Write a letter to your friend in reply to his previous letter.
I received your letter quite on time. But I got late in replying to your letter because of Saroj. You do know that Saroj is my beloved sister. For her happiness, I can sacrifice even my life, but I cannot compel her.
Friend! Nothing is hidden from you. Saroj had a liking for you since her very childhood. But she could not utter her words of love for you though she was educated and she let you marry Kamlesh with joy on her face. She did not want to share her pangs of love with anybody else. That’s why she made herself quite busy. After this, no one ever saw her rose-like face smiling. She flew into a rage over the issue of her marriage. So this topic was never taken up before her. Afflicted with this grief, mother bade eternal good night to this world.
About ten years ago from now on, Saroj, with Vermilion in the dividing line of her stood before me. There was a young man with her. I was a little astonished to see this. The young man touched my feet and said. “Brother, bless me so that I may bear the burden of your beloved sister”. After this, Saroj put her arms round my neck and burst into an ocean of tears. Her pain of years together was now expressing itself in the form of tears. Shyam ! for the sake of Saroj’s happiness I handed her over to that stranger. Truly speaking, Diwakar had put life into that withered bud. Once again, there was a ripple of joy in her with red life. She began to warble like the cuckoo. But then after a year, the autumn crept into her life-garden. Providence could not bear the happiness on the lips of Saroj. Diwakar was killed in Indo-Pak war.
Since then I find Saroj lost in the memory of Diwakar. Shyam !! received your letter last week. When I read it, I found myself in a fix, thinking what game Providence was playing with Saroj. I had no heart to seek her opinion about your proposal. Finding myself utterly helpless to place your proposal before her, I kept your letter in the Gita on her table. I know that she reads the Gita regularly in the twilight. I purposely returned home late in the night. Your sister-in-law has gone to her father’s house and so I was quite unworried.
I was still lying abed enjoying the night’s sleep when Saroj shook me out of it and asked, “What’s this, Brother?” She had your letter in her hand. In her weeping tone she was repeatedly saying, “Don’t play this dirty joke with me. Destiny can’t see me, an ill-fated bird, happy. Let me remain in this very state. Nobody can sponge away whatever is written in my ill-fate”.
Keeping her head on my chest, she went on shedding tears and I continued cheering her up. Even after much talk with her, she gave no reply. She only gazed on your oil painting hung on the wall.
Friend! I am not worried about what people will say. I shall do only what gives peace to Saroj. Urmi will return home from her father’s house soon. You should leave both the children here. Maybe, the children themselves are able to get her ready for marriage. If this relation materializes, I shall remain indebted to you.
Convey my greetings to your elder sister and love to children. With love to you.