Waiting for her mahatma. (Maa –Hindi story by Prem Chand )

So, you have read my translation of the Chaso’s story, “violin”. Now here is my attempt at translation into English, a poignant Hindi short story by Munshi Prem Chand, titled , ‘Maa’, that I had read when I was young. The story is set in the pre-independence era.
“He is expected back from prison today. Karuna has tidied up the house yesterday itself. She has spent all the ten or fifteen rupees , that she could set aside in the past three years, towards the arrangements to welcome her husband. She has bought a couple of dhoties for her husband. And got a shirt stitched for him. She has planned to buy a coat and cap for her kid too. She is hugging her child again and again and smiling at him. If this child were not born to her and like a rising sun brightened her bleak existence, in all likelihood the tribulations that she had faced would definitely have killed her. This boy was born just just three months after her husband was convicted and sentenced for a prison term of three years.
She could some how get along these three years looking at his charming face. She would wonder , “How happy he would be when I show the child to him. Looking at his child, he would be overcome with delight, then he would take him into his lap and say,’ Karuna, having presented me with this jewel you have transported me to paradise.I will be able to forget all the atrocities that I had to endure in the prison, when I hear his innocent babble, all my troubles will get washed away with one look from his pristine, pure, entrancing eyes. “Such thoughts pleased her immensely.
Aaditya would be surrounded by lot of his admirers. When he approached his house, the skies will reverberate with slogans in support of him. How blissful the scene would be .
Karuna has spread a thread-bare mat for the visitors to sit . She prepared some paan (betel leaf-beel-nut pack) and sat looking with eyes full of hope, now and then, at the entrance. Her husband’s strong. kind, and radiant countenance danced tantalisingly within her eyes. The words that he uttered while leaving, ring in her mind again and again. His courage, his strength of character that remained unwavering in the face of the heavy blows the police had rained on him , the charming smile that continued to glimmer on his lips then ; the self-confidence that radiated out of his face , can they be erased out of her mind ! The very thought of him brought on, into her withered face , a rosy blush borne out of self-respect . This support alone afforded her, a breathing space, in all these three years of unbearable travails that she had to endure. Countless were the days when she had to go without a morsel of food. Most days, there was no wherewithal for her even to light a lamp, but never ever did a single tear of despair, spill out of her eyes. All her troubles are going to end today. Bolstered by his bear-hug, she would be able to face any and every trouble with a smile on her lips, She would have no ambition else left, after having secured that enormous wealth.
The eternal traveller of the skies is sprinting forth towards his resting place for the day. The evening twilight has unfolded its beautiful bed and decorated it with glowing flowers. Just then Karuna saw in the distance some one hobbling forward supported by a thick stave.


About versa kay

Agile, keen, versatile,considerate,patient
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