The writer is a senior journalist and script writer based in Patna. An alumnus of Patna University, he is at present the Bihar correspondent of Mail Today, a daily newspaper of the India Today group being published from New Delhi, Formerly a News Editor of the Patna edition of the Hindustan Times, he is known for his incisive reporting on different subjects written in beautiful prose. The present story ‘Love Defiled’ was published in 1996 in the Hindustan Times (Delhi edition).
“If I become an IAS officer, dearie, I’ll marry you,” I sounded maudlin as I clasped her hand tightly. She flashed her disarmingly endearing smile; put her other hand on mine the gently said with a glint in her eyes, “….and if for some reason, you don’t, then I’ll marry you.”
It was so typical of her-witty to the hilt, understanding to a fault. For eight years, we lived our lives together, becoming in the process emotional anchor for each other. We laughed, we cried, we fought and we invariably kissed and patched up. We were more than platonic lovers, taking things as they came. Separation was the last thing on our minds and we were labelled as the “made-for-each-other” couple whose formal alliance was a foregone conclusion.
Destiny, however, had other ideas. Faced with parental opposition and bellicose kin, I developed cold feet when it came to tying the knot with the girl I had so passionately loved. My early jibes at those who loved and parted when it came to the crunch stared in my face as I cooked up thousand and one excuses to snap my ties with her.
Having had an impartial assessment of my grey cells, coupled with my inability to burn the midnight oil, I had already decided to spare the bureaucracy from myself, falling back upon journalism which my girlfriend always wanted me to pursue,
A beauty who never failed to turn many heads, she was least conscious of her charms which often made me realise that her real beauty was actually not visible to the naked eyes. Her simplicity ran contrary to my proclivity of overdoing things. Tall, boorish and just short of being called an anthropologist’s delight, my insecurities made me more voluble about my seemingly non-existent qualities. The louder I talked about my virtues, the faster I made a fool of myself.
Still she was the only one who understood me, overlooked my shortcomings and made me feel confident about myself. For many years, I visualised my life as totally barren without her. She was my life force, my source of inspiration and my alter ego, all rolled into one. Little wonder I felt part of myself being sliced off when I decided to say goodbye.
She was wearing a canary yellow dress, my favourite, when I called her for the last time. With myriad thoughts crowding my mind, I entered the restaurant with trepidation, rehearsing flimsy excuses, adding lachrymose sentimentality to my side of the story — so ingenuously laced with all kinds of mundane reasons, ranging from caste, creed, culture and language to sheer helplessness, my tragic flaw of character and our stormy future.
She heard my cock-and-bull story patiently, never showed any emotions and insisted on footing the bill. “You don’t have any complaints, dear?” I asked with moist eyes and choked voice, all affected. She clasped my hand with both hands. “How can I have complaints against a man who has given me so many moments of happiness? I think if you are happy this way, I should not be so mean as not to feel happy for you. Goodbye, and take care.”
That was the last I saw of her. I fought shy of inviting her to my wedding and never mentioned about her to my wife. Her dad had been transferred in the meantime and the story of my romance appeared to be part of my cherished memory. My ‘life’ for eight years seemed dead until a phone call brought back cascades of nostalgic sentiments.
She was on the other side of the line, exactly two years later, inviting me to her wedding reception. I had realised my monumental folly of having let go of her and I resolved to attend her wedding, unescorted by my better-half, of course. As I shook hands with her husband, a handsome IAS officer, at her reception, she flashed her disarmingly endearing smile: “Meet my husband! How strange, he wanted to be a journalist.”.
I struggled to retain my plastered grin when her hubby told me: “Thanks, but for you I would not have got her. Still, I wonder why on earth did she have to leave a guy like you?”
For a while it looked as though I had lost all reasons to live. Here was a woman who was ditched by me, and yet had no hesitation in not only giving me a clean chit but also telling her husband about her past prior to embarking upon the conjugal life.
For the first time in my life, I realised I was also ugly from within and despite our eight years of togetherness, her goodness had not rubbed off on me in any way.
PANORAMA ENGLISH BOOK PART 2 CLASS 10 PROSE
Chapter 1 The Pace for Living
Chapter 2 Me and The Ecology Bit
Chapter 3 Gillu
Chapter 4 What is Wrong with Indian Film
Chapter 5 Acceptance Speech
Chapter 6 Once Upon A Time
Chapter 7 The Unity of Indian Culture
Chapter 8 Little Girl Wiser Than Man
PANORAMA ENGLISH BOOK PART 2 CLASS 10 POETRY
Chapter 1 God Made The Country
Chapter 2 Ode On Solitude
Chapter 3 Polythene Bag
Chapter 4 Thinner Than a Crescent
Chapter 5 The Empty Heart
Chapter 6 Koel (The Black Cuckoo)
Chapter 7 The Sleeping Porter
Chapter 8 Martha
PANORAMA ENGLISH READER PART 2 CLASS 10TH SOLUTIONS BIHAR BOARD
Chapter 1 January Night
Chapter 2 Allergy
Chapter 3 The Bet
Chapter 4 Quality
Chapter 5 Sun and Moon
Chapter 6 Two Horizons
Chapter 7 Love Defiled
BIHAR BOARD CLASS 10TH ENGLISH WRITING
Unseen Passage for Comprehension Literary
Unseen Passage for Comprehension Factual
BIHAR BOARD CLASS 10TH ENGLISH GRAMMAR
Active and Passive Voice
Narration Direct and Indirect Speech
Idioms and Phrases