Priya regularly visited Vijay’s house but they didn’t speak to each other. She sometimes pretended everything to be normal and attempted speaking to him, but Vijay was adamant on his silence. Actually, he was quite stubborn about his recently developed opinion about Priya. Moreover whenever Priya tried speaking to him, he insulted her. Lately, her mere visit was enough for him to insult her.
To avoid this, Priya had started visiting Vijay’s mother mostly in evenings when he used to sleep. At times when she used to find Vijay awake, she tried returning as soon as possible.
One day when Vijay was sleeping, Priya reached his house. She was sitting on a wooden chair. Suddenly she saw Vijay coming from inside, which was quite unexpected for her. She got scared to see Vijay because now-a-days his behaviour was quite offensive. He suddenly used to insult her without any reason. Hence, she avoided confronting Vijay.
But today confrontation looked inescapable. She could not even leave abruptly. Finally she decided to confront Vijay, but deliberately avoided looking at him. She was gazing at the gate.
Priya was quite surprised to find that unlike usual, Vijay did not offend her or avoid speaking to her today; rather he came and stood nearby.
Today, perhaps she had to face something even worse. Priya was alarmed. She looked for someone who could save her from this situation. Normally if Vijay’s mother was around, she could have avoided this unwelcome moment.
“Priya…”, she heard a feeble voice of Vijay.
She could not believe, hence to confirm, she turned her head a bit and sneaked at Vijay.
To her surprise, it was Vijay only, who was calling her.
She heard such a mild tone after quite a long time. Still Priya could not dare to look at Vijay. She was tired of Vijay’s hatred for her. She could face anything but not Vijay’s hatred.
Vijay pulled another chair and sat beside her.
What is he going to talk? He was insulting me for these many days…. at times through his eyes or by his words. Today he seemed to say something even worse… probably he will ask me to stop visiting his house. Priya was trying to evaluate his stance.
But how so ever insulting he behaves, she could not have stopped coming to his house. Because she was aware that he is not in senses to realize what he speaks. And she needed to give him a patient ear.
She decided to be strong and kept sitting on the chair.
Vijay pulled her chair nearer to Priya.
Priya got goose bumps. It was ages when Vijay sat so close to her last. But previously, she was just thrilled to find him so close… and today it was a spine-chilling experience.
“How much will you suffer for us?” he started.
Priya was unable to understand what he meant. Was he sarcastic in his voice?
“Its matter of you entire life…. why do you want to waste your life for us… for a mentally unstable person like me.” he continued.
He was certainly not sarcastic.
But still she could not understand what he wants to say. Hence, she avoided looking at him.
“Truly we behave stupid…. we keep on searching for true love outside, while it is always very close to us only.” He said in his philosophical way.
Priya was still looking around. But it was not for avoiding confrontation with Vijay, now it was to hide her tears. She could clearly identify streak of repentance in his voice. He was speaking with her after so many days… in his old good philosophical way. Priya was still trying hard to hide her tears.
“I do not deserve a let off.” He said.
Now Priya could not stop herself.
“I have tortured you a lot… Please forgive….”
Priya at once got up from her chair. Vijay also stood up. Priya quickly kept her hand on Vijay’s mouth. She was all tears.
Vijay’s eyes were also flooded with tears. He was not able to speak.
“Will you forgive me?....” he tried to remove Priya’s hand and asked her.
Both of them felt as if they are meeting after a very long time… and they burst out into tears in each other’s embrace.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Mugdha Apte