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“Dadi, I cannot marry her.” Abhi said, shaking her head in disbelief. Of course, he wanted to marry a girl he loved. He wanted a love marriage. He didn’t believe in an arranged marriage. Forget him believing. Even I didn’t believe. “Why abhi? They accepted you as their son-in-law already. Why are you being so difficult? This is the fourth girl you’re rejecting and I don’t know why you’re doing this. Don’t you respect us, abhi?” Dadi faked her anger. Dadi says “It’s high time you get married, son.You’re 21 and your career is alreadystable. Why don’t you take the next important step in life?” . Abhi thinks Every parent wants theirchild to live a happy life but a fact is that little do they know, how to keep a child happy. Aliya says” Bhai, bol raha hun tujhe, You’re indeep shit now…Arranged Marriage isa pain. Especially now, since you’re still young.”.abhi knew he was in trouble. His dadi didn’t like love. Love wasa word she hated and even if he ever fell in love, they would never accept his girl.”dadi, I cannot marry her.” He said, sternly again. He was way too stubborn to give in so easily.” Abhi tell me What’s the matter?”His dadi asked, worried.”Dadi, I… love someone else.” He made up an excuse and aliya rose her eyebrows and tilted her head. Dadi frozen at her place . She had a lot of things to ask him but she just needed to know one important thing. “Naam kya hai uska?” Dadi asked him. After a moment of thinking;” pragya…” He said and hung his head down, like he was guilty. He grinned evilly in his mind as he saw his dadi in deep thought, through his lashes. His lie was working.aliya was looking at him as though abhi was her role model. He was such a great actor. Abhi changed his expressions and further began tojustify what he said, to make it sound true.”She’s in my college. We’re dating for a year now.” He said and pressed his lips, to supress a laugh. Aliya was rubbing her finger on her chin, trying to understand what was happening.”Bring her home.” Dasi suggested and he looked up at them,with wide eyes. What would he do now?”Both of you don’t believe in love. Believe kya? You guys hate love na? Ab achanak kya hua?” He tried to divert them from the topic. “Your happiness is our happiness.” They said in Union. Abhi made a sad face. How could he escape now? Who could he bring in place of pragya?”If that’s the case, if you really want to see me happy, then please go find her yourself and bring her to me.” He said sarcastically and dadi, dasi were confused. However, they had to make their point clear. “If we find her and get you marriedto her, will you be okay with it?” Abhi smiled to himself and then looked up with a smile.”Hahahaha… You can try but you won’t succeed because there is no girl called pragya in college.” He said to himself.”Hmm…” He nodded and aliya let out a gasp.she surely wasn’t expecting such shocks from abhi herself. “Okay then. We’ll find her and get you married to her. And if we find her, she will be your wife. Okay?” Dadi countered an offer.
“Sure.” He winked secretly at aliya and walked happily into his room. Aliya followed him and bolted the door. “What was that? Who is this pragya ?” Aliya asked, completely shocked. She thought she knew everything about abhi but this revelation got her astonished. “My fake girlfriend.” He chuckled and aliya’s eyes widened further. “What?” She made a ridiculous expression and Abhi pressed his smile. He held aliya’s shoulders and smiled. “Hey relax. There is no such girl called pragya in our college. They’ll never find someone like her and hell, they can’t get me married to her.” He said confidently. Aliya sighed a breath of relief. “Acchha chal. Aaj party hai. Teri shaadi ke chakkar mein main bhul hi gaya.” She palmed her face and abhi smirked. “Vaise bhi, ek aur reason bhi hai party karne ki.” He winked and they both laughed. They went to the bar to party with their friends. It was a sunny day in mid-July. It was her second month in college but life had already become so complicated. I got ready and went down for breakfast. “Pragya, tum kal raat kuch bolne wali thi na? You love someone? M se kuch?” Sarla ma asked and pragya felt like her heart tear into pieces. “Umm… Kuch nahi. I’ll tell you once I come back.” Pragya said without making eye contact. She had been thinking about it the whole day yesterday and she had come to a decision.Sarla ma says “beta, it’s late. Chalo. Leave now.” Pragya nodded and took her things.she left to college in a cab. Incidents from last night flashed in her mind. Pragya was with Sarla ma, in the kitchen. They both were talking about sarla ma and pappa’s story and just when pragya was about to tell her about something, her phone rang. “PRAGYA, suno. I have to meet you. Please. Your terrace now. It’s urgent.””tanu, are you fine? ” ha I have to say one important thing..””Okay, main aa rahi hun.””ma, I’ll be back in a minute.” Pragya ran upstairs and unlocked my terrace door. Pragya didn’t know how she was already there but she didn’t care. “Tanu kya hua?” She was in such adisheveled state. Pragya had never seen her that disturbed ever. “Pragya, I think I love Mani.”It came as a shock to pragya and she stepped away. “Actually, i loved him since school and until yesterday I didn’t realize. I really do, pragya and I need your help.”tanu finished . “Tanu, are you serious?” Pragya asked her just to confirm if she was really interested in him. “Kyun? Nahi lagta?” She asked with pain in her eyes.pragya smiled and put her hand on her shoulder. “Nahi. Don’t worry. Main hun na? I’ll help you tell him.”pragya says smilling. Tanu smiled and hugged her tight. Pragya closed her eyes and wiped tears were sheding her eyes but she wiped as quickly as she could. “Thank you so much pragya ! I love you.” Tanu said .pragya smiled and hugged her again.
Pragya reached college and searched for Mani. He was in their classroom, writing something down. “Mani…” pragya calls him bending over his desk to see what he was doing. “Pragya! Come sit.” He moved away and pulled her onto his seat. “I am writing a song. Tell me how it is na?”He said, completely engrossed in his work. Pragya put her elbow on the table and cupped her chin with her palm and looked at him in pain. PRAGYA says ,mani I had to tell you something before that.” She said to stop herself from admiring him. Then pragya looked down and fidgeted with her kurti top. “Hmm…” “t.. tanu… She loves you.” PRAGYA said and looked away. He dropped his pen and turned towards pragya . “Tanu?” Mani asked hrr and pragya nodded without looking at him. “But how? How can I? She’s just my friend pragya. My best friend. That’s it. I don’t feel anything morefor her.” He confessed. He never had a clue about her feelings for him either. “I know but she is our best friend and I think you should accept her, for our friendship’s sake at least. What do you think?” Only pragya knew how much it hurt her to say those words. But tanu was her best friend. He stood up and went to the window.”I don’t know.” That’s all he said. That was the hardest thing pragya had done in her life. He knew pragya loved him. Maybe she didn’t tell him on his face but he did know. He was her best friend and he was way closer to pragya than tanu. If only life was much simpler.
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