Off with the fetters....continued
by Eva Bell
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It was here when he was really down and out, that he met Milind. The man had great charisma – very macho, and very prosperous! Everyone in the restaurant seemed to know him.
“Are you a stranger in this city?” he asked.
“Yes, I came here thinking that the streets of Bombay were paved with gold. But as of today, I’ll have to sleep on the pavement.”
“Don’t sound so depressed. The world has its good people too. I have a large house, and you can stay with me until you find a job and accommodation,” the man said. Vasanth was overwhelmed.
“You’ll take me in without even knowing about me? How can I repay you?”
“Don’t worry. I’ll take back what I give you with interest,” Milind smiled. “Until then just relax and enjoy yourself.”
True to his word, Milind was generous to a fault. He found a good job for Vasanth, and lavished him with gifts. But it soon became clear what he meant by the “interest” that Vasanth would have to pay. He barged into Vasanth’s room every night and took liberties with his body. He extolled the virtues of being gay, and posed as a gay activist.
“I’m not a natural gay, Mina. Do believe me. But I admit that I was a willing partner.
I felt obliged to please Milind, as he had invested a great deal of time and money on me. Besides, he was always kind and considerate.”
“I’ll be the judge of that. You continue with your story,” Mina said irritably.
“Then one day, Milind began to cheat on me. He took another lover. When I questioned him, he said that our relationship had ceased to excite him, and that he was looking for another partner. I sank into deepest depression. When I could take it no
more, I sought the help of a psychiatrist. It was this kind man, who gave me back my sanity. He assured me that I was not a natural gay, but had been compelled by circumstances to act like one. He asked me to cut loose, and run to freedom.”
Mina was very quiet. Her face had blanched to a deathly pallor, as though she were in shock.
“I’ve lost her,” he thought sadly.
She did not broach the subject for a few days. She went off for long walks by herself. Many times she asked herself, “Has my love for Vasanth ceased? No, I’ll never stop loving him. The day I do, my life will turn into a vacuum.”
“I’ll give you your freedom if you want to divorce me,” Vasanth said, “But I love you, and will never go back to that life again. Either Milind is down in pocket and wants a big settlement, or his partners have deserted him and he wants to ensnare me again. Perhaps I’m indebted to him in a way. I could give him some money.”
“You’ll do nothing of that sort, Vasanth. Such a guy needs to be exposed and punished. Of course, there will be some adverse publicity for you, but we’ll see a good lawyer when we get back and put this guy in place.”
“Will you still have me Mina, in spite of all you know?”
“I’ll never leave you. You’ve given me the best years of my life.”
“Oh thank you, darling,” he said, holding her close to his heart.
The lights in the valley still twinkled, as Mina led her husband to bed.
“Tonight will be a great occasion to start a family, Vasanth,” she whispered in his ear. “So off with the fetters, and off with the chains! And let’s both be happy again.” The end