He would marry her he resolved. He would wait for her until she finished her education and then marry her, Sameer studied the young girl as she flitted between guests: smiling, laughing, exulting in the attention she was receiving. He gazed at her slim arms, her dainty hands, her light smiling eyes, and her bountiful dark hair that cascaded down highlighting her fair skin. She was, in a word, lovely
Life is not always easy with beautiful girls, Sameer found out, especially when there were others vying for her charms.
Sameer’s parents had left him a substantial inheritance allowing him to live a leisurely life. He decided he would closely follow Tanya through puberty and into womanhood. If she satisfied the idol he had in his mind, he would marry her. No ‘Arranged Marriages’ for him – who would arrange it anyway?
Tanya was indifferent to Sameer: who was intense, dark-eyed, quiet and always staring at her and frequently holding her arm or trying to grab her by the waist to keep her close. He wasn’t like the grownups that indulged her, sat her on their laps and listened to every word she said with laughter and amused smiles at the way she spoke. She liked this; she would use her expressive eyes, her quick smile and bubbling energy to remain the center of attraction. She was turning into a little flirt, and she loved it.
I am eighteen now and will graduate by the end of this term. I am a careful, observant person and employ a method for most things. My friends call me serious and a ‘kill joy’. But that is not correct. I don’t laugh loudly and uproariously at little things. I don’t join in mouth-open-back-slapping laughter just because my colleagues do. I don’t care if I am the odd-person out. ‘Opinionated’ they call me…perhaps that’s true. We all become ‘opinionated’ at some time in life, but I mainly have my own personal way and am reluctant to flow along and behave in unison with my colleagues for no reason other than of maintaining a cohesive group.
I see Tanya often and her loveliness pulls me to her like a magnet`. She doesn’t take much notice of me, but I have time on my side. She has to finish school; she has to have her fill of fleeting romances and heartbreaks – by the time she is in her early thirties she would be looking for stability and permanence; and I’ll be there to offer her stability, permanence, security, comfort and an abundance of romance.
Tanya (some years down the line and now a drop-out from college).
Ma and Pa have been here, way out in this wilderness, for the past six months; looking to up-lift the lot of the Adivasi tribals. I arrived four days ago and am bored stiff with the place. Flat monotonous fields stretching for millions of miles; trees around the bungalow infested with incessantly cawing crows. Three hundred meters from the Dak bungalow is a narrow macadam road that leads to god only knows where; villagers are always walking up or down the road – depends which direction you consider up and which down, it is all flat; the odd cyclist listlessly cycles up/down the road ringing the bell pointlessly; at 3p.m. the local bus goes by tooting its electric horn mainly to let people know the once-a-day bus has arrived should they wish to catch it to go up the road. The down-the-road bus goes through at 8 a.m.
I am here to wallow in the assured solace and love my parents always shower on me. Whatever goes askew, their unquestioning loving arms and ample bosoms are always there to hold me and sooth away my problems. And I have a whole large heap of them which my parents don’t know about. They assume – my dearest sweet procreators – that I must need a break from another love affair gone wrong. But I must move on now and not expose my dear parents to what would take place if the Police posse' caught up with me here.