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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: A very warm welcome
By Anthony David
05/12/08


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The bride Kavitha hesitated as she entered her in-law’s house. All the celebrations now over, she was hanging on to her dear husband’s elbow.

“Welcome home Kavitha! We’re so glad you’ve now become our daughter-in-law” smiled her aging mother-in-law Ragini. Kavitha beamed as she bent down to touch Ragini’s feet. Anitha, her sister-in-law also made Kavitha comfortable at home that day.
She told her husband Daniel. “I am so happy. I was dreading how my in-laws would be. But so far they’ve been so kind.” “My dear Kavitha, this is your first day here. We need to pray now and thank the Lord for all His blessings on us.” They knelt down together to pray.

*******************
“Kavitha, Kavitha! Where are you?” Ragini was shouting. Kavitha and Daniel were just settling into their day’s routine after they returned from their honeymoon. “Yes Aunty. I’m coming” replied Kavitha as she hurried out from the bedroom.

“How long do you take to come out in the morning?”
“Sorry Aunty I was just finishing my prayer.” Said Kavitha. “If you want to pray get up earlier. You should come quickly and help me prepare the breakfast” warned Ragini.

“What has your father done about the rest of your dowry? He promised me that he’ll send it to us in one month. It is now three months. There is no news from him still.” said Anitha as she sat on the sofa sipping her cup of coffee.
“Well Aunty,” replied Kavitha lowering her eyes as she continued to slice some onions, “He is still trying to get some loans. He had already taken debts for the wedding celebration.”
That night as they prayed together Daniel noticed that Kavitha was sobbing silently. “Why honey, what happened?” he probed gently. “Your mother and sister are cross with me because my dad didn’t send the other half of my dowry. I never thought they will become like this.”
“Don’t worry Kavitha,” said Daniel, “Soon we will go out and live by ourselves. Only then can you have peace. I knew it would be like this. When I insisted that I don’t want to take any dowry, you know what my sister said?” “She said, ‘Everybody will suspect that you are impotent or sterile. As it is we are just demanding just 10 lakhs, a mere pittance. Actually you are a software engineer and any one will easily part with 25 – 30 Lakhs of dowry!”
Kavitha asked, “Can I ever forgive them dear?” “May be not by yourself, but with the grace of God you can forgive them” said Daniel again as they knelt to pray.
*******************
It was now past a year and Kavitha and her husband had managed to settle in their own cozy little apartment. “Well, Kavitha you managed to manipulate poor Daniel. You set up your own home here.” Said Ragini bitterly.

She had come to visit Kavitha along with her daughter Anitha. They both came to know that Daniel went out of town for a Company conference.
“Yes, you poor little girl. But don’t think you will escape” hissed Anitha. “Oh No! When will these people leave me” thought Kavitha as she silently sent a prayer out. She went to the kitchen and brought some coffee for them.
“We’ve waited enough for your spineless Dad to pay us the money he owes us. We decided to take action now Kavitha.” Said Ragini, “This will certainly make him sit up and take notice”

Anitha had quickly closed the doors and windows and started dousing Kavitha with petrol from a can. Ragini rushed to Kavitha’s side with a Match box. Kavitha was terrified. She was about to scream. Just as Ragini was about to light the match there was a loud ring. Someone had come home.
They quickly put things aside and went to open the door. It was Daniel! “Surprise! I’ve come home earlier” he said but stopped short as he realized what was happening! “What are you doing?” he shouted. Wordlessly they left the house as Kavitha crumpled in Daniel’s arms in tears.
The shocked couple knelt down to pray. “Heavenly Father, you saved Kavitha today from torture and death, just by your mercy. We thank you. Give us your grace to be able to forgive and show your love. In Jesus Name we ask. Amen.”

*******************


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Member Comments
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Verna Cole Mitchell 05/15/08
I believe these in-laws take the prize as the worst ones ever in your sad story. i'm so glad the husband came home in time and that he and his wife could pray together.
Holly Westefeld05/15/08
This is such an unusual blend of current technology and traditional customs. It was a gripping read, and the irony of your title was subtle, but biting.