Pari ka nagla... yes Pari ka nagla that's the name of the village near Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh in India. During British period Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) was known as United Province. Same way as Madhya Pradesh was Central Province. Villagers in general have this strange tendency of playing with one's name. For them Krishan or Kishan becomes Kisna while Sona Devi is conveniently converted and abbreviated to Son dei. Bishan was a happy go lucky young man like other youth of his age group in the village. In villages, marriage season dawns like other seasons of climate and marriages are arranged one after another with such a great fervor and speed that any youth of marriageable age, if single will be odd man out and can not hope to be both-- remain in village and remain unmarried for long. So our great Bishan too when came of age, was perceived as threat enough by the fathers of marriageable daughters and self appointed guardians of morality in the village. The one point program of bride searching was undertaken. He was handsome fair complexioned young man with athletic build. He had only one flaw.He had only one eye. I don't know whether he was born with one eye or he lost one in transit while growing up. Handsome he was and represented the innocence villagers in India till recently were famous for.
The marriage- middlemen took upon themselves this onerous task of bringing the best possible proposal for 'our Bishan' not withstanding the absence or shall i say, presence of one eye. So with gaiety, known and limited to villages now, our Bishan was married. It was an arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, one may get to see the whole village and army of near and not so near relatives but one can not hope to see (forget meeting) one's would be life partner. As the dust and din of almost a week long marriage celebrations settled, the inevitable question of visibility handicap of Bishan became glaring. People were talking and talking endlessly. Bishan's mates were ridiculing and ridiculing scathingly. Something which till yesterday was a light comment or no issue at all seem to ve occupied the center stage. Neither a married Bishan nor the pretty bride could stand it anymore. Result ?, the marriage broke off without having been consummated. The bride went to her parents village for the customary 'phera' and did not return. The brothers and uncles of the bride were spoilsport and played truants. Poor Bishan in a less than fortnight of his marriage was rechristened Bishna. Suddenly, he seemed to ve lost all the sheen of a responsible married man. He was butt of all the latest jokes. There was no joke which mischief mongers could not play around to include Bishna in poor light as the central character.
Years passed. However hard Bishna tried to forget his past it bounced back with greater force. The villagers too would never let it be forgotten neither by them nor by Bishna. Anything and everything eventually ended on the note which had a ruthless reference to his one eye and one failed marriage. Poor Bishna was not all that educated nor nurtured any such ambition which could ve taken him to places, forget places at least away from this village where even children seemed to ve known all the details of his marriage and runaway bride.He became the working 'labor' hand of the household. He was made to serve even his younger brothers who were doing college and hence, had become 'older' to Bishna.He was reduced to farm hand. Always busy doing hard labour in the field. Be it sowing time or reaping time, harvesting and Bishna became synonym.By now, grown in age and reduced in stature, Bishna had become Bisayya.A poor Bisayya. Absolutely not bothered about himself. Bisayya was no more caring for the world nor the world cared for Bisayya.He was living, because he was not dead yet. He was just tilling and toiling. His tears had long dried up. Each marriage in the village hardened him further. It is said, beneath the hard crust of land lies the source of water. His exterior was hard but somewhere he had a faint hope that one day he too will be a happy family man with a beautiful wife and several children to extend helping hand in the harvesting time.
Although, it began with blaming individuals soon Bisayya discovered the ultimate truth and settled for the fatalist dictum we Indians are so fond of 'it was my fate'. So having rested all his misfortunes and miseries on his fate, Bisayya found lot of peace within. As if he had finally reconciled and accepted whatever the fate brought for him. Dejected and rejected one day he decided to run away and run away so far off that no body not even he himself would recognize him. Bisayya ran away, which direction ? he did not know, which village ? he did not know.. He kept walking village after village ;lost in his own world. By evening he was both, thirsty and hungry . More hungry than thirsty. He had no money.Which village it was ? He had no education. He spotted from a distance that there is a well by the side of the village. He walked in that direction, hoping that he may at least get stomach full water. By the time he reached the well, the last group of belles had gone away with their fill in the pitchers/brass - pots. He could see one lady in the veil with empty pot. He went near her requested for water. He found she was not listening. He repeated his request. Again she did not listen. Suddenly, he observed, she was sobbing. Bisayya got a bit uneasy and a lot frightened. This time he asked for water in a loud voice. We all raise our voice to ward off fear when scared. This time she obliged Bisayya, but kept crying. Her crying became loud. Bisayya had to ask her why was she sobbing. She said "though i am married, my own folks have turned my enemies and not allowing me to go to my in-laws place. i hear my husband has not remarried and is still waiting for me, my husband has a heart of gold, so what if he has only one eye"
P.S. All the bitterness of ten long years was washed away.She was brought back with due honor and far greater fanfare then witnessed during the marriage. In times to come, she gifted four beautiful children to our dear Bisayya.