She was a young girl in her early twenties. She was called Preeta though she does not have to be given a name since there were many like her - a typical Indian Female species of the early seventies of the previous century. Brought up in an upper middle class home and having led a fairly secure life, she was free to dream. She had been among the academic toppers at school and college and prided herself on being able to appreciate good literary works in English and to a lesser extent, her mother tongue Tamil. She listened to classical music and literary debates, which were regularly broadcasted over the radio. In the late evenings she’d sit with a host of kids around her and tell them stories or read out the day’s newspaper.
Despite her education she had never thought of a career. Girls from needy families were the ones who went to work to support their families, she thought. She dreamt of the life she’d lead after marriage. She would live in a bungalow in a posh locality. Her husband would share her literary interests and love for music and theatre. They would have a room in the first floor that would have an adjoining open terrace overlooking a large portico. Together they would water plants in their roof garden that would invariably have a collection of jasmine and night queen varieties. They would listen to soft music well into the moonlit night. Somehow she never seemed to have any responsibilities in her dreams nor did she have any career preference for her husband. In fact she never gave it a thought since she was always well provided for and perhaps it was automatically assumed that he had a career. If he did not have any particular job he did not have a specific face either. He only had a mind! He was intelligent, well read, and versatile and of course he had a good sense of humor. Her interaction with her husband was purely plutonic like the characters in Shakespearian plays! Her dreams almost never included a father or mother-in-law who expected her to take charge of her duties as a daughter-in-law and even if they did exist they were there only to take her side during the intellectual discussions she held.