Tuesday, 27 June 2017

guest



She jumped into the puddle hitching her long skirt a notch above her knees, unabashedly,  and 

screamed with joyous innocence. Nikhil watched with unfounded amazement and wonder as how 

a rural Indian belle could act in gay abandonment. The countryside wore a veil of orthodoxy. This 

was his maiden tryst with her.


The verdant village life offered him simple pleasures that the urban jungle was devoid of. The 

abundant foliage was a treat to his tired eyes. The grazing  livestock and the avian species  made 

him realize the presence of other creatures on this Earth other than the two legged robots. The 

gurgling water of the river tickled his feet giving him the feel of an expensive spa.The organic 

food cooked with the freshest condiments  by his maternal aunt and the aroma of ghee(clarified 

butter) aroused his dormant hunger pangs and taste buds. The office cafeteria food just 

managed to keep his body and soul together. 


Passing by the plantain plantation , his eyes were arrested by a motley group of heads bent down 

keenly observing something.


                               Image result for plantain plantation


His curiosity carried him close and he bent down to see Vidya tutoring to the students, peasants 

and housewives .


" The red earthworms dig into the soil to improve the aeration which improves the water holding 

capacity of the soil. This soil further enhances the germination of seeds and increases the crop 

yield". She held a small bunch of the crawlies with dexterity.

Her knowledge  in vermicultre added another layer of respect to her character. 

His aunt proudly told him that Vidya held a degree in Agricultural Science and instead she 

choose to stay in her humble beginnings to pay it forward to the villagers . The lure of the lucre 

did not attract her to a plush consultant job . He thought of his job back in the Hedge Fund 

Company . The bottom line of the Corporate world was rapacious profits. The corporate timings 

and travelling in different time zones made him a victim of  insomnia and depression. Yielding to 

medical advice he took a break of three months.


After a heavy south Indian breakfast of idli-chutney washed down by fresh filter coffee, he and 

his aunt sat in a bullock-cart.

                                 Image result for indian bullockcart


Vidya's school comprised of  daily wage earner's children . He was amazed at her dedication and 

enthusiasm. She asked him to impart any knowledge or expertise he deemed fit to the children. 

He didn't seem to posses any teaching abilities though he held a top managerial post in his 

Company. 


Her  affable , conviviality and altruistic nature won his heart. He secretly fell in love with her. 

'Fell ' would be a very shallow word . He had arisen in her love and seemed to be floating and 

basking in her sunshine. 


Nikhil felt uneasy as his vacation was drawing close. He had another  four weeks to go. He 

decided to speak to her.

He was shocked to see her pale, hospitalized lying in supine position. The lively Vidya had spring 

in her heels and he couldn't believe this transformation. 

" Will you marry me, Vidya?" he proposed shyly.

She smiled without any trace of coyness.

"Eight weeks is a long time to be a guest, isn't it? Return to your groove , Nikhil" , spurning the 

marriage proposal. Her words stung his ego like bees. His heart couldn't face this vicissitude. 

Nikhil was constantly at her bedside as many of the villagers were. 

Vidya refused medical treatment preferring to the call of the higher forces beyond human control. 

Nikhil was sure that Vidya's soul will find purpose again among her people.