The train moved into Howrah station....you could see people all around to where ever your eyes could take you. Looking out of the window Riti was filled with excitement. Kolkata had always had this effect on her. She just loved this place and she was coming here after a long span of ten years . Someone or the other in her family of four having problems in getting leave from work or school , someone coming over to spend vacations with them etc etc had made their regular annual visits to her maternal grandparents house had become infrequent . Now they all had managed to come to attend a marriage in this side of the family.How much she had to plead with her research guide to get this one week off and oh! how happy she was to be here.
She had been visiting her memory lane all through the journey.Who all would she get to meet ...how much change would she come across everyone ...she too had changed so much ... a fifteen year old shy girl now was a confidant lady of 25 years of age...doing research on gene mutation..Her old dadu and dida who always doted on her ...She remembered all those times when she would nestle down with her dida listening to stories ranging from fairies to giants to gods to demons ,animals birds and what not. She was filled with the warmth that she always got from her grandparents. Among so many faces two of them stood out clearly . They were her cousins Roly and Polly.They were identical twins and Riti had not seen any one more beautiful than these sisters...Peach skin two pools for eyes lovely cascades of shining black hair which Ratna aunty would so lovingly oil .massage and tie into plaits ....Aunty always would say these are my princesses...I would marry them to the most handsome prince who would keep my daughters like queens. Roly and Polly never had to do any thing in the house ...they would just take care of themselves and they were so delicate that anyone shouting at each other would make them tremble. They were soft spoken and very very gentle. They could never think bad for anyone forget doing any harm.They would play with Riti and show her all their dolls...Riti had come to Kolkata last to attend their marriages. They were married to two seemingly very eligible boys who were distant cousins ...They got married the same day . What beautiful brides they made. Riti was very eager and looking forward to meeting her Rolidi and Pollydi,who she was told were also coming for this marriage.
Somu mama stood smiling at the station to welcome them . Everyone huddled into the Innova that mamu had brought and soon they were speeding on the magnificent Howrah bridge...a marvel of architecture built over the shimmering holy Ganga . Gaping at the changes over the last ten years they all reached home.The cries, the hugs ,the greetings ,,the tears ...looking into the sea of faces packing the house after all was it not a marriage house. Suddenly Riti was pulled into a tight embrace ...she looked up to see her beautiful Pollydi...oh !didnt she look even more beautiful than before? She introduced Riti to her two lovely daughters who were almost hiding in their mother's pallu.Where was Rolydi? She was to reach later in the evening...well Riti was soon sucked into the excitement all around her . She was sitting with her grandparents in their room when the door opened and some one came in and touched her grand parent's feet . Riti could not believe her eyes ..she was her Rolidi !but what had happened to her ? She looked years older than her age.The calm serene appearance had been taken over by a tired resigned and flustered look..She had two sons..cute little boys.They hugged each other and then she went to freshen up . Riti could not stop herself from turning to her dida with a stricken questioning look. What had happened to her Rolidi. Her dida gave out a sigh and looking up said...it is all destiny..
On insistence Riti got to know that both the sisters got married into good respected families. Both the husbands were doing well in their jobs.Roly and Polly were pretty timid by nature and had been brought up very protectively.They went into their married lives with this mindframe. On finding that they were not very efficient at doing things ,not very mature to take up responsibilities ,could not even cook well both the families reacted....differently. Polly was now being treated like a girl who needs to learn things ...she was pampered to the extent that her husband would help her dress to his taste ...he would show her wives of his friends ...how they managed their house and all the while he would help her do things that she was supposed to do . He and his family did this so gently , sensitively that with time, Polly got smarter quicker and managed to shed off her unwanted timidness and she has been so happy all the while leading a contented married life .
Poor Roly on the other hand met with a different fate. As her inefficiencies surfaced with time she was ridiculed,shouted at and humiliated so badly that the timid girl who could not stand shoutings had now had to live in a constant fear ...when would she be pulled for some wrong ...when would her parents be blamed for her failure...it was pathetic. She would feel invisible eyes scanning her every moment ....she was a timid girl but she took it up all alone . She would always try to cover all this up with forced smiles when ever she visited her parents ...but the parents got to know of things going wrong from the changed behavior of the son in law. At every possible opportunity he would blame Roly's parents for his misfortune and all this blaming game had led Roly to be what Riti saw for herself. Her husband is also full of frustrations unhappiness and that coninues...
The marriage got over . How these past five days flew away ...Riti sat near the window of the Punjab Mail ...her thoughts were running faster than the train...Faces of her Rolidi and Pollidi came flashing by ...twin sisters ...one glowing with happiness and the other resigned to unhappiness.What was the cause of such different outcomes? Was it just Destiny as her dida had said or did it have something to do with love and sensibility shown by her Pollydi's husband and family which led to a happy family inspite of her failings and the insensitivity and arrogance shown by her Rolydi's family at her failings which led to so much unhappiness to the whole family????????