He panicked at this and agreed to abide by his promise.
Ilaa sent for the village physician to come home. Ratnakar become better within two days.
“I will go my uncle’s house and fall at his feet. I will request him to postpone the marriage until she is grown”, he told the family.
Illa silently prayed to Vithoba to forgive her for making up a lie. After all, you too said that Ashwatthama was dead in the Kurukshetra war, she reminded Him.
“Friday is a good day to start learning. You buy a slate and chalks”, she told him.
He came back from the shop and laid down three slates in a grand show.
“Why are you wasting money? Janaki will not break her slate, I will tell her”.
Ratnakar blushed, turning his head away in the fetching way he had in the early years of their marriage, but had lost it.
“These are for us”, and he slipped away, like a boy who had blurted out a secret and could not face the reaction.