The Sacrifice

Short story, fiction writing, photo prompt, flash fiction, the sacrifice, the staircase
The Sacrifice – Flash Fiction

She started packing her clothes. She was generally a neat person, but today she was throwing clothes haphazardly in her trunk. Leaving her red bridal saree behind, she picked up the trunk in one hand and left the room.

He came out of his trance when he realised he was all alone in the bedroom. He ran after her and caught up with her as she was climbing down the giant staircase.

“Hear me out, Damayanti.” He told her politely.

If he had shouted, she would have not paid heed. But his soft voice broken with despair made her stop.

She put the trunk down and sat on the step. He too sat beside her.

“Haven’t you said enough? Now, you hear me out.” Damayanti croaked. Damayanti’s cheeks were wet with tears. As soon as she wiped them, fresh hot ones came gushing out of her eyes.

“Do you realise what you have done? Just because you were not strong enough to stand up to your father, you have spoilt my life. I could have married Kedar, the love of my life. But, your father came to my home seeking my hand in marriage. He offered a sum that my poor baba couldn’t refuse. He even promised baba that he would give back my father’s land without charging interest. Baba didn’t think twice before saying yes. No one asked me what I wanted? And now this?”

“Why did you marry me?” She shouted at him.

“Shshsh….! Speak softly, Damayanti. People will wake up.”

“As if I care. Let them all know the truth. Let them know that the favourite son of the house is not interested in women, but men.” She said again in a loud pitch.

“Damayanti, I beg of you. Please talk softly. What do you think will happen if you leave me? Have you thought it through? My father will send his goons to your house – no one in your family will see tomorrow’s sunrise. That’s what you want? As for me, he will get me married again to another girl whose poor father will agree to marry his daughter against money and land.” Roshan laid out the terms matter-of-factly.

Fresh bout of tears flowed down Damayanti’s cheeks. Her mehendi hadn’t even faded while her marriage had already ended. She realised what Roshan was saying was true. She couldn’t do this to her poor parents and her siblings. Her life was done for.

“All you have to do is bear me a couple of sons. I know it won’t be easy but you will have a comfortable life here, I promise you.”

She nodded.

“Do you think it’s easy for me? Like you, I love someone too. But if they come to know that I love a man, both he and I will be hanged on the banyan tree at the village square, do you understand?”

For the first time, Damayanti felt the anguish in his voice. Like her, he was suffering too. She had always thought that it was a sin to be born poor. But now she realised it was a sin to be born different too.

“Maybe in the next birth we can both be free of our sins.”

“Maybe we won’t have to wait until then for the winds to change.” There was hope in his voice.

Damayanti put her head on Roshan’s shoulder. Sitting on the staircase, they both dreamed of a different world.

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I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018

Write Tribe Festival, Short Fiction, Flash fiction
Write Tribe Writing Festival

44 thoughts on “The Sacrifice

    1. No, no Akshata. It’s cowardice to end your life. They are wise people, they can work towards spreading awareness so that the future generation doesn’t have to go through the same.

  1. Beautifully put Anshu- it’s such a sin in our society to be born different. Today morning I read a message from my mom as she wants me to do something which she knows I don’t want to; hence sent in a message rather than conveyed in a phone call. Why do parents force their children all the time without ever realising that they too have feelings and wish to live life on their terms?

    1. Thank you Shalini! And coming from you, that means a lot! Parents often see their children as an extension of their dreams. It’s very difficult for them to keep both separate and understand that kids though born out of their body are individuals with a mind of their own. Your message reminds me to keep a check on my feelings and promote my daughter’s so that she doesn’t feel stifled and restricted. 🙂

  2. Anshu, that’s such a different perspective to the prompt. Awesome. And yes, it’s so difficult to be different in the society. We need to fight against the people closest to us as well.

  3. This story touched a raw and ching nerve in my body. Beautifully woven story. BTW I am working with a queer group to raise awareness on how banning article 377 affects women. how numerous women are trapped in marriages with differently oriented men. TRust me many rich and educated women are also trapped in such marriages. Good take on the prompt.

  4. Very well written. Sometimes marriage has to be a compromise for the overall good of all – you brought that out very well.

  5. Pretty sad to know that such things are part of the society. A very sensitive subject but you have done justice to it. I would love to see them standing and facing the world in a bold way.

  6. Brilliant piece Anshu. So many people are trapped in marriages for such different reasons. They continue to fake the relationship out of societal pressure though there;s hardly any emotional connect.

  7. Superb Anshu, how true they both were suffering. Thanks to the rules and laws of so-called society. The same society which does not mind beating a man/woman to death just on suspicion but can not allow someone to live life on their own terms.
    Hard hitting.

      1. How true, just yesterday while reading news of Lalit Grp’s scion marrying his long time boyfriend flashed as Breaking news got me thinking what’s BIG deal in that? Why sensationalize things out of proportion.

        1. Half the problem media has created – a common man doesn’t have time to think of such things but media makes him do it and creates unnecessary problems in the society!

  8. You brought out two strong topics through your piece. Born differently is not a son but for a society it is. Sometimes out of fear and insecurity, people like Roshan don’t speak up. And many such Damayanti have to compromise.

  9. Congratulations to you for touching upon the issues that you did. Every one struggles to fight with their demons. For some its money v/s love and for some its family pride v/s love.

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