Shobha kept looking at the man. Her parents initially took a note of her weird mannerisms of staring an a stranger but they took it for her childlike innocence. In some hours, it grew obvious that she kept continually looking at the unknown person sitting right opposite to her in the train. Everyone saw the way in which she gaped at him unblinkingly. The immediate next thing she began doing was to ape his manners. As he took a cup of coffee, Shobha also did the same. He kept the mug on the table without drinking it, she emulated his footsteps. In a fraction of a second it was more than apparent she was behaving as if she were hypnotized or was under some kind of a spell. Now, her parents became worried and when all their attempts to dissuade their daughter from continuing to act bizarre were in vain, they finally decided to call the man into question. "Why is our daughter behaving in such a manner? What have you done to her that she keeps following you and does exactly as you are doing right now?" Said Shobha's father looking frantic. The man gave a smile and said, "Relax sir. I am an artist". The elderly man gasped. "What? an artist! what has it to do with my daughter's weird temperament?" The man asked anxiously. The stranger smiled again and clarified, "I am a magician." I was simply making her the means of my display sir. Relax. She will be alright soon. I have undone my spell". The elderly man further asked inquisitively, "undone your spell? Well, I have heard there's only illusion and nothing like magic or is there something like black magic or have you indulged in cryptic hypnotism of some kind on her"? spells are only a part of such activities. And...this is NOT ART gentleman. If I want, I can sue you for this!" The magician smiled and replied, "Yes sir, you may of course if you wish to...but what if I disclose in front of all and sundry here in this passenger train that... "STOP". Even before he could complete his sentence the elderly man intervened and thwarted him from speaking any further. The next was they all reached their destination and mounted off the train. The magician bid them a good bye. "What was it that he was going to say and you stopped him from disclosing it father". Asked Shobha rather inquisitively. "Shobha, you need not to worry". And this was enough for her to understand that she wasn't allowed to venture into a forbidden territory.
The next day, Shobha was married. They all had come there for her marriage. After a few days, the man met the magician. "Thanks for keeping my secret intact." He said to him. The magician laughed, "yes sir. An artist knows how to conceal. But does she know it now that your interests are served"? The man asked. Shobha's father looked at him and replied, "That is not an artist's business. but yes she is not yet aware." The magician looked at him and said, "but you should now tell her the truth sir that you deluded her into believing she was coming to the place for meeting her grandmother and in the course of the time you got her married as per your plans. She did not even realize how she consented for this marriage when she wasn't ever ready for it as she wanted to pursue her studies. She was pretty determined to say a NO....AND...It was you who went to the occultist and had that spell done on her!" Shobha's father looked at him and answered rather impertinently, "So what? she's my daughter and is happily married today. Can't you see? Ends justifies the means".
He further asked him inquisitively, " How did you know my secret"? Are you a clairvoyant"? " OR..."WAIT A MINUTE...YOU CAST A SPELL ON MY MIND AND COULD READ MY SECRET. IS IT SO...? "Why then you kept quiet?" was the next obvious question of the elderly man. The magician said smilingly, "Because it was meant to be this way. Even if I stopped it, it was predestined...and I cannot stop what's already written in somebody's destiny. I tried dissuading her by showing her MY WAYS... but... I understood the spell of a father is irreversible. I saw how she was so under your influence as to keep a book by a feminist writer in her purse and deny its existence when I asked her... and then she said she was ready for the impending marital life that was going to befall upon her in spite of emulating me by apparently being under my charms. Nothing else could manipulate a woman of her kind to be so demurely submissive otherwise... The SPELL...it wasn't the magical spell of an occultist any day...it was your affection that made her resign..."