July 12th, 2017
I lost both my parents by the age of 11, being thrust over to a new family for my upbringing by my elder siblings. Living a life of depression and freewill, I chose working over education and kept myself busy for major part of the childhood. I worked at a beauty parlour in my locality and instantly gained appreciation despite the naivity in my behaviour. Once while on my way to the parlor I was approached by a young handsome sardar, Rachpal Singh.
He straight came to the topic and asked me if I’d like to be friends with him. Not very sure of his motives and shocked by his sudden approach, I conversed rather rudely and talked him away. Adamant enough yet soft by nature, he made several more attempts to know me more. Over a very short span we were best friends and I found a reliable source for my happiness, something I had longed for all my life. He never judged me for my life-situations and tried his best to be supportive in all my moods and phases. He expressed his feelings for me one evening and asked if I’d marry him and spend the rest of my life with him. His simplicity and strong-headedness won my heart; it was an instant yes.
My elder siblings had never bothered to keep a check on my life or ever had a track of how I developed through all these years. But they strongly opposed my decision to marry Rachpal when I visited them with the news. With a heavier heart and a much more determined conscience, I returned to my foster’s house and declared about my wish to the family. Much to my amazement, the couple welcomed the news delightfully and took active interest to know about Rachpal and his family.
We decided opting for a direct registered marriage on a preassumed auspicious day of GudiPadwa and invited a chosen few for the ceremony. We were received by closed gates at the marriage registration office, Gudipadwa being a bank holiday. Almost quickly, someone suggested to get the ceremony done at a nearby temple. The wedding wouldn’t have been any more happening and fun for the both of us. I had to leave my job as I now moved to my husband’s and remained home during my phase of pregnancy, my husband had been a driver all his life and worked hard to make ends meet for the family. My husband had lost his parents in his teen age and I was left alone at home during my pregnancy. Once chhoti came to our life, a lot of things started falling into place, my culinary skills inspired me to start a food stall of our own. Rachpal really affirmed to my idea and we put in all our savings to set up a food stall along the roadside. The food stall was a success from the very first week. Initially the rickshaw drivers and laborers frequented stall for lunch, but as the word spread, people from a lot of different places started visiting my stall. Soon after the success, I added up to serving breakfast too in the mornings and soon the food stall saw customers from nearby BPOs and malls, visiting for food. Rachpal accepted my views and success very positively and took care of my wants like a parent. He would help me with my chores and even stood by me on weekends as I attended the stall.
Rachpal never seemed to have hesitated to allow me to contribute towards the family, or rather, follow my dreams the way I wanted. One of the best examples of a real man standing by and supporting his partner, disregarding the community norms and views.
Over a period of time, Rachpal left his job as a driver and joined me at the lunch stall full time. Today we both handle the stall in shifts. He takes care of the stall in the morning and returns home in the afternoon to finish off with some household chores. I’ve taken up to preparing food in the night and preparing chhoti for school in the morning, before attending the customers for lunch till evening. More than money, it’s the people’s reviews and feedback that have kept our spirit high to take up responsibilities and show-up each day.
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Story By – Mansi Dhanak | Mission JOSH