Friday, February 3, 2012

True love

“Rohini, can you please drop in today whenever you have time? This is urgent” said Aruna’s mom.

“Sure aunty. Is there any problem? I haven’t talked to Aruna for days” I replied.

“It is only about Aruna.She is behaving in a funny manner with a sullen face, not the jovial type we know. She hardly eats, does not spend time in the living room and is always alone in her room. She did not attend office for three days and when asked she does not tell anything. We are worried. Can you make it during lunch time? Make your visit look casual” aunty pleaded.

I know Aruna from my schooldays and we are close friends. We branched off to different lines after school with me becoming a doctor and she a management graduate. We met whenever we got time but spoke to each other frequently. I married a doctor and work along with him in a military hospital in the orthopedic wing. She had not yet married but has told me she was in love with Vinay, a young man in the army. I had even met him once in her company. He was working in the army base in the city where we live but was transferred to Northern parts about a year back. They have been steady for more than three years and had plans to get married.

When I reached Aruna’s place, her mom whispered she was in her room in the first floor and that I should find out discreetly what was bothering her.I told her “Don’t worry, aunty. I will ferret out from her and keep you informed”

I tapped Aruna’s door gently. There was no response. I knocked it louder. Still there was silence. I put my mouth on the key hole and shouted “Rohini here. Open the door fast”

The door opened immediately and there was a surprise in her swollen and red eyes. She must have been crying.”How come Rohini at this hour? Don’t you have hospital duty? Did mom talk to you?” she asked

“I had given a ring to your office yesterday. I was told you were on leave. I passed through your area and so thought would say hi to your mom and ascertain your whereabouts” I replied

“Come in. Let me wash my face and come” she said and vanished into bathroom

When she returned with a dash of make up, I asked her “Tell me without beating about the bush, why you were crying. I heard that you haven’t attended office for three days and was always locked up in this room. What is bothering you? Are you in touch with Vinay? Don’t hide anything”

“One second” she said and rushed to get a letter from her bag. She gave it to me to read.

It was from Vinay dated about a fortnight back.

Dear Aruna, Brace yourself for a shock. I had a narrow escape from death when I was in the border. My colleague and friend Pandey gave up his life by shielding me from a barrage of bullets by pushing me inside the trench but not before eliminating three terrorists. He pleaded with me on his last moments to go to his village near Batinda to inform his sister who was alone with parents long dead. He requested me to take care of her. Before I could even answer, he held my hand and breathed his last.

His sister has read up to class 12 and has no skill. She was living on the remittances from brother and had become an orphan now. It took me more than a month to pacify her and to make her face the reality. During this period she developed a liking for me and pleaded with me to stay ever with her. I was torn between you and her. Considering the sacrifice of my friend and her helplessness, I finally concluded that I can repay my debt of gratitude to my friend only by marrying her. I had accordingly tied the knot but aware that with your qualifications and charm, you can find another person of your choice. Please forgive me. I had no choice, Vinay”

I put my arms around Aruna and said “I can realize your plight. It is a betrayal whatever extenuating reasons he gives. He could have tackled the problem differently. Now that damage is done, I would suggest you just forget him and get along with your life. Go to office, come to my place, meet new friends, have some outings” Aruna heard me silently.

Two months later I had a temporary posting at Chandigarh military hospital. On the second day as I was seeing the files of the patients in the orthopedic ward needing immediate attention, I was surprised to find one file bearing the name Vinay Kumar. I called the chief nurse who said he is an army officer who had been injured seriously in a skirmish at the front and whose two legs had to be amputated and one hand still with a bad injury.

When I went to his bed he was sleeping. I could instantly recognize him.”How long is he here?” I asked the chief nurse

“Ever since he was brought from the front”

“Is there any relative or friend visiting him?”

“None. But he wrote a letter only once to someone.”

I wiped my tears as I realized his true love and sacrifice for Aruna.

22 comments:

  1. Good one wish aruna n vinay would live happily :)Have heard and seen many shortfilms too on this Sacrifice story

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good one wish aruna n vinay would live happily :)Have heard and seen many shortfilms too on this Sacrifice story

    ReplyDelete
  3. So true !
    True love is not how you hold on but how you let go .Very touching, Partha Sir !
    Vasanta.R.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So true !
    True love is not how you hold on but how you let go .Very touching, Partha Sir !
    Vasanta.R.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a very nice, touching story!

    ReplyDelete
  6. A touching story. I think Rohini should act as a go between & bring them together.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jai Jawan!! Brave man!!
    A moving story of sacrifice.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hmmm I think we have a kannada story on similar lines.. Nice one though.

    ReplyDelete
  9. OMG..I was cursing him half way and then realised...
    But in today's world with so many options, i dont like this type of sacrifices...I feel that there should be clear communication and each one must decide him or herself only...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very touching story of sacrifice for the sake of true love

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow... What a touching story and sacrifice... I am sharing this Sir ji...
    Regards
    Aseem

    ReplyDelete
  12. Namaste:

    that is not true love and sacrifice, that is selfishness, pride and fear, he felt that in his condition she could not love him, he preferred to hurt her, save his pride and not see what he fear she may have felt upon seeing him/learning about his condition. He didn't want to see pity, he didn't want to be a burden. In the end it was about him and not about her, what she felt or what she had to offer but about him, what he felt and what he would allow and not allow. His body, mind and pride were all wounded and he couldn't get pass any of it to claim the love he knew he had but didnt trust.

    good story.
    keep writing.
    rhapsody

    p.s.
    I would have like Aruna to find out, to confront him and to shake him out of his self-pity and let him understand that love abides all and allow himself to be healed and lifted by it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks Rhapsody.Your comment offers a different perspective.

    It is candid and derides his failure to give her a chance to decide what she would do in the altered circumstances instead of deciding himself.

    I agree there.But this failure as you would put it or sacrifice as I would deem it stems from his real affection and concern for her and his consideration that her life
    should not burdened with a person like him with both legs gone and one hand affected.

    She will be torn between her love for him on the emotional level and
    the need to find a normal life instead of being saddled with a handicapped man.

    He wished to save her that dilemma.No doubt now in her ignorance of what vhad really happened she would feel bad that he had ditched her for some
    one but eventually would be happy.That was his thinking and reason for his self denial of
    her love and relationship

    Had he been married to her, the position wld be different but he would still allow her to find a new partner.That is his good nature.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I liked the way you narrated this story, very similar to the kannada hit film of the 70 s bayalu Daari.. finally, in that movie, Aruna meets him, and as he gets up from his seat, he falls down and the film ends, with her running to get him his stick. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear Partha,
    Good Afternoon !
    A Really and Touching Story.
    We have different perspectives regarding true love.
    There is justification for Vinay;but the emotional turmoil Aruna has suffered is beyond description.
    Hopefully this pain too shall pass away.We never know what is in store for us.Life is full of twists and turns.
    Beautifully written post.Hearty Congrats,Partha.
    Sasneham,
    Anu

    ReplyDelete
  16. i was all cursing him in the beginning for not handling the situation well!!
    good twist!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. How could u write about love in so many different themes.. this one is so fresh.. and absorbing narration Sir!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Unexpected twist in the end - very touching indeed !

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh. So touched by Vinay's gesture. He wanted her to live a good Life. Really good one Sir!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I had goose bumps as I finsihed reading this story. What a lovely read!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow KP...Amazing read. One second i was dissapointed the way vinay acted hastily but the twist will there was unexpected....Loved the way you took us through the tale...:)))

    ReplyDelete