Thursday, January 24, 2008

Confute

Ariyike admired her naked figure in front of the antique bureau in the master bedroom. Her left hand hiked up her hair in a ponytail-like manner while her right traced an invisible line into the smoothness of her dark skin. The trail started from the nape of the neck, passed between her breasts and ended just below her navel.

“All a waste” came her whisper. She quickly grabbed a night gown when she heard a knock on the door. “Who is it”? The door opened just as she managed to pull a house coat over her transparent night wear. Her father in law poked his head in the room “Bahu*, your saas* and I are going to the mandir*, please tell Vinod to pick us up at six”.

Teak ke. Phir milenge Sasur ji*” she did a quick one knee bend as she voiced these Hindi words Vinod taught her, but she wasn’t sure it was right to have added “Sasur*” at the end. In the Yoruba culture, your father in-law becomes your father. Next time she will say “Baap*” instead of Sasur*. Her father in-law gave no indication he heard her practiced Hindi. He closed the door quietly and walked silently down the hall to meet his wife. Not until Ariyike heard the front door close, did she realize she had also greeted him the Yoruba way. He will soon mention to Vinod that her knees keep bending whenever she talks to them.

It has always been WE, THEY and THEM from the beginning

Seven months ago, she came into this very house as a guest. Vinod had finally shown courage to tell his parents about their plans to marry. She sat stoically on the sofa while her past and future was discussed. Her mother in law cried and shook herself violently clamoring “Kyon beta? Kyon? tumara patnii nahee hai*” over and over again. Those were the first Hindi words she looked up herself. She expected rejection not shame. To the Sharmas, her marriage to Vinod would result to the lost of their family honor. Their tashrif*. How are they to look other Indian families in the eye without shame? Does Vinod remember he has two unmarried sisters? Who will marry them?

Two weeks before, she had dealt with the same issue with her parents, but the worst her mother said was "no family member will attend Your ceremony". The emphasis on 'your' was for her to know she is in it alone. Her father called the extended family to talk some sense into Ariyike but she did not relent. In a mist of tears, she informed them she had made her choice, her love transcends language and culture, they would understand if only they left their cultural cocoon.

The same scenario played in the Sharma’s house. Vinod told his parents “its either her or i will never marry”.

Beta*, they don’t understand marriage like us. They leave their husband at the first sign of trouble. Understand us beta*, we are your parents. We know what is good for you”

“She is the solution to my life”

Ariyike got up from the plastic covered sofa and knelt in front of his parents. She cried and swore never to leave Vinod. Without speaking, Vinod’s father helped her up and took her to the altar room they kept in the house; he pointed to some statues and told her to swear before them. He lit incense and chanted some mantras. Ariyike swore to Ganesh, the statue with the head of an elephant, then to Brahma, the three headed god in the Buddha position. She was also asked to present flowers to a blue colored god who is known as lord ram. On her own accord, she brought out a small bible from her purse and swore to her own God never leave to Vinod.
******************************************************

It would have been easy for Ariyike to cope if she experienced inevitable mundane changes of the seasons in marriage but hers was extraordinary. She left Vinod a note on the fridge to pick up his parents from the temple at 6pm. They have not spoken since she found the pictures under his cufflink box. She went to the room and stared at them again. The first Polaroid was of a naked stranger sleeping peacefully, ‘sleeping beauty’ was written on the back of the picture. The second had Vinod holding the stranger in a loving clasp, ‘frozen moments’ it said. In the third and last Polaroid, Vinod was kissing him.

She chose to stay. She had to stay. She has to prove to her in-laws that she can grapple just like any Indian girl. She has to prove to her parents that she did not make the wrong choice by marrying out of her culture. She has to prove to Vinod she is more than enough for him. She has to prove to herself that she is happy.

**********************************************

Bahu – Daughter –in law
Saas – Mother in law
Sasur – Father in law
Mandir – Temple
Teak ke. Phir milenge Sasur ji – Fine. Good bye father in law
Baap – Father
Kyon beta? Kyon? tumara patnii nahee hai – Why Child(male)? Why? This is not your wife
Beta - Male child
Tashrif - Honor

50 comments:

Rinsola said...

So what do i get for being the first today?
Mslady, another great read. I love the inclusion of a different culture. But is Ariyike okay at all? She's trying to prove everyone/everything wrong in an ABSOLUTELY wrong situation. Than God for curse reversal, she had better leave.

fantasy queen said...

how u think up ur stories? such extreme cultures merged as one? now thats mad crazy.
if i were ariyike, i'd rather make do with what i can of whats left of my life than try to prove a piont to anyone, i'd find happiness where i deserve to find it...

my mom's been over heard servally saying she'd accept anyone her daughters brough home, even a chinese as long as thats what we want.

Jaycee said...

Third!!!!!

Ouch, on top of their very difficult interracial marriage, Vinod was GAY? No wonder he didn't want to marry an Indian woman, she would have reported to his parents and they would have believed her. But now that no one is on Ariyike's side, who will believe her?

Touching story. Places emphasis on difficulties experienced in interracial marriages and lack of understanding of both cultures.

Afrobabe said...

wow, this is going to be explosive.....

Me I for waka oh...prove to what to who?

webround said...

apart from the inter-racial aspects of the story, this is a reflection of what some people face in marriage - choice between calling it quits and facing the "i told you so lecture" for the rest of your life (for marrying against advice) or staying in a loveless marriage.

i don't think she has anything to prove to her in-laws - she has pictures so she has proof her hubby is gay (or is that allowed in indian tradition?).

one option is to tweak the story a bit so we are left with no doubt that her hubby is gay but no one will believe her (i.e she has no hard proof). in such a scenario, her parents-in-law can safely claim she's simply looking for a way out hence her trying to prove "she can grapple like any other indian girl"

another good story

Omosewa said...

Chei, thats what Yoruba call AGBAKO!!!

LOL, i likes!

nameless.poetical. said...

oh wow, this is new.hindu-yoruba...
me likey..

rethots said...

First of all, why do i feel you coded the most interesting part of the story in Hindu?

In life the moment we start defending ourselves (or an action) we are putting ourselves in a position not to succceed. "I love him" is so simple & explicit she needs not explicate.

30+ said...

LMAO at Omosewa's comment.

4 Shizel na real AGBAKO ORI EDE.

Allied, this one na blockbuster

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

Sent chills down my back. Wow really got me thinking, about everything. Wow. This is very deep. Very deep indeed.

Its a very important lesson where when you are asked to swear on "rubbish" and even to God, then you really need to take serious care and look at the situation very very carefully.

Isi said...

u should write a collection of short stories....chimamanda adichie started that way!
how u dey?!

funmi said...

Deliciously intriguing...

u sure have a lot of stuff going on in that brain of yours *wink*

another great piece!!

Believer said...

Sweety, your stories are becoming more ummm delicious??? This was a lovely read, as usual..I didn't see it coming. How r u doing?

darkelcee said...

captivating as usual


But if i am Ariyike, i go run comot as i will never be the same again!

Dust my passport and run !

Nice read!

Sherri said...

wow!
well written piece.

she better hightail it o
no one shud live their lives to prove anything to others.

she was swearing to stay with a straight man not a gay one

little miss me said...

very interesting story..love the cultural diversity.

disgodkidd said...

interesting story-telling...when are you publishing?

bumight said...

Vinod was kissing him
so Vinod is on the DL
great writeup!

curvyice said...

well wen you said vinod was kissing him, there are lots of arguments that can be made about that.
firsly,what kind of kiss was that? a kis son teh cheek could be part of their culture. as seen in teh saudi tradition they kiss on the sides of tehir cheek so maybe they were just greeting.
next, just maybe he is a model for some art class and the instructor wanted them to kiss while teh class drew, it happens in art classes. if they would bring nude people to classes so people can paint them, they might as well bring people kissing...lol
and why agian would a married man take pictures of him kissing on another guy. wouldnt he want to be very discreet about it? just curious.
dont mind me i felt like letting my mind go a little.

Jaycee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaycee said...

How are u now dearie? How did the whole thing go on friday??? By God's grace, I'm sure u're doing greatttt!!!

Second comment on story: loved it! Lol.

Jinta said...

1stly, there's something to be said for parental advice, though we mostly think we're wise enough to make our own choices

2ndly, multi cultural relationships are never easy, hey, mono cultural ones are difficult enough

well done, allied

yayi said...

Damn...Kissing HIM?????? I am at loss for words. I wanna believe that was in the past.What people have to put up with just in the name of love..

TheAfroBeat said...

woah...deep! GREAT story! Kept me hooked all through. terrible situation to be in all alone. can't wait for a confrontation (mayhaps?) scene.

lol @ Sherri's comment.

Oracle said...

If this is not a true story, then itz a true fiction.
You made it look like it really happened.
That girl is in a big situation.
I think she should show vinod's parents the pics to prove her point.

She really has to leave.

princesa said...

Hmmm...seems Ariyike has got a lot to prove...
Make she no prove herself into more trouble o!

You are talented babes!

Bukenzo said...

Dis Ariyike....doesn't seem to be well o. She's putting her happiness at stake to prove a lie. I shall pray for her. lol.
Yet another lovely piece from the stables of Allied!

Sasuke said...

na die she dey (as tu-face said)men this shiznit is deepnitz,how the heckle jeckle do you wriggle out of knowing ur partner 4 life is stickn his in another his's hole.... men 2 deep but i have one word for Ariyike...GET THE HELL OUT!! sorry thats three

Toochi said...

great cultural diversifacation.

Queen of My Castle said...

I don't even know how to respond to your writings anymore. Words escape me. Okay, let me see if they will come back to me so that I may properly comment...

I am a living witness that staying in a marriage just to prove a point is one of the most damaging things one can do to self. There's no point in trying to prove a point because others will form opinions anyway. So, I'm with Fantasy Queen, best get going with your life while you still can.

Orientatednaijababe said...

U dis girl, u wan kill me...na so my mouth open when i got to the end of the story.
Ariyike, better leave now b4 it is too late...I am sure her parents will forgive her...as if it is not worse dat she is going into another culture, the guy is now swinging the other way...

MAKE SHE PACK HER BAG AND RUN FOR HER LIFE...

Nice narrative

Honeywell said...

please come and update oh!!! this is interesting.....

Waffarian said...

Interesting piece, to stay in a marraige just to avoid the "talks" that come after it...cos thats what it all boils down to, "people talking", i have never been one to place great importance on what other people say...well, thats life I guess...pride goes before a fall, they say?

Isi said...

hey babes! how are u?

Arewa said...

Just stopped by to show some love .
I absolutely love this post....it addreses issues that are soo real and so true as difficult as they may be to believe. I feel for Ariyike.
Lord help us make the right choices ooohh....Who would have ever thought that Vinod would be the one to break up thier marriage.
Love ur blog
I will definately be back

Today's ranting said...

Great story by a skilful writer.Ur blog is really cool.Thanks for dropping by my blog.Lol!

Allied said...

@ Rinsola - i will give you the agbalumo seeds i am eating right now.. (how i wish)

@ Fantasy queen - Nosiness and joblessness are the prerequisite for stories such as this... My dad use to say he doesn’t care who i marry until he met this guy in my house. He changed tune quick quick

@ Jaycee - Interracial marriages are indeed difficult but not impossible. I think the family makes it more difficult for them...

@ Afrobabe - Lol.. I trust you jare... You won’t even do Indian talkess of a Gay Indian.

@ Webround - You are so right. But i find that it is the women who go through this "i dont want to face the i told you so" lecture. Guys will bounce jare. Thanks for the input, but i deliberately wrote it that way with evidence.

@ Omosewa - Lol.. Agbako nla

@ nameless.poetical - Thank you

@ Rethots - Lol. The Hindi was for effect ojare.

@ 30+ - Thank you...

@ TLOSCM - You got the point... Why did she have to swear if her parents didn’t know something is up?

Allied said...

@ Isi - Do you think so?

@ Funmi - (blushing) thank you..

@ Believer - Sis, i am doing good jare.. Infact i miss your regular update oh...

@ Darkelcee - Why won’t you be the same again?

@ Sherri - Lol.. But i don’t think they swearing made her stay either.

@ Little miss me - Thank you

@ Disgodkid - can you get me a publisher with down payment?

@ Bumlight - Yes oh.. Thanks

@ curveyice - Na you sabi.. all this analysis sef. Whatever it was, the wife was not comfortable with it. A woman knows...

@ Jinta - Parental advice is most welcome when it is something valid. He could have worked id Vinod is not gay or bi

Allied said...

@ Yayi - Are u telling me?

@ TheAfrobeat - It is indeed terrible. That is the end of the story

@ Oracle - It is fiction... thank for visiting

@ Princesa - Thanks babes

@ Bukenzo - Pray for her by all means oh. And please i need prayers too..

@ Sasuke - lol..

@ Toochi - Thank you

@ Queen of my castle - There should be nothing to prove in the first place...

@ Orientatednaijababe - Her parents will give her the "i told you so speech" i dont think that is forgiving

@ Honeywell - Sorry, there is no second part to this story

@ Waffarian - i wish many were like that. Not place great importance on what other people say

@ Arewa - Thanks

@ Today's ranting - You are welcome and Thanks

Anonymous said...

nice story, will you take her discision if you were in her shoes?

Allied said...

@ anonymous - why would i?

Onome said...

omo!!!! first of all dat swearing part dont agree with me at all...i ain't swearing b4 no statue(lol).. second vinod was crazy!!!he was a bisexual????OMG!!! i'll leave o and i'll tell his parents i refuse to marry a bisexual

Pink-satin said...

wow!u do write well

laspapi said...

I enjoyed this, allied. Great style. That scenario had me thinking, it's not very common- an African and an Asian, esp. a gay one. Both sides tend to look down on themselves for some reason

Kafo said...

wow
sad
really sad
my uncle said today that if i bring my japanese boyfriend home he would FLIP
and let's just say that he did not use the word FLIP

Kafo said...

Vinod was wrong jare
using a SISTA
i sooo am going to get him

where does he live
where????

o this is fiction
i'll calm down

it is right???

Unmodern said...

not Many Yoruba Hinda relationships knocking about . Nice story

Allied said...

@ onome - Lol.. No one should make you swear

@ Pink-satin - Thanks

@ laspapi - Thanks.. You should hear what they think of us Africans.. nonsense

@ kafo - Abeg, calm down. Its fiction

@ unmodern - very few.. thank you

Anonymous said...

In it something is also to me it seems it is very good idea. Completely with you I will agree.

Anonymous said...

Since same day loans uk is payday loan, the finances agency will expect the loan to be paid off at the next time the borrower is receives their wages or dues. We all be aware of that timely help is much more important than help right after time. They are the best loans available for the borrowers in the short span of experience without any hassles. Above all, you call for a valid bank account also. [url=http://fastonlinepayday.co.uk/]uk pay day loans [/url] pay day loan , $j1O