Benign Flame: Saga of Love (Turn at the Tether, page 3 of 6)

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Though he sensed her passion, he was taken aback by her proposition.

“It’s impossible,” he said in all helplessness, “and impractical as well.”

“Where there’s a will there’s a way,” she said coyly. “If you want, I am sure, you could help.”

“No way,” he said nonplussed.

“It all depends,” she said by way of emotional blackmail, “on how much you love me.”

“It’s not about any lack of love,” he protested spiritedly. “I love you with all my heart but I’ve a father who doesn’t believe in woman’s graduation. Didn’t he make it clear to your dad that you shouldn’t press with your B. Com. And now you want to study medicine! He would shout us down and there’s no way we can bring him around.”

His revelation completed her humiliation that dragged him along to the depths of degradation in her esteem. She felt deceived by her father as well for not letting her get a wind of the old man’s whim.

‘But then,’ she thought, ‘how could he have guessed my game plan as I never revealed it to him.’

The sympathy she helped generate in her despondent heart for her father made her view her husband even more unsympathetically, and he felt that she would get over her disappointment by and by. When he took her into his arms to cajole her, her sense of obligation made her surrender to his advances, and soon enough, with the bed-lamp for a witness, nature took over to facilitate their conjugal union. However, while his tenderness in foreplay was perceived as timidity by her passionate heart, his eagerness to possess her in the end seemed bestiality to her uninvolved mind. Sadly for him, she perceived his passion in their coition as force on her frame and his fulfillment as a proof of his selfishness.

So with a feeling of being used, lying in her nuptial bed beside him with closed eyes, as though to further filter the dim light, she folded her hand over her forehead, and as it touched his present, she thought it was as cold as her heart.

‘It would forever symbolize my nadir,’ she thought in despair.

Finding her perturbed, he didn’t venture again, and thus left to herself she was struck by the contrast between the hope the wedding night held for her and the reality into which the nuptial night pushed her before sleep overpowered her weary self as if to save her soul from the exhaustion of thought.


Mid-day the next day, when Sandhya came to see Roopa, she saw her lay morose in her bed. By then, finding her truant to their taunts, her sisters, one by one, took to their heels.

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