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~devika~

...devika kalipersad... mama died a few months before... papa is a hindu priest... brother semaj is her best friend... loves him more than anything in the world... papa sends her off to live with a wealthy muslim family... she is eight... and is promised to be married to their eldest son, arben quddus who is now 15... some money and property exchanges hand with the promise... she is literrally sold... semaj is now 14... saraswati now 16 goes to work as a nanny at a school head-masters house, taking care of kids... vejai is 11 and in school...

...devika always sad and couldn't understand why she couldn't stay with her beloved semaj would cry constantly... would not stay at school to learn... would run away... she was made to do things that arben's sisters, arikka and surinna never would do... she was often punished for being mean and running away from school... she was difficult... but very shy... she woud never know to read and write... she faced puberty without knowledge... when she experienced her first period and had no one to talk to and could not understand what was happening to her... she was scared... she thought she was sick and dying... she had to see semaj and tell him something was very wrong with her... she could not stop crying... she was embarrased to tell him what was happening...he pulled her close and held her tight and told her everything was gonna be alright... he told her she was not dying but that she had her period... he told her what it meant... and that she would go through this every month... and it meant she could now have babies... she asked him what to do... very awkwardly he tried to tell her how to prepare herself... she listened carefully...

...she discovered she was supposed to be married to arben... but neither his parents nor him wanted that marriage anymore... her thoughts were now constantly on arben... she had a terrible crush on him... she was now 11... he is 18... he has a crush on a french plantation owner's daughter... the lovely amelia... through time, devika fell in love with arben... she thought she'd die if he refused her forever... her heart was breaking cause he did not return her feelings...

...at 14 almost 15, she was in his arms loving him... as he loved her back... he was her first... but after they shared that moment... he said it was beautiful loving her but that it could never happen again... cause he was in love with someone else, amelia ollivierre... and that he was going to marry her... she thought it was cause she wasn't as pretty as amelia and cause she could not read and spell and write and they all thought she was stupid... she was devastated... she felt very unwanted...and heartbroken...

...she was made to work at a plantation... she got sick after a couple of weeks after arben had made love to her... she was pregnant but didn't know it... she lost her appetite, vomited everything she ate... she lost weight... and she passed out working... she stayed in bed for a couple of days... and then had to go back to work...

...arben's momma and sisters started noticing changes in devika's appetite... they witnessed her bending over the sink and vomiting up everything she eats... they grew suspicious and confronted her... they told her she might be pregnant... they demanded to know who she have been with... she was too stunned to even respond much less admit anything... they got abusive and insultive... saying she was bringing shame to the family... and no good girl would be unmarried and pregnant... and how lucky she was that she was not out in the streets... and no decent man would want to marry a loose girl with no self respect and morals...

...after that, she ran off to papa's house... she needed semaj... she needed to hide forever... she wanted to go to sleep and never wake up... she was hurting... how could they be so cruel to her... how cold they treat her like she was less than nothing... what is she going to do... what's gonna happen to her now... arben didn't love her... he didn't want her... his family dont want her... now she was going to have a baby... she had no money... she didn't have a husband to take care of her... no one wanted her... there's no one to love her...

...her only thought now was semaj... semaj loves her... he would help her... he would never let anything happen to her... she cried all the way to papa's house... semaj was raking the yard when he looked up and saw her running towards him... he dropped the rake and slowly at first then he quickened his pace as he met her on the sidewalk... he saw her red eyes... and streaming tears and he just wrapped his arms around her... she cried harder and her little body began trembling... semaj's heart was breaking for his sister... he could feel her emotional agony... her mind in turmoil... something was very wrong...

...after devika calmed down, she rambled on everything right there on the street... she told him of the horrible things they were saying to her... she told him they were saying she was having a baby... he asked her if she think she was... she said she didn't know but she has not been feeling well... she begged him not to let her go back there... she begged him to stop papa from making her go back there...

...semaj promised her everything would be alright... and he would make sure she did not have to go back if she did not want to... as she stood there on the street crying... semaj hugged her tighter... he would make everything okay...

...arben noticed right away that devika was not there... his momma and sister said she might have run off again to her father's house... arben asked what happened... no one said anything... arben's father said they must find out if she really is at her father's house and they must bring the child back...

...devika's papa wasn't pleased to hear about what happened... he said devika can stay and tomorrow he'll go talk to arben's parents... after semaj told him that devika wasn't well and the others said she might be having a baby... papa asked her if she was with child... devika cried and said she didn't know... then papa spoke to semaj about mama going to old lady grace when she thought she was with child... he said they would take her to old lady grace the next day and hear what she says... papa asked semaj if devika said who the boy was... semaj said he didn't ask her... papa asked her... and she cried more and more... she finally said arben... papa said then everything is okay cause they could get married... devika sadly said no papa... he does not want me... he does not love me... she said arben wanted to marry amelia... papa was now furious... he asked what arben said about the baby... she said arben doesn't know... and she herself don't even know if she's really having a baby... papa was outraged to hear what arben's mother and sisters said to his daughter...

...arben and his father came that night to find out what happened... semaj went after arben and grabbed him and shubbed him again the wall... he told him he could kill him for what he has done to his sister... arben seemed a bit confuzed but then figured out that devika must have told them that he bedded her... arben pushed backed and yelled for semaj to get his hands off him... arben's father and papa pulled them apart... arben's father demanded to know what was going on... devika hearing all the commotion, came out... papa told arben's father that his wife and daughters said harsh words to his daughter and told her she was no good and nothing but a jammette and no man would ever want her... arben's father said devika has not been well lately... papa told him the women said that she was with child and she has brought shame to their family... arben was stunned a bit... his father aked him if he was responsible... father we dont know for sure if she's with child or not he answered... father angrily asked him if he laid with this child... arben reluctantly nodded... father reassured papa if devika was pregnant he will make certain arben marries her and she will be well taken care off...

...father insisted that devika should be examined by their family physician... papa told them devika will stay the night and tomorrow they'll find out about her situation... that she will see old lady grace... arben remarked that old witch... papa said that old witch delivered devika at birth... devika knew that case mama always told her... but she've only seen the old lady twice that she can remember... she was a bit scared of seeing her... everyone said she was a souconia... shedding her skin on certain nights and flying around and sucking on peoples blood... but mama trusted her and mama was never wrong about anyone... mama said she was a beautiful person... and devika must believe that...

...after they saw old lady grace and found out that devika was indeed with child... and informed the others... devika was asked to return to arben's home... but she didn't want to... she wanted to stay with papa and arben... and she could see sarawati on weekends when she cam home from work...

...after the adults discussed it... they agreed that devika will be married and taken care off as promised those many years ago...

...reluctantly devika returned... she thought maybe things will be different... better... arben will love her now... he must... they were going to have a baby together... she still loved him with all her heart but it just hurted so much that he could have someone else in his mind and heart...

...devika still had no idea what arben felt for her... he was kind and nice to her then seemed impatient and annoyed at her presence... he seemed like he cared and loved her... but his abrupt ad harsh reprimands confuzed her... yet she loved him so much...

...there was the wedding... they got married... he left her on her wedding night and got back late... then he wanted to make love to her... devika was sad... she wanted to know where he was all this time... he kept saying it doesn't matter... her mind in turmoil... an ache in her heart... she started saying no... no... tell me you wasn't with her... he said nothing but his eyes betrayed him... he said again that it didn't matter... noooo she screamed... tears tumbling down her face... how could you... how could you she kept on saying...

...he was now trying to calm her down... telling her he was sorry and it would never happen again and he would make things better... he promised... she cried and screamed and hit him on his chest... he held her in his arms... untill her deep breathing leveled off and her trembling body calmed down... and her tears slowed... then he kissed her face and tried kissing her...but she would not let him... i can't she was saying... please arben, no... she couldn't...

...her heart was tearing apart... she couldn't let him touch her and love her at this moment knowing where he has just been and what he was just doing... he wasn't stopping... nooo, don't do this... she tried to move away but he was holding tighter... don't do this to me... she started crying and screaming again... and tried to get away from him... he got forceful and held her down under him... nooo arben, please no, please arben... with all her might she screamed and kicked at him... he smacked her across her face and told her to shut up that she sounded insane... she cried and begged more quietly... she was beginning to feel very weak... he pushed her nightie up to her hips and quickly slipped her undies off... she cried more silently and kept saying no... she felt tired and a bit nauseated... she thought she was going to pass out... she felt the knees pushing her legs apart... she felt striking pain as her flesh ripped... no sounds came from her now... she let herself go limp and accepted what was happening... she felt numb...





...steels itself for yet another period of vulgarity, obscenity, and profligacy, another venal "bacchanal"...

...the origins of Carnival in Trinidad are traced to the costume balls, feasts, and revelries of the French planters who came to Trinidad after the proclamation of the Cedula of Population in 1783 by the Spanish Crown...

...the Carnival was the culmination of the social season for the elite of French Roman Catholic planters and included elaborate costume balls, masquerading and disguising, house to house visiting, street promenades on foot or in carriages, and "a variety of frolics and practical jokes (Pearse 1956:15)." Borde (1883:306-7) describes Carnival during the era of Spanish rule after the Cedula as: ...nothing but a long period of feasts and pleasures...

...the Carnival period extended from Christmas to Ash Wednesday as it had under Spanish rule. During this period martial law would be in effect and the British militia would stage elaborate military parades while the usual business and administrative activities of the colony would be suspended. Band performances, parades and reviews of the troops, demonstrations of cavalry charges, ballroom dances, and fireworks displays provided a constant series of amusements and entertainments for the elites. Dueling was permitted under martial law and those who felt themselves aggrieved would postpone settling old arguments and resolving perceived and intended slights and insults until this time...

...the celebrations of the French planters attempted to recreate the fantasy of the Court of the King of France and many of the masquerades were drawn from Europe; nobility, priests, servants, and bandits. Popular masquerades also constituted social inversions of the social order of the plantation society. Men would dress as negres de jardin, field laborers, while women would assume the persona of the mulatress, the women with whom their fathers, husbands, and brothers would have sexual liaisons, by donning brightly colored head kerchiefs and long flowing cotton dresses...

...the favourite costumes of our mothers and grandmothers was the graceful and costly one of the "mulatress" of the time; whilst gentlemen adopted that of the "negres de jardin", or in creole "negre jardin" or field labourer. In that costume, the gentlemen often figured in the "bamboola", in the "giouba" and the 'calinda". These pretended negres de jardin were wont to unite in bands, representing the camps of the different estates, and with torches and drums to represent what did actually take place on the estates when a fire occurred in a plantation. In such cases the gang of the neighboring estates proceed alternately accompanied with torches at night to the estate which had suffered to assist in the grinding of the burnt canes before they became sour...

...The enslaved Africans added their own satire and humor, forms of music, dance, and ritual masking such as those found among the Kono of Guinea to the Carnival (Pearse 1956:17). In post-emancipation Carnivals, these creole forms would burst forth into the public streets and become the most important and distinctive aspects of the Carnival. The transition out of slavery began with the inauguration of the "apprentice" system in 1834. Apprenticeship was to last for six years for field slaves and four years for other slaves and provided the planters with time to explore new sources of coerced labor. Until new laborers could be secured to maintain the sugar estates the "apprentices" were to work without pay for three-fourths of the work-week and for wages in the remaining fourth. Special magistrates were appointed and charged with the responsibility of protecting the "apprentices" rights (Brereton 1981:63). It remained slavery in all but name. In 1834 with a tone of anticipatory dread of the impending social upheavals expected upon the end of slavery, the Port of Spain Gazette reports that the Carnival lacked the splendor and gaiety it had demonstrated in previous years...