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Line of Control


’38 missed calls in 10 mins! He wondered what was going on Rina’s mind.’ Rohan shuddered at the very thought of calling her back. His father would flay him alive if he got a wind of it. Also, the cut marks on his back where still fresh on his mind; his father had beaten him black and blue with a long thin bamboo cane when he got to know that he was interested in Rina.

Now when she is married off, why was she calling him? Probably it had to do something with what she spoke yesterday.

No, he won’t pick up her phone calls anymore. This time he was not ready to conform to her canons of friendship, such as a friend in indeed is a friend in deed and all.  They may have been the best of the pals and may have being chummy with each other all the time, but a Lakshman Rekha, a line of control had to be drawn; the sanctity of marriage has to be maintained; cannot be sacrificed at the altar of love and friendship. She has to learn to accept his naysaying's now.                         
                                                         
                              
                                ***


Rina and Rohan were inseparable since their school days.  In fact, Rohan had taken Rina’s over dependence for granted. School was a cool time pass for her.  It seems she attended school to play with her friends; to fit her long lustrous braids with fresh mogra flowers that bloomed abundantly in the school garden, and more than anything, to polish off Rohan’s lunch box that primarily consisted of yummy aloo parathas and mango pickle that his mother cooked every other day. 

She was a dud, Good-For-Nothing in the class, but girls envied her greatly for her milky white skin and long black tresses ― a rarity in Kosha village. Rohan, on the other hand, was the most brilliant boy in the class and was always a ninty-percenter.  For reasons best known to him he had taken a liking for Rina from childhood but his father ensured that he maintained a distance from her.

                                                      
                                                         *** 


He didn't utter a word when she exchanged labels of home work books and presented it as her own to the class teacher. He didn't utter a word when she freely copied all his sums during the Math periods. He didn't utter a word when she spent all her time playing, while he burnt the midnight oil to clear the higher secondary exams.

Yes, they sat close to each other and she enjoyed the delicious freedom to copy as much as wanted as long as she wanted. Little wonder both cleared the boards with flying colors.

                                                                 
                                                            ***


After graduating from a prestigious engineering college in Vellore both Rohan and Rina joined a reputed software company in Bangalore. While Rohan was apprehensive and kept his fingers crossed on the first day of his job, Rina was careless and carefree. She had Rohan to depend on. Rohan never said no to Rina for anything. She felt snug and safe in his company. However, Rina could never understand Rohan’s generosity towards her.

When Rina’s boss asked her to get the company website refurbished in a couple of days, unlike her contemporaries, Rina didn’t show any signs of panic. She knew Rohan, like in school, would do it for her. True to his nature, Rohan sat back and helped Rina with all the programming and uploading. The long hours put in my Rohan and Rina yielded fruitful results. The new company website had become the talk of the office.  When subsidiary sites were launched, Rina and Rohan were equally involved, but Rina presided over them as project head. In no time, she was flooded with new client jobs, and she never shied away from them for obvious reasons.
Rina was promoted and Rohan was all smiles for her.


                                                           ***


After the office hours, Rina insisted Rohan to join her for dinner at her rented quarters but Rohan always said, “No Rina, next time. When she went for movies with her friends, she made it a point to invite him but his answer as always was, “ No Rina, there’s always a next time.”  But Rina knew in this lifetime there would be no next time in Rohan's life. His nonchalance towards her was getting on her nerves but she never expressed them. Rohan, on the other hand, knew he’d never cross the line of control set by his father. 


                                                           ***


The day of engagement came closer and closer, and for the first time in her life Rina really panicked;  Rohan had no offhand solutions in hand to offer her. Rina could never understand why Rohan couldn’t rescue her from this situation as was his habit. Her parents liked him; she liked him; so the engagement with this other boy could be easily called off.


                                           ***


“What’s stopping you from stopping this engagement,” Rina thundered at Rohan for the first time in her life. “Rina, sorry I can’t come to your aid this time,” said Rohan with a sad face, “I knew this was coming.”

“What was coming?” “That means you were aware that my parents were seeing boys for me?”
Rina become mad at Rohan. But Rohan took her outbursts with a pinch of salt. His nonchalance towards her was reaching new heights suddenly.

“How could you be so cool when the love of your life, your only childhood friend is getting married to someone else?” cried Rina consolably. “Do you have no feelings for me?”

“Love of my life and you? Rina forget it. You were a good friend and you’ll remain one all my life.”

“I had no feelings for you ever. I don’t know from where did you get this idea from.”
“Damn it, you can’t say that,” Rina blurted out emphatically. “Our friendship has crossed the boundaries of―.”

“Rina, I am sorry, if I have hurt your feelings...but from now on we won’t meet and yes, get used to my naysayings.

“Okay, Rohan. Thank you so much for your friendship and all.”


                                                            ***


Rina’s marriage was one month old now, but she was yet to come to terms with it. She longs for Rohan’s care and unwavering support. Last night she called up and asked him to meet her up in some sidey hotel by the sea side. He did’t say yes or no to her this time as she was yet to be accustomed to his no's.  So, he kept mum.


                                                           ***


Missed calls had become a norm.  Today, she had crossed all the limits. 38 calls in 10 min.  It seems she called him up in the wee hours in between 3.00 and 3.10 pm. "What the hell she wants from me now? Why her parents are so secretive about me? Can’t they reveal my true identity to her? I know my place; she should know hers and not make a hell of my and her life. She would stop calling me, if she comes to knows who I really am?" Rohan ruminated.


                                                           ***


Rohan’s mother called up the next day to inform them about Rina’s unsuccessive suicide attempt. She had consumed rat poison. Keeping aside his ego, Rohan rushed to the hospital to be at her side. She was doing fine, said the doctors. Her stomach was flushed off all the poison. However, her drips were on. On seeing Rohan at her bedside, she extended her arms towards him. Weary-eyed and depressed she looked up to him and said, “Do you love me?” Her parents, his parents all who had rounded her hospital bed were astounded by what they heard. There was awkward pause. Rohan turned to his father, who nodded his head in approval this time. “Yes,” he said and took her in her arms like never before.


                                                            ***


On their wedding night, he revealed to her that he was the son of the gardener and maid servant of her house, and all through these years his fees were funded by her generous parents. Rohan couldn't believe his ears when Rina told him she was aware of this fact all along. Her parents had informed her everything about him. But despite his humble background, she had fallen for him. 

To celebrate their new love and union, Rohan unwrapped a tiffin containing her favorite aloo parathas and mango pickle.  Rina gorged on them joyously recalling her school days .


                                                          ***

From that day onwards, Rohan didn’t mind conforming to Rina's canons of friendship. He did all that she asked/ordered/requested of him. The mental barriers were gone. Basking in the glory of their newly formed friendship Rohan for the first time felt perfect peace in Rina’s company. 
                                                 


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. We give out creative writing topics each weekend for Indian bloggers.

Comments

  1. A very nicely written story.Perhaps Rina's first marriage need not have happened

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Parthasarathi sir. Yeah, perhaps.

      Delete
  2. Such a beautiful story Jini... I had tears in my eyes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey!!!Tears in your eyes!!! So, finally my emotions that i had tried to weave in did strike a chord with you. That was encouraging. Thanks Bhagyashree.

      Delete
  3. Such a sweet tale, Jini!
    Wish truths are shared beforehand so as to avoid rat-poison consumption! Anyway, all's well that ends well! :)
    The pic is so apt!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Anita. Nice to know to that you found the story sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  5. happy ending. nicely written WOW read.

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  6. Nice story...there is always one person in the relationship who does most of the giving. Rina seems to have taken undue advantage of rohan and he still loves her. Mysterious are the ways of love :) well written :)

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  7. Nice story....there is always One person in the relationship who seems to give more. Rina seems to have taken undue advantage of rohan but he still loves her. Mysterious are the ways of love. Well written :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nie story, Jini :) Congrats on the Wow, and on the BATOM too !!

    I've just nominated you for Liebster Award on my blog. Please hop in and accept !!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That's truly a wow post. Loved the story specially since I love happy endings.

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  10. Wow this is very poignant , intense and profound. I lived reading it.

    ReplyDelete

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