This is part 10 of the serial novel.

With a touch of finality and irreversibility, death writes the closing chapter in one’s life. A sense of shock and disbelief had enveloped Mrs. Rao’s mind like a fog. She had felt numb and bereft of any emotion in the beginning, crying when somebody cried, but otherwise maintaining a calm exterior.

Then, just as slowly, the foggy pall lifted and the mind started going back to all the calcified images of the past, recalling and reviewing every detail and reconstructing every incident. Mrs. Rao would sit for hours looking at photo albums, sighing away at a fond recollection and wiping away a silent tear drop.

Vasantha and Shweta had thought it best to leave their mother alone.

Inspector Ram had set the mood right for Mrs. Rao. He had struck the right chord by asking her to share her thoughts with him — her son. He asked her casually how close Rao was to his family. The innocuous question stirred the old memories tucked inside the folds of Mrs. Rao’s mind. Like water gushing out of an open sluice gate, those nuggets of family history unplugged from their confines poured out.

Vasantha was Rao’s first daughter and the personification of his dreams. Every milestone she crossed as a baby would see him in raptures; every prize she won at school would make him gloat with pride.

The only time Vasantha had made Rao agonize over her was when she told she’d marry Krishnan, and no one else. His jaw had dropped when she said that. Whoever thought that Vasantha, who shared every little secret with him, could have encased her most precious secret away from him?  Krishnan? That non-descript boy, who he had seen occasionally chatting with Vasantha, had the key to her heart, and he hadn’t the faintest clue?

Vasantha walked in carrying a teapot. “So, your daughter married without your husband’s blessings,” said Ram, smiling warmly at Vasantha as he took the tea cup from her hands.

Vasantha interjected now. “My dad could never see me sad; so he agreed to the marriage, probably very reluctantly. After the marriage, he told my husband that I was used to a luxurious life; so he would make him his business partner and we could live with him too. My husband declined; he said his blessings alone could help earn the kind of life I was used to.”

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  • Mr Ghaz on Apr 28, 2009

    Excellent!..That was very interesting and well-written story..I really enjoyed reading yr work..Well done and thnx for sharing this great stuff

  • rajeev bhargava on Apr 28, 2009

    very interesting. i love reading this serial novel and the way it is developing. can’t wait for the next part! keep it up!!

  • Miss Heda on Apr 28, 2009

    good work =o)

  • Nina007 on Apr 28, 2009

    wow..its getting very interesting..!!!!

  • Ruby Hawk on Apr 28, 2009

    Serials are so enjoyable. You begin to feel that you know the characters.Looking forward to more of the same.

  • Eunice Tan on Apr 28, 2009

    Not patient to read the next chapter

  • Pinaki Ghosh on Apr 29, 2009

    I shall continue reading from now on

  • monica55 on Apr 29, 2009

    By catching the smirk on Ashok’s face, I think Krishnan is going to unravel the mystery. A very interesting development. We eagerly await part 11.

  • OhSugar on Apr 29, 2009

    I loved it. This was enjoyable to read and it was so well-written. Thank you for sharing it.

  • cleblanc on May 6, 2009

    Man, Ashok is evil! That was great. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  • CutestPrincess on May 16, 2009

    you never fails to amaze me!

  • Priya on May 18, 2011

    where is part 11!!???

  • ittech on Jan 11, 2012

    Very nice lovely write.

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