When Ragini was in her sleep still just some minutes away from waking up she had this strange feeling. ‘It will be a dream’ she spoke in her mind. She will soon here the chime of Mandir bells and that aroma of freshly lit incense sticks will reach her nostrils. And her mother’s shrill calling her name will be just a minute away now.
It wasn’t easy for her to believe what happened yesterday. It was too unreal. “Ragini” she heard a soft mumble. Her eyes drifted near knitting her eye brows. She wasn’t sure she heard that voice.
“Ragini” she heard again and it looked like the sound just went on nearing her more and more. “Ragini” this time she felt a hand on her shoulder. She flapped her eyes open. Sanskar stared her and she blinked her eyes to get hold of herself.
She took a deep sigh rubbing her forehead. “You’re okay?” he asked concerned. “Um” she hummed swallowing the lump. “I think so” she said and closed her eyes.
“You looked disturbed in your sleep” he said tucking her hair strands behind her ear. He held her hand kissing it trying to make her relax. “Am I dreaming now? Or was I earlier?” she asked looking at him.
“I don’t know about earlier but now? Definitely not” he smiled. She turned to near him. “What time is it?” she asked in sleepy voice.
“Four” he said and she opened her eyes open and looked up at him. He leaned to kiss her forehead. “You need to sleep” he said caressing her forehead. “You could have let me sleep then” she said moving a bit. “I was not sure. I did not wanted you to wake up panicked as I was not sure what were you seeing in your dream” he said looking at her lovingly.
“I wasn’t seeing anything anyway. I felt like I was at home and Dadi’s Bhajan and Maa’s call will wake me up soon. It’s like that biological alarm clock” she said curling herself. “I’m sorry then” he whispered. “Oh Mr. Maheshwari uses this word? I thought your dictionary wont be having that word” she smiled with her closed eyes.
He placed his chin on her forehead and his body so near to her was making her nervous. Her cheeks burned due to his closeness. “And that word I include when it is you Mrs. Maheshwari” his husky voice sent the butterflies in her stomach on a flight.
She smiled widely. “You look beautiful like this” he moved a bit to look at her face. “Like how?” asked she. His finger moved to her hairline and he touched the vermilion. “With this Sindhoor. Which says you are mine for forever” he said and she opened her eyes to gaze into his eyes which had the glow.
He leaned to kiss her forehead and she clutched his shirt. He moved down to kiss her closed eyes. His lips rubbed her ears lightly and she inhaled deeply. “Sanskar” she called his name and it made him lose. He bit her ear and she gasped for air. She placed her hand on his chest stopping him.
He looked at her confused. She was not sure. Was she ready to take the next step in their relation so soon. He gave her a tight lipped smile and fell on his back. Ragini moved to kiss his cheek with all the love she had.
He tightened his grip on her shoulder. “You sure know to tease me. And it’s dangerous” he looked at her. She placed her head back on his chest. “Stop being a crybaby. Now sleep” she said adjusting her head.
“First make me sleepless and expect me to sleep. New trend is it?” he asked and she chuckled. She patted his chest and he left out a deep breath and relaxed.
“I love you” she said. “I love you too” he said covering her in his warm embrace.
The sleep was over soon as the sun light made it’s way and fell on them warming up a bit. Ragini opened her eyes and looked at her husband who was sleeping like a small kid. She smiled adoring him.
She moved his hand and got out of his hold carefully not waking him up. She opened the cupboard and found all Sanskar’s dresses. She sat pouting looking at them. She wanted to have a shower so badly but there was no dress for her to change. She got a idea and grabbed a shirt and pant of Sanskar and walked to the washroom.
When Sanskar woke up to the heat of sunlight he found Ragini struggling to hold his pant. She was wearing his shirt and her wet hair was dangling in front of her face. She grunted when she was not able to fit the pant. Her hands were cloaked behind his shirt’s long sleeve.
He controlled his laughter. He woke up and moved to her. He held the belt and dragged her near to him. Ragini who was shocked looked up at him while her delicate body hit his body. He held the two edges of the belt in one hand and with the other hand he moved her hair strands behind so that she can see clearly what a mess she looked.
“What do you think you are doing?” he looked at her amused. “I thought of freshening up” she said moving her sleeve clad hand to move it a bit up so that she can use her palms. Sanskar moved the sleeves up and looked at her.
“You look a cute mess though” he leaned to her and she lowered her gaze. “And now a killer cute mess” he dragged her more near to himself.
“I…” she stammered. “You could have just woken me up. I would have brought you something to wear. Though you are making my dress blessed and I will love to wear your fragrance so near to me all day. But you cannot go out like this” he said and she hugged him tight not able to contain her growing excitement.
He tightened the belt on her waist and made her sit on the bed. “You be here okay” he patted her nose with his index finger and walked out of the room locking it fearing she will be more embarrassed if someone else sees her like this.
“Maa” he called out his mother. Sujata who was in the room looked at her son. “I need your Saree as Ragini…” “Did I assume you will wear it anyway?” she asked and walked to him with a saree she has kept in the cupboard.
“I never saw you wearing this” Sasnskar looked at it. “I had brought it for my Bahu” she said smiling and Sanskar caressed his back head looking down. He smiled at his mother and walked to his room.
“Take” he handed the Saree to Ragini. “I will buy you new stuff in the evening okay” he said and Ragini stood up to walk to the washroom only to be pulled back by Sanskar.
He locked her from back and kissed her cheek. “You need not be formal Mrs Maheshwari. I love to take care of you” he whispered in her ear sending shivers down her spine.
She nodded her head and he let her go to change herself. Ragini came out wearing the Saree and Sanskar was awestruck looking at her.
“You look so terrible” he uttered. “Excuse me?” Ragini narrowed her eyes looking at him.
“Was I supposed to say something else?” asked he. “Let it be. I can’t expect you to be Shakespeare” she moved to the dressing table and started wearing her ear rings.
She least expected when Sanskar moved his fingers over her shoulder like he was playing a piano. “I am sure a musician then” he kissed her bare shoulder. “So impatient you are Mr. Maheshwari” Ragini pushed him a bit. He held her wrist and dragged her towards him. She looked shocked at him.
“You don’t even know how impatient I can turn out Mrs. Maheshwari. And if you keep teasing like this then don’t blame me later” he said moving his eyes looking each edge of her face making her blush only with his eyes.
Tum pe marke mai tho Jee gaya
Dil kahe sambhal zara khushi ko na nazar laga Dar hai mai tho ro dunga
“Something is missing” he said looking at her face and Ragini looked up to meet his eyes. He moved to the dressing table and took the vermilion and filled her hairline and Ragini closed her eyes and a tear tripped her eye. Sanskar leaned to kiss her cheek.
“Dare you drop a tear” he warned her making her chuckle. “Let me make you breakfast” she nuzzled his nose with hers and he let her hand so that she could move out of the room. She blushed as she walked towards the kitchen.
She placed the vessel on the stove and was about to lit it. “Ruko Ragini” she jerked hearing a voice. “What are you doing?” Annapurna walked to her. “Wo Aunty. I was making break fast” she said nervous. “Why?” asked Annapurna. Ragini did not understood why was that question being asked.
“I” she did not found right words. “You are a guest in this house. And we don’t let guest work” Swara walked in making a quick bun of her hair. Ragini looked at her sister.
Swara placed the vessel aside and placed the Tawa. “Swara why did you come down. You should have taken rest no beta” Annapurna spoke to Swara. “I’m restless from a long time Maaji. Doesn’t really matter now” she said continuing her work after a pause.
Ragini felt uncomfortable the way behaved like she was not at all there. She fought hard to swallow the sore lump forming in her throat which felt dry.
“But Jeeji she is Bahu of this house” Sujata who was at the door walked to them. Annapurna who was helping Swara looked at Sujatha. “You might have accepted her as your Bahu Sujata. But she is not Bahu of this house” Annapurna turned to the kitchen platform.
“She is married to Sanskar. He is not just my son. He is the son of this house” Sujat said. “He sure is. But his marriage to Ragini was just an act of situation. Where is her Mangalsutra? Did she took pheres with him around the holy fire? No right then how can you say they are even married? Sindhoor daan is just a ritual. Not marriage itself” Annapurna spoke sharply which hurt Ragini. She smiled gloomily at Sujata who watched her helplessly.
She moved to the door and found Sanskar standing witnessing everything. He held his wife’s hand and walked to Annapurna.
“Badi Maa. I’m hungry and my wife also. So please give some space” he held Ragini’s hand in one hand and started preparing the food with other hand. “Bhabi just a minute okay” he placed the Tawa aside and placed one more vessel. Swara fumed looking at him.
“Oh it has become cold” he gave a sorry look to Swara pointing at the Tawa. “I hope you will make it hot again” he gave her a sheepish smile walking from there.
“Sanskar you think with all this you will make us to accept her as the Bahu of this house?” Annapurna’s question stopped him and he stood smiling before turning.
“She is my wife. You agree or not that is for you to worry. Because I know she is my wife” he took the tray and walked to his room along with Ragini.
He served her the break fast and served himself too. Ragini was in her thoughts. “Hey” he grabbed her attention. “Annapurna aunty was not wrong anyways” she said looking at her plate. He moved his left hand caressing her cheek and she placed her face over it feeling the need of his touch right now.
“I don’t care what people think Ragini. I care what you want in your life. Nothing else” he said and she smiled looking at him. “I want your love. Not for now. But for forever” she said and he kissed her forehead.
“And you will get it for forever Jaan not just for now” he looked at her lovingly and she hugged him placing the plate aside.
Sanskar kissed her hair.
“I will be back in an hour okay” he kissed her forehead before walking out of the room. Ragini smiled at him. She made herself busy with the work what she could do staying inside the room. Time passed and she hardly realized it.
“Heyya” Sanskar walked inside with lot of shopping bags in his hand. “Now wear this” he said forwarding a box to her.
“What is this?” asked she confused. He opened it and shown her the beautiful Lehenga. “Is there any function at home?” asked she and Sanskar nodded his head.
“Um hm. Maa has kept a sort of Puja” said he and she walked to the washroom to get changed. She was about to wear the ornaments but Sanskar stopped her. He made her wear the necklace he brought and the earings of the set. He placed the mang teeka and nose ring which made her look like princess.
He forwarded his hand and made her walk out of the room. Ragini was terrified looking at the decorations around. Laksh was arranging everything and all the family members as dazed as her just stood unmoved.
Laksh walked to Sanskar and Ragini with a huge smile. “You made my dream come true Ragini. Can’t I just help Sanskar Bhai to make your dream come true” he said and Ragini who was looking at him looked at Sanskar shocked.
“Wasn’t it your dream?” asked he and she nodded her head with tears in her eyes. “But you have to live it without your family though” he said a bit sad.
“Aren’t you my family?” she asked him and he looked into her eyes surprised and she nodded her head.
He moved with her to the mandap where the pandit was chanting the mantras. He asked to tie the gatbandhan which Uttara did happily. “Now it is time for Kanyadaan” the pandit announced and Ragini’s face fell.
“Can I do that?” Adarsh asked surprising all. The pandit nodded his head and Adarsh walked and did the kanyadan ritual. Sanskar tied the Mangalsutra across her neck and placed the sindhur in her hairline. They stood up for pheres and took the rounds across the holy fire.
“Now you can take your elder’s blessing” the pandit announced after the marriage was complete. Sanskar walked to Sujata and Ram along with Ragini. They took blessing and their parent blessed them.
Sanskar then moved to his Bade Papa and Badi Maa. He took their blessing. Though reluctantly Annapurna blessed them but Durgaprasad stood unmoved unaffected.
“Don’t think I did this to silence you people Badi maa. No never. I will never do something of that sort when I know people are talking nonsense. I did this because” he flung his hand across Ragini’s shoulder.
“Like every girl even Ragini had a dream. Dream of a wedding with all the necessary rituals. I did this to fulfill the same dream” he looked at Ragini lovingly and she gave him an emotional smile.
“My promises are not weak that they will ask a ritual to make them unbreakable but I wanted to do it for my better half. My real better half” he rubbed her shoulder and she bowed her head feeling the emotions building inside her at a rapid rate.
Sanskar entered the room along with Ragini and found it decorated with the flowers. “This was not in the plan trust me” he said defending himself while Ragini glared him. He moved to the bed and started removing the flowers. Ragini stopped him and smiled.
“We can still sleep” she said and they lied on the bed in each others embrace.
“How did you even think of it?” Ragini asked. “The way you did not even tell it to me. Thankfully I have got a mom with super brain who made me understand how important all those rituals were” he sighed and Ragini kissed his cheek.
He was shocked and looked at her with wide eyes. “For the time being. You will get only these” she said chuckling and he hugged her smiling. “I don’t mind the amount as far as I’m getting it and the alone person getting it” he winked at her and she blushed burying her head in his chest.
Sanskar looked at his phone when it beeped a message. “Oh my taxi has come” he said getting up from the bed. “Taxi?” Ragini asked confused.
He was about to reply her when his phone buzzed. He received it and the news just made him numb making him drop his phone.
“Sanskar” Ragini placed her hand on his shoulder and he looked at her horrified and placed his in his hair.