One night, after dinner, Ramlal said to his wife, “Then, shall I accept Bishamber’s proposal?”
 
     “Yes, certainly,” his wife said. “Bholi will be lucky to get such a well-to-do bridegroom. A big shop, a house of his own and I hear several thousand in the bank. Moreover, he is not asking for any dowry.”
 
     “That’s right, but he is not so young, you know — almost the same age as I am — and he also limps. Moreover, the children from his first wife are quite grown up.”
 
     “So what does it matter?” his wife replied. “Forty-five or fifty — it is no great age for a man. We are lucky that he is from another village and does not know about her pock-marks and her lack of sense. If we don’t accept this proposal, she may remain unmarried all her life.”
 
     “Yes, but I wonder what Bholi will say.”
 
     “What will that witless one say? She is like a dumb cow.”
 
     “May be you are right,” muttered Ramlal.
 
     In the other corner of the courtyard, Bholi lay awake on her cot, listening to her parents’ whispered conversation.
 
     Bishamber Nath was a well-to-do grocer. He came with a big party of friends and relations with him for the wedding. A brass-band playing a popular tune from an Indian film headed the procession, with the bridegroom riding a decorated horse. Ramlal was overjoyed to see such pomp and splendour. He had never dreamt that his fourth daughter would have such a grand wedding. Bholi’s elder sisters who had come for the occasion were envious of her luck.
Explanation:
 
Then one night, after dinner, Ramlal was discussing with his wife that he had a marriage offer for Bholi. He says to his wife shall he accept the marriage proposal of Bishamber. After hearing that, his wife agreed to that proposal. Bholi's father says she would be lucky to have such a wealthy bridegroom. He then says that he heard the bridegroom had several thousand of money in his bank account. In addition, he says that the wealthy man was not asking for any dowry. The term "dowry" means an amount of property or money brought by a bride to her husband during their marriage. Since dowry is considered to be an illegal thing, many families were still promoting the dowry system.
 
Bholi's father then said that Bishamber was not so young and almost of his age. Also, he had limps (a person who feels difficult while walking). In addition, he was already married and had children with his first wife, who had already grown up. After hearing that, Ramlal's wife said what the problem was. Then she says that forty-five or fifty is not a big age for a man. In addition, she says that they were lucky because the bridegroom is from another village. The reason behind her statement was that they did not know much about Bholi. As Bholi was attacked by smallpox, the bridegroom did not know about her scars and her lack of intelligence. Then she says that if they did not accept the marriage proposal, Bholi would remain unmarried.
 
After hearing his wife's statements, Ramlal said he knew it very well, but he was unsure what Bholi would tell. Here, Ramlal gave value by telling his wife whether she would accept this proposal. Ramlal's wife then says what does that fool will tell. Later she says that she is like a dumb cow who will not understand anything that others would say. After that, Ramlal agrees to his wife's words.
 
While Bholi was lying on the bed in the other corner of the courtyard, she heard her parents' conversation. The bridegroom who was chosen for Bholi was Bishamber Nath. He ran a grocery shop where he used to sell food items and household items.
 
Bishamber Nath had a good business. On the wedding day, the bridegroom came with his family and friends. They were accompanied by a brass band playing popular tunes from Hindi movies. The bridegroom came over on a decorated horse. Bholi's father was delighted to see all the happenings at his daughter's wedding. Bholi's father had never imagined such a grand wedding for his fourth daughter (Bholi). Her elder sisters felt jealous of her good luck. It might be because they thought they were more fair and beautiful than Bholi. So while seeing the good luck of Bholi, they might have felt jealous.
 
Meanings of the difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meanings
1
LimpTo walk slowly and with difficulty because of having an injured or painful leg or foot
2
MutterTo speak quietly and in a low voice that is not easy to hear, often when you are worried or complaining about something
3
Witless Stupid or showing no intelligence
4
Wonder To ask yourself questions or express a wish to know about something
5
Unmarried Not married
6
Envious Wishing you had what another person has
7
ProcessionA line of people, vehicles, or objects moving forward in an organized manner, especially as part of a ceremony
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Bholi - K.A. Abbas (pp. 54-62). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.