[Urmila and Sharmila are sisters. The elder one Sharmila was in love with Vinod, her neighbour, even when they passed through the school-age. Father had brought proposals which she resisted tooth and nail, though she knew not the result. She recalled her baby-hood memories in which Vinod always sided with her in all the activities. Once she lost her ear-drops, the gang saved her from the reproach of parents. A squad of six used to engage themselves in kiddies’ amusements a lot. They played in and with water and sand, dawdled time in group games and funs during their babe-stage. And they reached their education-conclusive classes now.]
Now please read.
Time and again Urmila’s mind jumped into the curious experiences of the time gone. Adolescence had driven away the childhood from the children. Some sort of incomprehensible strangeness loomed in the stance of theirs. A tow-like pull towards each other occupied the minds of the duo, Urmila and Vinod. A special genus of delicacy in passing freely her feelings to Vinod developed in Urmila. At the same time she coveted for his occurrence within her approach. And so was the case somewhat with Vinod also. She dug in her memory to locate the time when it started.
After the tests and all, the Onam vacation was on its round. Sharmila and Urmila with their flower-basket rummaged around to gather flowers. Vinod and Akhil joined them though gathering flowers was a feminine duty. Urmila tried to pick flowers from plants on the slant of the mud-wall, but couldn’t she reach there. Vinod held her hand and helped her. And that touch passed an electric current through their mind. This was the first instance that painted their acquaintance with the colour of craze. Urmila looked down and hurried to return home.
Onam vacation, ‘Pookkalam’ decoration and Onam celebration etc. went on providing the children with ample amusement and entertainment. Relishing feast with ‘Payasam’(rice pudding) and Pappad along with next of kin from far enthused them all with joy and delight.
As days passed the hurdles of monthly tests, commencement began blinking. Urmila was in eighth and Vinod in tenth. Academics showed no mercy as they levied the children with home work, project, monthly-tests, term-tests and so on.
“ Amma(mother), I have to study a lot. I’ll sit under the tree by the paddy field. I can focus more there,” Urmila carrying a book in hand headed for the tree- shade on the Sunday preceding the test.
“Have your breakfast and go.”
“No, Amma I am not hungry.”
“Holidays make the children lazy. You get up late. Eat nothing. Come, have something.”
Reluctantly Urmila came back to have a small quantity of rice noodles (idiyappam) in a rapid way. Something tempted her to prepare for the next day’s test in the land outside home. Though it was their land it existed slightly away from home. She opted for the shade of an Artocarpus (Anjili) tree to befriend with her studies. She opened the book and concentrated on the lesson aiming to cover a certain portions.
“O! Very studious, preparing for IAS?” the very recognizable voice astonished her, since she had a yen for that there.
“Why are you here?”
“I came to show you my new pen,” Vinod created a reason to visit her.
A chit-chat for the sake of being together took place before they left for home.
The onset of adulthood had reduced the rate of scuffles and wrestles, prevailed among the comrades earlier. Their petty clashes they lessened giving room for a matured attitude. Of course they kept their gatherings live though not frequent. They had earmarked time for that.
Slowly-slowly an infatuating inclination crawled towards the mindset of the children, Vinod and Urmila. A glowing spark visited their eyes at the sight itself and an infatuation was the upshot. The infatuation in fact was growing and metamorphosing gradually into affection. And the affection infused in them a longing for each other’s presence.
Urmila and Vinod somehow discovered time and reasons for meeting each other. They sometimes warily avoided the companies of their kith and kin like Anand, Akhil, George and Sharmila. Academic burden was given the blame of being away from friends. Gradually the fissure of frequencies widened in accordance with the academic pressure of classes growing higher. And that slit paved more ways for those two teenagers to be more than together whenever they desired so.
When they were little children the girls used to go to Vinod’s house rather they had the liberty to visit it repetitively. But at the attainment of puberty the eldres chained their legs and laid restrictions. However the lure between Urmila and Vinod helped them choose areas away from the view of elders. The venue of most of their get-together was the propinquity of the mini forest of Urmila’s family which was near her reside. It had copious number of plants growing profusely.
More and more water of their alliance flowed through the burn of their love. As more and more years joined their age, the burn went on widening. And finally it fell into the ocean of inseparability.
sarala [to be contd.]