Govindan, a young man of 21, was learning Sanskrit, Vedas, Sastraic rituals from Kesavan Vadhyar, a learned pundit who was also a tantric, well versed in astrology. The pundit was a strict person not given to unnecessary talk. He had forbidden his family members particularly his young daughter to pass through the front patio where the classes were held.Govindan had seen her a few times and found her very charming.
Govindan was intelligent and with his prodigious memory, he used to stun his teacher with his flawless recitation of Vedas and slokas.
He had to walk about two miles from his village to the teacher’s place. The road passed through a lonely and long stretch covered by shrubs and trees on both sides. He found one day a young girl of about 17 or 18 waiting at the beginning of the wood for someone to come along. Presumably she was afraid to walk alone through the shady and deserted path. This became a regular feature with both reaching the spot around the same time. If she were delayed, he would wait for her. He got to know of her as Vijaya from his village and became friendly that over a period blossomed into love. He cursed the weekends as he would miss her company.
One day when he was slightly delayed the pundit asked him in a stern voice “I have been seeing your coming late frequently. Are you not able to start early from home to be in time?”
When Govindan did not answer, the teacher got annoyed and said “Why are you silent? I cannot wait to commence the classes for your sake”
It was then one of his class mates blurted out “Govindan is escorting a girl from his village and gets delayed if she is late”
“What is all this nonsense I hear? Who is that girl? Is she related to you? Are your parents aware of your accompanying a girl daily?” he asked angrily.
Trembling in fear and feeling embarrassed, he replied in low voice “She is from my village and afraid of walking in the lonely road alone. Her name is Vijaya and follows me daily.”
“For a young student given to study of Vedas, to hobnob with young girl is highly deplorable. Let me see the girl tomorrow” he said
The next day Kesavan Vadhyar was waiting at the gate when he saw Govindan accompanied by Vijaya coming at a distance. His eyebrows shrunk and face became red in anger but he maintained his calm.When Govindan entered the class, he bellowed “Go and wash your legs and hands and come to my room alone”.
“I have seen Vijaya and with my tantric powers could find out that she is possessed by an evil spirit out to harm you. You must get out of its clutches by stopping coming with her. Wear the amulet that I will give on your right hand. She cannot harm you as long as it is there. Never take it out. You should not wait for her and if she is there already stop talking to her and ignore her completely. She will persist and ask you why. If you are determined in your silence, she will stop coming with you and go after someone else. Do you understand the seriousness of the matter? Follow my instructions for your well being” he said and tied an amulet after chanting some mantras.
That news reached Govindan’s parents same evening from one of the students who had eavesdropped the conversation. Strangely Govindan’s dad did not speak about it to him even when the young man feared his dad’s wrath.
It was 9.30 pm .Govindan could not sleep with his mind torn by day’s events. He then heard his dad’s voice clearly in the stillness of the night .He was speaking to Govindan’s mother in their bed room.”That girl Vijaya is a very nice girl, studious, well behaved and efficient in work. Her father met me two days back and wished Govindan’s hands for her. I promised I would talk to you and revert. That Kesavan Vadhyar has some ulterior plan. He wants Govindan for his daughter because our son is not only handsome but very intelligent. So the cunning man has scared our boy by concocting some story of a spirit having possessed Vijaya.I have heard that both Govindan and Vijaya are friendly and I suspect are in love with each other.I wish to help them”
“I have seen that girl a few times at the temple. She will be a good match for our Govindan” his mom replied
Govindan could hardly believe his ears and could not sleep that night elated at the pleasant outcome
Next day morning his dad called him and said “Govinda,you may stop attending Kesavan Vadhyar’s classes. I will admit you in another patasala (school) in the same area. I have some nice plans for you. I will tell you at the appropriate time.”
Govindan was in cloud nine and restless wanting to break the news to Vijaya at the earliest.