EPISODE 26 b)
All those expecting Shivika moments. Please wait for one more episode. Please bear with me, I’m trying my best to give you all a consistent story. If it’s good, do tell me.If bad, please tell me, but do tell me.Love you all!
Recap:Annika and Jhaanvi reenter the OM.Everyone is happy.Shivaay and Tejhold their hands,bringing them inside.Daadi utters her favourite word for the umpteenth time.
They all sat on the sofa. The youngsters and Daadi sat on the small sofas so that the large one would be occupied by the couples. Om,Rudra sat together,then Priyanka and Daadi.On the opposite side,Shakti and Pinky sat and next to them were Akira ans Saumya.Annika and Jhaanvi moved themselves so much, that they literally, crushed themselves against the armrests of the sofas.
Before the awkwardness could reach new heights, a visitor walked in.
“Daadi ji,why is everyone wearing grand clothes today?Is there some function-wunction going on? Something that I’m not aware of?”, she asked.
“Something that you missed the food for…..?”,Rudra added silently.
“Shut up Rudra!”,,Om whispered fiercely.
“You always ask me to shut up.Ask this Mrs.Kumar to shut up.But no,she comes here,blurts out all the nonsense that she can,goes home when she pleases,no one stops her at all..I thought we are oberois damn it,but it seems,even we have to battle it out with neighbours!”,Rudra argued.
“Jhaanvi ji,long time since we saw you.What happened ?And vermillion marks in your legs?Anything special?Oh come,on,tell me?”,she baabled.
“God,can you please take me now?”,Rudra begged.
Oh! She said,looking at Shivika,”This is the couple na?Married five months ago?Shivaay,I have to say,your wife is very pretty!Why are you both sitting so away from each other?Newly married couples always look forward to sit close to each other and you people! Sorry,I couldn’t make it to the wedding!”,she continued,placing Shivaay’s hand in Annika’s.
Annika merely looked away, rolling her eyes instantaneously. What Shivaay experienced was ,however, magic to say the least. He had done it so many times ,but he had been so caught in other emotions, that he didn’t; particularly experience the ones he was experiencing now.
His breath quickened, his throat felt parched,choked,he gulped a lot of times.
In midst of all this,his hands started trembling a bit and his kanji eyes widened,quickly gazing at Annika before she could see.His face ,not only his eyes, changed colours.
All this was noticed by OmRu,Prinku and Daadi,who gave knowing looks to each other, Rudra,for a second longer,halted his gaze at Soumya,who was already staring back at him.
“And these two are the potential daughter-in-laws for your other grandsons,I’m sure.Both of them,are very beautiful indeed!”,she said looking at Akira and Soumya.
The water that Akira was drinking was pushed out vigorously,while Saumya coughed.Both of them looked at each other in shock.
“No,the first one is actually our family friend’s daughter,Akira and the second one is my friends granddaughter, Saumya”,Daadi introduced the duo.
“Oh!Kalyani ji,I’m sure you have a big heart.But this is not expected of you!You are old wise,elder to me beyond years.How can you keep two girls,that too,unmarried ones ,in your home where your grandsons are?What will people say?But the real fault lies in these two girls,girls nowadays,have no shame,no sense of rituals or of sanskaar.”,she continued in an irritated tone.
Rudra stood up instantly.Om held him back.But it was Daadi who spoke.
“My dear,sanskaar,shame or rituals do not lie in the way people appear in front of the society or do they depend on how socially compliant they are. It depends upon how they can cater to the needs of the family and their needs whilst maintaining ground on the right principles,beliefs and actions.These girls are here for that purpose only.I will invite you,for sure,when an actual function is going on.Right,now we have to take care of our needs!”,Daadi gently chided.
Finally Mrs. Kumar took the hint and was about to leave. She then survey Akira suspiciously from head to toe who was uninhibitedly shooting death glares at her and then said, “If you are going to choose this girl for Omkara, then let me warn you in advance. This girl looks like more of the career-woman jhaap type; she will never listen to you! Just saying. You know the other day, Mrs.Chabbra’s daughter-in-law…
“Shail?”,called another visitor just entering the Mansion.
“Great, are we going to host every Kumars in the country today?”,Rudra asked,irritated.
Om looked at him,kept a finger to his mouth.
“Oh,Neerja dear,come in,why are you standing there?”,Daadi asked.
“Namaste Kalyani ji,I just wanted to take back my nanad who forgot that she had to prepare something for her Bhaiya today. I’m so sorry,to be disturbing you all now.Shail,you are coming with me,now!Sorry again,Kalyani ji!”,Neerja said pulling her sister-in-law in the maximum speed that decorum would allow.
‘Function is over now. All of you return to your rooms. Today’s a new beginning in our lives, the same is what we hope for ,in the days to come too.”,Daadi said as she prepared to retire to her room.Pinky,Shakti,Prinku followed, behind them was a surprisingly subdued Tej and a poker faced Jhaanvi. The OBros and the girls were still seated. Shivaay tried,like every newly-wed groom ,to speak to Annika but all that came out was Uh…Ahem…or their combination.
“What is it, Mr.Oberoi?”, Annika asked after an irritatingly long five minutes.
“No…Uhm….When are you coming..?”, Shivaay faltered.
“As you can very well see, I have manifested myself in front of you! What does ‘When are you coming, mean?’ ”, Annika said cheekily.
Before they could continue, two voices interrupted them.
“Didi,me you and Soumya in the same room. Since I’ve to make room for someone else to stay.That’s going to be our ‘den’..Yay! Prinku and Jhaanvi Aunty in my room. The Obros as usual. Isn’t this what you wanted to say for so long, Bhaiya?”
Shivaay gave an SSO style angry graze .
“And one more thing, Shivaay BHAIYA..I hope you don’t mind leaving Annika Bhabhi’s hand, considering that you have to go to separate rooms.”,said the other voice.
Akira and Om looked at each other and smiled.
Annika freed herself from Shivaay’s grasp and dashed out of the room without asking for directions while Shivaay involuntarily followed her.
“Didi,where are you going without asking for directions?”,Akira asked ,the smugness in her voice evident.
“Didn’t you imply that it was Saumya’s room?”, Annika replied,irritated,at the top of her voice.
‘Oh Shivaay,that’s not the way to our room.Ours is near the poolside,remember?”,Om reminded him gently.
“Yes, I do. I’m going.Happy?”,Shivaay asked irritated.
As they watched their brother and sister going to their respective rooms. They smiled wide and turned sideways accidentally, looking at each other.
“We should join forces. We’ll call ourselves ‘Jodi Breakers’ What say?”,Akira remarked.
“Shut up! I’m I’m trying to bring them closer,actually.I don’t want to be in any team. Your team especially!”,Om remarked matter-of-factly.
“idiot,the same thing’s what I’m doing. In order to make them, first we need to pull them apart, so that they vigorously fight back to make things better between them!”,Akira said quickly.
“You never can do anything straight,right?Stay out of this. Shivaay my brother, is a rare specimen only we can deal with. He especially does the things we prohibit him from doing, especially when its regarding Annika. That’s why I did what I did. Don’t apply your crooked mind here and ruin things !”,he said patronizingly.
“You are right!”,she said thoughtfully.
“I’m….What? What? Did you just say I’m right?”,Om asked absolutely shocked.
“Only the last sentence is right.I’ll not apply my crooked mind here.What you did now wan’t straight either.These two are one crazy,naïve,mature..Oh forget it..Strange couple.For strange couples, stranger means.No straight solution can be found here.Certainly not by you.We’ll take the baby steps,allow them to take the big ones and the final product will be one helluva crazily-in-love couple!”,she threw up her arms and exclaimed grandly.
Om merely nodded his head disapprovingly and left.
Akira looked at Saumya and said.
“We still have one work left!To teach someone to respect someone who is very,very,older than them.”
Outside Oberoi Mansion.
“Didi,Are you sure about this?”,Saumya asked nervously.
“Daadi’s,Pinky aunty,Shakti uncle,Tej Uncle,Jhannvi aunty’s rooms are on the other wing. The Obros will be having their moment.Sahil’s away.And my sister,Sleeping Beauty Da Maa,will be in the chambers of sleep anytime now .And,as far as I saw,nosy aunty just went out.It’s the evening time,so it’ll be mistaken for children playing.So yes,I’m sure.”,Akira said confidently.
“Didi, this area is posh,remember?No one pulls this sort of a stunt here! Why are we doing this? ”Saumya asked confused.
“Did you hear that aunt’s patronizing tone? The tone in which she spoke to Daadi? And then, how she was literally, doing my full body check-up? This is payback time,in a small way,of course!”,Akira justified.
“You know how to do it, no? And then, after we do it, scoot! Ready now!Adults need to be kids sometimes.”, Akira commanded.
While grand plans were being made, on the other side of the wall was a thoughtful soul, thinking of all grand plans gone awry.
Neerja sat,in the top floor of their two-storeyed house drinking a cup of tea, relishing the freshness it gave while leaning back on the rocking chair, which she always preferred ,to the sofa and any other chair, far more comfortable in comparison.
Perhaps it was pain she was always accustomed to more than comfort, she thought bitterly. Not that she was complaining,life,god,whom she deeply believed in, had given her,her husband all the happiness a newly married couple would always want. Problems in childhood?None.Problems in adolescence?None.Problems in courtship,or marriage?None.They had fallen in love soon after,to their own surprise.Their relationship,full of understanding,love,excitement,togetherness,had satisfied them to no end. But,it seemed,everything had a limit.Her future had made it happen.Her past re-lived that day.
People,running ,helter-skelter,cries everywhere.
First instinct, run, flight, fly.Do something. Save yourself.And the news read,
EARTHQUAKE OF MAGNITUDE 6.2 HITS MAHARASHTRA!
Perhaps they had been scatter brained,then.To take two small children,one of five ,the other, all of three, along with them, towards the place, all for their profession! All four, had been together initially. From nowhere, a number of panicking, frightened people appeared, their children pushed to one side and they, to the other. Their side was being ushered hurriedly, towards the van, to evacuate them to safety. Her cries for her children went unheard.
She never heard those cries again.
Architect and Builder, the husband-wife duo had been perfect. But their very foundation crumbled that day. More pathetic, was their existence now. One more, one more time of search would have maybe brought their children back, she thought woefully.
So lost in her thoughts was that she didn’t react till she heard a loud sound of glass breaking.Quickly,she dashed out in reflex, to see which room’s window had been broken.On the other side of the wall,she saw two figures swiftly dashing inside the Mansion.Her heart raced, as if she had seen something really familiar.
Was it..Or was her mind playing tricks on her?
Oberoi Mansion ,the side facing their formidable Neighbour’s house.
Saumya threw the ball as fast as she could and Akira lifted the bat, gave her best helicopter shot, fast and exactly where she wanted it to go. They ran soon after.
“Thank you Saumya. By the way, did you see the way I hit the shot. That’s the advantage of going up in a place where the majority are boys and being a tomboy yourself..”,Akira said looking here and there ,for a perfect place to abandon the bat. The bat could be abandoned for now, it was the Oberoi Mansion after all.
Things misplaced were things found. Things placed properly, well, they were definitely found.
“Saumya ,why are you so silent? Seen a ghost or what?,Akira asked ,only to see Saumya gulping in front of her.
“What or who is it?”,Akira asked again.
“Sleeping beauty Da maa!.”,Saumya said nervously.
Annika, who had heard every word.
“What are you both talking about? What shot? What did you both do? I came here looking for you and I see Saumya nervous while you are busy trying to..”,she peeked behind to get a better view of that ‘thing’.
“Didi, believe me, you don’t want to know. Know only one thing. We have something very much in common. You give khidkitod ideas. And my ideas actually do khidkithod!”,said Akira to very confused but now a very shocked Annika.