Bindu was packing her bags. Tomorrow, she would be leaving India for the official tour of New York City prior to her taking a new job at the company's head quarters. Mr. Jaitley, her current boss had recommended her to Mr. Edwards. Mr. Edwards was the CEO of the company and Mr. Jaitley was his Managing Director of the company's Indian subsidiary. Bindu would be accompanying Mr. Edwards and his secretary to New York.
She had left work just after lunch so she could complete her packing. She was excited to be getting an opportunity to complete the company's current project. It was a project that could earn the company huge profits. If the project was successful, it would go a long way in helping erase some bitter memories she had of her life in India. While packing she was remembering her past. It had been a long hard journey she'd taken to get to this moment.
As she packed, her thoughts carried her back in time. She remembered how happy she had been when she had finished first in her high school classes. She was very proud of the honors her hard work had brought her.
Most of the girls in the village where she grew up were never lucky enough to complete school. Most of the village girls were sent to school only until they passed out of the primary grades. As did many parents of that time and place in rural India, most girl's parents felt that girls were only for household work. An education was a waste of time and money. A girl was considered a debt to her family. Something that would cost a dowry to get rid of.
Only the daughters of government officials and the few rich families in the village were fortunate enough to study beyond the primary grades. Some were even married before they entered their adulthood.
Bindu's parents were something of an exception to the rule. Her parents had sent all of their children to school. They highly praised her success in her exams.
The school Bindu attended was the only school in their village. Initially, it had been just a primary school. It was later upgraded to accommodate the high school level. To continue their education at the university level, students had to move to the one of the larger cities where the colleges were located.
Unfortunately, for Bindu her grandmother had been insisting her father marry Bindu off. She had just celebrated her 17th birthday and did not want to marry so young. She wasn't ready for that, yet. She wanted to go university like her friend, Manju had done.
Bindu's father was reluctant to allow this. He wanted to marry her off at the earliest possible time. She was the eldest of the children in the family. If Bindu could be married early, he would then have more time to think of arranging the dowry for his younger daughter, Anara.
Bindu's father had a small cloth shop in the village. The farmland, which came to him from ancestral property, was leased out. He had saved some money, which he thought, would be enough to marry Bindu off to some young man. He had little or no concern for Bindu's wishes.
Binu, the youngest family member, was the only son. The father had thought of making Binu, a rich and powerful man. He had all his dreams wrapped around his only son. His daughters were merely an obstacle to that plan.
Bindu's dream of going to university for a higher education had been dashed. After some protests, Bindu had accepted her parent's decision. She then began dreaming of her future husband and marriage. In fact every girl throughout the world has fantasies of her dream boy and her wedding night.
Bindu's friends were wondering who would be the lucky man who would marry her. By any standard, she was a beautiful girl. She had long black hair that surrounded a lovely rounded face, almond shaped hazel eyes, and a slender light tan shaded body. She drew attention wherever she went. Her D-cup breasts made certain she would not go unnoticed.
Her father had found what he thought was a good match for her. A boy named Mangat was selected to be lucky one. His father owned huge tracts of property in the adjoining village. Most of it was dedicated to farming and other agriculture purposes. They were among the richest families in their village. Also, Mangat's father had accepted Bindu's father's proposal of marriage the first time it was brought to him. He didn't even want much of a dowry.
It was a proud moment for Bindu's family. Her father thought that his daughter would live a happy and prosperous life with Mangat.
Bindu was happy too. Though she didn't love Mangat, but he was a young, handsome, and strongly built man. Bindu thought she had found her dream boy. With time, she would learn to love him. Her heart was brimming over with happiness. Her friends and sister kept bantering with her all day. Bindu used to envision herself in a bride's clothes. Then her thoughts turned to what Mangat would do with her on their wedding night. One of her elder cousins had told her that husbands don't allow their brides to sleep on the first night. The new husbands tease and have sex with them the whole night. Her cousin told Bindu that many brides were unable to walk the next day because of the soreness from all the loving their new husbands provided.
When told of her body's use on her wedding night, Bindu naively giggled. The thought of Mangat taking her virginity and using her all night excited and frightened her.
Her wedding day finally came. Bindu left her father's house with tears of joy.
She was warmly welcomed into her husband's home. The ladies of the house, after performing some traditional rituals, took her to the wedding couple's room. Fresh roses were laid all over the bed, giving the room a pleasant fragrance.
For hours, she sat alone on the bed, waiting for Mangat. To keep her dignity, she continued wearing her bridal clothing. In addition to the wedding saree, she was wearing a gold wedding ring on one finger, and a long mangalsutra (necklace). It signified her marital status. It was made of gold and black beads with a twin-cupped pendant. It hung low. The beads fell between her ample breasts. The pendent rested against her midriff. Her earlobes bore delicate earrings. She had a small bindi on her forehead and the traditional sindhoor. Her choli was nicely cut, and it scooped deep and wide enough to reveal a bit cleavage.
Just as she heard the noise of the opening of the bedroom door, her face became reddened with shyness. Her dreams were now going to be realized. This was the moment that every girl waits for. Bindu was suffering the uncertainty that all young virgin brides feel.
But wait! What was that! Mangat came into the room with his manhood dangling from his trousers. He had been drinking heavily and could barely walk. His breath reeked. The odor from his mouth smelled of liquor and something Bindu could not identify. Bindu was terrified by Mangat's condition.
In spite of her fear, she somehow helped her husband undress and lie on the bed. He was deeply under the influence of whisky.
"Kamoo... .... Kamoo." Bindu heard these words slowly come from Mangat's lips. She was shocked to hear Kamoo's name from Mangat.
Kamoo was a local whore. She had burned many families. Many rich young men were her admirers. They were mad over her beauty. She hoped Mangat was not also among the victims of that vamp of a girl.
Again, the dreams Bindu had held so long, were shattered. Mangat was fast asleep on the bed with no consciousness of his new bride. Bindu could not do anything in this situation. She slept with tears in her eyes but with the hope that everything would be all right in few days. Her new husband had simply celebrated his marriage a little too much.
Unfortunately, her wedding night was just the beginning. Her doubts were turning to reality. Mangat came in late night after night. Night after night he drank heavily, and cried the name of Kamoo as he dozed off. What he earned during the day, he wasted that night on drinking, playing cards, and Kamoo. He gave little or no attention to the fact that his untouched bride was waiting for him at home.
Mangat never tried to understand Bindu's feelings or needs. In fact sometimes, he behaved cruelly toward his wife. He had not even consummated their vows and given her the status of his true wife. After more than six months they still hadn't had any sexual contact.
Sadly for her, Bindu's virginity was still intact.
She always tried to please her husband. She even went so far on a few nights to greet him by laying naked on their bed as an invitation to her husband to come to her. Mangat ignored her, except to tell her to move over. In spite of it all, she took care of him. To her dismay, he was madly attracted to Kamoo.
Bindu couldn't complain of this to her in laws. They wouldn't take her seriously. She didn't want to tell this to her parents either. She didn't want to become a debt to them again. Her father had to think about marrying off her younger sister. Bindu was enduring a life of suffering and neglect. What cannot be cured must be endured!
One night, Mangat came to home after finishing his daily work and flopped on the bed. Bindu was already laid on the bed trying to sleep. She knew that Mangat didn't take dinner at home after he had been drinking.
Suddenly, she found some rough fingers on her blouse. Before she realized what was happening, those fingers cupped her exposed breasts. She was surprised at this behavior from Mangat. He hadn't shown the least interest in her until then.
"Oh dear, that's pretty nice." Mangat praised her with slurred speech.
Bindu's blouse was open enough to give Mangat full access of her ample tits. Still, she was lying on her side with her back to her husband. She sensed Mangat's lips on her bareback. He then untied the belt to her thin robe. He slipped his hand in, and Bindu felt his fingers on her neglected sex for the first time. She was shivering with excitement.
"Oh that's most pleasurable, Kamoo darling".
Bindu was stunned to hear Kamoo's name. She realized that Mangat, in his drunken semi-conscious state of mind, had imagined it was Kamoo with him on the bed instead of his wife, Bindu.
"You don't worry babe. I will throw Bindu out and will make you my wife. Then we can enjoy each other without fear." Mangat assured.
Bindu tears were flowing heavily from her eyes. Somehow, she kept her self control.
Mangat soon passed out and was in deep sleep, again without accepting Bindu's offered virginity.
Bindu got up from the bed, dressed, and sat in a far corner of the room. She cried as the memories of her dreams came flooding back. The memory of all her dreams that had turned to ashes convinced her of what she had to do. She felt that she would never be happy with Mangat. Mangat had no intimacy and affection for her. She decided to leave his house.
But where she would go this late at night? Her parent's house was too far away for her to reach walking. Also, she didn't want to bring sadness and suffering to her parents.
Just then she remembered her school friend Manju. Manju was the daughter of a government officer and among the few lucky girls who had gone to a nearby city university after graduation from the village high school. Manju's parents had moved to the same village where Mangat's family lived. Bindu was confident that Manju would help her in this situation.
So, with her tears drying on her cheeks, Bindu packed her clothes and other valuable goods in a single bag. She slipped out of the house quietly. All were sleeping soundly in the house. No one was aware of Bindu's departure.
Hiding herself from the leering eyes of passers-by, Bindu reached the house of Manju. Her mother opened the door and asked her to come inside. Manju was happy to see her friend. Manju told Bindu she lived in a girl's hostel in the city and had come to her mother's home for the holidays.
Manju's mother prepared tea for the girls and then went to sleep in her room. Bindu told her story to her friend. Manju felt sorry for her friend and assured her of help. Bindu told her friend, about her wish to go to the city to continue her studies. Manju asked her to stay with her that night. They would travel to the city in the morning.
The next morning, Bindu and Manju traveled to Raipur by bus. They made arrangements for Bindu's admission in the hostel and in the school. Manju and Bindu both lived in the same room.
Bindu started working a part time job after her class time. She had no contact with her family or with Mangat's family for many months. Neither did they try to search for her.
Manju didn't say a word about Bindu whenever she visited her mother in the village where Mangat lived. Manju suggested her friend get a legal divorce from Mangat. She knew one lady lawyer in Raipur, a Mrs. Nirmala Rawat.
Mrs. Nirmala listened to the misery of Bindu and filed divorce papers in the local court.
Mangat didn't take a minute to sign the divorce papers. He made no apology for what he had done to Bindu. He was free now to marry Kamoo.
Bindu's parents were deeply hurt by this step their daughter had taken. Her father announced that they didn't want to have any relationship with Bindu. For them, she had died.
Bindu soon became satisfied with her new life. She had some sorrow for the separation from her parents, but she finally accepted her fate.
Both Bindu and Manju were highly intelligent. They both completed their college studies with high merit. Both of them got jobs in the IT department of a New York City based multi-national company.
Almost two years passed as they settled in and advanced in their jobs. By then both of them had become well experienced in their work. Their manager in the company was very impressed by their efforts. He had no doubt that both of them would help a lot in the progress of the company's business. He recommended them to the higher officials in Mumbai for promotion.
Every year a couple of employees, who showed promise in their work, were transferred to Mumbai. The salary and facilities they obtained in Mumbai were much better than in Raipur.
Both girls were happy to go to Mumbai. It was their first trip to a large metropolitan city. Manju's parents had given her their permission. Bindu didn't need or want anyone to give their permission. Though they stayed close friends and co-workers, they lived in separate flats provided by the company. The work here was on a very large scale. Their colleagues were helpful to them in learning the new work at the Mumbai plant.
Mangesh was the one who helped them most. He came from Pune. He was an only son, and his parents had assisted him all through school. They had even arranged his job. Mangesh, Bindu and Manju were all assigned to the same work group. They shared their ideas with one another and all progressed well in the company.
Mangesh showed sympathy for what had happened in Bindu's life. Unlike Mangat, his father had taught him to respect others and help if he could. That's why he liked Bindu a little more than Manju. Bindu was also beginning to feel close to Mangesh. Knowing he came from a wealthy family, Bindu appreciated his benevolence and courtesy toward her.
One evening, Bindu and Mangesh were working late. Manju had left for her home village after lunch because her parents had called her home. Together, Bindu and Mangesh had to complete the work that Manju had left undone. When they went outside after finishing the job, they were met with bad weather. It was raining hard, and it did not look as if it would be stopping any time soon. The taxi's, which usually came every now and then, were all filled. The local bus operators had announced a strike. Bindu couldn't find a way to make it home in this heavy rain.
Mangesh, who had a motorbike, offered her a ride. He promised that he would drop her safely at her flat. Bindu accepted his offer.
Both Bindu and Mangesh were already drenched. They didn't have an umbrella. The rain had started getting heavier. It wasn't easy driving the bike in the heavy rain.
Mangesh stopped the bike at his apartment. It was much closer than Bindu's flat. Mangesh suggested that they wait there for the rain to stop. Then he would drop her to her apartment.
Bindu again accepted his offer. They went into his room, dripping on the floor as they stood by the door. Mangesh asked Bindu if she wanted to change into something dry in the adjoining room.
Mangesh went to his bathroom and changed his wet clothes. He then went to the kitchen to prepare some hot tea.
When he came out with tea, he saw Bindu drying her hair. She was looking more beautiful than ever. She had changed into clothes she carried in her backpack just in case of such an emergency. The thin material of her blouse gave an excellent view of the shape of her pert breasts.
Suddenly, there was a brilliant flash of lightening instantly followed by the roar of thunder in the darkening sky. The lights quickly dimmed and went out. Bindu got frightened. She ran to him and hugged Mangesh tightly.
Mangesh put his arms around the beautiful girl clinging to him and hugged her firmly. Slowly and gently he brought his lips to hers. He placed a kiss on her lips that had more passion than any she had ever experienced.
Bindu began to melt in Mangesh's arms. Her body was responding to him even though she did not want it to. She felt the beginnings of her body preparing for love.
Within a few seconds, the lights came back on. Bindu got hold of her emotions and pulled herself away from Mangesh. She realized what she had done and regretted it.
Mangesh saw it differently. To him it was his first chance to express his love for her. A bit hesitantly, he spoke to Bindu. "I have been looking for an opportunity to say this for a long time. "Bindu, I love you. Will you marry me?"
Almost in shock at Mangesh's request, Bindu replied. "I don't think I am fit for you, Mangesh. You know my past. You can get someone better than me."
Mangesh sternly spoke again. "I don't have anything to do with your past. What happened with you could have happened to anyone. I have fallen completely for you. I really love you, Bindu."
Bindu knew her place and was still hesitant. "No Mangesh. This is not possible. What will people say about this? Will your parents accept a divorced girl into their family?"
Mangesh the said. "Yes Bindu, why not? I know my parents. They won't disapprove of my choice of such a beautiful girl to be my wife. All I want is your acceptance."
Bindu, deep in thought, said. "Mangesh, I need some time to decide."
Mangesh agreed. "I will wait for you and your decision, Bindu."
Mangesh then offered her the tea he had made. As they sipped the tea, the rain slowed.
Bindu put her empty cup down and said. "I think we should leave now. The weather has improved."
Mangesh reluctantly agreed. "Ok. Please wait outside. I'll get my bike out again."
Bindu couldn't sleep much that night. It wasn't easy for her to decide about Mangesh's proposal. She liked him too, but will this be right? She had been cheated by her fate once. She didn't have enough courage to face something like that again. But she had full faith in Mangesh. She knew that he would never be like Mangat. Finally she made her decision. She would accept Mangesh's proposal of marriage.
Next day, she came in the office in a happy mood. Bindu had decided to tell of her decision to her best friend, Manju. Manju would be very happy to know this.
Manju also came to the office in a jolly mood, that day. Before Bindu could say anything, Manju expressed the reason for her happiness.
Manju asked. "You know, I am very happy today?"
Bindu responded. "Your charming face tells everything. What's is it that has you so happy, dear? Won't you share your happiness with me?"