OS: Yesterday and Tomorrow--Bindi--(completed)

Posted: 2014-02-03T16:19:28Z



  Mami-sa was at her wits end. Mama-sa was always ill, and his sister's death had hit him so hard, she did not like to disturb him. But as the only relatives for the poor girl, it was their responsibility to do something. She had tried, her Bholenath knew she had tried everything---if she fed Paro, she would eat. If her cousin Nandini took her to play in the sand-dunes or to visit a friend, Paro would go along, quietly, like a shadow. But she would not speak, laugh, cry, feel. She would stand where she was placed, sit where she was told, sleep when she was asked to.

But she would not REACT. Mami-sa  had tried to send Paro to the local school, only to find out she would go and sit silently in the schoolroom, her mind so far-away, the teachers despaired of her ever learning anything. She had given Paro chores around the house, and would come back hours later to find the child had not moved from one spot. Several bhabhi-sas had told her to use punishment, to hit the girl, yell at her, shock her into reacting. Anything, to get her to move out of the state of frozen shock and total silence she had sunk into after her parents' death. But Mami-sa's soft heart would not allow her to abuse the orphan left on her hands.

Today, she had left Paro sitting and staring out of the window, and she had not wanted to leave the traumatized little girl behind. But a new arrival at Birpur, and that too at a neighbour's house was not a daily event. The rumors were that Mohini bai-sa had brought her granddaughter from Jodhpur to live with her, and in some ways for Mami-sa, this unknown little girl was her last hope for Paro. Paro had become so silent, so alone, only a friend could get her though her trauma, and Nandini, no matter how much she tried, was simply too old to be a companion to a ten year old child. She prayed to Bholenath for a miracle as she entered Mohini bai-sa's house.

Hours later, Mami-sa came back home. Paro had not moved from the window, so she was the first person to spy the little girl skipping along behind her Mami-sa, a bright eyed, inquisitive little bird of a girl, chubby cheeked and pretty as a picture. Paro's eyes followed the brightly dressed stranger until she disappeared into her Mami-sa's bedroom. Loud peals of laughter came next.

Paro frowned. Her Mama-sa, her Mami-sa and even Nandini bai-sa's laughter had not filled this house since Paro's parents had left it. Why were they laughing? Who was this? Paro could hear a fluting voice, high pitched, happy, floating above the merriment.

The four people enjoying pakoras and jokes in Mami-sa's bedroom looked up to see a forlorn little girl, stick thin, standing at the doorway. Paro hesitated, clearly unsure of her welcome, her eyes painfully fixed on the brightly dressed stranger on the bed. Mama-sa was about to say something, when the little stranger cheerfully spoke first "Meri naam Bindi hai. Tu Paro hai na? Meri nayi saheli? Tuj ko milna tha, chale aya! Imli khayegi?"

(Eng: My name is Bindi. You are Paro, right, my new best friend? I needed to meet you, so I came by! You want some imli?") A small hand, holding some salt and a twist of brown imli was extended to the silent figure in the doorway. Everyone held their breath. And slowly Paro moved from the darkness of the doorway and towards the little outstretched hand.

"Paro, TERI kasam! Manne ko Nandini-baisa  ke saheli Asha khud bataiye!"

(Eng: "Paro, I swear on you! Nandini's friend Asha told me this herself!")
At Paro's disbelieving look, Bindi, stopped, and looked a little shamefaced.

"Thik hai, tu pakar liya, manne ko woh KHUD nahi bataiye,"
Bindi admitted, laughing  "Lekhin jab woh yeh baath Nandini baisa ko bataya, menne sun liya khirki ke peeche se! Usske bhai ki bindni Kammo yeh kaha, to baat sahi hi hoga na? Suhaag Raat aisa HI hote hai!"

(Eng: "Fine, okay, you caught me! Asha didn't tell me herself! But when she was telling Nandini, I heard her from behind the window! Her brother's wife Kammo told her, so it has to be true, right? This is how the wedding night happens!") 

"Chi-ii!"Paro, her mouth open, said as loudly as she had ever said anything in her life. Her cheeks were already flushed from climbing onto the highest tree at the farthest corner of the village, or they would have turned even redder. The news Bindi was telling her was shocking enough to need elaborate precautions against being caught. If Mami-sa could hear what Bindi was sharing with her, they would both be beaten to a bharta.

But now Paro wished she had not come to find out from Bindi exactly what happened to the girl AFTER the Rajkumar from Sarhad Par took the bride for the Suhaag Raat. Why, it was DISGUSTING!
"Kasam se, Paro! Pati ek glass mein badaam dudh lehte hai. Phir who usska patni ko bistar pe leit kar sab kapde khulwaate hai. Phir....shuddering dramatically, Bindi continued the utterly horrible tale---PHIR pati woh glass mein THUK te hai! Bohot si! Glass mein dudh kam aur thuk zyada hote hai! Phir...patni ko woh glass..woh glass...!

(Eng: "I swear Paro! The husband brings a glass of almond milk. Then, he makes his new bride take her clothes off and lie down on the bed. Then the husband, he...he.. spits into the glass! Spits a LOT! The glass ends up with more spittle than milk, Paro! Then the new bride, she has to..she has to..")
"KYA...? "asked Paro, wide eyed, disgusted, but curious.

"Patni ko woh glass nigalana parta hai! Aur jub mard aur aurat ek sath aate hai iss tara, bohoth dard hota hai..peth mein!! Lekhin dard kyu hota hai yeh nahi bola.."
explained Bindi, a bit confused now.

(Eng: "The bride drinks that entire glass down! And then the man and the wife lie down together, and the bride gets a stomache ache. But why that happens, why she gets a stomache ache-they weren't too clear on that..")

"Kissi ko jhuta peene ke badh peth mein dard nahi hoga, to kaab hoga?"
Paro pointed out reasonably.  "Aur phir baccha hota hai?" Paro asked, just to be quite clear about the exact process.

(Eng: "Well, obviously if you drink an entire glass of someone's spit, you'll have a stomach ache, right? And then, after all this, then they get a baby?")

Ha. Jhoota khana, dard hona, aur phir baccha." explained Bindi, happy that Paro, at least, didn't seem excited about having to someday drink from some random man's almond milk and spittle filled glass. 

(Eng: "Yes, drinking the spit, getting a tummy ache, and then the baby")

The two friends sat in the tree for some time, discussing with increasing confusion exactly what part of this whole process was so exciting, and why this horrible future had made their elder sisters giggle, blush, and make inexplicable ribald jokes.

Bindi  grabbed Paro's hand as they slowly made their way back to the village. "Paro, savdhan rehna" she said. "Tu bohot sundar hai, koi bhi ladka tujhe phasane ke liye kuch bhi kar sakhte hai"

(Eng: "Paro, be careful--you are very pretty, a man would immediately want to trap you, any man would do anything to get you.")
advised Bindi, suddenly serious. Paro, equally solemnly promised to stay on her guard against accidental pregnancies though a stranger's glass. The two friends made their way back home, a little depressed by the shocking details Nandini baisa's friend Aasha's sister in law Kammo had revealed about the consummation process.

This marriage business, suddenly, seemed a lot less appealing than it had in the morning.


"Bindi, tu hi yeh larki ko samjha! Meri koi baath hi nahi maanti!" An exasperated Nandini, dressed in her bridal finery, commanded as she pointed at Paro, sobbing on the bed. "Mennu jaana hai mandap pe, aur yeh ladki  anap-shanaap bol raha hai!"  

(Eng: "Bindi, you explain things to this girl! she just wont listen to me! I;m going to the wedding stage, and this girl is talking nonsense")

"Nandini bai-sa, mat jao! Menne ghabrahat ho rahe hai!"
  (Eng: "Nandini, please don't go! I'm feeling really frightened for you") wailed Paro, begging her elder sister to reconsider the marriage to the strange groom who was waiting for her outside. Nandini was irritated. She had spent a few hours with Vishal, her groom, and she was looking forward to the delights of the village, the home and family he had described to her. She didn't want her marriage to be affected by her young cousin's silly fears for her! Thakur-sa himself had selected this boy for his Nandini-baisa. Impatiently ordering Bindi to get Paro ready and bring her out to the mandap, Nandini left with her friends, her dreams firmly in place.

Bindi sat next to Paro, hugging her best friend. Better than anyone else, Bindi knew what was troubling Paro, a girl who had lost so much of her family, the thought of a new loss was unbearable. "Paro, tu aur mei, hum log jayenge Nandini bai-sa ke paas! Dekhne jayenge, woh kaise raj karte hai Vishal banna-sa ke upar!"

(Eng: "Paro you and me, we'll go to see Nandini after her marriage! We'll see how she lords it over Vishal in her new home!!")
comforted Bindi. Paro sobbed, knowing Bindi's statement for the lie it was. No Birpur bride ever visited home, and no family ever went to see their daughter after marriage. This was Birpur's custom, it would not change.

Paro cried, as Bindi dressed her, worrying for her sister. As she put kajal onto Paro's eyes, Bindi finally scolded her for being selfish. Paro wiped her eyes, trying to be happy for her sister, and not just terrified. As they both got ready to leave, seeing Paro's sad eyes, Bindi said, laughingly---"Paro, chal, tujhe menne ek kasam deti hu---mennu nahi janna koi sarhad par-shar! Teri sath menne yahi rukh jaungi! Shadhi bhi nahi karne hai menne! Tu koi iss par ki Ladka ke sath shadi karle, aur menne akar teri sath reh loongi." 

(Eng: "Paro, fine. I'm giving you my word, right now!! I'm not going to go away, across the border!! I'll stay back, right here with you! I don't even want to get married! You go ahead and marry some boy from this side of the border, and I'll just come and stay with you two!")

Paro giggled at such outrageous thoughts. 

Bindi asked, semi-seriously--"Kyu nahi? Menne teri behen jaisa hu, haq hai mennu, teri mard par...saali adha gharwali hote hai Paro! Dekh legi tu--- teri woh  mujhe bhi apnaygi! Meri sevah karega woh!!"

(Eng:"Why not? I'm like a sister to you, I have equal rights on your future husband! after all, a sister-in-law is half a bride, isn't she? you'll see, I'm telling you! Your future man, he'll accept me too! He'll serve me loyally, too, you watch!")

"Hai Bholenath!"
breathed Paro, shocked out of her sadness by such blasphemy---"Aur Thakur-sa chup-chap yeh sub kuch hote denge? Tuje kyu lekar jau? Tu bhi na, Bindi!." Giggling a little at Bindi's strange comment Paro turned to see that for once, Bindi was not laughing.

(Eng: "By God! And do you think the Thakur will allow such a thing to happen? Why will I take you along? What nonsense!")

Looking at Bindi's hurt expression, Paro abruptly stopped. Quietly she said---"Bindi, jaha bhi mei hu, jiski sath hu, tu meri sath hogi. Tu chahe to meri sath chale jana sasural!! Lekhin yeh bhi sun le--agar tu kahi aur chali jaati hai na, to phir bhi meri sath hogi, meri dil mein. Koi shakh?"

(Eng: "Bindi, wherever I go, whoever I am with, you will be with me. If you want to, you can come with me to my husband's house too! But listen to me, even if you dont do that, if you go somewhere else, you'll still be with me, in my heart, Bindi. Do you doubt me?"

"Nahi Paro, meri maa--koi shakh nahi! Teri sath jaungi, teri dil mein reh lungi!"

(Eng: "No, Paro! no doubts, no doubts! I'll go with you wherever you go, I'll stay in your heart!!  I promise!")

Laughing, the two friends embraced, and wiping away their foolish tears, they went outside to attend Nandini's wedding.

TOMORROW:    Aman had warned him about the state of the body. The combination of being savaged by animals, and the late recovery of the corpse had left almost nothing behind for identification. The body had been found on the sand dunes, though, so clearly someone had disposed of the corpse, and left it so that would be hard to trace to the original murder area.

During interrogation after interrogation, whenever Rudra tried to question Paro about the terrorism case against her, she would always question him right back about her missing friend. In nothing else was she so adamant, so filled with anger and fear---normally quiet and frightened, when she spoke about Bindi and begged to be taken to her, she showed real emotion, real loss. When he had seen Paro having nightmares about her friend for the third night in a row, Rudra had finally understood that she was not pretending. He understood that there really was a Birpuri girl who's death the Thakur had blamed the Army for.

The BSD had alerted all local area police about the missing girl, and when the body of Bindali Ujala Singh finally turned up in a remote village many kilometers form Birpur, Rudra had known about it immediately. But for identification, Paro would have to see the body.  

Aman had been working the missing girl's case. Now, he waited with Rudra outside the morgue. Paro was being brought from the cell, but Rudra had gone in to see the body, and after coming out, even his normally expressionless face looked blanched and sick. He was so disturbed, for the first time since he had joined BSD, Aman found his commanding officer showing some human emotion--uncertainty.

Rudra was hesitating about letting Paro come to do the ID. Showing Bindi's body to anyone not hardened by war and death seemed to be a cruelty even the famously cruel Major Ranawat was not prepared to commit.

When Paro came, trembling like a leaf in the wind, Rudra walked upto her, and holding her by the shoulders, he gently told her the truth. Aman watched as Paro fell to the ground, sobbing, and the Major, still holding her, sank to the floor with her. Oblivious to his staring junior, Rudra held Paro in his arms, allowing her to grieve, to mourn her friend. He held her as a storm passed through the young girl, murmuring words of comfort as Paro wept, wailed, beat her chest in ravaging grief. Minutes passed.

Finally, Paro raised a blotchy face, and without even realizing what she was doing, she held tightly to the arms holding her. "Mennu dekhna hai. Nahi dekhungi to Bindi bura man jayegi---usko alvida bolna hai."

(Eng: "I need to see her. If I don't see her, Bindi will get upset with me. I need to say goodbye to her.")

Rudra, understanding the unpredictable way loss made people react perhaps better than anyone else would have, sighed, and nodded in defeat. Rudra allowed Paro to go to the morgue, see the body, and then he held her as she retched over and over again, emptying her stomach in the drains outside.

Feeding the exhausted girl water, he carefully led her outside, and sat her down in the sun.  Side by side they sat. his hard eyes staring intently at the bowed head with him. Rudra didn't say anything to defend himself, to defend the BSD---and he did not have to.

"Usko kissi ne maar dala. Kaat dala. BSD nahi mara, to kaun tha? Bindi ko kon marega? Kyu?" Paro's quiet words were the first time she had even acknowledged the possibility that the BSD had not kidnapped and killed her friend.  "Jannu menne. Agar yeh kaam aap ki BSD karti, to chathi per goli mar deti...yu janwar ke paas chor nahi aati. Aap lok jaan lethe hai, lekhin chupate nahi."

(Eng: "Somebody murdered her. Someone threw her body to the animals. The BSD didn't do this, so who did? Why would anyone kill Bindi? I know you people. If the BSD had done this, they would have sent a bullet through her body, they wouldn't have disguised it by desecrating her. You BSD people kill innocents, but you don't hide it.")

Rudra kept quiet, letting her work out for herself what had happened. Paro thought back,  back to when she had last seen Bindi, back to the Thakur's words about the BSD taking her friend. So, that statement, Bindi being kidnapped, his grief and rage on the night of her wedding--that had been a lie. And if that was a lie, then...as horror slowly dawned on Paro's face, Rudra knew right then that he had had the first break on his case.

Paro would cooperate. The cruelties, the interrogations, starvation, beatings -- nothing had broken her, but this, the death of her friend at the hands of her own Thakur--this would do what nothing else had. Rudra would build his case, and if he had Paro, he would have it all. 

Somehow, that seemed much less important, right now. His mission, his junoon, the patriotic fervor---it all paled before the loss of one simple, loyal young village girl.

Looking at Paro, sitting with her head bowed before him, Rudra suddenly remembered that he had, himself, met Bindi the first time he had met Paro. Pity gripped his heart as he recalled a bright face, loyal eyes, and a kind girl watching over her best friend. Bindi. A simple life, an unimportant life. But to Paro her life,and to Rudra her death, meant a great deal.

The Thakur, that murdering bas***d would pay, Rudra swore, as he sat quietly next to a sobbing Paro, mourning a girl he did not know. He owed this girl, this Bindi bai-sa that much. There had been no way for Rudra to save Bindi bai-sa in this lifetime. But he would get her killer, avenge her death, give her body the burial it deserved, and her soul the justice it craved.

This much service, this "sevah" he, Rudra Pratap Ranawat swore he would offer Paro's Bindi. Because now, from this moment on, Bindi---that laughing girl in his jeep's rearview mirror----Paro's Bindi was also his own.



Yesterday and Tomorrow: Part 1, 2, 3( Prisoner):http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3903027
Yesterday and Tomorrow, Part 4 (Red Ghagra):http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3905307
Yesterday and Tomorrow, Part 5  (Bindi):http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3907135
Yesterday and Tomorrow, Part 6 (Protector): http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3927326
Yesterday and Tomorrow, Part 7 (Fears): http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3930183
Yesterday and Tomorrow, Part 8 (Posession) :http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3934862
Yesterday and Tomorrow, Part 9 (Jallad) :http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3940500
Yesterday and Tomorrow, Part 10 (Forgiveness): http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3951666
Yesterday and Tomorrow, Part 11 (Repentance) :http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3970836
Yesterday and Tomorrow, Part 12(Rebirth): http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=4059251

Edited by napstermonster - 2014-06-13T05:55:59Z
Posted: 2014-02-03T16:28:08Z
Love! love! love!
RIP Bindi baisa.
2 Likes this
Posted: 2014-02-03T16:43:27Z
Seriously felt like I was reading a book! I was so hooked an then it ended! Lol! Superb!
2 Likes this
Posted: 2014-02-03T17:08:42Z
Wow...Awesome story.  Loved it. Clap
I hope there is a story about Bindi in the show. 
2 Likes this
Posted: 2014-02-03T17:15:09Z
Love this concept of linking the past with the present! I really hope they don't just forget about Bindi in the show, there are so many possibilities with her storyline. She could come back like Rekha in that movie Khoon Bari Mang where she was also thrown to the crocodiles and returned with a new model face lmao. Or more realistically she could just come back with a deformed face and reveal Thakur's truth.
3 Likes this
Posted: 2014-02-03T19:31:07Z
LOL the consummation! I was reminded of that time in early adolescence  when i first heard about it from a friend, and was mighty confused ROFL The way Bindi and Paro talked about it, got confused and decided that it wasn't great was quite relatable. 

3 Likes this
Posted: 2014-02-03T20:29:55Z

I really wish like a kid or TRP aunty that bindi baisa was not dead! another sigh!
2 Likes this
Posted: 2014-02-03T20:39:23Z
Oh seriously, u do magic with words.loved the simple way u touched the heart so deeply.
2 Likes this

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