Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The suitor

Usha was a young divorcee. Her marriage, a short lived one, was a failure .It was her mistake to fall headlong in love with a stranger and hurry into a marriage without verifying his antecedents. It soon came out that the man had a criminal past of various misdeeds financial and moral and had cases against him. The wise thing she did was to obtain a divorce promptly. She had no parents except a brother living abroad with practically no contact except an occasional email. But she had a very good friend in her college mate Ranjitha who was happily married with a nice husband and two kids. She was Usha’s friend, philosopher and guide and whose advice the latter took on all important matters.
Ranjitha has been pressing her friend to move on with life by getting married to some suitable person. Once bitten Usha was doubly shy and was putting off the talk of marriage. She would not just listen. Two years had gone since she got separated. She was already 29.The previous Sunday when she had gone to Ranjitha’s house for lunch, both her friend and her husband persuaded her successfully in her agreeing to marry if the right person came along.
It was a month or two later Ranjitha had telephoned on a Sunday that she would be sending her brother’s friend at 4pm to her house. She would discuss details later. Meanwhile she could just meet him and size him up. If her first impression of him was favourable, they could proceed further in the matter. It was not a date but just an occasion to meet and know each other. She also added that he did not want to meet her at a restaurant and was particular about the homely atmosphere. Usha was not very enthusiastic but nevertheless dressed herself well in a good salwar suit.It was nearing 4.30pm and the man had not shown up.Fastitdious about punctuality, she was put out at the delay. It was then she heard the loud knock on the door with a stick instead of the bell. Annoyed a bit, she opened the door to find a tall handsome man with curly hair standing with dark glasses and a white stick in his hand. As she was thinking that someone had come to a wrong house, he asked in a soft voice looking at the door whether it was Miss Usha’s house. When she answered in affirmative, he introduced himself as friend of Ranjithas and her brother. She wondered how Ranjitha and her brother could send a blind man to her. There must be some mistake somewhere but that can wait she decided. She held his hand when he tapped the ground with his cane and led him to a sofa in the drawing hall.
Once seated he kept the cane gingerly by his side and asked “Did not Ranjitha tell you about me? Are you shocked?”
“No, she had mentioned about you and your friendship with her brother but had not mentioned about your handicap. Pray, do not worry about that. My dad went blind due to glaucoma in his old age. What will you like to have?” she asked. Looking at close quarters, he looked very charming, dusky with strong sinews and broad shoulders. But for the dark glasses, he would have been an attractive proposition, she thought. Her thoughts were broken when he said “I would like a cup of strong coffee if it is not inconvenient please”
She excused herself saying she would be soon with coffee. Newspapers/magazines or TV would be no diversion for him. She turned the music system to a soft rendering of flute .As she was making coffee she was very upset with Ranjitha for embarrassing her by sending a blind man as prospective match. She wanted to give her a bit of her mind after this man left.
He was vacantly staring at the wall when she brought the tray with coffee and biscuits. She took his hand and gave the coffee cup carefully. By holding the cup wrongly, he dropped the cup and spilt the hot coffee on his dress .Usha hurriedly brought a towel and wiped his hands and the dress. She felt pity for him. She said “I am sorry.I should have been careful and given you a mug.”
He smiled mischievously and said “It gives me great pleasure to be pampered by a young lady and am happy I dropped the cup.”There after they talked pleasantries for a few minutes when she learnt that he played several musical instruments and was part of a renowned troupe..He was in comfortable financial position with a big apartment at a posh locality. The young man finally asked her whether she knew the purpose of his visit.
Usha said “Yes, Ranjitha had mentioned that we could get to know each other before deciding further course of action.” She thought he may not probe further. But he persisted with a question “What have you decided? I have no idea how you look like. Ranjitha has told that you are very charming. I am not sanguine about the outcome as I am sure I would not have made a good impression. I may be a burden on you.”
She replied, “Please do not talk on those lines. I need time to think and cannot tell you anything now.” He replied “I understand and can wait.”
As he took leave, Usha clasped his hand and took him to the gate carefully. When he neared the gate, he laughed loudly throwing the stick and the glasses away at the bewildered Usha.
He said “You have won the test. I just wanted to see how you react to a physically handicapped person. You were gentle, polite and never betrayed your disappointment as I was watching you all the time thro the glasses. I like you immensely. Will you marry me? Please do not take me amiss for the little drama. Did you ever think Ranjitha would send a blind man to you?”


  1. Lol...cute but nasty joke. Are you a short story writer partha? beautifully written. i would love to know..whats been the inspiration behind writing the stories?
    Looking at pursuing a career at creative writing..would love u to share some pointers.

  2. Thanks for visiting the blog and for the nice comments.Pl give me your email ID.I shall answer your questions

  3. :) hmm!! i wonder how and from where u get these ideas!!

    it was a sweet story..

  4. Hi, that was a nice story. Funny but nice, hehe. Thanks for dropping some comments on my blog too.


  5. Ow that was cute, somewhere I had a feeling that this could be the case. Excellent as ever!

  6. What if he had actually been blind? Would she have married him?

    The question becomes even more serious if the case had been the other way round: Would he have married her if she was a physically-challenged person?

  7. in the first place it s not anything ‘deathly’ but on the other hand has an almost-film-style happening that gives the reader an impression that suspense is what makes life a thriller at the end of the day …

    I m sure there aren’t many Ushas in the world as we would like to have …

    And I wonder, though it s not my thing (yet) to think, if this is the ideal way to put a prospective wife to a ‘test’!

    Well, as I mentioned life is full of suspenses, some pleasant, some not so pleasant!

    Anyway ..congratulations to them ;-)

  8. Good one again KP...and a nice twist!!

  9. After having read a few of your stories, I could guess that the "hero" was only acting.. And yet the twist and suspense was good !!

    The story, of course, leaves more open questions.. What would have happened if Usha refused ? Why did the guy presume that only he had the right to "test" the prospective spouse ? How could Usha have judged the guy when she was being judged ? etc. etc.

    As usual, your stories are compelling and thought provoking.. Keep it up, Sir.



  10. Very sweet story. The twist in the end was pleasant and nice. When seeing from Usha's perspective the guy may not have had the right to test her, but stepping into the man's shoe it seems to be fine. I liked the story very much. Lovely.

  11. I don't know why but from the beginning I was thinking the hero is acting!!!!anyways a lovely story!
    anbudan aruna

  12. wow... that was brilliant.. but i thought it would be a long and different one.. this one was cool...

  13. Hi,I'm sure every reader would have smiled when she read the concluding part of this story,'Suitor'.
    Partha, each of your short stories is treated differently, in terms of plot, mood, characters, venue and intensity. Some stories are humorous in themselves while others are quite poignant or touching. But the driving characteristic of each of your stories is it’s amazing twist that you give to the end of the story:-).

  14. Ah! That was really nice one sir. But 'yes' even I would like to know, as Ayeshya asked, what if he was truly a blind person?