This story will loom in four or five fragments as it is slightly long.
No sooner did Urmila with one of her friends reach the textile area of the shopping complex, than a duo of men made their exit from there. She couldn’t catch the full view of their visages. Both of them bore an exulting grin, while they exhibited a sort of rapidity to reach their automobile
One of the faces seemed resembling someone once much known to her. Urmila tried to correlate the similitude with visages familiar to her.
Yes, she sensed a look alike. But still she had a doubtful attitude about it. “ Umm, is it he? No, it can’t be. Or ….?” her mind sloped to the past by a slow descend.
A decade or more ago Urmila was returning from the college. As she stepped in, her parents were crossing the threshold of some discussions. Their expression marked some magnitude in the conversation. Her foot-steps did not stifle their talk, but caught their throat to reduce the volume. Urmila focused her ear on them, but she couldn’t extract anything lucid from their discourse.
“Ah! Let it be. May be some households,” Urmila without attaching much importance to it advanced to her room. There she changed her garb before offering her company to her favourite seat at dining. She had in her left hand the novel that she had started a couple of days ago.
Her hands fed the mouth with the snacks, Amma(mother) had kept for her and her eyes journeyed through a verso of the novel. Amma came near, pulled a chair and occupied it.
Urmila lifted her eyelids from the book and waited for Amma to utter what she wanted. Her Amma, Sharada always used to butter her daughter up for some favours.
“A proposal has come for you. A good alliance. The boy is…”
Before the completion of the sentence, Urmila retorted, “I won’t marry now. I want to study. Let me finish my P.G. I will do research also.”
Her words were clad in strong determination which silenced Amma from further conversations.
Urmila, who was twenty two, was pursuing her Post Graduation in a reputed Institution nearby. Her parents were eager much for their elder daughter’s marriage. The younger one Sharmila also persuaded her chechchi(elder sister) to accede to it . And she too bagged her share of discontent from Urmila.
Watching all these exercises Urmila’s Achchan( father), Venugopal reached the scene and he also had his tactical trial to bring Urmila in that chore. Nothing worked out for ayes in accord.
Urmila’s repeated clear-cut nays gradually amplified Venugopal’s tone, “See, you have only three more months to finish this course. We can’t delay your marriage. Children don’t understand the reality; they are in a reverie world. I am your father and I’ll see that your marriage takes place in next June or July.” It was a firm statement.
Urmila couldn’t demonstrate her wrath as she knew her Achchan’s limb may plunge on her. Venugopal was very soft and loving. But he went to the level of even draconian measures to stand by what he felt right.Being the daughter of such a person she had taken a hard determination to however elude the nuptials.
At night when sleep clinched all, Urmila quietly walked towards the telephone and the very favourably familiar number, she dialed. At that time the cell-sets were rare and Urmila was not in possession of one.
“Vinod, I don’t know what to do? A proposal has come for me. Parents especially Achchan seem unyielding.June or July may fall fatal between us. No way to change him.”
“Somehow by hook or by crook you pull on, till I get a job. Don’t worry, a few months are there. I’ll knock at all the doors. Some good will turn for us. I cannot think a life without you, dear. Now you go and sleep, goodnight. ”
“Go..od n ..igh..t,” came out from her unconvincing mind because she knew that ordinary degrees or P.G’s do not grab jobs effortlessly. Professional qualifications move through smooth roads now a days. Vinod held a P.G in Humanities, which had provided him so far only bitter fruits of job-hunting. And she knew her father well. Sleep did not show any mercy to her that night.
sarala [To be contd.]