Benign Flame: Saga of Love (Part 1 - Chapter 5, page 2 of 4)

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"Now I recall that night on the train when you were just nine," he said, patting her head as she squatted beside his easy chair. "Though I was pleased with your ambition, I never knew you were nursing it. Had I guessed it then, I would have cautioned you in time."

"Naannaa, it became my obsession," she sank into his lap. "I'll be miserable otherwise."

"You know we're lower middle-class now," he seemed to give an account of his helplessness. "The lands are all gone and I'm going to retire soon. Agreed there is some money in the bank but it would barely meet your dowries and your brother's higher studies. This house, of course, is for your brother lest he should curse me for having left him nothing to inherit. As for your mother and I, the pension should see us through."

"Pledge the house and raise the money," she suggested with apparent hope. "I'll redeem it in time."

"Be realistic Roopa," reasoned Ramaiah, "once you get married it would all be different. After all, your earnings would be your husband's. Moreover, to marry you off as Doctor Roopa, I would have to cough up much more for your dowry."

"What if I don't marry at all," she said with such a conviction that startled Ramaiah.
"I want to be a doctor and that's all."

"Don't be silly," he said, showing her the reality of life. "The essence of life lies in its wholesomeness. You would realize later on, that nothing is worth in life to the exclusion of all the rest that makes it what it is. Besides, marriage is the key that opens life alike for the boys and the girls."

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