Jagadheesh called as “jaga”, was very much interested in studies, especially in the nursery school. There was no problem with that, but jaga had a peculiar mentality. He could not stand any girl scoring better than him or than his friends. He used to see to it that girls did not come within top five ranks. When joined a new matriculation school in Madurai, because of abrupt transfer to his father from karur, he dethroned sadhana, who was topper in that class until then. As his wont he also made her to move out of top five ranks (by coaching his friends) in the half yearly exam. One day, sadhana’s mother came to the school and she was crying. Initially he was scared thinking that because of his behavior she was hurt and was crying. He even thought mohanasundaram who had scored fifth rank needed no coaching from his side so that sadhana could be accommodated within top five ranks.
He heard sadhana’s mother saying “sadhana appa poitarunga”, to the principal. In few days sadhana stopped coming to the school. He was very guilty for adding agony to their family because of his attitude.
After that, he did not meet sadhana for a long time. Also in few months his father died because of heart attack, so he was shifted to government boy’s higher secondary school, as his family could not afford the school fees. Somehow he forgot sadhana during his high school days, until he reached tenth standard.
There was a master in madurai, who was coaching poor students for free, to take the tenth standard public exam. He liked that master and joined his tuition class. There he met sadhana again. He came to know that she too joined government school (girl’s), after she had left their previous school, but was keeping good in studies. But he did not talk to her and was looking at her only as his rival.
Once he happened to visit their house. It was one of the houses in “stores”. “Stores” in madurai dialect, is a place which has several studio sized apartments with a common bathrooms and toilets. He met her mother and also he found her mother sporting a “pottu” and “thali”. So, he was relieved that her father was not dead. But he found they were poor and her mother was trying to meet the ends my working in a local nursery school for a meager salary. He never happened to meet her father and sadhana told him that her father worked in nagpur and would visit them rarely.
Her family became very affectionate to him. Sadhana called him as her brother and was showering so much of love and affection. He never knew women can be so caring. He thought he had got a younger sister for life. Sadhana’s mother, visalam teacher, liked him so much. She considered him as her own son and he could clearly feel they were happier after he started visiting their home.
Sadhana was very soft spoken and jaga had never seen her raising her voice for anything except for one cloudy day. That day jaga went to sadhana’s house and there he saw one muscular ugly looking angry man was threatening sadhana to burn her alive. He was having bottle of kerosene oil in his hands. Sadhana was not at all afraid and was shouting back at him. Suddenly that fellow turned towards jaga and threatened him to stop visiting them. Jaga did not understand anything and he did not know how to react. That ugly looking man left immediately.
Sadhana told him, that monster was her uncle, her father’s brother. She said her father had deserted them long back and never visited them. Her uncle used to terrorize them as he did not want them to have a share on little family property they had in their village. She was even beaten badly, when she was young, by that monster.
He could not tolerate her pain and he became very mad at her father. He stayed with her until the teacher came back from work. Sadhana was crying all evening. Jaga told the teacher “I cannot understand sadhana’s father’s behavior. I would think he was irresponsible”. The teacher became very angry; He had never seen her like that. She said “If you are going to talk ill of my husband please don’t come to my house. He is my husband and I cannot allow any one doing that”.
He could not understand teacher’s reply then. He felt like he was taught a new lesson that day. It was raining heavily outside. He started walking outside with a confused mind, despite sadhana forcing him not to go as it was raining.
Even now, after 14 years, Jaga contemplates over that incident. Does this teacher represent “Karpu neri”, which is represented from the days of ramayana by the Indian women? Or does she represent superstitious beliefs? Certainly times have changed. Still he got impressed by teacher’s selfless unwavering love towards her husband.
“kandar igazvanave, kadhalan thaan seidhidunum
Kondanai allal ariyaa kulamagal pol”
“Even if a husband humiliates his wife, born in great family, she wont desert him”
Divya Prabhandham (689), Kulasekaran azwar.
I want to end this story by saying “ sadhana’s father returned to them in few years after that incident and from then on they lived happily”.
Note 1: All characters in this story are imaginary and this story is based upon certain real life incidents. The characters of the story represent mixture of personalities I know.
Note 2: The title is part of a thirukural which says "when a women who does not worship god, but worship only her husband, says "let it rain", then it will rain".