Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What did Kokila do?

Kokila was waiting for more than an hour before the jail door opened. She went to the counter where Sendhil was seated on the other side. The guards were seen at a distance. It was not a bright area. The high walls in faded cream colour and the stale smell with sunlight peeping through grilled doors gave an uncomfortable feeling.

“How are you? You look a little drawn. Are you taking your food properly” asked Kokila.He didn’t answer and was just looking at her.”I asked you some questions. Did you not hear them?” she said a little hurt.

“I do not like this place. I hate the people around. I wish to be back with you in your arms at our home.I will grow mad if I stay here” he said

“I understand. I too wish the same but it is not going to be. You have been convicted for life and the lawyer says even the higher court has not given relief. I do not know whom to approach. Your ‘leader’, really a scoundrel to me, with whom you were associated with much against my wish and for whom you got into trouble is moving around freely in the car while you are languishing here. He had the cheek to come home one day and offer me some money with the suggestion that I can be in great comfort if I live with him. I even suspect he did all this with such a plan in his dirty mind. I threw him out but am always worried. He has his side kicks roaming around the house” Kokila lamented.

Stung by the oblique accusation, he kept silent for a while before he said “Don’t you trust me? I did not kill anybody. I swear upon God. That wily man sent me there even when that victim was stabbed already and his life was ebbing out. There was none there. The dying man asked me for water. I could not turn a deaf ear to the last wish and I went to kitchen to fetch water. Someone must have tipped the police and they arrested me when I could give no reason why I was there with the dead man.The leader denied talking to me at all. I was made a scapegoat.”

“You have repeated this many times. I trust you but what shall I do without you for entire life time?” she cried.

“Will you listen to what I say? Please marry someone who is good and move away from this place before any harm comes to you.” he said

“I hate you for talking like this. Marriage is not like a shirt changed so easily. I would wait for you till my death” she said

But if you stay in the same place, one day he will abduct you. It is not safe to be without a man’s protection” Sendhil said

“Don’t you worry. You know Kumar, my cousin, who is a police constable. He has shifted few months back with his mother adjacent to our house. He has assured that he would ensure my safety. I am working in a private clinic as a help and am out during the day. It is time to leave. I will see you next week. Take care” she replied.

It was more than a year since Sendhil was taken in custody and life for young Kokila was miserable. She had no one having been brought up by some kindly relative. Just 28 and in robust health, she missed her husband much. Kumar came usually on weekends and sometimes in the evenings to cheer her up. Just about the same age, he loved Kokila but had not mentioned to her as she was already in love with Sendhil before her marriage. The frequent visits and her close proximity kindled old emotions. They watched films together in the TV often and she would persuade him to have food with her. He wished for some gesture from her for broaching the subject.

One Sunday when Kumar was with her, she tripped and fell down. Kumar gave his hand but she could not get up. He lifted her bodily with his sinewy arms and carried her to the cot. He sat by her side and massaged the leg where she had hurt herself. She did not stop him. She felt a strange sense of happiness in his firm and caressing touch and the smell of his masculine body set the butterflies in her stomach to flutter. He snuggled closer and asked as if in whisper “Do you feel better, Koki?”

She said “Yes, it is soothing. I feel secure with you around.”

“Don’t you worry? I am always there for you" he said and moved the hair from her forehead. She shivered as he bent closer, clasped both her shoulders strongly by his arms and kissed her gently on her forehead. She didn’t push him away when he brushed his lips with hers. She had goose bumps all over.

“No, no.Please do not tempt me. We may end up doing wrong thing. I am still his wife” she said weakly

“Have you realized he will be there for his life time and cannot come out before you become old? Please marry me. I will take care of you as apple of my eye. Do you know I have loved you for many years? Please say yes.” he gently tried to persuade her.

She wished to scream an yes but remembered her statement to Sendhil a few days back that marriage is not a shirt to be changed so easily.

What did Kokila do? Did she change the shirt in the circumstances she was placed? What would you like her to do?


  1. but she said he was her cousin..so how could they have such amorous thoughts even?

  2. In Tamil nadu marriages with maternal uncle's son or daughter and also paternal aunt's daughter or son is not prohibited though such marraiages are dwindling amongst educated classes.

  3. Given that Snedhil is condemned to a life in jail without any reprieve, I think Kokila shd say yes to Kumar.

    As Mick Jagger said "The past is a great place and I don’t want to erase it or to regret it, but I don’t want to be its prisoner either.”

  4. I think Kokila should move on with life. Yes the conscience would hurt but then what can she do? She is young and it is better to be with a good man she loves than be at the mercy of thugs!

  5. hmm... considering the choices, if Sendhil is in jail forever, then absolutely no use waiting for him.Even sendhil will be happy to see her life this way.

    But, there is something called fate, what if fate decides to let Sendhil free from jail after a year or two ????

    In this case all three will be be hurt.
    In either ways, to take a chance and move on is much better than the waiting state.

    Life becomes like a zombie process while we wait and wait and if no action is taken sooner.

  6. It is better she married her cousin instead of living in fear of the thugs. Anyway, Senthil also asked her to re-marry. It is not easy to live alone without any help from relatives and she has no relatives.

  7. What does she want, a Man? Or a Man to care for her?If she can decide on this well it may make matters done.

  8. I think first she must divorce Senthil and then marry her cousing..for two reasons.one that she is young and it would be impractical to think to stay alone, secondly her husband did something wrong and he deserves the punishment.

  9. Everyone have to live their life.. not languishing in old memories. When Kumar loves and takes care of her, It is better for her to lead a life with him. But the future doesn't show any signs of how it is going to be in the present. Senthil would understand if there was no chance of him to come out of jail.

  10. i feel given the way the story has shaped kokila would do well to wed her cousin esp since it looks like she has already developed some feelings also

  11. There are no set rules as to what to do in such a situation... does one live the past behind and move on with/to the future or should a person stay on status quo to be loyal or to honor the past. A person's history or the values she has lived with will also shape and determine that decision.

    In some countries, prisoners can get a reprieve from good behavior and cut their imprisonment short. That could only complicate things later when he finds out too late that there is nothing to go back home to or for. That is if he has no idea what decisions were made in his long absence.

    The burden of responsibility and guilt would lie heavily on the person outside the prison walls. Strength or weakness would display itself depending on how the cards on the table are played.

    It's a matter of choice -- too a test of love and character... one that can see the whole tapestry of their lives with genuine clarity and intelligence. Further, with wisdom from Above.

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, KP!

  12. Either Kokila had planned to get closer to Kumar by design or it must have come about by chance. Life has always been governed by one form or another, Chance or Design.But surely Kokila deserves to find happiness in Kumar who is like an anchor in her life unlike Sendhil.

  13. We want to wish you and yours
    enjoy New Years Eve with your family

    Greetings from your Dutch friends :)

  14. cousin .. hmmm not good

    but neverthless a good story ..

    Happy new year to you and family and everyone around you..

    Have a great year


  15. Is this the first time you have asked the readers to end the story?

  16. Well to me a cousin is like a brother or a sister. So, I can't think beyond that. But as a story of a man and woman, I think she must give this a long thought. At 28, the whole life is ahead of her. She must only consider him because he loves her and she also has feelings for her. But first, she must divorce her husband. After all, marriage has its own sanctity.

  17. Saddened by the current state in which Kokila is in.Life is unpredictable, and even difficult for emotional people!

    I think Kokila should move on.

  18. yes is ok
    Nice story
    happy new year

  19. Dear Partha,
    Happy and Prosperous New Year!
    After waiting,after having second thoughts,when heart does not rule the head,
    Kokila will get the spark...!
    I mean the answer...!
    But I am so eager to know,your choice,PARTHA....!:)
    How would you end this story?

  20. A good story... Snedhil's situation is sad and makes one aware that 'evil company always makes one in danger'..
    Kokila though was in a fix, would not be wrong to marry Kumar as 'life is all about moving on.' Souls change body as shirts when decayed then what's wrong with relationship which is almost null! So far as cousin marriage is concerned it deviates Indian ancient Gotra system which is scientifically justifiable... But bonding of two eager souls is above any system..

  21. Her cousin....... mmmmmmmmmmm....... Anyway, it is Kokila's personal decision as it is her life. No woman should lead a life just for the society's pressure and standards.

  22. nice trick.. to leave us in tip! I say she does what she feels but not on momentary impulse..