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BLOG - ER Ramachandran

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Emoting with frozen mind amidst dance of destiny


This is true story of my friends Shyam and Madhu ( Names changed).This appeared in Mysore Mail and Churumuri recently.

ERR


Shyam and Madhu (Names changed) were our neighbours in Delhi. After doing Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in IIT Delhi, Shyam became a Reader there. Like most bachelors, he too went home hometown and got married to a beautiful Mysore girl. Madhu was an Arts graduate from Manasagangotri but it was her singing and dances that captivated people.
Often Shyam worried about his elder sister Jaya, who had remained a spinster. Shyam’s father had once taken her horoscope to a Shastrigalu who after some calculations predicted that there was some ‘dosha’ in her horoscope, which could result in her husband’s death soon after her marriage. May be the word got around among alliance seekers or Jaya’s higher qualification of Masters in literature came in the way, whatever it is, marriage days bypassed her.
Around that time, Shyam’s brother once brought his friend Shekar to their home in Bangalore. Shekar , a rank student throughout was in Indian Foreign Services after topping in IAS exam. Despite efforts by his mother Shekar had remained a bachelor and was just not interested in marriage. He was a hobby- freak and was a voracious reader.
Since he was waiting for a posting, he visited Jaya’s house often and they would discuss literature and writers. In one such meeting, Shekar learnt the underlying reason why Jaya wasn’t married.
That night Shekar couldn’t sleep and thought long and hard. After the death of his parents, he had become sort of a loner. He felt the need of a companion for the first time in his life.
Next day when he met Jaya, he proposed to her. He was quite candid, ‘I had decided to remain a bachelor. Ever since we met, I have been thinking it over. I like you; if you also like me, let me know.’ ‘I like you too. But I am afraid of losing you’ said Jaya. Shekar convinced her saying, ‘These things are not in our hands’.

They were married soon after at a simple ceremony in Bangalore.
The happy couple came to Delhi. He got a posting in Washington in Indian Embassy. Shekar went through a very stringent medical checkup. He spent two days in AIIMS for tests and was given a clean chit. They gave us parties for their marriage and foreign posting. After a couple of days, Shekar and Jaya took a flight to New York enroute to Washington.
***
The Karnataka Sangha in Delhi IIT planned to celebrate ‘Nada Habba’ for the Rajyothsava day. A cultural programme with a dinner from a Karol Bagh caterer was on the menu.
Quite a few non-IIT Kannadigas of Delhi were also usually invited to participate in their functions.The rehearsals went on for a week. Shyam was the hero in a Kannada play. Madhu practiced for her Bharatha Natyam dance. I joined the group singing folk songs and took up prompting during the play.
In the play there was a sentence: ‘ Avaru yarigu helade heege hortu hodare namma gathi yenu ?’(‘What about us if he disappears just like that?’). Quite often Shyam would miss this line and I used to prompt him from the side wing.
Since the programme was on a working day, none of us could meet during the day. We all met just before the programme at the IIT auditorium. After invocation, our Group sang the Kannada folk songs. Then followed Madhu’s dance in which she also danced ‘Krishna nee begane baro’. It was a moving performance from her.
During the play as I was prompting came the lines, Shyam was most likely to forget. The lines this time came easily to him, though I thought there was a tear in the corner of his eye when he asked, ‘ Avaru yarigu helade heege hortu hodare namma gathi yenu?’
Just as the play ended, Shyam and Madhu left the Green Room in hurry to a waiting taxi.
Before they left, Shyam told us Shekar had died of a massive heart attack the previous night.
The attack had come on the day he had joined duty in Washington. Jaya was bringing the body to Bangalore.
Destiny had played a waiting game and had hit when Jaya’s cup of joy was full.
The dreadful call had come early in the morning. Keeping their frozen tears amidst burning embers in their hearts, they had sung, danced and played their roles to perfection.

Rank amateurs had risen to their highest level in life and followed the dictum, ‘The Show must go on’.

Madhu’s plea, during ‘Krishna nee begane baro’ dance as well as the tear drop in the corner of Shyam’s eye during the play was real.

……

66 Comments:

  • See Please Here

    By Blogger Shakadal, at 11:36 PM  

  • Oh, oh. I wish it had not happened.
    Brave Shyam and Madhu. And poor Jaya - makes one wonder - do predictions from our horoscopes come true, then?

    By Blogger RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN, at 3:58 AM  

  • What a sad story. Well-narrated, and makes one wonder.

    By Blogger Gardenia, at 6:57 AM  

  • Many thanks for the comments. I too think it's a one-off incident and one need not rely on horoscope.The grace and dignity of my friends while facing extreme pressure is what amazed me.

    ERR

    By Blogger ER Ramachandran, at 11:30 PM  

  • Sheesh! I'm sad to think about Jaya - how much guilt she must have felt because the horoscope came true!!!

    Also amazing is the way Shyam and Madhu held themselves!

    By Blogger Viky, at 6:34 PM  

  • Moving!!! How I wish they had their cup of joy!!!

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