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The Strength Of Love

The Strength Of Love

(A short story by Vaman Acharya)

The Mobile was ringing. Rohit saw the caller's number was unsaved. Out of anxiety he asked,

"Hello, May I know who is calling?"

"I am Vijay. Are you Rohit?"

"Yes, How did you get this number?"

" I am your classmate from pre university class to degree in Ramana college of arts & science, Bengaluru. We stayed in a hostel for five years sharing the same room. I got your number from one of my friends, " said Vijay.

"Yes. How are you Vijay? What are you doing now? Save my number and change the audio call to video call?" said Rohit.

Both started conversation in video.

"Rohit, after B. A, I completed my MA in English. At present, I am working as a lecturer in the same college, where I was a student. I used to call you Rohi and you called me Viju. We met three years ago on the annual day of the college. "

"Yes Viju, you have changed a lot. I know you as an angry youngman. I was confused to recognise you immediately, the moment I saw you in the video."

“Okay! Don’t try to confuse yourself. But I recognized you on the screen. I was one hundred percent sure that you are none other than Rohit. I don’t find any major changes in your facial appearance except your grey hairs and some wrinkles. You too had a good complexion and used to change the designer tee shirt daily . But now due to your beard and baldness, you look like a philosopher. Are you aspiring to become a film actor? It appears you are a worried man. What happened to you?" asked Vijay.

“Viju, I am not a philosopher nor do I have any aspirations to become a film actor. We had both happy and sad days during our hostel life. Now I am facing a lot of problems, which I cannot share. Meeting an old friend after a long time, I am feeling very much happy,” said Rohit.

“Oliver Goldsmith rightly said, ‘l love everything that’s old, old friends, old times, old manners, old books and old wines, " said Vijay.

“Viju, your knowledge of English is excellent. I too was a brilliant student like you, scoring highest marks. How did you surpass me in all fields? I'm jealous of you," said Rohit.

"Rohit, my success is not due to mere luck but my hard work. We were close friends helping each other in difficulty. It's but natural to become jealous. Now I am thirty one years old and you may be of the same age," replied Vijay

"Yes! Viju, when we were in final year degree one day, there was an elocution competition. Each participant has to select the topic of his choice and speak for three minutes. I spoke on 'Discipline in students' and you selected 'Morality in education'. After your forceful speech I was called to the dais. Finally your speech was declared as best and applauded by all by continuous clapping, although my speech was equally forceful."

"Rohit, do you remember for no fault of yours, Priyanka, our classmate lodged a complaint against you with the principal for misbehaving with her. I came to your rescue."

Rohit was happy, when he told about Priyanka. He replied with a smile.

"There was no fault on my part. One day in class, she was sitting on my back. You know when the class was over she was in a hurry to go out. At the same time I got up to move. My right hand unknowingly touched her left hand and her bag containing books fell down. She became angry and she was under the impression that I had with bad intentions touched her hand. She lodged a complaint to the principal. Later, she realised the fact and apologised before the principal. But the same girl appreciated you for your timely help, when she was suffering from high fever."

"Yes, at that time, I took her to the hospital for treatment. She was fine the next day. Thereafter, she met me several times and I helped her," said Vijay.

After a while Rohit called a young woman. Vijay saw her on the screen. She waved her hand towards him. Vijay is surprised to see Priyanka with Rohit. He loved her and wanted to express his wish. He thought man proposes God disposes.

"Vijay, I am Priyanka now, Priyamvada your college mate. How are you?" said smilingly.

"Priyanka, I am okay and happy to meet you."

It was a shock for Vijay. He loved Priyanka and wanted to convey his wish. He also knew that Rohit fell in love with Priyanka. Priyanka knew their intention of love for her. Vijay thought he was a brilliant student than Rohit, she may accept his love. But now he was in a puzzle. How does this happen?

Priyamvada observed Vijay was silent.

"Vijay, what happened to you? Why are you silent? You may be surprised to know how I became a life partner of Rohit? I haven't met Rohit and you for the last three years. I am doing journalism course in Bengaluru university. Just a month back, a memorable incident happened. It was a turning point in my life. On that day, the class continued till seven pm. There were few students in the class. Everybody left in their vehicles. I went straight to the city bus stop. Suddenly, there was a thunderstorm followed by heavy rains. The power went off. There was darkness everywhere. Stray dogs were barking. A young man was already taking shelter in the bus stop. He parked his two-wheeler outside. I sat on the bench where he was already occupying the seat. He was moving towards me. I was terribly afraid and chanted the mantras closing my eyes. He said,Madam, don't worry. Please be free. He didn't touch me and started singing old film songs. I liked his melodious voice. When the power was restored, I was happy to see him. He was none other than my college mate Rohit. We had a better understanding. I fell in love with him and expressed my wish. He reciprocated and we became life partners just a fortnight before."

Suddenly the video call was disconnected due to internet failure.

Vijay was under the false impression that he was more intelligent than Rohit and Priyanka naturally accepted his loLove

The new couple had strong love based on simplicity, honesty and helping others.