It was Sunday afternoon. Sudheer was alone at home and feeling most uncomfortable. He was recollecting decade back unforgettable incident. The separation of a lover forever was a painful. She was disappointed, shattered not because of his attitude, but the threatening of her father. She had accepted Sudheer as a soul mate. It was nothing but a strong protest of her father; he had to part ways with a beautiful girl friend. She had expressed full faith in him to lead future life. Without realizing the consequences and great shock to the young girl friend, her father adopted the illegal method. Ship was moving in the sea perfectly to reach the destination. Suddenly, a powerful wind came and blows up the ship.
At the same time, a phone was ringing continuously and he came out of the past memory.
He was a managing director of a small private company dealing with import and export business for the last eight years. Initially, he had to work hard to raise the status of the company. Due to his sustained efforts and expertise company secured a good position only last year. Even on Sunday also he receives calls from the staff and customers from abroad. If there was a complicated problem, he would go personally and attend to it.
It was a last Sunday of the month and his wife informed him about the shortage of grocery items. She even told him that if he fails to bring the grocery everybody would have to observe fast. Their six year old daughter Surabhi wanted some urgent things like dresses, notebooks, pen, pencil, bag and erasers. The shops were ten minutes drive from the house. He had not appointed maid servants and car driver. He always believes in self help is the best help. His wife Sumati was also believes in simplicity and cooperate husband to face the situation.
Sudheer was not in a position to move out due to uneasiness. Considering the urgency, he told Sumati to get the required things from the shops. She went along with Surabhi. Before leaving, both had breakfast with Sudheer. Sumati told Sudheer that they would be back by lunch time. She had already ordered food from the nearest hotel. The hotel boy brought the food well in time. He had no mood to have lunch. Even after lunch time his wife and daughter did not return home.
He was a regular reader of novels. He took a social fiction book from the shelf. He had already read the same book more than three times. He was interested to read the same book again because the protagonist of the novel remained bachelor after knowing the tragic end of his lover. Whenever he finds time, he wanted to write a novel depicting on his own deserted love story.
While taking out the book a beautiful envelop with a letter inside fell on the ground. Even after more than ten years, the letter had not lost its beauty. He was amazed to see the love letter written by a girl addressed to him. There was an art work on the cover like a heart within that ‘I Love you darling’ and lover’s art picture holding hands together, and few beautiful quotes on love. There was one simple sentence on the envelope, “Open this letter by touching to the heart.”
The letter inside was written with beautiful handwriting using special ink pen expressing her inner feelings. The same art work with slight changes in color was in the letter. A flash back of about ten years came to his mind and thrilled. He recollected the place, where the lovers met and exchanged romantic views. In the past, he read the love letter several times. Each time after reading the letter, he was getting a thrilling experience. The love letter was short but sweet. The same ‘love letter’ had become a turning point in his life. What were the contents of the love letter? Why this love letter created rift among the family?
He was just 28 year old young man working as an executive in one of the reputed finance company. She was also working in the same company as a Personal Secretary to Chairman. He had maintained an excellent relationship with the Chairman. During the course of his frequent visits to boss in connection with the business development, he came in to contact with the young lady. Both met on number of occasions on the instructions of chairman. His plans and her strategy worked out successfully. During that Year Company gained 200% profits. Both used to meet in hotel on week ends and developed intimacy and personal relationship very closely.
One day, she gave him a beautiful cover with a letter inside and requested him to open it in a quiet place like a park having full of greenery and natural scenes. It was quite obvious that the cover contained a ‘love letter’ with the romantic feelings expressed in a unique way. He was surprised, because he didn’t expected that the matter will go to such an extent. In home, he was alone. Father was in service and staying in different place with his mother.
In the evening, when he went to the park and first thing he did was to read the letter again and again. He became happy, because, she expressed her desire boldly without any bias to marry with him. There were so many hurdles before him. He put up this proposal before his parents. After getting the details of the girl, his father rejected the proposal on the plea that the girl belongs to a different cast and culture. Obviously, she was born and brought up in highly modern family. Their objection was perfectly alright keeping in view of the situation prevailing at that time. In spite of all these hurdles, his father told his son take right decision. His father told him that if he wants to marry the girl, to whom he loved, he would not come in his way. Sudheer had two alternatives. One, disobey the parents and marry the girl, to whom he liked very much. Two, forget the beloved for ever. He took the bold decision to go ahead, disregarding displeasure of his parents.
He didn’t want to share the contents of the letter with others. He could not keep it within. What were the contents of the letter?
My Dear Sudheer,
You may be surprised to see this letter. We have been friends for the last one year. Our association in the company was limited to the extent of official matters. My first meeting with you was on a special occasion. There was a meeting of prominent clients with the Chairman in his chamber and I was making note of the proceedings. You were called by the Chairman to participate in the meeting. You were quite new to the company and had a fear to participate. You gave a solution to a complicated problem between the company and the clients. I was very much impressed about the way in which you spoke on the issue.
I wanted to develop intimacy with you. It may be because of your wisdom in tackling the tricky issues, attractive personality and magic of sharing views with other colleagues. You were attracted by not only boss but all other staff members of the company. I was very much influenced on that day, when you delivered a thought provoking speech on the occasion of company’s annual day and the party hosted by the boss. Your views on business development especially on relationship between parent- children, brothers- sisters and more particularly on lovers were noteworthy.
I took the very important decision on that day itself to marry with you only, otherwise remain unmarried throughout the life. The feeling at that particular moment was really overwhelming and spontaneous. If I were a poetess, I would have expressed my inner feelings in a beautiful poetic language. You are my living breath, my life and my soul mate. ‘I Love You’ contains just eight letters, three words and one meaning. I was dreaming all these days to have a wonderful life partner like you. I had my own thinking of selecting a life partner. You fulfill all my aspirations. I will be most happy, if the dream of becoming your wife turns into a reality.
You may ask me, what was the subject in your speech to attract? There were numerous subjects’ right from developing business acumen, education, selection of suitable job and life partner etc. In a brief lecture of about ten minutes, you have covered most of the interesting topics in a forceful manner. There were clapping and applauds from the spectators. The company chairman was very much impressed on you. He told me this fact on several occasions especially during his briefing on important issues. You deserve kudos.
You didn’t miss to express about your parents. It shows how much love you have on them. I wanted to hug you soon after you finished the speech. Last month, we met in the midst of a beautiful natural spot surrounded by tall trees, greenery and waterfall. I enjoyed the sweet moments with your company. You were talking non-stop not allowing me to share my views with you. I appreciate your thinking on love, relationships and the noble ideas. I didn’t get bored even after spending more than one hour. Your hands touched me knowingly or unknowingly several times during the talk. My heart filled with joy whenever you touched me.
During this particular moment, I went into a different world of love, where nobody was there except you and me. I thought myself that I was never more intelligent. You told me at that time that my beautiful complexion and your knowledge will perfectly match to become ideal husband and wife. Coming to my personal matter, I belong to an affluent family with modern culture. My father was a top defence personnel moving with all the high society people. Naturally, I was born and brought up in that atmosphere. It doesn’t mean that I am slave of all the bad habits that so called socialites are having. I have my own principles in my life. I like Indian culture of simple living and high thinking. You may convince this aspect to your parents.
Please do not treat this letter as a mere love letter and throw it to dustbin. I have expressed my feelings from my inner heart. I think those who express from the inner heart would be more effective and touching to the heart. I have strong belief that you will accept my proposal in a right spirit. Every moment spent with you is like a beautiful dream come true. I love you with everything I am, and more than anyone ever thought possible.
By the time Sudheer finished reading love letter, there was a sound of knocking at the door. He kept the ‘Love Letter’ in the briefcase safely. When he opened the door, he saw along with his wife and daughter another lady. He could not recognize her immediately. His wife introduced her as a best friend. She told her husband how they become friends recently.
Sudheer became dumb to see Tanuja before him after a gap of more than ten years. She too was surprised to see him as her close friend Sumati’s husband. For a moment, it was a tense situation for all. Tanuja remained unmarried and decided to dedicate her rest of life to serve the poor and downtrodden people. He had no words to express her sacrifice for the right cause. He became emotional and could not speak for some time. He revealed his love affairs with Tanuja and the later developments to Sumati.
“Sudheer, why did you keep this secret for a long time? Tanuja is a nice lady.”
“Yes! I do agree with your view. I wanted to reveal this love episode to you at an appropriate time. The circumstances at that time prevented me to take bold decision. I failed to face the threat given by Tanuja’s father. You know, I belong to a middle class orthodox Brahmin family with limited resources at our disposal. My father was a primary school teacher. My mother was a housewife. It was very difficult for my father to maintain the family. In spite of the poor economic condition, my father sent me to college and then University. I obtained MBA with first class. In spite of my father’s disapproval, he told me to take appropriate decision. I went ahead to convey my approval to her. But her father opposed it. Tanuja belongs to affluent family with modern culture. At that time, Tanuja was helpless. She can’t go against her father. With heavy heart, I advised her to marry a suitable boy and lead a good life. I wished all the best for her future life.”
His wife Sumati also became dumb and unable to speak further. Tanuja congratulated her friend Sumati for becoming a wife of Sudheer.
“Whatever happens happens for the good.” Said Tanuja
“Tanuja, you need not have sacrificed by remaining unmarried?”
“Sudheer, my father wanted me to marry his colleagues son. I told my father not to insist for my marriage. Our differences reached to such an extent that there was no point of compromise. I was sent out of home. The will power in me gave strength to live all these years. I beg pardon on behalf of my father.”
“It is your greatness. Why do you seek pardon, when you have not done any wrong?” Said Sudheer
“Sudheer, you know my father behaved with you in an indecent manner and warned you to stop meeting with me. I remember even today the incidence in which our watchman hit on your forehead and the blood was coming. But you have not retorted and replied in a polite manner.”
Tanuja was there for some time and expressed her wish to move. But she was unable to get up from the chair and fell down unconscious. Sudheer went to her for help. Tanuja was holding his hand tightly. Sumati could not control her grief for the sudden development. Sudheer arranged ambulance to admit her in the hospital. Unfortunately, by the time she reached hospital, doctors declared her as dead due to massive heart attack.
Little girl Surabhi was a silent spectator of elders discussion.