VIII. Stoic

.  .  .

The one thing that stays throught the gravest of the adversities is something that is pure at its core, something like love.

Story so far:
Siri and Suhas had decided to give themselves a break and avoid talking to each other until the college was over. But love, however serene it might be, always comes with an asterisk sign on top of it. There are either certain terms and conditions or pretty hurdles to jump over. The both of them were sort of facing both at the same time. They decided to meet at a brother’s marriage and talk things over and see if they could make it any better. One thing they were extremely sure was that they both loved each other to the core and there couldn’t possibly anyone who could take either’s place. But the no-talking ban was killing the both of them and they wanted to reach a middle ground on that and why to waste those two years of college when they could just enjoy the way they did before all this went down. Suhas proposed with that very idea and was waiting for what Siri has to say about that?
Read on…

.   .   .

Suhas had propositioned that they continued to talk just like they had been doing until that dreaded phone call. They both knew that they were feeling miserable without each other’s company. But Siri wanted to do things the right way, by seeking her parent’s approval. However, there were a lot many hurdles to cross before they could come to that position. But Suhas’s proposition made complete sense because Siri wouldn’t imagine anyone other than Suhas and their union is inevitable and their decision to hold off everything would be more taxing on their minds and would definitely burden their hearts. Siri was definitely considering this option because all she had were sleepless nights and she couldn’t even concentrate properly on her studies which was the main intention of them deciding to hold off on their relationship until the college was over.

While Siri was pondering over and racking her mind to make the right decision which would have everyone’s interests at heart, she was completely in splits to come to a decision. She found Suhas’s proposition to be a good one and she knew in her heart that it is something they can pull it off, but something seemed to be bothering her. A familiar voice brought her back from the trance she was so immensely lost in. It was her mother and she immediately brushed off all those thoughts and was all ears to what she had to say. She took Siri away from all the people and perhaps she sensed something was up with her, which was her very question. Siri regained her composure and reassure her that there was nothing going on and everything was absolutely fine. She even brought up the topic of marriage and wanted to know her opinion. Siri had no answer to that but gave her mother a confusing nod. Her mother had suspected something about her relationship and perhaps was hoping for her to say something about it. Siri was scared to even tell about that and was thinking it might not be the right time to do that. The dilemma was drowning her in more guilt than she was already feeling. After a bit more of exchanging words and convincing her mom that there was nothing that was on her mind which was bothering, she retired to the wedding festivities. However, she was left in more dilemma than she was already in.

Suhas was unaware of what Siri had just encountered and all the while he was very hopeful with the proposition which was probably his best to mitigate the situation they were in and it had both of their interests in mind. Siri wanted to think it over and wanted to be very sure before she made a  decision. Everyone was in a new high of the marriage that was happening, the happy faces singing and dancing all around while two people were lost in the world of their own and dealing with the dark cloud of uncertainty. The marriage festivities ended on a high note and everyone was going back to their routine, even Siri and Suhas. She didn’t want to hurt her parents and she came to the realization that even her mother has come to know about it and that she needed to be more careful and the only solution that she could think of was to avoid talking to Suhas. It was difficult but it was a necessary measure or so she thought. She knew that Suhas would call her and she wouldn’t avoid that.

A couple of months passed by and they were on occasional talking terms, however, the love wasn’t any less now that they were talking less than usual. It just kept growing stronger by the day, perhaps it was that one of a kind, pure and eternal. It was the peak of the winter and the cold had slowly started to brim the lowest temperatures recorded in the city. But the city their families were in had a slightly different story, it had this ardent humidity and the cold was absolutely bearable. It was also the time, the whole of the family got together for like a yearly reunion which had the games, feast, catching up and other festivities. It was a great hit just like every other year it is. Suhas and Siri were now on talking terms and hence there wasn’t much awkwardness as one might have expected. Everyone seemed to be doing great and happy. However, there was this small thing that was bothering Siri about still keeping it all a secret and that she hadn’t told her mom when she had asked about it a couple months ago. Siri was already calculating the time the college would be and how they would have to approach her parents which was entirely Suhas’ responsibility as he had said that he would.

Meanwhile, Siri’s aunt had been searching for a while and seeing her busy with the cousins, she decided to talk to her about something important later. When she saw Siri alone, she took up the opportunity and decided to talk to her. Siri might have anticipated what this was but she was being skeptical that it won’t be about that. But for her dismay, her aunt wanted to discuss that very thing – her marriage. She had already approached the ‘marriageable’ age and finding a suitable bride was a tedious process. There were many factors that needed to be considered and there was no guarantee that all the items in the list would be checked out. Arranged marriages had this special offer of making compromises. But then again, finding true love is next to impossible in such an arrangement, but perhaps a compromised love is all one could settle for and like they say love only grows with time, perhaps it is a perceivable alternative. But Siri had already found what she was looking for and there was someone who checked all the items in the checklist. She was clear on that aspect whom she would be spending her future with, but there was this most difficult task in front of her, which was informing each other’s parents and maybe convincing them if that came to that. And she hadn’t told anyone yet and no one in the family knows about that. While she was wondering and hoping that it wasn’t about that very topic, her aunt started with her opinion. She had asked Siri whether they should start looking for a suitable bride and since she had already reached the marriageable age, she would be getting married after the college was over. Siri kept mum and was trying to control her emotions to not show up. Her aunt was just trying to get an opinion but before she would complete her next sentence, Siri’s eyes had welled up and there were tears trailing down her cheeks. Her aunt was taken aback and while she was wondering what she had said to make her cry, she calmed Siri down and asked her to take a breath. She assured her that she could tell what she had in mind and perhaps she could help with it all.

Siri took a while to calm herself down and get her thoughts in order while her aunt had offered her a glass of water. Her aunt clearly wasn’t expecting that to happen with her and she was genuinely concerned about what her and what was going on. Siri explains her everything how she loves that one guy and how she wanted to just marry him and no one else. First of all, her aunt had never seen her so emotional and teary and what she made perfect sense. Siri was genuinely concerned with breaking the news to her parents and how would be able to handle the aftermath of that. Her aunt assures her that there was nothing to worry about. She knows the guy and he is a good person so she will speak to her parents when the time is right. Siri is extremely relieved for two reasons, one that she had told about the relationship to someone and secondly that her aunt would be speaking about the whole thing to her mother. But little did Siri know that she was in for a rollercoaster ride. She hadn’t anticipated what had happened next.

.   .   .

What was in store for Siri and Suhas? Why wasn’t she as much relieved as she should have been?
(To be continued …)

Read about the characters and the story from the start here:
A Happy Beginning