Ladoo…” Ranjit approached Ragini’s room. He saw Mishal at the edge of the bed. He was about to fall down from the bed Ranjit swiftly ran to him and prevented him from falling. “Michu” Ragini rushed to Ranjit. “Ladoo. Where were you ha? He was about to fall. What if he would have fallen?” Ranjit screamed patting his back who was crying miserably.
Ragini smiled looking at his concern. Whatever the situation the fact was Mishal was his son. The blood and genes which connected them made him feel for his son finally. “What? Am I joking? Can’t you take care of my son” he paused. “Finally you said that word” Ragini smiled at him widely. He handed Mishal to Ragini and was walking away. Ragini held his hand.
“Enough Bhai. You know how much you are hurting Michu and yourself and more than that you are hurting Shona. Don’t you know how much she loved her kid. How many dreams she had. She tho could not fulfill it. At least if you love her try to fulfill her wishes” her voice cracked remembering Swara. He jerked her hand and walked away.
“Arrey tomorrow is Janmashtami and tonight there will be Jagran in Mandir. Pandit ji has specially requested Ladoo to sing evening Arti” Simi held Ragini from her shoulder when they were having lunch. “Today? How? No chachi. You know I stopped singing. I cannot sing anymore” Ragini wiped her hands and got up and sat on Sofa with Mishal. “Gaa lena. I know you miss Swara so you don’t sing. But have you thought about her how bad she will be feeling that you have stopped living your life behind her?” Supriya cupped her face. She nodded her head with a smile on her face.
“I never have seen Swara. Ragu will you tell me how was she?” Niya sat on the other side of Ragini. Ragini chuckled and looked at Swara’s photo. “Swara…. Swara was like the smallest kid in our home. She used to be my partner in all my pranks and first victim also sometimes. But very pure by heart and used to accept everyone. Once Swara trusts someone that person can never be wrong. I don’t know how she used to trust people. You can call it blind at times but it never broke.”
“Ragu my only wish is give one chance to RB” Swara said when she was receiving gifts on her Godh Bharai. Ragini side hugged her and patted her head. “Shona. He wont come back ever. Forget” Ragini kissed her hair. “Will you ever?” Swara looked up at her. “I cannot” “Same goes with me. Swara and Ragini are different kya?” Swara smiled and Ragini nodded her head and said “Ok”
“Then?” Niya’s voice brought her to present. “They both used to torture everyone from Kaali Prasad to Shop keeper of our Mohalla” said Ravi. “Kaali Prasad?” asked Niya confused. “Kaali Prasad our street dog” said Ranjit. Everyone looked at him surprised. He had stopped getting involved in family talks. “Ya Kaali Prasad” Ragini smiled and everyone’s attention moved to her. “Ragu dee. You haven’t taught him a lesson from long time na? He is roaming like king of street you know” Nikit sat beside Supriya. She hit him on his head.
“Shall we teach a lesson to KP” asked Niya excited. “KP?” asked Supriya. “Ohho Badi maa Kali Prasad” said Niya. Supriya remembered how Swara used to talk in similar way and smiled emotionally. “Ragu” she shook Ragini. Ragini nodded her head hesitantly. “Magar it’s long time. He might have become aggressive” Ravi looked at them concerned. “Tho Hamari Ladoo kya kam hai?Sherni hai iss gali ki. Inn mamuli Kaali Prasad tho dhum dabaake bhaag jayenge” Niya spoke proudly. “So tho hai” Simi chuckled. “Chalo Chalo” Niya took Mishal and handed him to Ranjit who held him reluctantly.
After an hour Ragini entered the home giggling and excited. Ravi and Ranjit looked at her and smiled. Rajesh was so happy he smiled through his tears looking at his Ladoo smiling after years. Simi placed her hand on Supriya’s shoulder who was watching Ragini emotionally. Nikit entered jumping behind them. “It was really awesome Ni” Ragini gave high five to Niya who smiled and turned to Ravi who whispered a thanks. She blinked her eyes at him.
“Patha hai Michu maa tied the kite to Kaali Prasad’s tail after two years. And he was so sad.” Ragini took Mishal in her hands and walked to her room narrating. Everyone smiled looking at her happiness. “Thank you beta” Simi caressed Niya’s hair who hugged her back smiling. “Hope she gets her married life also on track soon” Rajesh spoke. “Rajesh. I think we had enough discussion over it. I wont let her go to him again never again. That marriage had no meaning at all.” Supriya looked at him.
“Yeh kya? Mala ke beech me Mangalsutr(What’s this? Mangalsutra in between garland?)” the Pandit looked at Ragini’s neck where the garland which fell from Raj’s hand was hanging around her neck. She removed the garland and everyone could see the Mangalsutra. It was Shivratri Puja and there were Mantras playing for the marriage. You consider it as destiny. The garland which slipped from Raj’s hand directly landed in Ragini’s neck. He was carrying the Mangalsutra Sunita had ordered to make for Shiva Parvati marriage ritual in Mandir. She removed the garland and stood numb.
“Arrey isse ache se shaadi aajthak kisiki nai hui. Shiv Parvati ji ke vivah ka hi muhurat. Thum dono kithne bhagyashali ho”(Till now no marriage has taken place in such auspicious time same as Shiv Parvati marriage muhurat, you both are very lucky) the Pandit touched Ragini and Raj’s heads who were standing facing each other. Sunita who was behind Raj was looking at them shocked. The Pandit left from there. “I don’t believe in this marriage” Ragini held the mangalsutra but stopped. She was blank. Raj smiled through his tears. “I know this happened without our wish but then it is marriage. You will be always my wife you believe it or not your heart knows it” he back walked looking at her. Sunita stood there unmoved.
“Bhabi you cannot deny the fact when Gudiya herself has accepted it” Rajesh’s voice brought her to present. “Haven’t you tried everything to separate them but could you really draw her away from Raj?” asked Rajesh. “Bass uska koi naam nai lega iss ghar me(No one will even mention his name in this house)” “Pehle apni Lado ke dil se tho mita dijiye yeh naam(First erase his name from Lado’s heart)” he mocked at her walking inside.
“Ragini” Supriya walked to Ragini’s room. Ragini hid her mangalsutra which she was wearing and hid it and wore the chunni to cover it. “What is this you aren’t ready. I told you na we have to go to temple early morning. I missed Mahashivratri Puja also yesterday. I don’t want to miss early morning Pooja today. Get ready fast” Supriya walked out nodding her head and Ragini sighed with relief.
“Chale” when Supriya was about to walk out they found Sunita with Shagun Thal. She was shocked. “Aap” she looked at Sunita shocked. “Ji wo kal jo hua mandir me uske baad socha Ragini aur Raj tho ek dusre ke liye hi bane hai aur iss shadi ko dhum dham se manate hai(Whatever happened yesterday in Mandir from that it is clear that Ragini and Raj are meant for each other. So thought of celebrating their marriage with all the rituals)” Sunita placed the Shagun thal on the table and stood in front of Supriya who was confused.
Ragini was shocked. She placed her hand on the Mangalsutra which was hiding beneath her dress. She was sweating badly. “Kal?” she asked Sunita confused. Sunita nodded her head smiling. Raj was standing behind Sunita who just boiled her blood. He was looking around feeling awkward. Supriya turned her glares to Ragini who got nervous due to her mom’s gaze and lowered her head. “Kya bol rahi hai yeh?” Supriya shook Ragini holding her hands. Ragini looked at her teary eyed.
“Maa maa it wasn’t my mistake maa. It just….” she tried explaining but her mangalsutra peeped out of her dress which Supriya noticed and touched it and brought it out. “Yeh kya hai?” asked she shocked, “Maa wo…” Ragini felt difficult to answer. “Kya hai Lado yeh bataa” she screamed and Ragini jerked due to it and stood stumbling.
“Dekhiye Supriya ji jo bho hua Shiv ji ki marzi thi. Inki shaadi honi thi hogayi. Aap please shanth hojayi hum yeh shaadi dhum dhaam se karenge. Mera wada hai aapse(Whatever happened was due to God’s wish. They were meant to get married so it just happened according to fate. I promise you we will do their marriage with all the rituals and grandly)” Sunita placed her hand on Supriya’s shoulder to console her . She jerked Sunita’s hand.
She neared Ragini and held the mangalsutra to pull it but Ragini stopped her by holding her hand and nodded her head painfully. She folded her hands begging. Supriya was afraid of this point of Ragini’s life where she will fall weak and she fell weak. She couldn’t hold it. Rajesh took off Supriya’s hand and requested her to stop it. She fumed and held Ragini from her elbow. “Mai kabhi nai manungi iss shaadi ko. Decide now either he or me?” her eyes were on fire. “Maa?” whispered Ragini.
Then her eyes moved to Raj who walked to the door. He smiled at her weakly and walked out. Sunita tried stopping but he wasn’t there. “I’m sorry maa. Meri liye aapse. Iss family se important koi nai hai” she hugged Supriya. She patted Ragini’s head and turned to Sunitha. “Mil gaya aapko apna Jawab. Abb aap yeha se jaa sakti hai” (You got your answer? Now you can leave) Supriya folded her hands. Sunita walked out helplessly. Ragini hugged Supriya tight and sobbed. “I cannot trust a person like him for my Ladoo’s future. Tomorrow he will say I was confused. I don’t love Ragini also. I can’t let her go through same what I went through. Let her stay unmarried all her life I don’t give a damn” Supriya caressed Ragini’s hair who closed her eyes painfully.
“Badi maa. This will fit Mishal na?” Niya’s voice brought Supriya to present and she smiled and nodded her head looking at the little Krishna dress in Niya’s hand. Niya walked to Ragini’s room with it. Supriya got back to her work.
“I tried everything dad. Everything. And now she is stuck between her mom and me. I can’t tell her to choose me dad. I totally don’t deserve her. She will never come back to me dad. I lost her. I just lost her. I can’t stay here anymore” Rajbeer looked at Sanjay helplessly. “Okay beta as you wish. You look after our London business I will arrange everything for your travel and stay there” Sanjay caressed his hair to cool him. Raj nodded his head still in his embrace.
“Sanjay. Come fast please we are getting late” he heard Sunita’s voice and fixed his hair. He walked to the hall. “Arrey Raj. What you will do alone here. Come with us” he looked at Raj who was sitting on the sofa. Raj looked at Sunita who moved her eyes away and he felt bad. “No dad I’m okay. Anyways I’m leaving tomorrow evening. I have to do packing also” he looked at Sunita. “But beta…” Dadaji spoke but was interrupted by Sunita who said “Bauji we should not force people to believe. Everyone has their own priorities. If they feel their family is important they will surely come otherwise let them do whatever they want to” she looked at Raj from corner of her eye. He was blankly staring at her. His eyes moved to Sanjay who signed him to join and he smiled and walked with them.
Mann Mohana…… Mann Mohana…..
Kanha Sunona….. Tum bin pavu kaise chain
Tarsu tumhi ko din rain
Chod ke apne kaashi mathura
Chod ke apne kaashi mathura
Aake baso mere nain….
Tum bin pavu kaise chain Kanha
Tarsu tumhi ko din raina
Ragini sang closing her eyes and fully devoted in the song. Everyone were lost in her melodious voice and the surrounding of the temple which was divine
Raas Rachiya Brindaban ke gokul ke baasi
Raj stepped out of the car and stood in front of the temple
Raadha tumri daasi darshan ko hai pyasi
Again the same voice and his heart leaped for a second. Like from many days he was wandering in a desert and finally found water. His happiness was of that level
Shyam salone nanda laala kishna banwasi
He couldn’t take the next step as his breathing seemed difficult
Tumri chab hai nyari
He climbed the steps with difficulty like his mind and heart were on a battle field.
Mai tho hu tanman hari.
Man mohana…… Man mohana….. Mann. Mohana……
He walked passing all people
Mann Mohana…… Mann Mohana…..
Kanha Sunona….. Tum bin pavu kaise chain
Tarsu tumhi ko din rain
He stood behind her and she stopped when she felt his presence. But the devotees were busy in chanting mantras and the sounds of the bells did not stop.
She turned slowly nervous, Mishal was clapping his hands in her hold smiling with a unknown happiness.
Hai mera mann angan….
Mann Mohanaa….. Mann mohana….
Finally he was so near to her and she was standing in front of him. Both of them stood numb. The moment came after ages. Tears were not willing to drop down their eyes and emotions were not ready to express. Their body was too numb too react.
Raj remembered how he heard the voice and every time only and only Ragini’s face used to flash in front of him. Whenever he closed his eyes only face which used to come in his memory was Ragini’s and only hers. Was it destiny or his hearts feeling for Ragini. His heart was never confused. He left a breath he was holding for a long time and finally blinked his eyes. He tried to understand what is happening.
Ragini was numb. She stood unmoved. Her all memories with Raj flashed in just few minutes. His care, their Roka and the accidental marriage and after that her heart never left missing him even for a second. She tried. Tried a lot to hate him but every time she fell more deeply for him. Now she was in a stage where her love had turned into devotion. He comes or doesn’t come in her life that place was only for him. He deserved it or not that she did not knew. But she couldn’t think of someone else in that position. She blinked her eyes to control her flooding emotions.