This incident took place during the time when India got freedom from British Raj but still had British families settled in India.
I was traveling from Calcutta to Bilaspur for some work and was trying to bond relationship with my fellow travelers by offering them Paan and talking about current politics. In the midst of this conversation, the most interesting and evergreen topic popped out.
“Love is not what it used to be in old times” One of my Bengali Friend exclaimed!
“It was in old times that Romeo- Juliette, LailaMajnu used to be there, now it’s all selfish.” He continued.
“I disagree. I can prove that love at any time is not selfish. Yes, it may differ from time to time. But the difference lies in society, not the feeling. Those who are sincere will always be true to love no matter what decade, generation or time it may be.” All eyes turned to the speaker of the above line. From the looks of it, he looked like a Gujarati Bhai with a Gujarati book in his hand and a typical Gujarati feature to support the observation.
“Can you elaborate your idea?” Naturally, the Bengali brother spoke what most of the passenger were eager to know.
“Yeah, Sure. I am Deepankar Trivedi. I am from Asansol; I can prove that love is love irrespective of time and place. Let me tell you all a true story which happened in recent times. It’s about my neighbor Ashutosh Mukherjee.”
And he started narrating his tale, “It so happened that Ashutosh who was the son of a wealthy Millionaire; during the time of his youth fell in love with a British girl Suzan. They loved each other but Ashutosh’s father was against it. And soon after we attained freedom, Suzan and her family left India and got settled in London.
The thought of Suzan was soon forgotten. Ashutosh completed his graduation and his father decided to send him to London for higher studies. What Ashutosh did not have in mind was that Suzan was there in London.
He had soon settled there and was doing well in studies. Once when he was roaming near a park he saw Suzan and could not believe his eyes. He soon approached her and talked to her.
Naturally, their meeting soon increased with time. Unknown to Ashutosh’s father they soon got married also. By this time he had completed his studies also and was planning to go to India. Which he did also; but he went alone. He thought when the time comes he would tell this to his father.
But time had something else decided for him. When he came to India his father fell ill and demanded him to get married to a girl chosen by him with Ashutosh. He couldn’t deny it and landed marrying the girl chosen by his father.
His father soon died leaving behind a huge sum of money and vast business for Ashutosh. Ashutosh soon adjusted himself with this business affair and had called Suzan also in India. But he had not disclosed to either of his wives that he was married to another woman.
Time soon passed. Suzan had also made herself settled in Asansol with few Indian friends. Ashutosh would make 15 days trips for a business tour or so he said and spends 15 days with his wives.
What Ashutosh didn’t know was that his truth would come out some day. This happened when one of Suzan’s Indian friend turned out to be an old neighbor of Ashutosh and she disclosed his secret to Suzan.
What next? Suzan was too aroused by this and filed a divorce case against him along with the charge of cheating.
Soon the case was in court. When Suzan’s turn came she was abusing Ashutosh like hell. It was but natural that Ananya was also called as a witness. She had been silent the entire time Ashutosh and Suzan were clearing their side.
When Ananya’s turn came she reached for the podium.
The Lawyer asked, “Your Name is Ananya Mukherjee?”
She nodded in a yes without saying a word.
What is your relationship with Mr. Ashutosh Mukherjee?
“I am his kept, Mistress” was the short reply.
(This was not new in those days that rich people used to have mistresses)
“What benefit do you get for this?” The Lawyer asked. Though he himself was surprised.
“Monthly Rupees 500 and accommodation” again a short reply came. “and I don’t have any objection to Mr. Mukherjee’s marital status!”
As there was no law for keeping mistress during that time Ashutosh was released. Suzan was shocked but soon accepted this idea of her husband keeps a mistress. Ashutosh was more than shocked by this all and also indebted to Ananya. ”
Had Ananya not truly loved Ashutosh would she take the risk of getting a bad name by the society?
We were Speechless. What about you?