Friday, June 26, 2015

WHAT IS THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE ?

WHAT IS THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE?
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Let me delve into my Creative Writing Archives and pull out a Love Story with a Difference.
 
This is one of my early stories about relationships.

I wrote this story more than 10 years ago  in the year 2004 – and I posted it on my creative writing blog and fiction websites in April/May 2006.

This Story THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE features in my book of short stories COCKTAIL.

Here is the story – abridged and revised  for you to read.

Do tell me if you like this story.


THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE – Short Story by Vikram Karve

A cell-phone rings at 9 o’clock in the morning in an apartment in Aundh Pune.  

The husband picks up his mobile phone and puts it to his ear.

Then – he pauses for a moment as if hearing something.

And then - the man says into the mobile phone, “Don’t worry  I will be there on time.” 

Then  the husband switches off the mobile phone  and keeps it in his pocket.  

He then shouts to his wife, who is in the kitchen: “I am going out for some work. I will be back around one thirty or two for lunch.” 
 
“Where are you going...? You have taken leave today. Let’s go shopping...and then we'll go for lunch and a movie.”
  
“Please. Not today. I have taken leave just for this important thing.”  

“Important thing…? What important thing…? Where are you going…?” the wife persists.   

The husband does not want to tell his wife anything  but he knows now that he has no choice but to tell her something. 

He knows his wife’s nature so well – she is not going to rest till she finds out. 

She will nag him to death until he tells her.   

So he decides to tell her the bare minimum.

“I am going to the Family Court,” he says. 
 
“Family Court…? Why…?” his wife shrieks in amazement.
 
“A divorce case,” the husband says nonchalantly.
 
“Divorce case…? You are filing a divorce case…? You are trying to divorce me behind my back…?” the wife yells hysterically.
 
“Will you please be quiet and listen…? It’s not us. Pooja has asked me to come for the hearing.” 
 
“Pooja…? Who is this Pooja…?”  

“You have met her. She is my colleague at work.”
 
“Oh...so it is That Pooja…! I knew you always had a soft corner for her.” 
 
“It is her final divorce hearing today  and she has called me.”
 
“Divorce case…? Pooja…? She called you…? How are you involved…? I hope the divorce is not because of you…? I knew you would do something stupid. You are so gullible you know – you must have got trapped by her – you must have fallen victim to her charms  and now you are in trouble being summoned by courts. Respectable persons never see the insides of a court in their entire lives...!” 
 
“Will you please keep quiet…? You just go on and on…! Pooja has called me just to give her emotional support...” 
 
“Emotional support…? From you…? So this Pooja needs emotional support from you…? Why you…? Tell me…why you…? I knew there was some hanky-panky going on. I’m coming with you. Can’t you see what she’s up to…?” 
  
“Please calm down and don’t jump to conclusions. Pooja is just a colleague going through a rough patch. As a friend, I have to help her out, show her a bit of compassion and kindness…that’s all…”  

“Compassion…? Compassion my foot…! This compassion may soon turn into passion…!” the wife says sarcastically.

“Compassion...Passion...What are you saying?” the exasperated husband asks.

“What am I saying? Let me tell you one thing. Drying a divorcee’s tears is one of the most dangerous pastimes for a man  especially a married man…!” the wife says emphatically. 

“Pastime…? I am not going there for amusement. I am going just to help out a colleague…”   

“Oh, yes. An attractive colleague in distress, isn’t it...? And our Knight in shining armour is rushing to her rescue…!”  

“Okay. Why don’t you come along and see for yourself...” the husband says, exasperated.
 
The moment he utters those words he instantly regrets it  but it is too late. 

His wife has already picked up her purse  and she is heading towards the door. 
 
“Why are they divorcing…?” the wife asks, as they are driving in their car from their house in Aundh towards the Family Court in Pune city. 

“It’s divorce by mutual consent.”
  
“Mutual consent…? What nonsense…! There must be some other reason.”

“No. They have just agreed to separate.” 
  
“Agreed to separate…? If they can agree to separate, why can’t they agree to stay together…?
 
“I don’t know. Why don’t you ask Pooja that…!” the husband says, irritated.

“Of course I will. And I will give a piece of my mind to her husband too and tell him to stop harassing his wife.”
 
“Please…I beg you…for heaven’s sake don’t say anything stupid and embarrassing to them over there. He is not harassing her. They are parting amicably, as friends. I told you, it is an amicable divorce by mutual consent...”  

“What nonsense…? Amicable divorce by mutual consent…? There is no such thing as amicable divorce…!” the wife says, matter-of-factly.
 
“What do you mean that there is no such thing as amicable divorce? Nowadays, so many people have amicable divorces and part as friends.”
 
“Nonsense…! It’s all nonsense, a cover up… Amicable Divorce is a big lie – amicable divorce is an oxymoron.”
  
“Amicable Divorce is an Oxymoron…? What are you saying...?” 
  
“Yes. Tell me  how can divorce be amicable?

“What do you mean? 

If their marriage is really so amicable  why divorce in the first place? If they can divorce and remain friends  I am sure they can remain married and be friends... isn’t it?” the wife argues.
 
“I don’t know. Please lets talk something else,” the husband says.
 
“I am sure there is something fishy, some hanky panky...” 
 
“Will you please keep quiet and let me drive the car in peace…?” 
 
“What’s her husband’s name…?”
 
“Abhishek.”
  
“See  Pooja and Abhishek  even their names are compatible,” the wife says.

The husband remains silent.

Then the wife looks at her husband and says: I am certain that there must be some adultery involved. This Abhishek must be having an affair. Or it must be Pooja. Yes it is her. I am sure she is having an affair…!” 
 
“Don’t be stupid. Pooja is not like that.”
 
“How do you know…?”
 
“I know her for so many years now. Pooja is quite close to me. She has told me everything…”
  
“Close to you…? Pooja is close to you…? Oh, My God…! I hope it is not you…? Are you and Pooja...?” the wife looks at her husband suspiciously.
  
“Me…? Will you please shut up…? I told you it is mutual incompatibility…!” the husband says.
  
“Mutual Incompatibility my foot…! 

What do you mean?

Let me tell you there is no one in this world who is more mutually incompatible than you and me…! We are totally incompatible. But are we divorcing…?” the wife asks her husband.
 
“Why don’t we get divorced…? At least I will get some peace and respite from your constant nagging…” the husband says.
 
“Ah – now I know – you want to divorce me so you can marry that damsel in distress Pooja  so that is your plan? Ha...Ha! You have got a hope in heaven…! I will cling on to you till my dying day. And then I will follow you as a ghost and even to heaven after that…” the wife says.

They drive in silence for a while.

Then  the wife asks, Has she got any children…?”
 
“Yes. Two. A boy and a girl. In school…”
 
“Poor kids. What will happen to them…?” 
 
“They will go off to a boarding school for a while till Pooja settles down...” 
  
“It’s funny. They have got children  and they are divorcing. We don’t have any children  but we are carrying on together…!” 

"Yes,” the husband says, “I really wonder…! We constantly fight  but we stay together  and they have such a cordial relationship  but they want to separate…” 
 
Marriage is not supposed to be cordial and cold,” the wife says lovingly, snuggling up affectionately to her long-married husband.
 
“I have realized one thing,” says the husband dotingly hugging his much-married wife. 
  
“What…?” 

“The opposite of love is not hate – the opposite of love is indifference.”

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

This Story was written by me Vikram Karve in the year 2004 and First Posted Online on my Creative Writing Blog on 01 May 2006 at url: http://creative.sulekha.com/divorce_35146_blog  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2010/08/what-is-opposite-of-love.html
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