The Decision

Vyjayanti woke up with a start to the strains of –Kausalya Suprabhat…..and groaned. It was only 6 a.m. and already the house was brimming.”Appa will you please reduce the volume” she yelled. After her father’s retirement the house had become a shrine. Morning times there were always the smell of incense and the chanting of the mantras. Yes amma too was devout but her godliness was silent. Only 10 more days and she would report to work for her first job in New Delhi. Can’t they let me sleep in peace till then she wondered. 3 more hours for Animesh’s call she smiled to herself. Animesh her boyfriend of 3 years always called her up before leaving for work. He told her everything from what he was wearing to his agenda for the day. Strange she thought, he was a North Indian but had got a job in Bangalore itself and she a South Indian had got one in the North. But she was looking forward to it. “Vyju if you are awake, don’t loll around, get up”, Appa called and dutifully she got up.
Two months into her job and life was rocking. She was sharing an apartment with two other girls. Weekdays were hectic. Weekends were spent partying or exploring in and around Delhi. She spoke everyday with her parents and Animesh. Her career was not going that great but beginnings are always like that isn’t it, she thought. Learning concepts in a classroom are alright but applying those principles in practice was a different ballgame altogether. But all in all life was fun. I have the best of both the worlds she thought contently

It was October and already Delhi was getting cool. Vyju was gaining respect in her office and her colleagues had accepted her as one of their own which included Rohit her team leader. He was smart, handsome and excellent in his work. Vyju was getting attracted towards him. Why am I attracted towards him, when I have Animesh, she thought. Animesh with his blind loyalty to her. He would ask her opinion on everything before deciding. Unlike Appa who dominates and accepts that everyone will follow his wishes. Is that why I chose Animesh because he is the exact opposite of Appa, she wondered.

Mid November early on a Saturday she was lying on the bed and thinking. Animesh had come to meet her Last week and he had still not changed. Still the same clingy type. Yes she like men who took a woman’s advice but she wanted her man to be assertive too. Heck she was missing home. The smells and sound of home, Ammas cooking, arguments with Appa etc. She hated coming home to an empty apartment and always the vision of Amma with hot coffee for her and Appa waiting for her in the balcony would appear before her eyes. She even missed Appas high octave Shlokas she thought. Let me visit Akka maybe my homesickness will be cured she thought. And get some good home cooked food. I love North Indian food but not everyday. Gimme some sambar rice and I will be ecstatic she thought.

Vyshali, her sister elder by 8 years was married, had two sons and lived in the suburbs. She was the reason that her parents had allowed Vyjayanti to come so far. They knew that Vyshali will keep an eye on her younger sibling. “Hi akka, how are you,” she had thought it better to call up and then go lest they had some other plans. “Hi, Vyju I am down with a cold”, she replied. “ Oh I thought of visiting you, is it ok “, Vyju asked. “Come da I am longing for some female company and have sent everyone to my sis-in laws place, so we can have some peaceful talk,” she replied.

On reaching her sisters place she found it to be in a mess. She first cleared it up. Then cooked some rice and amma’s magic rasam. Ammas rasam the recipe which had been passed on from generations was the magic cure for everything from an upset stomach to a mad mood. ‘Akka why didn’t you call me if you were so unwell”, she complained. “ You are so busy Vyju didn’t want to disturb you.” “Come on Akka can’t I spend some time for you” and thus started their conversation. Akka with her topics on her family and Vyju about her job. “ Akka You know I don’t like Animesh any more, he wants me to mother him. I don’t want a baby, I want a man and you know there is our team leader Rohit –handsome, brilliant in his job but a bit pushy.” And she became silent. “Why Viju, Did he get physical with you?”, her sis asked. “uhh no. I know that he is attracted to me but his mannerisms scare me” she replied. “ Don’t be alone with him,” her sister advised. “I Won’t,” she replied.

“I asked Amma what she would do if you selected your own spouse,” Akka said.”You did. But Amma is like a scanner she knows what goes in our minds and she definitely knows about Ani and me, what was her reply?” “Amma just smiled and said although you were a rebel, you were a conservative at heart.” “Huh what did she mean by that?” “ Just that Vyju in the end you will get married in a traditional way” “Ha me get married matching horoscopes, no way.” At that moment the kids arrived and conversation came to a standstill.

A week later and Vyju was bawling her heart out. She and Rohit had had an animated discussion and had moved to the vending machine for a coffee when he had tried to fondle her. When she had given him a look he had feigned innocence as if it had happened by mistake. Why do I land up with the wrong men she wondered? First Animesh who was the clingy type and now this Rohit. I have met so many guys but none who measure up to my expectation, why?
She spent the whole night thinking and got up in the morning to compose a mail;

Dear Appa-Amma,
I know you will be surprised on receiving this mail but the thoughts I wish to convey can be expressed in writing and not verbally.
Recently I have started feeling the need to share, the need to be loved and to be cared. In short the need of a companion. I have met many guys here but none have satisfied me.
Yes I am ready for the adventure called marriage. Amma you were right I am more conservative than I thought. And I know that you know what is right for me. So I know you will find the right guy for me. My only condition is that the guy be a professional and that I be allowed to meet him before finalizing so that I can check if our thinking’s match.
With all my love
Yours
Vyju.
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