STORY-GARDEN

GARDEN

Delhi is full of gardens. It is said to be the city with the maximum forest cover. I belong to a remote village in Keralam and came here, at the invitation of my friend , who is employed in the Central Secretariat. I was curious about this city with the historic forts and monuments . As my friend lives in Lodhi colony , I used to frequent the garden here.

After walking along long , meandering paved paths , I sat on a bench , immersed in my own thoughts . I did not notice the feminine presence , so near to me on the same bench. At last I saw a young lady and was about to go , when She said:”Do not go gentleman , have I disturbed you?”

“Who are you? Can I be of any service to you?”

“You speak chaste English. I was attracted by the kind ad serene look in your eyes. Shall we be friends?”

I did not know what to say.

She must be nearing thirty. Her complexion is white and she is tall . To say something I asked :”Are you married?”

“No; I am Leela. I live with my uncle. In Noida.”

“You are quite attractive . why did you not marry till now?”

“I am afraid. Many of my friends have regretted after marriage. I do not like to experiment.

“Oh! I am Akash. I have appeared for Assistats Grade Examination. I live with my friend . I shall go back , if I do not get selection.

“For getting a job , there is no place better than Delhi. I think you are bored . I shall expect you tomorrow here. Give me your address and mob:no.”

I wrote it in her diary . :“Please sign.” As I signed it she kissed me lightly in my cheek and went away.

The whole day I was thinking about her.

When my friend came , he said:”You seem to be pleased . I did not say anything about my encounter with the lady.

The net day I waited impatiently . She came a bit late. She was beaming with joy and embraced me tightly. She opened her lips. I kissed her . Soon she led me to a shady place where no one can see us. I felt nervous . She sensed my hesitation and assured me.

“Here it is normal. Couple come here for this purpose only.

I do not know how long she slept in my arms. When she woke up, she asked:”Did you enjoy it?”

This went on for some days. When results came , I was selected and appointed as Assistant in the Sectretariat.

I was forced to tell my friend about Leela. He cautioned me :”There are many ladies who like to have a niee time. Ask her whether she will marry you.”

I mentioned it. “Let me come to Kerala and see your parents.”

“As I have just joined service , I cannot take leave.”

“Then you can shift to my house”

So the days passed. During holidays we used to go sight seeing around the Capital. She used to drive and taught me driving. Unexpectedly she became pregnant. I thought she must be using precautions . She was unperturbed “Now you have proved your manliness”. But I took leave and we went home. All the way she was happy as child. She wanted to go by train and avoided the plane. At home all were surprised to see the lady with me . I said she is my friend. We travelled in the county side in a taxi cab and went up to Kanyakumari.

On our return from the tour , I mentioned to my parents that we want their blessings for marriage. Mother was not happy , but gave in. We were married at Guruvayoor temple , without any fanfare and got registration certificates there itself. We received ten lakh as dowry subsequently.

A ROOM IN THE SKY

Wth this money , we gave contract for the construction of a new building in place of the old tiled roof structure. So we remained some days there for supervising the work.

Our house is on the bank of the river. Leela had an idea. So we built strong pillars and a room , projecting towards the river. This was to be our bed room. As she was pregnant she told me she would remain in the village. So I left her there.

On receipt of intimation , I flew in . The boy is very cute but my wife would not allow breast feeding , lest her balls may lose shape. I did not have the will to deny it.

The baby was always in the hands of Narasu , a dirty brat with running nose , who used to play with me . Now she has become mature with budding breasts . She used to look at me longingly.

During this period my wife learned to make sambar , vada etc.

Leaving the baby to the care of my mother , we returned to Delhi. Leena gave birth to two more children , a boy and a girl.. Then she left me . It was virus fever. I could not recover from the shock. When I became normal , mother told me to marry again.

“Whom?” “The girl who brought up all your children.” I Told Sarasu:”I know it is cruel ; will you marry me?”

She smiled shyly

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