It was a great occassion for every one to give only girl in marriage. But for me it was ordeal. Being in a church organization where the matches were fixed by the elders, where n
o caste or no dowry was mentioned, whey I got married 24 years back and where my sisters got married, where my sisters-in-law got married, I never felt a pinch for the things that usually happen in the world to arrange for a marriage.
My daughter’s dad is no more, who took the responsibility of my sisters marriages and his sisters marriages as the eldest son of the family on both sides.
Now I am out in the world, an ugly jungle of the world, many people were talk something and do something. A world where there is no principles, not even know that there are principles of life.
” Leela, search for some good matches for your daughter, from now on wards”
In the organizational church where I had been the girls would not be given or think of marriage till she gets 25 or 26 or even nearing 30 years old.
“Sathya, My daughter is only 23 years old” I said.
” So what Leela, you keep an eye on good matches from now on, by the time she is 25 years old you will have some good matches .”
Good and concerning advise.
A sort of fearish burden came into my heart. I do not have brothers, I lost my hero Dad, I am alone now without the support of my dear husband, who used to say all ways, ‘ Why worry, I am here for you” ( Mein hu na/) nor the organization where my best years of youth , creamy years of health, energy, was spent from my 23rd year to 53 years..almost 30 precious years of my prime youthful years, but now I do not have any one to talk on behalf, we are like orphans in this wide world. A lonely innocent , ignorant oppressed widow in this jungle world.
What type of courage should I get , from whree I get.?
I was prostrating in my lonely room on the floor, and used to beg the Lord,’Lord give me courage, give me courage, i lack courage, i lack wisdom, I am such an ignorant rather innocent to the worldy things…. please give me courage to protect my children, to live a life which gives all that they deserve, I want them never feel the absence of their dear dad, I want them to be free and happy just like when their dad was alive just like those days wherein we live happily in this sweet home.”
“S’ how about we become related, because your brother is no more by having an alliance.’
“No …. you only told once that blood relations are not good, both of them call them brother and sister, how can we get related”
‘oh yea, S , sorry, I know , I was the one who said, so.. in the anxiety of lonliness I said so, ok leave it off, let us be friends as usual”
“Leela, is there any property for your daughter? Usually the those who come for matches ask for the financial status. ”
“Sathya, we do not have any property, except this little house, ”
“Your dad hasn’t given any thing?”
“But once you told me that your Dad built a house in Vizag”
” Oh that!. But I gave it to my younger sister and her husband to have a school, because he does not have any job”
” How many years since…?”
” Its 14 years, my dad died in 1992, now its 2006…”
Is he having school now?”
yes, but he does not able to maintain it because of some internal problems. My mom and my sister also do not want to have that school, because he is not able to maintain it properly”
” Then go Leela, and see how is that house of yours, and occupy it.”
” I think the house is in ruines, because he could not take care of such big house”
” Never mind , you go and see what you can do”
So I went and went into the ground floor rooms which were promised by my dad that it belongs to me. The middle floor to my younger sister, and top floor to my youngest sister.
When I eneterd into the rooms I was astonished to see how terrible it was, the floor was having ditches, all water taps were broken, there was no electricity wires anywhere, The wooden doors window were destroyed and totally ruined, the glass windows were broken.. I thought the house was just like when I saw it in 1992, when my dad was alive.. it was so beautiful .. but now the bandicoots were living in it. His scooter was in the hall, where dad and we girls used to have nice get togethers, laughter, dinners.. was full of oil marks, and ditches of the iron legs of the scooter.
I did not know what to say, I went up and asked my sister and her husband, why the house was like that, if you cannot clean it, I will get it clean, and as you are giving only Rs.1000/- rent to my mom for that portion, I will give 1500 to mom, but you are supposed to give your 1000 to me because you are still usinng it for school, I am not asking you to vacate it, you can use it but I need my portion, under my supervision.”
That man like a mad man shouted, jumped up and down, like a monkey, and said,’ what you want to come and hit on my stomoch? you want to take away my career here? how dare you are to come and ask for the portion now?—–He was shouting so loudly, I could not say anything, I was in tears, retreated back and silently came home.
My friends, A, U, S, and SW asked me the result of my visit. when I told them they said,’That is how they behave, its not a strange thing Leela, he occupied all these years so, when you asked him it was a shock to him and even my brother inlaw behaved like this only.Donot be surprised, you do not loose heart, you keep on asking for your right”
So the days going on, I asked one friend in Vizag about her son, she said, ” o leela, my boy is not in my hands now, he wanted to marry a girl where he is working, and I had to give my consent.. so it cannot be possible.”
I asked a close friend of my hsuband and a distant relative of us, about his son, he said,” oh JD arranged a match, already, no way”
Before I ask them my heart was thumping louder, during my conversation , even after I asked, my tears I tried to hide by all means, I was so lonely, so lonely, I just cannot face all this..”
I had no one, even my sisters did not give me any support because they were the leaders in lef… they cannot be with me, because I am not the leader any more in Elurunor I was regular goer.. In fact one sister said, ” Oh why you should have two gold chaines,, better you should have one only as a widow.” The other sister , jeered at me saying,’ hey you are still wearing colore saries? hehe”
I was hurt so much, lonely, ignorant tears were my companion.. I live with tears, sleep with tears, and get up with tears.
How Innocent and fearful I was , I will give one incident. What happened to that Airhostess Leela who chased the murdrer and lodged complain on the streets of Bombay?
What Lef did to me? made me wriggling worm.. a worm…
I brought one little black and white tv to home, I saw first time the picture, Godzilla.. I was so scared, could not sleep that night, I begged my maid to sleep in the same room where I was sleeping, and in the middle of the night I got up and sat in the middle of the bed and started to weep with fear thinking of Godzilla, the poor girl got up and brought glass of water and pacified me. One day I was seeing a cycle wallah cyling fast and was hit by a lorry , at once I jumped up and fall down on the other bed near by from my wooden chair shouting louder. I did not know the basic knowledge of the ECG till after the death of my dad. I was stupid, I was made stupid, docile.
In these conditions I need to take care of my children, studies, marriages, worthless, useless, cunningless.
Tossed and torn up by every one. Became radical after wards.
At this juncture A, P and me went to S daughter’s engagement function. The women Representative of local church also came where we were sitting, and dragged a chair and gave flowers to every one except me, and wickedly smiled at me. I bent my head, and sat silently. Later she started to tell us this way
” There is a match, the boy is M.Tech, they want a girl who did her B.Tech , she must be slim and fair, ofcourse the boy is dark, any way..” Again the same wicked smile on her face. My friend A has a duaghter but she is too young, may be 20 years old, my friend P has only boys, so they knew I have a dauhter who did her B. Tech and who is slim and fair.. so they and me also looked at her expectantly. Realizing the situation she quickly added these words, ‘ OH oh I for got to tell you, the girl must have both parents alive.” Adding this she left us. I was slapped on my face. I bent my head once again. I did not talk any thing, even my friends were shocked .. and did not say anything. I left them and went to other corner where I knew some people , quickly finished my lunch and came home. Those days I used to have car and a driver. i was not driving then.
I came home , opened the doors, rushed into my bedroom the same bed where my husband breathed his last. I knelt down near the bed, stretched my hands on it, at once I was in the bosom of my Father in Heaven.( will be continued)—-
“My Father, oh my Father, Abba, my father, you are my Father and the Father of my children, Lord you have taken the father of my children, after he finished his responsibilities of his family, his sisters, now I am alone, and my children are alone , you gave a promise, when I took my both children into my arms , in the church at the body of my husband, when I asked you ‘Look Lord, here I am , me and my children..look Lord..and you told me “Behold I and my children, whom the Lord giveneth me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount zion” Isiah 8:18–You are the father of my children, you are the father of me, Lord is it true if earthly father is not there there wont be a marriage for my child? why they say so, is it because they think that if father is not alive all the material gains may be lost for them? Lord I do not know.. tell me what to do… you are my father and the father of my children, you take care of them…”
Tears were rolling down, I became breathless, with many sighs and tears, and words… suppressed in the mouth… The Spirit of God was moving upon me, and God at once gave me an assurance that He is my Father, and I know at once the Lord heard my prayer. Yes, I just knew it, that The Lord heard my prayer. I got up and the verse from the Bible was striking me …. in my face.. ..
The Lord lead me to post the application of marriage alliance in internet.. matrimonial website.
I posted that”” I do not care the caste, nor I would give a single pie as dowry, we are seeking for a bridegroom who is God fearing , and prayerful. “”
This I did in the month of July,2006. There James came in contact. The first question I asked him was did he has the experience of Born again Christianity. he recounted his experience when he was in Hyderabad, when he used to go to LEF there, later when he was in California how he was lead to God by a room mate who also happened to be having LEF background. I told him that giving dowry is against my principle. and expressed my doubt about his relatives who were idol worshipers at that time. He said he is fatherless like my daughter is, and he was brought up by his brothers.. he took baptism in California, and he never bother about dowry.
His eldest brother tried to play hard game on me and tried to oppress me to squeeze dowry from me. My pastor Vinod Premkumar and his wife came to our house. When I told him that I am against the dowry, he told me to tell about that to the groom relatives. And he stood with me in this issue. I was ready to forgo the match rather than yield to their desires. When he first came to my home in Eluru. He was shocked so much, because he thought he could get at least 25 lakhs from me as dowry. After he went away, there was no letter, or phone from him…allmost one month was passing by.
I was praying, James wanted to talk to my daughter on phone. I told my daughter ” You can talk but one thing you remember ,Don’t loose your heart.” She answered me.. “Mom, what, You know what I am
“( only recently I asked her “Happy, what did you talk to James in those days.. did you ask about his job? or his hobbies? ” The answer she gave me was a shocking news for me, I thought she is well educated girl she must had asked him about the job particulars, and other things, which are needed to have a safe life in usa. But she said,” No mom, I did not ask him any thing about those things, I never knew what type of job he was doing before the marriage” oh my… even I never asked him about those backgrounds, only one thing I was interested, his christian life, and dowry as a flees of Gedeon. But because we trusted in Our Father in Heaven, nothing went wrong. we were invited to come to their home by his eldest brother after many phone calls by James ..
30 elders from their village came to their house when I was invited to finalize the wedding date. One of them stood and asked me what I was going to give to their son. I said ,’ I will not give even a single rupee as dowry. I give my daughter to james, and he has to buy his clothes and we ours, I will take expenses of lunch, by bearing only one lakh. I was shivering in my heart, but firm and strong outside.
We returned home, my dear friend Sathya again asked me about the out come of our visit. When I told her that I agreed to give one lakh for marriage expenses as my share she advised me,
” Leela do not give the whole amount at once, when they come to give wedding card give 50000/- then on the day of engagement give another 50000/- that is all”
When they came to give wedding card I gave 50000/- They went out without taking it, started to talk on phones.. and it was getting darker, but they were not coming inside. Panic took hold of me…so I took the car out and went to the church at once, met the pastor, Vinod Kumar , he and his wife came along.. with me, on the way he said” Amma, they behave like that only, its common, do not be worried, its the way of the world” he assured me so much and gave support to me. At last with the intervenes of the pastor, they came inside the home took the sweets and fruits and the cover with 50000/- and left.
You can understand how feeble I was, how trembling I was, I wish I could be more stronger than then ..!! Tears and tears… but outwardly very firm and strong, The courage was from the Lord, and I need to depend on Him every second.. no one to share my fears, no shoulder to rest my head and shed tears, no arm to give an assurance on my head.. no dad, no brother, no husband, and son was in Navy training far in Chennai…
God and His servant was there with me.
I was sitting alone to design the wedding card, the tears made me not able to see what I was trying to write, I have a friend all ways , within reach, His bosom was all that I needed, and it is very near, I stretched out my hand and took the little Bible there on the bed… and my eyes fell on the verse… Matt 16:17 “Blessed are you….for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my FATHER IN HEAVEN.”—–That relieved the stone in my heart… it became lighter.. and I proceded with the arrangements. Even now I am amazed at the faith of my children, they just trusted the Lord, my daughter or me never asked James about the security of his job, the possiblity of getting visa, I thought as my daughter is well educated she must had asked those things, but it seems she never, they got married in 2006 only in 2012 i asked her casually whether she had any idea of james job before marriage, and did she ask him the details of his job, the security of his job, his life pattern.. she said ‘o I never asked him, did you?’ —grinning as ever.. so her infectious grinning made me to grin as well.
On wedding day I was bringing my daughter along with one uncle and aunty, but in between I could not control my tears, backed up, went inside cried aloud in the bathroom, washed my face and again joined the throng.. bridal march. I gave the hand of my daughter to the groom. The family friends, uncle and aunty were with me.
Though they tried not to yeild to my demands, James was assuring me that everything will be all right, So he came to Hyderbad on 3rd Sept,2006 came to see my daughter first time , Eluru on 6th Sept 2006, The engagement was fixed already for 9th, and the wedding on 10th in Rajole, E G dt. 16th was Visa appointemnt for my daughter in chennai,Getting visa was another ordeal, somebody told us we need to get secular wedding certificate to get visa , and in those days there was some strong objections to the certificate given by the pastors. There was some fraud in that process by some people so a new rule came into exisitence.. the time short, within 5 days I was running up and down to get a wedding certificate uncle was with me, we went to various places as we were told to go, kakinada, Rajuhmandry …. etc.. I did not want to face the shame of leaving my daughter behind, after the wedding. I knew number of cases wherein the bride was left behind for 4 or 5 years by not having visa.. remember we never asked about these things also or get affirmation from james before marriage, neighter me nor by my daughter.. we were innocent, fully depend on God , by faith.
We got a certificate atlast from rajuhmnadry , not authentic one as they said to us once it is chrisitan marriage we wont get secular wedding certificate. We were wrongly informed … about visa.. whatever it was lot of work for me, tiredness and anxiety for me. I almost ran after the train to hand over the certificate when my children were on their way to chennai from Rajuhamndry , in Eluru railway station.
Getting Visa was another ordeal….. 29th they already booked tickets to go to Florida.
When she was leaving in the Airport, I thought she would cry, and when I see her crying I cannot control my tears, so I took three or four handkerchiefs.. with me. But she apt to her name, all in smiles, waved her hand happily and just disappeared saying good bye after a firm hug…. that is all. I got a phone call the next day from her that they safely landed and very happy there.
PRAISE YE THY NAME FATHER, PRAISE THEE… WITH ALL MY SOUL. He is the Father of Fatherless… He performed His children wedding…!! God bless them!!