“Her father is dead.” She said pointing towards her daughter. “My mother got me married again. The previous one used to drink a lot and after drinking would start hitting me. I got married very early…I think I was fourteen years old when I got married…She was also born soon after my marriage I think I was fifteen. Around that time my husband started drinking a lot…I kept telling him not to drink, I used to say your life would be spoiled but he did not listen to me. He used to say that I can leave you, I don’t care if you go but I cannot leave this, I can leave my family also but not this. So I said Ok, then leave me…why should I spoil my life with him.” And she laughed, a sweet carefree laugh. She must have been in her early twenties. She continued, “so I left him and came to live with my mother even before she was born. She was born in the bada hospital, I have been here only since then. After that my mother looked for a good match and fixed my relationship with him. By god’s grace he is a good man. All the family member’s are nice. They also drink but they do not beat me…and give me food etc…over all keep me well. Otherwise those who drink do a lot of maarpeet they would drink everyday and beat everyday.” She then looked towards her son who was intermittently crying and said, “It is only four of us. Me, my daughter, this one and my husband. Although she is from my other husband but he treats her well. He never says that she is not my daughter. Though she lives here with my mother. I thought now that my younger sister is also married my mother will have nobody so let me leave her here only.”
“I wish he would sleep now…..but he must be hungry…you will not believe how difficult it is to do any work with him. He cries so much. If I am making roti I will make one roti then come to him…then when he will sleep go back to making roti by then the wood is all burnt. So, I have to start the Chulha again. I also most of the time live with my mother only. My husband’s family is from the village but there you get no work. My husband has got work here. And I also go to the bungalows and do cleaning and utensils. A lot of big people live here, so if I go and work, then I can earn something, but in the village there is nothing to do. You can work on the fields or something but no money. Also because my mother’s house is nearby I have no fear. If my husband comes late, then I come here and wait.”
“I am not educated, as in those days people did not educate their daughters. Nobody would marry educated girl, they felt that if she is very educated then she will leave the man. But then they started realizing that if she is not educated and the man leaves her, what would she do. My sister and brother both have been to the school. Didi I at least have my family to support me, my daughter does not even have saga baap. What will she do! So, I have to educate her so that she is able to do something in life. Padha likha to padha likha hi hota hai…anpadh to anpadh hi hota hai!