Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Sucker Punch – A Story of Love and Lust

THE SUCKER PUNCH 
A Love Story 
Short Fiction  
By  
VIKRAM KARVE
 
From my Creative Writing Archives:

Dear Reader: 

Let me delve deep into my Short Fiction Archives and pull out this Passionate Love Story for you to read.

I wrote story 10 years ago  in the year 2007.

Do tell me if you liked the love story. 


THE SUCKER PUNCH  A Love Story by Vikram Karve 

Pune
Circa 2007

Part 1 – LOVE
 
It all started when my wife discovered that I was having an extra marital affair with Anita. 

My wife flew down to Delhi by the first available flight and she confronted me.

Guilt ridden – I confessed the truth. 

My wife asked for divorce. 

I agreed. 

Under the circumstances – she was fully justified – yes – my wife Alka was fully justified in asking for divorce. 

And – it was okay with me too.

Because – I had fallen genuinely in love with Anita. 

One year later – Alka and I were formally divorced by mutual consent. 

And – I married Anita. 
 
Actually it all started because we bought that luxurious 3 BHK apartment in a posh township in Aundh – an upmarket locality in Pune

We should have been happy and content staying in our cosy little rented apartment in the heart of Pune.

But – the lure of owning our own dream house – that too in a high-falutin locality like Aundh – it was too strong a desire to withstand.

And everyone said that the way real estate prices were shooting up – it was a life-time chance and fantastic investment too.
 
Buying the expensive house in Aundh meant two things. 

First – my wife Alka had to start working again to help pay the housing loan EMIs. 

Second – we had to postpone our immediate plans for a second child – a companion for our three year old daughter Sneha.
 
Everything was fine. 

Our work life – and our family life – everything was going on fine. 

In fact – despite the hiatus she had taken to have the baby – my wife was doing very well in her career  and thanks to the IT boom  she got fast promotions – and even her salary had become more than mine. 

(Yes – when this story started – 10 years ago – in 2007 – there was an IT Boom)
 
Then one day – suddenly  my firm was acquired by some wise guy in the US  who merged our firm with his bigger firm – and he decided to transfer the Pune operations to the main facility at Gurgaon  near Delhi.

The new owner decided to sell off the Pune office – its vast real estate which was prime property – and also sell the firm’s extensive assets for an exorbitant sum of money and make a huge profit. 

It made business sense too – having everything in one place. 

Though I had to relocate to Gurgaon – it was with a big promotion and huge pay hike.
 
My wife Alka could have come with me to Gurgaon. 

But – she did not want to give up her job in Pune.

In her present job in Pune – her career was doing extremely well.

More importantly – she did not want to leave our dream home in Aundh – which we had painstakingly designed, decorated, adorned and embellished so lovingly.

Locking up our Pune home and not living in our own beautiful house would be a pity.

Selling our beloved house was unimaginable.

Renting it out would be sacrilege. 

And Sneha – our darling daughter – she was so well settled  doing so well in her excellent school just opposite our house  so engrossed with her friends, her creative hobby classes, her games, her routine, everything – that it would be cruel to dislocate her joyful and happy life.
 
I could have changed my job. 

I could have stayed on in Pune too. 

But here – in Pune – at that point of time – I could not even dream of getting the high position and pay hike that I was being offered in Gurgaon – after my firms takeover by the new American firm. 

Maybe  somewhere in the back of my mind  it had irked my male ego that my wife was earning more than me   and she was in a much better position than me too.

Now – once I went to Gurgaon – I would be way ahead of her – both salary-wise and position-wise

Tell me – which husband likes to be inferior to his wife...?
 
Or maybe – we both were in competition with each other.
 
So we began this long distance marriage. 

We tried to meet whenever could – we planned family vacations to exotic locations – we tried to spend “quality time” together.

But as everyone knows – this “quality time” pretence is all a façade  a masquerade that all actors in a long distance relationship go through.

Yes – most long distance spouses enact and perform this quality time masquerade – they fake it  for the others’ sake – or maybe to soothe their own guilty conscience too.
 
And then – it happened  the affair with my colleague Anita. 


Part 2 – LUST 

Yes  I had an affair with my office colleague Anita. 

Anita worked in my office in Gurgaon – in fact – she worked in the same department as me. 

The affair with Anita did not happen suddenly. 

It was not a sudden spur of the moment “one-night-stand”

It was a full-fledged love affair. 

It happened slowly and surely  as it probably happens to most lovelorn couples suffering the void of a long distance marriage.
 
It all started as a harmless workplace friendship. 

Then there was a bit of lighthearted flirting – a hint of flippant romance. 

As time passed we – Anita and Me – we became closer and closer. 

We spent more and more time together – at work  off work  and our relationship blossomed.
 
It was silly of me to assume that I could keep my friendship with an attractive single woman like Anita purely platonic – for she too  was as lonely as I was. 

We – Anita and Me – we started having a passionate affair. 

And – and we fell in love with each other.

I still do not know which happened first – the love – or the lust.
 
It was just a matter of time before rumours reached Alka’s ears in Pune. 

The way Anita and me were brazenly having an affair – I wonder why it took so much time for Alka to find out.
 
And then – one day – out of the blue  suddenly  Alka flew down from Pune – and landed up in Gurgaon  and she confronted me about my extra marital affair with Anita. 

I confessed.

Alka asked for a divorce.

I accepted.

So – Alka and I got divorced through mutual consent.

And – I married Anita.
 

Part 3  SUCKER PUNCH

Three years later – Anita and I sat anxiously in the clinic. 

We sat in the clinic because Anita hadn’t been able to conceive a baby.
 
For the first year of our marriage – we planned not to have a baby. 

We focussed on our careers – we enjoyed ourselves.
 
The next year – we were carefree – we let nature take its own course – and we left it to chance.
 
The third year – we desperately tried to have a baby  as Anita had crossed 34 – and she was approaching 35 years of age

And – as time passed – disappointment turned into anxiety  and then – panic set in.
 
So – we sat in the fertility clinic – waiting for the doctor.
 
“There’s good news for you...” the doctor said to Anita – reading the reports.
 
“I’m okay...?” asked Anita excitedly.
 
“Absolutely okay...!” the doctor said to Anita, “you are fully fit to have a baby.”
 
“Then what’s wrong...? Why can’t she conceive a child...?” I asked.
 
“The problem is with you, Sir...” the doctor said to me, “you are sterile.”
 
“What…?” I shouted dumbfounded.
 
“But he is so good …” Anita exclaimed incredulously.
 
“Wait…Wait…Just wait a minute...” the doctor said to Anita, “I’m sure he is “good. But please try to understand – there is a difference between impotence and sterility…”
 
“What nonsense...?” I said angrily, “I am not sterile or anything. Let me inform you that I am fully virile. I have a daughter from my earlier marriage. Her name is Sneha. She was born 6 years ago. So – since I have already fathered a daughter – obviously – I am fully virile.
 
“Not possible...” the doctor said emphatically, “You could never have fathered a child in your entire life – you have congenital, incurable, permanent... – come inside – I will explain everything in detail to you…” 

The doctor explained everything to me. 

After hearing him – I was stunned. 

“Doctor – are you sure I am sterile...?” I asked, anxiously. 

“Yes – you are sterile – you were always sterile...” the doctor said.

“Then who fathered my daughter...?” I screamed hysterically – my brain spinning crazily like a vortex.
 
“That’s for you to find out...” the doctor said dispassionately.

The doctor continued speaking.

But – I could not discern a word of what he was saying.

My mind went blank in an abyss of silence – a deafening silence.

For some time  I continued to stare at him blankly – like a zombie.

Then  I started mumbling incoherently: 

“Who fathered my daughter...? Who fathered my daughter...?...Someone please tell me – Who fathered my daughter...?

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.

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