SISTER-IN-LAW

STORY

I was working in a Project in far away Rajasthan, quite happy to work among people who are friendly and amiable. As I was passing contractors’ bills , I used to get money from them , without demanding it. One day I received a letter from my father that y marriage has been fixed and I must come home immediately. I was not at all happy because I was shy of women and had no interest in sex. But I could not disobey my father and went home. In those days there was no rush of passengers and I went by train from Kota.

All arrangements had been made and y marriage took place within a week. The brothers of my wife , Sunitha were well educated and we became friends . “Have you got quarters there?”, they asked . I nodded . I understand that the dowry was ten thousand and that was the main consideration , because the same month my sister was given away in marriage .

We went to visit mutual relatives and after one month, we returned.

In the office , I gave a party and they gave us presents. Sunitha was slow and I helped her in the kitchen. She did not take the initiative and we had no sex . Of course , we shared the same bed and lay arm in arm. It was a joy to fondle her soft body.

After about six months , she complained about some pain in the chest and was admitted in the hospital. She was subjected to thorough check up . The Doctor advised immediate operation:”She has multiple problems about her heart , liver , lungs and kidney . The heart requires attention now. “

I informed on phone . Her brother and younger sister came immediately . Her brother went back , leaving the sister here , for my assistance. It was then that I came to know of her:”What is your educational background?” “I am B.Sc.(computer)”

“In that case , you can get a job here itself’ I will talk to the Manager.”

Within a week , she was appointed in Stores section. She and I did all work of the kitchen and went to office . The condition of my wife had improved sufficiently and our neighbor agreed to look after any urgent needs. Now she slept alone . Because of the heat , Kalpana and I slept on bamboo cots in the front court yard. She said she enjoyed the open sky.

********

Several months passed before her (my wife)health deteriorated . She passed away because of pneumonia . The cremation was done at the Project sight. For the eleventh day , her parents came . They took her ashes to be immersed in the Ganga at Hardwar. From there they went to Kashi and Rameshwaram. I felt a sort of relief.

As she cannot get away from her illness , death is better. OF course , she was very loving and I loved her.

Our Project was situated in a forest , near a river ; There were hills on the opposite side .Kalpana and I used to roam about in the hills . There was a sizable presence of Keralites and we used t observe Onam festival . She was always active on such occasions and became popular. She was not a beauty , but quite charming and vivacious. Many people sounded me about her marriage ; I told them that I have no say in such matters.

One day she asked me :”Brother , why don’t you marry? You are strong and handsome , you must not waste your life.” “I have no sex urge.” “Marriage is not for sex alone , companionship is more important”

I looked into her eyes . Does this girl love me? Somehow , I could not ask her:”Do you love me?” She understood my dilemma ad gently pressed my hand. That night she lay in my bed and caressed me . I enjoyed it. I think she consulted her brother . Within a week , he proposed our marriage and we went home ….

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INDIA IS DYINNG OF CANCER, PARALYSIS AND HEART TROUBLE – BLACK MONEY KEEPS US ALIVE

I am quoting from front page head lines, Indian Express dated 14.1.10:

1) Lt. General got officers to serve builder’s agenda

Builder got project in Bhutan when Lt. Gen was commmanding the unit.

2) Haryana police’s crowded hall of shame. Top IPS officers have been jailed for involvement in murder, smuggling, fake encounters.

3) Man who used RTI (Right to Information Act) as weapon is hacked to death near Pune, Satish Shetty who was waging a lone battle against the land mafia in Mval are of Pune district, was hacked to death early in the morning.

Yesterday it was reported that a minister going to speak in an election rally refused to pay toll dues of Rs. 13. When the staff insisted that he is not exempt s he was going in a private car, the driver cum gunman threatened them and filed FIR when they walked out in protest.

The Chief Justice wants Judges to be exempted from RTI. Your Honour, what have you to hide.

Auditor General comments about Tamilnadu Government, for diverting funds earmarked for infrastructure development, for distributing TV sets etc.

Black Money is the only life line that keeps India’s heart beating, because it sustains economicc growth.

SHORT STORY – LOVE AT LAST

 Yes, come in.

 When I looked up, it was a new face. She was a very young girl, whom I had not seen earlier. As the Bank Manager, I used to meet almost all well known people of the town, but she did not appear like a customer. There was something elusive and attractive about her innocent face. She sat down only when I told her.

 What can I do for you?

 Sir, I want to stay in your hostel.

 Who told you about my lodge? It is my house. I stay in the first floor and in the ground floor they are all men. No female in my house. I am a bachelor, unlikely to marry at my age of fifty five.

 How does it matter? I shall occupy a room in the first floor with you.

 I do not know you. Who are you? Don’t you have your parents?

 When she told about her father, I was surprised, he is one of the richest in the town. She had some reasons which obviously she does not want to share with me.

 I was in a dilemma. I did not want to annoy her. I was reluctant to admit her to my house. What will people say?

 Sir, you will have no problem with me. I will come at 5 pm.

Thus she left me wondering, what lie shall I tell my lodge mates to keep their mouths shut?

 She came exactly at five. After winding up my work, we left for my house in her car.

 There was only one or two in the lodge. We went upstairs and opened my room. It had the typical bachelor’s look, with newspapers, magazines, writing pads etc. scattered here and there, my shirt thrown on the bed and bath towel hanging on the rope. She took it all in one glance. You can see the rooms, so saying, I left her and joined the men in the lodge.

 Who is this girl?  A distant relation; may stay here for a couple of days. She was in the States.

 Actually she looked very odd in her loose pants and T-shirt, with her hair cut very short, and care free walk. So I thought it convenient to explain, pre-empting further questions.

 After some time, she came down with black coffee. All were pleasantly surprised.

 You may wonder who I am. My name is Tinu. I am studying in evening college.

 Then she asked the whereabouts of all, including myself. She left soon. I was relieved.

When I went to my room, I found every thing in order. She had swept all the three rooms, opened the windows and switched on the fans. Soon she returned with her baggage, a lot of books and a bed roll. She occupied the room next to mine.

 She distributed cakes and sweets among us and invited us to dinner in an expensive restaurant. She hired a car so that all can go together. After dinner, we said good night and retired to our rooms.

 For some time I could not sleep. Early morning at five, she came with bed coffee.

 Get ready, we are going for the morning walk, she declared.

 When I looked in surprise, she continued: I know you are not in the habit. But who will take care of your health? Tomorrow I have fixed up with a doctor.

She walked very fast and I found it impossible to keep pace.  After half an hour,we was returned.

 She prepared break fast of sandwiches and told me she will bring lunch to the Bank.

The next day, I was nervous when the doctor told me to lie down in the bed in the consultancy room and fitted all those gadgets and wires. My heart began to beat faster. Blood, urine and sputum were also examined.

 On our return, she said my ECG was normal. It was a great relief.

It seems she is a dietician. I thought she forgot to put salt in the curry. When I reminded her about it, she gave me a lecture on the desirability of reducing salt intake. That bewitching smile can disarm any die hard glutton! I gave up.

 On Sundays, we used to drive aimlessly. Whenever we like, we stop, eat fruits which she always stocks in plenty in the car, and drink coffee from the thermos flask. A hill top is always preferred.

Often I like something spicy to eat, but she will object.

One evening I saw a young fellow with a Nepali look, talking to her at home.

Who is he?

 He wants some work.

 But we don’t need any watchman here.

 I am thinking of giving him some project. The west side is just a forest now. We can set up a cattle shed there. Initially ten cows will do. I will manage all expenses. This boy will do the work.

 I thought about it. Not a bad idea. So the work  started immediately, and in record time a dairy farm was ready. We all enjoyed good cow’s milk, curd and ghee. In due course, a chicken farm too was established.

 For some days she went away. I never questioned her activities. So I did not ask where she was going or when she will return.

 One fine morning she came with a new born baby with a trained nurse to look after the baby. We all were curious to know about the baby boy which was somewhat dark. I studiously avoided asking any question.

 At night, I came out into the balcony and stood watching the sky. There were a few stars. Some white clouds moved slowly, aimlessly across the sky. The eastern horizon was becoming brighter and presently, the half moon rose reluctantly, as though with a guilty feeling about being so late.

 She was standing very close to me. I don’t know how long we were standing like that, immersed in the enjoyment of nature, so pure and calm.

 I came alive, when she placed her feathery soft hand on my shoulder. She smiled shyly and said softly: it is this quality which I like in you, Sir. Any one else would have asked a thousand questions about this baby.

 She kissed my cheek and continued: before telling you everything, let us relax.

 So saying, she gently took my hand and led to my room.

 During the last one year, she had carried out extensive repairs in the whole building, to make it more comfortable and modern. The west side wall of my room was demolished and replaced by a single glass pane which can be lowered, like the glass window of a car. Now I can view the sloping grass land beyond our house, and the sun set.

 My small bed was replaced by a double bed, all with her money. We now lay down side by side and she continued: I have a fast friend in the US. I too was there. She wanted to terminate pregnancy, but I strongly objected. So we came secretly to India. She gave birth to this baby in a hospital in Calcutta, in total privacy as she is still unmarried. I went there and took custody of the baby, saying I am her sister. In the birth certificate, my name was given as mother. A large amount of money has been deposited in the boy’s name, in the Hyderabad branch of your Bank, from where I extracted all information about you, and this is how I came to you in advance, to secure a place to live, in total privacy. I thank God I was not mistaken in my calculations.

 You are very sweet. Afterwards I began to love you.

 She turned to me and asked: have you ever loved any one?

 I do not think so.

 Can you love me?

 I do not know what love is.

 Do you read poetry?

 No.

She remained silent for some time. She then embraced me and said: poor boy. There is nobody to look after you. Now you have to marry me, as the baby must have a father. We cannot live incognito all the while.

 Are you afraid?

 I shall think about it.

Did you miss me when I went to Calcutta?

 YES, VERY MUCH.

 I too wanted to fly back as soon as possible. This is love. So saying, she kissed me long and passionately.

SETHU PROJECT

Any proposal involving dredging of the sea bottom, should be approached with abundant caution.

They are finding it very expensive to maintain the Panama canal, because of the continuous silting by the streams, from the sides of the canal.

The Palk Strait connects two powerful oceans of the world, the Indian ocean of the south and the Pacific ocean of the east, the latter one notorious for tsunami. Can we forget the last one?

Engineers have the habit of miscalculating the disadvantageous parameters. They now admit that the silting of Tehri dam is more than what they assumed. As if, it is the fault of the river, not their fault!

The sea bed is subjected to sudden changes caused by undercurrents, earthquakes, bulging or withdrawal of the sea bottom etc. which are yet to be understood. Somewhere the sea bottom goes down, at other places islands come up, indicating upward movement of the bottom level.

The displacement of some islands in the Andaman archipelago was noticed after the last tsunami.

Politicians should keep away from decision making.