Twenty Seven. That is what the world had told her. Twenty seven is the last age to get married and in style. Her younger sisters had already found their matches by love and she herself had been asked if she was seeing someone. Her refusal had probably confirmed their worst fears. Because after that all of them got married in a succession.

She was the eldest and by that attribute she should have been married first. One of them started to cry and the other one left the room. It was finally the youngest of the four who suggested that they be allowed to tie the nuptial knots before her. 
“Its not like the men we love can wait forever,” she spoke, deep tones of frustration in her voice.
Their mother of course didn’t speak a word. She knew their words held logic but love for her first born withheld her from expressing her concern. She agreed reluctantly. If she had created a furore over customs and family values she was scared that Radha, the eldest one might force an alliance she doesn’t want.
              *                                                                *                                                        *
“Have you thought of something?” the mother wanted to know from Radha.
Had she? She was twenty seven and not getting younger any day. Had she then wondered why her little heart refused to breach on the subject of matrimony? Was it Sushant? Could she tell her mother about him? And what will she tell? That though she has loved him for now seven years he has never for once even expressed a liking? Could she blame him?
“Radha!” her mother’s shrill voice broke her thoughts.
“Mother there is this institute I have received an invitation from. They want me to join as a lecturer there. I was thinking of taking it up,” Radha replied almost in a whisper.
to be contd. at “Change my name? Me never!”

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