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

Continued from part III…

and keep her daughter company. And when after some weeks her School examinations were over
and her daughter was able to stand and walk on her own, it was Padmanav again who hired a taxi
and carried the pair to padmavati’s husband’s home in the capital. And at her husband’s house, when
everyone was amazed at the goodwill of Padmanav towards Padmavati and her daughter at this
time of crisis, by being only a school friend of hers, Padmavati to alley suspicion childishly remarked
that they were not just classmates but also lovers. At this there was a roar of laughter among all
those present and upon which her aged mother-in-law quipped: “So it seems all love is not lost, eh?”
Again roars of laughter filled the room which made Padmanav and Padmavati hung their heads in
shame. Of course Padmanav did not feel such shyness the way he had hung his head in shame for,
he was exalted that Padmavati by way of conversation and by her naiveté brought out their erstwhile
relationship which did not really fit such an occasion. After many hour-long moments of fun, frolic, exchange and
laughter, leaving her daughter, Padmavati and Padmanav returned to their homes. On the way, after
they had covered more than half of the distance, Padmavati spoke to Padmanav:
“Say Padmanav, I do not know how to thank you. Please pardon me for my earlier rough
behavior. I can’t say what turn things would have taken had you not helped me from the first day
Padmanav: “Oh! I had already forgotten what you spoke to me. Actually, I did not know you
were serious when you asked me to stop coming to your home. And mind you, it was my…love for
you that I had been coming to you from day one to this day and nursing your daughter in the middle
stages (of her illness) as during those days I had been having a lot of customers in my garage.”
Padmavati: “Then shall I have to pay you something by way of compensation now?”
Padmanav: “But I don’t know the price of friendship, compassion and love.”
Padmavati, laughingly: “In that case I will repay you with those same things. Do you know
something, Padmanav? From the time you arranged for the ambulance at night, continuing your
nursing of my daughter when I would be at School and, coming with me today leaving aside you
business, I realize that this is not easy. It takes something more than mere acquaintance or,
friendship or, School love to throw oneself at the cause of another. It requires a sense of belonging,
of giving, of fulfilling which I feel cannot be perceived without deep love.” Padmanav did not say
anything. He only smiled. He realized that his commitment for Padmavati had made her shameful
and repentant.

The big four-wheeler on which they were travelling was running very fast. But even at
that speed, they have two more hours journey left. It was past 10 pm and they were feeling sleepy.
Padmanav wondered how their driver had been able to keep himself awake and drive after such a
tireful journey. He asked the driver to switch-on the sound system in little volume so that only he
(the driver) could hear for, he was going to sleep. He and Padmavati were sleeping in the large,
spacious seat behind the driver’s. Padmavati was already dozing. A little later Padmanav also fell into
a slumber. The terrific speed of the car and the swaying it produced laterally while negotiating
potholes and stray animals made the sleeping Padmavati and Padmanav come closer. Soon,
temporarily illuminated by the head beams of following cars, their driver saw in the central
rearview-mirror of the car, Padmavati’s sleeping head on the shoulder of Padmanav’s. He felt shy to
give them a second glance. True Lover’s! He thought.

It was a little after midnight when their car reached Padmavati’s rented house. She and
Padmanav were fast asleep in that shameful position described a little while earlier, unfitting for a
widow especially in this part of the country. The driver of their car was having difficulty waking them up. He dared not blow the horn for
fear of waking up the neighborhood. He felt shame to look at them, erstwhile lovers-from the truth he
heard from Padmavati’s mouth at her in-laws. Then he got an Idea; he blared the sound system of the
car. It had the desired effect! Padmanav was aroused to the level that he told the driver without
opening his eyes: “Driver, please lower the sound of the music system.” At this the driver got a chance to speak out: “Sir, you would better wake up for we have arrived!” This brought Padmanav to
his senses. He straightened himself in his seat and found Padmavati still snoring on his hard,
muscular shoulder, the trickling saliva from her mouth wetting his shirt. He gave her some soft
nudges which wakened her. Then, like the driver of their vehicle earlier, he himself felt shy before
the driver, and as Padmavati tried hard to find her bearings, he quickly got out of the car and began
walking towards the gate of Padmavati’s house. Then realising that it was not his house but
Padmavati’s, he backed off from it as if seeing a snake. At that time Padmavati strugglingly came out
of the car and entered her compound and called Padmanav and the driver inside. The house and its
compound was dark. Padmanav switched on the torch of his mobile phone to show Padmavati the
door lock. The three then entered the house. Padmavati paid to the driver his fare. Padmanav asked
the driver, who was also previously acquainted with him, to drop him at his house which was some 1
km. distant from Padmavati’s house. At this Padmavati flared up and said: “why Padmanav, where
are you going at this unearthly hour? You stay at my house tonight.”
Padmanav: “Why, to my house of course.”
Padmavati: “Why can’t you stay at my house?”
Padmanav: “But I have a home of my own and besides, you being single, both your landlord
and neighbors will object.”
Padmavati: “Let them object. We had travelled in the same car…and besides, I cannot send
you out at this dead of night. You be my guest tonight.” At this the driver smiled and got out to go.
Padmavati closed the door after him. They both were dead tired. They could only water their
burning eyes. A few hours later she had to report to her school. There was a spare, shaky bed, but
Padmavati asked Padmanav to sleep with her that night. And the next morning she did not
remember what happened on that night nor did her neighbors ask her anything when Padmanav
walked out of her house after sunrise. And as for Padmanav, he only recalled these words spoken by
Padmavati the night before, coming to his ears automatically, spontaneously, “Padmanav, I love you,
only you…”

So once again they both were heels-over-head in love and both decided to tie the knot this time,
Padmanav for the first time, Padmavati for the second. A few days prior to the marriage,
Padmanav’s mother had asked him “Well Padmanav, why not an unmarried girl than a widow?”
Padmanav: “You would not have asked this question had you experienced love in your life,
mother”. The answer was fitting to the occasion for, ‘True love does not search for maidenhood or,
Riches in one’s lover.’ Amen!

The end!

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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