An article about this novel in an international journal - The Criterion
‘No! No!’, fearsome thoughts came to her mind again, ‘there is something malicious in all this’. She turned back to open the door and suddenly she saw some figure sitting there in the darkness on the bed there. She turned and looked at that unrecognizable figure but it was difficult to understand who it was in that thick darkness. She tried searching for the light switch but it was located right above the other end of the bed. She could not gather courage to go there and light it.
Standing there in the darkness, she gave a call, ‘Mother!’.
But there was no response. Now she gathered some courage and went near the bed to put on the light. She reached up to the switch and put it on. A ray of bright light spread throughout the room and the darkness vanished. Now she could clearly look at the figure sitting there on the bed. He was some another youth sitting there. He gave her a pleasant smile and said, ‘Welcome’.
‘Come and sit here’, he said.
Shalini and that youngster stared at each other. There was a captivating charm in his eyes. She could not remove her eyes from looking at his face. Shalini sensed that there was such a thrilling magic in his voice that she was mesmerized so that she went and sat near him on the bed, at least, as far away from him as possible.
‘There is nothing to be afraid of’, that young man assured Shalini and she felt slightly relaxed and the fear in her mind subsided a little, if not vanished completely. That young man now moved near her. Even she started staring straight at his eyes. Slowly she started sensing that his eyes were turning feverishly red. Even the expressions on his face changed radically. Now she, however, electrifyingly startled when she realized that the red colour in his eyes was nothing but the lust in his mind. She had now managed to get rid of the charm he had overpowered on her mind and she started to get up from the bed. But it was too late because by now that youth had already leapt over she and she were left with no other weapon to retaliate except only to scream as loudly as she could.
After intimating Priya to meet him next day at Ashok Park, Vijay had escaped back to the group of his friends when his mother had approached him there. After reaching among the group he had once even glanced at Priya and she too was looking at him only.
‘So? Is the mutual dialogue over?’, one friend clipped.
‘What?’, Vijay tried to plead innocent.
‘Man…….when a cat sips the milk it closes its eyes thinking that even others have closed there eyes’, another friend tried to be funny with Vijay.
‘What cat…….what milk are you guys talking about?’, Vijay tried to act innocent again.
‘From your actions it is visible that soon you are scheduled to follow the suit of Rajesh. Nothing bad about it. Now that Rajesh has got married you should be the next’, Vijay’s friends were not allowing him to close the topic.
When Vijay was about to react over it, he heard a loud screaming of a woman’s voice from the building adjacent to the lawn. The entire noise of laughter and gaiety spread over the lawn was suddenly silenced after hearing that scream.
‘What has happened?’, majority of them asked.
But even from such a far off distance Vijay had recognized the voice of his sister.
‘The noise is probably coming from the first floor’, somebody whispered.
‘Let us go there’, another said.
‘Some serious problem seems to be there’, yet another joined.
Vijay rushed fast toward the staircase of the building and others followed him quickly. All other guests standing in the lawn who were stilled by that scream too started running after them. However, the senior citizens among them sensed the impending danger of all of them gathering over the first floor and hence they stopped others except those who had already reached upstairs and tried to calm them down.
Vijay and all his friends had, by now, reached on the first floor and were trying to find out the direction from where that noise of screaming still coming. Soon they got their answer and started running.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Girish Katre (GirishKatre@gmail.com)