“I still love her, Bhai.”
Abhi listened intently as Akash confessed his feelings for Rachna.
He had gotten up early and headed to Akash’s room to speak to him.
Thank Goodness he sneaked back into the house before everyone had woken up, Akash thought. “I don’t know what destiny has in store for us…” he continued, “But right now, I want to spend each and every moment that I can with her.” “Have you told her how you feel?” Abhi asked. Akash shook his head.
“Will you ever tell her how you feel?” Abhi asked again.
Akash was silent.
“I’m guessing that’s a ‘no’.” Abhi said.
“What if she doesn’t share my feelings?” Akash asked.
“And what if she does?” Abhi countered. “Maybe she’s going through the same thing you are. Have you ever thought about that?” “And if she isn’t?” Akash said.
“Only one way to find out.” Abhi told him. “You gotta take a chance, otherwise you’ll spend the rest of your life wondering what could have been…” Abhi patted him on the shoulder. “Think about it, ok?” Akash nodded and said, “Thanks, Bhai.”
And then Abhi left.
Rachna lay in her hospital bed staring at the door of her room.
When will he be back? She wondered.
He had spent the night here in the hospital and only left a little while ago, but she was starting to miss him already. After they had finished college, Rachna never thought she would see Akash again.
When the accident had taken place, she remembered hearing his voice calling her name.
“Rachna! Rachna!” he’d called, frantically trying to keep her conscious.
“Akash?” she had whispered his name, before completely blacking out.
The next thing she knew, she had woken up in a hospital room, with Akash being the first face that she saw.
She didn’t even know how long she had been unconscious.
How much longer would she have to be in this hospital for? She wondered.
She was getting tired of laying here doing nothing.
Atleast Akash had made her stay here alot more bearable.
He talked to her, told her stories about his family and he made her laugh with his silly jokes.
He hadn’t changed one bit, she thought. He was still the same Akash she loved ever since their college days and her feelings for him never changed.
She continued staring at the door hoping he would come back to her soon….
Over the next few days, Akash gave some serious thought to Abhi’s words….and finally came to a decision. He needed to tell her how he felt. He had already wasted so much time…and he wasn’t about to waste anymore.
After talking to Rachna, he would find some way to clear the air with her parents. Rachna knew the truth about their “marriage”, when, during one of their conversations, she had passed a hand through her hair, only to realize there was sindoor on her hand.
After questioning him about it, he told the truth to her.
Even though she was secretly happy about this, she couldn’t let her parents keep blaming Akash for something he didn’t do. Akash stopped her saying that there was no need to worry about all this now.
When she was well, then they would both break the news to them.
Why was he prolonging this charade? he asked himself. First, he’d stopped Pragya Bhabi from telling Rachna’s parents, saying that he should be the one to clarify things….and then he stopped Rachna. Why was he doing this?
Maybe it was because he knew that once the truth was out, he wouldn’t be able to stay with Rachna as much as before. Her parents would be thankful that he saved their daughter, but wouldn’t allow him to meet her anytime he wanted as a friend… He got ready for work and then headed downstairs, only to get one big surprise….
Rachna’s parents were seated in the living room! What are they doing here?!! Akash thought, panicking slightly.
They were seemingly in deep conversation with Dadi, both Swarna and Indu Daasi, and his parents. He hoped they weren’t going to stir up any trouble with his family.
He made some slight sound which alerted the others and they all turned in his direction. “Akash!” Dadi called.
“Yes Dadi” Akash replied, walking over to them.
“Akash” Dadi said again, trying her best to keep calm. “Beta, these people are saying that you have married their daughter secretly and now you are refusing to accept her.”
What?! Akash yelled in his mind.
Are they crazy?
The only thing he wanted in his life was to be with Rachna…. and to be accepted by her!
“You people must be mistaken. I know my son” Taiji said. “He would never to such a thing!”
His father spoke up next.
“Son, tell us clearly, did you marry their daughter?” he asked calmly.
All eyes were on him.
He opened his mouth to give a reply, but no sound came out.
“Son?” his father called.
How should I answer? Akash wondered.
If he said he didn’t marry her, Rachna’s parents would be left feeling ashamed for creating this mess….and then they wouldn’t let him be with Rachna. If he said he married her, then his family would be the ones hurt.
What to do? he thought, as either way would be bad for him.
His family or his love?
“Why are you silent?” Rachna’s father asked.
Dadi looked at the expressions crossing Akash’s face. “I need to speak to Akash alone.” she said to everyone and grabbed his hand and led him to the nearest room.
“What is all this about?” Dadi asked sternly. “Did you marry that girl or not?” “No, Dadi.” he finally admitted. “I did not marry her.”
“Then why are these people insisting that you did?” she asked. Akash took a deep breath and told Dadi the full story about the accident and then the misunderstandings at the hospital. “All this happened and no one said anything? Even Abhi and Pragya knew? Purab too?” Dadi said slowly as her brain tried to process all the information at once.
“I tried to so many times to make them understand, but now, if i do that, then they will feel bad.” he said. “Do you want to like this girl?” Dadi asked, looking at her grandson.
“Yes, Dadi” Akash replied.
“Then listen to me very carefully…” she said and told Akash her plan.
Soon after Akash and Rachna were married.
How you ask?
Well….after listening to Dadi’s plan, Akash went back outside and told the truth to everyone. Rachna’s parents felt ashamed at their behavior.
They thanked Akash for saving their daughter and apologized to everyone for the misunderstanding. They turned to leave when Dadi stopped them. “Wait” she said. “There’s something else you need to know.” and then turned to Akash.
“Uncle….Aunty…” Akash said a little unsurely. “I-If you have no objection…I would like to marry your daughter.” Abhi and Pragya walked in that moment and were stunned…but not more than Rachna’s parents. “What?” Rachna’s father replied. “You want to marry Rachna?”
“I know we didn’t exactly get off on the right foot and you probably don’t like me very much, but I love your daughter very much and would like to spend the rest of my life with her.”
Rachna’s parents looked at each other, unsure of how to respond.
Pragya sensed their reluctance and then related the story how Akash met Rachna in college and his feelings for her since then. “Does Rachna about your love for her?” Her mother asked.
“No Aunty” Akash replied. “She doesn’t know. I have never told her how I felt. But I will accept whatever decision you make. I just want the chance to make her happy.” Rachna’s parents looked at each other first and then turned to Akash.
Her father said, “You have our blessing.” and then they both smiled at Akash.
Akash breathed a sigh of relief!
“So where do we go from here?” Akash father asked happily. “Shall we start the marriage preparations?” “Not yet, Dad” Akash replied. “I still need Rachna’s consent. I don’t want to force her into a marriage she doesn’t want.” Rachna’s parents agreed to talk to her and get back to him.
After talking a bit more, Rachna’s parents soon left.
Akash then turned and hugged Dadi.
“Thank you, Dadi.” he said happily.
“Welcome, Beta” she replied.
Later that evening, Rachna sat in her room looking at something on television.
She had been released from the hospital a couple days ago and was feeling much like her old self again. She laughed at the funny antics of the characters onscreen and heard a knock on her door and then her parents walked in. “Hi Maa… hi Papa…what’s up?” Rachna said as she lowered the volume on the television screen. She then scooted over to give them a seat on the bed.
“Beta, there’s something we need to talk to you about.” he father said.
“What is it, Papa?” she asked, hoping it wasn’t anything bad.
“It’s about your marriage…” he mother said.
“My marriage?” Rachna asked, immediately thinking about Akash and their marriage lie. Her mother nodded.
“We have chosen a groom for you.” Her father said.
“But, I th—…” Rachna started to say but was interrupted by her mother.
“Don’t worry, Beta.” her mother said. “We already know you and Akash are not married. He told us the whole story.” Rachna’s face fell.
“Oh” she said sadly.
“Don’t you want to know about the guy we have chosen to be your husband?” her mother asked. Well I guess it’s safe to say it’s not Akash, Rachna thought. So it didn’t really matter.
“Maa…Papa, can we talk about all this tomorrow?” she said. “I’m really tired.”
“Okay Beta” her father said. “We will talk tomorrow.”
Her mom rested something on her nightstand.
“What’s that?” Rachna asked.
“It’s a picture of your groom to be.” her mother said. “You can look at it whenever you are ready. Take your time. We won’t rush you into anything you don’t want.”
“Good night, Beta.” Her parents said and then they left the room.
Rachna stared over at the nightstand, trying to take a peek at the picture, but it was turned face-down. It was probably that irritating brat, Ronnie’s photo. He was her former co-worker at the publishing firm.
He had gotten a job at another firm, but still continued to pursue her. Her parents had liked him.
They thought he was a nice guy.
Who else could it be? she wondered. Definitely not Akash.
After that finally clearing that misunderstanding with her parents, he probably wanted nothing to do with her. Ronnie had wanted to marry her for so long, but she kept rejecting him as she thought fate would bring Akash back to her. He did come back into her life but wasn’t destined to stay for long… Maybe her parents finally decided to get her married to Ronnie.
Maybe she should give in too…
She settled in to bed and thought of Akash.
He was probably relieved that this whole mess had been cleared up and now he was free….
A lone tear rolled down her cheeks as she thought of him and the fact that they would never be together.
I wonder what her reaction would be?
Akash asked himself as he sat on one of his exercising machines after a long work-out session. Would she be happy at the thought of marrying him? It was nerve-wrecking waiting and wondering what her answer would be…
What if she rejected him?
It would be hard to move on, but he couldn’t force her to be with him if she didn’t want to.
Only Rachna’s reply would decide his next course of action now…
With that thought, he got up and went to take a shower before heading to bed.
The next morning, Rachna got ready and headed downstairs to speak to her parents.
“Maa…Papa… I’m am ready to get married.” She said.
Her parents were ecstatic, thinking that she saw the photo.
They rushed over to her and gave her a big hug.
“But only on one condition” she stipulated.
“What’s that, Beta?” her mom asked.
“I won’t meet him until time for the marriage.” she said.
“But Beta, what about your engagement?” her father asked.
“No engagement.” she said.
Her parents looked at each other, finding their daughter’s behavior a little strange. “Okay dear” her father said. “We will do as you say. I’m just so glad you agreed.”
“He will take good care of you.” her mother said.
Rachna doubted that, but if her parents were this happy about it, then she guessed it wouldn’t be so bad marrying Ronnie. Maybe he would change…
“You two are going to be so happy together!” her mother said excitedly.
Rachna gave them a forced smile, but they were to wrapped up in their happiness to notice.
“I’ll just be back.” she said sadly and ran off to her room.
The next day, Rachna’s father called the Mehra family to say that Rachna had agreed to the wedding! He had delayed the call, giving Rachna some time, in case she wanted to change her mind, but she didn’t. All at Mehra mansion were ecstatic, especially Akash who couldn’t stop smiling.
He called Rachna and told her how happy and relieved he was that she had agreed to the wedding. This made her more sad as she thought he was talking about her marriage to Ronnie. How did Akash know? Rachna wondered.
Maybe her parents had told him…
“Even I am happy” she replied.
Akash sensed that her voice was a little off.
“Rachna? Are you okay?” he asked a little worriedly.
“Yes” she replied. “I’m fine.”
They chatted a bit more and then hung up.
Soon, Rachna’s parents and the Mehra elders met and discussed wedding plans.
Everyone agreed that they would conduct this marriage in the traditional way… and Akash and Rachna would not meet till the day of their wedding. Akash was not too happy when he heard about this.
How was he supposed to confess his feelings to Rachna if he couldn’t meet her?
Who’s idea was this anyway? he wondered.
Doesn’t matter, he thought to himself.
He would just have to wait until their wedding day.
He only hoped that day arrived soon…..
Their wedding day arrived three weeks later…
Only Akash knew how he managed to stay away from her that long. He wasn’t even allowed to talk to her on the phone.
Could you believe that?!
Finally! He would see her in a little while.
Abhi, Pragya and Purab came to his room.
“How’s our handsome groom doing?” Pragya asked.
“I’m fine, Babhi” he replied.
“Really?” Abhi asked “Cuz you look at little impatient.”
“Can’t wait to see your bride?” Purab asked.
Akash blushed a little.
“Well he hasn’t seen her in more than three weeks, so he’s bound to be impatient” Abhi teased.
Aliya came in at that moment.
“Akash Bhai, it’s time to go.” She said.
He nodded and then the girls helped him wear his sehra, hiding his face.
“Ready?” Abhi asked.
Akash nodded and then they all escorted him to the car and then proceeded to Rachna’s house.
Rachna sat at the mandap next to him, wondering what the hell she had gotten herself into.
Why did she agree to this marriage?
So what if she couldn’t get married to Akash…was that that any reason to spoil someone’s life and her own in the process? She sneaked a glance at the man sitting next to her, but couldn’t see his face. It’s as too late now Rachna, she told herself.
You’ve made this decision and now you have to live with the consequences…
Akash made Rachna wear the mangalsutra and then applied sindoor.
They both got up afterwards and took the rounds and after the ceremony was over, they took the blessings of their elders. Soon, Rachna bid goodbye to her family and friends and they were on their way to Mehra Mansion.
In the car, Akash looked over at Rachna, who was staring out the window in total silence.
He reached over to hold her hand but she pulled away from him.
What th-? Akash thought.
What happened to her?
He hoped she wasn’t having second thoughts about marrying him…
He would talk to her once they were alone.
Rachna continued to stare out the car window.
That idiot tried to hold my hand, she thought angrily.
If he thinks that just because we are married I will be a docile wife, then he better think again! Her love was reserved for Akash only… so he better not try to get too close to her.
When they arrived home, they were greeted by Dadi, Taiji and Mitali Bhabhi who did their aarti and welcomed the bride into her new home. After completing a few rituals, Mitali Bhabhi then escorted Rachna to Akash’s room. “Why are you still wearing the sehra?” Dadi asked Akash. “You could have taken it off after ceremony” she said. “Really?” Akash asked in surprise. “Abhi and Purab told me that I have to keep wearing it till bedtime.” “And you believed them? They are fooling you.” Dadi said, laughingly.
“I won’t leave them!” he said, finally taking off his sehra.
Just then Aliya came up to them,
“Akash Bhaiya, Purab and Bhai are looking for you.”
“Even I am looking for them. Where are they?” he asked.
“In the garden” she replied.
“The garden? What are they doing there?” he asked.
“Can’t tell you” she said. “Sorry” and then left.
“Dadi, I’ll be back.” he said and went to the garden.
Rachna sat on the bed, awaiting her new groom.
She needed to speak with him to clear up a few things about their marriage.
What was taking him so long? she wondered.
She had been sitting here more than half an hour already.
She looked around the room and something caught her eye.
It was a picture on the nightstand. How did she not notice it when she walked in?
Truth be told, she hadn’t paid much attention to anything since she got here. There were four of them in it…four little kids…three boys and a girl.
Was it her imagination or did one of them completely resemble Akash?
Na, maybe she was mistaken.
What would his photo be doing here?
The others in the photo looked slightly familiar too… like she’d seen them somewhere before. She got off the bed and took a look around the room.
That’s when she saw it…
A picture of Akash lay on the nightstand on the the side of the bed.
Why is there a picture of Akash here?
At that moment someone entered the room.
Rachna turned towards them.
“Pragya Di?” Rachna asked in surprise. “What are you doing here?”
“I have come to take you to your husband.” she said.
“My husband?” Rachna asked.
“Yeah, your husband, Akash.” She said. “You two were married a little while ago, remember?” “Wait! What did you say?” Rachna asked.
“I said your husband Akash is waiting for you.” she repeated.
I married Akash? Rachna thought in disbelief.
She thought about everything that happened since her parents told her about the marriage proposal. She hadn’t even bothered to look at the photo.
She just picked it up and threw it away. She knew she had glimpsed Abhi Bhaiyya and Purab at the ceremony, but she was so disturbed at the thought of marrying Ronnie that she hadn’t even give it a second thought.
She was in Akash’s room…and that photo was of Akash, Purab, Pragya Di and Abhi Bhaiyya.
“Are you ok?” Pragya asked her, looking at her.
“Yes” Rachna said, smiling from ear to ear. “I am such an idiot.” “Why, what happened?” she asked.
“Nothing” Rachna replied, shaking her head.
Pragya looked at her in confusion, but didn’t question her further about it. “Shall we go then?” Pragya asked.
Then both girls left Akash’s room.
Rachna entered the garden, looking for Akash, but stopped when she noticed her surroundings.
Wow! she thought. This place looks amazing.
It was filled with various types of flowers, big, beautiful trees and a huge water fountain sat in the middle of it all. The entire garden was decorated with pretty lights all around. She spun around taking in the magnificent beauty of it all.
Her eyes then searched for Akash.
Where was he? she wondered. Pragya Di said he would be here waiting for me.
“Akash?” she called.
Akash had been standing behind the big tree, looking at her.
He saw her child-like innocence as she took in her beautiful surroundings.
He would have liked to be reason for the happiness on her face…but he couldn’t take credit for this. This was all done by Bhai, Bhabi and Purab.
When he came out to meet them, he too was greeted with this awesome surprise.
They had done this for him and Rachna, so he could finally bare his heart out to her in this magical place…
He came out from the shadows and stood a couple feet away from her.
“I’m here.” he said, coming closer to her.
Rachna turned and saw him.
Her heart was filled with happiness seeing him standing in front of her. “Akash, I…” she started to say, but he put a finger to her lips to stop her from talking.
“Before you say anything… or before I lose my nerve, there’s something I need to say to you…” he said. “But you have to promise you won’t say anything until I’ve finished.
“Okay, I promise.” she said, her curiosity awakened.
Akash took a deep breath and then began to speak…
“When we first met in college, I had no idea that we would end up here. I accepted you as my friend and your friendship meant the world to me.Then all of a sudden, everything changed. I started seeing you in a different light. I thought about you all the time and whenever my mind strayed, it always ended up right where it belonged…thinking of you. I didn’t even realise what was happening to me until someone else pointed it out. At first, I thought they were just speaking nonsense, but then I realised how right they were. Before I met you, I didn’t even know what it was like to look at someone and smile for no reason or to miss someone so much the minute we were apart.”
Rachna’s heart rate increased.
Akash continued, “I was always afraid to tell you how I felt because I feared you would reject me and I didn’t want to mess up our friendship. I would rather keep you in my life as a friend than not have you in my life at all.” “Akash, I…” Rachna said.
“Let me finish…” he said, smiling at her.
“Then after college, we went our separate ways. I thought that was the end of our story….until fate decided to bring you back into my life.” He paused and then started again.
“That accident was one of the worse things ever. It was hell for me waiting for you to wake up…hoping and praying that you were okay.” Tears quietly rolled down Rachna’s cheek.
“Seeing you again made me realise that my feelings never went away. They were just waiting for a glimpse of you to return. I felt as if life had given me a second chance with you and I was not going to let this opportunity go. With Dadi’s help. I explained everything to your parents and asked for your hand in marriage….and now here we are.” Akash wiped Rachna’s tears. He held her face in his hands.
“I love you, Rachna.” he said finally, his voice filled with so much emotion. “I love everything about you…your smile, your eyes, your personality, your kindness. Every time I look at you I fall in love with you again and again.” He continued, “The years we spent apart has made me realise that there is no one else for me except you. No one else has even entered my thoughts or my heart…”
He kissed her forehead.
“I love you…” he said again. “And I want to spend the rest our lives giving you the same amount of happiness that you have given me.” Fresh tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Okay, I’m done. You can speak now.” he said, his eyes filled with tears.
She had nothing to say.
He had spoken everything out so perfectly.
So she did the one thing that would make this night and his confession even more perfect…..
She reached up, threw her arms around his neck and kissed him!
Akash felt her lips on his and responded immediately.
He had waited for this moment for so long. It was even more perfect than he imagined. Rachna broke the kiss.
She hit him lightly on his shoulder and said, “It took you this long to say such a simple thing…”
Akash laughed a little.
“I love you, too” she said. “….more than you will ever know.”
Akash hugged her tightly, his heart filled with so much happiness. He then scooped his bride up in his arms and proceeded towards their room….
Precap; Rabul’s Story….
How was Akash and Rachna’s story…hope it wasn’t too long.
Priyanka, Varsha, Vigan, Haritha, Riya, Lotus, Aliza, Saranya, Minu, Reshma,Di,
Achu, Rithi, Sugan, Suhani choti, Akshaya, Nirmal, Shabana, Prabhi, Surbhi, Rosetta,
Aishwarya, Elinor, Yogi, Amy, Sheerapthinisd and Kumkum for your awesome comments.
Wanna wish best of luck to all the KKB cuties who are participating in the “Complete the Serial” competition…
I know you all will rock!
Wishing you all a belated Merry Christmas and all the best for the coming year!
Ok, I’m heading out now. Bye!