I am back after a long sabbatical or busy schedule to be with my companion blog spot. Sorry, I couldn't complete this story.I think now I can step up to its conclusion without any procrastination.
[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. A squad of six used to engage themselves in kiddies’ amusements a lot. Urmila bloomed into the synonym of beauty and Vinod grew into an example of adoptable personality-traits. All the friends, but Vinod flew away from the brood for life’s needs. Vinod was in the look out of a job. Urmila’s father,Venugopal with conventional beliefs didn’t agree for their marriage. Finally father held a proposal close to his heart for Urmi. He finalized it despite all the resistance from Urmila. He thought time would bless her with glee.]
Now pl. read.
Urmila concluded the routine journey through the domestic chores. Then she placed herself among the rectos and versos of the novel which she was engrossed in as though to make her plight a bit light. Her mind was watching the arrangements which her parents were engaged in. They were talking about the list of kith and kin to be invited, ornaments to be procured, array to be selected etc.etc. Not even a single word made its exit from Urmila’s mouth. It was time for Venugopal to leave for bank. He didn’t ask Urmila anything about it nor did he ask Sharmila also. He was proceeding to the procedures on the belief or make-belief that things will move on the smooth path.
“I shall come home a bit early today. Where are Sharmi and Urmi? Tell the children to make their list of friends. We’ll sit together and process the invitation ‘formalities’.
Urmila watched Amma’s visage while nodding in response to Achchan. The facial muscles were curved and stretched in agony. Taking into account her mother’s anguish Urmila woke up from the self-created lethargy and entrusted Sharmila with the preparation of the list and the latter in turn awaited the night to carry out the assigned job.
After the cuisine routines Sharada made her entry into the bath area and Sharmila took the weekly magazine and embarked on her berth in the bedroom. Viewing none near the phone Urmila held the receiver in her hand and dialed the number, entrenched in mind. Luckily she had had Vinod on the receiving end. Both of them ensured that none was there in their proximity. Vinod faced no objection from his elders because they always stood by him.
“Vinu, I can’t get you, but I want you. I have taken a decision. It may not sound good to you. I can’t marry a stranger. No way can I accept a person not at all known to me. I can’t spend my entire life with a person like that.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“Listen well. I have two options. One you have rejected, the elopement. I had mentioned it ealier. The other you may get panicky. But listen well. This marriage will fall on me without fail. I can’t escape from it. Amma is getting crushed between Achchan and me. I feel sorry for her. T..H.E.R..E ..F..O..R..E after marriage I’ll go with my plan, though it is a bit unethical.”
“But, Urmila, what is it? Don’t do silly things. This is life, not a game. Tell me what it is. I shall be with you.”
“I can die for you, but can’t live for another person. Wait and see what I’ll keep in store for you. So don’t ask me now.”
Urmila, perceiving her mother’s footsteps slowly cradled the receiver. Then her bed patiently received her. She sank in the rectos and versos of the novel again. Vinod kept quiet though was he skeptic about her plan. At the same time he didn’t want to hurt her with queries and questions.Nevertheless an unknown vexation verily shadowed his mind.
Eventually the day significant much to Venugopal and trivial to Urmila knocked at the door. Urmila just danced as a puppet in accordance with the strings that her parents and the other kin pulled. No one could read her mind, as she bore not any expression on the face.
The customary rituals that are observed conventionally had no dearth with her also. Usually wedding-eve sees procedures like venerating the elders, receiving the guests, accepting the gifts and serving luxuriant juices and snacks to them. It is believed that the veneration of elders-presenting them a betel leaf with an Aracanut and a coin kept inside and touching their feet- earns blessings for the lass (Dakshina). The lad has no escape from this path, as he does it in his area. Urmila without any pause conformed whatever was required and instructed by others.
The wedding dawn winked at everyone that had opened their eyes before its rouse. After the personal hygienic chores in the morning Urmila sat on a chair for the beautician to perform all the prettifying art work on her.
“Will all your friends come, mole? None were there for the eve,” Amma while inserting a piece of idly to the lips of her dear daughter, as Urmila’s full physique was under the beautician’s control.
“No, I haven’t invited anyone. They want to see Vinod marries me,” Urmila drew her mother nearer and mumbled in her ear. She didn't want the third person’s ears to absorb the matter.
[To be contd.]