Okay, its time for the great Z. When you think of Z first thing that come to my mind is a zebra or a zoo or a zulu! But I am going to choose a different word today. And along with that will be a story with a message. 

You can read my earlier short fictions here. 

The Bridal Trousseau

Akaansha looked at them wide eyed, she absolutely loved these. The bright colors, the elaborate designs – all of them looked so royal, so magnificent. She had an image in mind… she’ll look no less than any royal princess on her D-Day in one of these.

When her fingers brushed against the intricate designs of the zari she made up her mind… this pink saree was going to be her bridal trousseau. She beamed with joy with her big find and was happy thinking how beautiful she would look when she adorned it. She wanted to cover a good portion of the Page 3 and felt this one was just the right outfit for the occasion.   

But Akaansha never realized the hands that wove this masterpiece together were already in the news – much before her… but unlike her, they were on the cover page.

Mumbai police had raided several factories in the outskirts of the city and rescued more than 400 children who were forced to work in zari units. Not more than 12 years of age, these kids and their parents were promised for education and good food. But when they landed up in the city from their remote villages they found themselves working for fourteen hours a day in inhuman conditions.  

Their tender hands worked tirelessly with the golden threads… but no one looked at their distressed eyes, no one had sympathy for them. All that the unit owners were interested was in their profit. While in return of their hard work the children got a meager salary of ten rupees a day and one time meal.

While the dazzling beauty of the zari delighted women like Akaansha, it brought tears for many such unnamed and unknown child workers.     

Google Images
My Z word is Zari. Zari or zari work is a style of embroidery with golden threads usually found in India, Pakistan & Persian garments. Read more about it here.
This is not entirely a work of fiction. While the characters and details are fictitious, but this is the reality of the child labour practice in India. Though child labour is illegal in the country, you find that law flouted in every nook and corner. This is also my voice against this practice. You can read about some real stories by clicking on the pictures below. 


This post is written for ABC Wednesday for the letter Z
Also linking this as my Day 11 post for The Ultimate Blog Challenge July 2014.

Tina Basu

12 Comments on Short Fiction – The Bridal Trousseau

  1. preciousmurmurs
    July 11, 2014 at 5:31 pm (5 years ago)

    Very nice write up, great Theme which projects the unacceptable practice… this can be made into a short movie actually…

  2. Vinodini Iyer
    July 11, 2014 at 5:31 pm (5 years ago)

    What a shame?! We actually revel in those zari saris without a single thought on how it was being produced by putting so many kids and people through trauma. Thanks for this share Tina. It is a real eye opener.

  3. Leslie:
    July 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm (5 years ago)

    Such a shame that children are forced into labour like this. If people would stop buying, it would put these factories out of business. But then, that is just too simple a solution, isn't it?

    abcw team

  4. Beloo Mehra
    July 12, 2014 at 6:10 am (5 years ago)

    The sad side of the coin. Makes you ponder on how important it really is to become a mindful consumer and think hard before just buying anything. Very nicely written!

  5. Roger Owen Green
    July 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm (5 years ago)

    Such a nice garment, but the circumstances ruin its beauty.


  6. Tina Basu
    July 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm (5 years ago)

    Thank you so much

  7. Tina Basu
    July 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm (5 years ago)

    Thanks Vinodini

  8. Tina Basu
    July 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm (5 years ago)

    yeah, the choices are actually ours…


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