Tuesday, February 10, 2015

(5) LOVE IN CHAINS

                    Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

Every man does some work to survive in this world. Raheman worked as the field hand to make his livelihood. He worked in the fields of landlords and other people in his village, Akil. During rice season in the summer, he went to a nearby town named Phullu to find some work. The town was on the other side of the river. There he fell in love with Reshma, who was the only daughter of the landlord of that town.

In Phullu, Raheman got a contract to work in the fields of the landlord for the season. In the morning, Reshma used to come to the fields to stroll along the grassy paths. She was a simple and kind woman.

“I have never seen you here before,” said Reshma to Raheman.

“Yes, I am new here.”

“You live in this town or have you come from somewhere else?”

“I have come from Akil, miss.” replied Raheman.

“Okay, nice to meet you.” she said.

While walking on the grass, Reshma lost her golden ring. She realized this at home. Thinking that it must have mixed in the dust during the plowing, she did not ask anybody about it.

After some days, while working, Raheman found the ring. As Reshma came on the following day, he gave her the ring. “Where did you find it?” she asked.

“I found it in the field yesterday. I thought it must be yours.”

Reshma thanked him and said, “I like your honesty. You are a good man.”

Reshma started her walk, and Rahman started plowing the field on the tractor. As the tractor came to the side where Reshma was walking, she gestured for Raheman to stop. “I want to sit on the tractor,” Said Reshma.

With a smile on his face, Raheman said, “Most welcome. It is all yours.”

On that day Reshma laughed a lot and for the first time she was happy since the day her mother had died.

Reshma liked to be with Raheman. She spent more time in the fields chatting and helping him a little in the work. They both had fallen in love. One day Raheman asked her, “Will you marry me, Reshma?”

“I would like to be yours more than anything in the world, but my father will kill me if he learned of this.”

“I will go back to Akil, after my contract has ended and the crop is harvested.” said Raheman.

Landlord’s secretary said to the landlord, “Sir, you are busy with the works of the villagers and town. You don’t know what is happening in the fields. Your pampered daughter has thrown dirt on your honor.” The secretary told about the unwelcomed love match.

That evening, the landlord gave Raheman his salary and exiled him. “If you ever come back, you will be killed.” said the landlord.

Reshma made pleas to his father, but he didn’t listen at all.

“I didn’t expect that from you. Is that what you are giving me in return for my love? You have destroyed my reputation in the whole entire town. People are saying the daughter of the landlord has fallen in love with a servant!”

Reshma was kept at home, closely watched for six months. One day, she was found hanging from the fan. She had taken her own life.

Every day, Raheman came to the bank of the river and saw the boats in hope that Reshma would come. His friend often said to him that she would never come, but Raheman always believed that one day she would. In longing for Reshma, Raheman became ill and died. According to the Rahman’s will, he was buried on the bank of the river in case his love returned for him.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Respond to the story:

Why is it taboo in Sindhi culture to choose one’s life partner oneself?
Do you know that Islam permits choosing one’s spouse according to one’s wishes?
What do you think is the main cause of honor killing in Sindh?
To what extent has the treatment of girls by males (brothers, fathers, uncles, landlords, etc.) changed in these days?
In Pakistan, girls are still not fully independent. Do you want them to be independent?
Men kill those women who decide who they will marry, especially in Sindh province. What would you call these men’s acts–ignorance, pride, folly, injustice, inhumanity or what?
What is the moral of this story?
If you were the landlord, how would you have treated Reshma?
What did Reshma say to Raheman when he asked her to marry him?
What did Reshma’s father (the landlord) say to Reshma when he found out about them?
Post a Comment