He, She and Me

He, She and Me

Adding to the uneasiness caused by the sultry Delhi weather was the revelation that my friend Arun had just made.

“How can you have such an equation with a lady as old as your mother?” I repeated my query.

Ignoring me, he whistled as he slid a dun-coloured T-shirt over his head.

“Mrs Mona bought this for me. I gifted her with a handbag that I am sure she will carry today,’  he beamed.

“You had mentioned en passant about a family dinner. I realise there wasn’t a scintilla of truth in that. I wouldn’t have come if I had known your intentions.” I sulked.

I couldn’t assimilate that a thirty-year-old guy was having a long-distance affair with fifty-seven-year-old Mona, a widow whom he had met for a few hours in a seminar in Singapore.

She was visiting him today.

His cogent reasonings regarding the relationship failed to convince me.

“Do you also have physical intimacy?” I blurted out rather indignantly.

He shook his head.

“Ours is a chaste relationship. She is lonely, and I like her. We talk incessantly.”

‘Chaste!!! My foot!

The female was jeopardising the life of a young man and also crushing his parents’ dream of seeing him settled with a life partner.’

Arun’s decision to be loyal to her by never entering into wedlock with another woman only made me seeth further.

“Stop being pedantic. Come out of your past that causes your state of dwaal. You still deplore your mother’s move.” Arun had stirred a hornet’s nest.

When I was ten, my mother eloped with someone. 

Dad had never discussed anything about her. I learnt from some kin that she had moved to another country with a male colleague.

Her image eventually blurred in my eyes.

I incidentally happened to see a wedding photo of my parents recently.

She looked gorgeous in her red saree. I thought that adorned with the gold ornaments, she resembled Goddess Lakshmi, as I had seen in frames, true to her name.

‘Did Arun mean to say she was right in her decision like he claimed in his case now?”

The doorbell jolted me from my reverie.

I recoiled with miffed steps, and fresh hatred surfaced in my mind as I saw the female hugging my friend.

I flinched curtly as she moved to hug me.

Arun gestured to me to take a seat at the dinner table as the food got delivered. 

“I am sure you like Parathas, son,” she served them liberally on my plate.

“I used to, but not after I grew up to know that my mother, who made it for me, had eloped with someone. Do you understand Mrs Lakshmi Sharan? And stop calling me son. If I am your son, so is Arun.” I spewed venom.  

Emollient advances by Arun had absolutely no effect on me. 

Her sobs gave me intense pleasure.

Sheer joy in having upset the dinner plan, brought a smile to my face.

I was glad I had chanced upon my parents’ wedding photograph.

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Sudha Vishwanathan
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