The One Ninth Birthright

NY

You’ve given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan? In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Plot of Earth.”

Land or  any plot  of land ranks number one in the hierarchy of assets in a financial statement. For a farmer, businessman, a banker it is a source of income. If given the financial resources a lot of things can be done  about it.  Build a house,  building or any structure, lease them for income generation, turn it into a farm, plant crops and resell them for income.  Or turn it into a dream oasis, like never land, or Disneyland.

Come on, wordpress, is this what you really want from us? I can tell you what its done.

A plot of land. That was my mother’s birthright from her parents. Our parents’ parents and their forefathers knew that a land is the only place where seeds grow and great dreams flourish.  Divided into nine  is a piece of property for each of them. How big? I don’t know, but it was enough for a young woman to build her own castles in the air, among the youngest in a brood of nine, worst of all she is a girl, a second class citizen, never had the chance to pursue higher education,  her only hope is to find a husband to be her  caretaker.  She found one, luckily. But the husband she thought would share her dream conceded and aided for this dream to disappear even before the roots come out. Because the moneyed siblings, too, were building their own dreams around this plot of land.  Their dream would only come true after buying out all the divided shares from their brothers and sisters by dangling money on their faces. I bet  that was facilitated by a glib talking  lawyer. Mother was unyielding at the start, but they used a pawn in the person of her husband, first telling him to ask his wife, a question they already knew what the answer was. But the one with a bigger purse and wider mouth  always have their way. He was given a daily dose of this unrelenting request, pestering him, short of harrasment, until he couldn’t take it.  Until they became successful.  I overheard much later when I was a little older that there was a murder in the family concerning this,  though not involving my father or mother but another brother and an in-law.  In the meantime the  sale finally consummated, mother obeyed her husband, that’s what a wife is supposed to do.

I never realized how this piece of property was so important to my mother. Decades later she learned one day how the government is giving away land in a remote town,  a place where there is almost no running water or electricity. She went  out to claim her birthright, her dream, that was once stolen  from her. Despite protest from my father. It almost caused the breakup in our family but my father understood his wife. To make this long story short, my mother got her piece of earth in the end and enjoyed the fruits of her labor.

 

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