay and said, “we will go to Pinni’s house and we come back in the morning”

          Tanmay, who was totally upset, couldn’t ask them to stay at home. Moreover, she felt that it would be more fair to them to go rather than staying here, so she nodded her head in acknowledgement.

          Devi who was totally disappointed, knocked her forehead in total despise and cursed them,”This is our ill luck to get into alliance with such nasty people”

          Tanmay was badly hurted by the insensitivity of those people. No one bothered to enjoy the presence of such a cute loving newborn baby in the house. She couldn’t understand the disorientedness of them.

          She took away the baby from Shekhar’s hands and walked inside.

          She shared her agony to her cute baby,”Have you seen how the world revolves around money? You came here after a longtime, but nobody wants you to take you to their heart or care to caress you. These things happen until your mother does not stand up on her feet and does not complete her studies. We should face all these humiliations till then, forgive me Nanna!”

          The sucking baby, who knows nothing of this world, smiled at her mother looking deeply as if he explored something different in his mother’s disposition.

          She loved that exquisite moment.

          She remembered her grandmother’s words, “Whenever you feel distressed, pray God, you will be alright in a moment”

          She reminded her anonymous friend closing her eyes, “You are my God friend! You wiped out my tears many times, please brush out the fuzziness of pain from my heart and lead me to a world of peacefulness! I pray to you!”

          when she felt the small fingers of her baby on her teared cheeks she felt elated and picked them up to her eyes passionately. Oh, what an exquisite pair of hands these are! they made me relieved from all my pains…in a short while she went into a deep sleep.


          She suddenly jolted and woke up from her sleep to the shouts of Shekhar.

          “You, sobering buffalo! how can you sleep while we were tortured on that issue there? Don’t you have any concerns about your husband? Those mean fellows never bother about their son in law! See how they escaped from the scene simply! You are also the same blood! Look! it’s my warning, never and never should you step into their house, take care!” He is fuming in rage.

          He slammed the door upon them and dashed out, not caring Tanmay who broke down and the child sleeping silently on the bed.

          The kith and kin arrived the next day for the naming ceremony, the house was filled with relatives. They made them sit before the altar fire with a starving stomach. As the father was not present at delivery moment when the child was born, the pandit suggested a remedial homa to escape from the supposed evil to Shekhar. Once the ritual completed the priest switched over to the naming ceremony ritual.

          Shekhar insisted that the name of “Anjaneya Swamy” must be added.

          Devi proposed, “The girl’s mother already had a Vow on Venkanna Babu. Moreover, he is our family God!”

          Tanmay, not caring anybody’s opinions and concerns boldly declared that “Mridul” must be included in the name.

          Counting something on his fingers the priest declared, “Amma! The child’s name is “Venkata Anjaneya Mridul”   “Va” letter in his name is perfect according to his zodiac sign and moreover two letters are required to add to his name as per the numerology. Have any other vows on the child please tell me so that I consider them too”

          Jyoti and Bhanumurthy who came late felt happy about the name since it was added with their vow.

          Meanwhile someone suggested “Sai”

          Finally they confirmed “Venkata Anjaneya Sai Mridul” Tanmay was relieved from her tension about the name when the ” Mridul” name tag was kept safe!


          They reached Vizag in the second week.

          “I shifted all the household material to our boss’ out – house. The rent was very nominal” Shekhar suddenly declared on a fine moment.

          When the auto took its turn to a new road, Tanmay didn’t believe her eyes looking at the University gates straight away to the present new house.

          The two room out house, which was located near to the outside gates of Shekhar’s Boss’s building, was almost two streets away from the University gate.

          The path away from the entrance gate was filled with different kinds of flower plants on either side. The night queen creeper scrambled upward the outhouse rooms. Tanmay’s heart was filled with Joy and happiness looking at the trails.

          Though it was a small house, it was very comfortable and neat. It’s like a dream house to her.

          She looked up to thank her anonymous friend,” Oh my dear friend thanks!” she whispered to herself.

          Looking at her unusual happiness in her face Shekhar wondered and said, “Do you like this house? For a long time you have been eating away at my brain about University. You got a letter from University, I showed it to my grandfather. What he said is you will definitely get a seat in university. Your people are mere waste fellows, they do nothing for us, better you go and study and get at least a clerical position. Don’t run with your child to the university. Drop the child in the next street where my Pinni’s family lives, and she looks after the baby happily when you are out on your studies.”

          Tanmay couldn’t believe all these things. She felt very happy and hugged Shekhar tightly.

          She was choked with delight and all the grants of her wishes fulfilled at a time. They made her tremble with joy.

          She cried in delight and said, “Thank you, Thank you…” with teary eyes.

          “So at least you have learned the value of a husband after a long time! but one thing you should remember, don’t play with me like an idiot as I granted you the freedom…” Shekhar said.

          But Tanmay couldn’t care about any of his words; she unfold the letter hurriedly and search for her rank. She got third rank, she has no bounds to her joy. She pressed the letter to her heart, reminding someone at the entrance exam center while stepping down saying that any rank holder who gets less than 50 will get a seat in the university. 

          The next week after attending the counseling session the admission will be confirmed officially. After two months classes will start.

          Shekhar said, “It’s your concern raising funds to pay fees either from your father or mother, I am no way concerned”

          She stared at her bangles on her arms, and assured herself that there’s a way, “Nobody needs to pay, I will go with these.”


          She made a cradle with a sari in the front room. The child slept peacefully in the cradle after he was fed.

          Tanmay always left with a lot of chores though she worked very hard all the while before the baby woke up.

          Now Shekhar was spending his evening time at home. She had now time to attend the household chores in the evenings.

          The sweeping and water sprinkling in front of the house and decoration is her responsibility though it’s a little bit hard. Tanmay loves to decorate the front in the early mornings, moreover she is very skilled in decorating with muggulu !

          The house owners went to Shirdi. Shekhar suggested, “They would only come after one week, why do you take pains now? You can attend those activities when they come.”

          Tanmay never does like that. It’s against her psychology. She loves to work, so simply she laughed at him not responding to his comment.

          Gazing at her finished activity she wondered. She decided to work out on plants and dig the soil around their surroundings, but of course as and when the time permits!

          Shekhar hinted at his displeasure saying, “My ungrateful boss never offered a cup of coffee, though I worked for him all time. Don’t shoulder everything upon you unnecessarily, just broom and sprinkle unto what extent we promised to that woman, that’s all !


          On the admission date Tanmay asked Shekhar to accompany her.

          Shekhar, kicking his bike, said arrogantly,” Who will go with you from next day onwards? Will your Bapu come? Go away, it’s your own headache” and then fled.

          Tanmay couldn’t understand why this man was irritating all the while.

          Tanmay took out Re 1000 from her box, the amount which was offered by her mother for their new clothes for the coming festival.

          Tanmay hurriedly walked into the street, dropped the boy in his Pinni’s house and dashed towards the university gate.

          When she stepped in, she felt it’s like a triumphant victory over the world, an inexplicable joy.

          She looked up and gazed at the threshold of the “Andhra University.”

          She hallucinated, the university was inviting her with showering flowers.

          “Oh my friend! I conquer life,” she murmured to herself.

          I must inform Vanaja, she will surely love it, and also to Laxmi, if possible I must go once.

          She is in great confusion, a sort of anxiety, her legs were badly hurt by walking.

          She wore a Bengali cotton saree, wound the edge around her shoulder and walked to the admission hall filled with hundreds.

          When she was called upon by Mike, she fumbled to walk.

          “We must remember the first five rankers Sir,” A professor with another one said, giving her the admission order to Tanmay. “Congratulations and welcome!” he added. Tanmay looked at him thankfully and offered namaste to him.

          “Amma, this is your department Dean, you are so lucky that he remembered you well.” The other department Dean said.

          Oh, You are lucky Ma’m, The Dean himself identified you in the first instance” the fourth ranker who is following her behind, exclaimed in appreciation.

          Tanmay looked at him questioningly, the stranger said, “Oh Ma’m, You have forgotten me already? When you were confused about where to submit that application, I guided you on that day!”

          She couldn’t remember him, but that guy remembered her well.

          She asked the same question.

          He responded with a smile, “Ah, Ma’m, because you’re only the woman around in thousands here wearing saree, wound around on your shoulders, in fact I admire it”

          “If I remember well, You were then carrying.  May I know whether it is a boy or a girl?”

          “It’s, Mridul,” she said.

          It’s fine, My name is Karuna. Inspired by Karuna Sri, I kept that as my pen name, but your child needn’t, it’s a very beautiful name.”


(Continued next month)

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