It was her birthday.Anjaly’s mom pressed her to visit the temple and offer her prayers. She hurried back from office, had a shower and left for the temple to much relief of her mom. She bought a big bundle of flowers and a garland of basil (Tulsi).It was a small temple with Kothandaramar as the principal deity. She went to the main sanctum and could not find the priest. She prayed silently with closed eyes for a few minutes. Then as she took a step backwards, she collided with someone and the flowers fell from her hand on the ground. It was a young man who said sorry many times. As she bent to retrieve the flowers, he also bent for same purpose with their heads now colliding. She stared at him in anger and when she saw the confused face of the handsome guy, she suddenly broke into laughter with him joining her.
“I am Mohan. Please keep aside these flowers. I will right away get fresh flowers” he said
“No need. I can get them myself. It was not your fault” she replied
But without waiting for another moment he rushed out only to be back with larger bundle of flowers and Tulsi.When she opened her purse he stopped her by touching her hand on an impulse.”It is for God. It does not matter who spends. Probably you missed it .I said I am Mohan” he said
“Sorry,I am Anjaly.Thanks a bunch” she said. He seemed a pleasant guy and an engaging conversationalist. He came walking with her till her house. She learnt that he worked in another city and that he had come on a month’s leave to his parents place. Much to mom’s surprise her visits to the temple became more frequent and the friendship with Mohan correspondingly grew into deep love. They met daily till he left and thereafter wrote to each other. She was thrilled but knew that it would be difficult to get her parents agree to this. She hailed from an affluent family of a different caste. Mohan was also not highly qualified and had an ordinary position.
She broached the subject to her mom who conveyed it to her dad. As expected he hit the roof and would have none of it. He searched vigorously for a good match till he found a highly qualified well employed young man. He was also a charming person coming from an equally rich background. There was no single reason for her to protest except profess her love for Mohan. Brushing aside all her tantrums and objections, her dominating dad went ahead finalizing the arrangements. Mohan suggested that they elope to which Anjaly was not agreeable. He swore that he would not allow her to get married to someone else and that he would meet her dad to inform that they would go ahead and marry in a temple come what may. She dissuaded him saying harm will come to him as her dad had political connections and was a toughie. She pleaded with him to forget her saying she had no nerve to go against her parent’s wishes knowing well her father’s nature. But he was not convinced and accused her of ditching him for a better person. She stopped meeting him. She did not extend an invitation for the wedding fearing he may create a scene in his frustration. Luckily the marriage passed off smoothly.
With the honeymoon over after the wedding, Anjaly had settled down in her new apartment. Life was good though the painful thoughts of Mohan often visited her. She tried her best to forget him though she was grateful he never did anything to scuttle her marriage in anger and disappointment. She knew he was a bit emotional and impulsive. It was 6pm. She was reading a daily in her living room when she heard the door bell. When she saw through the window, she was shocked to find Mohan standing.He also saw her and smiled. She was alone in the house and did not want to open the door and let him in. Why had he come, was he up to some mischief she wondered.
“Mohan, no one at home. I am alone. Please do not mistake me for not inviting you in. My husband is expected any time. Tell me what brought you here” Anjaly said
“It is okay. I could not attend your marriage to wish you well. I just wanted to convey my good wishes and give a small gift. Please take this” he said as he gave her a small packet wrapped in colourful gift wrapper.”I will not trouble you any more” he said and left hurriedly.
With beads of perspiration trickling from her face, she opened the packet (if you expected a big Blam you are mistaken).It contained all the love letters she had written him neatly folded with a small note on the top.”I will always love you, Anj. You can sleep in peace from now on wards. I wish you well, Mohan”..She could not suppress her tears when she thought of his consideration for her well being and his gentle ways.