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Crossing the Mirage - Passing through Youth
Soon they were at the Honeycomb to the hearty welcome of the Chandras.
“What a reunion!” said Chandra hugging Sathya.
“What a pair you make!” Nithya couldn’t hide her admiration
“We owe it all to you!” Sathya addressed Chandra.
“I feel, we owe it to Nithya no less,” said Prema, taking Nithya’s hand.
“What a twist of destiny!” said Chandra with mixed feelings.
‘Well, to push Vasu into the doghouse’ Nithya thought with satisfaction.
By the time they sat for dinner, the logistics to stop Vasu in his tracks were worked out.
After Vasu came back, it was agreed that Prema would stay at the Honeycomb till she got her divorce. Well, Sathya would be a welcome guest all the time. That way, Vasu couldn’t cast any aspersions on Prema during the divorce proceedings. Besides, her presence would deter him from stalking Nithya. As Prema was averse to dealing with Vasu anymore, Nithya took it upon her to deliver the missive penned by Prema for him. It was agreed that Nithya would invite Vasu to the Honeycomb instead of her going to the Ritz, and deal with him appropriately. Well, Chandra and company would lie in wait just in case. Sathya who was impressed by Nithya’s spiritedness thought that Vasu could’ve met his nemesis in her.
The D-day came two days later, and as expected, Vasu rang up Nithya, only to be led into her trap.
“If it were okay for you here,” said Vasu in anticipation, as he came in, “why did you deny me all these days?”
“I called you for a different reason,” said Nithya feigning nervousness.
“Enough of leading me up the garden path,” said Vasu determinedly. “It's time I had you even if it comes to raping.”
“You'll turn cold if you hear the news.”
“Why, what happened?”
“Your letter has fallen into Chandra’s hands and he’s sore about us.”
“Good riddance bad rubbish,” he stated gleefully. “If he divorces you, my absurd proposal would no longer be absurd. Prema could take care of me and I’ll maintain you.”
“But sadly,” she said affecting pity, “Prema chose to desert you to see you get your just deserts.”
“What do you mean?”
“It's what Prema thinks that counts, isn't it?” she said as she handed him Prema’s fatal missive.
When you first disclosed your love, I made it known to you that I loved Sathya. Having told me about his affection for his classmate when you goaded me to break with him, I believed you acted out of your own love for me. Well, all is fair in love and war, I thought. But it was only after our marriage that I realized you eyed me only for my money. Had I not burnt my bridges with Sathya, I would’ve walked out on you then and there. So I stayed put in a cold storage of a marriage.
When I’d seen you flirting with Nithya, I didn’t care, as we’ve no love lost between us. But when I saw your letter to her, shaming me, I could take it no more. If it was right for you to goad me to leave the man I loved because he slighted my love, you can’t say it’s wrong for me to leave the spouse who demeans me to curry the favor of another woman.
As I have decided to leave you, it’s only proper you shouldn’t have anything that would remind me of you. So I’ve given away to the needy all those goodies that my father gave us. Any day now you would get the summons from the court and it may be wise for you not to contest, for your letter of shame is in my possession.
I’m going in search of Sathya to make amends as best as I can. If I can’t become his wife, it would still be honorable becoming his mistress. My only regret is I’ve dishonored myself by being your wife for so long!
‘Oh God!’ he collapsed, ‘I’m ruined.’
“Be a man, Vasu,” Nithya said tauntingly. “After all, being a woman, I didn’t cry when you left me in the lurch then. But, there’s still hope for you. If Chandra chooses to leave me, I may still come to you, of course, along with his child in my womb. You can have it as a bonus, won’t you? Moreover, there would be no need to spend on abortion as its no shame conceiving in marriage. Isn’t it?”
“Oh stop it,” said Vasu in exasperation. “Now it’s clear, you planned it all and took your revenge. You’d induced me to write that letter to use it for my ruin. You prompted me for our family friendship to turn Prema against me. Oh, how you poisoned her mind. You bitch!”
“Mind your language, Mister!” said Nithya contemptuously, “and then stop blaming me. Why, I was indifferent to you when we met again and I snubbed you when you came to my place to cajole me ands yet you coveted me, didn’t you? Oh, how you had hinted at blackmailing me! You thought I would chicken out and come to sleep with you, didn’t you? Fool, did I ask you to write that your wife is cold? As you sow, so you reap, you better realize that?”
Vasu got up to leave.
“Blame it upon your attitude towards women,” she said as he crossed the threshold of her house. “Blame it upon your lack of character. Blame it upon your mean nature.”
“It pays to know that our nature is our fate,” Nithya said, slamming the door after him.
Dedicated to -
Kanna, whom I could help in crossing the mirage of her mind.
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