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An Eye Opener - contd

by Sudha Chandrasekaran
(Coimbatore, India)

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“Common Reetu, this thinking of yours is because of your seeing several movies, in which all these things are common. Rain and now when it is the peak of summer! Assuming that some such thing happens, keep in mind that I am a good ‘karate kid’! “

Continued Reetu, “Our friend Nishantha told me that this guy’s character is questionable. His family has several connections in the political circle and if anything goes wrong, his position is strong but we are helpless. Listen to me,” pleaded Reetu.

“You know something? Raghav himself has told me about Nishantha. His good looks and high connections draw several girls towards him. This Nishantha had high hopes of marrying this guy and when he refused, she has started spreading malicious rumour about him. He is yet to find his girl and I feel that he is interested in me and has called me out to express his willingness to marry me. Anyhow I am not going with any preconceived idea or notion. My parents deprived me of the city pleasures and now you are trying to do this. Good bye see you in the evening!”Waving happily Anika left the room and walked towards the meeting point where Raghav was supposed to wait for her.

“Hai Ani “called out Raghav when he saw her walk towards him. He was sitting on his bike all set to start the bike. “Hai Raghav, shall we go?” “Yes, of course” The bike zoomed its way towards Mahabaleshwar with Anika holding on tightly to Raghav, feeling on top of the world. All of a sudden the bike stopped and Raghav, “Oh my God! What’s this? I did fill petrol today morning. It sure must be some mechanical defect? “Yeh Raghav, I see a small mechanic shop right there. Can you see? Go there and find out the problem and I shall wait here. “Things are turning out the way Reetu envisaged!” thought Anika. “Anika, looks like it will take another couple of hours to repair the bike as the mechanic has just gone out and will be in after about an hour. Good that there is a restaurant cum lodge close by and we can walk up there and wait till the job gets done. “No Raghav, I am not coming to any lodge. Sorry.” “Who wants you to come to any lodge now, we will just go to the restaurant and order some samosas, tea or ice cream or whatever and talk for some time. That’s it”. Anika felt ashamed on blurting out and thought “he is not the type as told by Reetu. No harm in going for a cup of coffee.” They both walked into the restaurant and sat at a table and ordered for some items. Continued Raghav, “Look Anika, I like you a lot and at the same time I am not willing to tie the knot immediately and jump into marriage as I wish to spend some time with you and find out our compatibility. Yes, I want to have live-in relationship with you and will not get entangled in marriage commitments immediately. If things work out we will marry if not part ways as friends. What do you say?” On hearing this, Anika’s blood started to boil. “Do you think I am that cheap, you idiot?” thought she. “Look Raghav, I am not the type of girl. Had you told me before I would have not consented to come with you.” Raghav’s face turned crimson but immediately he became normal and continued, “Live-in relationship is a modern trend and hence I suggested this. If you are not willing, just leave it. Just wait for the
ice cream which we have ordered and then we will leave. “

Just then the waiter entered carrying two cups of ice cream. Suddenly the waiter tripped and the ice cream bowl fell on Anika’s lap. Raghav turned red with anger and slapped the waiter. “Sorry Sir, sorry Madam,” said the young waiter in a sobbing tone. “Mam, there is a guest room very close by. You may go in and freshen yourself.” The waiter led the way to the room and Anika followed him.

The waiter looked up at Anika and was shocked to see her. “Anika Didi, is it you?” Anika had a confused look on her face, “Who are you?” “Didi, I am from your village and your father’s student as well. You may not know me but you are an inspiration to all of us in our village Didi. Why did you come here with him? He allures several girls and promises to marry them. After satisfying his carnal appetite, he just dumps them and black mails them. If the girls do not give in to his false promises, he brings them to this hotel, which is run by his father, a man with powerful political connections. If the girls evince interest in consuming alcohol or any other drink he mixes some sedatives and then rapes them. On the other hand, if the girl refuses the drink, he rapes them forcibly and captures the scenes in his cell and blackmails them.” He continued, “As I happened to be your table waiter today I was instructed to drop ice cream on you. I was shocked when I heard this and asked other waiters about this and this is what I learnt from them. Had it been some other Didi also, I would have told her the same. Didi, I am resigning from this job today. Can you please get me a good job? “Anika was overwhelmed and handed over her business card to him. “Sure my dear brother, I will forever be grateful to you for having saved my honour.”

Soon Anika walked towards the exit and saw Raghav walking towards her.” Why Anika, is the room not comfortable? No hurry, I shall wait for you. Go to another guest room if you want and tidy up yourself.”

Looking at her face, Raghav could sense that she had come to know of his plans. “Hey, don’t pretend to be a very good and chaste girl. I know that you drink whiskey and smoke cigars. Come let’s go to the room,” said Raghav trying to grab her. She immediately showed her karate skills and sent him rolling down the steps of the hotel and walked fast towards the road to see if she could get a bus to take her back to Pune.

She heard her cell ringing-yes it was her Dad in an emotionally laden tone, “Beta, Reetu said that you will call us in the evening. I miss you a lot and so does Amma. I can’t wait to see you my darling. Your mom wants to hear your voice as it is now a couple of days since we heard from you.” Tears started streaming down Anika’s cheeks. “Papa, my dearest, tell Mom I am coming home to see you both this weekend. I am now on my way to the railway station to book my tickets for this weekend. See you very soon” So saying she hung up and got into the bus going towards Pune which just then arrived at the spot where she was waiting. Her mind was clear of cobwebs now and she looked forward anxiously to the weekend, longing more than ever to see her Admiral-dearest Dad and her loving mother.
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