The Invincible Moonsheen

Part – 23

(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.


          Jyoti and Bhanumurthy arrived in Nellore by the early morning train.

          No sooner had Jyoti stepped in, than she remarked, “Didn’t he get any better house than this?”

          Bhanumurthy categorically stated, “We just came here to invite this couple to Tirupati. You know pretty well we are not going to stay here, remember that.”

          After lunch, Jyoti fell asleep while trying to put her grandson to sleep. 

          Bhanumurthy walked to her daughter, sitting on the steps, lost in her thoughts, “Anything else Nanna? Why do you look so dull?”

          “Nothing in particular Daddy,” She choked tearfully.

          “Umm…don’t bother about anything nanna! Everything will be alright. These things happen!  Look at your son, he is pure gold. He’s healthy if you’re in good spirits. If you aren’t happy here, come with us for a few days later and you can come back.” He consoled his daughter.

          Tanmay was relieved and said, “It’s okay Daddy.”

          Though she said it outward her mind was distracted and became helpless in making decisions.

          She knew that it would be very difficult to convince Shekhar and what mess he would create if she took that decision.

          Shekhar who appeared there like a savior said, “Oh what a coincidence Mamayya, You hit at the right time! indeed I can’t come with you at this moment as I have some pending issues. You may take her now. Moreover, a Swamiji from Pithapuram is paying a visit to our house soon. My mother wished us to bring the child for his blessings.” 

          Tanmay felt excited and got ready to go with her parents.

          The owner of the house said, “Come soon Tanmay, this kid is my sole entertainment these days. I couldn’t stay away from him. She pinched the kid’s cheeks affectionately.

          Tanmay couldn’t think of much about their proposed visit to Dhavaleswaram at that moment.

          They arrived in Tirupati the next day. The kid seemed a bit embarrassed on the ghat roads while the bus was taking turns. But when they reached the uphills he began to hit the crowds jovially.

          Tanmay felt happy in the cottage after refreshing with a head bath. 

          She enjoyed the paadas of Annamayya prevailing in the morning breeze.

          The warmth in the air stole her heart.

          “Ohh…How beautiful is Tirumala!”  She uttered excitedly.

          She remembered her previous visit in her childhood. The Nepalese sweaters on the other side of Mada streets and the ghee ladoos suddenly came to her mind. 

          But she couldn’t recall the musical memories.

          Pilgrims are limited at that time. Once the visit was completed they sat in front of the Veyyi Kalla Mantap.  

          The kid was busy playing around while Bhanumurthy was alert at his every move.

          Tanmay puts her head on her mother’s lap relaxing.

          When her mother ran her palm on her head consoling, Tanmay felt relaxed. She asked her mother, “What did you seek for, Mom?”

          “It’s not much of anything! When your delivery became critical, I pledged to come here, finally it’s fulfilled,” She sighed. 

          Looking at the running kid she remembered, “You were also very active and used to run into the streets. Luckily we found you when you missed once. We searched everywhere all around and found you two streets away.”

          Tanmay laughed silently.

          “Keep smiling Talli! We were never blessed with your happiness even once after that dreadful marriage. We don’t know at what inauspicious moment it happened.”

          They came back to the same place after dinner.

          The cradle service is going on to Swami. The cradle was decorated with flowers and a series of lamps embellished on the platform. The cradle was rocked slowly with the divine music playing nearby with a lullaby Jo achyutananda…Jo… by the temple choir.

          Tanmay was overjoyed with tears with the serenity of the atmosphere and the mellifluous musical stream.

          She closed her eyes, “Oh my anonymous friend! I was lost in the overwhelming sweetness of this divine music. If by chance, every challenge of life is healed by it, the world would be a nicer place.” 

          Suddenly she said, “Amma, The second year classes had already started…I have to attend the classes to get my MA, please come with me to Dhavaleswaram and take me home asking them,” She began to wail silently.

          “Oh… come on baby! don’t cry, we will take care of that. be cheerful, everything will be alright. Your daddy will deal with it, Why do you cry?” She consoled her daughter.

          The next evening they got down at Dhavaleswaram.

          Jyoti proposed, “Vadina, We will take our child and send you after a few days…”

          Devi was supposed to say something, but Bhanumurthy intervened, “Sister, please send our child with us, we will keep them for a few days and then I will accompany her shortly.”

          Tanmay kept silent looking down.

          Devi reluctantly remarked, “As your wish,” and rushed away from there.

          Tanmay became hilarious and got to get the luggage.

          “Mom, I will leave for Vizag tomorrow, the classes started long ago.” Tanmay was in a very happy mood and talking with her mother cheerfully.

          “I must buy some notebooks and a new pen after going home.” 

          Jyoti looked admiringly at her daughter who was happy and cheerful.


          She reached Vizag by bus the next evening.

          The verandah and the inside of the rooms are filled with dust and need immediate attention.

          Though the memory of her child gnawing at her inside, she felt happy coming to Vizag. 

          She dusted the rooms, broomed the surroundings, watered the plants and creepers.

          She felt elated doing all these petty things after a long while. She broke into  Krishna Sastri’s  aakulo aakunai, puvvulo puvvu nai, kommalo kommanai… song. 

          “Oh my lovely friends I returned!” she whispered to the leaves.


          The next day She was altogether overjoyed when she stepped onto the campus.

          Ananta who came from behind closed her eyes.

          Tanmay was surprised looking at Ananta with a mangalsutra.

          “Oh, don’t be surprised. Everything went in a hurry because his bedridden grandmother was stubborn about our instant marriage before her death. So that engagement hurried to marriage. That is how I missed every one of you!”

          “How can you manage without completion of studies and jobs?”

          Tanmay doubtfully raised the question.

          Ananta said, “Hey don’t think of it much! everything will be looked after by God, the one who sowed will also water…” She laughed aloud looking up and added, “I stay in the boy’s hostel with Raju…” 

          Tanmay was shocked,“How is that possible…in a boy’s hostel?”

          “Don’t ask how! These things happen in boys’ hostels, of course not possible in girls’ hostels. Anyone can come and go. I just stay with Raju. Why should I care about anyone when his roommates didn’t have any problems? It’s okay! Why didn’t you come earlier? The classes had already started a month ago. Didn’t you like to leave your mother’s house?”

          Meanwhile, Raju joined them and smiled customarily at Tanmay.

          Tanmay greeted them and said, “Congratulations!”

          Divakar rushed there. “What is going on here? Aren’t you coming to classes?” 

          He looked at Tanmay and remarked, “Oh… it’s the first 3 rankers meeting! Nice! I’ll go then!”

          “If we got the first three ranks, what about Karun? Tanmay began to think about him. Indeed She expected him to be first rank and Raju and Ananta may have followed him. She couldn’t expect anything.

          Divakar said, “May I suppose, are you thinking of Karun?”

          He added, “He is a bit crestfallen…perhaps about his fourth rank or some other reason he became tight-lipped…moreover…he opted for difficult subjects for the second year course…by the way, what you…opted for?”

          Tanmay said, “Oh no! not yet, please help me out choosing the classes.”

          Ananta came with a proposal, “Better take the classes we chose, so that we can help you in case of your absence, and we may be lucky enough to get your notebooks in beautiful handwriting.” 

          Meanwhile, Karun was coming there.

          Divakar exclaimed, “Oh, look! that poor guy is coming at last!”

          Tanmay was shocked looking at his disposition. The beard was grown and his face withered.

          He couldn’t look into her eyes, “When did you come? He uttered in a low voice.

          Tanmay asked, “What classes did you choose?”

          He didn’t answer the question, “Umm…guys, Our department head called us!”

          Tanmay suddenly remembered her experience with him in the first year examination time, “Oh that man! What would be the reason for calling God!”

          Ananta put her arm around her and said, “Hey, don’t panic! He’s smart and decent. Hopefully, he called to know why you are absent for second-year classes until now,” Let’s move…

          Karun said, “Yes, of course, he called all of us to meet him in the department. He avoided looking at Tanmay.

          Tanmay couldn’t guess why he was behaving like that.

          The Head called all of them to his cabin. Tanmay became nervous looking at him.

          Dean Chidambaram offered seats to all.

          Tanmay was surprised at his politeness. “Does he pay respect to his students?”

          He said, “ Don’t be scared of me, it’s quite natural. I just called you not to be scared of me. You people only stood first 4 rankers including all affiliated PG centers also. I just want to congratulate you all.”

          Tanmay felt proud of her rank when she knew that it was a consolidated rank.

          He added, looking at Karun, “Don’t be disappointed with lower ranks. We consolidate the rank at the end of the final year and if the score is high, they will ascend to high rank.” 

          Tanmay said to herself, “Oh, it seems everyone including the Head seemed surprised at Karun’s talent!” She looked at him admiringly.

          But Karun was still standing looking down.

          We thanked him and were ready to leave.

          While we were coming the Dean said, “I love to encourage people like you. If anyone wants to sit for JRF after the second year, you may consult me well in advance.” 

          Karun hesitantly asked, “For the last 13 years nobody has been selected for JRF…Can we cope with it, sir?”

          “Why not? You are capable of doing anything, self-confidence is more important,” He turned to Tanmay and asked, “Why didn’t you attend the classes all these days?

          Tanmay couldn’t answer, she stood guiltily.

          Ananta intervened, “ Can you please spare us a few minutes to talk about it personally sir?”

          The other people left the room.

          The Head said, “Okay, anything else?”

          Ananta explained everything about Tanmay.

          The Head felt sorry for it and said to Tanmay, “Oh, really sorry, I would not have talked with you like that on that day in the examination.”

          “Oh, No sir, it’s not at all a matter!” Tanmay replied politely.

          Ananta said, “Sir, If I were Tanmay, I wouldn’t have to cope with studies and get a rank. I can’t understand how Tanmay can withstand such hurdles.” 

          The head remarked, “I appreciate your tenacity, You will win the world, Don’t be discouraged, You will reach a good position with your hard work.”

          “Sir… Does Telugu have any future job opportunities?” Tanmay asked hesitantly.

          “Of course yes! But don’t think about it much, from teacher posts to group 1 civil services Telugu becomes the best option to score good marks. The only thing is how best you could be confident enough to face it and the hard work you put in” The Head boosted confidence in her.

          Tanmay felt happy and she looked at him grateful.

          The Head looking at Tanmay said, “These days it’s very difficult to get traditional girls like you to the boys. Feel me like your father, and seek any help from the University you need at any time. Drop a line to JRF. In case you get it, you will get a 5-year government scholarship for your Ph. D. Moreover you will be an ideal student to many hardworking persons.”

          Tanmay felt relieved and happy by his encouragement. She bowed her head respectfully and walked out.

          Ananta followed her.

          Tanmay said, “I know nothing about these JRF & Research Fellowship so far…”

          Ananta replied, “Oh, that is not as easy as what he said. Plenty of graduate students take this exam every year from all departments. As there are two other papers, English and Math, our department students could not overcome it so easily. The fourth paper is Essay writing. Only those who scored the highest ranks from this paper can be offered a fellowship. Even the great scorers from the countrywide were also unsuccessful in their attempts. Raju gathered a lot of information about it. But I have no hope.”

          While she was walking towards home, the words of the Head and Anantha were resonating continuously. 

          She was confident about English and math. She scored full marks in all her earlier studies. Regarding Telugu, she has to study well and learn various language skills further. She must prepare for JRF…

          Suddenly her thoughts were disturbed when someone called her.

          She looked back and saw Karun.

          Karun was looking sad and his eyes were teared.

          “What happened to you Karun? Are you alright?” 

          She looked at his sorrowful face and sunken eyes deeply.

          He wanted to say something but She intervened, “Let me thank you for your postcard.” Then she added, 

          “By the way, why are you so worried about your fourth rank?”

          Karun looked at her aghast, and remarked, “ Umm…You understood like others!”


(Continued next month)

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