sulabh swatchh bharat

Friday, 19-April-2019

TRILOKA - WHEN THE UNEXPECTED KNOCKED ON HER DOOR

For Triloka, normal life had a totally other meaning. Vrindavan changed that for her

It was one and a half year ago when Triloka came from Purulia (a district in West Bengal) to Vrindavan. This was some 16 years after the hardships of widowhood had overshadowed her life.
But we will get to that later.
Triloka was (then) mere 12-year-old when she got married to a 25-year-old man. The age gap of the couple seems huge today, but back in those days it was as normal as it gets.
She was not the first girl in her society to get married at such an early age, nor was her husband the first man to marry a girl lesser than half his age. It was all very normal, very basic. Yes, very basic.
Triloka, in the normal course of her marriage, gave birth to two children – a boy and a girl. The family was complete. And even better (as her society would term it) her both children were fed, raised and then finally married off. Her and her husband’s all responsibilities were off-shoulder. Triloka couldn’t have asked for a life more normal than this.
But then something out of the normal happened for Triloka and her family. Her husband was bitten by a dog.
“Our life was on track. But one day a dog attacked my husband and things unexpectedly changed. We were not really aware of what to do. We tried to get him the treatment. We tried to save him. But we failed. And the next thing I knew, I was a widow for life-long,” said Triloka.
After the unexpected demise of her husband, the normalcy from Triloka’s life vanished. She started leading the life of a widow. White clothes, plain meals, no festivals and no celebrations were like the new normal for her.
This became her routine life was for almost 16 and a half year.
Then one fine day, Triloka’s ‘bua’ (aunt) was going to Vrindavan. She had heard of the holy land where Lord Krishna and Radha Rani had once upon a time existed. This interested her. So her aunt asked her to come along.
Triloka, quietly seeking her way out of this new normal that her life had become, agreed and packed up to go.
“When I was packing up that day, I had no clue that I am packing for the future home. I went to Vrindavan with my bua. She said that come with me, you will like it. I did not doubt her words, but I was also not expecting that I will like it to such extent that I will decide to stay back.”
And so, Triloka decided to stay back in Vrindavan. Its aura, its environment, its spiritual-feel, its people, the sound of the bhajans -- everything attracted her.
In her initial days here, she stayed in Gopinath temple, busy singing bhajans with others. In the course of time, she moved to Sulabh-assisted Tulsivan ashram where many widows like her live.
Life has a different purpose now for Triloka. It is to be neck deep in the devotion towards Radha Rani and Lord Krishna. She sings bhajans twice a day and the rest of the time goes in chanting their names while doing the daily chores.
“I visit my family once in a year. My son and daughter come to meet me here, once in every six months. Yes, they do ask me to return back to Purulia with them. But my soul is now engaged in the streets of Vrindavan and in the bhajans of Lord Krishna and Radha Rani. I’m happy here now. So I am not going anywhere now,” she replied beamingly, on being asked whether her children ask her to return along.
From the normal that the society had shown her from childhood to the normal that the widowhood brought to finally the normal that Vrindavan gifted her – a normal that was beyond normal than her previous two normals – Triloka is now content with her lifestyle. She says ‘Lal Baba’ (alias of Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation) has changed the meaning of being a widow and now she lives a life that she never expected, but is happy that it unexpectedly knocked on her door.