(a short story)


Detailed below is a true story which is an eye opener for those who are very adamant to match the Tekni's of the boy and the girl. In this story the names of the characters have been changed to maintain secrecy.

I firmly believe that the ideas of Tekni matching, soul, rebirth and the like has been the thinking of those minds of those times when science had not discovered the real facts. No Christian, Muslim, Sikh goes for matching of Tekni’s of the boy and the girl.

In my opinion true marital happiness depends not only on whether the individuals are well matched intellectually, physically and also vocationally to a larger extent , but also on whether they can associate together with enduring affection and love . Not only must they be in good physical condition so that they will be able to impart strong and healthy bodies to their children but , what is far more important, they must also create an atmosphere of harmony and good will to the home in which their children will grow up .

I am not here to advice on the listing of important points for a boy to see in the girl and vice versa but surely one should not marry until he or she is confident that the young person whose life is to become part of his /her life is the very one with whom he / she can spend his /her life most happily.
Knowingly well that Sagar and sonali were deeply in love, the parents of Sonali refused to let them marry. They had their Tekni’s (horoscopes) matched by the known pundits, who, after studying them in detail had said that they did not suit one another. It was said that if Sagar and Sonali married, they would have a very unhappy life, full of troubles, miseries and ill health. Therefore, the Pundit suggested the parents of Sonali to marry her off to someone else whose stars were more in conformity with her.

That was enough for the parents of Sonali to put their foot down and say,”Sonali, you can’t marry Sagar under any circumstance,”. No amount of begging and tears made any difference to her parents and they remained absolutely adamant to marry Sonali to someone else .

Ten years before Sagar’s family had moved into the house next door to Sonali’s. Prior to unloading the belongings from the huge truck , she had stopped across the road and introduced herself to Sagar. Passing of days made Sagar and Sonali exchange more information to begin friendship that had slowly developed into deep rooted love as the days rolled into years. Sagar and Sonali were wonderful companions and were deeply attached to one another as Devdas and Paro though like Devdas and Paro they had little arguments and occasional misunderstandings. Sagar frequently escorted her to school and later to the professional college where they were studying together and which was far away from their native and migrated place of living, Srinagar (Kashmir) and Jammu respectively. Both were studying at Pune.

They often spent long hours studying on holidays together in the nearby park and went to library and movies together.

Sagar’s and Sonali’s love had grown steadily with time, a bud that had bloomed into a beautiful flower with the passage of time. They had never talked about it. It was quire natural that some day they would marry. That is why Sonali was finding it very difficult to reconcile herself to the thought of being married to somebody else. She tried her utmost to convince her parents that she could never be happy without Sagar, but of no avail.

Ultimately, she gave up. She moved around with a heavy heart and a sad face. Her shoulders slumped. Her eyes lost their lovely gleam and developed dark circles around. Nothing in her life seemed to live for.

Sonali’s parents had always believed in what their family Pundit had predicted. Regarding this matter too, it was no different and that is why, within a moth Sonali’s marriage had been fixed with Rahul, a young doctor from Delhi.

Rahul was tall and handsome and spoke with a voice that was soft and deep.

By fixing the marriage with Rahul, Sonali came to believe that nothing could be done now to change the course of her destiny. She was utterly helpless. She also realized that it was no fault of Rahul but the Pundit’s prediction which had become an obstacle in her marriage to Sagar. There was no reason as to why Rahul should suffer merely because the Pundit after studying the Tekni (horoscope) of Rahul and Sonali pronounced that theirs would be the happiest married life.

Finally, the day came when Sonali left her parents abode to make a new home with Rahul, a man she did not love, but would have to live with because the stars were all for it.

It did not matter to parents that a happy marriage can never be built on a foundation which is devoid of love.

Delhi turned out to be a big city, very different from Jammu and Pune and Sonali found it interesting enough to enable her to try and forget Sagar. Their house facing the famous Chandni Chowk where she could see sea of people moving hither and thither was probably ideally situated for her to lose herself looking at the ever stopping flood of the vast sea of people though she soon joined a software company as a software engineer at Noida. During winter her husbad took her to Kanya kumari on a visit, Their hotel room facing the sea was no different from the sea of people of Chandni Chowk except that here she found an ever changing mood of the vast sheet of water instead of the ever stopping vast sea of the people.

What hidden forces must be agitating the depths of the sea’s bosom that created the crushing waves, tumbling and crashing over each other in their eagerness to reach the softly curving beach, yet having kissed the sand, they subside only to return again and again. Although the agitation of sea was synonymous with the agitation in Chandni Chowk but she found the agitation of her mind more synonymous with the agitation of the sea without any power in her mind or heart to fight back. She only saw the futility of the waves that repeatedly crashed against the solid rocks on the sea shore. She was more in tune with the placid mood of the sea when, under a moonlit night, it lay almost without a ripple. All its power and all its agitation hidden beneath the outwardly calm surface, That is how she felt she was going to be .

While looking to the sea, she deeply thought and thought of going to be a dutiful wife to Rahul .

In the next few months, Sonali found various occasions to show her devotion for Rahul. She welcomed the circle of his friends and entertained them heartily. She was always at the door to receive Rahul with a beaming smile, whatever hour of the night he returned from the hospital.

Sonali took great interest in caring of the house and kept it clean, bright, cheerful and cosy. She arranged flowers in every room herself and always remembered to place a vase of roses on Rahul’s table in the clinic at his home. She had been told that rose was his favorite flower.

Days rolled into weeks and weeks turned into months, Life for Sonali was comfortable, in fact on the luxurious side with servants around in the house ready to accept any order issued by Sonali. Rahul had throughout been a kind and considerate husband, always eager to make her happy.

Many a time she felt her regard for Rahul turning into love. Happiness always surrounded their lives, ready to burst any time .

But, one fateful Sunday afternoon, just a week before their wedding anniversary, it connived with her fate to slip far far away. While Rahul and Sonali were having an afternoon nap, the telephone rang . It was call from the hospital. One of the patients of Rahul was in a bad condition. Rahul was requested to come immediately. “Sonali, I will be going to hospital: please be ready by seven“, he told her while he hurriedly dressed. “I will be ready for you any time, darling. But, what is the big surprise ? “ Sonali asked sleepily. “Oh ! my dear “, Rahul said. “I hope you have not forgotten. we are dinning outside and are picking up Nitin & Neela at seven thirty“. “ of course, I remember “Sonali mumbled.“ I will be ready, but it is you who always forgets once you are in the hospital. Sometimes I wonder what keeps you there so late “. “I have a very beautiful nurse there“, he teased her and left for the hospital.

His voice lingered in the room with her and she turned round for a little more sleep. She continued with her afternoon nap and wasn’t aware as to how much time had gone by when the abrupt telephone ring woke her up with a jerk. For a moment she sat trembling in her bed, as if something in the sound of the instrument told her not to pick it up.

The telephone rang again. Sonali jumped out of the bed and tried to speak into it. Her throat was parched dry. As she listened to the voice in the telephone, her face went white and there was a rush of noises in her brain. Her frightened wide eyes looked round helplessly, but the noises would not stop. “There was an accident. Rahul had been killed . There was an accident . Rahul had been killed. There was an accident. Rahul ---------------------------------------------“

No-------- o----o “ she cried in desperation as if her determination in not accepting the horrible truth would wipe off the ugly fact. But the sounds kept on hammering in her brain on and on till she fainted with the telephone crashing on the top of her body.

Sonali was in a whirlpool of misery. She did not know where to find solace. She often wondered how the stars that were to bring them happiness had brought her the greatest of the tragedy.

After a few months her parents who had come to Delhi wanted her to come and live with them with the intention of being away from the atmosphere that reminded her of Rahul; of the short happy time she had had with him. But, she refused to go with them ,for there too, she knew she couldn’t be happy.
In the days that followed, she often wished that Rahul hadn’t gone so soon, she would have tried to bring more fulfillment in their lives, but wishes somehow seldom come true.

Often Sonali absorbed herself in the job she was entrusted at the company. She found a new satisfaction in doing the job wholeheartedly. Time is the best healer.

As the days passed, Sonali got more absorbed in her work . Life did not seem such a burden. It was set into a pattern. Sonali had created besides her job, a few hobbies and circle of friends she could rely on. They would often invite her to their home for an informal get together .

After some months just when she had found some sort of solace, the so called stars started to give her a surprise.

On opening the door to a knock after approximately two years, Sonali found Sagar at the door. She was taken aback to see Sagar. He stood there, tall and handsome, ever so debonair in his snow white shirt and navy blue pant Fresh and young, he wore a friendly smile and looked at her amusedly .

Not expecting him at the door like this, she stayed rooted to the spot , her hand still at the door knob with emotions in a chaos and she couldn’t say anything.

Hello ,Sonali !’. sagar broke the silence .”Aren’t you going to ask me in ?”.

Sonali jerked on one side and stepped aside to allow him in

Once they settled themselves after some time in the drawing room sipping hot tea, they began to exchange news.

Sagar told Sonali how shocked he was when he heard about Rahul. Her unhappiness had made him extremely unhappy but he did not want to encroach upon the privacy and tenderness of her feelings for Rahul, so he had decided to give her time to reflect and come to terms with herself. Then Sagar informed her that he was in Delhi for a fortnight. He had arrived from USA, the same morning and thereafter following a long two hour search, he had managed to find her house.

After that he left and dropped in almost daily. He often took Sonali out for a movie, a stroll or a cup of coffee at the nearby restaurant .

She looked forward to Sagar’s arrival every evening. He became a wonderful friend, considerate and understanding. She found comfort in his company.

They were no strangers to one another and there was a lot they could talk about. Their discussions usually were general in nature about books, latest in software technology and her job in Noida software company .that is why they never got bored and could sit endlessly, without the need for any other company.

Sonali seemed to find a little real happiness for the first time since that fateful day when Rahul left and never came back,

Time had flown. Sagar told her one evening that he was going back but, there was something he had been trying to tell. Sagar started,” Sonali, I am not sure whether you are ready for it or not but, if you think that what I say is wrong, please do not hesitate to tell me in clear terms; I will understand,”.

Sonali looked at him with her large brown eyes and the nervous twich of her face. She knew from his eyes what he wanted to say. Though it was expected but she felt a little uneasy. She looked down . She was again overtaken by panic and a rush of emotions .

She thought that her incompatible stars may cause a harm to Sagar . It is better not to have him than to harm him .

Sonali, what are you thinking at? Do you think that stars are there to play an important role in anybody’s life ? No, Sonali no, Let the stars be there to see for one and all. Allow them to be there as they are. Marry me Sonali, we will be able to give ourselves happiness“. He paused for a while and continued . “ But if you still feel that you need time, I can wait, though I wanted to have a simple ceremony in the presence of your and my friends and families only. I want to take my bride proudly to USA to my software company to see her work along with me in the same company.,”.

He saw her seated quietly . He knew she wanted time, so he left her to brood and make up her mind.

She thought for two days to take a decision -------------------- whether it would be correct to take such a decision. On the third day Sagar asked for her decision. She could not refuse. Happiness had come her way the second time in life and she could not let it slip out of her hands.

A week later, a date was fixed . Sagar extended his leave and invited close friends of his company to come to India. So did the Sonali to get her friends of the company she was working for in Noida . Sagar invited his family members also This time no Tekni (horoscope) was studied, nor was any matching of Tekni’s done. No check was conducted on anybody’s stars also .

Sonali merely informed her parents that she was marrying Sagar on a particular date and expected them to be there to give her blessings.

Sonali , my daughter ,” her mother had said on her arrival,” I wish you all the happiness ,but don’t you think that it is wise to find out a little about the future ? “ “No, mother ,I don’t think so” , Sonali said politely but firmly.” There is nobody on earth who can tell me what my future holds for me ,or for that matter there is nobody who can tell what the future holds for him or anybody else . All these pundits and so called astrologers are jugglers who have opened their shops to misguide common people. Once I allowed others to interfere with my life ,it caused misery. I trust in God and the man I am going to marry. I am sure that he will prove to be a good husband and this time I won’t allow anybody to interfere in my life by my star watchers or Tekni ( horoscope ) matchers . Mother , I hope that I have not offended you . But , I think I have the right to decide for myself what I should do , “.

No, my dear , you haven’t offended me. What you are doing is perfectly alright. We ought to be blamed for what we did to you two years ago,” her mother said after a great thought.

A grand reception was organized for Sagar and Sonali by Sagar’s company . The CEO of Sagar’s company Mr George and his wife with all other software professionals of the company were present at the reception. They loaded the new couple with flowers. Then they were driven to hotel Intercontinental in an open car, beautifully decorated under the supervision of Mrs George . The next evening there was dinner and dance on the lawns of hotel Intercontinental to welcome the bride to the fold of the American company where Sagar worked. On this occasion a diamond necklace was presented to Sonali on behalf of all the software professionals of the company “ Sonali, this is a token of our blessings and good wishes to you both, “ Mr George said and handed over the necklace to her.

Mr George further said, “ This is nothing compared to what God has given you as gift. Yes, dear, that is what I think of Sagar. He is very intelligent and hard working man and we are proud of him. We welcome you as his wife to join the family of our company,”.

Sonali was choked with emotions. Tears welled up in her eyes with happiness . Her throat made it impossible to utter a word .

As the guests and hosts began dancing in the lawns of the hotel ,she looked up at the sky where thousands of stars twinkled in cheerful unison. She realized their happiness; her going round and round as her feet danced; and also her waist firmly gripped in an embrace of an assuring man she loved
*M. K. Raina Ratnakar is an Independent Media professional . He has retired from Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) , Doordarshan , as Senior Director from Directorate General , Doordarshan , New Delhi . He has authored a number of books , the known amongst which are “ Intruded Moorings “, “ Surreal Moments “ , “ An Intelligent Parent’s /Teacher’s Guide to Success & Achievement of The Child “ and “Spoken English Skills “
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