Submitted Date 10/10/2019

'Why is life hard on some while being soft on others?' Roopa contemplated after Sandhya had left. 'The sastras would have us believe that it's all owing to karma, while the philosophers stress that life is conditioned by a combination of circumstances. It could be true either way, but how does that help me anyway. For all that, does life play favorites? But that's unlikely, for after all, why should life be partial to some when all bear its own patent. Yet, some like me get condemned, all the time, don't they? But why is that so?'

'It's as though life has an obligation for itself as a whole and not to the beings that make up that whole,' she tried to probe into the proclivities of life as though to solve the puzzle of her state. 'It would appear as if life feels a monotonous regimen would bore people to death, bringing the creation to an unintended end. Therefore, for the larger good of itself, life could have found it expedient to take recourse to individual inequities to keep the general interest in it alive for all. Wonder how life prepares the black list for the fate to act upon! As all are dear to it, were it possible that blindfolded, it would go in for random selection with a sinking heart! Once fate takes over the earmarked, won't weddings come in handy for it to impart misery in many wrong permutations and provide bliss in a few right combinations! Then is there nothing left for me to do than to regret my fate, all my life?'

As though her pain infected nature itself, it opened the skies to shed its tears, and closing the windows to avoid the spatter, she felt melancholic, 'So that's how I've got the rough end of the married stick then. But why not grab the silken glove of liaison that is dangling before me now? Won't that meet life's need for variety as well? As it had imposed a husband of its choice on me, now let me choose the lover after my heart.'

When it stopped raining as though on cue, opening the windows, Roopa felt nature too desired her turbulence to end in Raja Rao's arms.

'Would it be fair to Sathyam?' she tried to analyze as she was consumed by self-doubts all over again. 'But then, what could be done when fidelity forces a loveless life on me? What's this infidelity all about? Isn't it man's idea to negate woman's amour. While male-female attraction is the cornerstone of creation, man seeks to blindfold woman with marital fidelity. Leaving that aside, what does a wife ought to give her man? Of course, she should keep an amiable home for him to recreate and procreate. As for love, woman needs it as much as man, doesn't she? Is love something of a recipe that a woman could prepare at her husband's bidding?

'How can I help when he doesn't inspire love in my heart,' she wailed at her plight. 'After all, was it not said that love is but a part of man's life while it is a woman's whole existence? Oh, it's every bit true! Sathyam is merry in marriage, enjoying all that goes with it, while I'm miserable, despairing for love. I can't be happy without Raja, that's clear by now, isn't it? After all, I owe something to my life, don't I? What's the contradiction, if while leading my love life with Raja, I look after Sathyam's marital needs as well? It seems to be the only sensible way to go about life than feel deprived all my life.'

Having resolved to have Raja Rao for her lover, she was at peace with herself, 'Of course, it would be unfair for woman to let the paramour father her child. Why, perhaps it's the only thing unethical about adultery, isn't it? A woman ought to take care that things don't be mixed up at that end. I would need Raja for my fulfillment and Sathyam can have his child if he could.' Having resolved on a liaison with her lover, Roopa slumbered in expectation.

Excerpted from the author's Benign Flame: Saga of Love

Novelist, playwright, short story, non-fiction and articles writer, translator in verses, a little thinker and a budding philosopher of Addendum of Evolution - Origins of the World


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  • Rick Doble 4 years, 6 months ago

    "Some are Born to sweet delight, Some are Born to Endless Night." William Blake -- Life is not fair.

    • BS Murthy 4 years, 6 months ago

      Like your 'Blake' view.