Bemoan Sakhu's Fate
When the parents came to Karaveerapura and saw their daughter's condition,
they were shocked. She looked pale and weak; her clothes were worn out; her hair had
become ruffled without any application of hair-oil.The moment she saw her daughter,
Sakhu's mother cried, "0, my dear child!" and embraced her. Sakhu had not heard
such loving words for years. Both broke down with grief and wept.
Gayyalibai suddenly appeared on the scene. Shouting with fory, she demanded of her
daughter-in-law:"Aren't youashamed to tag on like this to yourmother? Go get inside.
There is a lot of work to do." Sakhu faithfully went inside.
What had happened to Sakhu? She was active as a
deer. Now, this girl walks with
wobbling steps and mortally afraid of her mother-in-law. Where is that glow on her face?
She looks like a forlorn orphan. Unable to bear her grief, Sakhu's mother mildly inquired:
That was enough of a cue to Gayyalibai to explode into a harangue. "She eats well
thrice a day and has grown lazy. Now, those who cannot afford a meal a day come to
Enquirer about the welfare of their daughter," she shouted in an insulting tone and
continued her condemnation of them for quite sometime.
The Poor couple stood dumbfounded. The lady of the
house did not invite them to have a wash, did not offer them a glass of water to quench
their thirst after travel, did not inquire about their welfare, did not even spread a mat
and ask them to sit down. What sort of a 'Master of the house' was Krupanaraya? He would
not utter a word against his wife's objectionable outbursts.
Sakhu's parents remained silent and Gayyalibai could not quarrel with them. After
sometime, tired by her own outburst, she went inside. Sakhu went to wash the clothes.
Silently, her mother followed her to the riverside. Many women of the town were there
engaged in washing and conversing.
When the women learned that Sakhu's mother had come, they asked her: "Don't you have
any wells or tanks in your town?" Sakhu's mother could not understand their
question and gave an obvious reply: "Why do you ask that? Which place could be there
on earth without well or tanks?"
The women replied: "Instead of giving Sakhu to the family of a devil like that, you
could as well have thrown her into a well."
"My friends, we are ruined.... We did not know the kind of people they are," she
lamented. Everybody sympathized with Sakhu and their mother, but what can they do? None to
advise Gayyalibai to be reasonable. Sakhu's mother had already a taste of her
Sakhu consoled her mother."Do not worry. Go home. It is time for meals." Worried
that there could be trouble if it was found - she had gone to the river with Sakhu, she
rushed back.Gayyalibai served the lunch. Krupanaraya and Oaduraya ate heartily and belched
with content. Sakhu's parents could hardly eat.
Hesitatingly, Sakhu's parents requested that she be sent with them for a few days. In
fact, they begged with folded hands. But Gayyalibai scorned them saying: "You your
selves have no means for a square meal. Here she can eat as much as she wishes.
We won't send her."
Sakhu's father pleaded: "It is only just and proper that the girl remains with
at least till she attains maturity. We may be poor. But one fruit will not be a burden to
the plant," said Sakhu's mother feelingly.
But Gayyalibai was not one to bother about justice or 'dharma'. No argument could move
her. She shouted still louder and would not budge.
Grief-stricken, Sakhu's parents took leave of
their daughter, with tears in their eyes.
"God's will be done," said her father who told her as they were leaving:
daughter, after we married you off, you are now in their possession. Vittala will never
let his devotees down. Here, keep this statuette of Him. He will protect you."