She went to the college office to find his postings. The clerks were smiling at her, asking about the “experience” she mumbled some response, walked up to Victoria hospital, looking for him in Paediatric wards.He was trying to find the vein of a small infant, repeated pinching of the skin and slapping of the muscles making the baby cry. He saw her leaning on the railings outside; he continued his work with a wooden face.He knew that she was waiting for him, finding the vein was a more difficult task now. She stood there hopelessly, like a victim. She knew they had to talk, she had to explain. She kept rehearsing arguments, her love for him etc. in her mind. This was like a viva-voce` in her exams. She silently chanted her prayers. She waited for an eternity, when he did emerge he was running down the stairs to find a quick exit. She ran behind him“Can we talk?”He looked at her like one looks at a dangerous insect, fear and disdain mingled in equal measure. “I have nothing to say to you” Madhu did not know that it would be so difficult, but it was her goddamn life, it was her precious love, “ You have to listen to me, this can’t be resolved without that” He continued to walk briskly “There is nothing to resolve” Madhu stood her ground beneath the Gulmohar tree full of pink flowers.He stopped. She said haltingly, “You see I really did not know what I wanted, when I signed that film.I was only looking at fame, fulfilling my mother’s dream. I thought my father made his father famous and I am making my mother famous, doing what she could not do, achieving her ambitions, now I know it is not at all what I thought it to be, I won’t be proud of this film, or my identity as an actress. I did not know you well enough, I could not have asked you what to do, could I? It happened too fast, now I can’t walk out in the middle, but I will not continue in that field, I don’t want to”
“You are wasting your time. I haven’t the foggiest idea what you are talking about, I am engaged” He sounded cool, superior, completely in control. So who was the actor? What about all those yearning looks, that burning possessiveness, those protective gestures, that band aid? But to calculate, or sum up there was not even a single act, or evidence or proof of his love, none at all. It was just powerful suggestion, a pleasant implication; she had allowed herself the luxury of living in a world of dreams based on such shaky foundations. To build an entire life only in her head, with him as the centre of her universe, then to be told it would never become real, it was just a lovely silly fantasy, where would she go from here? Perhaps to a burial ground where there was ash, burnt dry earth or a chain of manholes. The sky was falling on her, there was no cover. Anand almost always wanted to win, hated her brilliance, her guts, his need to upstage her could not be satisfied by her , he invited for an honest game, as she won every game she lost most of her heart.She was helpless here she wanted to hug him, kiss his angry mouth, drop to her knees and cry saying “ Don’t do this, don’t hurt me”. That baby she had imagined with his eyes and her smile, cried along with her in the womb of fertile imagery. “Please write your address, so that I can send you my wedding invitation card”he said.