Shakuntala absently rotated the ring that Dushyant had given to her with his undying promise of love. She couldn’t think of a reason why Dushyant won’t keep his promise, unless of course, he didn’t really care for her. She tried to recall every little thing that he had said while he was with her, and every little gesture that he did. This wasn’t the first time that she had lost herself in this clue-finding quest. Fortunately…yes, fortunately, she couldn’t remember anything that would help her explain why Dushyant had abandoned her and disappeared.
The ring was now her only proof that Dushyant existed, and that they were even hoping to get married.
Unfortunately, Shakuntala hadn’t ever bothered to inquire about Dushyant’s family. It sufficed that he was at the NDA, and that he would be an IAF Pilot in another year. Come to think of it, though his name was Dushyant Chaddha, he didn’t even look like a Punjabi. But if it didn’t strike her then, why was she worrying about now. Shakuntala felt the tears well up in her eyes. Was she taken for a ride?
Shakuntala controlled her tears and reached out for the diary that she always brought with herself when she came to the college garden. She reflected upon the two weeks that she had spent in Dushyant’s company, and drew a timeline across the two pages. Then she divided it into 14 segments. Next, she began to jot down everything that had happened between them – right from their first meeting to her abandonment. The word gave her a jolt, but then she took a deep breath, and wrote down the word, “ABANDONED” near the last segment.
So, what happened the first day? We saw each other in that restaurant. He looked so handsome in the uniform, and then he noticed me and smiled.
Shakuntala continued to write, and clues started emerging. What was it that he said when she asked him about his mom? He had avoided her question. And that day when his friend called him from across the road – what did he call him…? She couldn’t remember, but he definitely had not called him Dushyant. Or had he?
And so she went on. After an hour Shakuntala Menon looked at her document and smiled. She was abandoned, but she wasn’t going to take it lying down. She wasn’t going to be taken for an idiot! Shakuntala knew how she was going to trace down this man who called himself Dushyant, and how she was going to throw this gold ring… wait a minute. She had assumed that it was a gold ring – but was it? She removed the ring from her finger and and opened her handbag. There it was – her nail file. She’d know in a moment.
You expect me to ask you to complete the story. You are welcome to do so, but my questions are as follows:
- What explains Shakuntala’s stumbling upon the incoherence between Dushyant’s name and his looks?
- What explains the process through which Shakuntala arrived at a method to trace “Dushyant” down?