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Pavani of Pavanpur

Short Story by Vaman Acharya


It was a  beautiful full moon day in Pavanpur town. Meera was ready to celebrate the 20th birthday of her only daughter Pavani on the terrace.  Sumptuous food was prepared. Pavani was expected to reach home by 8 in the night. She arrived on time and knocked on the door. Mother opened the door and asked her to come to the terrace. Pavani was unaware of her birthday. Mother and daughter went to the terrace. She wished daughter a happy birthday.

“Mom, I am really surprised to know today is my birthday. I am happy that you have arranged a birthday party in the moonlight. It shows your love and affection towards me. Your special care has given me a lot of joy,” said Pavani holding the mother’s hand.

Meera embraced her daughter.

“Pavani, you need not praise me. On this happy occasion, I have something special in my mind,” said Meera.

“Yes mom, I am eager to know your something special?”

Meera was silent for a few seconds. She was unable to know how to begin. She was very much worried about the repercussions. Meera had a fear of an adverse relationship between the mother and daughter. If she revealed, the cordial relationship would be adversely affected. 

Pavani had completed a degree in arts. She lost her father, when she was just three- year -old baby. Pavani had excellent entrepreneurship qualities. She had a goal to set up a small scale garment industry in Pavanpur.

“Pavani, my wish would be fulfilled if you give me positive reply,” said mother.

“Mom, what is your wish? why do you keep it in suspense?"

“You have attained the marriageable age. I am worried about you. If you agree to marry my younger brother Keshav, my wish would be fulfilled and your goal of setting up of garment unit would also be achieved,” said mother.

On hearing this, Pavani without losing her presence of mind and temperament replied.

“Mom, you know pretty well that your younger brother Keshav is a criminal. He was caught red-handed when he was about to steal a gold ring in a jewellery shop. He was booked for committing fraud in the bank.  I don’t like a person, who is a thief and lost respect in society," said Pavani.

“Don’t believe everything you hear. There are always three sides to the story: yours, theirs and the truth. Hearsay may be untrue. You know last year he met with a car accident. He was mentally derailed for some time.  During this time he indulged in some criminal activity. Because he was totally unaware of what he was doing. Keshav had treatment with a specialist doctor. Now he is completely recovered.  He is repenting now. Once he married, I am fully confident he will settle in his life. He is an owner of a  general store, two buildings, and a farmhouse. Apart from this, he had deposited lakhs of rupees in the bank.  As a mother I advise you to accept my proposal,” said mother.

“Mom, I am really sad to know your strange wish. You must always think of the welfare of your daughter. But you are doing against the wish of your only daughter. This is nothing but affection towards your younger brother. Your brother is a criminal and suffering from a serious disease. No mother in this world thinks her daughter suffer throughout life.  I have grown up under your guardianship to become a good citizen. What is the use of my education? I am totally against your wish. I will go to any extent to oppose your proposal,” said Pavani.

Pavani failed to believe her mother. She had no patience to wait for some days to know the truth about Keshav. Pavani became angry and came down without food. Meera was upset and followed her daughter.  She requested Pavani to have special food prepared for her. She promised daughter that the proposal of Keshav stands cancelled. Further, she promised Pavani to marry a boy of her choice. The daughter agreed to come back to the terrace.  She regained happiness and spent happy moments with her mother. 

“Pavani, if you have another boy in your mind please let me know. Your wish is my wish.”

“Mom, I will certainly reveal his name, but not now.”

Mother and daughter conversation continued along with the dinner. While enjoying a taste of shrikhand and puri, Pavani again praised her mother.  The birthday cake cut was over exactly at 12 in the midnight.  They came down and straight away went to the bedroom.

                                        **

Pavani had a goal in life to set up a garment factory in Pavanpur town. She went to the industries and commerce office with a request to help. Pavani had presented her plan.  The project report was ready with the help of the technical staff. It took three months to finalise the report. She approached the bank and concerned Government department heads. Her efforts yielded good result in getting a bank loan, building, sewing machines and furniture. The entire exercise took six months.

Pavanpur Development Bank manager Nandan helped Pavani right from filling up of loan application up to the release of the loan. He appreciated  Pavani for her hard work to set up the garment industry. Nandan gave assistance to her in all stages. Her dream project became a reality after one year. The opening day function was attended by the prominent persons of the Pavanpur town. Nandan was one of the guests. Purushottam, a senior tailor of the town was the chief guest.  She didn’t forget to invite Keshav.  Meera was one of the team members, who worked hard for the success of the function.  Pavani selected the name of the industrial unit as “Chakrapani Garment Industry”. Her late father’s name was Chakrapani.

Pavani spends most of her days devising the latest designs and strategies and managing about twenty-five staff members.  In spare time, she enjoys time with mother and close friends.

The short story continues here...