Part 2 of the story 'Red and White'. For the other parts click on #red_and_white ______________________________________________________
She told me how I had bloomed into a woman , how I could become a mother one day and that it means I had become much more responsible and wise.
Except for the uncomfortable tid bits of old ruffles secured in place to collect my blood that I had to suffer with for five days every month, this concept of womanhood seemed fascinating.
Few months into my womanhood and I found myself dressing up,again, in a red saree, sparkling bangles, a round bindi, payal with lots of ghungrus embedded in it (I liked the sound it made while I walked and danced), my pearl necklace (remember the one I got in the festival) ,earrings and what not! It seemed like I was getting married. (haha)
I asked maa, 'Are we going to attend a marriage ceremony?' and she just nodded her head. It seemed like a turbulent wave of emotions were striking her heart. I wondered why she was not getting dressed up. Curious, I asked, ' what is it maa? Who is being married?' There was a lump in her throat and she said 'You'.
You? That means me. Me! How? What? Whyyy?? I was only thirteen. 'You are marrying the noblest of all, the greatest and the most powerful, the creator, God himself.' she proclaimed. A Devadasi dedicated herself to God and the devotees. She told me it was an honor to be a Devadasi and that I would be their greatest asset.
We reached the temple and I was married off to the deity. Though everyone seemed dead serious, I was so sure it was just a joke, it had to be.
The ceremony was over but my parents were out of sight. Ah! There they were, talking to a middle aged man I've never seen before and negotiating for something. I was good at negotiations as well, being poor, one had to negotiate for a million things to earn two square meals a day.
'Rs 5000' , the man said Woah, that was a huge amount but then father asked for atleast Rs 10,000. Oh Lord! I've never seen such an amount but I wondered what was it for? We had nothing that valuable.