In a long ago Indian town, there lived a girl and a boy. The boy as very smart and lucrative. He was always in one business or the other. The girl was also smart and both were illiterate.
The girl’s mother was very proud of her. Her mother had dreams for her daughter. When a girl turned eighteen in their small village, they had a tradition. All the girls of age would line up in the village square in front of their mothers and when the community bell rang to signal the start of the ceremony, the girls pure as they were, would then take off their mother’s shoe, wash their mother’s legs with the purest of water and then rub it with the sweetest smelling of oils. This rite of passage symbolized the beginning of the girl’s life. She was thanking her mother for her contribution to her life and was going to branch out. This girl’s mother prayed one day that her daughter would perform this ceremony on her.
The boy was smart. All the other local boys looked up to hm. He was always thinking up ideas to help the town’s business of making and dyeing several fabrics for the world.
The girl and the boy were best friends. The mother did not like how the boy made the girl act. The mother waned a sensible daughter while the boy was always putting foolish ideas in the girl’s head. This was of course how the mother saw it. One day he even took the girl swimming with no chaperone. The mother was very mad. See, the girl had no father. When she was a child, she too had a friend who loved her and took her everywhere like the boy took the girl. One day, she let him take her out un-chaperoned and the girl was born.
The girl’s grandfather was very angry when his daughter became with child and killed the boy she loved. The mother was devastated and became a social pariah. She sis not have the chance to wash he mother’s feet because she was not ‘pure’ anymore. She had always lived with the shame of not being pure enough to wash her mother’s feet and wanted different for her daughter.
When the girl was born. rain fell for the first time in a year. The villages saw this as a good sign and welcomed the girl into the world with gifts. They believed she was a good omen for the village and forgave her mother for not being pure.
When the girl was born, all the villagers banded together and decided never to mention the mother’s indiscretion to their children nor their children’s children. So, the girl never knew she was the cause of her father’s death and the death of her mother’s happiness. That was not to say the mother wasn’t ever happy, she just was never complete.
Unfortunately, the mother’s parents died when the girl was three years old and so she never really knew them. The mother was a worker for the village and always took her daughter with her to work. This was how the daughter met the boy.
He was a mean boy. The girl was playing one day and was trying to a mound of clothes piled up in bags like the other boys when the boy approached her and threw a stone at her. Her lips turned down and she started to cry. The boy became sad when he saw her crying. He swore then and there to take responsibility for her happiness. There was not a day he did not take his promise seriously.
The mother was happy that her daughter found a friend but as the years grew by, she became afraid for her daughter’s future. So, she forbade her daughter from seeing the boy ever again.
The boy and girl were very much in-love by now and did not want to separate. One night, they secretly got married and consummated their vows. They did not tell anyone of their marriage. They planned to tell the town after the market square feet washing ritual because married women weren’t allowed to participate. The girl was seventeen at this time and was very much unprepared to be pregnant at this time but unbeknownst to her the seed of her consummation had taken root. The girl knew nothing of pregnancy and their symptoms and so it was her mother who caught that her daughter was on the same path as she was seventeen years earlier with no redemption in sight. The mother did not even pause to talk to her daughter when she ran out of the house to look for the boy.
There is a fable in the town, that when someone is full of despair, crushed dreams and anger, they turn into a monster. The mother did not take notice but as she ran out, she began to change. She became a sumo wrestler. The fable also noted that the recipient of her anger must also turn into a monster so that they could ultimately battle. This was unbeknownst to the mother that this was what had happened to her father in years past when he found out that his daughter was with child. Sadly, the mother’s father came back victorious. The fable had always been told to the children of the town but as they banded never to tell their children’s children of the mother’s indiscretion, so they decided never to tell of the reality of the fable to the mother and their children’s children. If only.
The fable also said that if the monsters ever battled, their battle ground would not be of this plane. As the mother and the boy transformed, they were taken to another plane. The mother and the boy battled. As they battled, the mother remembered the loss of her daughter’s father and the love they felt for each other. It was a love she felt was grater than all; true love. She also remembered the heartbreak that followed when her love never returned to her. She loved her daughter and did not want to put her through the same heartbreak she felt.
The boy was also remembering. He remembered his promise to make the girl happy everyday and did not want to inadvertently take away her happiness by killing her mother. These realizations came to both of them at the same time and they stopped fighting each other. Suddenly, they started changing back into themselves and started putting the monster back inside. Unaware that they had a deadline and that this deadline meant that they had to have come to their realizations sooner, the mother and boy started to age . It is said that if the monsters can feel compassion for each other, time on their plane stats to accelerate. Only one can come out of that plane alive. The plane was a trap that was built to trap souls. The battle was supposed to have a victor; one victor. Only one should emerge from that plane. The mother and boy chose this inopportune time to remember the fable. The boy and mother started arguing about who should use the one-person exit available. The mother finally told the boy about the baby. The boy felt that the mother should use the exit so she could help her daughter. The mother felt that the boy should use it because the child should have a father. As they journeyed to the exit according to the fable’s description, the mother told the boy about her love and the boy told the mother about his marriage to her daughter. This made the mother most determined that the boy had to go so that the girl could have a man who loved her beside her while their child grew. Unconscious of the fact that they were in the gods domain, they went on arguing.
The gods took mercy upon the mother and boy because of their unified love for the girl, and the vow of the boy and freed them both. Unsuspecting of the time acceleration, they had been in the plane for five years. The mother and boy were granted one wish because the gods had never seen two humans battle on the exit for so long. This wish came with the condition that they had to agree on one unified purpose of the wish and that the wish could only be used on one of them. The mother wanted the boy to reverse time and send them back five years so he could see his child grow while the boy wanted the mother to use it to bring back her love. The gods were pleased. They had wanted to know if both parties were really compassionate about each other. They had passed the tests the gods gave them. The gods passed down their judgment in agreement that the boy and mother could go with the father but could not change back time as there had to be a sacrifice for the life of the mother’s love to be restored. All three landed at the spot they first disappeared from five years after the mother and boy left.
The girl had despaired when her mother and husband had disappeared into the plane. She had seen her mother dash out of the house and followed her. She saw as her mother became a monster and took her love in the whirlwind that followed. She waited all night for her mother to come back with her love but as she remembered the fable, she despaired. During the first month of her pregnancy, the villagers called her and told her of her past and the fables’ hand in it and how her grandfather had emerged after a month and told them of the plane. She in turn told them of her pregnancy, her marriage and hope that her love and mother would return. She waited for them everyday during her pregnancy and had to face reality for her child’s sake.
All three landed to the surprise of all the villagers at the market square. When they all appeared, the villager who saw them first gave a shout of disbelief. The villager ran quickly to the daughter and excitedly told her about it, words rushing from her moth. The girl grabbed her daughter and rushed to the market square.
Her first sight was of her father spinning her mother around, her second sight was of her love running straight at her and their daughter. She grabbed her daughter, lifted her and started running towards him. They met midway with tears running down their faces. The daughter did not understand why her mummy was crying. Her mother looked right at her and said “That’s your father”. The little girl was happy and hugged her daddy as he stretched his hands towards her. The boy nudged the girl and said to her , “that’s your daddy”. She didn’t understand. While she was hugging her husband, her mother led her father to her. The villagers surrounded them. “How?” She said to her mother as her father reached out to hug her. She held him tightly as her daughter burrowed into her husband’s neck.
They were all soon seated in the town hall where the villagers had sat some odd years earlier and decided to keep their children’s children in darkness. The mother, father and boy all understood that years had passed. The boy’s girl looked older and even more beautiful than the last time he saw her and there was a new soul sitting on his lap. Time had passes but they were all better for it.
The sojourners told the villagers of their stories. The fathers could not take their eyes of their daughters nor could the mothers take their hands off each other. As rain fell, the villagers named that day the families’ day. The gods smiled as they saw the fruits of their labors and started planning another man’s destiny.