Dilemma Of Love

It was nineteen sixty nine

October twenty nine to be exact,
She appeared there on the scene
At Asha Sadan in a coastal town
Around two twenty, at the noon,
With her three little lovely kids,
Aged one to four, and husband;
She's she, Shobha of Cannanore,
Young, mere twenty one in age,
Eager, vivacious and pretty like rose,
With zooming myriad dreams in eyes.

He was also twenty one as she was,
Though younger to her by six months,
Yet in college in final year,
Ignorant of life, reserved, and meek,
Lived in family's surroundings,
Parents and siblings made his world.

In different houses they lived in,
Though under one single roof,
Called by the name, Asha Sadan;
She was new to the scene there,
Eager to know the environs around,
Oft looked out through the window,
Saw him plucking flowers, morning,
Everyday in garden in front of house,
For daily prayers and puja, he did.

She was in an age of dreams,
He was footing all her needs;
Naturally caught by his spell,
She drew nearer each day to him,
Though unaware, he was, of it all.

She drew increasingly more to his house,
Most of the day expending there,
Endeared all by her diligent care,
Called his parents as her own,
Was loved in turn by all of them,
Far more than they did among them;
She turned theirs own, one of them,
Wherever on tour, or on pastime,
She is theirs, most valued to them;
She mingled with them, helped daily chores,
In rare oneness, selfless devotion,
Followed life styles they accustomed to.

Her focus was he deep in soul,
And he in college most of the day,
Kept him from her to great distress,
And she looked for him on tip-toe
At times he was expected back;
Lo, she saw him coming from distance,
She knew no bounds to her joy,
She danced in soul, heart bounced in joy,
She run to the door, and there wait,
As if naturally she was there;
She didn't open her soul to any,
She hid her love from others' eyes.

She, her kids with husband
In first week of November
Visited home in Cannanore
For marriage of her next sister;
Though with near and dears there,
Her heart constantly strayed to him,
Every moment he, holding her,
And she could enjoy nothing there,
Kept herself totally distant,
Eager only to be at his side;
She caught next train from there back,
Spent all night in his house,
Lighting crackers, and sparklers,
Celebrating annual Tulasi Puja.

She, in his house
With his mother and sisters
Used to squat on floor and chat
Or play fun games most of the time;
He, reserved as he was,
Seldom joined their fun,
But book in hand for pretence,
Partook in all from distance;
He liked her presence,
She liked his presence,
And oft she called him to join them,
And he gently refused her eager call,
Merely because of shyness within;
Whatever she then talked there,
Though directed to all of them,
Invariably meant only to him,
And he enjoyed all that attention.

Once he approached them there,
While they squatted on the floor;
Lo, she bent on some pretext,
Without anyone aware of it;
Her round and lovely firm bosoms
Exposed to the feast of his eyes,
He stammered in embarrassment,
She enjoyed his wild confusion.

A day while all busy in the house,
And he was busy with a book
In an adjoining silent room,
She in his front fed breast milk
To her little kid on her lap,
Elegantly covering lovely breasts,
After closing door for outsiders;
He embarrassed, pretended not noticed,
But it for him, confirmed her bond,
How intimate, as one, she treated him.

A cinema, ‘Sarasvati Chandra',
She saw and liked it from her heart,
And recounted story to all of them,
Of all, that secretly meant to him,
And fancied him as Chandra, its hero,
And herself as Sarasvati, the heroine.

She relished partaking in their works;
Ironing cloths, food for tea times,
Her favorite pastimes in their midst;
She relished to cook food for his tea
And loved to serve by own hands;
He too loved, whatever from her,
Served by her with glint in eyes.

Once while he came back from college,
He found her ironing his pants and shirts,
With gentle sweat streaming on face;
He switched on fan to comfort her,
She refused as it cools the iron box;
He responded, he wasn't aware of it,
‘Nothing you're aware, no? ', she replied.

It was his elder cousin, young,
His mother and a sister's most darling,
Most favorite, whom they set in heart,
Visited them once there;
Both prompted her to be close to him,
Served tender coconut through her hands,
To utter consternation of his soul,
Perhaps stirred his jealousy too;
She bided by how they guided her,
But she sensed his great grief in it,
His fear and jealousy festering within;
She bore no delay to heal his wound,
And standing up to both of them,
She snubbed cousin by rude moves,
When visited next after some weeks,
To bring him comfort, soothe his fears,
And douse his jealousy raging inside;
While mother and a sister played against,
And pit their favorite to rob his joy,
It was she who broke from cocoon
To help him from his deep distress;
Later, she narrated in reference to it,
She only obliged, did their biddings,
She couldn't refuse whatever they bade,
And no bonds whatsoever existed in it;
Yet, insecure he remained deep within,
And ember of doubts smoldered inside.


It was nineteen seventy

She was so much one of them
That she was their impregnable part,
While they partook in social events,
Be it a marriage on January two,
Or a marriage feast dated four;
She was lodestar among them,
She was true pride for all of them;
She, held in honor, wherever they went,
Never failed to bring focus on him;
And when she saw distress in him,
She spoke kind words to ease his spirit;
In marriage feast of January four,
Cousin's presence disturbed his mind,
Festered mind connecting to past;
Devastated was he all that day,
And days and weeks thereafter,
No way her words instilling poise;
In irony of nature, that helped both,
As him it turned and tuned to her,
His heart and soul opened to her,
And he began to brood day and night,
About her, and her bond to him;
Is it the dawn of his awakened soul?

Eleventh of January, a Sunday,
Asha Sadan was settled for sale,
And they vacate on twenty nine of March,
No need for her to do the same;
She resented life continuing there,
Sought to move along with them,
To be with them housed, side by side;
Alas, no efforts bore that fruit,
And she settled for what life bore;
After all, at the end, he, unreal for her,
Ultimately she must tread a path,
Her family followed to the end;
Heart and soul, she longed for a life
Of living in joyous company of him,
That seemed ever now impossible to her;
She said, even in cave in a far forest,
She happily settles if he was there.

She brooded day-night about his life,
His future, age, possibilities for him,
Who would come as his lucky wife,
She assessed, around fifteen years then.

Whatever she cooked,
She shared with them,
And enjoyed him eating it;
Even mere rice she cooked in home,
Brought to them and shared with them,
Insisting he also shared from hers,
Assuring he knows, it was hers;
It was her joy, it was her bliss,
Ecstatic that he shared hers.

Often did she wonder about this bond,
Who was he, who was she,
How from unknown far horizons,
Fate joined them in impregnable bond
In a handful short momentous months;
No forces seem like separate them,
No distractions can ever deter them.

She stopped going out with husband,
Preferred going out only with them,
Hidden in soul, to go with him;
But, alas, he, shy, unavailable always;
She offered, a day, all going for a film,
He was excited to hear and join that,
And saved for fare from scarce source;
But, alas, none called him to the fare,
He wasn't bold to volunteer on own;
Crestfallen he was, disappointed she was,
His mother and sisters along with her,
Left him in tears, and went to film.

It was again January eleventh,
Mother, sisters and she squatted on floor,
In usual chat to heart's content,
And he at distance reading a book,
But all his attention focused on her;
They said, he disliked her at start,
When she visited for first time,
He wanted her not to come again there;
Disturbed was she, turned to him,
And queried, did he really dislike her;
He remembered not having said that,
And that said, he added further,
Even if he said so by any chance,
All know now how good and great she is;
This pleased her to heaven and much more,
And she pleasantly mocked him in happy jeer.

His mother and a sister noticed change,
His unexpected slant towards her,
And constant focus she had on him;
They were bitter though they liked her,
For rejecting cousin most dear to them,
And going after him against their wish;
Though couldn't blame in straight talk,
They blamed her ilk of undue charms
Of potions and spells and vile practices
To net young boys and destroy them;
Sensitive as she was, it deeply hurt
To hear such blames from dear ones;
Hurt and bled, she distanced him,
Though she kept as usual close to them.

He soon noticed the sudden change,
Knew not why it happened to him,
Nor she opened herself to him;
He was distressed; she, devastated,
For hurting him by stony silence;
Once he ventured to ask her why,
Is she angry, he innocently asked;
She asked, what wrong he did to her
To be angry with him ever in life;
Perplexed, he returned unanswered.

Day and night in thoughts of her,
Deeply distressed by silence of her,
Tormented within to do something,
He took courage in both hands,
Bought for her some good snacks
And delivered to her at her home
By visiting alone, hidden from all,
And requested her to not reveal to any;
She took it promptly and thanked him,
But told his mother what he brought,
Since they blamed her of distracting him;
This hurt him badly and shamed him,
And she struggled hard to comfort him.

Oft, she shed bitter tears, wiped not,
Flowing in streams through her cheeks
While sitting alone in her house,
For hurting him again and again,
By her silence, and distance from him,
Whenever he tried to approach her;
She knew, they vacate in March end,
And he would be gone forever from her,
No means to meet, no means to reach,
It was soul searing blow to her;
Oh, how she watered the love's sapling,
For months reared with utmost care;
Just in time when the sapling flowered,
Alas, she lamented, shattered all;
She felt like plucking her own eyes,
Rather than see him vacating the house.

As she distanced, kept away from him,
Distressed he, lost appetite for food,
And left food uneaten much of the time;
Keen observer she was, always there,
Watched him eat less and less,
But she could do then nothing for him,
Save keep her presence close to him;
He asked her once, who were her gods,
She replied, her husband was her god;
Puzzled, and not satisfied by that,
He queried further, what gods she worshipped,
She answered, all were gods to her,
Calling him Brahma, others as some gods,
She called herself Sarasvati, goddess,
As her clue to who her husband, she meant.

Whatever was brought to her home,
She invariably carried, shared with them,
But they failed to meet her in equal measure,
This disturbed him at his heart;
When she brought something, next time,
He expressed his grief, sought her excuse,
Called her Buddha, Christ, Basavanna, Gandhi,
Selfless, and generous to those who fault;
She responded in kind, calling him those all.

She saw dazzling light in his eyes
While he approached or talked to her,
And knew her sweat was bearing fruit,
And immensely pleased by this turn;
Whatever he spoke gave unbound pleasure,
Whatever he said looked praise to her;
She said one day in mock grief,
He kills her alive by endless praise;
He agreed, crucifying on golden cross;
She gently refused such similes for him;
She was very happy, it scared her,
For, immense joy led to immense grief,
All her life, she expressed in fear.

She fondly read a renowned magazine,
A half nude female photo therein,
She showed them all in front of him;
When he sought to see that himself,
On the plea, men shouldn't view such photos,
She snatched, hid it under her bodice,
And challenged him to take it out,
And ran to her house, hoping for him;
Alas, shy, he stopped on track,
Said, if she refused its view to him,
It should be so bad, he shouldn't see it;
She wondered, did he trust her so much!

While she having her child on her lap,
He, eager to take it to his arms,
Asked, if she wanted child for her;
She asked, who doesn't want a child,
Subtly him she asked to take it from her;
Later she met and confided to him,
What he asked was perfectly all right,
Though others it read in equivocal sense.

They invited her family for dinner at home,
That went on well till the end;
During the dinner she requested him,
Not to move plates after he completes,
For she wanted to eat from his plate;
Unmindful he mixed that with all,
And she pooled remnants of all plates,
Sure, his plate's included there,
And ate them all with greatest pleasure,
Can ever other loves compare with it?

They planned a tour from twenty three
To reach back home by twenty six;
She couldn't make it at last moment,
And remained back home to the grief of all;
She was in him, all through the tour,
He was in her, throughout those days,
Both longing for each constantly within;
He was in distress, disinterested around,
Without her presence to add colours around,
And eager to reach back at first instance;
They reached home, brought saris to her,
She delighted to see him back in home.

February one, Sunday, saw them on tour,
On temples tour along the coastline;
On the way she saw a grand new mansion,
And fancied of living with him in there,
Intimately sharing life, always together there -
That overwhelmed her with pure bliss and joy,
But, alas, that never to be real in her life;
Wherever found his name on road signboards,
It was pure joy that she shared with all;
On eight, on Sunday, visited sea beach,
She joined them in both in great pleasure,
And wondered who else treat her so well.

She sent eldest child to Cannanore
To free herself from watchful eyes
And avoid talk on what happened in house
In case he visited her home by chance;
But, no day, as his nature, he visited her;
Disappointed, yet, aware of his nature,
She sent husband back to fetch child back,
Requested them for someone at nights
In her house till husband returned,
Hoping against hope, they send him there;
Alas, they sent, but his younger brother,
And she settled sadly for what she got.

Often she opted for cooking for them,
While good in cooking, once messed in one;
Yet he liked hers, and appreciated her;
She said, she knew, he likes hers so,
And felt so rewarded by his words,
All pain of work vanished from her.

On February eight, a busy Sunday,
She knocked insistently his bathroom door,
Where he was busy taking bath,
Called to open that to wash her hand;
He said, he was halfway through bath,
She insisted, she shut eyes, and wash her hands,
And leave from there within a minute;
Confused, he, not opened the door,
She waited for long, and turned back,
Not quite happy for shyness he showed;
Days later while he returned from a bath,
She said, her brothers never shied from her,
And went at her presence without dress,
Adding further more, in playful jest,
That indeed while they were mere kids.

His sister and she were preparing coffee,
And she had her child on her lap;
Coffee was ready and poured for all,
He requested her to give child to him,
So that she could drink hers in comfort;
She insisted, he takes his coffee first,
And later, take child, and she drinks hers;
While he insisted, she drinks coffee first,
Gently she asked in pleasant tone,
Whether her child was his, or hers.

They were with her on verandah outside
In delightful talk with each other;
He just then came home, stopped there,
Joined them then as silent onlooker;
Having deeply felt her closeness for long,
He collected rare courage for once then,
And strayed his eyes on her bosoms;
She felt his eyes fondling her bosoms,
Elated supreme for his first ever reach,
With dazzling glint in her playful eyes,
She covered mockingly bosoms with sari;
Having noticed that she noted his tease,
He moved his eyes from those divine charms,
And she invitingly them uncovered for his tease.

Somebody brought sweet to their house,
And he had his share in his hand
While she came running to his house;
He offered her a piece, she gently said, no,
Disappointed he followed her inside;
Suddenly she turned sensing his pain,
Stretched her hand and opened palm,
Asked him to give whatever he wants;
Pleasantly surprised, he gave her all he had,
Kept just a piece for him to eat;
His mother nearby disturbed somewhat,
Asked him for some, he parted with his own.

That day, her child was sleeping there,
It was past noon, time of evening tea,
She rose to cook evening food for them,
But worried of the child waking up soon;
He, present around at that time,
Assured, he takes care of the child;
With glint in eyes, she said, if it was his child,
He should see to it, it was his task;
His mother then there, questioned her,
Asked her what she meant by that;
Poor she said, meant, he takes child's care.

One day he brought new college group photo;
While found her and mother together there,
He gave her photo to trace him from group;
Lo, she did it straight out of seventy and more;
He said, he thought, she never could do,
She just replied, ‘me? ...you? ...in this life? ',
Signifying the depth of their bond.

A day, he met her at window at noon,
His mother too came running there;
She told his mother, ‘you deceived me, amma',
By usual address she reserved to his mother;
Any compromise, that she spurns him if he visits,
They in turn stop him from such visit,
But allowed him so soon to embarrass her? -
He never to know, what went ‘tween them;
She said, he looked like groom in marriage,
They visited altogether on January second;
His mother retorted, he's better than groom,
Just to checkmate her, her innocent praise.

Jealousy turns man to feral animal,
Cruel, savage, beyond all sense;
They found him devoted totally to her,
Beyond reservations natural to him,
First ever they saw him in that avatar;
No distance by her restrained him,
His love for her leaped long unbound;
Jealousy that crept prompted them to act,
And his mother took lead to poison his mind,
Called her prostitute, loose character,
Wove false canards around her;
But, he knew in him what she really was,
Though meek, and resisted them not,
He totally ignored the web of canards
With absolute faith in her pure soul;
When found no use in maneuvering him,
They faced her straight, said, he wasn't free,
Not yet come out of the parent's hold.

They hounded her hard, ruthlessly struck
To totally cut-off from anything with him;
She met dictates till her heart shattered,
Obliged what they said from depth of soul;
They found, nothing worked to distract him,
As an ultimate tool, they distanced her;
That hurt her badly, yet she kept her bridge,
But stopped visits she was used for long;
Though found painful to part from him,
She forced her will to succeed in it.

In spite of hard struggle, oft resolves breached,
Could not she remain far for long from him,
And came there running again and again,
Alas, to bear rude insults and silence;
He failed to grasp dynamics in play,
Thought, she was angry for odd reasons,
And plays truant at times on own.

She bought ice cream for all in the house,
He gave Volga Thanks for her ice cream,
And all savored that then together there;
In casual talk on vacating the house,
He said, they go up after leave the house,
Reference in half to new house on a hill;
She seriously responded, she too goes up,
Far up after they all go distant from her;
She said, no doubt, he deeply loves her,
And added, her brothers care for her kids;
She said, she wished, he rises high,
Becomes big man in his long life;
Had she then only decided her fate?

On eight of March, Sunday noon,
She came running with her child,
None talked to her, pretended noon nap;
He was there; she talked not to him,
And returned home, pride deeply hurt.

A day, she brought a sweet, she cooked,
With hope, he gets what she cooked for him;
They then prepared a similar sweet,
Gave it to him, hiding hers from his sight;
In a tinge of anger rising deep in her,
She approached him with tears in eyes,
Bitterly complained in desperation,
That they never give him what she brought;
Meek he was, clueless what to do,
He just stared in helplessness.

As days fast approached to vacate,
To test the ground of his love for her,
They sent him to her on a general task,
As he returned from his college that day;
She knew, he returned early that day,
He queried, how she knew it from her place;
She said, she inescapably is tied to her house,
And inexorably present there because of it;
But her mind and soul constantly roam,
Room to room, day, night, in his house,
And nothing there happens escapes her sight.

She had a hen that laid first egg;
For weeks distanced from their house,
In deep urge to meet him once more,
She brought the egg to their house;
They led her to him with black paint,
She wore rough shirt that looked like sack;
They painted her face with the black
In front of him to his utter horror;
She easily them helped in their task,
And they left her there for his sight;
She asked him, how she looked then,
He said, she looked like Jhansi Lakshmi,
The valorous queen who fought the British;
He found true beauty in her that guise.

A day in distress she starkly blamed him,
In spite of huge head, he uses it not,
And understands little what happens around;
She said of his sister, she minds her not,
But his mother…, of all…, his good father,
It hurts, kills, she said with tears in eyes;
She added, she, reserved; never ventured out,
It was her first, and it came to this pass;
She said, she did all and bore for his sake,
If he wasn't there, why she should care?

As fast approached twenty nine, Sunday,
Devastated both, crying from soul,
No way to part from each other,
No road whatsoever to remain together;
Distressed, he lay in dark on floor in house,
Across common wall adjoining her house,
To feel the warmth of her nearness;
She too was there, lay across the wall
In her house to feel nearness of him,
Just a wall then stood separating them
From the dream they destined never to reach;
His mother sensed amiss, called him out,
He shouted a ‘no', and continued with her.

It was twenty eight of March that day,
Their last day in their Asha Sadan,
She brought some gifts for each of them;
At night she visited, sat outside,
Alas, none accosted or talked to her;
In deep distress for parting from her,
He tied himself in dark room inside,
Noticed not her alone in grief outside,
And she left that place in total distress.

Next morning at momentous seven hours,
They left the house, he in utter distress,
Saw her nearby bitterly crying;
Car moved from there, and they left forever,
No more the past to catch up with future,
An epic age came to an end forever.

Soul searing grief wrenched them both,
Both knowing not what to do next,
In deep distress, and lowest spirit;
He hoped, she would visit new house,
But, deeply hurt, she ventured not;
Both found life barren, totally dark,
Yet dragged days, day after day;
He trod a day from college to her house,
But ventured not to meet face to face,
For fear how she might respond to him,
And peeped through a hole in the gate,
And found her in distress inside there.

He was to leave on eleventh of May,
For higher studies, far away from town;
On May seventh, Thursday, late at noon,
He visited her with a box of sweets;
She was there with all her kids,
She welcomed him with all warmth,
Yet, restraints evident in her conduct;
On hearing how he peeped through gate,
In fear that she might not open gate,
She asked, can ever she do that for him;
Complimented that he looked handsome,
And promised, she visits their house soon;
He bid her adieu, alas, never again to meet;
While half way on road, he looked back,
Found her yet standing near the gate.

He waited in vain for her promised visit,
And left on schedule on eleventh of May;
She visited them with husband and kids
On May twenty four, a Sunday evening,
On her last child's first birthday, it was,
As promised to him, and kept her words.

June twenty seven, Saturday, at four evening,
After taking bath, while kids on bed,
She soaked her sari in kerosene, set it afire;
Struggled for life for two more days,
And breathed last on twenty nine, midnight,
The day he reached twenty one of life.

Devastated was he on hearing that
On thirteen July in far town from there;
All was over, lost, yet life rolls on
In hope her love, them, bring together;
Thrice he tried to follow her to reach,
But failed each time by fateful turns,
Lived life in endless pain and grief,
And life goes on and on forever
In endless rolls of hope and despair.

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Other poems of IN CELESTIAL GLOW (268)

Comments (2)

I'm a Goan Catholic. Though a medical professional, I consider myself as a connoisseur of arts and poetry. I am truly charmed by the poem, 'Dilemma Of Love' by Praveen Kumar. Brilliantly crafted poetry, highly readable and captivates by the simplicity of its intense love emotions and word-framed images in simple English. Love is heaven, and love is heavenly hell. How true! Well brought out in this wonderfully crafted charming piece of poetry. Kudos to the poet. Vincent
Stupendous work. An epic. Perfectly sculptured word images, perfectly articulated to a brilliant but tragic love story in immaculate language. A masterpiece that reminds Shakespearean tragedy. Thanks for sharing. Rare to find such gems from recent writers in PoemHunter or anywhere. How as a woman I wish to find myself in the shoes of the heroine of the tragic story! - Vany