Setting the Pace

Crossing the Mirage – Passing through Youth, Chapter 12

Continued from “Crossing the Mirage”

When it was past noon the next day, Chandra and Nithya, not wanting to make the other wait, reached well before the appointed hour. As they reached the rendezvous, while her face radiated charm, his gait exhibited confidence.

“On my word,” she said heartily, “didn’t I tell you, you can’t get rid of me?”

“You’re more beautiful than ever,” he said, mesmerized.

“You look all so different.”

“Thanks to your acceptance,” he took her hand, “seems I’ve gained in looks.”

“I’m happy for you.” she said.

“Let’s go to my mother who would feel happy for us both.”

“I’m not sure how my parents would react,” she said in apprehension. “You may have to pull me out from there.”

“I’ve planned it all to the last detail,” he said, leading her enthusiastically towards his Vespa. “Just wait and watch.”

Keeping pace with him till they reached his scooter, she stood rooted when it came to getting onto the pillion.

“Shall we hire an auto?” he suggested, sensing her hesitation.

“Oh, no,” she said, as she positioned herself to ride pillion, “it feels a little odd, that’s all.”

“I know it takes time,” he said, as he steered the vehicle.

“Better be prepared for an aggressive spouse.”

“Why not take me for a support?” he said, as she sat erect like a pole.

“What else am I doing?” she put her arm around him.

When they rode to the Pearl House, Anasuya was at the gate buying some garden pots from a hawker. Seeing her son with Nithya, she smiled sweetly at them.

“Take her in,” she said in welcome. “I’ll join you readily.”

As Chandra was showing Nithya their place, Anasuya joined them.

“How do you like our place?” Anasuya said going up to Nithya.

“Nithya says she is tempted to live here,” said Chandra, as Nithya blushed.

“You’re welcome,” said Anasuya, taking Nithya’s hand. “I couldn’t have wished for a better bahu.”

“Get us married then,” said Chandra.

“What about her parents?” asked Anasuya.

“You’re the first to know,” said Chandra.

“Would they agree?” Anasuya asked Nithya.

“I'm not sure,” said Nithya blushing, “but I would be glad if you take me.”

“It's my pleasure, leave the rest to me,” Anasuya told Nithya and reached Yadagiri over phone.

“I feel happy and grateful,” said Nithya.

When Yadagiri came home post-haste, he found them all in a state of bonhomie. Sensing that something was in the offing, he took a close look at Nithya.

“She's Chandra's pearl, Nithya,” said Anasuya to Yadagiri.

“The brightest ever,” Yadagiri said in all happiness.

“Oh, no,” said Nithya to Anasuya blushing to her roots, “you’re ever more beautiful.”

“I've given them our word,” Anasuya seemed to preempt her husband, “I knew you wouldn’t object.”

“I wouldn’t have done any differently,” Yadagiri said joyously.

“But there’s a little hitch,” said Anasuya tentatively. “She’s not of our caste.”

“That won’t bother me anymore,” said Yadagiri pensively. “What matters is their happiness.”

“She’s not sure about her parents either,” said Anasuya as though he should prevail over them.

“If they approve, well and good,” said Yadagiri nonchalantly. “If not, we would marry them, and in style.”

Nithya was so touched that she found herself touching Yadagiri’s feet.

“May God give you a blessed life,” he blessed her.

The wedding of Nithya and Chandra that soon followed became the talk of the town. While all were overawed by its grandeur, some felt it was reformist and hoped that it might be a harbinger of change. However, many wondered whether the marriage would’ve taken place in the first place if the bride were less charming for her base and the groom not so well-heeled for his caste.

Continued to “Oasis of Bliss”


More by :  BS Murthy

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