Varun had come to the public library to see some reference books. As he was looking for the book in the shelves, he found a young lady in early twenties trying to reach the top shelf.She was already standing on a small stool and yet she had difficulty in reaching it.She looked at Varun a little accusingly and said “Hey you could be a little chivalrous to a lady in trouble.”
“Sorry, I didn’t notice your being short.Come on, tell me which book you need”
Varun replied with mischief
“I am not short.The shelf is too high suitable only for giraffes” giggled the beautiful lady.As she received the book, she said “Thanks a lot I am Vanita.I come here daily and spend a couple of hours.”
“ Oh, I am Varun, tell the librarian to provide a taller stool as I may not be available on all days though I will try to make it henceforth.I need to learn lessons from you on chivalry” he said with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
What began with atiff soon blossomed into love.They made it a point to be there daily thereafter and instead of searching for books they sat side by side in a secluded corner relishing each others company but talking very little in the silent zone..Months passed by and their bonds of love grew stronger.
She said one day”Varun ,you seem a timid guy.When do you propose to take me out to a film where we can sit together in the dark closer to each other than we do here and talk to each other to our hearts content.”
The next day itself they were in the cinema hall in the box hugging and caressing each other.They found their company soothing and pleasant beyond imagination.
Varun said softly”I love you very much Vanita.But I am afraid darling that the gap in our status may come in our way.Your dad is a very rich industrialist and I am from lower middle class and nothing to commend except for my brilliant academic qualifications and a good job in a MNC”
Vanita repliied”I am aware and equally apprehensive.I had broached about you to my mom.She asked me to forget you saying that dad with all his hot headed ego and status consciousness would never agree.I told her that I cannot leave you and it was upto her to convince him.” She assured Varun that she would marry only him and none else come what may.To his suggestion that they elope being major,she turned down saying “I cannot hurt my mom who is an heart patient and that she would rather remain unmarried than elope.”
They met regularly and spent long time together but with a big question mark on their future.
One day after a few months she broke the news that dad was furious about her love for Varun and that he had decied to get her married to a young man of comparable status.She also told him about the constraints placed in her coming out alone.She mentioned “You know my dad is a ruthless man.Nevertheless .I will not agree under any circumstances to marry anyone else.But I am afraid of your safety.Please for my sake shift to some safe place. I will keep in touch with you thro mobile in emergency but cannot talk much as I am kept under constant surveillance.”
Varun did not hear from her thereafter.She did not come to library too.He could not reach her as possibly her number had been changed.He was depressed and stopped attending office. He was all the time brooding and went to extreme depths of melancholy.He did not take bath, skipped the food often and lay on the bed looking at the cieling aimlessly. He became a wreck and often toyed with the idea of putting an end to his life.He shut himself out from outside world.
An advertisment he saw a week later about the ensuing engagement function of Vanita in the news paper turned to be the last straw.He decided to take his life out by jumping before the electric train at the nearby station.The end will be quick and pain least.The station was jampacked in the peak morning hour.He stood at the edge of the platform ready to jump at the last moment when the train entered the station.The signal yurned to green.The passengers moved closer jostling with each other trying to get near the door of the compartment.Varun saw the train entering and was getting ready to jump when his mobile rang.He tried to take it from his pocket when the crowd pushed him aside and some one pulled his collar to make way for himself.Varun fell down on the platform and could not get up as the paasengers scrambled to get into the train.He managed to put the mobile on his ear as the rush thinned down.
“Hey Varun,Hip Hip Hurray.Engagement called off.My uncle,dad’s brother,convinced my dad not to marry me to someone against my wishes.He told him what if , if Vanitu’s lover is poor.He is qualified and well employed.Take him into your business and make him the MD.He gets the status and becomes rich.More than that your daughter will be very happy. Where are you? Come to the library right away.I am waiting with sweet packet.”
Varun for once thanked the morning rush and his stars.