Pavitra saw no reason to put off her marriage when her parents broached the subject. Her only condition was that she would choose her own man. She had no faith in arranged marriages and insisted that they need not exert themselves in this regard.
Having studied in girl’s school and women’s college, and also shy by nature, she never had any boyfriends. Her working environment was also a women’s place. There were not many opportunities for her to meet young men.
Though quite pretty and talented, none fascinating enough came along her way for her to fall in love. She had met a few friends of her brother and cousins. She even went out with them for a coffee or film but found none interesting. Her parents’ constant reminders irritated her forcing her to spend the time alone in her room reading novels or listening to music.
Due to some pressing work, she was held up in the office for two hours. The sky was cloudy, but there was no sign of rain when she started her Maruti car. She took the shorter route instead of the main road as traffic was less in that desolate road. As ill luck would have it, the car stopped abruptly midway in that road. To add to the misery, it also began to drizzle. She tried to start the car but could not. A few cars whizzed by without stopping.Worried she thought of calling her dad though it would take long for them to reach the place .It was then a blue Accent drew up by her car. A young man craned his neck outside and asked “Any problem? Want any help?”
“The car is not starting though I tried many times” Pavitra replied
“CanI have a look at it?” he asked her as he got down from the car.
She came out of car and was standing in the drizzling rain
“”Get into my car. You will get soaked. Have no fear. I am not going to abduct you” he said with a laugh.
He looked handsome and reminded her of Hrithik, her favourite star .She ignored his suggestion and stood watching him tinker under the bonnet. After a while he asked her to start the car. When she turned the key, the car came alive. Her face was in grateful smile even as he rubbed his hands on his kerchief.
“I am Sundar. Here is my card and you have my mobile number there. I will follow you till the main road and be on my way thereafter. In case you have trouble again, please call me unhesitatingly.
“Thank you, Sir for the great help. I would have been in a mess but for you”
“Would it be improper to know with whom I am talking?” he asked with a mischievous twinkle.
“I am Pavitra and work in a NGO, Thanks again for being so considerate.” she replied
She rang him up after she reached her home. What began as an accidental meeting soon blossomed into love. They met often at various places- restaurants, multiplexes and malls. He was also well qualified and earned a tidy sum in a reputed company. But what caused worry to Pavitra was in his disinterest in getting married.
He mentioned one day that he would not like to get married for a year or two and they could remain close friends till then. This was not acceptable to her or her parents. They did not like her to maintain a friendship without an assurance of an early marriage. When she questioned him for the reasons, he had only vague answers.
While she continued to meet him, they often had arguments on this matter and on a couple of occasions he left abruptly feigning urgent work. But he continued to be warm and loving as ever though Pavitra felt some growing chasm between them. It was her birthday on Sunday and they had agreed to meet at a posh restaurant. Around.Around 5 pm he rang up to inform her that he was bringing another young woman to the restaurant. When asked who she was, he replied he would introduce her in the evening and declined to answer her further questions.
She banged the phone and started crying. When he rang her up repeatedly, she switched off the mobile. She did not go to the restaurant. She felt that he loved someone else and that was the reason for his reluctance to get married. She blocked his name from her mobile. She gave strict instructions to her parents not to connect him to her. Her resolve to have no truck with him was final. She told her parents that she would consider proposals from them after a year and that she needed some time to get over the disappointment. When her dad got transferred to Delhi, she was happy. She also got the transfer to her Gurgaon office.
As she was slowly getting over the perceived betrayal, one evening she came face to face with Sundar at the mall. Shocked, she tried to move away. He pulled her by hand and said “Pavitra, You don’t have to be friendly with me if you so wish. But tell me at least why you broke away from me when we were in deep love? I will not pressure you to like me. Just tell me the reason and you can go thereafter your way.”
“How dare you ask this question, you two-timer? While you were professing your love for me, you had a dalliance with another girl. You even had the cheek to suggest bringing her to my birthday party that evening. I have no place in my heart for cheats” she replied in anger
Instead of retorting, he broke into loud laughter covering his mouth unable to contain it even as passersby turned towards him amused.
“Stop it. This is no laughing matter. Let me go” Pavitra said
“Just one moment, you silly girl. The woman that I wished to bring that evening was my sister who wished to see you at my mother’s suggestion before I formally proposed to you and take the matter forward. In your impatience and hasty assumptions, you spoilt the golden chance causing me lot of worry and sleepless nights” said Sundar
Pavitra hung her head in shame and expressed regret seeking his forgiveness.“I can see you are still unmarried as I am. What better day can there be than a Valentine’s Day, to propose to you, my sweet heart?”he said kneeling down formally with extended hand to the merriment of all around. Overjoyed she went hand in hand with him as he dragged her to the opposite perfume shop..