Sowmya in her sixteen was in class 12.She was living in the first floor of a house with the stairs on the side leading upto the terrace.The ground floor was occupied by the owner.Sowmya of late took a great liking for being in the terrace often with books on her hand or under the pretext of drying clothes on clothesline or removing them when dry.It all happened one day when she was removing the clothes from clothesline, she noticed a tall young man staring at her from the terrace of adjacent house..She hid behind the clothes that were hung and found that he was extremely handsome and that he never shifted his eyes away from this side.It pleased her and saw him to her hearts content till she heard her mom call her.She came out of the clothes and cast a quick glance at him before running down the stairs. It so happened that he was also there on his terrace always.It was limited only to furtive glances and suppressed smiles with no conversation lest it attracted attention.
She heard that Babu was in college and belonged to an affluent family.She never found hm in bus stand when she took her bus for the school.One day a paper bit bound to a small stone with rubber bands fell at her feet. When she lifted the stone and read the note she saw him observing her with a smile. It said ”Iam in 6th semester, Engineering.What is your name? .I like the dimples on your cheeks.You are beautiful, reply,with luv, Babu”.Her heart pounded fast and there was goosebumps all over.She took the pen from her blouse and scribbled”Sowmya,class12,KV,thanks”. From next day such stony epistles flew about frequently bringing them closer.
One day Babu plucked a mango from the overhanging tree near his terrace and lobbed it towards her.As she caught it, she heard a noise behind her.It was the landlady from the ground floor and her son whom Sowmya detested for his leering look..That boy had seen Sowmya going to terrace and saw Babu standing on his terrace and looking at this side.Suspicious and wicked by nature, he brought his mom silently
That lady on seeing the mango being thrown and caught created immediately a big scene shouting ”Have anyone seen such atrocity of these two clandestinely exchanging mangoes and God knows what else? If they wish to become intimate, my terrace should not be their venue.Let them go out to any place for their rendevous. Sundar, fetch Sowmya’s mom and let her see for herself what this shameless girl does stealthily.”
When Babu tried to move, the lady shouted “Don’t stir if you are a gentleman and have nothing to hide”he stood transfixed.
Soon there was series of hard slaps on the poor girl by her mom as she was dragged down with her crying in shame and fear.In a week they moved to a different house having been ordered to vacate.Babu was afraid to contact her lest she got beaten and harassed more.She was not seen in the bus stand as she had moved to different place.He had no idea of her whereabouts and could not also ask anyone.He could not however forget her or her dimples.
Years flew by and he did post graduation in management and was well settled abroad.When his parents persuaded him to get married, he had to agree though he wished he could locate Sowmya.Babu’s dad was impressed with one smart girl who worked in his secretariat as executive assistant to MD.She was quite intelligent with a quick grasp, pleasing manners and above all good looking.He thought she would make a good match for his son and made enquiries with her parents.He did not mind in proceeding further though they were lower in financial and social status.
Sowmya had taken leave that day as her MD’s son Dr. Madhavan was coming to see her.At the appointed time when her MD along with his wife, daughter and a youngman arrived, Sowmya’s heart went pitter patter when she saw him from a distance. He looked tall and handsome.After the pleasantries ,when Madhavan and Sowmya were left alone.When he made some funny remark, he saw her smile with the dimples showing prominently..Taken back to his younger days ,he vividly remembered the girl with the same name living in the adjacent house.
”Did you study in Kendiya Vidyalaya in class 12 during 2002?” he asked
“Yes, how do you know?” asked Sowmya
“Were you in the habit of studying in the terrace?” he asked with a mischievous twinkle.
“Used to do as I loved open space” Sowmya said
“Then you must be good in catching mangoes thrown towards you” said Madhavan with a loud guffaw
“Are you Babu? You have changed so much into a very handsome man.I could not recognise you at all.Your name was also mentioned as Madhavan.”she said
“I could recognise you though faintly.You have grown more beautiful and taller too.But your dimple was a give away.I am sorry for that incident but am happy I can make amends now.Will you marry me even after knowing that I am the Babu who put you into trouble? Would you need a small stone, rubberband and a piece of paper to convey your willingness?”he asked jokingly extending his hand
She lookd down shyly at her toes and nodded her head slightly even as she held his hand