This is a story when there was child marriage in India. The groom is going to his in-laws house to get his adolescent bride.


Bhola was married to Madhavi when they were children. Bhola was now sixteen and his bride thirteen. His mother was growing old and feeble so he asked him to go and bring his wife home who was a strong young lady by then. Bhola was a very foolish boy. His mother was worried that he might be thugged on the way so she asked him to be extra careful with his belongings. His mother also gave him a hundred rupee note and asked him to get kichumichu[1] for them. She also asked him to behave himself, to take blessings from every one and not to sit on the floor. Bhola picked up the bag full of fresh fruits that his mother had given him and embarked on his journey.

On reaching the market place Bhola aimlessly looked at the shops with the hundred rupee note in his hand. A vegetable vendor called out to him, ‘O brother! What do you want?’ Bhola replied to him, ‘I am going to my in-laws house. My mother asked me to get kichmichu. Do you have it?’ the shopkeeper immediately understood that Bhola was stupid.  The vendor at once replied,’ of best kind!’ and handed him the biggest pumpkin he had. Bhola stared at the massive pumpkin and asked the price. The vendor replied it was hundred rupee worth. Bhola gave him the note without any argument like an obedient child. The vendor smirked.

Bhola reached the house on his in-laws. He took blessings from every one and even touched the feet of his young bride who was standing in one corner. She was petrified and ran inside. Bhola was shocked as well he could not understand what he had done to offend his wife; he could not understand that his mother his mother had said about everyone but his wife . Everyone else in the room was shocked they thought perhaps he could not recognize her as he had seen her years before in their marriage day only.

They asked Bhola to sit. Just then Bhola jumped up on the table as his mother had asked him to sit on a high place and handed his mother in-law the pumpkin along with the bag filled with fruit. This was the first time that a son in-law had brought a huge pumpkin instead of sweets. Bhola’s sister in-laws could not stop laughing. Bhola’s mother in-law scolded them by saying that it might be from his own garden.

Dinner was served. Delicious food was served to Bhola. He was fascinated by their taste. At last as a desert his mother in-law was going to serve him the payasa[2] when Bhola sternly rejected it. Everyone in the house hold was surprised to see the son in-law rejecting the most delicious of food. Bhola thought it was panta bhat[3] that his mother serves him every day as breakfast as panta bhat and payasa looked similar to him. He was kind of offended. He said that the payasa was his regular breakfast and did not want to even taste it. After a lot of plea from his mother in-law he decided to have it only a spoonful. When at last he put what he assumed to be panta bhat in his mouth he startled. It felt like he had never tasted anything so beautiful, as if it was amrita. He wanted to have it more and more but was too shy to ask for what he had rejected and shown anger for before.

Bhola felt restless, tempted. His mouth watered. He noticed that his mother in law hung the earthen pot of payasa from the ceiling so that cats do not lick it.

At night when everybody went to sleep. He climbed out of bed. On his tip toes he reached the kitchen and realized that the container of payasa was far beyond his reach. He did not give up. He went to the living room and dragged the huge chair to the kitchen. He stood on the chair and attempted again but to his ill fate it was still a bit higher. Bhola grew desperate. He could wait no longer. He jumped to get hold of the container. Though he could get hold of the container he could not keep his balance. He fell down and the earthen pot broke too. He picked up the pieces of the earthen pot and started licking from them vigorously after some time he noticed with the corner of his eye that the sound had gathered the whole household. His embarrassment had no bounds.


[1] This is a coloquial word meaning something or the other. Usually when a person goes to his relative’s house he takes food and gifts with him as a symbol of well wishing.  Bhola’s mother asks him to not go empty handed to his in- laws house and get something for them as basic courtesy.

[2] Payas is a dish in which rich is boiled in milk and dry fruits are added to it.

[3] Panta bhat is boiled rice of the day before that is preserved by putting water in it.