http://writeanything.wordpress.com/fiction-friday/ has a competition going. We need to include the following sentence in the story.
“I can’t see anything,” sobbed the figure on the floor.
It was pitiable to watch a loved one suffer this way, yet there was nothing to be done. Many men have willingly placed themselves in this position before. In the words of the Great Emperors of Yonder, I forget which, “It does not matter when you die, it matters how you die.”
I am not one of those sentimental writers myself, but, there is a pretty sentimental piece about a mother looking for her dead son in the battlefield. In her sorrow, the only emotion to nestle its way in with grief is Pride. This is due to the fact that her son dies while facing an arrow rather than running away from it. I remember seeing a rather impressive enactment by Tamil actress Manorama on this very sentiment on television a decade ago. Her histrionics moved me. The important thing in the whole thing being, face the consequences – never back down! I digress.
The point is, I looked down at the huge man, and thine eyes gleamed with Pride. I suppose people might have jabbed at him – not me. It was crowded, very crowded and folks were angling in from all directions.
I gave him a hand. I admired the tenacity of this man, to place himself in full view of the army of faces and complete his duty. “I can’t see anything,” sobbed the figure on the floor, as he took my hand. But, he refused to crawl away. He remained, the very epitome of commitment. That’s the sort of brave spirit that would have earned a tribute from Emperor Akbar.
The mass trampled over him as soon as his act was done. He sat there whimpering, not helped by the fact that the wedding fire was enveloping him in smoke. He had tied the Thali, in front of no less than 2500 people. No mean act I tell you. Once done, nothing was holding the congratulatory throng of humanity that swept upstage back. They congratulated each other and thumped one another on the back as though nothing but their sweat and blood had enabled the man to find himself married. No one seemed to notice that the groom was pushed to the floor in the melee, and was quietly shunted aside by the steadfast priest to another jolly hour or so in front of the fire.
“Marriage has a price”, I said sagaciously and shook the onion.
P.S.: South Indian Brahmin wedding ceremonies range between 6 to 8 hours, in front of no less than 500 people on an average work day. Week-ends double to triple the turnout. The ceremony involves tying a sacred thread (thali), somewhere around Hour 4 of the proceedings, followed by a swift hour or two of further ceremony. Very trying.