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Snigdha - The Tenderly (Part 1)



'Why you opened the door? Where is Maina? Where she is? and Ah ! Have you taken your food?', enquired Alok to his wife as she opened the door.

'Hold on ! you are asking too many questions', replied Singdha with a soft smile

'Where is Maina? why she has left you alone', once again enquired Alok as he made Singdha seated on the sofa.

'Too much care is not good, Patiparmeswarji, you will spoil your wife', teased Singdha to her impatient husband.

'you are not answering'

'I have sent Maina early, she was saying no and that you will be angry, but I insisted. I discovered while discussing with her today that, it is her birthday today and she has no plans for the evening. I gave some money to her  and told her to buy some sweets and enjoy the day with her family. And moreover Patiparmeswarji  I am not used to maids.  It is after marrying you, everything has changed'

'Why don't you like all these?' asked Alok sadly, holding Snigdha's hand.

Snigdha could sense the warmth and soft pressure of her beloved and said, 'When I said I don't like. My boy, you get upset quickly. It is that I am not used to all these.'

' And you have not taken food also, Isn't It?'

'No I haven't , thought we will have dinner together'

'Singdha, I have told, I will be late at times, during examination time, you should not wait for me'

'If I wait for you, at least you feel the importance to come home early, else you will...'

' Clever woman'

'I am, I am a clever woman, you better know', grinned Snigdha mischievously.

'I have new book for you today. after dinner we will read'

'Is it? What is the name of the book?'

'Abignanam Sakuntalam' The Recognition of Sakuntala - By Kalidas'

.......

It has been few days, Alok, a Senior Liberian at the National Technological University  had recently married Snigdha, a bind orphan. She, though a peerless beauty was devoid with the power see the beautiful world around. She could only sense light and darkness and nothing else.  It has been a haste and strange marriage.

Unlike Snigdha, Alok, though an orphan had his grandmother to take care of him till he was old enough to take care of himself. May be he was hardly 14 or 15 years of age he lost his Grandmother. He was lucky enough to get  a good education and it fetched him good Job at the National Technological University  as a senior Librarian at the University library. The day Alok got his job, the news spread like wild fire among the acquaintances. New relatives and well wishers who never had had been at his or his grandmother side all these difficult years, found time to visit him calming some close relation with his dead parents. Polite was he, Initially he gave the due respect he could,  but thing became out of limit when these people constantly disturbed him even at his office with Photographs of girls even girls themselves in prospect of getting married.

The endurance limit was broken when, two parties even pulled him like rope by his both hand that Alok will marry their girl and the other said that Alok's dead father had promised by taking Mahaparsada in his hands to become his Samdhi, when they were young. Alok had to call security to ease them off. Then on he had been the point of discussion in the university. Female students giggled in library looking at him. Male students though friendly cracked jokes with him. Some even tagged him 'The Most eligible bachelor in the University'. Even Professors became light at times, while asking for some journals over intercom they end  their conversation like this 'Thank You Alok, Hmm Haan When you are getting Married?  Ha Ha Ha'

It was one day, Alok thought to end the story and get married. He straight way went to an orphanage where his friend's mother was working as warden and said her with hesitation that he wishes of getting married to any prospective girls at the orphanage. He was introduced about few girls but he chose Snigdha because as he fell for her the moment he saw her profile. It was even a sympathetic appeal for him when  the warden of the orphanage revealed that she is visually impaired. In a way he wanted to 'pay it forward ' of the selfless love he revived from his aging grandmother by marrying Snigdha.

'Its a big responsibly, a decision for life time. Think once again Alok' , Said the warden.

' I have thought. But...' Replied Alok

'But what?' Asked the Warden.

'But,will Snigdha accept my proposal?' asked Alok doubtfully.

'Call me tomorrow, you will get an answer', told the warden.

Next day Alok called and asked about Snigdha's decision'

' She has not said anything, But want to meet you. Can you come tomorrow?' said the warden

'Yes I will'

Alok took a day off and went to the orphanage exactly at the said time.

When he reached there, he was welcomed grandly and the whole orphanage was there to receive him.
 Small little kids in the institution took him by his hand to the little room next to the office. The warden was waiting for him in the room.

'Welcome Alok, The whole orphanage is aware that you wish to marry Snigdha. She is the Darling of the institution and more than that an obedient daughter to this big family' Said the warden as he asked him to sit on the wooden chair.'

'It will be my pleasure to be part of this big family, Aunty. But it depend on her acceptance'

'She has accepted the proposal yesterday only once I told about you and your proposal. But I insisted that you both meet. There shouldn't by any ambiguity'

It was with the indication of warden Singdha was called to the waiting room.
She was escorted by some seniors members of the organization and was made seated in front of Alok.
There was was nervous look in her face and she was trying control her fast breathing. Alok was also  looking down and at time trying steal a glance of Singdha.

'You better discuss with each other' said the warden and left the room.

There was  pin drop silence in the room. None utter a single word. However Alok managed to give occasional cough at times. It was Snigdha who could courage to begin the discussion.

'You are not saying anything?' asked Snigdha

'Oh! I was waiting to that you say something' Replied Alok clearing his throat.

'It seems you have cold or something', said Snigdha with a smile.

'No, why?'

'You have must have coughed at least 10 times'

'Ha Ha ! You counted',

'Yup' with a wide smile

'You have a good sense of humor. Ask me any thing you want to know'

'I have been told about you. What more I can ask. But I wanted to know just one thing.'

'What?'

'They all say I am beautiful. Beautiful enough to envy others. But I have never known how beautiful I am. But I can assure I have a beautiful mind. All I wanted a handsome soul..... Why you are choosing a visually impaired woman, I may not be beautiful for ever....I may be burden for you'

Indeed she has a beautiful mind Alok appreciated the frankness of Snigdha.
After keeping mum for some seconds Alok said with a emotional tone, " I may be a year or so I had lost my parents in an accident. It was my grandmother,the widowed old woman, who took utmost care to become what I am today. It was during her last days she lost her sight and rarely could see. I wanted to give her all happiness in her old age. But she died poorly and I was just a helpless boy. But I am able now but she is not around to see it. It is all I want be of help for some one genuinely. And you are beautiful and I will be happy to be married to you.'

'But I will be a burden'

'Are you burden here?'

'No, I am managing here myself'

'With me, we together will manage'

Snigdha lower her head and kept mum.

Alok  realized the discussion have taken a serious turn and thought make the mood lighten.

'What you Like to do... I mean your hobbies'

'I Sing...' Replied Singdha quickly and asked , ' What are your Hobbies.?'

'hmm...You know I am librarian and I all can do is Read...... Love to read stories'

'I love to hear Stories....'

'Ah! We will make good pair'

'There was a beautiful smile in the innocent face of Snigdha.

Alok could not help to gasp "Wow'

"Wow What?'

'Your Smile' replied Alok.

Snigdha agreed for the proposal after doing some legal formalities and medical checkups Alok and Snigdha got married at the local court.

.......


She was surrounded in the solitude of the wilderness by śakuntas,

therefore, hath she been named by me Shakuntala

Snigdha listened resting her head on the chest of Alok as he finished the 1st chapter of "Abhignyanm Sakunatalam".

'How beautiful is the name - Sakuntala.' said Snigdha

'Do you know what is the meaning of your name?' asked Alok

'No'

'It mean the tenderly'

Alok started reading the book and it was of the page where King Dusyawnata describing the beauty of Sakuntala.






Beneath the barken dress
Upon the shoulder tied,
In maiden loveliness
Her young breast seems to hide,

As when a flower amid
The leaves by autumn tossed--
Pale, withered leaves--lies hid,
And half its grace is lost.

Yet in truth the bark dress is not an enemy to her beauty. It serves as an added ornament. For






The meanest vesture glows
On beauty that enchants:
The lotus lovelier shows
Amid dull water-plants;

The moon in added splendour
Shines for its spot of dark;
Yet more the maiden slender
Charms in her dress of bark.

Alok kept the book aside and softly ran his fingers in Snigdha's hair and said

'Snigdha so are you ......'

Snigdha blushed.

'You know what a mole is?'

'No'

'Let me make you feel what a mole is.'

Alok kissed Snidha just below the chin where a beautiful mole ornamented the fair oval face of Snigdha.

For the 1st time Snidha felt a new feeling a touch so tender and soft. She carved for more. And this time she felt it on her lips.



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