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|by Vikram Karve|
Failures avoid reunions. But this time I had to go. Sucheta would be there. She had rung up from Delhi. And of course Anand was also coming with her. May be that’s the real reason I decided to go.
It was fifteen years since we passed out from school and the reunion was a grand affair in the best hotel at the beautiful hill station. For ours was a famous school, distinguished more for its snob appeal than for its academic excellence. ‘Bookworm’ was an exception. He had topped the board exams.
A strange thought crossed my mind as I surveyed the room. My eyes rested on Anand. His height and his magnificent beard made him prominent in the crowd. He looked a decisive, hot blooded and dangerous man, but he also looked vulnerable. Even now, he wore a lonely and rather perplexed expression, as though he were at the party but not a member of it. Besides him stood his wife Sucheta.
I reminisced. There were four of us. In school and in college. Anand, Mohan, Sucheta and I. All of us loved each other.
I had the first choice since both Anand and Mohan had proposed to me. I opted for Mohan, leaving Anand for Sucheta. Then I kept tormenting myself living with Mohan but longing for Anand, wondering if I had made the wrong choice, repenting, trying to imagine what my situation would be if I had married Anand instead of Mohan. Yes. This was my chance to find out what life would have been like if I had married Anand.
“Good,” Bookworm said, “both your brainwave frequencies are in ‘beta’ state around 15 hertz. I’ll give you both a high frequency burst to momentarily raise your brain-states to ‘K-Complex’and instantaneously effect the electrophoresis.”
Looking at me, he said, “Moushumi, you will be Sucheta as far as the outside world is concerned. So when you wake up go straight to Anand. Let’s see if he suspects. And you Sucheta go to Mohan. He will think you are Moushumi.”
I smiled to myself. Suddenly I felt my brain go blank and then there were vivid flashes in avoid.
Half an hour later, when I was in Anand’s arms, enjoying the dance, Bookworm suddenly appeared by my side, tugged my arm and said with urgency in his voice, “It’s time. Let’s go, Moushumi.”
Instinctively we all turned and looked towards the bar. No sign of them. I hurriedly scanned the room. They had disappeared.
“Stop talking nonsense,” Anand shouted angrily at Bookworm and taking my arm he said to me, “Come on Sucheta. Let’s go. Bookworm has gone crazy. And it’s getting late. We’ll drive straight down to Delhi. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow.”
As we walked through the parking lot I noticed that ‘our car’ was missing. ‘They’ were probably cuddling up in ‘our’ bedroom by now.
I thought I was smart, but it was Sucheta who had played the double game. Will Mohan find out? And Anand?
I don’t know. But from now on it’s going to be a tightrope walk. Every moment I’ll have to be on my toes. I’m excited. Now I will really know what life would be like if had I married Anand instead of Mohan. And I shall know whether I made the right choice.
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