The Invincible Moonsheen

Part – 20

(Telugu Original “Venutiragani Vennela” by Dr K.Geeta)

English Translation: V.Vijaya Kumar

(The previous story briefed)

Sameera comes to meet her mother’s friend, Udayini, who runs a women’s aid organization “Sahaya” in America. Sameera gets a good impression of Udayini. Four months pregnant, Sameera tells her that she wants to get a divorce and the circumstances are conducive to it. Udayini asks her to listen to the story of “Tanmayi” and pursue her to make her own decision after listening to the story. Tanmayi and Shekhar, who met at a wedding ceremony, go to marry with the permission of their elders. After the marriage they started their new life in Visakhapatnam. A boy was born to the couple in a year of their marriage. Tanmay engages in her studies deeply and enjoys the friendship with her colleagues forgetting all about her household disturbances. Her parents came to stay with her for a month while Shekhar is away on his long-term camp


          Tanmay halted at the notice board and watched the first year exams timetable pasted on the wall of Telugu Department.

          She began to think to herself,” I must get over the exams by all means. No, no! I should work hard and get good marks. Above all, I must think of where to keep him during exams.”

          Ananta who came there hoodwinked Tanmay with her palms from behind and said,“ Hey, What on earth happened to you? vanishing away for such a long time?

          Tanmay sighed deeply without answer.

          “Anything else?” Ananta looked into her eyes questioningly.

          Tanmay replied, “ No issues, just anxiety of fast coming exams”

          “You stupid! I am afraid of looking at your dull face. Why do you worry? You have taken all the notes. Bye the way, I thought of coming to you in the evening.” Ananta said.

          Tanmay looked at her questionably.

          “Ah Tanu, I just want you a favor. You know I am a  host all these days  to my friend unofficially in the hostel. A girl is allotted now to that vacancy, so I am quitting. No option for a search at eleventh hour. Preparatory holidays start the day after tomorrow. Can you bear me these two days at your house?”

          Tanmay immediately responded, happily nodding her head, “Hey, not at all a problem. We can manage, don’t worry.” 

          She sighed in relief, “Thank God, a problem is solved,” walking away from Tanmay waving her hand, “Just a moment, I must say it Raju,” and then fled.

          Tanmay proceeded ahead searching Karun, halting at every room of the department.

          When she approached the modern literature cabin, Karun was coming out from the professor’s cabin.

          Karun who had seen her there greeted her saying, “ What a coincidence! come in” He led her to the professor and introduced her saying, “This is who translated that English poem into Telugu Sir.”

          “Oh I see, please take your seat” he offered the seat, looking into a reference book.

          Tanmay resumed into a seat shyly.

          Karun gestured to her to sit relaxed.

          Professor lifting his head and closing the book asked Tanmay, “Good job, did well! Any other translations?”

          She was excited to say that she did all her graduation syllabus poems, but she only managed to say, “No sir…I just…tried it…” she fumbled.

          “You are good at English. Why did you come to this side, I mean, Telugu MA.?”

          She had no opinion indeed at that moment so she smiled in response.

          “It’s for the benefit of doubt of course. Why do you people choose Telugu literature?” He frowned at us looking at an answer.

          Karun simply smiled and said, “We followed you sir, we want to take up teaching profession”

          The professor remarked, “I am afraid, I must say something inadvertently about this Telugu MAs. Do you think everyone gets into universities? Sanskrit reigns in the colleges as a second language. No notifications for government lecturer posts! Have you got at least any professional degrees like B. Ed?” 

          We looked blankly at him.

          Tanmay nodded her head in confusion. Karun managed to say something but fumbled.

          The remark of that professor rang even after they walked out from there, “What do you do with this Telugu M.A?”

          Tanmay felt feeble and depressed with his disappointed words. She dreamed a lot about her future when she stepped into the university premises thinking an M.A. degree will open plenty of job opportunities.

          She looked up into the sky and sighed. The sky looked like a tapestry filled with holes.

          “Umm…not like that…there must be a way for me, I must be confident” She consoled herself with her beaten soul.

          Tanmay looked at Karun who was walking alongside lost in thoughts.

          “Was he right? Don’t we have any opportunities?”

          “Nope, it’s not likely,” he nodded.

          Tanmay knew how important it was to get a job.

          On the way Raju and Anantha joined.

          Ananta remarked, easing the heaviness in the air watching at their gloomy faces, “You stupids! Why do you go to that professor? He’s a bloke of a pessimistic clan, think of fast approaching exams first, leave that rubbish.”

          Karun who switched over to recite a verse closed the book and laid down on the bench, “Sorry guys leave me alone today!”

          “Have you read modern linguistics?” Raju handed over a book to Tanmay.

          Tanmay hurried into the notebook.

          Ananta got up and said, “Close it, you can read it at home. Let’s move”

          Tanmay opened the book sitting behind her on her bike.

          Ananta always drives very fast, when the vehicle was sped on its top gear, Tanmay  couldn’t control her balance and yelled, “ Hey, look out, you are crazy”

          Meanwhile two bikers rashly sped up in hair’s breadth to their Vespa flirting with them.

          Ananta yelled like thunder at the top of her voice,”You scoundrels, get lost!” 

          The bikers startled and fled.

          Tanmay yelled, “Hey girl, please stop a while”

          Ananta remarked throttling the bike, “Hey come on baby! be courageous!”

          She stopped the vehicle at the gate. Shekhar’s bike was parked there.

          “Oh, this guy already came!” Tanmay felt uncomfortable about it.

          Shekhar said in the morning that he would take the boy to his grandfather’s house and come in the evening. But he was there!

          Tanmay introduced Ananta to Shekhar, “She will stay with us for two days and then leave,” she managed to say.

          “Wow, it’s fine! What is there? He said,  and then he asked about her whereabouts customarily. 

          Tanmay felt relieved about his attitude at that moment.

          She walked into the kitchen after kissing her son sleeping on the bed and came out with a tea tray.

          “Your hubby is friendly, hope Raju will like him”

          Ananta jovially remarked.

          “If I am right, Raju is your fiance, am I right?” Shekhar cleared his doubt.

          Ananta who was about to answer him looking at the gate exclaimed, “Wow, they’re coming right in the moment,” She walked out inviting them.

          “Thank you so much” Raju said to Tanmay looking at her smilingly.

          Shekhar was observing Karun questionably.

          Karun came to him and shook his hand with him saying, “Sir, this is Karun, and the gate which you can see from here is our residence,” He pointed his finger towards a big gate visible from there. 

          Shekhar disclosed after the customary introduction, “Ah Tanmay, Grandpa proposed that it would be a nice thing if we arrange the birthday party on the upstairs of their building.”

          Then he turned to the newcomers, “ Hi guys! all of you should attend my son’s Birthday party!”

          Tanmay felt very happy about Shekhar’s hospitality to the guests. In a fit of emotion, she invited them for dinner that night.

          Raju and Karun stood up to leave saying,”No formalities please.” and left the room.

          That night Tanmay arranged her bed beside her friend Ananta in the verandah.

          They shared a lot of things about their college and fell asleep after sometime.

          After a long time Tanmay got a good sleep that night.


          On the third day of the morning, Tanmay looking at her friend’s reddened eyes inquired, “Haven’t you slept well?” 

          Ananta didn’t answer anything.

          “Are you Okay?” Why are you so tight lipped, anything else Ananta?

          When Shekhar was out Ananta opened her mouth, “Hey stupid, your hubby made me rather disgusted. In the late night, that idiot clutched me behind when I was coming from the washroom. When I slapped and was about to call you, he pleaded with me not to reveal.This is quite awkward!”

          Tanmay collapsed with a feeling of loathsomeness. She cried helplessly. She couldn’t say anything to Ananta. She put her hand on her shoulder and hushed down her surge of rage.

          “Shh.. That’s why I didn’t wake up last night. I know how badly you hurt about it, I couldn’t help telling you now,” then she added, “It’s my mistake not waking you up, but you are totally exhausted.”

          Tanmay felt ashamed and holding her hands she apologized, “Sorry Ananta! Please forgive me what has happened to you, please don’t come when that scoundrel is at home,” She controlled her surge of outrageous disgust.

          “Hey come on dear! Don’t make it fussy, let’s leave it, If Raju knows it, it might be a thing of issue. I always felt doubtful about your disappointments in our conversations. I cleared it now. How does that rascal get into your life?” Ananta asked.

          When Tanmay gave a brief account of her journey with that man Ananta remarked, “Tanu…one thing I must say to you here, how can a bad husband become a good father? Think of this guy, once loved and cruel now means, you may be giving him lenience.” 

          “Okay bye! We will meet again after coming back. Don’t bother about it and spoil your health.”

          Shekhar came in the evening with a bunch of keys and holding it to her face said, “ Hey, that bike is yours now!” 

          He continued, “I bargained with my boss and bought at a cheaper price. More happy news! I ordered a fridge in my friend’s shop. We should say to our friends that all these are gifted from Mother in law’s side! People feel jealous about it. By the grace of God I am blessed with this money!” 

          Shekhar was excited and expected from Tanmay some encouraging words. 

          When Tanmay muted, Shekhar remarked, “Hey fool, don’t you have anything to say? Even good news won’t bring a smile to your sorrowful dirty face!”

          Tanmay suddenly snatched the key bunch from his hands and knocked it down yelling, “You Dirty fellow! Are you a man or something else?” She started crying.

          “What’s wrong with you?” Shekhar flared pretending there was nothing in particular to do like that.

          Tanmay suddenly plunged about him shouting loudly, “You beast, How can you behave with my friend so nastily?” She started shouting at the top of her voice.

          “Hey fool! I mistook her it’s you in the dark.” He shouted back to her in the same vein to hide his guilt.

          “It’s an out and out lie! Do you have any common sense?” Her eyes reddened with anger.

          “You idiot, Why are you making lots of fuss from nothing? Who told you to bring those buggers home? Stop that bloody criticism hailing upon me! How can I believe your outside behavior in the name of university with those boys? I watched her idiot boyfriend and also yours!” he flared up on top of his voice and said, “I know everything, what is happening behind me”

          Tanmay shrank and collapsed on the ground in agony.

          He isn’t a man but a beast. She said to herself.

          “What kind of disgusting life is it? I brought two great useful things to home, but this stupid, tried in all possible ways to spoil it by crying as if somebody was dead!”

          He banged the door and fled.

          Tanmay spent all night weeping, how badly her life was wrecked.


          Shekhar arranged the birthday party at grand level.

          Dinner was arranged for a hundred and more guests. Cake and video shoot ordered. It’s like a great hubbub occasion with all his kith and kin.

          Tanmay knew nothing of these advancements since she hadn’t been allowed to discuss it.

          Though they weren’t invited, Tanmay’s parents came by bus in the evening with a gold chain and bracelet to the child.

          Tanmay overheard when Devi was saying to Shekhar, “I am afraid, your in laws might escape this event on the pretext of expenditure,”

          Everything went under the supervision of Shekhar’s parents. Tanmay’s duty was only to sit in a chair with the kid looking around at the guests.

          Devi commented, when everything was going on smoothly, “What is the use of such an expensive party we arranged, when your wife hasn’t a smile on her face?”

          Shekhar who was busy with the lighting set remarked, “Oh leave that one Ma! That’s an incarnation of sorrow.”

          Jyoti who heard this patted her daughter signaling, “Don’t say anything”

          Tanmay knew that. She is accustomed to such nonsense.

          No joyful moments even at her son’s birthday function.

          The relatives gathered upstairs after the function.

          Tanmay joined her mother and kept her eyes closed.

          Meanwhile Shekhar came there and took away the child.

          Why Shekhar took the child down she couldn’t understand.

          After some time Tanmay got down and suspected something about his absence. 

          She suddenly yelled at him, “Shekhar!”

          Shekhar was busy there playing cards and enjoying the drink with their uncles.

          One of his uncles was bringing a glass to the boy’s mouth.

          The gang of ten around him was laughing boisterously. The air is already filled with cigarette smoke. 

          That uncle who was frightened by Tanmay’s shouting ran from there and handed over the child to Tanmay.

          Tanmay who was indecisive at that fit of rage, walked out through the narrow path into the darkness towards the main road.

          An echo of Shekhar’s laugh from inside ringing to her ears.

          She walked without chappals though she felt the pricking of the stones painful.

          Tanmay’s father who watched her going out ran down the stairs and followed her till he met her at the corner of the street.

          “Why? Where are you going in the dark with this child?” He dragged her hand to come back.

          The Autos will be available a bit away on the main street.

          She threw his hand freeing from his grip and said, “Nanna, don’t stop me, I am leaving home, come both of you later,” She called for an Auto.

          “It’s Okay, but let’s go together, stay a while!” He looked sharply at her.

          Tanmay got on the Auto, not caring for his words.

          Bhanu Murthy who didn’t want to leave her alone got on the Auto and sat beside her.

          The Auto sped in a while and soon stopped before her house. 

          Tanmay got down but her father went back on the same auto to bring her mother.

          Tanmay fell on the ground feeling everything lost. She became sick and feeble and couldn’t control her distress. She began weeping until she collapsed.

          The boy’s head soaked with tears. She hugged him and sighed, “Dear, You are cursed so badly nanna!”


          Next morning Shekhar didn’t come, but his mother came. She began to hail down no sooner had she come,“What kind of people are you? Don’t you teach manners to your daughter? What kind of brought up is it? While my son was trying to make the guests happy, your daughter simply walked out not bothering how people around think! Let me know first, Why did she go out when men were there?” 

          Tanmay even didn’t wake up to see her or cared for her words.

          Devi broke in fury, “Look! How arrogant her attitude is! She doesn’t want to care for her Mother in law, You can understand now, how my son was victimized with this arrogance of your daughter!” 

          Bhanu Murthy submissively said, “Sister, forgive her, she is innocent and immature…” he fumbled for words.

          “Hey man, stop! instruct her on what is good, what is manners or slap her until she learns it properly!” 

          Suddenly Jyoti hurled enraged, “What, Slapping? We had never even thought of treating her harshly, but you talk slapping! What did your son do? Is it proper? Yuck! with a kid!” She derisively twisted her face in disgust.

          “That’s where all of you are! You all stuff behind her like a scaffold, so this firebrand scorches us bit by bit!” Devi flared up in retort.

          Bhanu Murthy in a tone of defense submissively pleaded, “Sister, please forgive us what has happened so far. l regret everything. I will come in a short while with the child and my daughter.”

          Devi, who was in frets and fumes about an unresponsive Tanmay, said strongly and bitterly, “Hey man, I wait until midnoon, my grandson must be there by that time!” and then she sat on Shekhar’s bike and ordered him to move.

          Tanmay overheard the bike throttle and understood that it’s Shekhar who accompanied her mother.

          Bhanu Murthy who was utterly disappointed by these developments knocked his forehead in distress, “What’s happening God?”

          Jyoti, distressed scornfully remarked, “It’s the fate we bestowed”

          Tanmay who suddenly came into her consciousness hurled an unexpected query, “Amma, Shall I stop feeding this child since he attained one year?”

          Jyoti looked at her daughter dubiously and said,“Think of coming with us first to our home, later after sometime you may think of anything right then.” 

          Tanmay was thinking about her fast approaching M.A first year exams, likely to be held in just 15 days but nothing else.

          Tanmay assessed herself whether to go with her parents or not. It would be a good thing for her studies and her mother’s care of her child, but she also thought of the recent adverse consequences.

          If she left Shekhar at that moment his parents would blame her parents.

          So she decided to go with Shekhar.

          She readied her son and herself and reached Shekhar’s grandfather’s house at mealtime.

          Everyone in the function behaved well with Tanmay as if nothing had happened.

          Tanmay, after the function ended, started to go with her parents. Shekhar simply nodded his head not making much ado about it since she came back.


          Tanmay once again brought her proposal before her mother, “Amma, Now he is a one year old child. shall I stop feeding milk?” 

          Of course she herself knew what the best one was.

          Giving a child her mother’s milk is feeding an invaluable love and affection nestled in her heart. She knew it well, that’s all.

          She suddenly realized that it’s nothing but delinking the baby from her and throwing it away to the outside world. It’s an excruciating, painful experience.

          But She hadn’t any option except this one.

          She tried repeatedly not feeding him herself, but instead with a milk bottle, though the baby crying intolerably threw the bottle.

          After a long night the baby was kept silent and fell asleep.

          Tanmay smoothed her cheeks gently whispering, “Oh my love, forgive your mom” and she wiped her tears.

          Jyoti who came there, woken up throughout the night consoled, “Tanmay, it’s not fair to be so sensitive like this,” She ran her palm on her head.

          Tanmay relaxed when the baby was silently sleeping in her lap as if she had overcome all troubles in her life at that moment.

          Second day onwards the baby was accustomed to bottle feeding.

          Jyoti, watching this happily, said, “Look! your son is so smart to accommodate the bottle! For this you wept the whole night!”


          Just two days before her exams, Tanmay set out to her house leaving the child for her mother’s care.

          When Tanmay got on the bus, the baby was struggling to free her mother’s grip. Tanmay, delinked from her child, felt unbearable, her eyes welled up with tears.

          It’s her first experience leaving the baby in someone’s care. Until she reached vizag she was crying about her baby.

          Shekhar made no phone call or asked about his son all these days.

          When he was there, he used to say crazily, “My son, you are my son!” but when we were away, he never remembered us” Tanmay suddenly felt sick.

          Tanmay reached home. It’s quite dirty, seemingly unattended for a long time. Perhaps Shekhar hadn’t been there. She broomed and mopped it cleanly, then ran out to the booth, refreshed herself.

          “Don’t worry Amma, your son is doing well, no issues. Take your exams peacefully, and come back soon” Jyoti said happily on the phone.

          Upon hearing her child’s voice on the phone, Tanmay’s heart began to pulsate. She said to herself, “Nanna, I have no other way, please excuse me leaving you alone.”

          She got home absentmindedly thinking that Shekhar may create fuss on leaving the child. She began to read hurriedly for exams after she put the rice on the stove.

          She was absorbed in her reading soon. Whatever troubles she was in, she could forget them when she got involved in a book. She was blessed with it.

          The owner knocked on the door for meter reading at midnoon.

          As usual Tanmay came out and stood near the gate.

          She suddenly found Karun passing away at the gate. Karun walked fast to her and greeted. He looked curiously at the book in her hands.

          Karun asked surprisingly, “You vanished just a day before exams,” 

          Then he added, “I am sorry, I couldn’t come to your son’s birthday party,” he apologized.

          “It’s Okay no problem” She said.

          “Hope everything is completed! Then he said laughing,”Can’t you allow me inside? 

          “Oh, no! I forget you calling inside. Sorry, get in!” 

          She gave him a way to come. 

          “It’s looking awesome, the color is great” He said appreciatively looking at the bike.

          Looking at the owner who was coming out Karun said, “Oh, that’s why you’re outside, I never see you outside usually.”

          Tanmay offered a cup of tea.

          Karun said teasingly, “I have some tips to score good marks in exams.”

          When Tanmay was supposed to say something Karun intervened, “Nothing else, lend your notes a night which you wrote in your beautiful handwriting. I will give you mine on another subject. By the way, all of our gang gathers at the library for combined studies every morning. You may come” 

          Then he walked out taking the notebook from her.

          Tanmay was greatly relieved after he went out. It’s really a pleasing conversation about studies, “Wow how pleasurable the experience is, it is really a great relief if there is only the concept of studies! It’s healthy and knowledgeable too.”

          She opened the notebook and hurriedly turned the pages.

          On that evening, she recapitulated everything in the syllabus, got by heart some verses, in the verandah under a little lighted bulb, and soon fell asleep on the books.


          The wall where the time table for the first year exams in the Telugu department was pasted stood thoughtfully. “He should clear these exams no matter what. No, no. He should study well and get good marks. Above all, he should think about Babu during the exams.”

          Tanmayi, who was writing the time table in her notes with her head down, closed her eyes and said, “What if I disappear for days like this?”

          Instead he sighed and asked, “What’s up, bro?” Taking her aside.

          Ananta said.

          “It’s okay. It’s scary to have exams.” She said. “Os, that’s it! I’m scared to see your face. But why are you scared when you’re writing notes? Actually, I want to come to your house in the evening.” She said.

          Tanmayi got up and looked at Ananta.

          “I need help, bro. You know that I didn’t get a seat in the hostel this year. I was spending time as a guest in the room of a friend I know in the hostel. Now they allot another girl to the room. I’m not out of luck anymore. No matter how hard I try, it’s hard to find another room. Anyway, preparation holidays are all over the place. If you don’t mind, can I stay in your house for these two days?” she said.


(Continued next month)

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