Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Marriage Counsellor – A Romance

Short Fiction Story
A Romance

“Thanks for the lift,” I said.

“Come on  it’s okay. The University is on the way to Hinjewadi,” he said.

“I never knew it rained so heavily in Pune. Luckily I met you on the flight. Otherwise  I would have been stuck at the airport.”

“Coming to Pune for the first time?”

“No. But I am visiting Pune after a long time. I lived here more than twenty five years ago. I taught at the University.”

“Oh. So you were a Professor...? No wonder you are so knowledgeable. I must say your research paper at the IEEE Conference was really impressive.”

“Thanks. It’s good they had the conference in Delhi. It gave me an opportunity to visit India after a long time. A few years ago – I had made a hurried lecture trip to Bangalore  but I just could not make it to Pune.”

“So you are going to the University for delivering a lecture there on Signal Processing is it...?”

“No. No. Actually I have come to Pune to meet a lady. I lost contact with her ever since I left Pune – you know those days there was no email, no internet, nothing  and I am quite poor at letter writing.”

“This lady – does she work in the University...?”

“No. She lives in a bungalow off Ganeskhind Road. It is near the University Gate – I think I will be able to find it from there.”

“I doubt it. The whole place has changed. There are hardly any bungalows now – there are high rises and malls and multiplexes there now. You won’t even recognize the place. Have you got her name, her address...?”

“Yes...” I said  and I gave him the piece of paper I had in my pocket. 

The man looked at the paper in a curious sort of way and asked me: “You want to meet her...? After so many years...?”

“Yes  I want to meet her to express my gratitude – she saved my marriage...” I said.

“She saved your marriage...?” he asked, looking curious.

So – I told him the whole story: 

“Yes. Me and my wife – we were going to divorce – our differences had become irreconcilable – our relationship was beyond repair – it was an irretrievable breakdown of marriage. That’s what everybody said  all the marriage counsellors we consulted  our relatives – our friends  everyone said that our marriage had broken down beyond repair – till we met her. She was the best marriage counsellor we ever met. She saved our marriage. She is the one who advised us to leave all our unpleasant baggage behind and relocate to a new place and to start a new life afresh. It worked. I have to meet her this time. God knows when I will come to India next. My wife has sent her a gift too – a diamond necklace.”

“Well  this lady does not live at this address anymore. She lives in Aundh...” the man said.

“How do you know...? You know her...?”

“Of course I know her. She is my wife,” he said matter-of-factly.

“What...? But how can she be your wife...?”

“She and her husband  I mean her ex-husband – they got divorced a few years ago. And  after her divorce  she married me...” he said, matter-of-factly.

I did not say anything. 

I was dumbstruck. 

She was such a good marriage counsellor.

How could she have got divorced herself...? 

I could not believe it.

“I know what you are thinking and what’s going on in your mind,” he said, “If she was such a good marriage counsellor who saved so many marriages  then how could she not save her own marriage...?”

“Yes…” I said incoherently.

“Why don’t you ask her that when you meet her...?” he said.

“Meet her...?”

“Of course. Aundh is on the way. I will take you to my home. I had told my wife that I would be driving straight to work from the airport – but lets surprise her. I am sure she will remember you. You two can meet – you can talk about the good old days  and I’ll try to finish off my work early and be back in time for lunch. And then  we will drop you off at the airport for your evening flight.”

“No,” I said, “I better not meet her.”

“Come on  be a sport. Don’t tell me you don’t want to gift her the diamond necklace you have brought with you all the way from America. Come home and meet my wife. She will love to meet you.

“Okay... I agreed reluctantly.

“Good...” the man said to me with a smile. 

He was silent for some time. 

Then the man turned towards me and he said: “By the way  let me warn you – she has given up marriage counselling.”

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in this 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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