“It is a wonderful poem, no doubt. The description of the hills and valleys and the green-clad slope where they used to sit and chat for hours. The sunset and evening sky, though beautiful, they see it as parting time… Only when the poet glorifies a childish love affair…”
Mrs. Shantha Nair, the English teacher, was waxing eloquent but the very same teacher was struggling for words when the poet has to say a few words about a love affair. Be it a short story, or a novel, or a poem, her mood changes, if it has something to say about romance. She would lose her temper and accuse the author of being childish. “What is so wonderful about this? just an animal instinct in a sophisticated way… These are my personal views…” Though none of the students dared to differ from her views, they set afloat certain rumors about her son, a college student who was religious but a bit romantic too. He was very often found with an average-looking girl, mainly in the temple compound that was close to his house. This love affair would not have become a main topic if the young man was not the son of Mrs.Shantha Nair who was reluctant to talk about the subject in her classes.
The other day, while I was going through my old diaries, I came across this story, written by me, nearly three decades ago. It looked like an incomplete story. Was it based on recollections of my school days? I racked my brain. Anyway, after a couple of sleepless nights, I got the answer to my own queries.
Yeah, the story was incomplete. It was a combination of facts and fictions. If you are eager to know rest of the story, here it is!
Shanta Nair was not a bit upset when one of her colleagues brought to her notice her son’s affair with that girl. In fact, she felt happy about this affair. More so, because it was spreading thick and fast! She took her colleague to her cabin and told her, “That girl is Kesavan Nair’s only daughter.”
“Of Gowri puram?”, the colleague asked “Yes. The very same rogue who let me down. I was madly in love with him but… You know that?”
“Yes, Yes… then why on earth are you happy about your son’s affair with his daughter?”
“My son was reluctant to fall in love with that girl but I almost compelled him to trap her! The other day, Kesavan Nair came to my house to talk about the marriage. When he began to broach the subject in a very humble way, I simply said ‘no problem. But on one condition… I wont accept any dowry’ and he nodded his head. I thought of saying that I was not greedy like him but the expression in his face was pathetic and that was more than enough for me!”