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The Reborn Daughter-continued

by Lakshmi Menon
(Bangalore,Karnataka,India)



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He immediately came to his drawing room and dialed his office number. After giving the necessary instructions to Daisy, he hurriedly opened the door and stood like a stone, not daring to breathe.
“Mini…!” he murmured.

She was coming alone to his house. She looked completely shattered and depressed, clad in an old sari, pale as though she had suddenly grown ten years older than she was. Her untidy dress and unruly hair showed that she had travelled far. Her half smile made him even more uneasy. Methaji’s eyes searched for her husband with unanswered questions.

Mini just collapsed into the chair in the sitting room even before Jagadish Mehta could offer her the seat, and began to unwind her overturned mind.

As discussed earlier, the remaining dowry was to be given within two months of the marriage. But suddenly her would-be father-in-law changed his mind and demanded the full dowry within 24 hours before the marriage ceremony, which her poor mother could not make up and hence the boy was not allowed to tie the mangal sutra on Mini. The bridegroom was taken away by force from the marriage hall, cancelling the marriage. Mini’s mother had collapsed on the spot and was rushed to the hospital.

“Now my mother,” said Mini, “is discharged from the hospital.” Concluding her pathetic story, Mini took a deep breath and glanced at her boss, hoping to hear some words of sympathy. Methaji was taken aback, and could not utter a word of consolation.
Silent moments passed. Mini broke off the silence again.

“Sir, I came to find out whether my post has already been filled. If not..” Looking at him expectantly she added, “Would you mind taking me back, sir?

Mehtaji could not sit any longer in front of her. Though the fan on the roof was of high speed, he was sweating. He got up from his seat and said, “Mini, you go inside and take some rest. Don’t worry about your job now. We’ll see what can be done.”

Entrusting her to his aged mother, Jagadish Mehta took his car and went out after making another phone call.

Fifteen minutes later, Mehtaji’s blue car stopped in front of Sankaran Pillais bungalow.
“Hello Mehtaji, Good morning to you,” Sankara Pillai greeted him fondly.

After some formal talk, Jagadish Mehta came to the purpose of his visit.
“Last time you brought me a suitable boy for Reena. Now I have come to ask you for another boy for my second daughter.” Methaji took out his towel and wiped the pearls of sweat that had formed on his forehead.
“Do you have another daughter? I never knew it,” Sankaran Pillai looked at his friend in disbelief.
“Yes, I have one more daughter. My wife had given birth 22 years ago to a girl but the child lived only for ten days. She has come back to life now.”
Sankaran Pillai sat astonished as if he were listening to some ghost story. “What do you mean? Your dead daughter has come back to life?”

Mehtaji drew his chair closer to him and said softly, “I’m talking about my secretary Mini, who has now returned from the wedding hall for want of inadequate dowry. I’ll give any amount of dowry for the boy you choose to be her husband. Mini is not a new girl to you. You are quite aware of her pleasing personality and other good qualities. If I had a son old enough o marry her, I would not have hesitated to take her as my daughter-in-law. Today, I see Mini as Reena’s sister. Could you find someone for her?”

Methaji waited for the answer.

After a few moments of thought, Sankaran Pillai put his hairy hand on his friend’s shoulder and said, Don’t worry, my friend. I’m looking for a suitable girl for my son. I don’t think I can find a more suitable girl than Mini to be my bahu” (daughter-in-law).
Mehtaji embraced his friend and asked him to specify his demands.

“As you know, I’m against the dowry system. I’m concerned only about the character of the girl. I’ve earned enough for both my sons to live happily all their lives.”

For the first time, Jagadish Mehta looked at his childhood friend with a tinge of jealousy for possessing such a virtuous mind.

It took some time for Mehtaji to realize that it was his greatest friend, a well-known businessman and owner of two big soap factories, who was speaking to him. His heart gave a jump of relief. He drove his car, mindless of the speedometer, to personally offer the good news to his reborn daughter.


*****


Note: This story was originally published in a print magazine.

Comments for The Reborn Daughter-continued

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Oct 07, 2013
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Thanks
by: Lakshmi

@Thanks Suriakumari for your feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

@Thank you Ratnika Singh for your comments. Let's hope we will have more such people in our society.

Oct 05, 2013
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Great piece
by: Ratnika Singh

Great story. If only we had more of such honorable people in our society...

Oct 02, 2013
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The Reborn Daughter
by: suriakumari

Nice story with a beautiful ending.I enjoyed reading .

Oct 02, 2013
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Thanks
by: Lakshmi

@Khurshid, Thank you for your encouraging comments. I feel that writers can play an important role in eradicating social evils.

@Manohar Naidu and
@Gopalakrishna,
Writing about good and kind hearted people can bring awareness among people for inspiration. Most of the time we forget about such people and write only about the other side of the society.

Oct 02, 2013
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Thanks
by: Lakshmi

Thanks Suprita and Anonymous for your comments. Anonymous, it would have been a better comment if you had left your name at least at the end.

Oct 02, 2013
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Welcome to daughter reborn
by: kpgopalakrishnan

it is a nice story with a message.While a character like Mini could be common in Indian society characters like Mehtha and Pillai are hard to comeby.The transformation of Mehtha who ultimately plays the role of godfather to Mini and Pillai's acceptance of Mini as his daughter-in-law is made plausible by the narrative skill of the author.

Sep 22, 2013
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The Reborn Daughter
by: Manohar Naidu

Very well narrated social evils of the society. There are very few good people like Mehtaji & Pillaiji .Basic element is hard work with dedication & devotion of Mini, which earned & became "Reborn Daughter". Govt.offices are flooded with Kamchore staff. Liked it.

Sep 17, 2013
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Beautiful
by: greeshma

a great story , with a greater ending. loved the title a lot.

Sep 15, 2013
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Wow!
by: Anonymous

very nice..

Sep 14, 2013
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Nice story
by: Khurshid

Enjoyed reading your story Lakshmi. Such social evil should be eradicated from the society once and for all. Wish there were stronger laws for such crimes on non-suspecting girls and their families.

Sep 11, 2013
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Very nice
by: Suprita

Very nice story, well written and heart touching..

Sep 08, 2013
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Thanks Kiran
by: Lakshmi

Thank you Kiran for reading the story and appreciating it. Though this is not a true story, I have come across such kind hearted people who gives importance to the girl's quality and character than any amount of dowry. Hence I believe there are such people, at least a small percentage, still exist in the world.

Sep 08, 2013
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Thank you
by: Lakshmi

Thank you Anonymous for your comment.

I wish you had left your name at least at the end of the comment. It makes the writer and the readers happy.

Sep 08, 2013
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Thanks Eva
by: Lakshmi

Thank you Eva for reading and leaving your comment. I'm glad you liked the twist to the story. The title has it all, so her boss can't propose to her. There are still a small percentage of such generous souls in the world!

Sep 08, 2013
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Lovely Story
by: Kiran Jhamb

A lovely story to remind cynics that there are people like Mehtaji and Shankar Pillai though I haven't come across people like them.The ones I have come across take dowry trying to call it by all other names except its real one.

Sep 07, 2013
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very nice story
by: Anonymous

A well written and heart touching story;
addressing an evil practice destroying lives of many girls.

Sep 07, 2013
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The Reborn Daughter.
by: Eva Bell

I liked the twist to the tale. I thought Mehatji was going to propose to Mini. What a generous soul!

Sep 04, 2013
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Thank you
by: Lakshmi

Thank you Vaishnavi and Vimala for your valuable comments. I'm glad both of you liked it.

Sep 03, 2013
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well written
by: vimala ramu

Very touching story. One of your best,Lakshmi. Enjoyed reading it.

Sep 03, 2013
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The Reborn Daughter
by: Vaishnavi Rao

Very nicely written.

Sep 03, 2013
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Thanks
by: Lakshmi

Thank you Safia, Priyaa and Pankaja for your comments. I'm glad you liked the story.

Sep 02, 2013
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Arousing curiousity
by: nuggehallipankajas

Very well written story by a master-pen! I liked the ending very much.

Sep 02, 2013
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Nice story
by: Priyaa Trippayar Sahasranaman

Really cool

Sep 02, 2013
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Nice!
by: Safia

Nice and touching.Liked it.

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