Previous two nights Ganesh did not have a wink of sleep. Even Monday night passed away in similar restlessness, just turning on sides without sleeping a wink.
Now this chapter is closed… he realised Madhurani’s true character before he became much entangled in her.
Character means behaviour.
He was trying to find out mild words for her.
Now he aught to feel free and unburdened.
He aught to experience the freedom of escaping from Madhurani’s web…
Then why this restlessness…
Ganesh was unable to solve this puzzle…
He got up in the morning and took bath. He shaved the three day stubble of his beard and took out well ironed clothes from the bag. However, Ganesh’s heart was not in doing any of these things.
He got dressed and pulled his suitcase which he had packed in the night itself. Taking the bag he came out. Locked the door from outside. While locking he reaffirmed his decision.
Now, without throwing a glance at Madhurani’s shop he would straight away go to the bus stand…
Let her feel whatever she must…
When she has deceived him so much, why should he bother about her feelings…
Locking the door he turned and began to walk with wobbly steps as if his legs had no strength remained in them. But surprisingly they automatically began to carry him towards Madhurani’s shop.
“What Ganeshrao, you were not to be seen since two three days” seeing him walk towards her shop Madhurani said.
“Were you ill?”
“Yes...I was not feeling well…”
“ Are you leaving for the taluka carrying your bag?”
Ganesh realised one thing. She had never asked him even a word about his wife. She had not even teased him about her…
“Yes.. I thought better to go and come…”
“This is indeed a good development… Much of our provisions are exhausted and here you are going to the taluka…”
Ganesh did not say anything.
“Here..take this list.. I made Vilas write it… Thought why I should give you the trouble of writing it…” she held the list before him.
He took the list and placed it in his pocket and turned to proceed.
“What is this?... how will you bring the provisions.. take this bag along…” Madhurani held a bag to Ganesh in which she had also put in a gunny bag.
Ganesh took the bag in his hand. When he took the bag in his hand, Madhurani touched his hand softly.
Ganesh’s whole body tingled.
This… this was the magic touch…
The courage that he had lost now sprang once again. A new vigour filled his body.
He also touched her hand on the pretext of holding the bag with other hand. He looked into her eyes.
The same impish look…
The same sweet smile…
He forgot all his lethargy. He picked the bag and with great enthusiasm began to walk towards the bus stand. Before turning into the lane he turned and looked at Madhurnai. She was still looking at him.
He turned into the lane and taking big strides moved towards the bus stand. He realised that now one more worker-bee had joined Madhurani’s army of worker-bees.
(to be contd..)
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Anil Ekbote