This story is about Krishna ….not the Lord but Krishna from Tarran tarran village of Punjab. Krishna was the youngest among her siblings with 3 brothers and an elder sister. Her father was the most educated man of Village with a dark completion, sharp features and a hight tall enough to make Krishna sit on his shoulder to see village Mela and get firki from there! It was one such morning of winter with all clouds covering the sun that Krishna s father breathed his last…she was just 5 summers old ! The poor girl who had just taken an admission in a missionary run girls school with a lady teacher could never imagine what she had lost ,she could never imagine..never would she be pamperred with paraandee ,surme daani ,little chooreees or baaloo shaheee s her Baujee so lovingly used to hide from other siblings and make her eat in sarso fields while giving her ride on his black bicycle gifted to him by an Angrez saahab because of his english speaking skills. Krishna started living a subdued life of every day struggles with a widowed mother and three extreme ly demanding sister in laws ,doing house chores of filling earthen pots from well ,washing utensils ,brooming varranda were part of her daily chores…..admist all these scarcities of brother refusing to pay Krishna s fee or bhaabees only giving her left over food or worn out clothes ..Krishna s heart was that of a Doe..always prancing, singing ,dancing and waitng…waiting for the man of her dreams who will change her life ever after. Krishna was named Krishna as her skin colour was not as desired by the conditioned mind of her society would feel bright so her mother always worried for Krishna s marriage alliance. With no father, only skill to write her name and no dowry to give as Krishna turned 17 , she started getting alliances of men who were either physically challenged or had lost their first wives in child birth! Every time such match came the heart of mother of Krishna use to sink…but our Krishna was a fighter. At a freinds engagement ceremony Krishna who wore collared shirt kurti made from her brothers old kurta and shirt inspired by British Affsar s dress ,her Patiyala salwar with phulkaari embroidery done by Krishna s talented hands and her Jutti her bhabee had given her due to wrong size gifted by her brother on Rakhi…Krishna was the Party charmer…being bold to do mimicry of Village patwaari with mustaches made of black of back of tawa! Chhallo behenjee noticed Krishna and immideately chose her to be a bride to Gyaan chand………………………………………..Gyaan Chand was a handsome ,decent and charming young lad of 20 ,very courteous and stylish…he was working with his Chachajee in Africa! The world war 2 and uganda railway track lay out had made many village folk migrate to Africa. The marriage was fixed for July when Gyaan would come for his annual 15 day vacation to the village,the boys side dint want any dowry as one of their daughter had been burnt alive for same but they wanted decent marriage arrangements and good food aswelll welcome of guests………. So finnaly the marriage day came and our Krishna bid good bye hugging her Mom her starry eyes full of tears of sepration , had aspirations and dreams of a fulfilled and loving future life. From her hudband s parental house in old town of Amritsar,it was the first time Krishna saw a railway station,she had a train journey to Bombay to ride a streamer to Mombasa, her husband’s karram bhoomi. Every thing was new for Krishna….as she stepped on the land of Kenya a fear gripped her..

Krishna saw huge built ,noodle haired men and women with not as bright a colour shade and she thought she was in Ashok Vaatika..she had often heard sunder kand paath form Village panditji……………….as they reached the rented one room set of Gyaan in Kittui village …gyaan s colleague and pigmy freind John greeted the couple….Jambo…

Krishna was not a coy and shy bride and wanted to help her husband in each way she could so she soon started learning the language, customs and traditions of the land of Giraaffes ,zebras and Lions. She realised that there were many Sikhs in neighbour hood adressed as Kala singha and respected a lot. But their main struggle was home cooked indian food…with most of their wives being in Indian villages to serve their parents, each day they ate half cooked and non nutritious meals by them selves and usually suffred stomach indigestion ailments…

Krishna talked to her husband about 2 things they could do…one was making basic Daal uraad…now Daal makhni with Tandoori rotees and other providing Saunf water to anyone who suffered indigestion. To make her business expand she kept a minimum profit for her food and concation…

Krishna started serving her husband s colleagues ,freinds and clients first free meal just to promote her Dhaba which she named “: Ghar kaa Swaad aayaa yaad” soon her husband’s freind John the pigmy got his wife and sister join Krishna to help her run her food joint. Krishna paid there kindness by serving them food for free but within 2 months started giving them 30% of her profit too…

Krishna s eatery was now famous for any Punjab villager going to settle in Kenya for a healthy safe and pocket freindly food option. Even british officers used to eat the delicacies with kachaaa pyaaz and chhacch for a hearty meal and desi ghee arroma! After 5 years of hard work and 3 kids as a family addition our Krishna lay down the stone for the first Gurudwara in Kenya …she was honoured by the Punjabi African community for being the most endearing entrepreneur. March being the month for women empowerment this story is my first attempt. I hope u all liked it!

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