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The Three Friends

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The Three FriendsMithun, Raman and Naren were close friends though different from each other as chalk from cheese. Mithun’s taciturn exterior, his mature looking visage coupled with his ability to catapult the chosen one into a secure saddle of comfort gave him a certain aura most women found hard to resist.

Even Nitya. At first she repulsed his efforts openly, then gently resisted and finally succumbed to his charms. It was that simple.

Raman came from a stock where affairs were condemned as bigamous and avoidable. He had married a beauty whose looks held him captive till she bared her talons. Yet, despite the obvious discomfort, he held on, unable to break away from family tradition, which decreed that marriages were forever. So he plunged himself neck-deep in work and sought relief in the company of his two mates.

Naren was a singer whose voice and way of weaving words into a hypnotic tapestry of magic had got him a fan following that never allowed him to sink into loneliness. His confirmed bachelor state conferred on him a certain dubious status of being a ‘safe’ person. But I knew that somewhere in his heart, Naren was a lonely man just as much as Raman.

Despite Mithun’s obvious popularity with women, at the core level he was an insecure and lonely man. Married to a beautiful young woman who lacked the bandwidth to tune into him, he believed that somewhere there was a woman who would understand him and be responsive to his needs.

It was not sex that he sought. Well, that was part of it of course. But what he ached for, was the bonding that came after sex. And none of the young women he slept with could really figure that out. Even Nitya. When he held her in his arms, her naked body, a feast for any man, he felt an emptiness that sex could not assuage. In fact it only made him feel worse.

He turned to his friends in whose company he found a semblance of solace. As Naren belted out Hemant Kumar’s melodious, “Yeh nain darre darre, yeh jaam ..” Mithun’s eyes began to well up with tears that rolled over and fell into his drink. “I don’t know what to do,” he moaned. Nonplussed, his friends gazed at him, transfixed by their ‘dada’s expression of sorrow. He had the best of both worlds, they’d believed. A beautiful young wife at home and one catch after another in the office. Raman was the first to recover. “What’s the matter Mithunda? Are you ill?” he asked. Mithun slapped his chest hard and said, “Here! I am sick here!”

“A heart problem?” queried an anxious Raman. “No you silly goat. It’s the pain in my heart. What would you know about it? You married well.” Mithun’s voice was gruff with pain. The dam of his self-control was suddenly breached and Raman burst out, “No you have no idea how lonely I am.”

Naren looked at the two and thought, “I’m lucky. I’m just lonely. But I’m not married. Marriage must be awful.”

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