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Stories of Love and Life – Life Messes or People Messes

Stories of Love and Life – Life Messes or People Messes

Episode 2: The Beginning…

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Between 1940 and 1950, Rafi was born into a wealthy family. However, they lost everything, and now he lives a precarious life with his parents and five siblings—four brothers and one sister. As the second son, Rafi was a talented football player in school, but at 13, he had to start working to support his family.

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Rafi’s father was devastated by their financial loss and couldn’t contribute much afterward. Once a respected family that owned three-quarters of their village, they now only had their ancestral house and a small piece of land left. Rafi’s mother, though helpless, had high hopes for him because he was the brightest and hardest working of her children.

In Ooty, Rafi took on various low-paying jobs, eating just once a day and saving money to send back home. He moved to Ooty and stayed wherever he could—sometimes with relatives, sometimes in the shop where he worked, and sometimes on the side of the road. Over the years, he learned how to survive and picked up business skills. Eventually, he invested his savings in a small-scale farming and vegetable business.

With his business generating some profit, Rafi managed to bring his family to Ooty, renting a house for them. He also took responsibility for his sister’s marriage arrangements, even though his older brother had started working as a driver. Rafi married his sister to their cousin, his business partner, bringing happiness to the family. His older brother also got married and settled back in their native village. The business continued to thrive.

One day, Rafi’s mother spoke to him about getting married. She was worried about the younger children who were not ready to work yet and feared that a new daughter-in-law might break up the family. However, she knew it was time for Rafi to get married and couldn’t delay it any longer.

Mom: What do you think about getting married?

Rafi: I’m not thinking about marriage right now. I have responsibilities.

Mom: If we start looking now, it might take six months or so. Don’t worry, let me start looking for a suitable girl for you.

Rafi: No, I don’t want to marry now.

Mom: Why? What’s wrong? You’re not like before. Are you upset about something? Did someone say anything?

Rafi: No, Ma. I like someone, but it will never happen, so I don’t want to think about marriage now.

Mom: (After a brief silence) Who is she? Do I know her?

Rafi: Yes.

Mom: What’s her name?

Rafi: (After thinking for a while, in a hushed voice) Taj.

Mom: (Confused) Which family is she from?

Rafi: (Nodding) The Malakar family.

Mom: (Yelling) No, it’s not happening.

Rafi: I know. I’m going to sleep. I have to go to the farm early in the morning. Goodnight, Mom.

He left quietly, leaving his mother wondering about Taj and how it all started.

To be continued…

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