Rosie (Chapter 5)

Glory Sasikala

Serialized novel, by Glory Sasikala


for the tide to reach the Moon, it was futile
till horizon to its aid, Rising Moon in a while

It was nearly 6.30 when Rosie came home after taking tuition. She was tired. The day was done with, the rest of the time will be spent with her family, relaxing, catching up. She sat down to chat with her grandma over a cup of tea, relaxing, as was her usual custom. Her two sisters ran up to her and regaled her with all the news of the day, and she listened to them, smiling and advising them and teasing them. Grandma too sat there, listening, smiling. She made no mention of Prateik at all.
Rosie’s brother, Chetan, came in along with his wife, Priya, who was carrying the baby. As mentioned earlier, they lived next door. Chetan was Rosie’s senior by six years. He was a handsome young Punjabi man, tall and well made with a lush moustache and beard. His wife, Priya, well, she was small and petite and very pretty. The baby boy was just a year old.
Chetan pulled Rashmi’s hair. She swung out at him.
“If you hit me you won’t get it,” he warned.
“Get what?” she asked.
He brought out a Cadbury’s from his pocket and showed it to her.
She immediately reached up, “Bhaiya! Give me!”
But he was a tease. He held it just out of reach and dodged her.
“Dadima! Ask him to give it to me!”
Rosie smiled and got up and went in. She made tea for all of them, poured it out into cups and brought it out in a tray.
The little girls had run out to study with their friends, having successfully taken the chocolate from Chetan. The house was too small to accommodate so many people, and concentrating on studies was near impossible. Most of the children in these houses studied in the long corridor outside. It was all so much fun to sit with your friends and study.
The elders sat inside, peacefully drinking tea and talking. It was only when her two grandchildren had relaxed enough and exchanged all the news of the day that the old lady said, “I too have some news for you.” She looked at Rosie and said, “The young man came back today.”
“Which young man?” asked Rosie, looking puzzled.
“Sudhir’s friend.”
“Really?” said Rosie, her face alive with interest, “What did he want?”
Her Grandma was watching her intently as she said, “He wants to marry you Rosie.”
“He….what!! He…oh no! Oh! This is so hilarious!” And she went off into peals of laughter. “What did you tell him?” she asked after a while.
“I told him to come tomorrow and meet your brother at 8 o’ clock.”
“Grandma, you are not seriously considering this, are you?”
 “Yes, I am. It’s not an offer to pass off lightly Rosie.”
“Hey! Will someone enlighten me,” said Chetan, “What are you and Rosie talking about? Who came yesterday and offered for our Rosie. Well, whoever he is, he has my blessings….and sympathy,” he added mischievously.
“Be serious Chetan,” chided his Grandma, “Rosie has received the first serious offer of her life and you are her elder brother. Don’t you forget that.”
“Then tell me what it is all about?”
So Grandma told him, occasionally helped along by Rosie. “He is a very nice boy. Only, I expect he drinks a little. When I asked him, he acknowledged as much. But he said he drank because he had no purpose in life, and with no one to stop him or really care about him. He said he will do his best to rid himself of the habit.”
“But that is easier said than done,” said Chetan.
“Another thing is, he says he is willing to send money each month to make up for the loss of Rosie’s salary, which is so necessary for the welfare of Rashmi and Suman. It won’t be hard on him he says,” said Grandma.
“He sounds pretty desperate,” said Chetan.
“When you fall in love, you become desperate overnight,” said the old lady.
“Grandma, I will not even consider giving away my sister to a drunkard. She is very young and quite good looking. There will be other offers. We must wait,” Chetan objected.
The old lady said, “Yes, there will be other offers, but Rosie will reject all of them because she will think of her sisters and her responsibilities towards them. Then we will have two married grand-daughters and one grand old maid.”
Chetan bowed his head.
Grandma continued, “How do you know that the other men won’t all turn out to be drunkards too. With Prateik, at least we know. And he isn’t an addict. One honest man is worth a hundred liars.”
“Grandma, you’re being greedy. You’re looking above your station,” said Chetan.
“No my son, I am looking for what is best for my precious jewel, and I think she is getting what she deserves. I only want you to give it some thought.”
“Okay, I will,” said Chetan.
“I like the gentleman. He is very handsome,” said a voice, and they all looked at Priya. She looked very pretty, sitting there with the baby, her unruly curls framing her lively face. They all laughed.
“Priya!” said Chetan, raising a warning hand, “Watch out!”
She winked wickedly at him.
“Priya, not you too!” said Rosie, laughing,
Chetan got up. “We’ll see how it goes in the morning,” he said to his grandmother. “I’m not sure I want my wife to meet him anymore.”
“Haan, she is turning out to be wicked,” said Grandma, laughing at Priya.
Chetan and Priya left.
Rosie also got up to go inside the house. Grandma laid a hand on hers and said, “Wait Rosie.” Then she stopped and looked intently at the girl. Then she brought her old wrinkled hand and caressed her face. “You know how precious you are to me. I will never give you away to anyone unworthy of you. But I am an old lady now. Your brother has his own responsibilities, and we don’t have that much to give you. If I waited and got you someone within our means, what proof do we have that man will not be a drunkard too? Maybe something worse? I tell you,” she paused, “This is a good boy. Life will go well…Whatever it is, he will not make you unhappy. He is soft-natured. And you! You are a tigress. You will be able to manage whatever comes your way.”
Rosie listened to her grandma, taking in the wisdom of her words, touched by her faith in her.
“Grandma, I will consider what you’re saying, but I can’t agree with you that it’s easy to tell whether a man is good or not. With women…maybe. But men can be very deceptive. And don’t you think you should take time off to check on the person’s story before you give your favourite granddaughter away? I know what it is. You are in a hurry to get rid of me!”
It seemed that the old lady was indeed in a hurry. “Get married to him and find out. If I am wrong, then you may come back to me, to this Grandma, and I’ll humbly beg your pardon,” she said.
Rosie laughed, “You’re a cunning old lady. You’ve fallen for this young man yourself. That’s what it is.”
Grandma laughed too. Then she said anxiously, “But you give whatever I’ve told you a thought tonight, won’t you? And let me know tomorrow,” she added, decisively.
Rosie laughed at her and said “Yes, I will Grandma, but don’t lose sleep over it. I think my mind is already made up.”

[To be continued ...]

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