One day news arrived that my last surviving uncle and his wife had passed away in a car accident. Their only daughter, who lived abroad, asked me if I would like to buy their land. I had begun doing relatively well by now and saw no harm in doing so. With my latest acquisition, I was now the owner of a large parcel of land. Larger than what my father had owned when he was alive.
I had asked Soni to marry me once again.
‘Tere toh tab vyah karangi jab tu pind da sab se raees aadmi banega’ (I’ll marry you when you become the richest man of our village) she replied.
I laughed off this condition as where I stood now that was a possibility in the near future. I could be the richest man in the village soon, after the old Zamindaar.
‘I’ll be the richest man after the Zamindar soon, will you marry me then?’
‘No, then I’ll marry the Zamindar!’ she quipped and we both laughed.
‘What will we do till we wait for me to get as rich as you want me to be?’I teased
‘There is a lot we could do’, she whispered suggestively, eyes downcast and blushing a deep pink.
The Sanjhi was witness to our first union when we came together in every sense of the word. Then there was no stopping what we had started. The skies blushed at our passion and the winds whispered about it. The dark of the night shielded us from the eyes of the world, as our lust ran unbridled.
If I once imagined what a good life was about, I now realized I was experiencing it. My life was better than good. My hard work was paying off. I had love. I knew bliss. Was there any man luckier than me in this world?
The village council meeting was called and my mother and I attended it along with our fellow villagers. It was our first time at the meeting and we were curious to know what would be expected of us.
When everyone was seated the council announced that the river Sanjhi is changing its course. Collective gasps went around, followed by murmurs. It had happened before as well, some elders informed us, rivers do change their course.
I had never heard of it nor experienced it and worry creased my brow. What would it mean for my lands, was the question on my mind.
The government would see to it that no harm came to the villagers or villages, informed the council members. They would see to it that this happened with the least amount of damage, if any, we were told. However, for this to happen our village, Nihala, would have to be split into two. The shock around was palpable this time.
Rivers had changed courses before but villages had never been split, spoke out some. Villages had been split before, for the safety of its people, countered others.
Neither my mother nor I knew what to say or do. We stood there mute and numb, waiting to know more. People from the city had already conducted a survey and would be letting us know of the next steps soon. Any loss due to this change would be compensated by the government. The last line brought a sigh of relief to many but the crease of worry did not leave foreheads.
Under the Banyan tree by the banks of the Sanjhi had become Soni and my favorite place to meet. It shielded us from prying eyes, giving us the privacy we needed. Each time we met we just couldn’t have enough of each other. We were like two hungry souls feeding and satiating the other. Basking in the afterglow of yet another union of lust we were lying on our backs, looking at the stars and letting the gentle sounds of the water lapping the shore lull us into a light sleep. I snapped out of my stupor, turned towards Soni, and asked her to marry me once again.
‘Sochne de’ (Let me think) she teased, waking up slowly, sitting up lazily, and stretching her luscious body she knew that had me captivated.
I spoke to her about the Village Council meeting and what was discussed there. She hadn’t even heard of the meeting and had no idea such meetings took place, but I had her attention.
As she slipped on her clothes wrinkles of worry creased her forehead and put her deep in thought. What would happen to my lands? What would happen to my house? Would the government compensate me if any harm came to what I owned? Her questions were endless and her passionate mood had changed to a pensive and alert one. We discussed it for some more time before we parted ways as the sun began making an appearance, both of us wondering what tomorrow would bring for us.
This post is a part of the Blogchatter Half Marathon.
I am writing A Fictional Short story – A River Runs Through It – for this challenge.
Read Part 1 of the story here
Read Part 2 of the story here
Read Part 3 of the story here
Read Part 4 of the story here
Read Part 5 of the story here
Read Part 6 of the story here