Monday, August 29, 2016

My “Feminist” Girlfriend and Me – Romance

MY “FEMINIST” GIRLFRIEND and ME
Short Fiction Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE


THE FEMINIST” WHO LOVED ME – a Romance by Vikram Karve 


Part 1 : MY FEMINIST GIRLFRIEND

“Hey – will you please pick me up from ‘XXX’ Bookstore on your way back from office…?” my wife said over the phone.

“Okay – but I can only come after 6 o’clock…” I said.

“No hurry – I am going for a book launch – it starts at 5:30 – it will go on till 6:30 at least…” she said.

I reached the bookstore around 6:15 in the evening.

There was quite a crowd for the book launch.

At the entrance of the bookstore – there was a big poster of the book being launched.

The title of the book was: GENDER EQUALITY IN MARRIAGE.

The moment I saw the photo of the author – my heart skipped a beat.

It was the ‘Feminist’ – my college classmate – Rita.

I walked to the book-launch area – and I quietly sat down on a vacant chair in the last row.

The ‘Feminist’ was speaking about her book – and as I expected – she was delivering a diatribe against men in general and the patriarchal system in particular.

I could see my wife in the first row – listening attentively – lapping up every word.

After finishing her tirade against the masculine gender – the ‘Feminist’ began waxing eloquent about marital abuse and domestic violence – and she exhorted women not to tolerate any dominating behaviour from their husbands – “there was no need for women to suffer an abusive marriage” she emphasized – and then she explained various legal remedies available to women who suffer abuse at the hands of their husbands.

At the end of her speech – after concluding her bitter rant against all men in general and husbands in particular – the ‘Feminist’ looked in my direction – and she gave me a smile of recognition.

Then – after her book was launched by a ‘VIP’ – the ‘Feminist’ was whisked away by the organizers to autograph copies of her book.

I walked to my wife – and I said to her: “Come on – let’s go.”

“How can we go now?” my wife protested.

“Why? The book launch is over?” I said.

“I want an autographed copy of her book…” my wife said.

“You want to buy this useless book…?”

“How can you call this book useless…?”

“Anyway – I just heard her bigoted views – I don’t want you to read such inflammatory books…?”

“Inflammatory..?”

“Yes – such provocative books will only spoil our marriage…”

“Now I know – you are one of those ‘MCP’ husbands she was talking about…”

“What nonsense…”

“Till now you have managed to subjugate me – but now – I will read what is written in the book – and I will teach you a lesson…” my wife said.

My wife joined the queue to get an autographed copy of the book.

I saw that the publishers had organized ‘high tea’ in the rear section of the bookstore where the book launch had taken place – so I walked there and poured myself a cup of tea – then I sat down on a table enjoying my tea.

After a few minutes – my wife came with a copy of the book in her hands – she was ecstatic as she showed me the autograph of the ‘Feminist’ – who had written my wife’s name with a message: “Wish you a ‘gender equal’ marriage”.

“See – she has already started corrupting you with her prejudiced views – even before you read the book,” I said to me wife.

“Hi Arun – may I join you,” a feminine voice said from above.

I recognized the voice at once – and I felt a tremor of discomfort.

I looked up at the ‘Feminist’ and said: “Oh – Hi Rita – of course – please join us.”

The ‘Feminist’ (Rita) pulled a chair and sat down to my left – with my wife to her left – opposite me.

I cannot describe the expression on my wife’s face – to put it mildly – she looked ‘amazed’.

The ‘Feminist’ looked at me and said: “So – Arun – ‘long time no see’ – I was quite surprised to see you here – sitting in the last row – listening to my talk…”

“Actually – I came to pick up my wife – she had come for your book launch…” I said.

“Oh – yes…” the ‘Feminist’ said looking at my wife.

Then – the ‘Feminist’ looked at me and said: “Arun – won’t you introduce your wife to me…?”

I introduced them.

My wife smiled at the ‘Feminist’ and asked her: “You know my husband…?”

“Of course I know him – we were classmates in college…” the ‘Feminist’ said.

“Really…?” my wife said, surprised.

“Of course - Arun and I had a real good time together in college – we were the best of friends – inseparable buddies – in fact – I even proposed to him…” the ‘Feminist’ said to my wife.

“You proposed marriage to Arun…?” my flabbergasted wife asked the ‘Feminist’.

“Of course – I wanted to marry Arun – but he turned down my marriage proposal – didn’t Arun tell you about me…?” the ‘Feminist’ said to my wife.

Suddenly – a man appeared – the man looked at the ‘Feminist’ – and he gestured towards his watch.

“Oh – I have to go for a TV interview…” the ‘Feminist’ said.

The ‘Feminist’ got up from her seat – she looked at my wife – and smiled: “It was so nice meeting you – do watch my interview at 8 about my book on TV…” the ‘Feminist’ said to my wife, mentioning a news channel.

Then – the ‘Feminist’ looked at me and said: “Arun – it was great meeting you after so many years…”

I smiled at her and said: “Yes – all the best…”

After the ‘Feminist’ had walked away – my wife asked me: “You didn’t even ask your girlfriend for her mobile number…”

“Why should I ask her for her mobile number…?” I said.

“Don’t you want to rekindle your ‘old flame’ – your first love…?” my wife teased.

“You shut up – it was nothing like that – we were just classmates…”

“Oh – but she proposed to you – she wanted to marry you – and the way she was looking at you – it is clear that she is still in love with you…”

“But – I was never in love with her…”

“Why…?”

“Because she is a ‘masculine’ woman…” I said.

“What nonsense – she looks quite ‘feminine’ to me – in fact – she is a very beautiful woman…” my wife said.

“I was not talking about her looks – it is about her strong views…” I said.

I wanted to end this conversation – so I got up from my chair – and said to my wife: “Let’s go home…”

In the car – my wife started off again about the ‘Feminist’.

“Why didn’t you marry her…?” my wife asked me.

“Because I was scared of her…”

“Scared?  You are twice her size…”

“I was not scared of her physically – I was scared of her views…”

“Why…”

“She is a man-hater…”

“Oh – she does not like men – surprising – she does not look ‘that type’…”

“What do you mean by ‘that type’…?”

“You know – ‘that type’ – there were a few girls in our college hostel – they did not like boys – they preferred… – you know what I mean – ‘that type’…?

“No – No – No – I did not mean it that way – she is not ‘that type’ – tell me – if she was ‘that type’ – would she have proposed marriage to me...?”

“Oh yes – you are right – that means she likes men…”

“On the contrary – she hates men…”

“But – she liked you…”

“She may have personally liked me – but in general – she is a ‘feminist’ – in fact – she is a man hater – a ‘misandrist’ who is strongly prejudiced against men – and I did not want a wife who hates men…”

“I hate you…” my wife said.

Luckily – we reached home – and I was happy to end this rather irksome conversation.

Later – I saw that my wife was glued to the TV watching the ‘Feminist’ spew venom against the masculine gender in general – with a special diatribe against husbands in particular – as she discussed various aspects of her book.

At night – in bed – I observed my wife avidly reading her autographed copy of the book on ‘Gender Equality in Marriage’ written by the ‘Feminist’. 


Part 2 : MY FEMINIST WIFE  

After reading the book written by my ‘Feminist’ friend – from the next morning onwards – there was a visible change in my wife’s attitude and demeanor – my wife started asserting herself – putting into practice some the principles written in the Feminist’s book.

From time to time – my wife would watch the ‘Feminist’ on TV debates – and after every such debate – my wife would become more aggressive – demanding ‘gender equality’ in marriage – and the upshot was that I was soon reduced to being a “homemaker” (in addition to being the “breadwinner”).

A few weeks later – one evening – while we were shopping in a posh locality – my wife suddenly said: “Look Look – look there…”

I looked in the direction my wife was pointing.

Across the road – I saw the ‘Feminist’ – Rita. 


Part 3 : THE FEMINIST WHO LOVED ME 

Yes – it was Rita – the ‘Feminist’.

Rita had got out of a car and was walking towards a building – and then – she entered the building.

“She probably lives here – let’s go and meet her…” my wife said excitedly.

“Are you crazy…? We can’t just barge in like that…” I protested.

“Of course you can – after all – you were her first love…” my wife said.

“Please stop it – I don’t want to meet her – as it is she has been a bad influence on you…” I said.

“Bad influence…?”

“Yes – just by reading her book – you have made my life hell. Just imagine what will happen if you actually start meeting her…? She has already ‘liberated’ you enough – I don’t want her to ‘liberate’ you any further. That is why I do not want you to meet her – she is a bad influence and will corrupt you totally…” I said.

“I am going…” my wife said – and she crossed the road – and walked towards the building.

I had no choice but to follow her.

My wife was looking at the board in the foyer.

Suddenly – she located the Feminist’s name and exclaimed: “Ah – there – ‘Rita ….’ – 3rd Floor – see – the flat is her name – looks like she did not get married…”

We went up by the lift – and rang the doorbell.

The door did not open for some time.

“Let’s go – no one is opening the door…” I said.

In response – my wife pressed the doorbell for a long time.

“Who is it…?” a male voice said from inside.

“Rita’s friend…” my wife said.

The door opened.

A man was standing in the door.

From the stink of whisky from his breath and body – and from his disheveled appearance – I realized that he was drunk.

“Let’s go…” I said to my wife.

But – my wife asked the man, “We have come to meet Rita – she lives here – doesn’t she…?”

The man said: “Yes – Rita lives here – I am Rita’s husband – but who are you…?”

I told the man my name.

The drunken man thought for a moment – and then exclaimed loudly: “Oh – so you are her lover boy – her college sweetheart – and you have started seeing her again – haven’t you? Reviving your ‘old flame’ – eh…?”

I was rendered speechless.

My wife gave me a deadly look.

I recovered my wits – and I said to the man: “That is not true – we were just classmates.”

“Well – I am not too sure – but – anyway – come in – let’s see what Rita has to say…” the man said.

Then – the man staggered drunkenly towards the bedroom shouting: “Rita…Rita – look who has come to see you…?”

We – my wife and I – stood in the doorway.

The drunken man went inside the bedroom.

And when he emerged – I saw that he was dragging Rita roughly by the arm.

I was shocked to see Rita.

Her face was swollen up and bruised – her lip was cut and bleeding – it was evident that Rita had been badly beaten up and brutally battered by her husband.

Her body – her clothes – had all the tell-tale signs of violent physical abuse.

“I gave her a nice thrashing just now…” the Rita’s husband boasted, “do you know why…? Do you know why…?”

And then – suddenly – Rita’s husband started slapping Rita on the face…

“You stop it – or I will call the police…” I shouted.

Then – I walked to the Rita’s husband – drew myself up to my full height – and said to him in a loud voice: “You leave her and go inside your bedroom – otherwise I will thrash the hell out of you and hand you over to the police…”

Sensing that I intended to carry out my threat – and realizing that in this situation – discretion was better than “valour” – the man let go of Rita’s arm – and walked away into the bedroom.

“Let’s take her to a doctor…” I said to my wife.

“No – No…” Rita protested, “I don’t want to go to a doctor – I will manage myself – you please go…”

“You look after her…” I said to my wife, “I will call the police…”

“Call the police…? Are you crazy…?” Rita shouted at me.

“Why…?” I asked.

“If you call the police – the whole world will come to know. Do you want me to make me a laughing-stock in society…? Rita said, with tears in her eyes.

“What’s wrong with you…?” I said.

“Please – Please – Please just leave me alone and go away – this is my personal matter – and I do not want you meddling in my personal affairs – I do not want you to make matters worse – please – I beg you – please leave me alone and go away…” Rita desperately pleaded to me.

“But…? How can I leave you like this…?” I said.

“Don’t worry – these things keep happening – I have got used to it - everything will be okay in the morning – he will make up to me and things will be fine – you don’t worry – everything will be fine – but you please go – you please don’t make things worse for me – please leave me alone and go…” Rita begged me.

“I still feel…” I said.

“Arun – you promise me one thing…” Rita said.

“What…?”

“Promise me that you will not tell anyone about this – if the world comes to know  my reputation will be ruined – please – I beg you  Arun – you promise me – you promise me that you will not tell anyone…” Rita said to me – her voice full of anxiety.

“I promise…” I said to Rita.

And then – with great reluctance – we left her house.

Later – at night – when we were in bed – my wife said to me: “Shall I say something…?”

“Of course. What do want to say…?” I asked my wife.

My wife said to me: “You should have married Rita – then all this would not have happened.”

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Post a Comment