[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. A squad of six used to engage themselves in kiddies’ amusements a lot. Whenever Urmila tried to retrieve her mind from the memories, it did not obey her. Again it went on a tour to the backyard of mind. Urmila bloomed into the synonym of beauty and Vinod grew into a handsome personality. ]
For a long time Urmila lay in wait for the sleep to obtain her company, but the latter remained loathe to come to her. Sharmila was in deep sleep playing the accompaniment of a mild snore. Urmila got up from the bed, opened a shutter of the window and looked through. The night was in jet black attire and the battery of the moon seemed not charged. So it was not lit. Not even a single star- light was seen and it was a total black-out. Urmila came back and lay down again. Mind was full of agony and anguish. In some way she cut across the time till dawn arrived.
In the morning she shed all the thoughts and feelings immersing in her routines. After seeing the completion of the usual personal chores, she proceeded to the college. In the evening after getting into the home-wear she sat at the snacks and tea.
“Mole, think once more about it, we shall fix the marriage now. We’ll have it after your exam only.”
“No, Amma, it will hinder my studies. I don’t want it now. "
“I don’t know if your Achchan will agree. He may not cancel it.”
Urmila’s mother, Sharada tried a good many tools to remodel Achchan’s as well as the daughter’s mind and ultimately the daughter won the bid. But Achchan had put forth a condition that after the final exams, marriage wouldn’t be delayed. Urmila nodded in concurrence and escaped for the time being.
“At least I can have a sleep for three months,” thought she, “By the time I will tell them about Vinod.”
Three months was a short period of time as Urmila was totally engaged in her academics. In between here there the youngsters kept their meetings live.
The days that sank Urmila in books and notes reached their conclusion. Urmila yanked a big sigh of relief and freedom from the tautness of studies. She felt like having a pair of wings to fly high in sky.
Meetings with Vinod multiplied, duration of the meetings expanded and anxiety about obtaining a job for Vinod swelled up and days crawled. Proposals for Urmila followed her. Two-three proposals she could make her parents cancel by extracting one or another shortcoming on minute scrutiny.
Urmila and Sharmila had gone for a sabbatical stay in grandparents’ residence .A lady named Malathi distantly related to the grandma visited them for a wedding invite of her daughter.Her son Aravind had accompanied her.
“Are these Sharada’s daughters?” the lady hadn’t seen the girls for the former one decade.
“Yes, she is Urmila and this one is Sharmila,” the grandma.
A chit-chat about the studies, job, marriage etc and the like about the girls had their role in their talk. The lady eyed the girls in particular Urmila once more before bidding bye.In the evening a phone call from that lady delighted the grandparents. The intensity of joy was such that it straightened the wrinkles on their visages.
“Mole, Urmi , where are you?”
“I am here in the portico,* Ammoomma ,I amreading the newspaper.”
“The boy who came here afternoon is an engineer. He is abroad. His mother has proposed him for you.”
“How can an individual prefer a person at merely a sight?”
“He might have noticed your behavior and all. He liked you. That is why his mother called, *Appooppan also approves it”
“No, Ammoomma, I’ll continue my studies.”
Appooppan didn’t respond to it, but whispered, “Today’s children are too smart to hear the elders’advice.”
“*Chechchi, he is very handsome.” Sharmila
“Then you marry him.” Urmila chided Sharmila.
They returned home after a week. Amma who knew from her parents about the proposal didn’t mention anything about it. She lurked for Achchan to arrive. After his usual like keeping the bag, changing the dress, taking a body bath, tea, snacks and all,he seated comfortably in a chair turning the T.V. on. Amma came and sat by his side. She opened the folder of proposal and took out the details.
Achchan in soft loving voice, “Mole, did you hear what she said?”
Urmila who was sitting in another chair lifted her eyes from the novel she was reading.
“This proposal sounds good. If the horoscopes match, you will be lucky.”
“Now, no excuse, let’s check the horoscopes first.”
Urmila didn’t voice a word even expecting an incompatibility in horoscopes. After the day’s chores both the sisters took the night’s abode in bed.
*Chechchi-Addressing an elder female.
*Chechchi-Addressing an elder female.