Benign Flame: Saga of Love (Part 1 - Chapter 6, page 2 of 5)

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"Why not try and forget him?"

"Of course, time would do that for me," said Chandrika, "but life without him is not what I wanted."

Roopa kept quiet as though inviting her sister to give vent to her feelings.

"I'm being pulled apart by the family sentiment on one side and the lure of love on the other," said Chandrika melancholically. "Love seems to be the most compelling of human emotions as it combines in it the craving of the soul and the desires of the body."

"I know your hurt," said Roopa sympathetically.

"I don't mind hurting myself," said Chandrika dejectedly. "I am worried about him and concerned about our mother. Moreover, how can I compromise your interests? That's my dilemma."

That her sister should think about her welfare, even in her predicament, melted Roopa's heart. 'If only I could go to her rescue in the hour of need,' thought Roopa. 'What if, I get married first to save her love? Won't my out of turn marriage save the day for us all?'

She felt she knew her parents well enough. They were conventional more for the society's sake than out of personal conviction. Besides, they loved their children dearly. She was confident that all would welcome her idea. The prospect of her averting an imminent schism in the family appeared heroic to her.

'How nice it can be,' she thought excitedly, 'if my sacrifice serves my sister's cause besides solving my parents' problem.' She was pleased to perceive herself in the role of a martyr for the family cause. However, on second thoughts, she contemplated the implications of her marriage without a degree as she was just through the first year of what appeared to be a three-year ordeal. 'How I nursed the dream of being a doctor,' she thought melancholically. 'Oh, have I not come to love myself in that role. Now that the bubble has burst, I couldn't care less. Hasn't life become humdrum, any way?'

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