How far would you go for a delusional lover?
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Mumal might be delusional. She is in love with Mahendra, but their love is doomed because she believes they are the reincarnation of two star-crossed lovers whose lives ended in tragedy. Will they find happiness together, or will they meet the same destiny as the ill-fated lovers?
Sleep had come on my mother. I rushed to the stable and found our fastest camel. He was fast enough to cover the long distance from Amer to Pushkar and be back in a few hours. Each night I rode the camel to Pushkar and spent time with Mumal. I then returned to Amer before dawn.
I could not keep my mind off her. My mother did not approve but I was determined to marry Mumal. One day my mother learned of our love and she ordered our servant to break the legs of the fast camel.
No other camel could travel as fast but I had no choice but to engage my journey on my brother, Hiram’s camel. I arrived very late in the evening after sleep had come on Mumal. She was safe and warm and I did not have the heart to wake her from her slumber.
Sestra provided hay and water for my camel. I brushed his fur and prepared for the long journey back to my village.
“Mumal will serve your family well,” Sestra said. “She will perform her duties to turn your home into heaven. She will do nothing without your permission.”
I laughed. “Mumal will not be a servant. She will be my wife.”
“Yes,” said Sestra. “A wife should sleep after her husband and wake before him. She will welcome you home with a smile. Take off your shoes and socks and bring you biscuits. Your happiness alone will be her life’s goal.”
“Mumal will be a professional and we will be equals,” I said.
Sestra looked at me with a confused expression. “Women are not to pursue careers or view themselves as equals with their husband. The bride should do everything according to your wishes.”
“I wish her to be happy. Mumal will pass out of college,” I said.
“No matter how educated a woman is, her intelligence is always the lowest order,” Sestra insisted. “One who heeds the advice of a woman will be reduced to beggary.”
“Nonsense,” I said.
“It is true. Wind can be held in a bag, but not the tongue of a shrew,” Sestra said. “After marriage, a bride should not think she is going to throw her weight around to her in-laws.”
I held out a batch of hay and the camel ate out of my hand.
Sestra looked at me with contempt. “The place of a camel and a woman is under the thighs of a man,” she said.
“Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible,” I said, “none is so degrading or so brutal as his abuse of women.”