Portrait of Hindu bride in traditional red sari. (Image Source: Free Photo | Free photo portrait of hindu bride in traditional red sari.

(Image Source: Freepik)

In rural India, birth of a girl child splashes a mix of emotions.

Some tries to get rid, while others accept her with a smile – a shaky one though.

Finally, the day arrived, when my entire family in my village was invited for a grand celebration. Being tired from flight didn’t stop us from participating in the arrangement for the union. 10000 Rs were given as advance to the Halwai. The day started, Grandma offering water to Tulsi plant in the courtyard, babies playing on their own on the ground while their moms brooming the floor, cutting vegetables and preparing for the breakfast. It’s such a joy when you get to meet your entire family in person, every single one has to make it to home. My husband and I just couldn’t wait to get to know them all personally as our wedding happened out of my hometown.

I went upstairs to collect the clothes. Something caught my attention.

It was my uncle walking hastily towards my father. It looked like something has happened. It didn’t take much time for every member to find that out. I was just told that the party got cancelled as someone in the neighborhood has died. The men got busy in cancelling things, while the women tried their sources for the exact data.

In my village there are fifty homes approximately. So, most of them nearby are either blood related or belonged to the same community.

First, they said Viraj has died. We were shocked as he just got posting as a soldier in Bhopal. How can this happen? Oh dear. I felt sad for him. I had seen him in my summer vacations since childhood. But I don’t remember him talking to anyone. I can’t really tell what he must have grown into as a person.

With this thought I was walking towards my room. My cousin came running, “Didi, you know it’s not Viraj Bhaiya, but his wife”. Mansi’s smiling face flashed in my head. I felt numb. Remembering that moment, the only one, when I went to see her as the new bride in our village. She was the talk of the town as she looked like a goddess, so unreal. Their house was the one of the first ones to be converted into cemented-plastered-painted one. Back then, every member in there knew that they were distinctively established in the entire village. It showed in their confidence and sometimes extra pride they carried while interacting with fellowmen. “Mithaai khaiye na, Didi”*, her soft voice caught our attention. She was a graduate. And of course, her looks were strikingly perfect – tall, fair and attractive. She was so virtuous and full of life.

What happened then? She is survived by a three-year-old boy. I felt so sad for him.

It was all cancelled by evening. The silence truly resonated in our house too. I wanted to see her. They were in Bhopal. The versions of the news kept on updating. Mansi was pregnant with their second child. Now this was getting heavy for our hearts.

I asked, “what happened exactly?”

My uncle answered, “She was found hanging from the fan while her son was asleep in the other room.”

Where the hell was Viraj?

He went to his office.

I couldn’t believe this.

In two days, we had to head back to Bangalore. I really wanted to see Mansi one last time. But because of police investigation, she couldn’t be brought soon.

A month later, my cousin narrated her last rite over call, “Mansi Di was looking so beautiful even when dead. They had decorated her forehead with red Kumkum, like a bride. Anyone who saw her like that couldn’t hold back their tears. Her parents were inconsolable. Her son was so quiet.”

I interrupted him, “What about Viraj?”

“He was participating in the rituals. But I just couldn’t understand him.”

Post the call I wondered what could have happened exactly. They both had everything – She had a husband in the government job, he had a beautiful & educated wife, and they were about to complete their family with their second child.

More information kept coming and finally the course of event had an external shape in the form of a rumor that said:

Viraj was very possessive about his wife. He used to taunt her talking to any man other than him. He would even lock her before going to office. She tried communicating the same to her parents. But she just couldn’t take it anymore. They had quarreled many a times because of these restrictions and suspicious attitude of Viraj. So, either he killed her, hanged her and went to office while his child was sleeping in the other room, or it must be her who gave up.

But as nothing came out post investigation, it was concluded that it was Mansi who had hanged herself.

Whose loss was it really?

Husband’s? I can’t say. As I just got to know that the vacancy of wife was closed soon. He might have learnt a big lesson, but the point is that he can continue his life with a new life partner.

Kid’s? Yes, definitely. But he can’t speak about it yet.

The two families? Well, one of them for sure felt the sudden void that will stay as is forever. Her parents, her siblings, her friends, they would never be the same. They would cry whole life thinking they could have saved her somehow. And her in-laws, who were having the best in life till this unfortunate event, got affected too. I saw their prosperous house gone quiet – pin drop silence. Everyone looks at it with doubts, pity or hatred. This family is no more invited in the village gatherings. They have to come forward to say hello first so that someone will talk back.

Did I miss someone?

Yes, of course, the departed soul.

It’s purely her loss.

Let’s list out what could have been hers (if she could have given a chance to changing her ways instead of ending it):

  • Meeting her second baby who was taking shape in her womb.
  • Nurturing her saplings side by side.
  • Healing all kinds of wounds with the fruit of motherhood called: deep yet kind yet strong love.
  • Meeting the stronger version of herself.
  • Touring the colorful world.
  • Perhaps even finding a better life partner.
  • and unboxing more goodness from Life.

Dear Reader, at last, I just want to say that Mansi, was definitely beautiful as per the world’s checklist and could have bloomed with age. But, what’s the use? She is no more. All the possibilities & all her potential had ended with her.

I wish she could have received just a pinch of these two powerful ingredients: courage and patience. Either she would have practiced these skills over time or someone kind in her life could have just been there for her like a compass. And even if there wasn’t anyone, at least she herself could have sprinkled fueling words of quotes in her room that could have guided her just in time.

(Note: A self-aware courageous human forms a happy family, which further leads to a healthy society that contributes to the happiness index of a country and in turn resulting into a livable kind planet. So, you see the point here is, an individual who chooses to realize his/her full potential come what may is a priceless gift to society. This kind of people unknowingly contribute immensely towards establishing peace and harmony. Hence, they have greatness in them.)

-Much Love,

Vanita Vandan Singh

P.S. Kindly share this post with your family and friends as I want to touch as many lives as possible and plant this thought seed that says,

” This life is the only opportunity to exist.


Please be kind to yourself first! “

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

*Mithaai khaiye na, Didi. = Have some sweets, sister.

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