Vijay, Rajesh and Priya did not even realize how the days passed in meeting, discussing and studying together at Priya’s home. But now the examination time had come. Nevertheless, they were not worried at all because their studies had been completed and to the sufficient depth too. It was only now they were realizing the benefit of conducting discussions while studying. Throughout that fun and frolic Vijay had carefully avoided one thing i.e. he did not hurt Priya ever. Vijay was fully aware that Priya used to frequently look at him intensely or at times even clandestinely while studying or chatting but continued pretending as though he was completely ignorant about it or sometimes he would simply smile at her mildly. Through all these experiences he had learnt one very significant lesson that as more and more you may confront something from entering your sphere with equal strength it rebounds further back to you whereas the more you firmly oppose it from happening equally fast does the intensity of it wanes and eventually it loses its sharpness. If he was to have opposed or even react against Priya’s sentiments probably even he could have got involved in the maze of those emotions in the future but given the firmness and impartiality with which he was continuing to handle the situation, equally least was the possibility of he being involved or trapped in that mess and that is what he wanted to achieve, at least until, he would attain his goal of life.
During those days, whenever Vijay would notice Priya staring at him like this, he would think, ‘What crazy girl is she?, really immature and idiot indeed!’ whereas after noticing him to be smiling mildly, Priya would think, ‘What a crazy boy is he?, how does he fail to understand what I think of him?’. Looking at this staring and smiling episode constantly going on before him, even Rajesh would think, ‘How idiot these children are!. How are they going to deal with their emotions in future?’.
Once Vijay arrived at Priya’s home little early than usual and both of them began studying while waiting for Rajesh. Priya’s father too was to arrive late because he was on tour with some office work. It must be about 8 o’clock at night and yet Rajesh had not arrived. Usually he would not be so late. Vijay thought, ‘What must have happened? Why is he so late? Has he once again entered into some conflict with his brother?’. Vijay thought this way because nowadays he had heard that Rajesh was facing many troubles from his brother especially because having been married now, for Rajesh’s brother, everybody else in the family such as his parents or brother had become family members of least priority, compared to his wife.
‘Shall I pay a visit to his home?’, Vijay said.
‘No need to do that!. He must have come across some work to do! He will come soon!’, Priya opposed.
Instantly, at that moment itself, the electricity supply went off and a thick blanket of darkness spread everywhere, both, at home and on the roads outside. The sudden confused noise of the people could become all the more audible probably because now all the electrical equipments like television, fan etc. had stopped functioning.
‘Nowadays this frequency of electricity supply being cut off has sharply increased, isn’t it?’, Vijay said while trying to look at Priya through darkness.
‘And midst of that this examination of ours is coming!. Sometimes I doubt, whether is anybody intentionally doing this since our exams are approaching!’, Priya expressed herself.
‘No! No!, Why would anybody do this intentionally?. Even otherwise also, when we don’t have examinations the electricity supply does vanish!. We tend to feel that way because we sense its absence so glaringly thinking the need of it on account of the approaching examinations!’, Vijay replied.
‘I will get a candle!’, Priya said and got up to go inside her home.
Vijay sensed Priya’s movements of going inside the house to fetch a candle and he continued sitting there in the same position but soon he started feeling very hot, the prevailing season being the summer, and especially because the fans had stopped functioning. Therefore, after some time, he got up from his chair and went to stand near the window where the cool breeze was flowing. Very soon he heard a loud noise of somebody falling down strongly and wailing out of severe pain fallowed by the sound of falling untensils.
‘Oh! My God!’, Vijay thought, ‘has Priya fallen down due to darkness!’.
Vijay hurriedly went inside the home but could not locate Priya on account of thick darkness.
‘Priya!’, he called.
‘Oh! My God!’, he heard the sound of Priya wailing out of pain.
‘What happened Priya? Did you fall?’, Vijay repeated his question and moved toward the direction from where he heard Priya’s wails.
While searching for her in that thick darkness he suddenly happened to touch Priya’s body and he instantly withdrew his hand as if he had suffered an electrical shock.
‘I had fallen down after my feet was twisted!’, Priya said while trying to get up from there holding on the grip of Vijay’s shoulders.
Vijay’s heartbeats started increasing sharply with that soft touch of her hand and such a close proximity so much so that he could sense each single breath of her. The sweet beautiful fragrance of her body started making him all the more restless because he too was sensing the increasing speed of her heartbeats responding equally passionately. Even his body temperature started rising fast and soon he also kept his hand on Priya’s shoulder under the pretext of enquiring, ‘Hope it is not paining too severely!’.
‘No! No!, not that much!’, Priya leant on his arms and tried to walk while saying, ‘But sudden strokes of pain are coming!’.
Thereafter all the subsequent actions took place with a couple of seconds. Vijay wrested his arm around her shoulder and pulled her instantly near himself. Even she hugged him instantly without making any opposition whatsoever. The speed of breath of both of them had increased sharply and both were sensing it fast. Vijay softly raised his head over her chest and gently moved his palm across her face and soft lips. He was seeing her everyday but this was the first time he was experiencing her sensual presence from such a close proximity. Even she raised her hands and inserted her palms through his thick hairs on his head such that the excitement would grow further. Instantly, both of them stopped for a moment because now a conflicting battle of thoughts was raging in their respective minds. That conflicting battle was to eventually culminate into the final triumph of some or the other thought only and that is what happened soon. Vijay soon passionately drew her all the more closer and touched her lips with his own and kissed her intensely. Even Priya responded in an equal zest and her lips too soon tasted the charm of being wet with Vijay’s restlessness such that both of them were only short of being blended into each other’s wave of sensual pleasure.
Suddenly, both of them heard a loud shout from outside, ‘Vijay’.
Instantly both of them separated from each other because it was the voice of Rajesh.
‘You go ahead in front and I will search for the candle to light it!’, Priya advised to Vijay.
Vijay too stood there in the confused state of mind and finally went ahead to open the door without being able to arrive at any conclusion about what he should say to Priya on what had happened between them.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Girish Katre (GirishKatre@gmail.com)