The story so far:
[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. All their 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. The wedding took place. Urmila got separated from the groom on a lie the next day itself. She had told him that she was a habitual consumer of Phenobarbital medicine.].
Urmila uttered not even a word. Guilty feeling though had shadowed her conscience; she had no scruples about executing it. Yes, she was fully determined to follow her sordid decision. He sat there in mute stage for a while. His mind was in puzzlement as he didn’t know what to do. His reason and passion started a tussle whether to inform the matter to Ama or not. His reason found the win and decided to cover it from her. And after much additions and subtractions he decided eventually to subtract her from his life.
“My Amma lives for me only. If she comes to know this, she may break her heart. She dislikes cheats. So I won’t tell her anything. Next morning itself I’ll drop you in your house. You are not coming back. You will stay there only. I’ll find some reason to tell my mother about dropping you.”
And he did what he said. He made his Amma believe that Urmila had to undergo training for a job nearer her village. She would be staying there for a period.
“Here is your daughter, let her stay here only,” callous were his words.
“Why, why, what happened?” Urmila’s parents together.
“Please don’t act, you know everything,” he left her in her residence and left home fast.
Achchan and Amma didn’t pronounce any word. “Urmila might have told him about the affair,” suspected they. A deadly mist of sadness spread all over there.
Days crawled; Aravaind journeyed back to his resident city, Bangalore to join his company after cancelling the leave. Interrogations were responded in one or two words. He dissolved his mind completely in officials. Soon he put a full stop to his job in that company and joined a new job.
“I think I can’t adjust with that girl, so better to be separate,” the response to the interrogations from others.
Amma also found something fishy after long.But she and Urmila’s family couldn’t elicit the real reason for their separation. The way paved for this end Urmila kept furtive in her thoracic chamber away from the reach of even Vinod and Sharmila. Sharmila tried her best by hook or by crook to get the covert matter unearthed.
“Aravind and I cannot adjust with each other. We got separated,” though equivocal was the reply tendered by her to people, they were forced to believe that. Since the mobility of mobiles didn’t have company with humans at that time, they couldn’t express their mutual communication skill. And therefore Aravind and Urmila could not measure the circumferences of their innate personality traits before the wedding.
Urmila felt a heavy bag off her hand and she became a free bird. Still her mind didn't leave her like that. It took her on the course of an introspection, “Am I right to do so? My parents would be frauds in Aravind’s eyes forever. Perhaps he may not see them again. His worry will end soon. Another marriage will settle things for him. If he doesn't disclose the matter of medicine-intake, no one will come to know about my trick. Perhaps he looks like a man of ethics. He won't tell anybody, I think.”
Two weeks or more she waited for Vinod’s call. As she grew unrest, she picked the receiver ensuring none’s presence around. The other end didn't respond in Vinod’s voice, but in his mother’s sound, “He is not here, gone out. Who is there?”
“A friend,” quickly she cradled the phone.
“Did she recognize me? Hmm! No, she was in a hurry and she hasn't heard me clearly,” solaced, she herself.
[To be contd.]