Shoba got frustrated that not a bus or a three wheeler was in sight for more than 45 minutes. It was getting dark and the sky was overcast. There were none in the bus stand save two jerks talking loudly and making indecent references to her. She ignored them and prayed that she was able to get out of this place quickly. Seeing her fidgety, one of them came near her and asked for time. When she did not respond, he said to the other the young lady seems deaf-mute. The other one replied that he saw her talking on mobile. With none around they took courage and came nearer to ferret out some words from her. When she took her mobile from her bag, one of the men snatched it from her and said “No tricks come with us and we will let you go safely after one hour”
As she started running away from them with them in close pursuit, a motor bike screeched to a halt by her side. A well built handsome young man said “Vanaja, why are you running? How come you are here?”
The moment the two jerks saw the muscular man on the bike talking to Shoba, they took to their heels after dropping the mobile. The young man said “I could size up from a distance that these spineless roadside Romeos were troubling you and hence pretended as if I knew you.”
She said “Thanks. Your help was timely. I shudder to think what would have happened had you not saved me”
“It is okay. Buses are not frequent in this route. I can drop you or if you are afraid I can walk with you pushing the bike up to the main road.”
By the time they came walking to the main road they knew each other better. Shankar was just a graduate and working as an assistant in a private firm and a single. Shoba on the other hand from an affluent family was an engineer working in a reputed IT company and her parents were hunting for a suitable man. But these wide differences did not deter from their falling in love. The chivalrous handsome saviour in Shankar looked a real hero to her. Shankar too was drawn to her beauty and polished manner. Love is blind and knows no status.
Their parents knew about their fondness for each other. When Shoba took him to her house one day, her dad thanked him profusely for the timely rescue and gifted him with a suit cloth. He thought inwardly that gift squared up the debt of gratitude and that there was no further obligation towards him.
When Shankar took her to his house and introduced to his mother, she was mighty pleased with her beauty and blessed them both with happiness. She had already assumed that Shoba would become her daughter-in-law. But Shoba’s parents were not reconciled to her love with someone who is incompatible in every respect like qualification, job and status. They initially expressed obliquely their reservations about him and her relationship with him. They said she deserved a better person socially and job wise and she should move away from him. Her mom warned her that after the initial fascination, life with him in the later years would not be rosy and would yield place to jealousy and inferiority complex in him. But she would not listen and was adamant that she would marry him only. She was always haunted with the scary thought of how the two jerks that evening would have ruined her but for Shankar’s intervention and felt beholden to him eternally.
Seeing her obstinacy, Shoba’s dad resorted to some clever moves. Under the guise of helping Shankar he got a probationary officer’s position in a private bank through his friend who was the MD and had him sent to Bombay for training for six months. The young fellow was mighty pleased at the good turn of events. Meanwhile her dad through a contact in Shoba’s IT Company had her sent on a project to Seattle in US. Initially it was for three months that got extended to six months and prolonged further. There she met people of her caliber highly qualified and ambitious, both single and couples. Though she liked US and the great life there, she could not forget her love
Shankar’s MD one day called him and warned him to stay away from Shoba if he wished to retain the position. The distance, absence of regular contact and the threat, he thought would blunt the intensity of love and assured his friend and Shoba’s dad accordingly.
It was therefore a great shock one day after a few months when Shoba’s dad got a printed invitation for her marriage with Shankar at Bangalore with a small note.
“Dear dad,I am sorry to displease you and amma. I have taken up a position in another IT company here at Bangalore a fortnight back and Shankar has resigned that job and joined a reputed financial company here. He is planning to do a management course in the evenings. We have taken a house but will move in only after the wedding. Please do come without fail and bless us. I kept these developments deliberately from you lest you create hurdles. I love you and amma as ever. I need your blessings
Yours as always, Shoba”