With heavy steps Ganesh began to walk towards his room. On reaching his room he glanced at Madhurani’s shop. He saw that possibly Madhurani had just then returned from Bhikya’s house and removing the bolt had gone into her house. He began to go after her.
Good that there was no one in Madhurani’s house.
Now he could offer his apologies.
It is necessary that a curtain is dropped on the incident once for all.
He slowly began to go towards Madhurani’s house. There was no one around. Most of the people had crowded in front of Bhikya’s house.
Ganesh stood in front of Madhurani’s door and sounded the bolt.
“Who is it?” a tinkling voice came from inside.
“Me” Ganesh answered.
“Who’s me?.. Don’t you have any name…?” Madhurani said sharply and came to the door.
Actually she must have recognised his voice, then why all this…
Perhaps.. this was another way to show that she was angry…
“Oh its you..Ganeshrao… I thought someone else had come… come in.. You are coming after a long time… come in..” Madhurani was confused.
At least she was behaving so.
Ganesh was in a dilemma...whether to go in or not..He began to walk in..and then he suddenly stopped..
“What happened?... Do come in” Madhurani said.
“No.. I had some work with you..” Ganesh said from where he kept standing. He had changed from the aloof second person way of addressing to the familiar first person.” Ganesh did not know which form to choose.
“Tell me what it is..” Madhurani said looking straight into his eyes.
“On that day…”
Madhurani was still looking into his eyes.
“I had held your hand the other day… I want to apologise for it,” Ganesh said the whole thing in one breath.
Madhurani was still looking into his eyes. Suddenly feeling shy she bent her head.”
“Is that a thing to apologise for?”... Madhurani said as though she was angry. Then blushing she said meekly…” It does not matter, it is alright.”
In the first part of her reply he sensed Madhurani’s displeasure and in the following part there again was an invitation. Ganesh again got confused.
“Come in… have some tea” she offered.
Ganesh was unable to decide.
“Not today..I’ll come again...some other time” Ganesh said and turning his back began to trace quick steps to go out of the house. He paused in the door and looked at Madhurani.
She looked at him and smiled. She blushed and whirling around she ran inside.
Ganesh again fell into thinking.
What do I understand from this…
Perhaps last time I was a bit hasty and rough while holding her hand.
I should have taken it gently.
His heart began to beat fast.
He had actually come to ring the curtain down on the incident..
But it seemed as if the incident would start once again.
A smile dawned on Ganesh’s face. He turned back and in a happy mood began to walk towards his room.
Ganesh and Madhurani once again began their game of calling and answering. Ganesh made it a point to often go to her shop. He never missed an opportunity of going to there. Then, in the shop, again on the pretext of taking provisions and making payment they touched each other’s hands. Ganesh sensed that there was some magic in the touch of her hand that made his fatigue and tiredness just disappear. He would then set to work with a new vigour.
Did similar thing happened to Madhurani?...
Yes, it certainly must have.
Otherwise how was it that she too never missed a single opportunity to touch him…
Earlier he had pounced on her like a savage tiger.
Now he would have to take gentle and careful steps.
Till they fall into an embrace women always show hesitation.
But once they are taken in an embrace they offer themselves completely.
He recollected having heard or read this somewhere.
(to be contd.)
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Anil Ekbote