Culmination of Childhood Love. (Short story) part III.

Continued from part II… Padmanav: “It really does!”
Padmavati: “Do you feel any grief? Have you seen her after her marriage? Did you try to
contact her?”
Padmanav: “I feel very sad when I recall her. Of course I have seen her many times after her
marriage, but she does not seem to care about me.”
Padmavati: “Then there is no use recalling or grieving for her. See another girl!”
Padmanav: “She was the one I really loved. And if there be another girl, she should be like
her…”
Padmavati: “You may wonder why I have been asking you these questions. I have actually no
desire to know anything about your personal life. I would only like to tell you that from today
onwards you may not come to my house and we will undertake no more rides together and see places.”
Padmanav, a little alertly: “Why Padmavati, what is the matter today? I don’t understand!”
Padmavati, a little shyly and remorsefully: “Well…the people have been spreading rumors
about us. It has spread to my workplace as well. As you can see only a handful of my colleagues
live in this town. even then all have testified hearing the rumour…”
Padmanav, a little calmly: “Have you told them that we were previous lovers?”
Padmavati, clearing her throat: “Why yes, I did! But I told them that I don’t love you
anymore.”
Padmanav: “You shouldn’t have told them that. Anyway, I will not come if you so desire.”
Then he got up to go. As he was leaving her house, he said to her: “If ever you get into any difficulty,
don’t feel shy to call me. I will help you.” Then he went out. Perhaps forever, Padmavati thought.
Only time can tell.
Padmavati felt relieved after he left. At least, she will be left alone by her colleagues, she
thought.

Padmanav on the other hand was joyous after hearing about these rumours. He was
hearing what he only wanted to hear-that of an affair between him and Padmavati. He knew that
Nature will take its course and fate will rule supreme in these matters. Even then, he wants to give
the matter some try. Padmavati on the other hand told her colleagues about the disconnection of
her relationship with Padmanav. They were bewildered. One of them asked:
“Didn’t you love him earlier?”
Padmavati: “What do you mean?”
Another Colleague: “You could have loved him now even if there are rumors.”
Padmavati: “But I don’t love him now and so I got him separated from me to save me from
further embarrassment.”
Third Colleague: “But what ill would it have been if he would have loved you even now? You
could have found a companion. And perhaps he loves you still and so kept coming to you?”
Padmavati felt silent for some time. She did not pursue the talks anymore that day. After she
returned to her home that day, she again gave the matter some thought. Was it for love that
Padmanav have been coming to her house and taking her to outings? Definitely, it must be love
when he had phoned to her after her husband’s death. Has he loved her platonically after her
marriage also? Padmavati shuddered! How can she accept him as her lover now, after so many years
and especially, after her daughter had grown up so big? No! She will not again love Padmanav. She
cannot remarry although she supports it. Widow Remarriages are not a custom even now. She felt
better that she asked Padmanav to discontinue coming to her house. Mentally concluding thus, she
carried on her life as usual.


It was the same year but a few months later. It was examination time. The educational year
was about to end. It will be Padmavati’s first year as a teachress. The teachers have submitted the question papers to the respective headmaster. Within days the examination will start. It will be a
fifteen day program spread over three weeks. No teachers will be granted any leave in these days
except for the very sick and, those who may be in labor. During this time, a call came to Padmavati
one night from her husband’s home. It was her younger brother-in-law who was calling. He told her
that she was required immediately in that household to nurse her ailing daughter who had been in
bed for a day since for acute jaundice. She was weak for not-eating and is in need of continuous
observation. Her only brother-in-law and his wife had admitted her daughter to a Govt. hospital, but
they also have a school-going child to attend to and their aged mother (who is also Padmavati’s
mother-in-law) to look after! So, they thought of calling Padmavati to her home ignorant of the
School duty restrictions imposed on all the staff of the School.

That night Padmavati could not sleep.
She wanted to go and be near her daughter, but also knew that she will be granted only a day’s
leave; not more. And with such a patient as her daughter, one has to be continuously on her side for
at least one week. She could not decide what to do. It was past 10 pm and she was tossing in her
bed. Through the phone, she got to know that her daughter was weak but out of danger. She
phoned to her colleagues one by one and although all expressed pity for her and prayed for her
daughter’s speedy recovery, expressed their inability to help her. But all advised her to take a day’s
leave and bring her daughter to her town so that she can attend to her after her school hours. This
added for Padmavati one more thing to worry. Going and coming within a day over such a long distance
means she have to go on a car and bring her daughter along with her: how can she go alone with a
driver on such a long journey? And to whom should she turn to at this time of crisis? Then she
recalled Padmanav. It had been about some months that she had asked Padmanav not to come to
her and had also deliberately sidelined his phone calls more than once during this period to show
her intention of snapping ties with him. Now in her mind, he was the only person whom she can turn
to for help. She was in a dilemma! Shall she phone him? Will he respond? Her plight made her ring
him! He picked it up, of course. Padmavati spoke first:
“Hello! Is it Padmanav over there? I am Padmavati speaking.”
Padmanav: “Hi Padmavati! I am Padmanav. long time, no communications? How are you?
Padmavati: “See Padmanav, I have no time for formalities. I am in a dilemma. Perhaps you
can help.”
Then Padmavati told Padmanav of her daughter’s case and of her temporary handicap. She
asked him if he can help in any way. Padmanav at once jumped up to the occasion. Being a garage-
owner and repairing a wide range of vehicles, he at once recalled the ambulances of the town and
their owners, or the trusts running them. He asked Padmavati if she can go for a day on one of these
ambulances and bring her daughter to her home. Padmavati affirmed to this but also told him that
she has to go the next day because just as the exams are near leaves are cancelled during these
exams. On the other hand her daughter needs care especially watching over at night. So she has to
go the next day urgently and asked him if he can arrange for an Ambulance or the like at that
moment. Padmanav cut the line and after five minutes told her that an ambulance is being readied
the next day at 6:00 am sharp. Padmavati requested Padmanav to accompany her on her journey for
she has no one in that town to turn to for company at this hour. Only when he consented to this,
then she contracted her school headmaster and citing him the reason for her next day’s probabilistic
absence, told him that she will formally apply for leave-of-absence only on the third day.


The next day, after a tireful journey, she and Padmanav returned with her ailing daughter a
little before midnight. Her daughter could not be admitted to any hospital that night but the next
day, thanks again greatly to Padmanav and his adeptness at organization, her daughter was
admitted at a good nursing home in her town. After a week when her cured but convalescing
daughter was brought to her home, she could only ask Padmanav to come to her home when he can…

(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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