Stay beside me
“Ladoo” Parvati stopped Ragini who was walking out with her bag. “Dadi Sa I’m going to academy. I missed so many classes. Don’t want to miss more” she said. “But yesterday only the engagement is over….” she was cut in by Dida who said “Ohho Parvati. It wasn’t her engagement though” her words pierced Ragini’s heart. But she wore her smile back on the face soon.
“Yeah it wasn’t mine” Dadi could feel the pain in her low whisper. “And I’m glad Dida. It wasn’t mine” she lifted her head up and smiled and made her tears to travel back. For a girl like her yes it was difficult to hold her emotions. Yes she wasn’t strong enough. Strong to show her smile instead of pain. She couldn’t hide her tears. But she was learning to do so. Learning to be strong and to live without any expectations. Because expectations hurt.
She turned and walked out before Dadi could stop her. Dadi glared at Dida and walked inside. Ragini leaned to the wall outside and let her tears flow which she held for pretending in front of her Dadi. She did not wanted her mother like Dadi Sa to be helpless in front of her. She closed her mouth to control her cry.
“I promise maa. I will learn to live like this” she said looking up and wiped her tears and stood up and wiped her face and looked around to check if anyone saw her. Her eyes fell on a fist which was squeezing itself to control his anger. As her eyes moved up she found him and he was fuming. She did not knew why was he getting angry. Did he witness her plight or was it something else.
“Sanskar” Sujata came from back and placed her hand on his shoulder and he composed himself and changed his expression before she notices it. Ragini smiled at Sujata and walked in their direction. “Namaste cha..” she controlled herself and said “Aunty” and smiled. Sujata could feel her pain. She caressed Ragini’s hair and blessed her.
“Dost… dost chalo na khelte hai” Sanskar acted. “Wo no Sanskar. I’m going to academy now. I will come back in the evening only. I’m sorry” she said as Sujata was still there. “I will just meet Sharmishta ji” said Sujata walking inside. Sanskar held her hand and pulled her aside. “Sanskar” she struggled to get out of his hold and he tightened his hold and dragged her to his side. She looked up at him shocked.
“Why can’t you just learn to reply back to people Ragini?” he asked and she could feel his anger in his eyes. She was confused. Was he talking about the way Dida spoke? But why it should effect him. She just stared him blankly. He left her hand and looked around coming out of his virtual world. “I’m sorry” he just walked away making her more confused. She just watched him disappearing and then continued with her walk which led her to the academy.
“Ragu” Nisha shook her and she landed in the world back. She was disturbed. Terribly disturbed. And she herself didn’t know the reason for it. She smiled weakly at Nisha and adjusted her Sitar getting up. “Where were you lost girl?” asked she as they walked to the canteen. Ragini just nodded her head and walked lost. How will she answer when she did not had the answer herself.
As the day was ending and the Sun was at the horizon to set she walked out of the academy towards her home. She was still confused about the morning incident. She tried avoiding her flooding thoughts by making herself busy in other things but nothing helped.
She walked to the room in the night. Swara was giggling lying on her side of the bed. And Ragini just lied beside her without getting effected. “Ragini ko kya hua?” Laksh asked as he saw her entering the room through the video call. Swara who realized then only that Ragini has entered the room turned to her. “No idea” she said shrugging her shoulders looking back at Laksh.
“Then get Idea sir ji” Laksh said and she chuckled listening to him. “Aye aye captain” she saluted him and disconnected the call saying “I will talk to you tomorrow Lucky” He gave her a flying kiss to which she blushed and disconnected the call. She placed the phone on the table beside and turned Ragini towards her.
“What happened Lado. You look disturbed” asked Swara. “Nothing Shona. I’m just tired so want to sleep” she turned again. “Still I couldn’t take a place of a sister in your life hai na?” Swara asked to which Ragini turned immediately and got up. “It isn’t that way Shona. There is nothing important…” she was cut in by Swara who said “That means there is something” Ragini looked at her shocked. Now what will she say to her sister.
“I was thinking who kidnapped you that night. I was worried if he is not caught it means you are still under threat” she spoke worriedly. “Are you sure this is only bothering you?” she shrank her eyes. “Then what you think is bothering me Shona. I’m so happy that I have my family with me and my sister will be married to her love and what more do I need?” she looked at Swara.
“What about love?” Swara asked her and she couldn’t hide her pain this time. “For that it should be written here” she said showing her forehead. “And dadi says right thing happen at the right time, and I will wait till that right time comes. And wont your happiness make me happy?” she asked cupping her face. “I feel so guilty” Swara lowered her head.
“Don’t be. You actually saved me. What if I came to know after the marriage that Laksh ji never loved me. Then I wouldn’t have survived the guilt of ruining his life. You saved me from that very guilt. You deserve happiness not the guilt. Some things just happen though we wish for it or don’t. But whatever happens it happens for a reason. Even if we don’t know the reason we should trust the plan of almighty because no one knows better than him” she said and smiled through her glassy eyes. Swara hugged her and held her hand. Ragini smiled looking at her mother’s portrait.
Far away in the sky a star twinkled. Her mom was happy. Happy to see her daughter taking bold steps towards what she felt was right. Though she went hell lot of pain she decided to stay strong. And that’s what made her special.
The days passed and the mystery thickened. And a day when Pandit announced the muhurath for Swara and Laksh’s marriage whole Maheshwari was present at Badi. Ragini served them sweets as the muhurath was fixed. As she finished serving and walked inside the kitchen Sumi dragged her attention saying “Ladoo dekhna papad chat ke upar ek baar” and Ragini complied walking to the terrace.
When she was near the stair flight she saw Swara and Laksh smiling and talking some stuff. She remembered the day when Laksh and her alliance was fixed. That day Laksh wasn’t this happy for sure. His smile which spread from his one ear to the other assured her that her decision was right.
She walked to the papads which laid on the terrace and the cloth flipped due to the wind. She placed the stone back in the position and got when she felt the cloth will not flip again. She found a figure just next to her and she stumbled and fell back on the papads making them to break with a crisp noise.
“I thought you will hold me” she said rubbing her back and getting up. “Do I look like hero material to you?” he asked. “Then what are you doing here Mr. Villain” she asked annoyed. “Just came to check if you are crying like earlier” he said looking away. This made her look at him. He turned to walk.
“Why do you care?” she wanted the answer for this question so desperately. At any cost. And it stopped him in his place and making the question to oscillate in his mind.
I’m sorry to keep you people waiting for this story hope you liked it. Will try to update soon.