Helen's Love Life

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1. Helen's Love Life

On the 21st of December, 1999, Helen tried to kill herself. Her boyfriend, Arthur Inconstant had deceived her. He gave her up for a beautiful model. Incidentally, this model, Belinda Coquet was, Helen’s best friend. They had been friends for eighteen years. Helen, now thirty-five, runs a marriage bureau, in Delhi. In her college days, she was known for her beauty and stupidity. Helen, an Anglo-Indian was born and raised in Delhi. Her British father was a poet and theatre actor who hadn’t seen much success in his life and her Indian mother was a police constable. The couple had met when the latter arrested the former from a hotel in Pahargunj, suspecting him to be a drug trafficker, which he was not. Our darling Helen, the fruit of their love, is truly Indian at heart. However, whenever she fell in love with a guy, with unadulterated Indian blood in his veins, she suffered from an identity crisis; primarily because of the guy’s prejudices about mixed race people and his inability to make a commitment owing to familial pressures. So she took a decision, at the age of twenty three, that she will either marry a foreigner or an Indian Christian. Thus, her search began. Helen met Arthur at the National Zoological Park, in Delhi, outside a monkey’s cage. Both shared a strange kind of fascination for monkeys & bananas. Arthur could read this in Helen’s eyes and introduced himself to her. Soon they found that they were alter egos. Both loved sleeping in public toilets, pizza with mango chutney, attending Histroy lectures, had a high opinion about the morality of Hollywood stars and had full faith in the sincerity of Indian politicians. Soon they started seeing each other. After four years of courtship, one day Helen’s school friend Belinda Coquet came to meet her. Mr. Inconstant was also present. Belinda modeled for a local Advertising Agency. Long wavy hair, great body, flawless dusky skin, tall frame; in short, she was the kind of woman most men dream of and Arthur’s inconstant heart skipped a beat. On the 21st of December, 1999, a week after the aforementioned meeting, Helen went to Arthur’s house and caught him in bed with her soul sister, Belinda. Two of her most important relationships had come to an end, with no scope for reconciliation not because Helen felt betrayed and decided never to forgive them but because the duo categorically stated that they did not want her in their life. As stated by some of her neighbours, Helen tried her best to look miserable. She washed her face, many times over, with soap. Her skin looked dry and wrinkled. Even though she was an expert at crying, she couldn’t cry long enough to give that impeccable swollen look which most forlorn lovers, love to wear. She had to untie her dry and dirty hair and entangle it, so that, she, without make-up and messed up hair, looked a real scare. She was good at these things, after all she was the result of an actor’s original act. In this state, she walked about in the balcony of her house, so that Mrs. Smith’s son Philanderer Smith could see her in that form and guess that she was freshly single, very vulnerable and very available. To her relief, he did come out and was so overwhelmed with the stirrings that usually start in a man’s system when he sees a woman in that form, that he slipped and fell off his balcony and landed into a garbage dump. Helen was not  concerned about his broken limbs, what disturbed her most, was the fact that when Mr. Philanderer Smith was being carried to the hospital, he had sworn never to look at a woman again and that he was seriously considering a career in the Church. No one came to console Helen and she decided to attempt a suicide. Mind you, ‘an attempt’, not the real thing because she had heard about the charms of Dr. Tom Wayward, the most eligible bachelor in the parish. She brought the heaviest stool in her house and crashed it below the ceiling fan, so that the people living the ground floor could hear the bang and come up. No one came. After this, she took special care to knock loudly at the door of her neighbour, to borrow a rope. But to her utter disappointment, her ordinarily nosey neighbour didn’t even ask why she needed the rope and willingly gave it to her. She made all the preparations and was all set for the final act. She started yelling, before tightening the noose around her neck. People from all the neighbouring flats, rushed in. Helen quickly put her neck inside the noose and pretended to faint. Unfortunately, her neighbours had never read bad literature. They were practical people. They cut the rope and threw so much of cold water on her face that hapless Helen had to open her eyes, otherwise she would have frozen to death, in Delhi’s December chill. She had obviously not sustained any injuries to require Dr. Tom Wayward’s help and was so disgusted that she decided to commit suicide, this time, a real one i.e. if the young police officer, her mother’s subordinate, from the nearest Police station did not come to make enquiries, the following day. He did. Helen married him and has two sons. She is so happy with her married existence that she makes money by getting people married.

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