The black jasmine
“Baba, why are you giving this box to me?” Baba said, “I’m giving it to you for a reason,” Baba asked me to keep it safe with me. Again out of curiosity I asked, “Baba, shall I read the contents in this fabric?”. “It is not for you to read”, said Shiv Baba. Then....?
The car entered into Madhavan’s Bungalow.
A retro bungalow that was built in the late thirty’s. Like a ‘Manichithira thaz’ bungalow shown in the films, the portico had a beautiful garden full of roses in it and there was a statue of Lord Krishna with a flute. The bungalow reeked of antiqueness.
“This was my elder sister’s bungalow but she gave it to me. ” Madhavan led him inside saying that. Behind him, Ashwini followed silently like a doll.
The bungalow was magnanimously big.
From the wooden pillars to the furniture in the hall all were made of original teak wood and were shining like anything in the varnish polish.
“Take your seat, Anand. ” Madhavan showed a sofa that was rich with embroidery. Anand sat and looked at Ashwini. In her neck, he could see the ‘Mangal Sutra’. Ashwini tried to hide it with the pallu of her saree. Madhavan was watching this.
“What would you like to have?” Madhavan asked Anand casually to show his hospitality.
“I’m not in a mood to eat anything. Please … first tell me what happened! ”
“Anand, it is not one or two incidents, if it was, I would have explained it easily but here, oh my god, many things have happened which should not have happened. ”
“Madhavan, just come to the point straight, Ashwini was fixed for me then how she became your wife? Ashwini, I am asking you, why did you agree to this?”
Anand threw questions one after another at both of them simultaneously. They looked at each other, kept silent for a moment and then Madhavan started to speak.
“ In fact, I didn’t have any desire to marry Ashwini. But my sister compelled me to marry her. She was persuading me like anything but I said a big ‘NO’.I also told her about my affair with Shirly, a Christian girl, she was very much shocked hearing that but she did not say anything against it at that time.
Madhavan paused for a minute, Ashwini continued…
“ I do also told dad very strongly that I didn't like this marriage and I love you so much and will marry only you. He also didn’t say anything at that time. One day he gave me some jasmine flowers and sindoor and asked me to keep them with me, I thought it was from some temple and kept them in my bedroom…”
Ashwini paused for a moment…
“Hmm..then what happened? “Anand asked.
“The same happened at my home also. One day, my sister gave me some jasmine flowers and sindoor just like that and asked me to keep them with me. I applied the sindoor on my forehead and placed the jasmine flowers in my bedroom table…” Madhavan paused, Anand lost his patience.
“Why both of you are telling this story of jasmine flowers and sindoor to me, really it is boring, dear! Just come straight to the point! ” Anand got a little angry.
“Because that was the point from where everything started to change upside down in our life our mind, our strong decisions, everything changed like a ‘Harry Potter ‘movie and our marriage took place…!” Madhavan said.
“What are you saying?”
“That jasmine flower and sindoor had done it!. After that, I started obeying my elder sister and whatever she was telling me.”
“Yes, Anand, I do also started obeying my father. My mind became completely frozen and your thoughts never came in my mind and to tell you the fact you were completely deleted from my mind and thoughts. ”
“What is this nonsense?”
“This is not nonsense, Anand, this is the truth. Since you’ve been abroad for so many years, sometimes you might not believe all these, but you have to believe me.”
“No one will believe this, Madhavan!”
“Are you saying that the jasmine flowers and sindoor controlled both of your minds, shits. If you tell someone, they will think that you are mad!.”
“Yes…maybe but I have to tell you the truth, right?
“By saying this, again and again, you can’t convince me. Ok, why are you saying all this to me now?”
“There is a reason. After we got married, we went for a honeymoon, many miracles happened there…”
Anand got a little irritated!
“Now please listen... I came to India to dispose of all my properties and not to listen to your ‘Balarama’ stories. Please don’t test my patience, tell me fast what you want and do not waste my time! ”
“I am so sorry, Anand, you have completely mistaken us, we only wanted to help you. Please be patient and listen to us. Otherwise, you will lose all your properties, just like that you have lost your Ashwini.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“No, I just wanted to warn you and that also with good intentions.”
“I don’t think so, everything you say seems to me like a cooked up story. ”
“Just listen to me for a moment. What is your plan?”
“Why are you asking?”
“There is a reason. Are you planning to meet my uncle Rajendra Varma?”
“Of course! He has my properties under his care, right?”
“Are you planning to take over that property?”
“Yes, as I am well settled in Sri Lanka, I do not need any property here in India and I want to sell it if I get a good party!”
“Listen to me, Madhavan, you can never sell that property, once you meet my uncle.”
“Because, when you meet him, the very next minute, he will give you some Jasmine flowers and sindoor. Then you will automatically sign in all the papers he shows and will come back without knowing what has happened!.”
“Do you believe that it will happen?”
“It is not just a belief ...only that will happen.”
“Then let’s see.”
“Only to prevent that, we both came to the airport to meet you before anyone came. But you do not believe in our words.”
“It is not like that, Madhavan. I can’t believe even a single word you say, let me ask you one question. If I tell you a similar story, will you believe me?”
“In this case, I am sure that I will not. I am more of a logical type. But since I had this very bad experience in my life and got entangled in this, I have to say this. In fact, me and Ashwini are living together but our minds are not. We are not living like a husband and a wife and we want to come out of this.”
“What do you mean?”
“I just tied a knot, that’s all. Till now, I have never touched her. It will be like that in the future also, if we have to live together. Ashwini told me how much she loves you, I want to give her back to you. Also, I want to save you from that devil named my sister who wants to covet all your properties.”
The way Madhavan said this was so emotional. Anand was forced to a position, that he could not ignore Madhavan’s words simply like that. So he asked,
“Ok, tell me, Madhavan, what I have to do now?”
“Thank you for the understanding,Anand. Now you should know some facts before you meet Rajendra Varma sometimes it may be a little shocking for you but I have to…”
“You are thinking that your uncle is single, right?”
“Yes...Isn’t that the truth?”
“That was till last month. Now, Varma is my brother-in-law. That is, my elder sister has become Mrs. Rajendra Varma. ”
“What? A marriage at this age?”
“What to say, Anand, nowadays, more marriages are happening like this.”
“I never expected this, my uncle having an affair like this, that also with your sister. I could not simply believe it!”
“Your uncle has no role in this. Behind all this was my sister’s mastermind”
“Yes, to me, she is just a monster who was born with me by fate. A devil who has wasted her life by believing in black magic and fortune-tellers!”
“What Madhavan, why are you cursing your own sister?”
“ Whoever it is, when they are acting so mean, they will definitely reap what they sow!”
“Then, what you say is your sister has married my uncle using some black magic and that also for his properties worth in crores? ”
“Yes, Anand, unfortunately, that is the truth…”
“Please go and have a wash and come back Anand, let's talk while having breakfast. I have to share with you some other important information.”
In the midst of all this, when Madhavan invited him for the breakfast, Anand felt that he was getting somewhat closer to him knowingly or unknowingly. Till now, he was listening to him half-minded but now he had become alert and all focused. He asked Madhavan where the restroom was and started moving towards it.
Ashwini found Madhavan standing near her a bit confused and restless.
Noticing her looks Madhavan said, “Don’t panic dear, we will make Anand understand everything and we will also find the secret of that magical Jasmine.,”
Madhavan consoled her.
Ashwini, with folded hands whispered, “Oh, God!” and prayed earnestly.