Friday, 11 January 2013

am 19 years old and got married 3 days back to this guy who works in UK. His mother is a south indian and he lost his father long back. They have lived in Assam all their life.
On my first day, was told to get ready in the morning. I dressed with all the ornaments and wore a new sari.

I and my husband were supposed to perform some rituals before we could have our first night.

I had no idea what the rituals were and what the puja was like.

We reach the river ghat. My MIL and several other ladies sit on the ghat. My husband sits in front of me. And other males in the family sit behind him. I feels a little nervous. the pandit comes and sits near me. I looks up and a 13 year old girl from the family is brought reluctantly to sit near me. I overhear someone in the crowd say “sudhiya 13 saal ki ho gayee kya? mundan aaj hi hoga?” … I realize why the other girl was so reluctant - she was to be clean shaved today and she would be bald. She was not sure why the ritual. The pandit started talking and said that Sudhiya is attaining age and her head has to be shaved clean and smooth on the ghat of this pious river. I was feeling strange as I had never seen any girl been shaved publicly. the little girl started crying and was held by several women. . The barber started sharpening his razor - ustara. Sudhiya’s mother instructed the barber “poora sir saaf mundana … pehle kya kainchi se katoge ya seedha ustara ghumaoge?” Hearing this the girl cried louder and her mother slapped her saying “agar tum aura chilai ek bar toh poora saal tumhara sar ghutwa ke hi rakhenge” … the water was poured on sudhiya’s head.. the girl was miserable and the barber held her head and said bas 5 minute lagega, utne mein tum ganji ho jaogi… “ and people giggled. the ustara made the first pass on girl’s head and a white patch appeared…. a big part of her center of head fell in front of her eyes. pass by pass all her hair fell down. The girl’s mother approached and touched her scalp and felt it and asked the barber “idhar ye chhoot gay hai thoda .. poora achche se chamkao aur saaf 2 char bar ustara phirao… sir taaja munda lagna chahiye aur yeh na ho hum 2 din mien dobara le ke aye inka sir mundane ko… chamkao”… the barber followed the instruction… “bibi ji ab ho gaya… mahina bar ek baal nahi dikhega sir pe…" the little girl was now completely bald and had cried her eyes out. Couple of women approached Sudhiya, took some water from river and poured on her bald her and then taking some kumkum put a swastika on her bald head. They asked her to touch her bald head and feel it. She started crying again. One of the woman said “Ab “kahe ro rahee ho .. mund gaya sar, … adat dal lo” other one said “sheesha dikhao aur sar pe hath firwao” … the girl saw herself and was sad.

I saw all this and was scared but was feeling strange… i did not know what was it…. I was shaken to see a girl’s head shave…

What I did not know was this…

The pandit now turned to me and said “”vidhi shuru karte hain. girija, tumhare pati ke lambi umar ke liye, tumhe mundan karwana hoga. Tumhare pati tumhari choti khud hi katenge aur fir tum use nadi main baha ke aaogi. uske baad, naai yeh ustara tumhare pati ko dega jo shikha chod ke tumhara sir pe pehla ustara ghumaenge. uske baad naai tumhara mundan karega. “ This meant I was to be cleanshaved. I had no idea. I belonge to a small city and my step family married me to this person because he lives in UK. I was shocked… I was shivering… what I just saw was going to happen to me. I had long knee-length hair…. I looked at my husband who was smiling… The process began…. my hair was cut, I gave it away in river… started crying and was scolded by mother in law …. I then returned. my husband took the ustara and shaved a part of my hair…. I was miserable. The nai (barber) came again and put water on my hair and started the shave….. one woman said “”rona band karo …. pati ke liye mundwa rahee ho” .. the pandit asked me “”bachpan mien mundan hua tha?” I did not say a word… “Arrey hua tha ki nahi? sir munda gaya tha tumhara?” … when mother in law poked me I said no … Pandit continued“ theek hai, koi bat nai… is poore saal har teerath pe iska sir munda dena sab theek rahega”… I shrunk more. In minutes, I was clean shaved. my mother in law felt her bald pate and told the naai… “aur thoda saaf karo aur ache se chamka ke saaf karo” … naai started again and I was now bald like a cueball. I was taken to river and my mother in law washed my bald head. Now I was made to sit and all the ladies approached and one by one felt my bald pate and put some oil on it. Finally my husband was called and was asked to put sindoor on my bald head. Now the mother in law said “”pandit ji naak bhi chhidi nahi hai inki” (her nose has not been pierced either) Pandit said "haan abhi chhidwa do aur nath pehnao" (yes, pierce it not and make her wear the family nosering)… the piecrer was called. my bald pate was held up by mother in law and a thick nose ring was given to the piercer. He asked in between “inka mundan abhi hua hai kya? “ mother in law said… haan abhi abhi hua hai” I screamed as my nose was pierced with this big nose ring.

We came home. I was sent to my room. . I had covered my bald head with a pallu. I was sad and embarrased and shocked. My husband came in and asked me to remove my pallu and said he wanted to see my head. I said no. Then he removed the pallu and asked me if I had felt my bald head yet. I started crying and asked him why this ritual. He said, it was his mother's mannat and his mother had agreed for him to marry me only on this condition. He said he was very excited to see my head getting shaved. My husband took me to the bathroom and in front on a life size mirror, asked me to look up. I was bald and had a nose ring on. He asked me, how are you feeling… and held my hand and made me rub my head with that….

I am very sad on losing my hair... I am leaving for UK in 3 -4 days with my husband and he said, that on the festivals, he might get an instruction from his mother to get my head shaved and he might do it himself. .... Other than all this he loves me but I am scared and sad on losing my hair...

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