Cupid’s un-evadable triangle! (Short story) part III. *#

(continued from part II)… Shivani: “Process what? Are you talking of food processing or what?” Shivani had been anticipating
this question from Hari. So she had readied this type of answer to remain out of this issue and take
some time to give a good reply.
Hari: “I’m not talking about ‘food processing’ or such like. Perhaps you remember what I had
asked for during our journey from home to college last?”
Shivani: “Oh! I had forgotten all about that. What had we been talking, can you recall for
me? Of course it’s not that necessary.”
Hari: “It is of course necessary for me!”
Shivani: “I hear a tone of ‘adamancy’ in you.”
Hari: “That is because you do not want to hear anything from my part on that matter.”
Shivani: “But what were you saying or had said, I don’t ever member anything. Perhaps you
will do a little bit of ‘tickling’ my retention.”
Hari: “Is that it? Then shall I say that you agreed to think about something?”
Shivani: “What was that?”
Hari: “About someone’s fondness for you.”
Shivani: “My goodness …who is that fellow who’s fond of me…?” A little silence proceeded.
Then: “You see everyone who’s acquainted with me is a little fond of me all the time” she said.
Hari: “But I’m not fond of you!”
Shivani felt a shock and a little shame at this answer. Composing herself, she said: “Is it true?
But from your proximity (with me) and the manner of your conversations, I thought you are very
fond of me”, she said with amusement.
Hari: “How can I be fond of one who’s so hard-hearted? As I am soft-hearted, I like others
who are soft-hearted too.”
Shivani: “I see! Then should I be soft-hearted to engender affection from you?”
Hari: “You should be such that you can accept the love that our friend Sumu proposes to
Shivani: “So now you are asking me to be soft-hearted to accept Sumu’s love. I don’t know
what to tell you. Anyway…”
Hari: “You have only to accept it now for earlier you had told about giving this matter some
Shivani: “But I had also told you it may never be positive.”
Hari: “Three weeks have passed of my proposal. Do you need some more time?”

Shivani felt angry at Hari’s insistence. Deep in her heart she had a long-standing weakness
for Hari and so now she could not thwart off his request at once. She gave the matter some thought.
Then she said:
“You see, Sumu is my college mate now but he has not even for once sounded to me about
this thing. How can I accept his love through his friend’s insistence? And mind you as his personality
never appeals to me, I will never love a person like him.”

Hari hung up on that day. He knew that Shivani was cross with him. But he was determined
to unite Sumu with her. So the next Sunday, he visited her at her hostel personally, taking with him a
small present. Shivani was always fond of Hari. Seeing him at her hostel, she was joyous. Hari
bypassed the subject of Sumu. They passed some good enjoyable moments, recollecting their school
days. After some time Hari left with a promise of visiting her again. In this way, he thought, he would
come to her hostel often-and-on to see her, presenting her with small presents of special chocolates
which all girls love to eat. And during her college week, some weeks later, at the week-end when
there was a cultural programme, Hari sacrificed his own course-studies and the discipline of his
hostel to keep company with Shivani. From their second year at college, when he would find the time, he would take her out to any nearby restaurants and delight her with a cup of coffee, snacks
and other things she likes most. And during this period, whenever they would return to their homes
and again come to college, he would book tickets for her and carry her baggage to give her some
comfort. And all this while, he was careful not to broach the issue of Sumu. Shivani was only elated
at Hari’s soft-behavior towards her for she had silently loved Hari and only thought that Hari was
finally opening himself up to receive her love. But things would turn out to be different later.

It was the last day of both of their college lives. They are appearing in their final
examinations of their pre-University courses. After the last examination day, they all will be given a
day each to collect their baggage and evacuate their hostels. This meant Shivani, Hari, Sumu and all
the other students of their hometown studying in the capital city would be returning home. And as
in the earlier instances, Hari was again given the task of booking a seat for her by Shivani. Naturally this
time also it would be Hari and herself on the double seat, Shivani thought. But as she boarded the
bus, she came in for a shock. She got a seat beside the window as usual but her co-passenger was
none than ‘Sumu’. She searched frantically for Hari but found that he had got a seat only in the
cabin. When contracted, he told her that as all the students were returning, he could find only one
seat which he had booked for Shivani. The bus was jam-packed and Shivani could not find any other
person to change her seat. Reluctantly, with feigned courtesies, she sat with Sumu. During the
dinner break she avoided Sumu straightaway and coming up with Hari, ate her meal with him
together. As she was about to pay her bill, post dinner, Hari signaled to her that he will pay for her.
And keeping up with the earlier practice, after alighting at their home town next morning, he helped
her in unloading her baggage and placing it in her father’s car. During all this time, Shivani looked away
from Sumu, although he had from time-to-time tried to strike a conversation with her.

A day or two later, after their arrival in her father’s house, when Shivani was enjoying the
newly sprouting flowers and leaves, for it was nearing spring, she heard the shrill ring of her
telephone. Without expecting anyone she picked up the receiver and spoke “Hello!” from the other
end she heard, “Hi Shivani! Is that you? I’m Hari.”
Shivani: “Oh Hari!” How nice is it to hear your voice. How are you?”
Hari: “I’m fine! I only got a chance to phone to you today.” They exchanged some
pleasantries and then hung up. Before parting, Shivani invited Hari to come to her house on that
coming Bihu, a spring and Assamese New Year festival. And Hari was only too eager to accept the
invitation for he had other ideas.

Baisakh is celebrated in nearly every part of India as it heralds the spring season and spring
on the other hand, signifies youth and vitality. In Assam also it is celebrated with much fervor. And
for young people of the age group of Hari, Shivani or Sumu that Baisakh was more colorful for, a
weighty burden had been removed from their shoulders by way of their recently concluded P.U.
examinations. And on the day of Bihu, Shivani had received a phone call from Hari, greeting her on
that Bihu and enquiring of her if she would remain home the next day for as earlier invited, he would
be visiting her on that Bihu. Shivani was overjoyed and so made some traditional sweetmeats in
addition to the ones made by her mother and also the large amount of readymade sweets her father
had bought from restaurants. But on that second day of Bihu, in the afternoon, Shivani got the shock
of her life when she saw a white Ambassador Car stopping in front of her gate. In the driver’s seat
was a young man who looked like or, wait, he really was Sumu, Shivani realized. She was a little
relieved when she saw Hari’s lanky, handsome figure coming out of the co-passenger’s door. As
usual in keeping up with her immaculate acting qualities, she ran towards the gate and said with a
tone of astonished gladness which shocked even Hari, not to say of Sumu; “Why, it is Samujjal here
and that too on this day of Bihu, ‘Happy Bihu to both of you’. How have been your Bihu
celebrations? It seems you have brought Hari here, I think.”

(to be continued)…

Published by indrajyoti dutt

Hi folks, I'm an ordinary guy who sells both life and general insurance to earn a living. I also have interest in writing and reading and so have opened this blog at WordPress. I hope my writings and other posts will be noticed by you and will also be commented upon to make them better and entertaining in the near future. Wishing the best to you all out there. Have a great time.

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