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unappeased. You shall not go to any human being, nor shall you hold converse with any, should you meet one. If you can live in this dark cave for a week and incessantly meditate on your husband with a sincere and single-minded devotion, then you can hope to meet him.”


Shaibalini did as advised. For seven days she did not leave the cave; only once in a day towards evening, she went out in search of fruits and vegetables. For seven days she held no converse with any humanbeing. Well-nigh starved she began to meditate on herhusband in that dreadful darkness with her senses in abeyance. She could see nothing, hear nothing touch nothing. The senses locked up, the mind absorbed, her imagination filled the air with her husband’s image. The husband became the sole centre round which all the faculties of her mind converged. Nothing could she see in the darkness during the space of a whole week except his face.

In that awful stillness she could hear nothing save and except his loving discourse so full of wisdom. Her nostrils smelt nothing but the odour of the flowers in his flower-pot, her skin felt nothing but the touch of Chandrashekhar's caressing embrace. She had no other hope and in nothing else, and remained solely confined to the one single desire of seeing him. Her memory circled round and round his countenance adorned with a beard and fronted with a broad forehead, just in the same way as the bumble-bee with its wings bruised by the brambles wheels heavily round and round the rare