Meaningless Relations (Fiction)

Devi Nangrani

Devi Nangrani
“Miss Rama, I want to talk to you about myself.”

Raising my head, I saw Ms. Christie standing with shattered confusion in her eyes, her voice shaky, and her actions displaying lifelessness, which I had been observing for the past couple days.

 Christie is my assistant teacher, and I am aware that she has two grown up girls seventeen and fifteen years, and a son who is twelve-year-old. She is divorced, perusing studies and also working. Working in USA is a way to meet your requirements and needs of daily life more than anything else.

“Sit down Christie, tell me what is the matter?” 

Sitting on a chair, breathing heavily she said “Ms. Rama should I have another baby? I have a great regard for Indian culture, I want to know your opinion regarding this. How it is received and handled if it would be in your country.

 A jerking inappropriate question of this kind made me alert at once. Christie, is a young woman of age 35, born and brought up in New York, mother of three children. I am from India with my three children all married and settled with cultivated concepts of culture grounded in them with the awareness of values that gives us the deserved recognition wherever we go. Being settled in New Jersey with my family, I still live in the circumference of the limitations that we share and enjoy freely. Our culture is our foundation with its unshakeable roots which even the western soil cannot uproot so easily. The glitter, lust, avarice and wealth cannot delude us so easily to deviate from our morals and values.

 With lightning speed these thoughts went across my mind as I went over the uneven and ungrounded relations that I see here in the atmosphere where I work. Specially the conflicting nature of the children with the parents.

 “Who is going to be the father of the child?” I spontaneously asked her coming to the related subject. 

“My boyfriend of course!” saying this she told me about her relation with him since five years. 

“Is this his wish or yours? After the child is born is he going to be a responsible father? Will he marry you before the child is born?” I put all the questions rapidly as I was overwhelmed by the frankness and straight forwardness of the generation of the west and comparing the situation with my Indian mode of behavior and mentality. 

“Ms. Rama, in my view marriage is not a very important issue, neither have I expected him to be around in my house as a child’s father. I am independent woman. When I can bring up my other three children, why it would be a problem with the fourth one? All I want to know is your opinion from your cultural view point to know if it would be fair for me or not?”

“Christie, it is very intricate and delicate issue, the fibers of a mother and child are interwoven in this relation, whether it is East or West. The child is going to be a part of your flesh and blood and your relation to the child will be similar to the one that you have with the other three children. How will they react to this new relation, accept or reject, may be retaliate? This is for you to think. To take one step in front you cannot leave a distance of three steps behind you. Secondly in life if any of your children would take such an indecisive abrupt step, you as a mother wouldn’t be able to guide them better or may be they wouldn’t accept your decision or may be don’t feel it important to ask you either. This will surely hurt you at that time. To develop a new relation you are weakening the binding strength of the old relation by jerking it for your selfish want. You have to decide this, for it is your life, but the three children are also a part of your life and also your responsibility. Think well and decide, for it is you who will go through the good or bad consequences of the output.”

 Saying this I really felt numb all through my toes, feeling the turmoil in my mind and the soft whispers that gave confusingly audible signals like— “everyone is independent to live life, but the advantageous use of it is within the limits that are restricted. Releasing ourselves from the shackles of dependence, we are still slaves of our own wants, our mind monitors the acts, but the price of gained independence is nothing but the shattered peace that we attain in every relation that satisfies the want. One end of independence is bondage and freedom from bondage is ‘independence.’ It may be from the body or mind that clings to the attachments and strengthens the grip. But in such a case greater is the helplessness to free oneself from the web of bondages. It is then that one realizes the true meaning of independence.

 It is better to be partially wrong than to be totally wrong, By saying “destiny, destiny” one cannot escape from the responsibility of the act performed or to be performed. Destiny is like a rivulet of water that flows a long way with life. Efforts and perseverance are instruments that change destiny. When someone cautions you for your good or bad way of life, he must be a true friend. But the most important factor in life is the recognition of relations and its values, for they color the feathers of life in various shades, at times with love and at times with hate- Sometimes with selfish modes and at other times with selfless notions. Under going through different relations at different levels, one acquires an experience which helps to make judgments. Struggling through each relation we free ourselves from the shackles and then develop one more new and a permanent relation with our own self. Be friendly and honest to that new relation which is true and untouched by any selfishness but leading us to real destination of self-realization. 

Author: Devi Nangrani, born in Karachi (India then), is an author of many Sindhi, Hindi & English books. Retired as a teacher, she writes poetry, ghazals, stories, articles, reviews, lyrics on the social issues and challenges. A well-travelled scholar of Global Literary Society, she regularly participates in various conferences, seminars and workshops, nationally and internationally and has been honored and awarded in Mumbai, Kerala, Sagar, Delhi, Chenai, New York, New Jersey and Oslo. She is also a proud recipient of the Dr. Amrita Preetam Award and the Meer Ali Meer Puraskaar from Madhya Pradesh Prachar Sabha. For Sindhi, she has been awarded by NCPSL in 2007, and Maharashtra Rajya Sindhi Sahitya Academy in 2019. Her unique work of translation of stories from Sindhi to Hindi is compiled in ten books, which can be now heard on: 

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