[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. Two-three ones she escaped on the pretext of studies. 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. Finally father held a good proposal close to his heart.]
The time skipped over days one, two, three etc. and more. In those days something was jabbing at Urmila’s heart which itself had fallen into a melancholic mood. It was nothing but the matrimonial steps of her parents that pricked her hurtfully.
“Urmi, you are lucky, the horoscopes are fully agreeable,” words effusively flowed from Achchan’s mouth, as soon as he made his entry into his domicile.
He turned to his wife Sharada, “Now we have to look into further formalities. I shall call the groom’s party soon. Why to delay.”
“Achcha, how can we know about his character and other knowhow’s?”
“O! That you don’t worry, I will get all his details. His job, education and family are all very good. Character also may be good. We’ll inquire.”
He didn’t view Urmila’s expression that reflected the image of her thoughts. Her body attained a mechanical move and reached the study room that was her sole solace when in worry. Tears waited for no pause and so they freely flowed down and her cheeks turned sodden. Sniffing and sobbing turned the room’s air soggy. Sharmila watching all this smelt something shady in Urmila’s actions and hence her legs led her to Urmila’s room.
“ Chechchi, why are you crying when parents speak about marriage? I think you have someone in your mind. Do you have any affair? Tell me.”
Urmila put apart the shutters of her heart in front of her sister a bit reluctantly though and the latter got stunned at the news. She was never dubious of her sister’s ways. She thought Vinod was as good a friend as others were. She remained bewildered rather unfeeling for a while.
“O! Chechchi, very clever you are. I never noticed any sign in your behaviour. What to do, now? Let’s tell Amma about it. She may understand you. Chechchi, but Achchan’s stand we can’t predict.”
Though they had vacation they wanted a holiday for Achchan. The next day was a Sunday. So somehow both the sisters got a comfortable time for disclosing the matter to Amma so that it would be forwarded to Achchan.. Sharmila sparked the beginning and Urmila, taking the aid of fumbling and stammering, divulged to Amma about the affinity between Vinod and herself.
“God! what am I hearing? Didn’t you get anybody else? Vinod’s grandfather was a caretaker and an aid to your grandfather. Don’t you know that?” Amma’s tone contained scorn and surprise.
“I don’t know if your Achchan will agree or not,” Amma resumed the original tone.
“Amma, please Amma, understand her. Stand by her. Make him agree.”
Amma looking into his mood and mode of behavior slowly presented the subject to him after some time. The upshot was a bomb-blast as she expected.
“No, never. I cannot agree, I’ll not also. You shouldn’t support her,” thunderous was the voice that emerged from an orthodox mentality.
Achchan- father, Amma- mother, Chechchi- elder sister. [to be contd.]