Gangaa 15 April 2020: Sagar refills Ganga’s plate with food. She gestures him to stop but he doesn’t stop. You haven’t eaten anything since yesterday. Everyone smiles seeing their bonding. Ganga recalls the first time when Sagar had not let her finish her meal as he wanted to play. She smiles thinking of the changes in him.
Ganga is playing with pebbles. Niranjan and Madhvi come there. He too sits down on the floor beside her. how was your fast? She tells him that it isn’t a tough task to keep fast. He asks her if she has kept fast earlier as well. She shakes her head. Bappa used to say that fasts and puja are mostly done by elderly. It is a feast for a poor person when he is able to eat something and it is a fast when his plate is empty. Niranjan is proud of her. Your Bappa was right. It is a fast when a person stays hungry even if he has everything. Rich people keep fast to go to heaven while poor people are compelled to stay hungry to sustain themselves. He leaves.
Madhvi asks Ganga if she understood anything that her Babu had said. Ganga says I understood a little. They smile. Ganga adds that Babu’s voice is just like honey. Whatever he will say will be sweet and nice only. I was staring at him continuously while he was talking. His eyes shine like stars. Bappa used to say that the eyes of truthful persons shine brightly. Madhvi is impressed. Ganga remembers something and runs upstairs.
Ganga is folding clothes when Sagar comes there. I want to say something. He fumbles, wondering how to say it. he gets an idea and takes her to where the wheat has been spread. He writes down the word sorry. She cannot read it though. You tell me what you have written. Sagar is in a fix. She tells him to let it be. I know you are fooling me. She turns to go when he gathers courage and says sorry to her. She doesn’t know what it means. She mistakes it for saree. He laughs hearing her explanation but then explains the right meaning to her. She tells him that she doesn’t want sorry. He asks her what she wants then.
Sudha is venting out her anger by washing clothes. Pishi Ma observes her keenly. That girl was not wrong. One should not be this much short tempered. What was the need for you to get into an argument with her? Sudha replies that it is Ganga who engages in a verbal duel always. She always makes me feel as if we are lower than her in some sense or other. She overlooks our years old penance as if she is the only one who is smart amongst all of us. I don’t know what happiness she gets by troubling us! Honestly speaking, I have no answer to any of her questions or any of her words.
This is why I lose my cool. She is all the more hyper to see Ganga standing there. Sudha leaves the clothes and walks up to where Ganga is standing. What are you doing here? Ganga says I have come here to collect my saree and jewellery (of her Gauna). Sudha repeats that they are of no use to her. What will you do with that? Sagar calls out for Sudha Bua. He tells her that it is none of her concern. Ganga can do anything with her stuff. Give them back to her. Sudha is surprised that Sagar is taking Ganga’s side.
Pulkit too walks inside in their support. Please return Ganga’s stuff to her. Sudha sticks to her point and Pulkit says the same lines for her. Sudha is taken aback. Ganga yet again asks for her saree and jewellery. My Bappa had bought them for me. Sudha agrees to give them all back to her. We widows anyways don’t need any of it. The kids get happy. Sudha gets Ganga’s stuff. Take it, I too will see what you will do with it. Ganga checks all the items and is content. She too tells Sudha to watch out for sure. Pulkit and Sagar smile. All the three kids leave. Sudha looks hurt.
Ganga happily watches her jewellery. She recalls the day of her Gauna when she was really happy wearing all of those jewels. Pulkit tells her to come home first. Your stuff will stay with you only. You can look at them later. Ganga ties the potli around her waist just like her Bappa had taught her to. Pulkit packs the rest of her stuff and gives it to her. They all head home.
Maid is massaging Amma ji’s feet. Maharaj ji is watering plants. He advises her against keeping such kind of tough fasts. Amma ji refuses to give up the fast which she has been keeping for years just because she is getting old. How will I face me Lord when I die? Maid is surprised at the fact that Ganga could keep such a tough fast. She is clever. Maharaj ji talks in Ganga’s favour. Amma ji nods. It is good for her only if she learns to follow all the other rules of how the widows should live their lives. She is very naughty. She never listens to me. Madhvi says she isn’t naughty but upfront. She always lives by her words. Amma ji talks about how they shouldn’t pamper such girls too much or they will do whatever they will feel like.
Sudha calls Amma ji and informs everything to her. Amma ji looks shocked / angry by the time she ends the call. Where is that girl? Where are Sagar and Pulkit? Do you (Madhvi) have any idea?
The kids are enjoying kulfi. Sagar asks Ganga if she is happy now. Are you still angry with me? Ganga teases him by saying that she will think and then tell him. Sagar is confused. Pulkit tells him to think what they will tell Dadi. Sudha Bua must have called her by now. Dadi will be angry with us. Think how we will face her! Sagar nods. The kids get into thinking mode.
Amma ji paces as she waits for the kids. I will punish that girl. she has crossed her limits. I am not going to take it. Madhvi adds that kids make mistake, Ganga too is a little girl. Raghav ji greets everyone but notices the tensed expressions on Amma ji’s face. Niranjan too comes there, all set to leave for court. He talks to Raghav ji about one of their client. They turn to go when Niranjan notices everyone’s mood. Is there some problem again? Amma ji dismisses it. it is a household matter. We women will handle it. You anyways have to think of a lot many things. Niranjan and Madhvi look at each other.
The kids reach outside their house very carefully. They are scared of Amma ji’s anger. Sagar gets an idea. Dadi only gives up when Papa says something. He will save us from her. Pulkit and Ganga agree. He always supports honest people. Ganga wonders what will happen if Amma ji finds out that we all are heading directly to babu’s room. Sagar assures her that they both are with her.
Niranjan looks at Madhvi for some clue but Amma ji tells him to go to work. He leaves. Maid, Maharaj ji and Madhvi too head to their tasks.
The kids notice Niranjan leaving in his car and are dejected. They wonder how they will tackle Amma ji now. Pulkit says we have to be strong now. Plus we haven’t done anything wrong. We will tell her the truth. They enter inside. The corridor is empty so they think that Dadi is maybe in her room. They think of going upstairs when Amma ji calls out for them. they all turn to face her. Where are you coming from? She signals Ganga to come closer. Ganga walks towards her.
Ganga walks towards Amma ji when she asks her to. Madhvi questions the kids. Where did you disappear to without telling anyone? Dadi was so worried. Amma ji interrupts her. Don’t scold my grandsons. Ganga is to be blamed. You took them with you, right? Where did you go to and why? What’s in that bag that you are hiding behind your back? Amma ji and Ganga fight to take or keep the bag. The saree and the jewellery fall on the floor in the process.
Everyone is taken aback to see all that. Maid walks forward to pick them up but Ganga clearly tells her to stay away. Amma ji deduces that they all belong to Ganga. This is your Gauna’s saree? Ganga nods. Bappa had brought it for me. Sagar tells them how Sudha Bua had forcefully kept them with her. We had gone there to bring that only. Why will Sudha Bua keep something with her that doesn’t even belong to her? Amma ji signals him to wait / stop.
She sits down with Ganga on the floor. Did you go to Ashram to bring your clothes and jewellery? What was the need for you to go there? You could have told me. I would have called them up and your belongings would have been here in no time. They are really nice but what will you do with them? Will you wear them? Ganga accepts it that she loves red saree, bangles and jewellery. My Bappa had brought them for me with love but Sudha Bua snatched them all from me. Amma ji agrees to let her wear it if she doesn’t like white saree.
Maid is shocked but Amma ji stops her form interrupting them. She turns to Ganga again. You got married once. You must know that one cannot wear these clothes just like that. She tells Pulkit to call a rickshaw. We are going to temple. Madhvi is tensed. She tries to ask Amma ji about it but gets no reply. Amma ji and Ganga leave in the rickshaw. Everyone is concerned for Ganga.
They reach the temple. Ganga too wants to know why they have come to temple. Amma ji gives no reply and they go inside. Ganga is mesmerised seeing Ma’s idol. We dint get any flowers or Prasad. Please tell me now what are we doing here. Amma ji asks her if she knows who this Goddess is. Ganga nods. She smiles as she notices her lovely appearance, her attire. Amma ji keeps indicating to her that Ma is married. You are not ready without vermilion. Now you tell me what’s the point in dressing up incompletely? You will have to have vermilion in your forehead if you really want to dress up properly.
Amma ji requests Pandit ji to give her a little vermilion for the girl. The priest is offended after noticing Ganga (widow). Ganga questions him about it. Why can’t I have Ma’s vermilion? He explains that it is a sin for a widow to dress up, put vermilion in her forehead, etc. Ma’s vermilion cannot be put on a widow’s forehead. Ganga reasons that the vermilion belongs to Devi Ma, who are you to say no? Bappa used to say that everyone has a right on God’s Prasad. A few ladies feel Ganga is too arrogant. We would have taught her a lesson if she was from our family. Amma ji and Ganga look at each other.
Amma ji explains the facts to her. God accepts everyone but a widow is never allowed to put Devi Ma’s vermilion in your forehead. This is the punishment of widows. You are no different. Ganga says why she will punish me. I dint become a widow by my will! Amma ji says it is as per everyone’s destiny. you must learn to accept it. no one can fight with their destiny. Ganga looks at her sadly. She refuses to accept it. Bappa used to say that our fate is in our hands. Everyone is stunned by her bold words.
Amma ji tells Ganga to show her her destiny. we cannot change what had been written in our destiny. we are widows and we have to live like that only. Ganga says that isn’t so. Amma ji tells her that her Bappa was wrong. Not just in your hands but it is also written on your forehead that you are a widow. Ganga declines. She rubs her forehead vigorously so she can erase that, if in case it is indeed there! Amma ji insists that she cannot erase what has been written for her. You wont be able to do that in this birth atleast. Priest too calmly tells the same to her. he gives her flowers and Prasad.
You cannot get vermilion. Amma ji suggests Ganga to take what she is getting. Think it to be your destiny and accept it. whatever happened with you happened as per Devi Ma’s wish. Ganga still refuses to accept it as it is not Devi Ma who has said that to her. it was the priest only. Amma ji is irked. I, priest and everyone else in the world is good for nothing. It is just you and your Bappa who know everything. Ganga agrees. A Maiyya loves her kids so much. She makes her kids wear new clothes, get all dressed up then why would this Maiyya tell her kids to wear white clothes? Amma ji and everyone look at her in amazement / speechlessly.