Continued from part Part VI.
So this was the situation which caused Hemanta to step back one step when his
marriage was brought up by his parents. But he thought of a way out of this dilemma as he
couldn’t leave his contracts by not marrying Diti. He wanted his contracts to continue as well
as handing Diti over (in marriage) to another person. He began to scheme. But first he has to
tell Diti, he told himself. He knew Diti would become violent, even expose Hemanta before
his parents and his relatives living near his house. But he has to take that risk. ‘Better a
Volcano now then an earthquake later!’ he thought. So on a Sunday instead of choosing a
room for a luncheon and a cha-cha-cha followed by a rest – as was the ‘modus operandi’ from
the start of his seduction of Diti, he called her to his shop in the afternoon and took her by his
scooter to a restaurant known for its frequenting by the rich and the educated elite of the
town. Its sweets and its tea were also very good. But Hemanta has chosen this restaurant for
its habitués only and not for its taste of food for reasons best known to him. After a little
waiting they found a table just beside the entrance to the hotel. It suited Hemanta very much!
To prolong the time, he first ordered lassi* and a sweetmeat each. Then he ordered salted
items supplemented by curries of peas. When this was over, he ordered a variety of sweets
followed by tea. It was at this stage that he brought the subject of his marriage. As he had
anticipated, Diti at once flared up but instantly controlled herself seeing the gentle, rich and
educated haut monde gently conversing and partaking their food including some female
professors of her college. But even then firmly and with a tone of indignation in her voice,
she said that she cannot let Hemanta leave her as they are now too much rooted in their love.
Hemanta agreed but also said that he has to obey the wishes of his parents, especially his
mother. To which Diti replied: “why didn’t you ask her permission before loving me and also
before taking me to those road-side hotels and resorts?” Hemanta asked her if that was
possible and advised her to bear with the situation. “But why don’t you ask your parents to
bear me?” diti asked, keeping her voice low. “You people like to play with the honour of a
woman and then dump her as and when you will,” she said.
Hemanta: “But I will still love you; I guarantee you that.” Upon saying this, he saw a smile
escape her lips and her face mellowed. No one spoke for some time. Hemanta continued
eating while diti fumbled with hers. Presently she said; “I was thinking of starting a family
with you. I didn’t knew beforehand that you had sinister designs. You may continue loving me or not; I don’t mind. But do remember that without any warning, I may present myself
and reveal all about our affairs to your
* A sweet or salted, flavoured iced yogurt drink.
(To be continued)…