Benign Flame: Saga of Love (Enriched Edition) (Part 7, page 1 of 7)

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Part 7

‘7Up Godavari Express coming from Visakhapatnam will be arriving in a few minutes on No.2 platform’, the Secunderabad Railway Station echoed to the ill-modulated voice of a male announcer.

“Just late by two hours,” said Meera sarcastically, after checking with her watch.

“God speed the railways,” said Ramu, who by then had finished four cups of coffee.

Relieving them of their weariness, soon the train came into view. When in time, it decelerated into the station; their spirits soared to the skies. Spotting Sathyam standing at the exit, they waved at him furiously to be noticed and when the train came to a halt, they paced up to welcome the Sathyams.

“Couple in the making welcome the ‘made for each other’ couple,” said Ramu as he embraced Sathyam.

Soon, they moved out following the porters carrying the luggage, Sathyam and Ramu hand in hand and Roopa and Meera side by side, and once out of the railway station, they got into the waiting Fiat arranged by Ramu for the occasion.

“Sad we’ve missed your marriage,” Ramu addressed Roopa.

“It’s our loss,” Roopa replied.

“We’ll make up for all that,” said Meera chirpily.

“What if she locks Sathyam in their wedlock,” said Ramu in jest.

“You’ve said it,” jibed Meera with her beau.

“Let me see if you don’t tie him to your pallu,” retorted Sathyam on Roopa’s behalf.

As the Fiat stopped at the wicket-gate, propelled more by womanly instinct than any welcoming intent, Lalitha stepped out from the main one.

“We never had a more beautiful tenant, don’t hesitate to ask for anything from me,” said Lalitha sounding helpful.

Often, in human relations, one’s latent nature to help exudes in the face of a prospective friendship but when the acquaintance fails to cross the threshold of intimacy, inevitably the inclinations too go into hibernation.

Though Roopa stepped into the sparsely furnished penthouse, yet she felt readily at home.

“I can’t thank you enough,” said Sathyam in gratitude as Ramu and Meera had by then arranged the furniture and positioned the luggage.

“I think, to start with, the bridal couple should handle better things than household articles; moreover, it was not such a hassle thanks to your landlady’s prattle, it turned out to be great fun even. I wonder how women won’t get tired of talking! Isn’t it the irony of man-woman equation that the least exposed to the world should have a better say in life?” said Ramu heartily.

Ramu ran for cover as Meera advanced towards him menacingly and when she caught him by the collar, he said theatrically,

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