Good Love story

Hi TTians, Got this story some where. Its a bit time taking but its woth the time I think...Here it goes...

We are planning to go for a movie on Saturday. How many of you would be interested?" one Thursday end of the day, our class rep asked this. All of us raised our hands except Nethra. He said, "Okay, interested people, please bring 120 bucks tomorrow so we can book the tickets as fast as we can" All of us tapped our desks with joy. It had been two months since we joined college and we knew each other in the class by their names and our friendship' gang started to build up. There was lot of fun during class and off class hours. All of us started to go out for movies, restaurants, birthday parties etc, except her.

Nethra used to be alone and aloof always. She used to sit in the last bench and never spoke with anyone. All the other students were scared to talk to her as she was grumpy and a cranky person. She had displayed her anger many a times with other students. She was good looking but I think she would look beautiful if she smiled because no one had ever seen her smiling. Her pet name was "Miss. Long Face". None of us in the class liked her but she used to do her assignments and record works promptly and had a good name among the lecturers. She was good at studies too and class topper while I used to rank from 4 to 7.

One day as usual all the boys in the class were discussing about the girls in the college; when the topic went on her. One boy said, "I pity her husband he is gonna have tough time with this girl". Another boy said, "The person who makes her smile will be an extraordinarily talented person because she is such a bad tempered girl" One jumped up and said, "Is there anybody who is ready for a challenge?" Everyone asked "what will be the challenge and the bet?" He said, "1000 bugs" "What's the challenge?" everyone asked. He said, "The challenge is to befriend to Miss. Long face". Since the bet and challenge was attractive I was interested in trying it; so I took up the challenge.

I thought of a plan to befriend her and as per my plan I did not attend the entire day's class the next Monday. On Tuesday when I went to class I asked my friends, "What were the assignments or records that were given yesterday?" They said, "The Chemistry record need to be completed till date and the deadline to submit for corrections is on Friday" I said, "Oh, just three days for Friday. Has anybody completed the record?"

They said, "No, not yet. We have lot of experiments pending to be completed"

I went to her and said, "Hi Nethra"

She was writing something and when she heard me, she raised her head and looked at me sternly and asked, "What?"

I asked, "Have you completed the chemistry record?"

Sternly she said, "Yes"

I said, "I did not attend the last chemistry class and I heard that we need to submit the record by this Friday. Nobody else in the class has completed it so it would be great if you could lend me your record. I'll return it tomorrow" With lots of hesitation she gave me the record and in a warning tone she said, "Handle it carefully and return it tomorrow without fail"

I took the record notebook from her and intentionally left it at home on the day I promised to return back in order to develop friendship. I was so impressed by the way she has maintained it. Her handwriting was beautiful and the highlighting & markings, presentation of the record was mind blowing. I liked her record and I liked her too, but she was a mystery. I was curious to find out the secret behind her callous nature.

On Wednesday she asked me, "Where is my record?"

"Your presentation skill is very impressive" I said.

She asked, "Where is my record?"

"I complimented about your record" I said

She said, "I don't need your compliment, I need my record?"

"I didn't complete it yet, shall I give it tomorrow?" I asked

"I need it by tomorrow without fail" furiously she said and turned to leave my desk.

"Can you remind me in the morning so I won't forget? Please and this is my number" saying this I wrote my number on a piece of paper and gave it to her as she was about to leave.

She plucked the paper and walked off rapidly without saying anything. I knew this was the right way to get her number.

On Thursday morning she called me early in the morning and said, "Nethra here, called you to remind about the record book" saying this she disconnected the call.

As soon as I came to the class she asked, "My record book"

I searched my bag and hit my head and said, "Oh I am sorry, it's not there in my bag, I forgot to bring it. Give me your address after the class I will bring it to your home"

She said, "I know you'll do like this. Irresponsible fellow, that's why I hesitated to give it, Okay I will wait near the college entrance in the evening bring it to the college"

I said, "It will be late and you have to wait for a long time. My home is far away and it is my fault so I will bring it to your home"

Stubbornly she said the same thing again, "I will wait near the college entrance till you get it. Around what time will be here?"

I said, "6. 30 pm"

She said, "I'll wait in the library till you reach the college. Once you reach the college give me a call and then I'll come out"

I said, "Okay, sounds good"



In the evening I reached the college before 6.30 but was hiding near a tree and was waiting. She called me up at 6.30 but I didn't answer. About 15 mins later she came out and was waiting near the entrance. It was around 7.15, I went there and she saw me as if she's gonna smolder me to flames. "I'm very sorry, I had a flat tyre and I had to get it fixed and that was the reason for the delay" saying this I handed over the record book and said, "Thanks a bunch and I'm extremely sorry for the delay in returning the record as well as for making you wait for such a long time"

She grabbed the record from me and started walking without saying anything.

I started my bike and went near her and said, "Come I'll drop you home, it's dark"

She walked hastily towards an auto rickshaw coming towards us. She hired the auto rickshaw and got into it. I followed her; after sometime the auto rickshaw stopped she got down and asked, "Why are you following me?"

I said, "It is my fault and I'm responsible for your safety, its dark and the area is lonely; no street lights too. How can I trust a stranger and send you in an auto rickshaw? Come with me or if you prefer the auto rickshaw, you can go but I'll follow you till you reach your place to ensure you reach safely" and smiled.

She went to the auto rickshaw, paid him and came and sat on my bike. I started the bike and she kept giving me instructions as "left, right, and straight" she didn't speak anything except this. After 30 mins she said, "Stop" near a ladies hostel. I asked, "Oh you stay in a hostel, which is your native, where are your parents? As soon as I stopped she got down and walked off without saying anything.

I went home and told my Mom all that happened today. My Mom said, "Poor girl, she must be feeling home sick and that's why is always sad. Food is not good in some hostels and that could also add up to her sadness"

I said, "Yeah Mom, maybe that's the reason she is always sad. Mom, please prepare my favorite Poori tomorrow for breakfast and pack it for her too mom.

She said, "Okay, I'll do it"

The next day I went to her and said, "Hi" and placed the lunch box in her desk and said, "My mom prepared Poori today; it's my favorite so I got it for you too. Have it during the break" I didn't wait for her response and went to my desk.

In the evening I found the box in the place where I placed it, she didn't take it too. I felt bad, I troubled my Mom and if I take it back home she'll feel bad too. I didn't want to waste it so I took it home and put it in the microwave and had it and told my mom what happened.

She said, "It is okay, never mind, maybe she didn't like poori that's why she didn't eat" I said, "I think she didn't even open the box mom". She said, "It's okay, leave it"

I didn't stop bringing food for her from my home. Every day I used to give her a box. She didn't touch it at all. One day, I checked her date of birth with the class rep and found that she was a year and three months younger to me (I missed a year when I was studying 4th standard due to chicken pox) and her birthday is a week ahead. There was a good practice in our class and it is we used to collect 25 bucks from everyone in the class every month and celebrate our classmate's birthday. It was the activity that excited everyone.

On her birthday, before she could come I placed a gift on her desk. When she saw the gift she was surprised and was wondering if it was for her. I went to her desk and said, "Happy birthday. This is my birthday gift for you"

She didn't even open it but threw it on my desk and saying, I don't like gifts and I don't have to take anything from you. Being insulted in front of the class I felt ashamed and walked to my desk. I was very disappointed by her behavior; yet I couldn't hate her because I had a soft corner for her. I didn't stop bringing food for her even after this incident and as usual she did not take it. I liked her but not her behavior. Though initially it was the challenge that made me talk to her but now there was an unusual feeling that made me cling on to her and fight for her friendship.

About a fortnight passed and to my surprise, one day the box I gave her was empty. I was very happy and asked her if she liked the food. She said, "Yes, it was nice. Thanks"

The next day during lunch break I asked her, "Shall I join you for lunch?" She said, "Okay" and we occupied a table. I grabbed her box and pushed my box to her and said, "Lets exchange our lunch today" before she could refuse I opened the box and started eating. You know it was sick and I felt like saying yuck; but since she'll feel bad I said, "Hmmm tastes good henceforth we'll exchange our lunch, okay" She didn't say anything but started to eat.

I asked, "How is it? She said, "Very tasty" I continued, "my mom prepares tasty food; I love all the dishes she prepares and I asked, "How about you?" Her face turned pale and few tear droplets fell from her eyes on the table. She was struggling to pretend as if she was not crying and without finishing her lunch she left the place. I thought she was missing her parents and I felt bad that I reminded her of them.

The boy who placed the bet came and asked, "How did you befriend her? Oh, I failed the bet"

I said, "Never mind about the bet, I just took it because the challenge was interesting and not for money"

I went to her desk, returned her lunch box and said, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you"

She said, "It is okay" and started to write some record. I left the place in dismay.

At home during our dinner I told my mom about her. My dad said, "Arjun, bring her home one day, poor little girl she must be missing her parents"

I said, "But she doesn't speak with anyone dad, anyway I'll invite her"

My dad said, "Invite her for your birthday"

I said, "Hmm, that's a good idea dad" Turning towards my mom I said, "Mom, her hostel food is sick; please pack an extra box of lunch for her every day. At least she'll have one good meal a day"

She said, "Okay. Check what she likes, I'll include in the menu and prepare it frequently"

My parents were my friends and I used to discuss everything with them; there was nothing that I hid from them. My sister Adithi was also my best friend. She's studying in the 8th standard and I used to help her out in her studies, record works, sports, assignments etc.

As days passed on Nethra and I become friends and we used to have lunch together every day. I was the only person she would talk to among all the other students in the class. She never spoke anything else other than studies. Our 1st semester got over and a month's winter vacation was announced. Everybody had planned something or the other for the vacation.

I asked her, "Nethra when are you leaving to your native?"

She said, "I'm gonna stay in the hostel"

Perplexed I asked, "It is a month's vacation and you were feeling home sick you can spend some time with your parents"

Her face turned gloomy and said, "No, I'm not going" and she left the place.



I told my Mom about her vacation plans with utter displeasure. She was shocked but continued to say, "Maybe her parents are busy with their work or they must be abroad. Anyway your birthday falls during the vacation; invite her home"

I said, "Okay".

A week later I called her and said, "Tomorrow is my birthday and we have a small party at our home and I'm inviting you for that. Be ready by 4.00 pm, I'll come to pick you. Okay, take care, bye" and hung the phone even before she could refuse or accept.

The next day before I started I called her and informed that I started. She said, "I'm not coming don't waste your time"

I said, "I started, no excuse. Please be ready"

I reached her hostel and saw her waiting near the hostel gate in a pink dress and she looked like a fairy. I said, "You are looking like an angel in this dress"

she smiled and said, "Thanks"

We reached home around 5.15 pm and as soon as my mom saw her she hugged her and kissed her on her forehead and said, "Welcome Nethra" and took her inside the house. Adithi and My dad were sitting on the sofa watching TV. Nethra and my mom sat on the sofa as well and mom said, "I'm Arjun's mother and you are looking pretty" I introduced my sister Adithi and my dad. She said, "Hello" to everyone and somewhat perplexed she asked, "Arjun said there is a party but there is nobody else here" My mom said, "It is a small party for the five of us.

Looking at my dad, my mom said, "I'll prepare dinner by the time you keep playing carom with the kids. Adithi said, "Good idea mom we are four of us and looking at Nethra she said, "We'll be a team and dad & Arjun the other team" Saying this she ran to her room to get the carom board. We played around 3 to 4 sets and we (Dad & I) made them win most of the games. It was fun.

Nethra and Adithi become friends soon. Adithi took Nethra to her room to show her teddy bear collections. Her collection had teddies of all colors and sizes and she had arranged it neatly like a showroom display. She really gets excited when she has to show her collection to someone who comes home. Along with the teddies she had a play station, toys and an amazing collection of photos that would be interesting to watch.

As they left the place my dad said, "Arjun, I have some important business mails to respond and will be back in an hour" and left the hall. I went to my room and switched the system and as I was browsing, Adithi brought Nethra to my room and said this is Arjun's room. She looked all around and fixed her eyes on the table where I had placed her refused birthday gift.

She went near the table and looking at me she asked, "Can I take it?"

I said, "Yeah, it's for you, you need not ask me you can take it"

She took it and said, "I'm sorry I hurt you very badly that day"

I said, "I was hurt, but it's okay. Please open it and tell me if you like it"

She opened the wrapper and took out a Peach colored teddy bear; she became so tensed that she nervously dropped it on the floor while taking it out of the wrapper. As soon as the teddy hit the floor a recorded voice said, "Good day, keep smiling" After hearing that smiling she hugged the teddy and said "Thank you. It's lovely" I felt so happy and said, "You look beautiful when you smile"

Dinner was ready and my mom called us to the dining table. Before the dinner I cut the cake. Nethra said, "Happy birthday" and gave me a pen as birthday gift. After dinner Nethra and I started to her hostel. There is a beautiful park on the way to her hostel. I asked her, "What is the in-time deadline in your hostel?"

She said, "9.00 Pm"

I told, "its 8.00 and we still have an hour shall we sit in the park for some time?"

She said, "Okay"

We sat on a bench in the park and the scene there was beautiful. Children swinging, running, playing, making noise etc. As we were watching a child who was running fell on the ground and started crying. Nethra stood up to help the child and before her the child's mother reached the child and took him and hugged him and pacified him.

She said, "The boy is blessed. You're blessed with good parents too"

I said, "All are blessed with good parents"

She said, "No, there are parents who hate their children"

I asked, "Why would parents hate their children? It is strange and I can't believe it"

She said, "When the parents hate each other they hate all that came out of that relationship; it includes children too"

I asked, "Why would they hate each other?"

She said, "Lot of reasons like ego, money, material, extra marital affairs, misunderstandings, lack of love and affection, hatred etc"

I asked, "How do you know all these things?"

She said, "It was and is a part of my daily life"

I said, "I didn't get you"

She said, "My parents hated each other and kept on fighting all day long and due to misunderstanding they are living separately for the past 6 years; after they got estranged my mom is our guardian. My sister Mithra and I stay in the hostel. They just send us money for our needs that's it. They call us or visit us very rarely"

Her voice portrayed the pain and grief in her heart. She continued, "As people say daughters love their fathers and sons love their mothers, Mithra and I love our dad very much but my mom says dad is bad and we should not talk with him. We called him secretly many a times and begged him to come and visit us. He didn't turn up even once till I joined the college. We hated him for that but still deep down my heart longs and yearns to see him even now. He addresses me as "Neethu" and sometimes in my dream I hear him call me. When I wake up I find myself alone and cry sorely without a soul to console me"

She asked me, "Arjun, Do you know what the most shameful thing on earth is?"

Not Knowing what to reply I asked, "What?"

She said, "Meeting your dad in the bus stand, street corners, shopping malls, restaurants etc. People give us a weird look and it's so awkward for loved ones to meet like that"

I interrupted and as asked, "Why can't you meet him in the hostel?"

She said, "The hostel's visitor timings does not suit his work timing and so he asks us to come to a common place. You know what, my dad does not know my 10th scores too, it was 90% and everyone but my parents congratulated me.

She asked me, "Do you know why I behaved so badly on my birthday?"

I shook my heads and said, "No idea"

Hugging and caressing the teddy she said, "It's the dark day in my life. I regret being born on this earth. I haven't celebrated even a single birthday in my life. My parents are too busy quarrelling with each other that they forget our birthdays. This year on my birthday, I called my dad but he forgot it was my birthday and just enquired about my health and studies and disconnected the call.

I felt bad that's why I behaved badly with you. Later I regretted for my behavior but of no use. My parents are good people individually but when they are together no one can be as bad as them. (Her eyes dampened with tears but she pretended as if she was not crying and said)Arjun, after seeing your parents I long for such parents. You are truly blessed. I am not as fortunate as you are"

I felt very bad and said, "I'm sorry, don't feel bad. Shall I do what my dad does when I'm depressed?"



She just looked at me without a clue.

I wrapped my arms around her shoulder, pated her softly and said, "It's alright, everything's gonna be fine soon, cheer up" as soon as I told this she leant on my shoulders and started to weep. I continued, "I know it comforts and consoles. It's alright Nethra, everything's gonna be fine soon. It's time up. Let's move"

We started from the park; on the way she said, "I feel so relaxed & light since I emptied myself of this burden that had controlled me for so long. Thanks. But I think I spoiled your day with my stories"

I said, "You were always aloof and I knew there's something wrong with you. That's why when everyone in the class hesitated to talk to you, I kept on coming back even after you insulting me. I feel happy that you trusted me and let out your frustrations. Life will be good Nethra, don't worry. You can come home anytime you want. Just buzz me, I'll come and pick you"

We reached her hostel. She smiled and said, "Thanks a lot. Bye. Thanks again for this lovely gift, what shall we christen her?"

I asked, "What name you like?"

She said, "Shall we call her Cuckoo?"

I said, "oh lovely name, good choice. Bye Nethra, bye cuckoo"

She patted cuckoo on her back and the recorded voice said, "Good day keep smiling" she smiled, waved her hands and cuckoo's hands together and said "bye Arjun" and left the place.

She walked lightly like a butterfly but I felt heavy like, like hmmm I really don't know what to compare to this burden to. My heart was so heavy and I realized the mystery behind her sadness is her separated parents. Poor little girl she has so much of pain.

On this birthday I learnt a few valuable lessons of life - the value of a family, the need for love and people to share it, the importance of understanding, love and affection of parents and most important lesson is not to tease people with abnormal nature and characteristics. Some people are abnormal due to some medical condition or psychological factors. I took an oath I'll never tease or mock my fellow beings but to treat them with respect and dignity.

As soon as I reached home I went and hugged my dad and told what happened. As usual my dad wrapped his arms around my shoulder and said, "It's alright dear. Everything will be fine with her soon" My mom was also there, listening to what I said and she said, "Poor girl, that's why she was sad. Till the vacation is over bring her home daily, she might feel bored in the hostel"

The next three weeks she came daily to my home and I could feel the change and happiness in her. Adithi, Nethra and I used to play video games, chess, carom, shuttle cork and watch movies. We had nice time together. One day we were watching a movie with my Mom after lunch and there was a rape scene in the movie and the sound effects made the screaming of the girl a terrible one to listen.

Nethra started to shiver and sweat a lot. Adithi screamed, "Mom, look at Nethra, she is shivering" My Mom switched off the TV immediately and made her relax and she asked her to take rest. Nethra stayed in Adithi's room and my Mom took care of her. My Mom did not allow her to go to the hostel; hence she stayed with us that day.

After this incident Nethra and my mom become very close. She came to my house without my help. One day there was a mangal sutra sentiment scene in a movie that we were watching. Nethra asked my Mom pointing her mangal sutra, "Aunty, what does this mean to you?"

My mom thought for a while and said, "I haven't thought about what it means to me at all. I can't say anything more than this. Okay, what does this mean to you?"

She said, "Precious metal, beads and stones beautifully made and neatly arranged in a thread or a metal"

My mom asked, "That's it"

She said, "Yes aunty, how can a metal bind two hearts? I wonder how people are clinging on to a relationship just by a thread. Is yours a love marriage or an arranged marriage?"

My Mom said, "Let me see if you'll say the same thing when you have one. Ours is an arranged marriage"

She said, "My parent's marriage is a love marriage. I really can't figure out how people with love marriages break and people in arranged marriages stay together. A stratagem cannot be defined as both the marriages work out and breaks out too. I'm not gonna get married at all. It doesn't make any sense to me. Moreover with these kinds of parents and family situation no one is there to think about it or put in efforts to organize one. Marriage is a mirage to me"

My Mom said, "I'll do it for you. I'll find a perfect groom for you. Don't worry okay, just concentrate on your studies alone leaving all these thoughts apart. You know we had misunderstandings and quarrels too. But after every misunderstanding we used to talk about it and took efforts to understand each other. The doctors and psychology counselors say that it takes a minimum of three years for a couple to understand each other. We need to be patient and have an open mind to accept others with their flaws and imperfection as we have our own flaws"

College reopened and we became close friends, I would miss her if she doesn't turn up to class even for a single day. We spent the weekends together studying, playing, watching movies etc. Though we're good friends she doesn't talk much and is always reserved.

Days went like this we progressed to the second year of the college. One evening I received a call from her mobile saying that she had fallen unconscious in the hostel room and is admitted in the hospital. I got the details and went to the hospital with my Mother. The hostel warden told me that her mobile had only my number in the contacts and that's why she called me and I was shocked to know that she had attempted suicide and her condition is critical.



About an hour later the doctor called us and said that, "She has swallowed a heavy dosage of pills. But she is being treated and is safe now. This might her affect her intestines; hence she needs to be under low fat and non-spicy diet for some time. Please come for review after two day" We went to her room she was awake and lying on the bed. As soon as she saw us tears flooded from her eyes and she turned her face from us.

My mom went near her and asked how she is feeling and if she wants something to drink or eat. She said, "No. Just leave me to starve and die" My mom said, "Calm down Nethra, calm down. Everything will be alright soon" I was very angry with her and hated her that moment as she didn't tell me what's troubling her.

I yelled at her asking "why you did this?" Sobbing and with anger she asked, "Why should I live, nobody wants me and for whom should I live?" Her response kindled my anger even more; I become wild and raised my hands to slap her but I was shaken by my mom's voice as she called out "Arjun" controlling myself, heartlessly I yelled, "For me you idiot, for me" Astonished, she and my mother looked at me.

Sternly I continued, "You have become a part of my life. I want you near me always. I don't think of myself or anything else but I think of you and you alone all the time. I don't know if I love you or not. If this is love then I love you. If I say its love you, I don't know if I'm seriously in love with you or not; but one thing for sure is I cannot live without you" Saying this I left the room unable to face both of them. Little later my mom came out and said, finish the discharge formalities let's take her home.

We went home. She was resting in Adithi's room and my mom gave her some food as per the physician's instructions. Nethra requested us not to inform her parents as they would just come and rebuke her. This will add to her pain and in no way will give her relief or change the situation. Later, my mom came to my room and said, "I wanna have a word with you"

I said, "Yes mom, what's it about?"

She said, "It's about Nethra"

I said, "Mom I'm really sorry, actually I was very angry with her and I don't know how I spoke all that. Maybe because of anger"

She said, "There is nothing to feel sorry about. I knew you were in love with her and I also knew that you didn't realize its love. She is not a bad choice to regret; she is like this because of some bad incidents that happened in the past; she is also a girl, a human being who is deeply in need of love that was denied by her heartless parents. I'll talk to dad about this if you are serious but before that I need to clarify certain things with you"

I asked, "What is it?"

She said, "She attempted suicide because of vexation as her parents have applied for Divorce and her father is getting married to someone else after the divorce. An insecure thought of their lives and future had made her depressed and has been troubling her. That's why she had decided to end her life"

I asked, "Mom anyway they are not together and the divorce is not going to change anything. She could have told me Mom. Death is not a solution"

Mom said, "When you are depressed you won't be able to think and decide wisely. Do you know she hates men? She is friendly with you because you care for her; respected her as a human being ignoring her callous nature and grumpiness"

I asked, "What's the reason to hate men in particular?"

Mom said, "Do you remember one day when we were watching a movie she became nervous and started to shiver"

I said, "Yes, I do remember"

Mom said, "Taking advantage of her family situation one of her relative had been sexually harassing her for some time since she was thirteen years old. This has affected her psychologically; it's kind of a mental disorder. If she comes across such situations or thinks about it or if she sees something that reminds her of that she becomes nervous"

I said, "Mom, it's shocking. How could life be so cruel on somebody who is helpless?"

Mom said, "Life is like that. She wants to be happy, move around with friends and lead a normal life like other girls of her age but this incident makes her not to trust anyone and she thinks grumpiness and loneliness is a shield to protect her. She is very timid in nature and fears about life but she portrays herself as a bold and stern person. Now Arjun, tell me are you patient and matured enough to handle a wife like her?"

I said, "More than I know myself you know me better; you tell me mom will I be able to handle this?"

Mom said, "I don't know, but my advice for you is to stay calm and make her feel comfortable with you. Make her trust you and love you. Love cures and pacifies. You will have to be patient till that. It'll take time for her to develop confidence in you. Love is not the relationship of two bodies. It's the bonding between the hearts & minds of two individuals that lasts forever.

If you really love her as much as you portray, you've got to give her some time. I'm really concerned Arjun, she is not mentally sound right now and may not give in to your urge for physical intimacy. This might frustrate you to the extent of giving up your relationship leading to divorce or separation.

She attempted suicide because she didn't like her parents' divorce and just imagine her mental agony if she has to sail in the same boat. Take time, think and tell me. Are you gonna take her as your wife or are you gonna give up your love for the pleasure of physical relationship?"



Mom paused for a moment and continued, "If you are going for the first choice I'll talk to dad and at the right time we will talk to her mother or father"

I said, "Mom, there is no need to think I have made up my mind, It's now I love her more. I wanna go for the first option. I wanna take her as my wife, I know her heart is bruised; I wanna heal her hurting and relive her from her pains. It's no fault of hers mom. I don't know if she will ever open up or mingle with anyone like she did with us and vice versa if others would be able to understand her pain and grief or not. I want to be by her side always mom"

Mom said, "Don't be hasty in deciding. It's easy to say but practically it's difficult. As a mother I wanna see my grandchildren. When I know the chances are very less, how do you think I'll accept to it?"

I said, "Mom, It's not a decision in haste. I'll stand firm and stick on to it come what may. To fulfill your wish we can adopt children and if you want grandchildren in your genes, technology has advanced to great extent in the medical field. I don't wanna quit her for a silly reason mom"

Mom said, "Good, I appreciate your decision but time alone will reveal the zeal of your love. All that we discussed should be between you and me. You should never discuss this with anyone especially Nethra and embarrass her at any point of time in your life"

I said, "I swear, I'll not discuss this with anyone"

Mom said, "We'll talk about it later. Don't trouble her asking anything. Okay" saying this she walked to the door and before she could leave, naughtily smiling she said, "I have never come across such a worst and wild proposal ever in my life"

After the discussion I was thinking about it and I felt pity for her. I decided, I should provide her a good life and replenish all the happiness and love that she lost all these years.

I went Adithi's room to see her. Adithi and Nethra were playing chess. I pulled up a chair and sat next to Adithi and said, "Hi Nethra, how are you feeling?"

She said, "Better"

I said, "Please don't ever try to do like this again what so ever. I know you're grieving and your heart is bleeding but death is not a solution for anything. I just thought what if your attempt had succeeded. The thought of losing you made me wild and that's why I behaved badly. I didn't mean to hurt you but I meant what I said. I'm very sorry if it had hurt you in anyway"

She didn't say anything but silence. I asked, "Shall we go out for a drive and get some fresh air?

Adithi said, "Okay, let's go to ice cream parlor I need triple sundae. What do you want Nethra?"

I said, "Let me check with mom if I can take you out and if you can have ice creams"

I asked my mom and she said, "Okay do not buy Nethra a sundae but maybe a scoop if she can take it. Don't stay out for a long time. Come back soon" Adithi, Nethra and I went to the nearby park and were watching the people around, the children playing etc. A swing was free and Adithi said, "I wanna swing" and ran to the swing.

Nethra and I were sitting in a bench and she asked, "Can you do me a favor please?"

I asked, "What is it?"

She said, "I wanna see Mithra, can you take me to her? She is studying 9th standard in St. Ebenezer School, Yelagiri"

I said, "Let me check with mom and if your health cooperates we shall go this weekend"

I checked with my mom and dad during dinner. Dad said, "Let us all go and visit Mithra this week end. Anyway we were planning for a family outing; let's combine it together"

As planned we all started. On seeing her sister both of them hugged each other and cried. We didn't know what to do and how to react on seeing this. Soon they became normal and were talking about their classes, studies, teachers, hostel and lot more. We had lunch with Mithra, during lunch Mithra said aloud to everyone, "Arjun is the only person Nethra has ever introduced as her friend till now and I'm very happy that she has someone to share. Thanks a lot, please take care of her. She is very reserved and will never tell anyone what she feels"

I said "Don't worry Mithra we'll take care" and we started back to Chennai. On the way back Nethra said to my dad, "Thank you for organizing this trip uncle, I'm very happy" Dad said, "Please don't say thanks a make me a stranger. You're happy right, that's what I wanted child"

Just to divert the topic I said, "Adithi is also studying 9th standard now". Looking at Adithi, I asked, "Is Mithra's syllabus same as yours?"

Adithi said, "Yeah, Same CBSE syllabus"

Overall the trip was good. She was happy and I was happy too.

Days passed on like this and I did not discuss with Nethra about my love for her and her opinion about me except for the hospital incident. I tried to talk to her sometimes but she avoided talking about it. We completed our under graduation and went abroad for MBA and my dad helped her in getting an educational loan. After MBA I took up my dad's business and Nethra joined a company. Adithi and Mithra moved to 12th standard.

Everything was fine and I asked my parents to ask Nethra's mother for her hand in wedding. As Nethra's parents are divorced, her mother took up the responsibility of settling them. Her father remarried and had a son. Nethra felt very ashamed and awkward.

When my parents asked her mother, she was not much interested in the wedding. My parents were very keen on the wedding and later she accepted. Our wedding was fixed. Before the wedding I wanted to ask Nethra if she was happy about the wedding because there was no love proposal, no acceptance and we were not lovers but good friends. I called her and asked, "Are you happy with the wedding?"



She said, "I think you're ruining your life"

I asked, "Why do you say that? Don't you like me?"

She said, "It's not about like or dislike but it's because of me, my behavior, attitude etc. You'll have a tough time with me because I don't know what a family is, what a wife and husband relationship is or how to build it. All I know is arguments, quarrel, hatred, tears, pain and grief. Since I didn't have any pleasant memories during my childhood, I hate having children and I hate myself too. I hated being a symbol of sympathy and shame among my friends and relatives. I hate divorce. I think it's the more cruel than any cruelty ever existed in our society. Divorce is worse than "Sati (A practice in the olden days where a woman would be burnt alive along with her husband in his death funeral)" No man can live a peaceful life with a woman with an attitude like mine. It will lead to divorce and I will become the apt example for the saying "Like mother, Like daughter""

I said, "Nethra, You don't have to worry about the past and its negatives. All I wanted to know is if you like me or not? Give me a straight clear answer yes or no"

She said, "Yes as a friend, but"

I interrupted and said, "Thanks, I don't want any "But". We can be friends even after marriage"

She said, "To be friends we don't need a marriage"

I said, "Very true, anyway my parents will get me married to another girl and she will become possessive and will ask me not to talk to you or meet you. I can't listen to that and she'll ask who is important Nethra or I. I'll say Nethra and she'll quarrel and my life will become more miserable. I prefer to share a life of dissension with you than to share it with someone else"

She said, "Thanks for saying that I'm important, but still I have an aversion towards marriage"

I said, "You'll get over the aversion soon. Be ready for the wedding and I'll take care of the rest"

I was happy to know that she likes me and I said to myself, "I have to make her love me too. hmmm interesting task"

The wedding took place as per our customs and practices and everything went on well. All Our relatives left leaving 6 of us in the house which included Mom, dad, Adithi, Mithra, Nethra and I. After dinner we all sat in the sofa and watched TV and were talking about the days happenings. Adithi and Mithra went to Adithi's room to sleep. Dad asked us to go to our room and Mom accompanied us till the room.

Before she could enter the room Nethra held my mom's hand and said "Aunty, I'm scared"

Mom said, "There's nothing to be scared about. Everything will be fine soon"

She asked, "Aunty, Can I address you as Mom from now on?"

My Mom said, "No issues, you can address me as you prefer. But I am desirous to be addressed as Granny and please grant me that wish soon. Family planning is between the husband and wife. I just told you my desire" saying this she kissed her on her forehead and asked, "What does the mangal sutra mean to you now"

She said, "I don't know, I haven't thought about it. It's a custom so I'm wearing it."

Mom said, "You'll explore and discover its meaning soon" and she left the place.

I was sitting on one end of the cot and she stood at the other end. We were like the North Pole and the South Pole. She kept biting her nails and I understood that she was nervous. I beckoned her to come near and as she came I said, "Sit" and she sat on the cot.

I said, "You look perplexed and tired"

In her delirium she said, "Yeah, I'm tired, woke up early in the morning and didn't have enough sleep last night. I'm not confused but I'm wondering how am I gonna manage in a new place"

I said, "My home is not new to you"

She said, "My role as your wife makes it a new place to me"

I said, "The change is only in the role and not with anyone else"

She asked, "Did you hear what Mom said just now? She wants to become granny soon"

I said, "That's Okay, elders are like that"

She said, "I can't ignore it just like that, she is more than my mother to me. Nobody has ever loved and cared for me so much like her and I'm very grateful to her. Since I'm obliged to her it's my duty to fulfill her just and reasonable desire to become a granny but I don't know if I can do it"

I said, "That's lovely, but it's your wish. No troubles from my side. Okay I won't take much of your time. I'm tired too. I have few things to give you" Saying this I went to the cupboard and grabbed a bag to the cot. I smiled and gave a cover to her.

As she was opening it I said, "This is the college admission cards for Adithi and Mithra. They are going to study in the same college, same course and Mithra is gonna stay with us from now on. I don't want her to stay alone in the hostel and suffer in loneliness like you did"

Tears welled from her eyes; but she smiled and said, "Thanks a lot. I always loved and longed to stay with her"

I said, "It's my responsibility and handed over another cover to her saying, "This is for my beautiful wife".

She opened it and looking at the air tickets, and the broche from the tour operator for 10 day tour package she exclaimed, "Are we going to Mauritius?"

I said, "Yes, for honeymoon"

She asked, "Are we leaving tomorrow?"

I said, "Yes, pack your things and be ready. The flight is at 9.30 PM"

She said, "Hmmm...Okay"

I took out the last one and gave it to her saying, "This is a small wedding gift for my dear friend Nethra. Happy married life"

She smiled and took it from me and opened it. It was a cute white teddy carrying a red velvet heart. She was nervous and restless and having so many things on hand and mind, the teddy slipped from her hand and fell on the floor just like she dropped Cuckoo. Now the recorded voice screamed "DARLING, I LOVE YOU". With widened eyes she picked it and hugged it and looked at me with fright.

Smiling I said, "Hmmm Okay, good night, I'm gonna watch cricket. Take rest. Good night. Sweet dreams" saying this I went near the door and before I could leave I said, "I wish I was that teddy" and left to the hall switching on the TV. Slowly I slept off as I was tired too. My Mom woke me up in the morning with bed coffee and she said, "Good morning, hope you slept well. (Smiling she said)I appreciate your patience. What time is your flight?"

I said, "9. 30 pm"

She said, "Okay, pack your things and organize your trip" saying this she went to wake up Nethra.



We started off and reached Mauritius in the morning; occupied the room booked for us. Since it was booked for honeymoon the room was adorned with aromatic flowers. The look and feel of the room was extraordinary. We called our family and informed them about our safe arrival, the hotel location, room number and contact information.

We had breakfast and started off for sightseeing. Mauritius is one of the most spectacular islands of the world. The beaches of Mauritius are some of the best I ever came across. White sands and blue waters make a striking contrast that was a treat for the eyes. The climate was good and we had nice time.

Nethra was enjoying the beauty of nature and as usual I loved her company. The day went on good with fun and joy. As we were sitting in the restaurant for dinner, I asked her, "Can I take a drink?"

Shocking she looked at me and asked, "Alcohol... Liquor.... do you take liquor?"

I said, "Yes I do, occasionally"

She said, "Your wish"

I said, "Sweetheart, to do as per my wish I need not ask you. You either say yes or no because you're gonna stay with me. You should be comfortable and I don't prefer doing something that troubles you. You're my wife and I should discuss everything with you"

She said, "No, no drinking"

I said, "Okay, thank you" ordered food and as we were waiting for the food she said, "You're not like my dad"

I asked, "Why do you compare me with your dad?"

She said, "He is the first man in my life. So I thought all men will be like him. He doesn't discuss anything with my mom and similarly my mom gives him back the same. They take their own decisions on everything and it was Mithra and I who struggled between them"

I said, "A husband and wife should be like best friends to each other. There is nothing like ruling or leading the other it's just sharing life and heading together. My parents discuss every small thing right from the purchase of home appliances, investments, our education and everything. You know the next day's menu is always discussed during dinner and mom made it a practice to have dinner together"

The waiter served the dinner and after that I continued, "If dad missed a dinner that's it, his day is ruined. She'll not talk to him. He'll walk after her and beg her pardon. She will not accept it immediately, she'll hold on for some time till Adithi and I support him. Then she warns him and it's over. It will be fun watching these small plays at home and we learnt love and forgiveness from them. At the right age they involved Adithi and me in the discussion and sought our views and opinions, if our decisions were right and wise they acknowledged it and accepted it. It included our marriage too"

She said, "Yeah, I know it's fun to be in your home"

I said, "Bricks and walls make a house and it's the woman, the mother who makes it a home. My love, will you make my house a home?"

She said, "I'll try, I might fail a few times but I'll learn it from your mother. I have a request for you"

I asked, "What is it?"

She said, "I will try to change myself and live up to your expectations. Please don't leave me for any reason, I hate being alone"

I said, "I love you the way you are. You don't have to change anything for me. You are just perfect and I want you to be yourself always"

She said, "But you are changing my character. I don't talk much, but now I feel like saying all the untold that I had shut in my heart"

I said, "I'm happy to know that you are feeling at ease and comfortable with me. You can talk and do whatever you wanted to do with me okay. I love you and all you do"

She asked, "You love me so much? I don't know if I'm worth your love."

I said, "Don't speak such philosophical words" and we left to the room.

I switched on the TV and sat on the couch fiddled the remote searching for a good channel to watch while she was having a wash. I suddenly remembered about that and I took it from my bag and sat on the sofa again. She joined me on the couch to watch TV.

I asked, "How was your day today?"

She said, "It was great; Mauritius is awesome"

I said, "Yeah, I loved it" and gave her the pack saying this is my honeymoon gift for you.

She asked, "Does anybody give gifts for honeymoon?"

I asked, "Why not? Gifts are given to express love and that's what I did. I thought this will be the right time to give this gift that's why I didn't give it yesterday"

Smiling at my response she opened the pack, her face turned red and said, "Oh my god"

I asked, "You didn't like it?"

She said, "It's nice but"

I asked, "But"

She said, "I wanna talk to Mom in privacy; can you leave me alone?"

I said, "Okay, I'll go a walk" and left the room.

I went to the reception and made a call to my mom, my call was on waiting. She attended my call and said, "Hey Arjun, Nethra is on the other line"

I said, "Yes, I know, put me on conference without her knowledge mom"

Mom said, "That's not a good practice. Call me later I'll talk to you"

I said, "Mom, she is my wife and I need to know if she is unhappy with me"

My mom said, "It's bad, should I do it?"

I said, "Please mom" reluctantly she connected the calls and told Nethra, "Sorry dear that was an important call that's why I had put you on hold"

She said, "That's fine mom, no issues"

Mom asked, "So how was your day today? How is Arjun behaving with you?"

She started sobbing and my Mom asked, "What happened? Why are you crying? Did he force you?"

She said, "No, he is gem of a person and I'm feeling guilty I'm disappointing him, I'm not fulfilling my responsibility as a wife"

Mom said, "Thanks, for a moment I thought I have raised an animal"

She said, "No mom, he gave me a night dress as a honeymoon gift"

Mom asked, "You didn't like it"

She said, "I liked it but it is transparent and seductive. I feel shy and awkward to put it on"

Mom said, "Sweet heart listen, He is your husband and has all rights to see you like that but only if you are willing and I promise you he won't trouble you or force you. Put it on only when you're comfortable and he'll take it as a sign. My advice for you is life is beautiful enjoy it and you'll start liking this life soon. Take your time. Enjoy your honeymoon, okay"

She said, "hmmm..."

Mom said, "That's good. Good girl. Take care. Bye. Good night" and disconnected her call and asked me, "What Arjun, what is your wife saying?"

I said, "I love you mom, you handle her wisely"

Mom said, "People are more important than anything else Arjun. Relationships are more fragile; handle with care. Take care of her"

I asked, "Sure Mom. So how are you, dad, Adithi and Mithra doing?"

She said, "We all are doing fine. Enjoy your honeymoon and come back home safely. I wish your patience will be paid soon"

I said, "Thanks, I want us to be compatible people first, which is more important for a family. Am I right mom?

She said, "Yes, couples should be capable of existing together in harmony. Okay take care. Bye"

I said, "Bye, Good night" and we disconnected the call and I went to my room and knocked it.

She said, "Come in"

While entering I asked, "What did you mother-in-law say?"

She said, "Nothing, we were just talking"

I said, "Okay, I'm feeling sleepy" saying this I lay on the couch and asked her, "Can I sleep here or shall I check if another room is available"

She said, "No, you can sleep on the cot, I'll sleep on the couch"

I said, "Maybe we can take a forty winks on the couch but it is uncomfortable for an entire night's sleep so I suggest both of us sleep on the cot comfortably if you are comfy"

She said, "Okay" and we walked towards the cot as two poles and laid ourselves on both the edges facing the walls. We dozed off soon and I woke up when the hot sun's rays hit my face and found her still sleeping but she was facing me and her legs slightly wrapped on me without her knowledge. I called the room service and ordered for coffee and lay on the bed gently stroking her head as I didn't want to disturb her sleep.

She was sleeping like a baby. The name sleeping beauty was very apt for her and I wondered if the princess in the sleeping beauty fairy tale would have been as beautiful as my Nethra. In silence I asked God, Why did you put her in wrong hands instead you could have given her to me, I would have taken care of my angel. Anyway thank you lord for giving her to me. I'm happy with her.

The calling bell rang tringggggggggg...........





I opened the door and the room service personnel said, "Good morning Sir, Your coffee and newspaper. Have a nice day" saying this he left the tray on the table and left the room.

I served coffee for both of us and woke her up with a kiss on her forehead, she didn't refuse it. We started off with the days outing plan. Usually when we were together I used to do a lot of talking and she speaks very little which is contradictory to our gender. Similarly today I asked her; tell me some of the happiest moments in your life.

She said, "My world is very small. It consists of Mithra and me. Few years back 4 more people joined my world. Yet I have few happy moments to mention"

I interrupted and asked, "Don't you have your mother and father in your world?"

She sternly said, "No, I can never forgive them for ruining my childhood. Don't talk about them please, their thoughts make me angry"

I felt bad at her response and I was able to feel the pain and agony in her tone. I said, "Okay, go on with your happy moments"

She said, "I was very happy when little Mithra was born. I was extremely happy when you said; my safety is your responsibility. I saw a fatherly concern in it. I started liking you from that moment onwards. When you got food for me I found a motherly care. When you said the worst hostel food is good and you gave me your lunch so I can at least have one good meal a day; I saw your brotherly affection. When you surprised me with a gift on my birthday I saw a true friend in you. I was bountifully happy when your mother first kissed me on my forehead, Adithi's innocent chats and time spent with mom, dad, Adithi, Mithra and you are the finest moments in my life"

I said, "You have seen me as a father, mother, brother and friend but why is your heart refusing to accept me as your husband?"

She said, "It's because of my past dreadful experience which I haven't told you"

I said, "I don't want to listen to your past which will remind you of that and trouble you. I know you're innocent. All I would say is forget the past, I understand it's very hard but still try not to ruin the present with the past"

I felt happy that she spoke frankly and unusually, expressed herself. During dinner she said, "You can take liquor if you want" I said, "Not today, I don't feel like taking a drink now. When I feel like taking a drink I'll surely ask for your permission, dear. Okay?" she smiled and said, "Okay"

The second day of our honeymoon went on like this with a little improvement of sleeping together facing each other without any hesitation. She woke up early the third day. Sweet sound of her anklets woke me but I was pretending to sleep and I was observing her. She ordered for coffee and was trying to wake me up. She got her face near my face but took it back. Few moments later she came near to kiss my forehead but she didn't, I opened my eyes and said, "Leave off your shyness and kiss me dear" sheepishly smiling she said, "Good morning" and handed me a cup of coffee. I knew she started to love me but was reluctant to reveal it.

We went for the third day's outing and she started to walk holding my hands and allowed me to wrap my hands on her shoulder. There was progression in our intimacy and we captured it in the photo snaps. This day went on as usual with a little improvement of wrapping our hands and legs around each other.

Though longing and yearning welled up in my heart, I enjoyed this waiting. It was an interesting and exciting experience to make her bloom herself. The fourth day's outing went on like this and in the night she asked me, "It's boring, Can we play something?"

I said, "Okay, let me check if the billiards pool or any recreation centre is open in the hotel at this point of time"

She said, "Let's play an indoor game"

I said, "Oh, we don't have chess board or carom here. What do we play?"

She said, "Hide and seek"

I laughed loudly and said, "Hide and seek interesting. Okay who is gonna hide and who is gonna seek?"

She said, "I'm gonna hide and you're gonna seek" saying this she tied my eyes and pulled my hands to my back and tied them together.

I asked, "When was then rule changed. I know hide and seek where only eyes were tied but why hands?"

She said, "what if you take out the eye band with your hands before I hide and find out my hiding place?"

I asked, "Okay, but anyway I have to take it out myself once you're hid"

She said, "Oh yeah, I didn't think about it. Okay you start counting by the time I will hide and think on how to release your hands as well"

I said, "Okay, count till how many?"

She said, "100"

Hmmm funny I started counting, "one, two, three.................. forty, forty one............. Seventy, seventy one.................. ninety nine, hundred. I was counting and at the same time thinking where is she gonna hide and I listed the places to check - the cupboards, under the cot, balcony, bathroom that's it. No more place to hide in the room. I asked, "Nethra, I'm done. Shall I Come?"

She said, "Hold on I'm not yet done"

I said, "Bad girl, you don't know the rules of the game, you should hide before the counting ends"

I heard the sound of her anklets nearing me and her sweet perfume smell hit my nostrils. I felt her untying my hands as she was saying, "Is it, I'm sorry I don't know the rule"

She untied my hands and wrapped it around something, when I was trying to find it out what is in between my hands I felt something rolling my head. Before I could think of what was happening, I felt soft air brushing my ears and I heard her say "I LOVE YOU"

I felt something warm and wet on my lips and my hand found out it was Nethra in my arms kissing me. I got released from the kiss and asked, "From when?"

She said, "I exactly don't know when I fell in love with you. You ploughed my tough unruly heart and sowed seeds of love with you kind deeds. I watered and manure it with your loving thoughts. The seeds have rooted and grew as love. The love has bloomed as passion and desire with your diplomatic attempt at preventing any hurt to my feelings. I'm moved by your love and my fears are chased away. My love, you conquered me"

I said, "Oh, that's lovely; but why didn't you tell me?"

She said, "I didn't find a reason to tell you all these things. You know when you become wild in the hospital and screamed, I wanted to hug you and cry. Anyway I think this is the right time to say all that I felt"

I said, "It's great to hear all that from you at this time along with kisses. This is the loveliest moment in my life. Darling, we have come till the flowers; I wanna see the fruits of my patience. Sweet heart untie my eyes, I wanna see my beautiful wife blushing"

She asked, "No, I won't untie your eyes; but what fruits are they?"

I said, "There are many, I wanna witness them"

She said, "Touch and feel"

I ran my fingers on her face as I whispered, "A best slice of water melon is beautifully carved out to make your forehead"

She said, "Oh my god, no one has ever compared like this. Then what else?"

Kissing her cheeks I said, "The rosy pale apple cheeks would have turned as red as a strawberry by now"

She said, "Hmmm hmmmm"

I said, "I wanna see those back grapes rolling on the porcelain fish platter in the form of your mesmerizing eyes"

She said, "Hmmm hmmmm"

I said, "God wanted your nose to be unique so he didn't make a fruit pretty like your nose"

She said, "Oh my god"

I said, "The orange segments were designed to replicate my angel's swirling lips. Oh sweetheart you know! God took the color of the purple passion fruit to color your breathtaking lips"

She said, "Hmmm hmmmm"

I said, "The country pears were designed so that every slice of it will resemble your ears. Pineapples and avocados were combined to make your neck and nape"

She said, "Enough"

I said, "Just a few left, let me finish it"

She said, "No"

I said, "As long you keep my eyes tied I'm gonna say" and as I continued to say "I wanna see" she locked my lips with hers as she was untying my eyes and when I opened my eyes, I saw her in the night dress I had given her. Oh, what a fantastic night it was. We had a nice time the whole night.

Next morning we woke up late, she was lying on my chest and her face was vivacious like a just blossomed rose. I stroked her head and said, "I loved the hide and seek game. Did you?" she murmured, "hmmm, I liked it too"

I called my mom and after usual enquires I said, "Mom, the night dress was awesome; Thanks, nice selection" she gave a surprised look and grabbed the receiver from me and said, "mom, was it your selection? Hmmm anyway your idea was excellent and it worked out well, thanks a lot, we had a nice time" now I was shocked and grabbed the receiver from her and asked, "Mom, was the game your idea?" on the other end she said, "Turn on the speaker"

I turned it on and she continued, "I'm glad to know that both of you had a nice time. I just helped you people to start your family life as both of you were hesitating, scared and shy to take the initiative and from now on you can take it further. Relationships are fragile and need to be handled with care. Take this as a statement for life. Life is beautiful, enjoy it against the odds that come your way, be happy, make others happy and spread the happiness wherever you go. All the best, Have a happy honeymoon. Take care, bye"

Both of us together said, "Bye Mom"





After the call she said, "I love the way your parents handle things"

I said, "Yeah, even I love the way they raised Adithi and me. I'll tell you some instances. When I was studying 10th standard, I got attracted to a girl near our house. My scores were going down and I was becoming dull and restless. My dad identified these changes and one day he took me out to a restaurant and ordered for a beer for himself and asked if I wanted a beer.

I said, "Maybe yes" he ordered one for me and said, "This is not the official age to taste beer but temptations start at this age. The more you control the more you are tempted and tried so let's taste it. Moreover beer has less alcohol content when compared to other liquors. Everything is good when it is within limits"

The waiter got the beer and as we were taking it he said, "Arjun, I am glad that you are within the pass % in your studies but overall score is going down. What's troubling you?"

I didn't want to hide so I said, "Dad, I like the girl who is staying near our house. She is always on my mind"

He asked, "Is she studying in your class?"

I said, "No, she is doing her UG"

He said, "That's fine, age is not a matter at all. But you should think one thing. If your studies are going bad your future will be taken for a raid. Even if you are serious on this, it would be difficult for me to approach parents for her hand in marriage. Concentrate on your studies first, get a good job and then if you still have the same feeling towards that girl, I'll talk to her parents"

I felt relaxed and peaceful. After this we became good friends. I started concentrating on my studies and slowly I realized it's not love but infatuation that I had for that girl. (As I was saying this I felt a sense of possessiveness in Nethra's face) I said, "My dear tweety bird, you don't have to worry about all these things, I just wanna be frank and open with you and expect the same from you too. No man is perfect and flawless; as a wife I think you need to know about my flaws than perfections"

She said, "Okay, but I'm feeling possessive. This feeling is new to me"

I said, "That's a good sign of love as long as it is within the limit"

I continued, I even told my dad about my interest to watch a porn movie when I was 17 yrs. He said, "I appreciate that you asked me. Proper sex education is needed now with raising AIDS and other STD diseases. It's natural and common to have these kind of desires at this age but I advice you, don't watch it from any movie hall. You'll become an animal and will lose respect for the other gender. You will see them as mere objects than as human beings. I'll get you an educational CD on that" and as said he did get me a CD and after that he asked me if it was useful and my comments on it too. This freedom and easiness offered by my parents had brought me till this level and I didn't go astray. They were able to guide Adithi and me in all walks of life and gave us the freedom to share and express our feelings.

Nethra said, "I wish I was born to them"

I said, "But if you're born to them, then I wouldn't have got this lovely wife. I'm happy and feel blessed to have you as my wife" saying this I kissed her and we started off with the "Hide & Seek game" and this term has become our code word from then on.

Our honeymoon was lovely. We flew back to India. Life was going on peacefully and happily. About 6 months later Nethra gave me the good news that we are gonna have a baby and I felt so happy. My mother took care of her very well, took her for regular checkups, scans and so on.

Nethra was very scared and she said, "I'm very much afraid" I said, "Don't be scared, stay calm and be comfortable. Check with mom if you have doubts" whatever I said and however I consoled her she grew restless day after day.

All of us in the family were happy until we found out that the umbilical cord is around the baby's neck during a check up in 8th month of pregnancy. The doctor said it's a risky procedure and the chances of survival are very less for the mother and the baby. Nethra got scared. She was admitted and there were few hours left for the operation.

She called me and said, "I'm scared, I think I'll not survive this operation"

My throat was shut with pain and grief with the thought of losing my loved one. I said, "No dear it is not gonna be like you think. You are gonna come back safely with a son or a daughter and we are gonna live happily"

She said, "If I die, I want you to marry Mithra"

I said, "Nethra, please don't talk non sense. Adithi and Mithra are the same to me. I trust God. You'll come back. You're the only one in my life"

She said, "A woman would love to hear this from her husband. I would be happy if I survive. Arjun, I love you, I wanna live with you in your love for infinite years. When I wanted to die I was saved and now when I wanna live I'm gonna die. I had repugnance towards life until you came into my life. I never thought love can be so good. You taught me what love is, what happiness is and what life is. You changed my seasons; you gave me reasons to smile, to laugh, to love and to live. Now I like this life and I don't want to die so early. I never got what I wanted. The life with you till now is what I have been longing and yearning for all the days of my life. Parents like your parents, a husband like you who holds me in the palms of his hand and protects me like an apple of his eyes, children like you and me. I don't wanna die but live Arjun, I want to live this life. I want to live with you"

Sobbing she continued, "Whatever it is, God bless you and thanks a lot for you gave me a life in heaven. Though I don't want to die, I will still be happy if ill fate takes me because I lived a life to my heart's content"

As she was saying this, mom entered and I said, "Mom, she is scared to death and I can't console her or give her confidence"

Mom took her hands in hers and said, "Nethra, I spoke to the doctors they said this hospital is equipped with the latest instruments and the best doctors in town. You don't have to be scared or worried. As desired I'm gonna see my grandchild soon. After few years you're gonna give me another grandchild and I'm gonna raise them up. Don't worry about anything. Put your trust in God" saying this she kissed her forehead and stroked her gently.

I know my mom's kiss pacifies her and she was calm and said to me, "Please be with me"

I said, "It is my duty and responsibility to be with you in times of trouble and pain. Don't worry I'll be with you"

A couple of nurses brought the stretchers and took her to the operation theaters. I was with her holding her hands till she became unconscious. I wanted to cry aloud, I needed somebody to console me saying "She'll be safe" I had never felt like this before. Though Mom, Adithi and Mithra were present, nobody had the guts or courage to talk to be me as I was so depressed and dejected.

Little later I heard the cry of my little one; few minutes passed and a nurse came out; she placed my little one in my hands and said "It's a girl" I was happy yet I was looking at her with lots of queries and expectation for news about Nethra but without saying anything she left the place.

I kissed my little angel and hugged her to my bosom and held her tightly. She shook her body and her little hand hit my chest. I felt like she was consoling me, I felt like she's saying "It's alright dad, everything's gonna be fine soon. Mom is gonna comeback alive" I felt a great consolation and it's an unrivaled solace too. There is no match for the consolation, comfort and confidence she gave me that moment. No one can ever give it again.

I felt happy and I blindly trusted that Nethra will come back. Sometime later the doctor patted my back and said she's safe and out of danger.

I went near her and I wept with joy, it was such an emotion that I can't express in words but it can only be felt. The fear just vanished and I felt so... so good and happy. She woke up and smiling she asked, "Where is mom?" I kissed her forehead and said, it is a girl and mom is busy with her granddaughter. Wait I'll call her" saying this I ran to the verandah and called my mom. She came in along with Adithi and Mithra and gave my little angel to her and asked her to feed her. Nethra took her, kissed her and fed her. Adithi and Mithra enquired about her health. My mom said, "I'm very happy to see both of you out of danger"

Nethra said, "Mom, you have to raise her up, wise, loving, patient, caring, affectionate, mischievous and naughty like Arjun. Teach her the rich heritage and cultural values of our country; specially the values of a family. Teach us parenting as well"

Mom said, "Sure and she left the room" with Adithi and Mithra.



She asked me to sit on the cot and she gave her to me. As I took my little one from Nethra, her hand got caught in Nethra's mangal sutra. As Nethra was took out her hand she said, "Love gives meaning to everything even metals and stones"



I held her in one bosom and my little angel on the other and asked, "What does it mean to you?"



She said, "It means love and life. I love you. Arjun for this love you shower on me, my heart says you can do anything for this Man. I'm a slave to your love"



I kissed and said, "Love you too. You're not a slave but my queen" and looking at my little girl I said, "She is my little princess" As I said this, my little girl gave a small smile for a micro second with her tiny lips as if she was hearing to our conversation. I asked, so what shall we christen our angel?"



Nethra said, "POORNA"



Smiling I said, "My mother's name, lovely, but how will we address her"



She said, "Yeah, mom's name because POORNA means complete and fullness. Your mother and our daughter make our lives complete and let's fondly call her as Cuckoo or tweety"



I said, "Great, she'll be our little mom from now on"



Holding both of my angels on either of my bosom is one of the loveliest moments in my life.