It was the year 1856.
I was born in a small village called Maheshwar. My father was the village doctor and my mother worked in the fields with the other ladies of the village. Being a small village we didn't have much but we were happy.
I was 21 and the village was already creating a lot of rumors about me not wanting to get married. Since my father was respected by everyone, the rumor always stayed as hushed whispers but I know they were many already. My sister was 15 and because I was there no one started any rumor about her, they were all concentrating on my life . Many suitors were already asking for her hand and I fed them off together with my parents.
My baba ( father ) always accepted my decision to not get married and he knew I wanted to study and he encouraged me by buying me books.
I met Shila my friend when I went to get water from the pond and that's when she told me why everyone was in such a hurry and why all the girls were so excited today. The village head's son was coming today after completing his studies.
To tell you the truth I have never met him before. All I heard was rumors about him.
From all the village talks lets say he was a very terrible man. Exploiting all his wealth, controlling everyone with fear, always sleeping around, and to top it he had a gang of goons with him who will hit and even kill people with just a command from him.
I know they are all rumors but the way my baba always shielded me from him and his family said some of them are true. Also I have seen the people his men has hurt before. And it was really terrible. Many were on the verge of death and Baba were not able to save everyone.
Even though after all this rumors girls wanted to impress him. They wanted to marry him. I heard he is really handsome having really dark hair and chocolate eyes and everything.
As usual I went home after getting the water and the way home I heard the noises of cars coming my way. They speed past me leaving me covered in dust. After coughing a lot and muttered a lot of words that my mother will hit me for ,I continue my walking.
I got inside my home through the back door. There were people there to see my baba and it looked like it was someone important. Since mama went to the fields I will have to serve them something to drink. I made some lassi and took it to them. Baba looked a little nervous when he saw me. I was wearing my shawl over my head as the village customary ask the girls to do. Because of my shawl I couldn't see the visitor properly. I placed the drink in front of them and turned to leave.
"Stop" It was a dark voice and its commanding tone scared me a little. I stopped on my track but I didn't turn around.
"Is this your daughter ?" I was sure that question was for my Baba. After Baba's confirmation the voice asked again
"What is your name ?"
I looked at my Baba hoping he will answer that. As Baba was going to answer the visitor stopped him with a flick of his hand and turned to me
"I was asking you. Turn around and answer me or is that the doctor's daughter doesn't know the basic manners?"
His arrogance was making me angry. But I suppressed it and turned around
" Gauri. My name is Gauri."
I wanted to continue but I was hoping he was satisfied with my answer and turned around to leave again
" Well I am Shiva Maheshwar dulhan and I will meet you again soon."
With that he left my home leaving me and my baba shocked. Why did he call me dulhan. How dare he call me that?
I turned to my father to know what he was going to say and I saw him looking scared.
Why was Baba scared. Oh God are the rumors all true and is that man targeting me or something ? I was going to voice my concern to my Baba when without turning to me he told me to go inside.
Seeing him like that I didn't say anything I went inside without a word.
Evening Mama came home and both me and my baba didn't say anything about the visitor.
That night I couldn't get his arrogant face out of my mind and I prayed to god never to let me see him again.
dulhan = bride