This is based on a true story of a MR from Tamil Nadu. The names have obviously been changed to protect identity and avoid unnecessary publicity. This is not a typical love story where the heroine is a much sought after beauty and the hero a rich guy; it is a story of mutual respect and very mature love. Read, enjoy and appreciate!!
The hero: The main character of this story is a Medical Representative (MR) by name … let us say, Bhima. This tall well built bespectacled handsome guy worked for a MNC. He was a hard worker with good rapport with chemists and doctors, and excellent territory knowledge. He lived and worked in Chennai away from his hometown. Like many a young man he did too suffer pangs of loneliness.
The heroine: Jyotika by name, she hailed from a feudalistic warrior caste, and belonged to a very poor background. Her father was a chronic drunk who even bashed up his wife and daughter for money to support his alcohol addiction. Her brother was a wastrel. 19 year old Jyotika was a very different beauty, her clear tanned complexion was arresting, and she had a maturity beyond her years.
The story: Bhima had to go to a far away suburb of Chennai every month. He often had his arguments with his boss to change his tour plan so he could avoid this suburb, and concentrate on business development in areas nearer to his residence. At last, his boss agreed, and today was to be his last business visit to this suburb. So he was extra happy while he rode on his bike to this far off territory.
His routine calling on doctors started, and at about 2.30 PM he was near to the last clinic. A friendly chemist had his medical shop nearby the clinic. It was routine for Bhima to rest in the medical shop, chat with the chemist, and make the doctor call when the doctor was free. A nurse used to control the entry of MRs to meet the doctor. It was routine for Bhima and other MRs to give some gift samples to the nurse so she can facilitate an early entry in to the clinic. (This point is important as it is one of the threads on which the love story began).
Today, when he entered the medical shop, he was a bit surprised, as the regular chemist was not there, and there was a girl who was manning the shop rather authoritatively. Bhima assumed it was the medical shop’s owner. Bhima smiled shyly and started to converse with her. She introduced herself as Jyotika. She happened to hail from near his home town. Their wavelength’s matched. And they had a warm casual conversation.
At this juncture, the nurse came over to Bhima and took some samples from him as was routine. After the nurse left, Jyotika reprimanded Bhima for misappropriating the samples. She said that the samples were meant for the doctor, and by giving the same to the nurse, Bhima had equated the nurse with the doctor. So it was very unprofessional. And further she even reprimanded Bhima for not being clean shaven and smartly dressed. The reprimand was different as there was authority tinged with concern. Bhima was taken aback. No one had behaved like this with him particularly in a maiden conversation. She even advised him to eat regularly and be more disciplined so as to balance personal care and professional commitments. She was a mix of firmness and love. Bhima was rather happy with the experience of meeting Jyotika. While she was leaving to her house in the evening he asked for her contact no., and Bhima gave his card with mobile no. written on it. Jyotika took the business card from Bhima and commented “I come from a very low economic background, the way I have seen poverty, and if you see the shack that we call our home, probably you will not want to see me again.” Bhima was softened and said I will be waiting for your call tomorrow at 8.30 am in the morning.
The next day when Bhima was at Chennai, at 8.30 am exactly, a call came to his mobile. It was Jyotika. Then what followed was an intense one hour long conversation. Jyotika shared her background details and expressed concern for Bhima. In fact, the opening remarks as soon as they started conversing, was with Jyotika enquiring whether Bhima had his breakfast, ironed his clothes, and other aspects of personal welfare. At the end of the conversation Bhima was inspired to pop up the question: Please will you marry me? To this Jyotika replied, “I think you should talk to your parents about this, seek their co-operation, and get a good well educated girl from a great family background from your caste, with a good dowry to match”. “I think”, she continued, “I am a mismatch to you, we are from different castes, I am from a poor background, and my education is only up to pre-university; so goodbye and take care”. She cut the line abruptly.
Bhima was in torment. Jyotika had in fact called from a public booth, so there was no way of reaching out to her immediately. Later, Bhima called up the medical shop, and said he wanted to speak to Jyotika; when she came on line he only said that he would come to the suburb medical shop the following Sunday, and wanted to talk to her. She did not respond. The call ended.
The following Sunday, Bhima rode on his bike to the suburb and stopped near the medical shop at a petrol bunk. Jyotika was there in the medical shop, she did notice Bhima, but was avoiding eye contact. Bhima stood for 2 hours under the hot sun at the nearby petrol bunk. At long last, Jyotika came up to him and advised him to leave. Bhima said “Please get on the bike and I want to talk to you at a better place”. Jyotika in an irritated manner started walking away. Bhima started his bike went near her and roughly ordered her to get on to his bike. She stared and got on to his bike. Bhima rode over to a nearby isolated beach. He started conversing with Jyotika and said “I think you are from the warrior caste (Thevar), yet I want to marry you”. Jyotika got angry, she yelled at him, ”You know, about my caste, the caste leaders are not tolerant of such inter-caste marriages, and besides you are better off economically and better educated, you are handsome.” “Please leave me alone”, she yelled and gave Bhima a hard slap. The slap was so tight, that Bhima experienced stinging pain and his spectacles even fell off. Still Bhima yelled back “Please I only want to marry you”.
Softened, Jyotika, paused, and advised Bhima to take a five day leave, go off to his native place, and speak about all this with his parents.
At Bhima’s hometown: When Bhima broached this subject with his conservative parents, sister and elder brother, there was sullen silence. Approval was obviously not forthcoming. Bhima’s elder brother, took Bhima for a short walk and said “Normally, love marriages occur for one of these reasons: a) for money of the girl’s family (b) the beauty of the girl (c) bonding and spending time with each other for a long time (d) mistake (ie. pre marital sex). As per Bhima’s brother this was a unique case as Bhima was marrying for none the above reasons. Bhima said he had immense respect for Jyotika and was inspired by Jyotika. Hence, he wanted to marry her. Bhima’s brother advised - 'then take the step of marrying on your own, without parental support, break links from the family, and remember this marriage is a delicate task since, it involves people from the feudalistic warrior caste'.
Bhima left immediately for Jyotika’s house: Bhima entered Jyotika’s house to find her brother and mother in the house along with Jyotika. He started off by apologizing for his abrupt entry, and begged his forgiveness for his love for Jyotika, and said that he wished to marry Jyotika. Her brother was taken aback and he reprimanded Bhima. Bhima pleaded his proposal to Jyotika’s mother. After much negotiation, Jyotika’s mother said she would agree only if Jyotika really wanted to marry Bhima. So once again Bhima broached Jyotika to marry him in front of Jyotika’s mother and brother. Jyotika firmly said she wanted to marry Bhima and be Bhima’s wife.
A new twist: After the above episode Bhima returned to Chennai. A day later he was rudely awakened by an urgent call. A doctor was on the line and he asked Bhima to rush to the suburb as Jyotika was hospitalized and she was constantly asking for Bhima and she was alone. The doctor also said that Bhima should come with some 10 toughies and take Jyotika away from the suburb. Apparently, in drunken anger, Jyotika’s father had hit Jyotika on her head with a stone, and pushed out a bleeding Jyotika out off the house. And anguished neighbours had admitted Jyotika to the hospital – Jyotika was hurt badly, bleeding and was alone.
Pannachi helps: Bhima immediately approached one Pannachi of Chennai, a local toughie belonging to the warrior caste (same as Jyotika). Bhima gave all details of his case. Pannachi was taken aback, yet appreciated Bhima’s courage and tact. Since, in this case, the girl will be benefited, Pannachi agreed to help behind-the-scenes, as he did not want to antagonize his caste members through direct help.
Bhima rushes to the suburb hospital: Bhima then hired a vehicle and along with 4 of Pannachi’s toughies, he went to the hospital at night. Bhima did one more courageous thing:
Bhima went alone to Jyotika’s house, met Jyotika’s mother, father and brother, and reprimanded them for their inhuman treatment to Jyotika. In return, the father started rebuking Bhima for this incursion. Jyotika’s mother started wailing loudly saying no one in their family had done such a bad thing like inter-caste marriage or affair. In the meantime a crowd of about 50 people had gathered and were silently witnessing the proceedings. Amongst the onlookers was an intelligent good Samaritan who rang up the police and explained the details to the sub-inspector (SI). The police arrived immediately. The SI gave one look at the decently dressed Bhima and understood the scene. He rebuked and furiously reprimanded Jyotika’s mother and father. He said that they, in fact, should consider themselves lucky since Jyotika had selected a good boy for herself, and all by herself. He took some details in writing from Bhima, and under police protection sent Bhima and Jyotika to Chennai.
With the help of a few well wishers and friends, they married after two days, after Jyotika had recovered.
Today Bhima and Jyotika live happily ever after… they have a lovely baby boy … Bhima’s family and Jyotika’s family have reconciled to the marriage and they silently have renewed ties. However, Jyotika’s brother and father unfortunately continue with their bad old ways.
In this story we see that the MR hero has given that which a man ought to give a woman – a great new life. He has done it with a lot of personal sacrifice. The hero has not exploited the situation & cheated the girl – but on the other hand shown perfect commitment and nobility.
The great pix at the top is taken from http://www.healthynj.org/index.htm