Reema looked back for once more at the dilapidated zamindar mansion before walking out of the broken gate with two broken Lion statues on the two pillars on either side. The car is standing on the dusty muddy road beyond the gate. This is the last time she is going away from here. Memories attached with this mansion isn’t good at all though her whole childhood is spent here. Looking back her eyes screened all the windows on the first floor of the fourteen rooms. Most of the windowpanes aren’t in their place some have fall off some hanging dangerously to fall off anytime and may hurt anyone below. Such a big house; many rooms with no one to live now; except her.
But she has no regrets living alone. Today she is leaving but she never requested her to stay back. But no she isn’t in any of the windows up there. She may be hiding behind one but she is there, Reema is sure. She will remain the living mammon.
The clock struck 2 in the night. There was a shrill cry of a new born child which raised the exhausted sleepy members of the family waiting eagerly for the new born. Khama, the midwife ran to the zamindar’s room “Good news sir, you are blessed with a granddaughter”
The old man was very happy. He got up from his armchair and gifted Khama with a gold chain. Zamindarni came to his room filled with rage and said “This time too our daughter in law gave birth to a daughter for the fourth time and you gifted the midwife with a chain!”
Zamindar Raghavendra raised his hand and said “I won’t hear a word against my granddaughters. They are jewels of my home”.
Zamindarni Chitralekha smirked but didn’t speak a word more.
Years went by-
“Dadu why didn’t god gift me with a fair look like my sisters” Shyama comes running in with a complaining mood. Raghavandra is stting in his prayer room before goddess Kali and preparing for his special prayers.
Dadu caressed Shyama’s head and said in a soft tone “Why dear, you are the most beautiful among my granddaughters and your skin tone is like goddess Kali whom I pray. I asked goddess a special gift like you and you came to us. Never be sad”
“Dadu I’ll see you praying tonight. You won’t ask me to go away”
“No dear today you will sit here and learn how to worship her, the almighty of your life”
“Dadu I want to learn the special power you own and for which you are famous far and near. I want to powerful like your goddess!”
He smiled and nodded his head in acceptance.
“Don’t you love me Satya, I can’t understand you today?” Shyama looked straight at Satyendra. He was sitting under the banyan tree listening quietly until now.
He said “Yes I love you but I can’t go against my father. He has selected my bride and I’ve to marry her only…it is his order”
Shyama asked “And what will I do?”
“Marry the person your father selects for you”
Shyama said “I didn’t expect this from you Satya…. I didn’t, but I won’t accept it…. never” and ran away from him.
After a year Shyama entered the house of aristocratic family of Sripur. Satya was surprised to find Shyama to be the wife of his elder brother Manav. This brother of his wasn’t interested in married life and used to stay in the family temple a little off from their mansion. How he agreed to marry, Satya couldn’t guess. But Shyama proved herself to be a dutiful daughter in law within no time.
On one evening when she got chance to have a brief talk with him she said “Don’t you believe our love to be pure? See we again came near to each other and this time no one will be able to separate us”
Satya saw a special sparkle in her eyes that evening. He surrendered towards her love and felt helplessly that he won’t be able to get out from this attraction ever in his lifetime.
Within the next few years she became the mother of three daughters and a son though Manav went missing after the birth of their second daughter. She proclaimed of his return for a small period to visit his family though no one of Sripur ever saw him.
Satya’s wife Srimati sobbed in one corner of her room hugging her only son without a sound so that no one ever hears her wailing.
“Mataji you are the only one who can cure us from this unknown disease, we believe in you and no one else not even the doctor of the village health centre. They said our son won’t live more than a year” A woman saluted falling prostrate near her feet.
Shyama raised her right hand and said “I’m a simple woman dear. It’s the power of Almighty” Then she gives some small packets filled with some kind of powder. “Stir this powder well in a cup of water and give it to your son. I feel the goddess will take care of the rest”
The next one comes forward with her problem. Her husband has left her falling in a new love affair. She wants him back in her life. Shyama raises her right hand to solace her visitor “He will return, don’t worry”
“How do you manage to cure them ma?” asked curious Kartik. Shyama smiled “This is secret theory I learned from my grandfather. He was a great scholar in this field. Some call it ‘black magic’ but I know it is the power which helped me to win over every adversary in my life. Everything which should have been mine but wasn’t. I tried to teach your three sisters but they didn’t show any interest in this subject. I’ll teach you all”
Kartik looked with wide eyes but didn’t say yes and ran away from the place.
Reema held the glass but didn’t give sip in the sarbat her granny gave her. Shyama said “Are you suspecting anything mixed in the cold drink….. Ha ha ha ….No one ever suspected my black magic when I cured the incurable (actually they never got cured) and put end of those who created nuisance in my life. Even my family members too didn’t go against me. My third daughter (your mother) never suspected when I gave her a sweet drink and released her from her life. The reason was nothing much my second daughter, your mausi was in love with your father. She became pregnant, the fact which your ma couldn’t bear. Your mausi brought you up as her daughter so why didn’t you accept her as your ma? You never accepted me as your granny but why?”
Reema said “Why did you do this all?”
“Why not? Everyone likes money power. I wasn’t granted with beauty which attracts everyone. The person I love moved away from me. Why should I accept all this when I too was eligible to get all. So I tried in my way to get it. I’m a true devotee of goddess Kali and she has gifted me with her blessings”
Reema said “You aren’t a worshipper but a murderer. You had a greed of power and money and you did all to achieve it and nothing else. You stay alone in this house with your powers. I came here to know the truth. I’m leaving forever”
Shyama saw her last heir leaving and going far away. This is the first time her powers didn’t work as before.