The Dilemma

The Dilemma

Arvind looked into the vacant as he sat on a bench facing the Ulsoor Lake. The clouds were leaking; so were his eyes. There had been numerous indications, yet, he had turned a blind-eye.

Meera and Arvind had been living under the same roof for six months. It was an arranged marriage. Nothing was right from day one. Except for the 32 gunas matching in their horoscopes, there was nothing common between them. 

All his efforts to make Meera comfortable in the new environment were going in vain as she maintained aloofness. There was nothing to likeness of a conjugal bliss. Meera spent hours glued to her laptop. She even refused to socialize with Arvind’s friends and colleagues.

Frustrated by her behavior, Arvind announced, “I’m going to request an early transfer out of Bangalore. You can choose to stay in this house and pay its expenses, or move back to your parents’ place.” 

Next morning, when he pulled out his shoes from under the chair to wear them, there was a cacographic note on them: “Don’t leave!” That is when he heard the unmistakable sound of whimper. His eyes followed the mosaic floor towards the store from where it came. His gut taut, he uttered disconcertingly – “Meera?” He could see shivering hands covering soaked eyes. He offered her his hand to step out, which she took diffidently.

“What happened?” Arvind asked; befuddled not only from the brief note, but also from her sobbing, which was by far the first emotion he’d witnessed in her. 

On being prodded again, Meera spoke hesitantly as she evaded eye-contact, “I… I’ve wanted to tell this earlier but couldn’t find an opportune time. I’m from the Sapphic tribe; males don’t interest me. I am already married; to my girlfriend. My parents refused to understand me or accept us. They emotionally blackmailed me into getting married to you. You’re a nice man and have been good to me. I have nothing against you, but I can’t be your wife.”

“What!!!… Now???” his wide eyes spoke more than those few words. 

“Your leaving me now, will force me to return to my parents; something socially unacceptable in their society. If you agree, I’ll bring my wife to stay with us. The neighborhood will know her to be your relative who’s come for some training program. As soon as your promotion and transfer come through, we can leave the city together. By then our immigration would also be cleared. You can begin your life again, while I move to another country with my wife. What do you think?” Meera blurted in one go. 

Arvind was too dazed to respond. He walked in that state up to the lake front. Rain helped remove the veneers from his mind. All those months he’d tried to bridge the gap with Meera, unknown to the fact that her life didn’t include him!

He was shattered, but relieved.
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Suneet Madan
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