I was living alone in my house , located near the rail line .

The old house to my East , was given on hire, to some building workers’’ .They vacated it and now a woman with three daughters and a boy aged six years .This boy used to come to my house and we became friends. I used to take him to the rail line. He would clap his hands in joy, when a train passed.”Do you like to travel in the train?”, I asked.

He held me in his tender arms and pleaded:”Yes, uncle.” The boy was very talkative and would ask may questions :”Why have you not married?” “I have no money to look after the family.”

At that point , his sister , studying in the college, came and scolded the boy. “Uncle, you are spoiling this boy. I need some money to pay examination fees, can you help?”

I went to my room and brought thousand rupees. “I need much less.” “Do not bother , keep the balance .”

After that day, she (Subha) used to spend time with me . “Uncle, do you not cook food?” “ I make break fast only , usually bread and omelet; lunch I take in the office and return home after supper only” “ I will tell mother to cook food. Supper you can have with us”. I used to help Subha in her studies .

Life became easy and slowly I began to think in terms of married life. It will give me stability

After her graduation, she got a job in a convent school. Salary was not much; it was a little away and she had to stay in a ladies’ hostel. I missed her very much. Meanwhile , her sister began coming close to me. She is more fair and resembled her mother, who earned money by making women’ cloths . She used to enquire about my family:”Are you alone in the family?”

“My mother died and father married again. I did not like her, so I came here. Father gave me a share of our property.”

She sighed and placed her hand on my shoulder.

A marriage proposal came for Sobha . As their house was shabby and dilapidated, I suggested that the interview can be in my house. So the complete family shifted to my house , which has three bed rooms . The boy became very happy.

The groom’s party came and ‘seeing the girl’ took place as usual. “If you do not like the man , tell me ; I will see that the marriage will not take place” She looked at me ad finally decided for the alliance. I felt sad at heart; did I love her? The marriage was to take place after six months. Sobha went back to her school.

Her sister Lata began courting me . She helped her mother in her tailoring work and was available all the time. I got a promotion in my Thaluk Office and became supervisor. I decided to buy a second hand car for two lacs.

When the time came for marriage , the party backed out. It is said that the financial bankruptcy of the girl’s house became known to them ; that was the reason; obviously , they did not like to shoulder the liabilities of Sobha’s family.

At heart I was happy and told them that I am ready to marry her. But she said:”I am not ready for marriage for at least ten yeas. I have a job and any one may marry me. But Lata is only seventh passed. Who will marry her? The other two are good at studies.”

“Will she like me?” She called Lata and asked her:”Are you willing to marry uncle?” She looked embarrassed but smiled and went away. Their mother was also told and our marriage was decided.


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