Let's talk it out
He called her. She came. It was Navratra time. He invited her for Chicken party at a friend’s place. Both shared a plate. He praised her carelessly ‘tum kinni beautiful ho be’. She responded with a glitter and bit naughtiness ‘wo toh mai huhi’.
This was surreal. But just a dream.
However, she said, she doesn’t eat non-veg during Navratra. But when she came, they din’t share the plate. And when he praised her ‘tum kinni beautiful ho be”. She coldly replied ‘kuchh bhi bolte ho tum”.
But in reality she never showed up.
He asked “friends?”. She thought “F.R.I.E.N.D.S?”. She replied “Anytime”. He extended his hand. She responded with an “oh!”.
“Now could you please stop laughing! You are laughing continuously since last five minutes” scolded Madhuri’s ma. This was first,and perhaps the last, time when Ramesh saw Madhuri. He still remember her rosy smiling lips, restless eyes, long silky hair, cute nose and fair skin. She did not look like if she belongs to a shoe maker family. Everything about her was royal except that she herself was not royal. She looked if some bird who wanted to fly but has been caged.
After nearly 15 years, today Ramesh heard from his brother that Madhuri has changed now. Ramesh’s brother,Samir, was talking about the Madhuri’s extra-marital affairs. He told Ramesh that now she is working as a peon in a school now. “She has married now third time” added Samir.
Ramesh was taken aback. He still remember the rumor that Madhur’s parents married her to a older man as they were poor and also they were looking for the monetary help from the older man. Samir confirmed that she had extra-marital affairs with the Kshatriyas of that village where Madhuri was married to a relatively richer man from her own caste. Samir did not tell anything about the second marriage of the Madhuri neither Ramesh asked further.
Ramesh’s heart sunk. He though about that smiling girl who was forced to stop smiling or scolded for smiling too much. He remembered her restless eyes and though to visit the school where she is working. But he decided against it. He thought people are accusing her but nobody accusing the Kshatriyas or poverty or her parents, nobody is daring to ask why she had extra-marital affair? Was because her husband was rich but old or caste system still gives upper hand to Kshatriyas or law and society is blind to crime against downtrodden? No one inquired if she was forced, blackmailed or opted out of biological compulsions?
“People do not laugh at the Madhuri’s first old husband. Neither they point fingers at the Kshtriyas. People surprisingly show sympathy to her parents who literally sold Madhuri out. This society needs to change. It should start pointing finger at the criminals not at the victims.” Ramesh kept thinking.
Vijay was sitting in a locked room with an unknown girl. Girl was afraid, her chin was resting on her one of wrists while she was unsuccessfully trying to cover her visible toes, her eyes were down as if she was sensing the inevitable, this was Priyanka. There was pin drop silent in the locked room for at least one hour. Vijay was lost somewhere in his own ocean of thought. Then a voice echoed “Have you had your dinner?”. Vijay looked around then eventually at the girl, yes, it was girl, he assured himself and answered with a question “Have you had?”. Well, ice has been broken. But still she did not see any happiness or even a nervousness on Vijay’s face. She sensed something is wrong. She walked to Vijay who was sitting on a chair which was at the farthest corner of the room and said “Can’t we talk at least?”. Vijay looked into Priyanka’s eyes for more than 30 seconds and few drops of water from his ocean of though rolled out through his eyes. Without saying anything she dragged him to bed and they sat at two ends of decorated bed.
It was first night after their marriage. It was arranged marriage and Vijay has refused to meet Priyanka before marriage. Being from a conservative family Priyanka didn’t had courage to force her parents to let her meet the guy who she was going to get married with. Priyanka was not highly educated but she has done her M.A. in English literature and she has been very active member of literature club in her college. While Vijay was highly educated, he has an M.Tech degree from IT-BHU and has been gone to IIM-Ahmedabad. He is working in HSBC bank. Priyanka is at least five years younger to Vijay. Priyanka has dreamed of this night since her adolescent days. But this night was nothing like that one she has imagined. She was disappointed but after sensing that something is wrong with Vijay she has decided to know the reason which was destroying her dream night.
Priyanka said “Vijay this is our suhagraat. If I don’t deserve a suhagraat as every girl dreams of then cannot I request to know the reason?”. Vijay was also realizing that it’s not Priyanka’s fault. He looked into Priyanka’s eyes with assurance that she can ask anything if she wishes to. Priyanka said “So, why you did not marry her?”. Vijay looked with a surprise-gesture towards her. He was surprised how she can guessed that it is because of some girl. She told to Vijay that she has heard the rumor that you are in love with some girl who refused to go against her parents will and got married to her father’s business partner’s son. “But I am not sure, neither I am judging you unless I hear anything from you?” responded Priyanka. Vijay once again got surprised by intellect and maturedness of Priyanka. He smiled for the very first time. Priyanka was looking keenly and she thought to herself “what a cute smile”. Vijay felt a little relief to see a girl from conservative family with a broad mind. He has assumed the worst. But now, there was a gorgeous girl sitting across bed with a smiling face. Though highly educated he has been comfortable with any girls except the one he has fallen for. He smiled and said rumor you have heard it right but not completely. Priyanka felt happy to see Vijay talking. She said “Its weird but I am getting excited to hear about that girl . I should feel jealous right?”. Vijay said “Don’t you feel like having a tea?”.
It was around 2 am in the night they were holding cups of tea in their hands. Vijay said “toh suno, It was first day of orientation ..” cutting him short Priyanka asked “Pahle uska naam toh batao?”. “Rohini”. “Nice name” wowed Priyanaka. Vijay continued “It was first day of orientation in IT-BHU. Being from a middle class family only girls like Rohini had come to my dreams. I have never thought that my dream can come alive one day. I was awestruck. But after orientation I never saw her. But in second Chemistry lab a girl came to me and introduced herself as Rohini and told me that she is going to be my lab partner for rest of the semester. I smiled and felt very happy.Now I knew her name at least. For the few labs I was just listening to her whatever she says even if its wrong. But in fifth lab, lab instructor was walking and seeing all experiments he stopped near our setup. He got interested and start asking questions. I was still not saying anything, waiting for Rohini to reply but after replying few initial questions she started looking towards me. I handled the instructor pretty well, intrustor got impressed and we got full marks in that experiment. ‘arre wah tum toh kafi intelligent ho yaar, aur jab mei kal tumhare eisi sahi answer ko galat bata rahi thi, toh tumne maan kyun liya, acha hua tumne answer de diya warna meri toh watt lag jaati’. After that day we came close to each other. Started preparing together for lab. Then started preparing together for exams too. One day I asked her to go for a tea when we were studying in library. It was 24th of December next exam was on 26th. So there were little less people in library. Canteen was deserted too. I proposed her in the canteen and after exam she said “yes”. Well that ruined my exam preparation though we were still studying together, after proposal, with a sign “WAIT”. We went to all temples in Varanasi, visited all “Ghats” walked with hands in hand in a city like Varanasi where love is considered a taboo among large section of people. We decided we will get married after the college. I got job in a Infosys while she went to US for summer trip with her parents. She called me one day and said she got married. I thought she is kidding at first but I got bewildered after knowing the truth. It was just too hard for me to believe that she got married to someone else. To be frank with you I never came to knew what exactly happened there. But i decided I will never get married in my life. I prepared for CAT and got selected into IIM-A and after that I joined HSBC. My parents kept torturing me with photos of lots of girls till the day when i selected you. And I said yes to you just to get rid of this torturing for once and ever.”
Vijay looked at Priyanka and found her smiling, some other girl after knowing how her husband has selected her would have been sad, angered but there she was with a broad smile. “By the way you make nice tea” Vijay praised. Now Vijay was feeling light after letting his feelings go, he was happy he slid his hands to hold Priyanka’s hand and she did not move her hand. Priyanka said “Don’t you think we should try to find out what exactly happened to Rohini”. “We will discuss this some other time”. Both slept with holding each other’s hand and Vijay’s parents were surprisingly happy to see his son smiling in the very next morning.
Nisha was sitting on a luxurious big softy corner couch in her big green color living room. Her mom was cooking in a open kitchen while her dad and younger bother were watching second semi-final of world cup 2011 between India and Pakistan. Nisha was giggling while playing with her iPhone 4S. Her brother glanced at her on one of her giggles and said something in anger which he only could have heard. Her dad unaware of all these were little anxious when Umar Akmal started hitting boundaries.
Suddenly Nisha got a call on her new iPhone 4S. She received it but voice was not audible then she went to terrace to hear the voice which was coming from other side of the phone. It was her friend Trisha who was explaining her about Ritish marriage which she got to know from Nripul.
Nisha could not believe that Ritish is getting married. It was the Techriti 2009, IIT Kanpur technical festival when they first met. Ritish was busy with his robot while Nisha passed by throwing a comment sarcastically “which one is robot” and laughed. Ritish was getting ready for final of robotics competition. Robotics final attracts lot of audience, this year Nisha was one of them. She did not care too much but she noticed that Ritish won the final. When she looked towards Ritish she found out that he was already looking at her with a broad healing smile.
A year later in July 2010 Nisha joined Deutsche Bank(DB). After the completing lot of formalities she came to her cube and sighed “finally“. She covered her face momentarily with her palms and when she opened her eyes she saw a well shaved, suited, athletic guy was walking towards her and with a broad smile on his face. He greeted Nisha with same broad smile stretching her hand for a handshake.
“pehchana mujhe” asked Ritish.
“I don’t remember but your face looks pehchana pehchana “ replied Nisha.
“You have attended Techkriti 2009, right?” asked Ritish.
“Yes” Nisha Nodded.
“You remember winner of robotics final ” Ritish asked again.
“No” Nisha replied.
“Which one is robot” does this bring a bell.
Nisha’s pupils dilated . She smiled and said “don’t say you are that robotic looking guy, because i cannot believe it“. “Unfortunately I am the same guy.” said Ritish.
“Hi, I am Nisha” Nisha introduced herself stretching her hand for another handshake.
“Ritish” answered Ritish.
Before Ritish turns to go to his cube Nisha has decided that she is gonna marry this guy one day.
Now Ritish and Nisha can be spotted everywhere together. Nisha was staying with her parents in Mumbai while Ritish in a flat. But both have visited each other abodes. If someones want to know whereabouts of Nisha then they will ask Ritish and vice-versa. If you ask anyone who doesn’t know Nisha and Ritish they will say both are committed. But it was not the case. Though they know they are in love with each other but none of them has proposed or said, ever, anything, other than, being friends.
She came back to living room with moist eyes, her younger brother found this little soothing thinking now he can see match without any giggles. But Nisha’s mother notices Nisha’s moist eyes and went near to her and pulled her to Nisha’s room. One can easily spot white color Mac Book Air, iPod, iPad on her table in yellow colored room and a bright yellow table cover. Nisha’s mom inquired about Nisha’s sadness.
Nisha told that she wants to marry Ritish and she knows he also loves her. But when Trisha informed her about Ritish getting married tomorrow. She cannnot believe that how he can do this to her. She got permission from her parents to visit Ritish at his home. Next morning, Nisha and Trisha took the first flight from Mumbai to Varanasi and asked Nripul to join them at Varanasi airport. When Nisha & Trisha reached Varanasi they found Nripul already waiting for them. They booked a cab from Varanasi to Saidpur, a place from where Ritish village is hardy two kilometers away.
They directly reached to Ritish home. It was a very big home. In front of house there was huge open space surrounded by a fence and a huge metallic gate. It was around 2 pm. A guy in a turban was giving some instruction to people standing is semi-circle, this was Ritish. As soon as cab stop near the huge gate a tall, slim, gorgeous girl came out of the car. Everyone looks towards the girl with open mouth. Ritish stopped giving instruction and looked towards gate. He was surprised to see Nisha here. With a smile he was moving towards Nisha while Nisha was moving towards him with a determination to teach him a lesson . Before Ritish says anything Nisha slapped him and just few seconds later she noticed a girl in haldi and menhdi saying “bhaiya yahi Nisha hai“.
“So you are not getting married” asked Nisha.
“I am getting married, bhabhi” replied Ritish’s sister.
“I hate you Ritish, I really hate you” Nisha blushed and hugged Ritish.
“Are you proposing me?” teased Ritish.
Everybody started laughing and they slowly disappeared to work. Nisha hugged Ritish’s sister while congratulating her and went inside the bungalow.
She was looking rose-like in her pink frock and light pink hat with red ribbon tied around that hat. She was lost somewhere in beauty of Agonda beach sitting in rest chair of Tina Beach resort. A manly voice called her name, “Priya”, she looked in direction of voice, ”would you mind having Galão, they are out of café au lait” same voice echoed. Priya nodded in yes with a broad smile on her face.
While Piyush was waiting for the coffee at the counter, Priya’s mind time-traveled to year 20o5 when she first met him. It was their first class in IIMA, they were sitting next to each other, Piyush was sitting left to Priya. “Is there any reservation for village people too?” she whispered to guy sitting next to her right and they laughed together in low pitch. Priya remark was based on Piyush’s dressing sense; no coat, no tie; shoes were revealing the reality of him being from middle class. “Hi, I am Priya” she introduced herself, though name plate on her desk was decorated with her name, to guy sitting to her right and he replied back with same sentence with name changed,”Raunit”. But he added “I am from IITB and you?”, “well, I did my master in US” she replied. After listening the term US even an IITian doesn’t care enough to ask the name of college from which one has done his/her master. They became friends within minutes and made fun of the Piyush and laughed.
Piyush was a simple looking guy with athletic build, tall and muscular. He has done his MSc in economics from DU. He belongs to a small village in UP named Tajpur. His father owns 3-4 acres of very productive land. He had habit of accompanying his father to field since his childhood and helping him there. Before he left for his study in DU he has learned every aspects of farming.
Raunit had proposed Priya more than once but with zero success rate. But still they were good friends on term that Raunit won’t propose her again. In due course of time, Priya came to know a little about Piyush too, about his village, his father occupation, his hobbies. She was surprised to know that he still helps his father in field. First semester result, Piyush soft spoken skill and his physically sound body attracted Priya. Priya has been a pampered child, has always dreamt of a prince, but now her dream-prince was getting replaced by Piyush with a plough on his broad shoulder. Priya used to smile in her lonely moments when she imagines Piyush with a plough in paddy field, in his kisan turban and half naked upper half of his huge body. “Am I in love” asked Priya to herself. Priya’s herself replied with “yes”. She had fallen for a “kisan ka beta“.
She had caught Piyush glancing at her with love in his eyes and had tried to avoid eye contact with her after getting caught. She thought to propose Piyush but in her own way. She wanted to propose Piyush in his village in front of villagers. After getting their MBA, Priya got selected by Deutsche Bank while Piyush got offer from McKinsey. This was last night before leaving the IIMA campus forever Piyush took out his hindustani attire which he has put on last ethnic day, took a rose, and went to priya’s room after last night party got over, came down on his knees and proposed her. She was half asleep, she was not able to distinguish whether its really happening or its after party effect. It took her few moments to realize, guy who she is in deep love with, is proposing her. She said “yes” to Piyush proposal and they both disappeared in Priya’s dark room.
Piyush put the Priya’s coffee on table and sit on a chair next to her and found Priya’s smiling looking somewhere aimlessly in vast sea. He put his warm hand on Priya’s hand, Priya kissed his hand and said “soothing place, isn’t it?”