THAT NIGHT (PART FIVE)
This is the 5th part of Professor Lakshmi Raj Sharma's acclaimed ghost story "That Night", based in rral India.
Remember that Lakshmi's acclaimed collection of short stories is available on Amazon and published by Publerati on
THAT NIGHT (Part V)
But Pran fell head over heals for her. He became passionately involved with her. He was a year senior to her and could have been quite right for her, age wise, and otherwise too. He began to imagine that there was no one more suitable than himself to befriend and possess her. He began to think about her day and night and think ill of anyone else that thought of her or thought ill of her. Pran forgot that he had joined the Philosophy Department for a Master’s degree in Philosophy rather than in Sonali. Sonali was quite cool about him. She always knew exactly how close she was going to allow him to get. She never let him feel that she was too interested in him or, for that matter, that she even felt that he was too interested in her. This began to hurt Pran. I too was interested in Sonali but I never fell heels over head for her. She therefore never worried too much about me. She would now and again discuss something about philosophy which gave my ego immense satisfaction. I distinctly remember, even after so many years have passed, that she came to discuss David Hume’s Theory of Custom with me once and, then on another day, G. E. Moore’s Axiological Intuitionism. Those were both wonderful days for me. She cast her magic on me. Pran asked me why she was meeting me privately and his tone suggested that he felt hurt that I was willing to help her out. He seemed to me no more than a stud, as he spoke. I was reminded of a bull that would fight with another bull daring to come in contact with cows in his territory.
Pran wasn’t too rude with me to begin with but then Sonali came to me and put suspicion in his mind. Whenever she saw me near the Philosophy Department she would come up to me, perhaps in the hope that I would help her during her examinations. But each time she met me, she stabbed Pran in his heart. Pran was conscious of the fact that he was better looking than me but he also knew that his knowledge of the subject was thin and that I had more years of experience with the subject. I was therefore posing some kind of intellectual threat to him which made him anxious. He never mentioned his anxiety but he did not give me the kind of regard one would expect from him. He was sometimes very polite, no doubt, but sometimes he was pretty offensive. I being senior, it was necessary to behave more maturely with him. I tolerated him and even tried to boost his morale when he seemed too disappointed with Sonali. But his passion for her kept mounting and no amount of consolation seemed to work.
The real problem began when Sonali, not only disregarded Pran Agnihotri’s love petitions but began to show an obvious interest in Manoj Singh Rathore, the sports star of her batch. Manoj was rough looking, definitely not handsome, but with a benevolent look on his face. He was like an open book that Sonali wanted to read with interest. Manoj had a lot of faith in me and shared everything with me, in a most excited manner. He never got to know that I too was not entirely out of the race. But when I discovered Pran’s passion for Sonali and Sonali’s increasing interest in Manoj, I decided to step out of the race. Being naturally inclined towards philosophy, I knew that one rarely had everything served on a platter. Very soon I realized that I only admired Sonali’s versatility; I never loved her. But the problem was still not over. There were still two men and only one woman. In order to have peace around me I needed only one of the men to be interested in her. Which one deserved her more? That was the question.