The Invincible Moonsheen

Part – 17

(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 is a 15 minutes walk towards University gate from the admission hall. From there, it takes another 15 minutes to bring the baby.

          Tanmay was upset with the thoughts, “whether she could reach home before the baby could wake up or not “

          Karun asked looking at Tanmay who was repeatedly gazing at her watch, “Any problem?”

          “Not at all a problem, but I must reach home urgently. It’s already late. Thank you sir, you made me learn everything about the university” said Tanmay.

          Where would you be? he asked.

          When Tanmay hesitated, Karun said, “Okay, No problem, but it’s only to guide you to any possible shortest route, that’s all,” he said.

          when Tanmay said about her residence, he exclaimed,”Oh, such a great building?” and laughed.

          She couldn’t understand why he was so surprised about it so she asked the same.

          “Have you understood how this world is filled with so many wonders! Have you ever seen the gigantic wall adjacent to your residence? he said.

          Of course, yes, she nodded her head. The building is at the corner of the street. There is a big wall and a small gate to its compound. I observed it’s almost like grassy land.

          he said again laughing,”That’s our hostel”

          “Oh, university hostel? Why that grass and everything?

          when she wanted to say something further, he stopped her and said,” Yes, it’s a private hostel, looking like a  wasteland to you? of course if anyone could get a seat in university hostel, reservation is needed, but a poor unworthy fellow am,”

          Karun added, “It’s okay, just a hide out on head, that’s all, I usually spend most of my time in the library, ask me any book you want I’ll, and for your information there’s no shortcut except auto. If you catch any bus, you still need to walk from there!” Then he walked away.

          Tanmay paid back his good-bye saying,” It’s fine, meet again once the classes start.”


          As she walked fast, she was sweating profusely.

          In Vizag, particularly in and around the university is a hilly area where the roads lead either upward climbing or downward climbing, making you sweat even to short distances.

          The university is on a hill top so the roads go down and even leads to the seashore.

          The face feels greasy due to high dense humidity in the air.

          Tanmay wiped her face with her saree and ran to her baby.

          “Oh, thank God, take him, hasn’t been controlled for a while for no reason, crying badly,” She handed over her child.

          Pinni has a fake smile, in her voice Tanmay pulsed something intolerance.

          She picked up the child and his bag, and started walking under the scorching sun to home.

          She gulped some ragi malt when she had started in the morning.

          She felt ravenous and hungry. It seems the child is more ravenous than her, the baby sucking her shoulder.

          She fell on the bed helplessly with the baby.

          Soon the boy filled his stomach and began to play, smiling looking into her mother’s face.

          She looked at her baby lovingly, “Amma Donga, filled your stomach?

          started playing? She ran her palm on his head caringly.

          She said, “Your mother joined university nanna, don’t make a fuss, you should be co operative, okay?” She looked deep into his beautiful brown eyes.

          “Umm… ” the boy responded hilariously.

          She felt feeble to cook, moreover there were no vegetables except onions.

          She mixed some butter milk in the porridge left in the morning, filling her stomach. She thought about Shekhar’s dinner.

          When the heat reduced outside, she washed her face and came out with a broom.


          She laid the baby on a quilt outside stretching a mat.

          She broomed the compound area filled with leaves and flowers, while keeping an eye on her baby.

          All of a sudden the baby turned prone and began to whimper. She ran to him and showered kisses on him with excitement, “Oh kanna, you started turning topsy? Wow, she was thrilled. 

          We must tell this news to Ammamma!  let’s go and call, we need to distribute sweets to celebrate the occasion…

          There’s no STD booth in the corner of the street. What do we do now?

          Shekhar came in the evening moodily. Tanmay wanted to share everything with him, but if she tried at this moment to tell anything, he would surely make it chaotic.

          Tanmay kept the baby in the cradle and walked out and squatted on the mat. The crescent moon and the twinkling starlight sky. It’s grand and beautiful.

          The cooling breeze makes the creepers quiver in delight.

          The out house is built away from the entrance gate in such a fashion that the owners or the passersby cannot see the residents.” This house is pleasant, beautiful and fits my mentality with special appeal.”

          Tanmay said to herself.

          “Anything for dinner?” Shekhar’s roar blasted the silence.

          She came to her senses at once.

          “What’s the matter?” keenly looking into his angered face, she said.

          “After all, as a woman, what can you understand about the difficulties in a job? leave it! When do you come back from the university this morning? He enquired sharply.

          “…I was a bit late today” she fumbled.

          “I told you in the very beginning, my pinni can only assist you to some extent, if you keep on delaying in such a way, better drop that bloody course and look after the child, it’s enough. Tell me one thing, why do you need anything like a degree? Moreover you know nothing of English speaking”

          Tanmay suddenly felt humiliated and said seriously,”Am I telling you I can’t speak English? Have you ever heard me speaking english?”

          “You? Speak english? Do you think countryside English is english?

          See how our landlady speaks! her English is so fluent that nobody can catch her speed, like Britishers. Don’t dare to show your ignorance before her, everyone will laugh at you” Shekhar said sarcastically.

          Tanmay started crying with humiliation.

          “Started that bloody crying? It’s better to go to the second show rather than watching your evil face! shut the door, I am going,” then he fled.

          Tanmay was shocked at his behavior, she looked into the void for sometime and walked in silently.


          She learnt from the university authorities that if we produce income and caste certificates we may be waived from some fees.

          “I was already thinking of meeting Lakshmi, so we can better make it clear these two works at a time, if we go out. Will you come with me Nanna?” Tanmay whispered to her baby.

          Shekhar went to a camp.

          She cooked some food and ate and walked out with her baby.

          She found an auto in the corner of the street she got in and said the address.

          She felt the notes ₹ 200 in her purse, and said to herself, “Only this much I left, from Mom’s money.”

          She brought her old  caste certificate and a present current bill and approached the area revenue center office.

          She filled out the forms, tagged the Xerox copies and handed them over to the clerk. It took her 3 hours. Attender asked for a tip.

          This man was absent all the while when I was with the small kid, at least not asking me for a glass of water!

          She got down the steps and squatted on a stone bench and offered ₹10 to him. The attender was disappointed and said,”Why this small amount, Ma’am? You will be greatly benefited once you get this income certificate…!” He started mumbling around…

          “But I have no money,” she said, wiping her sweat.

          He looked at the baby in her lap and muttered,” Can we get at least a milk bottle for RS 10?” and he walked away taking the note.

          “They asked me to collect it after 15 days. Where do we get money Nanna, tell me!” She said to her baby.

          The baby’s head was soaked with sweat. ” Oh, you are sweating Nanna, let me take you to some shady tree,” She walked ahead and sat under a shadow. She opened the milk bottle and poured some water and fed.

          It’s midnoon. She walked another 15 minutes and reached the bus stand.

          She wound her polyester mix saree over her baby’s head.

          She climbed up the hill to the old house. The man in the corner street smiled and asked,”How do you do?”

          Laxmi, who was busy with the bargain of steel vessels  at a street vendor, looked at Tanmay and started to run towards her. 

          She took the child from Tanmay and kissed it, saying,”Oh, how cute is your son! exciting.

          When Laxmi switched over to grinding coconut chutney, Tanmay stopped her saying,” Don’t take any laborious work please, I haven’t any cravings  now that I have during this baby inside me!”

          “Nothing Tanmay, it’s just a formal work, that time it was for your baby, now it’s for you!”

          After lunch, Tanmay categorically stated,” It would be a great help if we were here to attend my classes at university. It has become a problem for me to look after the child during my classes.”

          “True, but your husband made it difficult.” Laxmi felt sorry for it.

          Tanmay looked at her dubiously. Lakshmi said,”doesn’t your husband tell you anything?”

          “Umm…nothing.” Tanmay said, is there anything Laxmi? 

          “What can he say about his nasty things! you are pure gold, but your husband is a scoundrel. How can you marry that bloody fellow? When you were camped, I was also on my trip for one month. After I  came back, I heard a lot of nasty things about your husband from the neighborhood, I couldn’t believe them at first…” She whispered in a low voice, “but did you know he used to bring girls to home?”

          Tanmay’s first expression is hate, she said, “Phew.. Phew!” Controlling her upsurge she said with a least bit of hope, “Perhaps…any relatives…? he has plenty…” Tanmay choked  trying to control herself.

          “Oh, come on Tanmay! You are so innocent that you still have hope in that rascal. I saw him leaning on a concubine coming home being heavily drunk, you can’t expect what fuss they both made here.”

          Laxmi was greatly excited while telling these things.

          She continued,” The next day someone brought it to the notice of the owner and he fired him out…

          In the same evening he fled with households in two autos,”

          Tanmay became blank. She was about to faint. She was altogether burning with rage and hatred, it’s like a helplessness that engulfed her suddenly.

          “Stop Laxmi, I can’t hear anything more, just stop,” In a fit of rage she rose and snatched the baby and fled.

          Lakshmi came to the auto point and said to Tanmay,” Sorry Tanmay! I might have hurt you badly telling these unpleasant things about your husband…But remember, men are  scoundrels mostly… but your husband is perhaps the worst of all, don’t make it a fuss, continue your studies, forget not that you have a baby, At least for your son you must withstand any hurdles in life!”

          Tanmay was burning with hatred and humiliation.

          As soon as she dashed into the room she dragged out the photo frame of Shekhar and knocked it to the floor. “Phew…Phew…Just bodily pleasures…a beast without heart! At least that guy must have certain values even after marriage, leave it before coming into the relationship. While I was suffering with lots of problems there this guy is enjoying such nastiest pleasures! Yes, I had my share of what I deserve marrying that beast.” She banged her head against the wall with uncontrollable pain and anguish. She fell down on the floor and sobbed and sobbed continuously.

          The baby is crying, but Tanmay was not in a position to control her agony to console her baby, she wept and wept the whole night.

          “What wrong did I do for you Shekhar? Why were I awarded this punishment? Why did you ruin my life? Why? Why?

          She panicked, didn’t take any bite of food, she fed her baby now and then and fell asleep the whole night.

          She had a nightmare and in it, Shekhar threw her from a mountain peak into the sea. She woke up sweating profusely.

          She inevitably attends to the baby’s chores and she has no interest in doing anything for her. Still tears running down her cheeks. She became feeble and lost and spent all the day leaning against the wall.

          She was burning with anger.

          Shekhar came in the morning. She rose up suddenly fuming with uncontrollable anger.

          Shekhar said smiling,” Why hissing like a cobra? not sleep well at night?

          “What did you do when I had gone for delivery? Have you vacated the house or they vacated you from there? Tell me first! She burst out.

          Shekhar sharply retorted,”Why did you go there? Who asked you to go there? First of all, you tell me!”

          She poignantly remarked,” Well, that’s how I learnt everything about your original character and what you are! Don’t I know if you won’t say?”

          He said sarcastically,” Oh what kind of person are you! this is what you are offering your husband who came home in the general compartment without sleep and proper food traveling the whole irksome night!”

          ” Shh…Do you think I slept here comfortably? The baby is there otherwise I would have hung myself up” She said it choking with pain.

          He drew the baby close to him and said,” Great idea, You would have pursued it ! I might have been cleared from all this nuisance!” Then he tucked in bed with the blanket covered on his face.

          She said, “Yuck! Dying for you is rather an insult for me!”

          “Damn you! Why are raising? You just shut your mouth and keep quiet. I am a man, I can do what I wish. I run this family and you have no sympathy at all, but questions me as if a blunder! Stop this nonsense,” He turned that side and slept.

          She knocked down the package he bought with a saree and jacket with some sweets.

          She went inside the bathroom and locked it. She was feeling congested, no strength to think of anything, she was sweating badly, she poured some cold water on her head.

          When she was out, it’s just dawning outside. She walked out, opening the door into the street. She left her soaking head as it was.

          She didn’t know where to go, mindlessly she walked towards the sea.

          Indeed the sea is one mile away from her location,  because of the fencing at the end point one must walk around traveling 4 to 5 kms to reach the shore.

          When she couldn’t walk further she squatted on a bench of a bus stop. Everyone around her was watching her frizzy hair and soiled saree in sweat and swollen eyes due to her crying strangely at the tea shop nearby. 

          Her mind was totally blank and she couldn’t make out why she came out of the house. Only one thing is certain: she doesn’t want to stay in that house. She was totally upset and became so weak that she couldn’t stand up. She dropped down her head and closed her eyes.

          She suddenly woke up from her lethargy, making a loud cry when something burnt on her elbow. 

          A rope with fire at the end touched her elbow which she couldn’t observe in her agony.

          It’s indeed a bit away from her. “how it could be possible to burn her on the elbow? She suspected something odd and looked around. A mentally retarded person was giggling behind the shop. The shop owner thronged him with a stick. But Tanmay was horrified watching him all of a sudden.


(Continued next month)

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