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The Flower Of The Mother

By Staff

Sundari was industrious, intelligent and efficient who assisted my aunt and mom in their daily household chores. The concern for her old parents with her mother's eyesight dimming was always up her agenda in life. Her age was camouflaged in her tall and slender frame and her usual ebullient disposition which often exposed an extra bit in the laughter that burst forth from within. She was beyond the marriageable age according to the rustic mindset. She hence invested her faith in God for her elusive marriage to encounter her in the nearest future.

Sundari's family had strong faith in mother Badhrakali, the Goddess who reigned the village of Senniyur. People flocked the temple to seek the goddess' guidance in various issues of their life, particularly when it came to take important decisions. According to the practice, red and white flowers were piled on the crown of the Goddess' head. A query is usually presented to the goddess mentally. A white flower or a red flower that falls down on its own accord from the piled lot indicates the positive or negative response from the goddess.

The marriage of Sundari's parents was fixed with the consent of the goddess in the form of a white flower that fell off from the goddess' crown. A happy married life up to a ripe old age with four children strengthened their faith in the deity. Hence they sought the guidance of the goddess for her sister's marriage. In the case of Sundari, her parents wanted to marry her off to her sister's brother in law, Senthil. Little was known of the liking that had developed between Sundari and Senthil. The elders of both the families decided to take the consent of the Goddess. A white flower fell off the crown, in favour of the gathered family. The marriage was fixed however with a long interval from the date of engagement for the organisation of funds for the wedding.

As days rolled on, the sudden turn of events however shook the faith of Sundari in God tremendously. Her beau fell for another undeserving woman and the question of marriage swayed uncertainly in the rough tides that life had cast over her. Her remorse shaped up to anger towards mother Badhrakali. She assumed the wrath of the mother whom she adored and worshipped in her heart.

She once told me when I sought to console her : " Humans are prone to make mistakes, but what of God? Does the mother not know what is it to follow? I will not step into Her temple for life". I had to search for words of consolation as anger seemed to be firmly grounded. I just muttered " Don't worry, everything happens for the good" To tell the truth, the issue made me quizzical of the whole faith in seeking guidance through flowers, a general practice in the villages.

Months rolled on and the with cheerfulness popping up, Sundari seemed to be close to regaining her lost happiness. There was enough and more problems at home that kept her occupied that she did not have time to ponder over marriage. Marriage was banished to forgotten quarters. All of a sudden Senthil's parents meekly approached Sundari's parents to seek her hand in wedding once more. They apologized for the unseeming demeanor of their son and that he was repenting for his misdeeds and guilty to approach Sundari. The issue was discussed and Senthil been given a sound warning, the marriage took place as consented by mother Badhrakali. Sundari is now a happy mother of a child basking in marital bliss.

As for me I was very happy about the turn of events and the mother's triumph gladdened my heart. It is in fact the triumph of faith and forbearance.

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Story first published: Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 16:23 [IST]