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Friday, 10 April 2020


Read the previous part here
For the next few days Sulabha spoke only of Satish. Satish was like this and Satish was like that. He liked this and he liked that. Vinay was fed up. It was as if Sulabha had no other topic to speak.

Life is like a curvaceous road. You are enjoying the smooth ride when a person or a situation bumps into you from a blind spot and everything goes for a toss.

Vinay had so eagerly looked forward for his early retirement. He had thought he would free of all the burdens and tensions. But here things were so different. The dream home had turned into a haunted house. His wife's actions were under his constant scrutiny. He was try to connect the dots and arrive at some surmise. His peace of mind was lost forever. The only relief in these testing times was presence of Nisha.

'I don't know Nisha how I would have handled it, if you weren't there.'
'Come on Vinay. I am a family and the matter is so sensitive that we can't even discuss it with strangers.' Nisha said.

The only person who was happy in the house now was Sulabha. Satish seemed to have cast a spell on her. Her enthusiasm was booming. She was blossoming like an adolescent girl stepping into her teenage. She started paying extra attention to her looks. She regularly did yoga and had lemon tea. She strictly monitored her diet and started applying some make up as well.

'How am I looking?' She asked Vinay that day adjusting her silk saree which she had purchased from Kashi.
'Resplendent.' Vinay said. He had thought that the use of this adjective would put the discussion to rest. But once a storm sets in, it doesn't subside so soon.

'Even Satish said the same thing. He said Sulabha you look aristocratic in a saree. I was thinking of wearing saree all the time. It is our traditional dress after all, and after a certain age, we all change.'
'Yes, Sulabha we all change.' Vinay replied.

'When did Satish see you in this saree?' Nisha asked as she entered the room.
'That is a long story. But to tell you precisely in the last year of our college, we had been on a study tour to Kashi to study the ancient Indian architecture. We visited the famous ghats of Banaras, the temples and stupa at Saranth. 'Are you not going to buy a saree for yourself. Not buying a saree in Banaras is like visiting Banaras but not seeking the blessings of Baba Vishwanath.' Satish had said. So we walked through those narrow alleys with humans and cows blowing passage at every nook and corner. 'This is the wholesale shop. We will get things bit cheaper here.' How do you know so much about Varanasi? I asked him. 'I started coming here every year since my mothers....' I didn't want to throw cold water on his enthusiasm so I quickly changed the topic to sarees. Satish was excited when the store keeper spread sarees in various colours and designs in front of us. I had never seen a man take so much of interest in sarees. He rans his fingers across the sarees and commented about its texture and quality. I chose a bright yellow saree for myself. For me silk always had to be yellow. But Satish insisted that I should buy the blue saree with huge petals in pink. 'When you wear the saree, the huge petals will come up to your knees, as if you are the Goddess Laxmi standing in the lotus. Believe me whenever you will step out in this saree all eyes will be set upon you.' His choice was perfect for I was flooded with compliments whenever I wore that saree. Then we went to the US and I started wearing shirts and trousers. On festivals, I would wear salwar suits. So the saree remained untouched at the bottom of the rack. With Satish so many memories rushed from the gates including this saree...'

Vinay didn't speak anything. He had turned into an introvert. He spoke very less with Sulabha. Earlier he and Sulabha would have talks. But now it was Sulabha who spoke of her past and Vinay simply heard it. He would fume whenever she referred to Satish but wouldn't speak a word, for he didn't have any proof in his hands.

'Vinay, I wanted to tell you something.' Sulabha said. Vinay thought that Sulabha had gone again into the Satish said this and Satish said that mode again.

'Vinay, we were in the US, away from family and friends. Your only true friends are those you make in schools and colleges. All others are colleagues and acquaintances. I know you don't like me speaking about Satish. But I was really overwhelmed to mentally relive those carefree and blissful college days. Satish is just a friend. I have no other emotions towards him. You need not feel insecure. I am not going to dump you that too in forties and go with another man.' Sulabha said. But her words didn't fully convince Vinay.

The following weekend Sulabha too accompanied Vinay and Nisha to Kolhapur. They visited malls and watched a movie in the multiplexes, something which they couldn't do in Ajara. They decided to have dinner in a hotel. While they were looking for a good hotel, 'This one looks decent.' Sulabha said pointing a pure vegetarian hotel. Vinay parked the car and the trio went inside the hotel. They placed the order and soaked the happiness of city life which they didn't miss back home, but certainly enjoyed.

'We should come here once a while. I liked the ambiance.' Sulabha said. Vinay nodded his head in agreement. The food arrived. It was hot and sumptuous. While their dinner was midway They heard a familiar voice. 'Make yourself comfortable. Treat this as your own hotel.' Satish was standing in front of them. He looked dapper in his grey suit.

'Satish how come you are here?' Sulabha asked.
'Why? Is my entry prohibited in the eating houses?' Satish replied. Sulabha smiled wryly at her stupid question. 'Relax, I was just kidding Satish said. This hotel belongs to a longtime friend. I have done designs for all his hotels. He is planning to expand this hotel and I was here for a meeting in regard to the same.' Satish pulled himself a chair and sat along with them.

A fragrance peculiar to thick vegetation filled the air. Vinay couldn't see her. But felt that she was somewhere near. So true of the spirits, you can't always see them, but you can certainly feel their presence. 
Read the next part here
Read my short read My Spiritual Journey 


  1. Interesting story.... You have narrated it so well and the ending everytime leaves you with the curiosity as to what happened next :)

  2. I am unable to find share buttons on your posts