Fate & life changing decision.

The Prophecy by Anjana Appachana is about teen pregnancy and the issue of sexual relationship outside of wedlock on India. The main character of the story is Amrita, a social, outgoing and stubborn girl that always get whatever she wants in life. The story was told from the viewpoint of Amrita's best friend, Beti, a girl that has a personality very contrasting compared to Amrita. The narrator was more demure and lives a more traditional lifestyle. She is not as outspoken as Amrita and can only dream about dating handsome men that actually dating them. Both of them are studying in an all-girl boarding school and live in a hotel with a struck superintendent and her assistant, Patram.

The story start off with the two girls decided to see an astrologer to read Amrita's fortune. She have a feeling that she might been pregnant, but before consulting a gynecologist, they decided to see the astrologer first. Hindus believe in astrology and mysticism and that is why Amrita decided to see the astrologer first before consulting a doctor. Amrita was shocked when the astrologer told her, " The star are not good. The shadow of Shanti is falling on you." The astrologer suggested to the girl that he performed the 'puja' for them. 'Puja' is a religious Hindu ritual that can bring back good luck to a person. This part show that, even though Amrita said that one cannot change their fate as it already been written down by God, she still hope her future can be changed with the 'puja' ceremony.

Later, both of the girls went to see a gynecologist. Here we can see how a doctor, a man of facts and highly educated handles teen pregnancy issues. Even though Amrita and Beti lied about their age but the doctor, Dr. Kumar, can sense the truth. This may not be the first case he had encountered. Dr. Kumar did not scolded Amrita for lying to him about her pregnancy. He might be a western-trained doctor that understands about the teenage pregnancy and its problems. Before the girl went back to their hostel, the doctor even consoled them about contraception and refuse money from them.

The decision why she didn't want to keep the baby was because she was afraid her mother and father would not understand and would not accept her as their daughter. It was a sin to have a relationship out of wedlock. Their neighbor even committed suicide when the mother was informed that her daughter was pregnant.

Beti didn't understand why Amrita doesn't want to marry Rakesh. He was a handsome and nice man. Beti herself would gladly marry Rakesh. Amrita didn't want to marry Rakesh maybe because she was still you. She preferred a more adventurous man rather than a nice man. There is also the question of what is objective for Amrita and Rakesh relationship. Was it based on love or just sex? Amrita was a very social girl she must love the attention of a handsome man like Rakesh and the sexual experience but she still not sure if Rakesh is the correct person for her.

In this story, the author has added in the characters of a very strict peon, superintended and headmaster. Anjana shows that, even with a very strict upbringing and law, sometime society cannot discipline teenagers or stop them from doing something wrong. Amrita was pregnant because of her lack of understanding of contraception or lack of guidance from the school and family. The school are more concern about their reputation rather that their welfare.

Amrita didn't have the money to perform the abortion but soon, she got measles and was bleeding. Here was when the secret was finally out, he was thrown out of the school. The baby die and she was married off to an educated man.

It is ironic, a girl that was very active and vocal about everything was soon confined to the house doing domestic chores and taking care of kids. The author have shown that how, someone action can change her fate to the better or the worst. Amrita, as earlier mention by the astrologist, gets her wish, to marry handsome and educated man, after all.

1. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia, 2005, Literature An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry and Drama, Pearson Longman, Ninth Edition.

2. Anjana Appachana, 1991, Incarnation and other stories, Virgo Press.


Torioto said...

Amrita's friend is not Beti, it is Hemu Hemlathaji.
The prophecy that said that she would marry an educated man was done to Hemu, not to Amrita.
Also, the gynecologist Dr. Kumar is female.

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