Who was Bishamber? Why did Bholi’s parents accept his marriage proposal?

Bishamber Nath was a well-to-do grocer from another village. He was forty-five or fifty years of age. Nearly the same age as Ramlal (Bholi’s father). He was a widower, who had grown up children from his first wife. Even he had a limp in his leg. He had a big shop, a house of his own and he had several thousand in the bank. Bholi’s parents were happy because Bholi would be lucky to get such a well-to-do bridegroom. He was not asking for any dowry in the beginning. Bholi’s parents thought of them as lucky because Bishamber was from another village and did not know about Bholi’s pock-marks and her lack of sense. If they didn’t accept his proposal, then Bholi might have to remain unmarried all her life. Bholi’s parents in their ignorance and backward thinking felt that daughters are a liability or a burden to dispose of by marriage and Bholi with her disadvantageous look and stammering had a full chance of that.

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