Please enjoy the beautiful story of Saji Vizhag, India -Part-II
"A woman,of course."
I answered,smiling. A sudden loud laughter erupted from my wife.
Though we did not talk further, memories flashed into my mind of day's events.
This morning, as usual, I had knocked at a door of the hospital room in which a new patient was admitted and asked for permission to get in.
“Please come in”, said a feeble voice of a female. I entered the room. There a tired, fair-faced lady in her mid-fifties, was lying on the bed. I had something of a flashback in the back of my mind. Some memory! Oh! somewhere I had seen this face, but I was clueless.
To my surprise the lady looked at me and asked “Oh! Mathews is it you ?" A little pause. Then she opened her eyes wider and asked in a soft voice, "After 40 long years !!."
Lot of excitement was present in the voice. She continued,“You didn’t recognize me perhaps ! I am Rachel. You are Mathews. right ?” .
Soon I remembered my college days. Of course, now I recognized her. Rachel, our college beauty , who had studied with me in the same Class. She was also from my village , but almost two kilometers away from my house. We used to go to the college in the same bus because the number of buses from our village was limited . We were finishing our Bachelor of Commerce Degree. She was the dream girl even for our seniors. I was also having a liking for her, as beauty always got noticed by me. I never expressed anything of my feeling to her, but I always used to smile at her whenever I saw her . I used to talk to her general topics only. That was all. Though I was handsome in those days, still I was not confident of expressing my feeling to her , as I always feared failure. Years passed; we both completed our degree course. I went to the nearby college for my Post graduation, then for job at various places .
I thought rarely about the past periods because I was busy in setting up my house , marriage of my sisters and for all the needs that arose during the course of time. But Rachel was there even in my rare thoughts of the past, as a small pain, somewhere in the corner of my heart , though I could never find time to enquire about her from anybody.
Rachel asked , “Why are you silent?” Her voice woke me up from my old memories. “No! I had just gone back to those college days. That’s all. What happened to you after your College studies ?”
“Mathews at least sit for sometime and talk ." pointing me to the chair on the side of the room.
I took the chair and sat very near to her as I did not want her to exert more while talking; as I could see the tiredness in her eyes.
She had answered in a feeble voice, which expressed some disappointment obviously.
“I didn’t go for any further studies. I was there in the house for almost five years. By the time I turned 22 years of age, my parents started pressurizing me for marriage as I was their only daughter. But I avoided marriage for almost 5 years by telling some reason or the other”. “Why?” I asked with great curiosity.She kept silent for some time. With heaving a sigh she answered,
“I was just waiting for the boy whom I liked very much in the college days, whom I thought that 'he is my prince charming and will come to me one day and will take my hand'. I knew that he definitely required some time to settle in life. But he never turned up. One fine morning, my father suffered a heavy heart attack and was admitted to the hospital. After a month’s treatment, he was discharged from the hospital and after reaching home, he called me to his room and asked me whether he would be able to see myself married. Tears were rolling out of his eyes when he was asking this to me. I loved my parents a lot. So, I decided to tell yes for marriage, but only on one condition. Whichever proposal came first, I would agree for that, because I didn’t have any preference, other than my first love. Of course the first proposal came and thus, I got married with Philip who was working in Gulf. He had earned handsomely, but he was never kind to me and he never even cared for me. Moreover, he was very much addicted to drinking. After a few years, two children were born to us, a boy and a girl. Our son is presently working in a software company at Bangalore and the younger one is completing her Msc. Our house is also nearby, around 5 kms from the hospital on the way to city. Philip , my husband died some ten years back because of excessive drinking, and still there are things left to be done”. She closed her eyes for a moment.
“Marriage of children?”, I asked .
“Of course, that is our main dream and responsibility, isn’t it?
I consoled her by telling, "Rachel, everything will be fine. Don’t you believe in God? He’ll take care of every thing”.
Then I asked her whether somebody would be coming to stay with her in the night. "Yes, my daughter will stay in the night”.
“See you tomorrow”, I told her and left for home. Against the normal practice of going to hospital on alternative days, the next day also I went to the hospital. I also bought a few apples on my way to the hospital. I went straight to her room. (Part 111 coming).