Rukmini was a girl of ten. She went to St. Stanislaus School in Mumbai. She was afflicted with a disease. She walked in her sleep. Her parents were well aware of her malady and they were thinking about measures to cure their daughter. They visited many doctors and hakims, however, none of them had a remedy for their daughter’s illness. It appeared that Rukmini would never enjoy deep sleep. This went on, until one day, Rukmini met a boy in her school. Her school was hosting a national level festival. Students from all the schools congregated in her school and presented their work.
Students who were good with their hands exhibited their works of art. They had made beautiful gifting pieces. They were selling their pieces at reasonable prices to the visitors at the stall. For three days of the festival, St. Stanislaus School had thrown open its doors to people from all occupations. They were free to come, visit the festival, and partake in the food items from the food stalls set up by students from the school. All the revenue generated by the food stalls were to be enjoyed by the students themselves and the school did not want a share from it. This prompted the students to work harder. There was no stopping them.
During the festival, Rukmini met a boy named Krishna. He was a singer and he had come there to present his songs. All his songs were love songs. He was romantic by nature. Rukmini asked him to present his songs exclusively to her and her friends. The boy asked her to visit the song sessions taking place in a nearby tent. A tent had been created and in that tent, various artists like singers, musicians, etc. had congregated and were presenting their art. Rukmini attended Krishna’s song and was in awe of him. He sang a beautiful romantic ditty for the audience. Rukmini loved the song and complemented him on it.
Then she decided to befriend Krishna. He was from the St. Xavier’s School in Mumbai. She began liking Krishna more, each time she met him. Each meeting with him was a new and different experience for her. Each time she met Krishna, she could see a different personality trait in him. He appeared to be an enigma in the first meeting but as they started seeing each other, his nature had become evident to her. She fell in love with Krishna. While she was courting him, her parents noticed that she was no longer walking in her sleep. Her parents were surprised with this change.
However, they could not point out the reason for the changed behavior because they knew nothing about Krishna. They did not know Krishna. Her mother discovered her love affair one day. Rukmini was reading a love letter written by Krishna. She had hidden the letter inside a book and she pretended to study while she read the letter. However, when she went to toilet, her mother came into the room and saw the letter in her book. She opened it and read the contents. She came to know about Rukmini and Krishna. Both her parents came to know about Krishna. They then began asking her about him.
Rukmini could only tell them that he was a boy from St. Xavier’s School and she had met him in her annual school festival, when he had come to her school to present his songs. Her parents now started inquiring to her whether she had ever walked in her sleep after she met the boy. To this Rukmini started recollecting. She had not noted this change in her behavior. The love of the boy had changed her behavior pattern. He had given her the love that she required. Although, the children were barely adolescents, they had virtually begun an affair. Rukmini’s parents went to see a doctor about Rukmini’s changed condition and were told that it could be possible that her anxiety could have been assuaged after she fell in love with the boy.
Her parents were surprised when the doctor said this. They were at a loss as to what to do. They could not let their daughter fall in love at such a young age. She was barely 18 and not ready to fall in love. However, it was also true that her sleepwalking had been eliminated. Krishna’s love had done the magic. She now could get sound sleep at night. Her parents first suspected that she had broken the thin line of decency and had sex with Krishna. However, the doctor assuaged their fears when he examined Rukmini. Her parents thought that her anxiety had vanished because she had sex with Krishna. However, the doctor told them that their fears were unfounded.
Finally, they accepted her relationship with Krishna. However, they talked to Krishna’s parents about Rukmini and tried to find out more about him and his family. Krishna’s family was having a strong academic background. His father was a PhD in mathematics while his mother was serving as an IAS officer. Therefore, there appeared to be no issue with the family background. There was no issue about rich and poor. Even if their relationship continued, Rukmini would only benefit from it. However, as she was still less than 18, they decided not to pursue the matter further and let the relationship continue. They forbade her from entering into any intimate relationship with him.
Finally, when she was 21, three years later, they decided to marry her to Krishna. Rukmini’s mother went to Krishna’s house with her daughter’s hand in marriage. Krishna’s mother received her with warmth. When Rukmini’s mother told her about the objective of her visit, the former told her that Krishna was going to study further and therefore, was not interested in getting married so early. Rukmini’s mother came away disappointed. She did not pursue the matter further. She forbade Rukmini from meeting Krishna.
Rukmini did not pursue the matter further. However, after she stopped meeting Krishna, her sleep walking sessions started once again. To love Krishna or not was the doubt in her mind. Her parents were not supporting their relationship even though he had been instrumental in helping her get rid of her sleepwalking. However, her parents were not comfortable. Therefore, she stopped meeting Krishna. As her sleepwalking had started, her parents went once again to meet Krishna’s father. He also told them the same thing. They were not interested in marriage at such an early age. They wanted Krishna to study MBA and only then think about marriage. For Rukmini, the question was “TO LOVE OR NOT?”