Crossing the Mirage – Passing through Youth, Chapter 15
Continued from “Busy Bees in Honeycomb”
That December evening, a young man made his way to the Princely Pearls to give an order for a gold ring. Watching him enter, Chandra was impressed with his persona exemplified by a romantic face. Learning from the salesman that the newcomer was asking for the moon, Chandra wanted him to be sent to him. When he heard the man tell how he would like the gold ring to look like, Chandra realized that it was meant for a valentine. Besides, he felt the detail conveyed a commitment to the cause and his articulation indicated a loving care. Impressed with the man’s passion for his project, Chandra agreed to undertake the intricate work.
“How soon can I have it?” asked the man.
“We haven’t yet given our quote,” said Chandra amused by his hurry.
“I’ve heard you won’t overcharge,” said the man. “I want it by day after tomorrow morning.”
“Thanks for your trust in us,” said Chandra pleased with the goodwill, “but it takes time.”
“I need it badly, and in time,” the man said, and Chandra could see a peculiar desperation on his face.
“It would cost 2k,” said Chandra having made an estimate of it, “and you can pick it up as we open at ten the day after tomorrow.”
“Would you please put your best man on the job?” said the man paying an advance of one thousand rupees. “If you don’t mind, I would like to see the work in progress.”
“Why, it’s interesting,” said Chandra reaching for the Bill Book. “Will you mind leaving your name and address?”
“Sathya,” he said filling the form, “what about my being with your workman?”
“Come along then,” Chandra led him out, leaving the rigmarole of closing the shop to Yadagiri.
On their way to the master goldsmith in his Fiat, Chandra began to feel an inexplicable empathy for Sathya.
“You don’t even want to know my name,” said Chandra.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” said Sathya apologetically, “I’m beside myself.”
“That’s clear anyway,” said Chandra. “If I’m not wrong you’re in love, aren’t you?”
“It’s more like I’m in a trance now.”
“Why, your face betrays that.”
“Well, she says I’ve a transparent face.”
“I admire men in love.”
“That means you’re in love yourself,” smiled Sathya wryly. “But are you lucky?”
“Not before I lost all hope.”
“I’m happy for you.”
“You’ve come up with an expressive design.”
“Nice you appreciate,” said Sathya feeling oneness with Chandra. “Surely you’ve a feeling heart!”
“Is it the engagement ring?” asked Chandra as a way of enquiring though he knew from Sathya’s demeanor it was not the case.
“It’s something of a safety ring,” said Sathya mysteriously. “Hopefully I’ll come back to you for mangalasutrams.”
“I wish you would,” said Chandra extending his hand to Sathya.
“Thank you,” said Sathya as he shook Chandra’s hand. “Right now I’ve got jammed at the cross-roads of confusion.”
“Sometimes it helps to talk it over,” said Chandra by way of inviting Sathya’s friendship. “If you wish, you can make me your confidant.”
“You’re inviting trouble I suppose,” said Sathya heartily. “Don’t you know men in love make a boring company?”
“You seem to be an interesting character,” said Chandra, laughing heartily.
“She says there can’t be another like me.”
“I suppose she's right,” said Chandra “You’ve a romantic face like I’ve never seen before.”
“But she never said so,” said Sathya with a sense of disappointment.
“May I know her name?”
“Honestly,” said Chandra, “I’m getting more and more curious.”
“Not now, but surely some other time,” said Sathya disarmingly. “I’m glad you’re helping me out.”
“I have a feeling we might click well,” said Chandra as he extended his hand.
“It would be my privilege being your friend,” said Sathya warmly shaking Chandra’s hand. “I would love to hear your love story some day.”
“Why not,” said Chandra equally warmly, “come out lucky and we shall exchange notes.”
“I suppose, I need all the luck in the world now.”
“I wish tons of it anyway.”
“Thanks a lot for that!”
After introducing Sathya to the veteran and entrusting his work to him, Chandra excused himself.
Reaching home, when Chandra told Nithya about his strange encounter with Sathya, she was so much impressed to express her desire to see the lover who was in a quandary.
“Love seems to be your creed,” she said in the end affectionately. “And I love it.”
Though it was a week since Sathya collected the ring, Chandra was still thinking about him. Somehow, he was eager for Sathya’s return and as he appeared shortly thereafter, Chandra welcomed him heartily.
“Any good news?” said Chandra in welcome.
“It’s patchy at the most.”
“How did she like the ring?”
“Thanks for the trouble you’ve taken,” said Sathya gratefully, “she felt it’s out of the world.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” said Chandra in reciprocation. “I’m all for taking more of such troubles.”
“Now I’m going to trouble you in another way,” said Sathya in invitation. “as I’ve reached the stage of compulsive outpour.”
“If you allow me to lend my ears,” said Chandra in jest, “you would get my heart free.”
“Over a couple of drinks, if you please,” said Sathya, “at my place, that is.”
“With pleasure,” he said enthusiastically, “tell me the landmarks.”
As he left the Princely Pearls, Sathya scribbled his Kacheguda address, and mapped the route as well to enable Chandra reach his place without hassles.
Continued to “Love in the Bind”