Of No Avail – Web of Wedlock (Part 2, page 1 of 15)

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Part 2

As Priya drove him into the sprawling compound of an elite complex, Venu began to see the futility of his daydreams entertained in his modest dwelling.

‘Is not our status gap too wide to fill?’ he thought as she drove the car to her duplex villa. ‘Surely she would’ve known that the moment she stepped into my apartment. What for then has she brought me to her arena than to show me my place? Didn’t she hint that I’m better open-minded? What a tease it is? Oh, how I brought it upon myself; instead of being formal, I got warmer to her. Why the women in my life are so cruel to me. What if I deny her the vicarious pleasure by bidding her adieu at her doorstep itself? Won’t it serve her right?’

Parking the car in her portico when Priya nudged him towards the main door; he looked at her as if to read her mind for a clue to her intentions.

‘Am I seeing the devil in a Devi,’ he began to rethink on his vacillating ground. ‘Why am I not being able to give allowance to her genuine change of heart? Willy-nilly, have I become a misogamist without my knowing about that? Maybe that’s the damage my aborted marriage caused to my psyche, but I should not allow that to ruin my life. Why place the cart before the horse, let her show her hand now. ’

Thus as he stood at the doorstep, she stepped in to usher him in.

“Oh my man, tell my name,” she said in all smiles.

Her strange welcome made him co-relate it with her ‘customary entry’ statement at his place, and that brought to the fore the fuss his folks made to force him and Chitra to tell each other’s names to grant visa to enter his apartment. So it dawned on him that she could be alluding to the just weds’ entry into their marital home, and that raised his hopes all again.

“Oh, Priya,” he said tentatively as she took his hand.

“Welcome, though belated,” she said pressing his hand.

While she led him round her luxurious villa, to his dismay, he saw their economic disparity in full view.

“It’s frightfully rich,” he said as they returned to the drawing hall.

“Don’t frighten me like that,” she said as if pleadingly.

“Again I’m sorry, if I’ve sounded so,” he said taking her hand.

“Do you know what it cost me?” she said leading him to a sofa.

“I’m not yet into the real estate business,” he said in jest taking his seat.

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