Under the Gulmohar.... contd.
by Vidya Panicker
(Kozhikkode, Kerala, India)
Back to Page 1
“I am getting married”, he told her again.
“And don't forget the jack fruit chips either, they are hard to get in rainy months, but a lot tastier and dignified than the usual banana chips. Actually you can have both, that would be even better”, she said.
“Ambika, I am getting married”, he told her one last time.
As she continued blabbering about things he could no longer hear, he stuffed an over embellished wedding card in maroon velvet in her sweating hands and walked away from her, not looking back once.
Ambika watched him leaving, and with a sigh that burned her, sank down on the same bench where he had sat a while ago, still warm from his body heat. He could have been hers, her perfect husband and a loving father to her son, but think of the hatred and contempt of the other righteous men and women of their orthodox community when they would know about his marrying a widow with a son? They would banish him, admonish him and kill all hopes of joy in their life together. She loved him too much to let him suffer like that or curse her eventually.
She got up from the bench and sat under the tree, leaning against it, feeling the embrace of its solid trunk. As the leaves whispered endearments in her ears in the slight wind, lulling her to a sleep, Ambika tried to recall if her own wedding feast had banana payasam or jack fruit chips.*****