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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)

TITLE: Star Controller
By Shanti Singh


I wrapped the shawl tightly around my shoulders, attempting to fight off the chill of the strong Rajasthan desert wind. Today has to be the coldest day of the year, and in my view, not the best day for my wedding. But as is true of most everything else in my life, my will or opinion was not considered. The wedding date was chosen by my parents because the stars have declared this to be an especially auspicious day for weddings. Everything in the Hindu world I grew up in is dictated by astrology, and the fear that accompanies even the thought of defying the power of the stars.

The chill inside my heart is even greater than the chill in my body. My father dutifully arranged my marriage to a nice Hindu boy, Sanjay. I’ve never met him, and will see his face for the first time only after the marriage ceremony is complete.

“Sanjay comes from an excellent family” my father assured me.

“And besides that, the pundit has told us that the marriage is guaranteed to be successful since 33 points on your horoscopes have matched” my mother chimed in as she grinned, clearly excited by the thought of her eldest daughter finding such a suitable match.

The problem is, one year ago I became a secret believer in Jesus. My parents would be horrified if they knew, so I haven’t told them. I still go to the temple with them, but when I do, I pray to Jesus, even though it looks like I’m bowing to Shiva. But will I be able to keep my faith a secret from my new husband?

“Sunita, stop daydreaming!” my mother called out to me.” You must begin to get dressed. Today is your big day!”

“Yes, mother” I dutifully responded. “Can you help me put on my wedding sari?”

“Yes, yes, of course. Family and friends are coming from all over. Everything must be perfect, for the honor your father.”

“Yes, mother.”

As my mother pulled the heavy veil over my face, the tears I had been holding in spilled out, ran down my checks, and soaked into the deep red fabric of my sari. Although I love my earthly father and want to honor him, even more I want to honor my Heavenly Father. I know He would not approve of my marriage to a Hindu man, nor of the way this man was chosen to be my husband.

“Oh Lord, forgive me for marrying Sanjay” I prayed silently as my mother placed the heavy gold wedding jewelry on my wrists, forehead, and around my neck.

“My daughter, do not fear. Don’t you know that I am the One who is in control? I created the stars, and hold the entire universe in My hands. Your earthly parents think that they have arranged this marriage, but do not fear. Sanjay is the man that I have chosen for you. You do not need to worry, Sanjay believes in Me.”

Could it be that Sanjay was also a secret believer in Jesus? My heart beat with anticipation as I considered the possibility that maybe, just maybe, my Heavenly Parent had indeed arranged my marriage.

“Father, please forgive me for not trusting in Your care and provision. My faith is in You. You gave Your life for me, how could I think that You would not handle the arrangements of my marriage?”

At that moment, my mother brought me into the courtyard, and placed my hand in the hand of Sanjay. Although I couldn’t see his face or eyes through my veil, I was no longer afraid, knowing that my Heavenly Parent, who created the stars and calls each of them by name, was in control. And He was smiling down on me, and my new husband, Sanjay. How wonderful to have the approval of my Father, the star controller.

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This article has been read 701 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Suzanne R11/23/06
I love this glimpse into another culture - thanks. We take some things so much for granted ... you've reminded us that God is just as real in an arranged marriage (as are the marriages of several of my friends) as in anything else.

I liked the way you described the sari and the heavy gold jewellery etc. That put the reader in the picture. Perhaps more '5 senses' descriptions would put us even more there - the smells, the textures etc.

Great writing!
Donna Powers 11/25/06
Very, very nice. What a charming story! I really enjoyed reading this. Good work!
Leigh MacKelvey11/26/06
Oh, this was a satisfying entry! I was captivated through the entire piece. It was so diferent and the descriptions of the wedding clothing and jewelrey gave me a good image. I hope you develop this into a longer story after the challenge is over and you don't need to worry about word count. I'd love for it to go on and to tell about their life together as believers and how they handle it!
Helen Paynter11/27/06
A really unusual, creative take on the topic - one that I very much enjoyed reading. Thank you.
william price11/27/06
Wowsers! I love a story set in a differnet country. Very good job. Clear, honest writing. You blessed me.
God bless.
terri tiffany11/27/06
Very nice entry:)This was well put together and carried the reader along wondering of the outcome and feeling the emotions with her. There were a couple of punctuation needs around the dialogue and you might want to capitalize Mother when it stands alone. Otherwise - this was well thought out and creative. Thank you!
Betty Castleberry11/27/06
This was a good with nice description. I could see her jewelry and clothing. But you can't leave me hanging...was Sanjay a Christian? I hope to see you write more of this.
Joanne Sher 11/28/06
Oh - you HAVE to tell me if this is true - if this is YOUR story. This was absolutely beautifully told, with wonderful detail and vivid emotion. I can't imagine you'll be in beginners long!
Jan Ackerson 11/28/06
This is great--the prose even has the rhythm and lilt of Indian-accented English as I read. You're a great addition to FaithWriters!
Marty Wellington 11/28/06
Lovely story. May God bless your writing as you seek His face. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of Indian culture with us.
Jan Ross11/28/06
Oh how beautiful! I'm near tears reading this awesome account of our Father's detailed care of our lives! Thank you for opening the door to a glimpse of life most of us haven't stopped long enough to consider! God bless you! And, welcome to FaithWriters! Such a blessing you are! :)
Donna Haug11/29/06
Shanti, this was really a great peek into Indian culture. Perfect title too. With a bit of polish it'll shine. Good work.
Sara Harricharan 11/29/06
WOW! Quills off to you, Shanti! As a fellow Indian writer(and christian) I'll say this a job well done! Excellent writing, very descriptive words and awesome story-weaving. I noticed a few typos, and a few awkward phrases, but overall a great read and a catchy title! Just a tip, some italics would have helped a bit near the end, such as for her thoughts or God speaking to her.
Myrna Noyes11/29/06
I really enjoyed reading your story and seeing the young woman's faith in her heavenly Father. Well done! :)
Catrina Bradley 11/29/06
Wow! I kept forgetting I was reading a "beginner" entry. This was an awesome emotional roller coaster ride. I was so sorry for your MC, then was smiling in relief by the end. Very well written - Fabulous job!!!!
Wayne Harris12/06/06
Great idea, well formulated and absolutely believable. Great concept! You wrote a wonderful piece. Way to go!