The Invincible Moonsheen

Part – 26

(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, Udayini, who runs a women’s aid organization “Sahaya” in America. Sameera gets a good impression of Udayini. Four months pregnant, Sameera tells her that she wants to get a divorce and the circumstances are conducive to it. Udayini asks her to listen to the story of “Tanmayi” and pursue her to make her own decision after listening to the story. Tanmayi and Shekhar, who met at a wedding ceremony, go to marry with the permission of their elders. After the marriage they started their new life in Visakhapatnam. A boy was born to the couple in a year of their marriage. Tanmay engages in her studies deeply and enjoys the friendship with her colleagues forgetting all about her household disturbances. Her parents came to stay with her for a month while Shekhar is away on his long-term camp.


          Tanmay was totally upset with tormented thoughts while getting the luggage ready.

          If she stepped back, the whole pathos she had undergone for her goal would become futile.

          If she wished to go in search of Shekhar who audaciously abandoned his child, it’s like dipping all her goals into waters.

          All those adversities she faced in her travel with him despite his torture all these days, were only for his child. But how did he leave the child? 

          Everything he did. He only blamed and tainted me. Yet he was free to leave his family! Why did he do this? Was it out of the result of outrage as her father supposed?

          If it was so, why did he insult me before others, assault Karun and force me to sign white papers?

          Tanmay’s mind was boiling with unanswerable queries.

          She decided once for all. At any cost, she didn’t want to go back to her parents like a dependent daughter to lead a terrible life.

          The luggage was loaded on the van. She carried a bag with some dresses and books and a money purse. Then she said with a strong determination, “Daddy, take care of this kid, I will come!”

          Bhanumurthy felt something different in her voice. But he could not say anything against her. The van driver started the vehicle.

          Bhanumurthy waved his hands and said, “Okay Thalli, don’t forget to call your Mom, she may be upset”

          Tanmay held the kid’s palm into hers. She couldn’t leave his hands.

          She welled up with tears when the vehicle drove off.

          She walked down to the booth and called her mother. When she was detailing the recent consequences she couldn’t control her emotional surge. She choked crying.

          She broke, “Why…Why were those papers taken…duly signed…?”

          “Umm…No…baby no…don’t cry…nothing like that. What can he do with those papers? Will he make wall posters? Who will be the loser if he blames his wife? Wait and see… That dumb head will come back to you! Don’t take it to heart. Come Saturday, we can talk about it…don’t worry…take care!” 

          Tanmay was relieved of the heaviness in her heart.

          She couldn’t eat properly for days together. The stress she had undergone made her sick. Yet she was walking confidently thinking about her life.

          She recapitulated all those recent occurrences.

          Why am I always troubled? Why should I face all these adversities?

          Where did the mistake lie?

          Where was my life derailed?

          As everyone does, I had my dreams. I loved and married the man whom I loved most. I cherished my goals and traveled in life accordingly to fulfill them. What’s wrong with it?

          He had plenty of shortcomings, but I never thought of leaving him. She loved him wholeheartedly, married him and respected the sentiments of their tradition and family. She traveled with him despite all adversities and torture, tuning herself to his whims.

          Yet he couldn’t understand her single goal of fulfilling her studies. Why? 

          Moreover, he is suspicious!

          These are one-sided. What about the other? How can I lead my life? How can I continue my studies? How can I bring up this kid? 

          Above all, where to stay tonight?

          “Oh, my Anonymous friend! show me a way!” She prayed.

          She remembered Ananta and began to walk to the university hostel with the luggage hoping she would help her. She was sweating profusely as she walked all along on the uneven roads.

          She collapsed under a tree reaching the department.

          She was in total distress and became feeble physically. She remembered the one hundred rupee note in her purse, the only source of survival for a week and her bus fares home at the weekend.

          Tanmay couldn’t observe the arrival of Raju and Divakar.

          Divakar who was surprised looking at her remarked, “Are you going somewhere and stopping here?”

          She was embarrassed to say anything to  his query. She anxiously asked Raju, “Oh I must meet Ananta, where is she?

          “She had been home on Sunday, her father was sick. I will call her and ask her to come back if everything is okay there. She was missing classes. By the way, are you coming from home straight away?”

          Raju exclaimed looking at her baggage.

          Tanmay nodded faltering.

          Divakar intervened, “Our guy…couldn’t appear since yesterday…” he intended to say about Karun.

          Tanmay suddenly felt guilty about his remarks about Karun. She remembered the recent painful events. “How would he be? I’m extremely sorry for what has happened to him. Because of my friendship, he was badly insulted…She blamed herself.

          What to do now? To get back home?

          She gathered her strength, rose and walked out towards the bus stop. She has no option except to leave for home. If Ananta had been there she could have helped by staying in the lady’s hostel. 

          Divakar stammered, “Ta…nmay, I will carry you..r suitcase to home.”

          Tanmay hesitantly said, “Oh, Divakar, it’s okay…” and then she burst into tears.

          Divakar startled, “Is…everything…. okay…Tanmay garu…?” 

          “I’m sorry… Divakar garu…we vacated our house…” and she collapsed on a bench nearby.

          “Oh…Tanmay garu…I am sorry…If you don’t mind you can come with me…to our home…Me and my sister only at home…Till Friday my parents won’t come back. You can then decide about your stay and other things to relax.”

          “It’s a great help to me, Divakar Garu. I have no words to thank you at this point…”

          They began to walk down from the university uphill towards the staff quarters. It’s the last house near the shore.

          He led her into a bypass and showed her a house, “ That is our master’s house who promised me in the preparation of JRF…”

          Tanmay suddenly felt a pain in her heart when the JRF reminded her.

          She thought, “Is it possible for me to hit the JRF in these critical situations?”

          Tanmay’s heart fully thanked him for his decency and decorum in his attitude. He didn’t ask about any personal things except JRF and studies.

          Tanmay hasn’t any serious rapport with him so far. She thought he was simple and innocent. But now he seemed to her a good guy with decent traits.

          They passed through the footpath filled with plenty of flower plants all along the way on either side and stepped into the staff quarters.

          A girl in her prime with a beautiful gesture invited them smiling, “Hmm…stop a while, If I am right you are Tanmay! Well, our Diva very frequently refers to your name. The only girl who wrapped a saree in his batch these days. So I caught you at first glimpse.”

          She led Tanmay, who was utterly tired, inside, showed her the washroom to refresh and went into the kitchen to make coffee.

          She took out a towel, dabbed her face, and put a bindi on her forehead.

          Katyayani, Divakar’s sister, two years older than him, did her MA in philosophy, had wide eyes and looked graceful with her lucidity.

          Divakar took leave and went out for some time.

          Katyayani said excitedly, “Want to see any serial on TV? It’s E. TV, newly introduced.

          Tanmay suddenly remembered the episode of their gifted color TV to Shekhar. Devi insisted on color TV because of the influence of the alliance of his brother. It was about 20 thousand. Bhanumurthy bought it with the Chit amount, saved for needs in difficulty. She remembered how his father’s face twisted with pain when loading it up to the van.

          “Umm…I’m sorry I haven’t been used to Kathyani Garu”

          “Well, I knew…You are a bookworm…My brother told me, so it’s not surprising me” She smiled customarily.

          After a formal chit-chat about studies and other things Kathyani said, “You can call me Kathya comfortably, and now better sleep now…you are looking exhausted” saying that she went in and brought pillows.

          “I’m tired but not feeling sleepy Kathya! I must think of my stay talking with Ananta tomorrow…until then if you don’t mind I would stay here” 

          She looked a bit hesitant while she spoke.

          “Oh, it’s warmly welcomed, you can stay as long as you wish…By the way, How is the kid?”

          Suddenly Tanmay became conscious about her kid. She felt pity for the kid. Her eyes filled with tears.

          “I’m sorry…please relax…Tanmay garu…you may share your pain if anything is bothering you with me to unload the burden.”

          “Oh, I am sorry I…just became emotional…I will tell you everything with you Kathya…” She wiped her eyes.

          Then Tanmay narrated every event of her life and the recent occurrences made her feel pathetic.

          Kathya became tearful listening to her story. Tanmay appreciated her empathic nature towards a stranger like her. She said to herself “I must not forget this kind-hearted soul in my life”

          She was shocked to see Divakar with tears at the threshold who seemed to have heard her story.

          She thanked the Almighty for keeping such people on the earth. “Because of such people the world still exists.” Tanmay thanked God in her soul.

          Tanmay took care of Karun’s role while narrating her troubled story, not mentioning his name unnecessarily. She decided to keep him away from her memories even further over time.


          The next day Ananta exclaimed looking at Tanmay, “ Oh my dear! Good heavens, My father was admitted to KGH due to jaundice, my mother was waiting on him. Will I take some food from your home?”

          She was aghast and breathing heavily embarrassed.

          Tanmay, shocked at her disposition said, “Oh I am sorry…let’s go to hospital at once.”

          Divakar said, “Don’t worry…I will take care of the notes…You better go immediately now we may meet after the classes.”

          Ananta and Tanmay got on a bus with Raju.

          While going on the bus Tanmay detailed everything to Ananta.

          Ananta pitied her saying, “Don’t worry, everything will be alright, That guy is a most unlucky fellow making you so sorrowful and leaving such a cute son. Be brave, I will take you to the hostel in the evening, maybe there will be some chance to stay with the girls.”

          Tanmay felt relieved and with tears in eyes said, “Thank you so much Ananta!”

          “It’s ok, but you should stop crying for everything. You must stand on your feet first of all and raise your child for a better life.”

          Tanmay nodded, wiping her tears.

          Ananta said, “Raju’s uncle was a retired employee of Railways. He runs a restaurant in Gajuwaka Railway Quarters. He hired a food stall for the exhibition, which started near our university. We joined the staff and are now looking for a few others. If you are willing to join us I will talk to him.”

          Tanmay felt happy and thanked silently to her anonymous friend staring up into the sky.

          She took her hands thankfully and said with gratitude, “I’m speechless to say something in return Ananta! I’ll surely join the stall with you!”

          The work in the stall starts in the evening at 5 o’clock and runs till 11.00 o’clock. The job includes setting tables and chairs and also the closing.

          Tanmay didn’t feel much difficulty in her assignment as being assisted by her colleagues Ananta and Raju.

          Ananta said, “ Tanmay, the stall runs Saturday and Sunday with full work hours. We both are attending. If you can manage you may join us not going home’’

          A day’s labor brings 50 rupees and a food parcel. If worked for 10 days she can manage a month and can travel at least two times to home.

          So she decided to stay.

          Ananta said, “It’s fine! But you should remember one thing! That wrap around your shoulder is not fitting in such places, you should tie it around your waist!” She gesticulated the movement and laughed aloud.


          Tanmay was accommodated in the university hostel tentatively with Ananta’s friends.

          That day Tanmay had bad news awaiting at her hostel room.

          A guest can’t be continued for more than the stipulated days. In the next week, that room is going to be allocated to someone.

          It’s troublesome for Tanmay. 

          It’s very bad on her part to lay the burden always on Ananta. What should be done? Where to stay?

          She began to walk down to the beach and whispered, “Oh my dear Ocean! How do you bear such tumultuous waves? My dear anonymous friend! Please tell the sea to share some of its courage with me!”

          She felt sickened and depressed. Struggle… struggle…struggle for studies, struggle for life…and Shekhar’s nightmare…and the far away kid!

          She walked away and sat on the floor at Rama Krishna Mission and closed her eyes.

          She felt serene and peaceful.

Strength is life, weakness is death 

Expansion is life contraction is death 

Love is life Hatred is death 

————Swami Vivekananda 

          She read those inspiring lines repeatedly as if they were meant for her. While she was getting ready to leave, suddenly her eyes fell upon an advertisement on the wall.

          It was for resident teachers recruitment in the local Vivekananda Ashram School. The resident means she can overcome the hostel problem. But of course, studies and a job at a time is a very difficult task to cope with. She wanted to test her fate on Monday.

          She wrote the address and particulars and walked out silently. 

          She bowed her head to the Sea and whispered, “Oh my Anonymous friend! Bless me with this posting!”


          The next day when she decided to go home she went to a roadside shop and bought a pair of dresses and shoes for the kid.

          She felt satisfied and happy buying them with her first income. She hugged and kissed the dress and imagined her son in it admiringly.

          She wanted to listen to her kid’s voice before getting home.

          She called home and heard him calling Amma and elated.

          But her mother’s voice was suspicious and dull.

          She understood only when she reached home, the reason behind her dullness.

          Her father was looking sad and worried sitting on a chair.

          Tanmay snapped the papers from her mother’s hand and looked anxiously at what they were.

          It was the divorce notice from Shekhar! Tanmay collapsed on the ground.

          It was a terrible shock to her parents who were waiting hopefully for his arrival for 2 months.

          Tanmay took her son to her bosom and began to cry silently.

          Jyoti patted her back soothingly.

          When they both heard something moaning from the chair they ran to him anxiously.

          Tanmay yelled out a loud cry watching her father wriggle with pain gripping his chest.


(Continued next month)

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