This article belongs to Sweet Grace column.


Candy, twenty plus, was a simple final semester undergraduate staying in a hostel. She hardly made friends with anyone there or, for that matter, in her college class room.  Then one day she was bitten by the love bug.  The bug was Joe, her own classmate sitting some three rows ahead of her. 


What started off as friendship began to blossom into love within 36 hours and became confirmed on the Valentine 's Day.  Joe gave her a Valentine card with meaningful words and phrases, which usually is the case in every Valentine card anyway.  Candy was thrilled at reading those lines; she felt pulses of electric current pass through her system.  "Is this what you call 'love'?" she asked of her Valentine.  "Yes, I think so," Joe answered rather casually with a shrug..


The day after the Valentine's Day, Candy was more than sure that she was in love with Joe.  Won't her parents feel thrilled to hear this news, she wondered. 


"Perhaps not," a voice whispered in her ears.  The same voice continued, "Look here Miss Candy Charles, you have been sent her to earn a college degree and not to be gallivanting with some young man, understand?"


Candy jerked herself to reality.  She agreed with her inner voice and yet she didn't quite. "What's wrong in falling in love even while studying? . . . Isn't it something natural to any adult? Then, what is this Valentine's Day for . . .?"    Several thoughts attacked her now. All at once she longed for Joe and to acquire him as her life partner.  Simultaneously, she also felt she must let her parents know  in some way that she was in love with one Joe Daniel; and that she had decided to marry him soon after finishing college.


"Hey, aren't you running too fast?" her other half reminded her.


"Possibly," she answered to herself.  "But then, that's that."


Two days later, she made up her mind to inform her parents about herself and Joe, come what may.  But she didn't know how to let out the news. Then a sudden alternative method flashed at her: "Why not in this indirect way?  The parents then could connect two and two and contact her about the real thing."


"Yes, that's it," she clicked her fingers, fascinated at the novel plan, which was very simple.  She would write two letters one for her parents and the other for her good old school friend, Madhavi, who lived in Hostel No. 2 of her college.  She would tell Madhavi everything about Joe and how she fell in love with him and that she couldn't live without him, etc.  And the letter to her parents would be an ordinary one with  the usual pleasantries and something about her studies. Then she would just send the letters to the wrong address.



Having finished the writing, she put the sheet of paper in two envelopes.  She exchanged the envelopes a couple of times to make sure that the letter did go to the wrong addressee.  She rehearsed her act thrice and then wrote the address on the envelope


She waited for a week or so.  The replies from her parents and Madhavi came on the same day.  "This is wonderful," she reflected and opened Madhavi's letter first. She was completely shocked.  It was full of invectives. "Listen idiot," it said, "Joe Daniel is my Valentine.  Leave him alone.  Is that clear?  He is my catch.  I will crush your neck if you go near him again . . . ."


Next, she opened the other envelope.  It was full of sorrow.  "Candy, we look forward to your letters to get some news about how you are getting along in the college.  Who wanted to read an abstract  of Shakespeare's Twelfth night?"


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                                                                 Israel Jayakaran  [Sweetgrace]