Sometimes the truth looks like a lie and a lie looks like truth.
How do we know what we are witnessing is truth or lie. If the illusion is so strong how will differentiate between a lie and truth.
The sun entered Badi and illuminated every corner of it. As usual Parvati Gadodia woke up and spread the divinity with her manthras and the pleasant smell of the dhoop. Ragini smiled with her eyes still closed smelling the air which alerted her that her Dadi has woken up. She sat in her place rubbing the palms against each other she lightly touched her face and opened her eyes.
Her neck moved to the left of her where Swara was still in deep slumber. Her smile widened more and she nodded her head pushing the quilt aside and walked to the washroom.
“Shona. Get up fast” she twisted the towel on her hair while walking near the bed her sister was still lying. Swara nudged and hugged the cushion beside her not willing to wake up. It made Ragini frown who hit her head. “If you be like this seriously you will be out of your Sasural soon. Do you know by this time you should be ready with the break fast for the whole family” Ragini rubbed her hair standing near the mirror.
“Are you kidding me?” Swara got up with a jerk which made Ragini burst into laughter. “Ahhh Lado I hate you” she cried looking at her sister who was still holding her stomach which was paining due to the hysteresis. “But I wasn’t joking that’s the fact” Ragini turned controlling her laugh but still smiling.
“Oh shucks I’m not gonna marry Lucky” she scratched her head. “What?” Ragini turned amused. “Yeah in this world if I love anything the most is my sleep and I cannot sacrifice it sorry” she shrugged her shoulders and held her toes folding her legs. “Don’t you love Laksh? You have to do it for him” Ragini sat beside her. “I love him but why should I sacrifice anything for him?” she gave a weird look.
“Because that’s love. Don’t think it as a sacrifice you will never be able to do it” Swara looked at Ragini who placed her hand on Swara’s shoulder with a smile. “Think it as you are doing this to express your love for Laksh by following his family rules and regulation. You will love doing that. There are many way to express your love think this also as one” Ragini looked at her hopefully.
“But” she pouted. “I know my sister. She will surely do this” Ragini hugged her. “If I won’t be able to do then?” Swara looked up. “I’m there na. I will always stand beside you and when Swaragini are together” Ragini waited Swara to complete the sentence which she did by adding “We surely win” and a huge grin covered their face.
Ragini took the bowl and was mixing the mehendi. “Arrey Ragini beta what are you doing?” Sumi entered the kitchen. “Maa I’m mixing Dahi with Mehendi. You know the colour will get more darker. And they say as much as the dark mehendi becomes the husband will love the wife so much.” Ragini’s face had the happiness which reflected in her eyes.
Sumi lovingly caressed her hair and Ragini held her hand smiling. “I never knew my Shona will get so much love” she said with a tear trying to trip out of her eye. “Maa maa no tears haa. In two days Shona’s bidayi is there you have to reserve your tears then” Ragini chuckled and Sumi hit her head playfully.
“Okay I will check the other arrangements. As soon as the Mehendi from Maheshwari’s come mix it with this okay?” Sumi walked out and Ragini turned to the bowl.
“Parvati ji” she heard Sujata’s voice and walked out happy. “Arrey Chachi you came. I was waiting for the Mehendi only” said Ragini and received the mehendi from Sujata’s hand. She smiled at Ragini and wondered how happily she was participating in a marriage which was supposed to be hers. She never knew the fragile Ragini she had seen will have such hidden courage. “Sit na. I will get you tea” she walked inside and Sujata sat analyzing the surrounding.
“Arrey Sujata ji” Sumi greeted her. Sujata stood up to greet her. “Sit I will get you the tea” “ No just now Ragini went inside. So don’t bother” said Sujata and Sumi nodded her head. Ragini walked out with a tea tray. “Arrey Ragini beta only tea was enough why do you brought so much to eat” Sujata complained. “Ohho Chachi. Where I have brought so much. Only some biscuits and sweets” Ragini smiled which made Sujata nod her head receiving the tea cup.
“Accha Ji. Now I will take your leave. We will meet in the evening” said Sujata folding her hands. “Chachi you came alone?” asked Ragini. “Actually Laksh came with me but Sanskar was insisting to see the Banyan tree suddenly so he went with him” said Sujata. Ragini stood thinking. ‘Banyan tree but why?’ her heart asked the question again to get no answer. “Ok I will leave” Sujata’s voice brought her out of thoughts and she smiled at her folding her hands.
“Shona where you kept the chain I gave you?” Dida asked. “Dida it was loose so I kept it in my locker” Swara smiled at her. “But Shona it was your Nana’s gift. You should wear it today” said she. “Oopsi. I forgot Sorry.” she bit her tongue cutely.
“I will just wear it and come” said Swara and was walking to the stair flight. She saw Ragini going upstairs. “Lado please get my chain na” she said pouting. “I will get it” she walked smiling. Swara smiled and walked back to the sofa.
Ragini entered the room and placed the clothes on the bed and walked to the cupboard and searched the locker. Her hands felt something which made her confused. When her hand moved with the thing it made her more confused.
“Powder?” she looked at the packet quizzed. “Why has Shona kept the powder inside the locker?” she looked at it confused. She brought it near her nose and tried understanding what powder it was. The weird smell made her stumble slightly. “Lado” she heard Swara’s scream and threw the packet back and grabbed the chain and headed down. ‘Let me ask her only’ she thought as she descended the stairs.
“Shona…” she was interrupted by Dida “Shona get ready fast. The Maheshwari’s will be here at any time” “You were saying something Lado?” Swara asked her. “No. Nothing. I was about to say the same thing” said she smiling. ‘Let me ask her later’ she buried her thoughts for the time being.
Ragini made Swara ready and stood near the mirror. “You look beautiful. Kisi ki nazar na lage” Ragini hugged her happily. Swara smiled back at her. She was happy as her dream was fulfilling. A dream to spend her life with the person she loved.
The Maheshwari’s arrived and were welcomed by the Gadodias warmly. “Lado” Sumi called out for Ragini. “Get Shona down” said she which alerted Swara and Ragini. They both walked down the stairs and Swara was made to sit between. She looked at Laksh who was smitten due to her beauty and she blushed looking at him.
Ragini hit her shoulder and teased her and Swara glared her with fake anger and tucked her hair behind her ear. Sumi smiled looking at them. The Mehendi designer started drawing the design on Swara’s hand. Ragini helped Sumi and Dadi to serve the guests.
“Someone is so happy to be the waitress in her ex fiance’s Mehendi” Ragini stopped her steps when she heard a familiar voice. As she turned she found Sanskar giving her a smirk. “I don’t have time to handle your sarcasm for the time being. Excuse me” she was about to walk when she felt a pull
“Sanskar leave me” she struggled to get out of his hold. “Why are you doing all this Ragini?” she looked at him confused. “What do you mean?” she asked him still trying to get out of his hold. “hurting yourself” she looked into his eyes. “I…I’m not hurt” she avoided him.
“Are you sure?” asked he and she just nodded her head looking away. “You can’t lie to me” he whispered in her ears. “I’m not” she felt weak now for an unknown reason. “You are” he dragged her more near and she could not hold her emotions anymore and looked in his eyes.
Her tears squeezed his heart. “I want to get out of this pain. It.. It is just increasing. But I… I cannot ruin my sister’s life” he jerked her hand and she leaned to the wall. “Sister who is enjoying her marriage rituals without even thinking about you?” he asked her. “You are wrong Sanskar. She cares. But then I can’t expect her to sacrifice her love. And it is wrong to do” she saw in his eyes just to get a smirk back.
“Has she even tried?” his question stirred her mind. “She would have tried but I never gave her the chance” she wiped her tears. “Still you think she will do it Ragini” asked he stopping her. This time she met his eyes with the power of determination. “I trust my sister” she pushed his hand and walked out.
“Thodi si jo pee li hai” Swara suddenly got up from her place. All looked at her. “Chori tho nahi ki hai” she stumbled walking. She raised her hand and started jumping in her place. All looked at her shocked. “Shona.. Shona” Sumi held her.
“What are you doing?” she asked embarrassed. “Mumma… I love you so much” she hugged Sumi. “Shona” she strictly whispered. “Kya mumma can’t I love you” she asked pouting. “Shona…” Ragini walked to her and held her. “Lado…” she smiled widely. “Don’t worry I love you too” she hanged her hands around Ragini’s neck.
“What is this Parvati Ji. Looks like your grand daughter is drunk…”Annapurna was interrupted by Parinita who spoke “Nahi Maaji she is under the effects of drugs. See. I saw her eating this Laddu and it smells like drugs” “No it can’t be true. My daughter doesn’t take any drugs” said Sumi. Her eyes were filled with tears.
Ragini helped Swara to sit on the sofa who was mumbling half conscious. “But Maa I saw some white powder in Swara’s locker..” Ragini spoke to Sumi. “Ragini” Sumi screamed looking at her furiously. “Dekha. I told you” said Pari.
“And you were trying to tie a druggist girl to my son Parvati Ji. Kis Janam ka badla le rahe ho aap?” asked AP to which Dadi could not raise her head. Ragini looked at her and pain crept her heart.
“Bass” Durga Prasad screamed and all went silent. “I think this marriage should not happen” said he. “But dad I love her” Laksh resisted. Durga Prasad glared her. “My decision is final” he stormed out and all the Maheshwari’s followed him. Shekar tried stopping them but all went in vain
Laksh looked at Swara with a pain in his eyes. Swara chuckled unaware of the surrounding. As all the guest had left Gadodia house. Ragini helped unconscious Swara to lie down on the bed. She looked at her painfully and walked down the stairs.
“What was the necessity to open your mouth Ragini” Dida charged at her. “D..Dida trust me I did not mean any harm” Ragini looked at her. “Oh really. If that was the case why you did not inform me before about it?” asked Sumi. “Maa it was Shona’s locker and I thought of her asking later” said she helplessly not able to prove her point.
Sumi looked away disgusted. “I think she only kept the packet in Shona’s locker and she only made her to eat the Laddu” Dida glared her. “Dida” Ragini’s eyes went wide with shock. “How can you?” she almost whispered. “Laksh was your ex fiance and you could not see my Shona’s happiness so conspired all this. Now I understand” Dida huffed with anger. “Bangalan” Dadi could not control her anger anymore. “I have not taught my grand daughter all this plotting” she glared Dida. “Huh I know what you have taught your grand daughter Marwaran” Dida looked at Ragini from bottom to top like she is some criminal.
Ragini closed her eyes painfully. “How dare you blame it on my grand daughter. It is your grand daughter who was under the effects of drug and you are shamelessly putting the blame on my Lado. Shekar still you will keep quite?” Dadi looked at Shekar.
“Bass maa. I’m tired of this wars. Please” said he folding his hands and walked to his room. “Once you could have told Ragini I would have convinced Swara to back out” said Sumi. “Maa” her heart broke into pieces she could not collect. “Sharmishta” Dadi screamed. “Why are you screaming Marwaran that’s the fact. Your grand daughter could not see my Shona’s happiness. Chalo Shomi” she took Sumi from there.
Ragini collapsed on the floor broken. Dadi knelt beside her and she hugged Dadi tightly. “Dadi I promise I did not do anything” Ragini said painfully. “No beta I trust you. You did not do this” said Dadi consoling her.
“Why is my head hurting so badly” Swara woke up holding her head. “Ouch” she could not bear the pain. She walked down and found Laksh and the rest of the Maheshwaris. Laksh looked up at her. She walked down confused.
“I’m sorry beta without knowing the truth I said so many things to you” Annapurana caressed her hair. Swara looked at her confused.
“I’m sorry Swara even I misunderstood you” said Parinita and confused Swara more. “Dida what is happening here?” asked Swara holding her paining head.
“Arrey nothing serious Shona. Just a misunderstanding” said Sumi caressing her cheek. Swara tried remembering what happened last night but failed.
“Arrey Sumi she should know what her sister has done. She will learn a lesson” “ Maa please” Sumi stopped Dida. “So much you love your sister she tried spoiling your mehendi…. She mixed the drug in your Laddu and she hid the drugs packet in your locker” said Dida.
“No” Swara gasped. “Lado cannot do this” she looked horrified. “She accepted her crimes” said Annapurna. “No my sister cannot do it” said Swara and ran searching Ragini.
“Lado” she stood at the terrace entrance. Ragini wiped her tears and turned. “Shona. I’m sorry. I tried breaking this marriage but I have learned a lesson” said Ragini. Swara fumed approaching her and slapped her across her cheek. Ragini looked at her shocked.
“Now tell me the truth why you took this blame or else I will surely break this marriage” Swara fumed. “No” Ragini held her. “I want the truth” said Swara crossing her arms. “Yesterday all blamed that you took drugs and I had found a packet also in your locker. I know I should have told you this earlier but I did not realize it will turn like this. I shouldn’t have mentioned it I’m sorry” she looked at Swara emotionally.
Swara hugged Ragini and patted her head. “But why did you take the blame on you?” she asked. “I did not had any other way to prevent this marriage from breaking. It’s okay if they think I’m bad at least your marriage will happen na. And don’t worry I don’t mind these blames” said Ragini smiling.
“But I mind. I mind if someone points out at my sister. I can’t take it anymore. Come I will tell the truth now” said Swara dragging her. Ragini stood unmoved. She dragged Swara’s hand and placed Swara’s hand on her head. “Promise on me. If you tell this to anyone. I don’t you to lose your love Shona. I know how it feels” Ragini looked at her hopefully. “Don’t burden me with this Lado” said Swara cupping her face. “Please” Ragini pleaded her. Swara hugged her and cried. “Ohho Shona reserve this for your Bidayi tomorrow. Come we are getting late for your haldi” said Ragini dragging her.
Ragini made Swara ready and brought to the hall. She was attracting everyone’s hate but she smiled. Swara held her hand supporting her and Ragini smiled at her. She made Swara sit in the middle and the Haldi was applied to her.
“Don’t spoil the haldi function also today” said Dida and Ragini’s smile faded hearing her. Dadi looked at Ragini who was applying the haldi happily. She sacrificed her love also and today she sacrificed her self respect also for whom. For her step sister and for the person whom she loved so much and in return he loved her sister.
“Waaw waw” Sanskar clapped mocking Ragini. She was near the Tulsi plant folding her hands. “I must say you are more mahan than I thought” said he appreciating. She looked at him. “You think I will not know Sanskar?” she smirked looking at him.
His smile faded. “You think I will not know it was your plan?” his heart beat went wild as her words recorded in his head.