Lakshmana continued to roar at the top of his voice, "Must you go on and on? Here I am trying to tell you something but no, once you start speaking, there seems to be no end. Are you so much in love with your own voice? Is the respect you have for your husband?"
Urmilla lowered her face and turned aside.
Lakshmana took a deep breath to calm himself and continued, "What was I saying? Yes... we four brothers share a unique bond..." But, Lakshmana stopped abruptly as he looked at Urmilla.
There was a tear rolling down her cheeks and her lips were trembling.
Lakshmana felt as if someone had punched him in the stomach. He staggered backwards and slumped on the couch.
He had done it again. Lost his temper. That too, at his newly -wed wife. During their first ever conversation.
Lakshmana stole a glance at Urmilla. She was still standing, trying to hide her tears.
Lakshmana ran his fingers through his hair. How many times had brother Rama advised him to keep his temper in check. He had never succeeded. In fact he had never really tried. It was a joke among the brothers that if Lakshmana stood beside a pile of hay, the hay would go up in flames, such a firebrand was he.
Lakshmana slammed a fist into his palm. Was nothing going to go right tonight? He knew he should go and comfort her but he could not muster the courage. He sat still, his face buried in his hands.
Suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder. "Aryaputra" said a small voice.
Lakshmana looked up and got up hastily. "Aryaputra" began Urmilla in a quavering voice. "Please forgive me." She had her face lowered, but he could see tears flowing freely from her eyes.
Overcome with guilt, Lakshmana held her chin and lifting her face , wiped her tears. He found his voice was choked too as he replied "No Urmilla. It is I who should apologize to you. I should not have shouted at you. Will you forgive me?"
Urmilla held her fingers to his lips as if to silence him. "Please do not embarrass me, Aryaputra by asking for my forgiveness." She tried to smile and said "I am known to be talkative girl. My father used to say..." Urmilla stopped abruptly and blushed.
Relieved to see her smiling, Lakshman also confessed "And I am known for my temper..."
Both of them laughed.