(Short Stroy by M. Menonimus)
Rafif puts on the newly made yellow pyjama long maolavi shirt an Islamic turban on the head and wearing a garland around his neck becomes a perfect groom. Amid din and bustle, he along with his attendants gets into the hired bus. Many of his kith and kids follow him and take the seats on the bus. Some fireworks have been busted to inform all that the marriage party is about to set out. Rafif shakes off his hands with some of his recently arrived friends and then the bus starts to move. Everybody looks at Rafif. He looks like a Sultan of an Islamic kingdom. Out of joy, some have begun to sing. Rafif looks at his watch; it is 7 o’clock in the evening. But he can think and feel nothing. He remains silent and calm as a stranger. His attendants are sitting around him with jolly hearts. Rafif also seems jubilant as if he is the king for the day. But suddenly as the bus is running on he seems to be lost in himself. All the bulbs of the bus are on. But Rafif is seen to be more and more indifferent. He is reminding the face of his bride whom he is going to marry. The name of the bride is Kamala the only daughter of Mr Rakib, a school teacher. Rakib has borne a reputation as a good ideal teacher. Everybody honours him as a man of an honest heart. The bus is going on. It will take about two hours to reach the destination. As the bus is running on Rafif remembers the day on which he had an interview with Miss Kamala, now his bride. Every scene of the interview with his would-be wife comes to his mind vividly.
It was Friday, only two weeks ago. He along with his close friend Ashis had visited Mr. Rakib’s home. When they reached their home it was 10 o’clock in the morning. None of them had seen Miss Kamala before. Only they had heard that Kamala was a chaste and amiable girl. She passed the H. S. L. C. Examination last year and has got admitted to a nearby higher secondary school. But her father Mr. Rakib wishes to give his daughter in marriage. By giving her in marriage he wishes to clear off his debt as a father. Rashid is a student of Mr. Rakib. He knows him very well as he had been his student for a year. None of them had gone to his home before but only heard that Mr. Rakib’s home is at Nandipur near the Chariali. They faced not much difficulty to find out his residence as every boy in the locality knows him. And when they asked a playboy reaching Chariali (the corner where two roads meet) he ushered them to Rakib’s home. Entering the outer courtyard Rashid calls, “Sir, sir”. For a minute they heard no reply and then again Rashid calls out, “Sir”.
Then they saw that a man about forty was coming to them rubbing his chest with a towel and asks, “Who are you?’’ saying so he opened the door of the outer room and called them to come in.
They entered the room and sat on the sofas. “Where have you come from?’’-the man asked them. Rashid replied, “We have come from Rangapara. I am Rashid.” Shaking off the towel, the man said, “Your ‘sir’ is not at home. He has gone to the bazaar. Saying so, he went off the room and return after some time wearing a ganjee and sat again with them. Suddenly Ashis said to the man, “If sir has to return soon, we will wait some time.”
“Wait, wait, sit and have rest, your ‘sir’ must come back soon”, the man said. His name was Taleb, the younger brother of Mr Rakib. Rafif looked around the room and saw that though the room is narrow yet everything was well arranged. The entire home seemed to be neat and clean, though there was nothing excessive. Rafif thought and said within himself, “The home suits my mind. It will be good for me to have a bride from a family like it.”
Already half an hour has passed. Mr. Taleb kept the time warm by talking with them. Suddenly a girl came in with a tray of tea. She kept the tray on the tea table and served some ‘bondas’, fruits and tea. Rafif looked at her with hesitation. At first sight, she appeared to his eyes to be fascinating, charming, and very alluring. Seeing her, his heart swelled up with joy and then said to him, “She will be enough for me. I must marry her.” He then looked at her head, half-veiled, but her hair seemed long and black enough to allure a youth. She was wearing a black saree with potted flowers. She with the saree seemed not to be of human born but of heavenly. Keeping the tray on the table and serving the cups of tea she went out of the room. They began to eat and drink. As they were eating and drinking Ashis and Rashid winked at each other. Rafif said nothing, only nodded silently. After some time the girl came in again with a tray of betel nuts and keeping the tray on the table took the cups and plates and exited. They then took the nut and betel into their mouths and then Rashid said to Mr. Taleb, “We want to return now. Please, convey our visit to sir.” Saying so, they stood up to leave.
Why? Wait he might come soon”, Taleb said.
No, it will be very late. It is 11 o’clock. We must return home by 12. Rashid replied and went out.
Since then Rafif has been dreaming of the girl. At first sight, he has chosen her and decided to marry her. Rafif is an orphan. He lost his father when he was eight years and he lost his mother when he was nine. After his parents’ death, he was taken up by his uncle who brought him up with care. After passing the H. S. Examination, he opened up a shop and has been running it with success.
After having the interview with the girl, the daughter of Rakib, he declares that he has chosen her and that if his uncle wants him to get married, he will marry her. Knowing his opinion his uncle communicated with Rakib and after mutual understanding, the guardians of both parties agreed to the proposal.
Arrangement for the marriage ceremony has been done well and now Rafif is on the way to marrying the girl he chose. One by one the seconds have passed to minutes and the minutes have passed to hours and with the passing of two hours and some minutes, the bus arrives at the courtyard of Mr. Rakib. Then Rafif comes back to reality from the state of reminiscence. He along with his attendants gets off the bus very gravely and receives a warm welcome. After having their hand and face washed as custom, he with his followers, take seats in the vast pandel. After the formal tumultuous conversation, the Kaji (Muslim priest) comes in and calls up the verses from the Koran and performs the marriage rites. Then all come out of the pandel. The groom is taken to the inner court to offer the bride to the groom. He sits on the chair. His followers also sit with him. All are looking at him and eagerly waiting to see the bride. After some time the bride is taken out. All who were here and there come and gather in the courtyard to have a look at the couple. Rafif thinks, “From now onwards, Kamala is mine and mine forever. I shall be seeing her for my whole life.” He hesitates to look at her. But as a custom, the groom should look at the bride while the bride is offered to the hand of the groom. So he looks at her face. But alas! He suddenly becomes dumb and numb. He rubs his eyes and looks again at her face and shouts out, “No, no, she is not she!” His followers and friends such as Rashid, Ashis, and others looked at her and get surprised to see that the bride is not the very girl whom they had seen on that day. They also shout out, “No, no, she is not the girl with whom we had an interview on that day.”
The uproar begins. Everybody stands up and begins to ask, “What is the matter? What has happened?”
Ashis stands up and begins to shout, “She is not the girl who served tea that day.”
Someone from the groom’s party shouts out with anger, “We would not take her. What a deceit, trick, fraud!”
Then Mr. Taleb runs onto the spot and begins to say, “Please be quiet. The woman who served tea that day was not the bride, but the bride’s mother.” 0 0 0
N.B. The short story ‘The Bride’ originally belongs to the book ‘The Prostitute and Other Stories‘ by Menonim Menonimus.
Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:
- Advertisement Writing
- Amplification Writing
- Note Making
- Paragraph Writing
- Notice Writing
- Passage Comprehension
- The Art of Poster Writing
- The Art of Letter Writing
- Report Writing
- Story Writing
- Substance Writing
- School Essays Part-I
- School Essays Part-II
- School English Grammar Part-I
- School English Grammar Part-II..
Books of S. Story by M. Menonimus:
- Indian English Short Story in English
- Short Stories with the Theme of Love
- The 12 Best Short Stories Ever Written
- Short Stories by Guy de Maupassant
- The Best Short Stories of the 21st Century
- The Greatest Short Stories of Anton Chekhov
- Short Stories by O’Henry
- The Greatest Short Stories of Leo Tolstoy ..