“Yes daddy, I’ll be coming home tomorrow,” said bunny before getting back busy with the internet on his mobile phone.
That night around 11:30 P.M, Dad finds some news scrolling on the television screen about the success of a graduate who applied his ideas of better schooling in a Christian missionary school which slowly started bringing good outputs. The state government is impressed with his work and wants to appoint him as a member of its board of secondary education. Dad was with immense happiness and he couldn’t believe his eyes as they showed his son’s name in the credits of that news. The one who is going to be appointed by the government is his son. He goes for another look waiting for the same news to scroll again and confirms that it’s really his son who did that great job. Immediately phones bunny but he doesn’t usually attend calls from his dad after 10 o’ clock because he knows that he would get a good round of blessings for not going to bed early. Everyone else slept.
The next day he wakes up early to share his happiness with his wife and other family members. He gets more excited after finding a small column in the newspaper about bunny’s work. Bunny enters the house, finds the complete house praising him. His sister runs to him to hug him and congratulate. Then follow all the others. Tears rolled off his eyes in happiness as he touches his parents’ feet asking to bless him.
“But bunny, how did you maintain this secretly throughout the process?” asked Navin
“I felt like surprising all of you with my work would be great to watch. By the way uncle…
Nuthan knows it all from the beginning and actually, he helped me a lot in doing this”
That day everything went on in a festive mood. Mom prepared delicious sweets and Chicken biryani for supper. All of them sat together to have food and the bunny starts speaking.
“Daddy.. Mummy… And everyone.. Thanks for encouraging my success. I am done with my graduation, I have earned some fame and respect in the society, working for the government and therefore got away to a source of income. The next thing is… my marriage…”
“Yeah, even I’ve thought of this in the afternoon. Should search for a girl who makes us feel lucky to have her” dad joins. “Daddy… I’ve already done it.” Everyone stopped the chewing process but his sister tries to swallow soon to shout out in excitement. “What??”
“Yes. Daddy, I’m in love with a girl.” Everyone looking at one another. “I am almost settled in life when it comes to job security and source of income and I wish that I marry the girl I love.
Hope you all accept it.”
“From.” started mom with a doubted expression on her face. “From how many days is this running?”
“Mummy… Nothing had run till now. I’ve not answered her positive.” “So she proposed you.
Then why didn’t you accept?” his sister interrupted. “18 months back, when she proposed her love to me, I hardly had any feelings on her but as days passed I began to feel her personal. And loved that feeling. But I never tried to tell this to her. I thought of all the consequences it is going to result and the challenges it is going to throw. I decided not to tell her anything unless everything seems to be on a track. And now, I think I am in a good lane.
So…” his words echoed in that dangerous silence.
“But… What if she went away from you as you have not given her an answer? What if she forgets you or lost interest in you?” his sister again asked not realizing that she is with her parents and not brother alone.
“She won’t… She won’t go anywhere. Her love is pure… Unconditional… That cannot allow her to forget me that easily. And thank god she is a girl with a good understanding of nature which allows her to control her emotions.”
Everyone emptied their plates but sat in the same positions or the discussion.
Dad finally asked the question he is trying to ask from the beginning. “Caste?” “Hmm.. actually there is a problem with it. She is from some high caste” everyone relaxes their bodies as it won’t work out. When dad changed his face from dilemma to a diluted one.
“But daddy..” everyone raises their heads to attention mode to listen how he tries to convince in this issue. “Why is caste being a problem daddy? I love her. She loves me. We will be very happy if we’re together. We’ve our own dream, goals, ambition. Our identities were never judged by caste then why our lives?”
“How do we convince the society? And before that how can we convince our relatives who don’t allow a single thought of inter-caste marriage to touch their boundaries?” Dad questioned.
“The society is nowhere dad. The society starts with us. And relatives… they are not the ones who are going to get married and live. It’s me, daddy. Your son. Who wants to live his life as he wished”
“Leave all these. Did you ask her? What about her parents’ opinion? Did they agree?” continuous shots from mom.
“No mummy, once you say yes and then I’ll go to them and convince. I cannot go for something before I am strong”
“And what if they don’t agree” mom added
“Their daughter is with me. On my side. Both of us together will convince them and I’ll use my job to get through that question of Caste.”Everyone remains silent as it is the time for a decision and as in every family; it has to come out of the father. Dad could not say no to his son because it was not the son who is with an over a rush of adrenaline. Bunny sounded wise, matured and practical.
“Go and talk to her parents tomorrow. Hope everything goes fine” said, dad, as he stood up to go to bed. Bunny’s eyes again were wet with happiness as his uncle congratulated and his mother hugged him.
The next day his sister was selecting a good dress and shoe for him to wear, His mother heating the water for him to bathe. His uncle bringing the car out. All these were happening early in the morning before bunny woke up.
He woke up, got ready and left home. His girl was very excited to see him at her home because he did not inform her that he was planning something like that.
“Mumma… He’s bunny my college friend… Best friend… “She shouted to introduce him to his mother. “Hello bunny” “Hello aunty” they greeted each other. When suddenly sensed some pain his left leg. “How are you my dear?” and it was almost the pain of a bamboo attacking him continuously…
He suddenly got up from sleep, stopping his friend who was trying to wake him up since fifteen minutes “Ahh….!! Stop it, idiot…” He screamed “stop it Abhi… I’ll get up…”
“Rascal… You need five more percentage to be eligible for the semester exams and you’re still sleeping… get up idiot… Don’t forget that you are already having a backlog from the last semester” shouted Abhi as he left to the college.
That backlog thing reminded bunny about the government job that government offered to him in his dream… He started laughing but that only lasted for a few seconds because he is now recalling the complete dream. And the only things which made him struck were his words about the girl. The girl whom he didn’t accept yet but loved.
“What… Do I love her…?” he questioned himself before taking his phone out to check his messages of the previous night. “I just want to end everything” the screen showed his last message. Hand on his head. He didn’t know what was happening. Yes, it has really been eighteen months from when she had proposed her love to him. Yes, he began to feel her personal as days passed. Yes, his feelings developed on her. “But why?? Why am I behaving like I don’t want her?” he questioned the inside. He remembered the discussions he had with his best friend Mercy which told him that he was always positive about his girl. He now took his thoughts to the further consequences which literally played with his mind. Many thoughts collided in his mind. All at once. He once thought that he would accept her after everything else gets set as in the dream he had had. Now what’s coming to his mind is “what if it gets too late for him to get settled? What if she had to get married at some point in time and he struggles to get settled? Actually, if I don’t get settled? Do I kill my love?”
Whatever may be the imperfection, none can cease the thought process in our mind. Nothing can steal our cognitive powers
That day he spent good time with himself and Abhi.
The next day when the date had just changed, bunny made a phone call to his girl.
She was completely negative that he wants to end everything. In that depression, she started “Hello.”
“Hello Ammu, How are you?”
“Yeah, I am fine. How are you?”
“I am fine too” and he straight away jumps to the point “Ammu I love you ammu” I usually tell her that I love her but not the love she wanted. She took the same now but I was completely different.
“OK” she replied as if she was fed up listening that a hundred times.
“Ammu I am serious. I love you.” I repeated. “Ammu I don’t know how to show the so called ‘love’ but I seriously want to spend my life with you”
“Have you gone mad? Do you know what you are talking?” she raised her voice.
“Yes. Ammu I seriously didn’t have any feeling on you on the day you proposed me but I got very attached to you and that built my feelings on you without my notice.I never felt that weird because it naturally happened. Yes, I used to talk about the future whenever you brought this in. But I think that depends on us. The way we understand a relation and the way we happily receive the responsibilities on us. I took this much time not because I find some entertainment in making you wait because I wanted to make a healthful decision.”
“I am not knowing bunny. I am not at all understanding anything.”
“Ammu I love you ammu” I again said.
She remained silent for a while as I did. “I was…” she started to speak about what she was trying to do to herself. “I was in the process of attempting to forget you bunny, for you were not interested in me. I was trying to be strong” while when he remained silent. “I thought it was all over.”
The silence continued for half a minute and she then asked with love, hope and fear all together…
“Bunny, are you clear with what you’re saying. Did you think before you spoke?”
“Yes ammu. I saw this from all the corners before making a decision”
“No problem bunny. Take some time. Think for two years and by then we’ll be graduates”
“Ammu. I’ve done the same for the last one and half year. And even after two years, my answer will be the same and it is already too late ammu. And even you know that I take very good decisions and think all the sides of the issue before going for it” Tears started from her eyes. “I know what you are Bunny. And that is the reason why I’ve stuck to you even if you ignored me” Blush on his face allowed his vocal cords to work more.
“But ammu I cannot be like a general lover or boyfriend of this society or in particular… this generation. I mean I cannot be like a typical girlfriend-boyfriend thing. I don’t like if it’s like we’ve to meet every day, talk every day, make love every day, and the things which lovers keep the situations demanding to one another. But all that doesn’t come to, me not loving you. I’ll just be myself as I was. I don’t want any situations demanding me to do things in some particular way to prove myself as your boyfriend. Making love happens for sure. But it naturally happens.”
“Even I don’t want those. I’ll not ask all those” she spoke out.
But a small part of her inside did definitely wanted those to happen because after everything she’s a girl and she’ll want to enjoy with her boyfriend in the way everyone does.
“Ammu, Don’t know if I am correct but I am not even being able to watch our next few years. The only thing I want to wait for is the time when we actually start together. Our life ahead.”
All these words from a person who fought her couple of days had bound her in a bubble of shock which really took a long time to burst.
“Bunny my family will not agree, Bunny” she said in a low tone
“We’ll find some other ways if some are not making it to good. But we are together and we’ll be.”
“Bunny nothing is going into my mind.”
“Ammu all these days what you had is a possessive feeling which only said that you want bunny and now what you are having is a personal feeling, which says we’re together. This makes a huge difference ammu. When you are possessive, you didn’t even think of your family but now everything which actually matters will be challenging you right in front of your eyes” He explained.
“Bunny, I need some time.”
“You’ll definitely need. Because now it is not the same as you thought. It is the reality. Not only the pleasures but also the consequences”
She remained silent for a few seconds and then said “Bunny what if it doesn’t happen?” she’s still in the bubble and now bounded with dilemma too. I went to the negative lane and said, “Frankly… I am not like I cannot live without you. Even if I have not enough money, I’ll try to find ways to at least be alive. I don’t say that I cannot live without marrying you. But that makes my life beautiful ammu. I’ll love living that.” This carried her from the negative lane to the neutral point where I was waiting.
She still didn’t utter those three magical words. And he didn’t even expect that from her because she’ll be in that bubble for some good time.
That night ended at 4:00 A.M for them.
Next day morning his phone rings
She shouts out with excitement “Bunny baby…… I love you, baby…”