An article about this novel in an international journal - The Criterion
Even though Vijay was busy chatting among his friend’s group of men, all his attention was over Priya and she too was doing the same. Although she was chatting among the group of women she was watchful about Vijay. Vijay’s mother and his sister were standing adjacent to Priya. Vijay’s mother was talking something intensely with Priya. Vijay realized that it was an excellent opportunity. He can always approach his mother under the pretext of talking with her and then talk with Priya.
‘Excuse me’, Vijay formally said to his group to slip out of them.
‘You are indeed excused’, one of his friends again remarked mischievously.
But Vijay ignored that remark and approached his mother. But right at the same moment, some other lady-friend of Priya came near her and holding her hand pulled Priya somewhere else. Vijay was thus disappointed.
‘What?’, Vijay’s mother asked him.
Having approached his mother, now Vijay had no choice but to say something to his mother.
‘Mother, why are you standing all the while? Go and occupy some chair otherwise your knees shall pain as usual’, Vijay said.
‘Yes! I’ll go after some time’, Vijay’s mother replied and ignored him to continue chatting with other women.
Shalini, being shy by nature and introvert, was unable to understand what she can talk with strangers and was also unable to locate anybody whom she knew well. She glanced at her mother but mother was intently busy talking whether or not she knew women around her. Now Shalini started getting bored. She looked here and there for a chair but all chairs were placed far away from her. She did not want to leave her mother alone and therefore she simply stood against a pole and delved deep into her own thoughts. Suddenly she realized that somebody was signaling at her standing on the steps of that premises. When she turned around to look at that individual she discovered that the same young man was waving his hand to attract her attention itself.
‘I don’t seem to know him’, Shalini thought.
‘Then why is he calling me?’, Shalini was puzzled.
She turned around to see her mother but mother was not being seen anywhere around nor could she find her brother, Vijay. When paid a second careful look around, she noticed her brother but he was standing too far away. She once again looked at the same youth who was waving his hand at her standing from the steps.
But Shalini failed to comprehend why was he calling?
And she found it odd to even go at him without intimating her mother or brother about it.
In the meantime, that youngster himself approached her.
‘Your mother is calling you upstairs’, that young boy said to her.
Shalini felt tremendously relieved.
So many questions and doubts about that young boy had gathered in her mind in split second’s time.
She thought, her introvert nature alone was responsible for this.
‘Brother always advises her to learn the art of mingling and talking with people. Leading a lonely life is a hurdle in the path of one’s social and psychological progress’, Shalini’s thought process warned her.
‘Yes, my brother is right to say that. If I become little extrovert and mingle among the people such weird thoughts won’t appear in mind’, Shalini concluded.
‘Perhaps mother must have called me for the same reason that I am standing here alone without talking with anybody or perhaps mother must be wanting to introduce me with somebody’, Shalini thought to herself.
And she started walking behind that young boy.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Girish Katre (GirishKatre@gmail.com)