Nasser was a young trader of apples in the Valley of Kashmir. He had made an advance purchase of a large apple garden in the premises of the capital city of Srinagar. To buy the apple crop two or three months earlier was a general customary trend there. The traders used to procure the fruit garden much before the ripening season.
Though apples were collected from the trees by the last days of September yet the gross transactions by the traders were usually made in July. All the fruit dealers followed the traditional purchasing pattern of the region and Nasser was not an exception of it.
The autumn was descending on the green gushing plains; ripen crops and fruits laden gardens of Srinagar. Somewhat cold winds had started to blow with hazy rustling sounds. Leaves of all the deciduous trees began falling. Greenery was disappearing at a sluggish rate. These circumstances indicated the advent of autumn and it was appropriate timing for picking the apples.
Nasser went to visit the procured garden and found that the apples were on appearance in plenty throughout the garden. The red apples with decent shades of variety were hung from the high boughs. The branches had bent down with the weight of the huge size apples in abundance. Nasser was delight of the gigantic scene and at the peak of his happiness on thinking of his optimum profits earned from the trade. The circumstances were in favor of Nasser and it was right timing for picking up the apples.
He went back home from the garden and started on managing the plans to pick apples. The garden was consisted of more than hundred apple trees of big and small sizes. He was expecting to harvest more than six hundred quintal apples even at minimum approximation. For all this, Nasser had to manage the fruit crop on large scale.
Nasser cleared his storage house in the city, hired a carriage van, bought apple picking accessories and employed eleven men to work as laborers with him. On the next very day, he reached garden with his team to begin the laborious task.
Nasser was sitting at the entrance corner of the garden and all the other persons of his team had initiated their picking and collecting works of the apples. Hardly half an hour time was passed when a vendor girl entered the garden. She was carrying an urn and some cups in a basket.
“Will you take hot green tea sir?” the vendor girl asked so politely on approaching Nasser.
“Yes, is it good enough to take?” inquired Nasser.
“Surely it is so delicious sir. You will really find each and every sip of it much tasteful” confirmed the girl with pleasing sale tricks.
“Then give me a cup of it” demanded Nasser.
The girl sat near him on a grassy patch. When Nasser tasted the tea, it was really worth to take. The good taste of the tea and pleasing manners of the vendor girl fascinated Nasser.
He asked the girl, “How many cups of tea are remaining in the urn?”
“Eleven more cups sir” replied the girl instantly.
“Oh! It is good. Then go and serve tea to other persons of my team working there in the garden” Nasser ordered her in a loving tone.
The girl was a really a paragon of beauty. She seemed to be in the last years of her adolescence. She was blessed with every bloom of youth. The pace, grace and face of the vendor girl were all worthy to look at and like for. Nasser had focused his eyes permanently on the girl. He was observing and enjoying the pretty actions and charms of the girl walking through the garden while serving the green tea.
The girl had attracted Nasser to her beauty at first glance. He was now a devotee of her at the foremost sight. The love of the girl had zealous effects on Nasser’s heart.
After serving the tea, the girl came back to Nasser and exclaimed, “Thank you sir! I have finished my tea sale.”
“What is the total price of the tea which you served?” asked Nasser.
“It is 300 rupees sir” she answered respectfully.
Nasser pulled three notes of hundred rupees and paid the girl. She received the amount with a smile on her face and stepped outwards.
Hardly, she had gone a few steps away when Nasser called her, “Hello! What is your name?”
She turned back with a jerk and replied, “My name.”
“Yes, your sweet name” stressed Nasser.
She hesitated a while and then responded, “Atria. My name is Atria.”
A dimple appeared near her graceful chin while articulating her name. This added to her glowing posture.
“Superb! How a beautiful name it is” admired Nasser with a love pertaining pose.
During their talks, the eyes came in a cross collision. There was a brilliance of love luster. Atria could not tolerate the intense gush of love passions of Nasser on emergence. She bent down her eyes, turned towards the gateway and walked out swiftly.
Nasser was feeling himself a fan of that vendor girl. He was captivated in the charms of her loveliness. He was fully involved in the beauty and gaiety of Atria. In fact he had fallen in love of her. A pang of the pain regarding her departure gripped his thoughts. He could not keep himself sitting there any more and stood up to take a round of the garden. It was essential for him to relieve his sentimental misery. He was intensively conceiving some schemes to get love attachment of Atria. The fondness for girl had got more significance than his job of supervising the collection of the apples.
On reading the latent sentiments of love in Nasser’s eyes, Atria had also developed a passion of love for him in the depths of her heart. The senses of fear and pleasure had brought an ebb and flow in her mind.
“Does he like me? How a pretty and decent young man he is!” Atria muttered in soliloquy.
She was so immersed in the affection net of Nasser that she made up her mind to go back to Nasser once again in the afternoon. Hence she baked the hot green tea in a special procedure, filled up her urn, put the cups in a wicker basket and left home for serving the apples plucking team in the supervision of Nasser. Her heart was throbbing at a rapid rate as she was approaching Nasser.
On finding Atria back on entrance of the garden, Nasser was much happy. He came forward to receive Atria in a joyful style. Atria suffered hesitation in facing the eyes of Nasser. She stepped forward with down turned eyes and walked straight to sit close to Nasser.
This time Nasser was a special guy to Atria and she was a specific girl o Nasser. The fire of love was on full glow in both hearts. The passions of love had already bound them into love ties. Only the oral recognition was left on both sides.
Nasser had got a great bliss on finding back Atria and he wanted her company for more and more duration. He did not allow Atria to go away from him. He put tea in a cup from the urn and called a laborer for serving the tea to other laborers.
Atria kept sitting nearby Nasser with a little hesitation. Nasser took a sip of green tea and began to talk, “Atria. Are you engaged somewhere?”
“Oh! No. Not is it at all. I am a virgin sans any engagement to any person” Atria said with breaks in the talks. Her face had flushed red with the modesty that she kept as a rural young girl.
“It is too fine. It is a pleasure for me” Nasser expressed cheerfully.
“What?” Atria wished to clarify from Nasser.
“Atria, I love you. You have got an abode in my heart at your first sight” Nasser disclosed his craze at once.
Atria hesitated and remained mum for a while. Nasser was focusing her constantly. He wished to get a sudden reply.
Then mustering up her courage, Atria accepted, “Nasser, you are my dream prince. I love you from the depths of my heart.
This answer of Atria was a whole treasure of Nasser’s life. He had found the princess of his attractive images in form of Atria. The passions were picking permanence so fast.
Now Nasser and Atria had turned out to be a happy couple of love. They talked too much afterwards. They walked throughout the garden hands in hands. There had emerged a twelfth member of the apples picking team and above it all a love partner of Nasser.
It was getting dark now and Atria went back home in a hurry. The coming night had new images and expectations in his dreams. He passed the whole night in company of Atria as being love partner and even the life partner. But in fact she was not his life partner in actual stance.
Atria appeared on the next day earlier than the usual. She brought some other home made eatables along with her traditional serving of hot green tea. It all shows an apparent turn in the relations of a tea vendor and an apples’ dealer.
They talked a lot while going through the garden and supervising the apples picking work. In between the talks, Atria revealed many of her personal and home secrets.
Nasser knew that she lived in a nearby village being the only child of her parents. Father of Atria had paralyzed of his legs and was lying idle at home.
When asked about her mother, Atria replied, “She crafts wicker baskets and sells them in the nearby market to make livelihood. I also support her from my tea sales”
“Oh! That’s an awful situation” Nasser said kindheartedly.
“No. Why is it awful? We are glad of it. We are contented of our destiny” Atria resisted in plain talks.
“You got anguish. I was not thinking that way. I really seek pardon of you if you are hurt due to my words” Nasser clarified himself.
“No sorry please. You can say it all. After all you are my life partner” Atria proposed him so boldly.
“But I haven’t ye meet your parents” Nasser was suspicious.
“Worry not. They will follow my ambitions” Atria assured him.
They were considering themselves a happy couple. The job of picking the apples was done in a better way after the inclusion of Atria in the apple picking team. Atria would sort out the apples of different qualities in separate containers. She was aware of the apples picking, collecting and sorting out procedures.
Two days latter, Nasser visited Atria’s home. He met her parents. They both welcomed him warmly. He was served with delicious home cooked dishes. There were simplicity and sincerity in their dealings. Nasser was happy to meet and talk with Atria’s parents.
As concerning to their wedding proposal, Atria had already informed her parents about her decision to marry Nasser. She had also got permission of her parents for a hasty marriage within a week. So Nasser faced no problem in convincing them on the marriage. The parents favored the wishes of their daughter. They were happy to meet Nasser. They were proud of the excellent choice of their daughter.
Nasser had lost his parents long ago in an accident. He was self sufficient in his decisions. The arrangements were executed on a hasty plan. Thus the marriage ceremony of Nasser and Atria was conducted at the week end. Both of them were so happy of their new life.
After ten days of his stay in and around the garden, Nasser returned to his city home happily. This autumn he had harvested a massive quantity of apples. She had also won a life partner among the apples picking works. It was a true gain in profit and perversion in life.