Some days are not ours. May be it was not her day. But then the time played a game and added a very unexpected turn to the journey of her life.
Ragini clutched the cloth of her dress. She closed her eyes when the veil was raised and he placed the holy red powder marking her hairline perfectly. That tear of her finally dropped out of her eye.
Life could have been a lot different an hour ago. She did not knew what she was feeling.
After the marriage rituals were over she sat in her new room. She had spent many moments of her life in that same room which looked like a place she had never seen. She heard the creaking sound of the door which opened and a pair of legs walked towards her. She tightened her grip over her cloth as the anxiety of her heart just went on increasing.
She jerked when he sat beside her.
“Um” he cleared his throat. “Actually. I have to adjust in this room only. But don’t worry I will manage on the floor” he said and her heart relaxed and gained the usual speed. He picked on of the pillow and a thick blanket and moved to her back to lie on the ground.
She lifted her veil and watched him sleep on the floor.
That was her husband Mr. Lakshya Maheshwari. Who knew he will be in her life in this way. She definitely did not expect this to happen.
Her face turned painful and she controlled that bitter cry of hers and ran to the washroom. She let out all her emotions at once. She turned the shower on so that her cry doesn’t leave the washroom. She collapsed on the ground as the water droplets fell on her.
The droplets sure wiped the vermilion in her hairline but they could not wash that mark which was proof that she was bound to him for not just this birth but to next seven births according to the scriptures.
The mantras from the marriage rituals still played in her mind and every vow she was bound to came alive and she did not had any escape from it.
Lakshya who heard the sound of the shower woke up and looked at the bed which was empty. He moved to the washroom and banged on the door.
“Ragini…” he called but there was no response. “Ragini…” he again banged. “Are you okay? You are scaring me. Will you open the door?” he asked leaning to the door. “I…” she gulped the soar feeling at her throat. “I’m just taking a shower” she replied and he relaxed. “Oh okay” he left a breath to relax himself.
“See I’m not great at consoling people but I can try. You can sure share with me anything” he had a hope while he spoke that.
“Um hm” she just said controlling her cry. “Thanks” she closed her eyes tightly to stop those flooding emotion of hers. She walked to the door and opened it without realizing she was dripping with water.
Lakshya who was a bit away from the door turned to find her drenched in water. She did not had the courage to look into his eyes. “Are you out of your damn senses?” he quickly grabbed the towel approaching her.
He wiped her face and her hair. He saw her hairline which was washed off. Somewhere deep down his heart it pinched him and he had a strange pain. Why was he even feeling it?
He slowly composed himself and wiped her face and brought a night dress from the closet and handed her. “If you have finished taking shower without undressing yourself by mistake change your dress for the sake of your health” he coldly spoke and Ragini stood non reacting.
He looked at her coldly and waited for her to grab the clothes but she did not do it for an unusually long time. “Ragini” he said a bit loud jerking her.
She looked at the clothes in Lakshya’s hand. She took it and walked inside the washroom again. He rolled his eyes and walked to the place he was sleeping earlier.
As he heard the washroom door opening sound he turned to look at her. She had worn the night dress. He relaxed and lied back closing his eyes again.
The day wasn’t any easy. Finally the night was going to add some moments of comfort to the already messed up life. But the coming days were not any easy for the newly wed Maheshwari couple.
Ragini walked to her room wiping the tears in her and closed the door behind. Her mother in law again taunted her. It was not anything new from past month. But this time she brought that past up again.
Lakshya walked inside the home extremely tired and collapsed on the couch. He felt it strange when he did not find Ragini bringing a glass of water for him. He looked around for her but she was not there.
He thought of asking his mother but her last time reaction scared him and he walked to check by himself. He peeped inside the kitchen to find Parinita his sister in law helping his mother who looked a bit agitated over something. It wasn’t abnormal. She hated almost everything.
As soon as he realized Ragini was not in kitchen he walked to the terrace where he thought she might be drying the clothes. But she wasn’t there also. So finally he walked to his room.
He looked at the door which was closed. He knocked on it calling her name. Ragini who was near the door still wiped her face quickly and wore her normal face and opened the door.
She looked at Lakshya confused. He analyzed her face and found traces of tears. She walked inside not able to tolerate his gaze.
“What happened to you?” he asked her but she did not turn. “Nothing” she said and he held her by her elbow and dragged her to face him.
“Will you say now?” he asked staring straight into her eyes. She felt weak. But controlled her tears. And when the pain on her face was evident he tightened his grip on her.
“Again mom spoke something isn’t it?” he asked but she did not reply for a moment then nodded her head in a NO. He closed his eyes taking a deep breath.
“You try it how many times ever you know very well you cannot hide things from me. Then why do you even try?” he whispered dangerously and jerked her hand and turned to walk. But soon Ragini acted quickly and held him by his shoulder.
“Laksh. No please” she pleaded him. He closed his fist. “Please” she collapsed holding his hand. Her pain squeezed his soul. He closed his eyes to cool his anger and when he heard her sobs it instantly cooled down.
He turned to look at her and the pain in his heart shot up. He knelt in front of her and she hugged him immediately scattered.
He rubbed her back consoling her.
“I’m tired Ragini. I’m really tired. Please don’t do this to me” he said in a cracking voice. “Unless you share your pain I can’t help you to come out of this” his voice touched her heart which started pondering suddenly. She dragged herself out of the hug.
“It’s my pain Laksh. And I have to tolerate it all alone” she said painfully. “Trust me once” he said and she looked into his eyes which were sparkling.
The light which could drag the darkness completely out of her life. “Once” he repeated. Is she ready to move from that moment and embrace the new path of her life? Or she is too afraid to explore the unknown road.
“I wish it was easy Laksh” she whispered weakly and fainted. He collected her scattered self in his arms. “I will hold you if you fall trust me” a line from the past just made his heart sink more. He placed her on the bed and watched her face.
And his memories traveled in reverse gear.
Ragini was lying beside him on the same bed but it was her best buddies room so she never had the fear of judgment.
“Take” Laksh forward the chocolate after taking the wrapper out of it. She ate it and closed her eyes in appreciation. “You know Sameer Bhai is coming back after so many years and I’m so damn happy” he said with a squeal and Ragini smiled looking at his happiness.
“I don’t remember much about him. I wish he was here with us” Ragini said and Laksh nodded his head. “I wish too but Buwa maa did not had kids na so mumma sent him with her. And after Bua maa and Fufa ji’s accident last week it left him with no choice but to return to us” Laksh said looking at their family picture which was hung on the wall. He was standing with his brother who was 12 years old then just 4 years elder to him.
Ragini walked inside the Maheshwari mansion like always. Running and excited. “Lucky” she screeched happy and looked around for her childhood friend. “Arrey Ragini” his mother walked with a smile and caressed her cheek lovingly.
“Aunty where is Lucky? Our results are out and he topped” she jumped in excitement. “He must be in his room. You know the kumkaran, Has he woken up this early in vacations?” she nodded her head and walked to the kitchen. Ragini nodded her head and walked towards Laksh’s room.
“Ohho” Lakshya’s mother placed her head on her forehead. Parinita who was beside her looked confused.
“What happened Maaji?” she asked. “I forgot to tell Ragini that Lakshya’s room has changed” she said and took a deep sigh.
Ragini who was near the door found it open. She smirked and walked inside tiptoeing. She chuckled looking at the bed and slowly took the jug on the side table and splashed the water on the sleeping figure on the bed.
“Oh god. Did I slip inside the pool?” he screamed getting up from his bed. Ragini who was laughing realized it was not Lakshya’s voice. She gulped all the air and stood shocked as he turned.
His face was dripping water. He looked at her and his annoyance just vanished from his face. He was lost in her face.
“Hey Bhagwan Ragini. You woke him up” she walked to Ragini who finally landed back in the real world. “Sorry” she said in a cracking voice. Sameer who was staring her blinked his eyes. He wiped his face and said “It’s okay” Ragini just ran from there and Lakshya’s mother watched her and nodded her head.
Ragini collided with Lakshya in the hall and they both fell on the ground in opposite direction. “Half cracked girl. Have you become half blind also?” he rubbed his hurting temple and stood up. Ragini who always countered him this time just ran from there and he looked at her surprised.
All were congratulating each other after the pandit announced the date of Ragini and Sameer’s marriage. Sameer smiled at Ragini who was nervous extremely.
Though all were busy Lakshya understood that she was not excited about the idea of marriage. He walked behind her to her room.
“What happened?” he asked and she turned jerked. “Thank god you came” she dragged him inside the room. “Now will you speak?” he asked her and she looked at him with the unsure gaze.
“I’m scared” she uttered finally. Lakshya smiled at her. “You are going to get married girl not to fight any war so chill” he said relaxing.
“You don’t understand Lucky. I’m feeling weird. Too much weird” she said squeezing her hands. He placed his hand over her hands and she looked up to meet his eyes.
“You need not get scared. He is my brother and I know he will keep you happy always” Laksh gave her an assuring smile. She felt a bit comfortable.
“I don’t know Lucky. I feel like I’m going to fall. Too hard. Don’t misunderstand me but I can’t help it” she said worried. He cupped her face and kissed her forehead.
“Even if your going to fall. I will hold you. There is no second thought in that” he smiled and she smiled finally feeling calm and better.
He looked at Ragini for the last time. “Promise me you will be okay” he said and Ragini nodded her head feeling the emotions building in her heart more and more as the time passed.
She had not stayed away from Laksh from the time she has realized her life. But now there was no choice. He had to go to London to pursue his dream course.
Laksh walked towards the check in gate and as the time passed he felt something was going to slip out of his life. Something very dear.
He found Sameer rubbing Ragini’s shoulder to console her from the glass in front of him. He was happy that his best friend got the most precious thing of her life a right life partner.
Laksh jerked hearing the alarm clock. He turned it off and looked at Ragini’s face. He sighed when he found her still sleeping calmly.
He wiped his face and walked to the wash room to freshen himself.
He leaned his head to the closed door and stared the ceiling. How much he wished he could have expressed his feelings on the right time. Things wouldn’t have been so complicated.
He was damn happy land back in India. That huge grin on his face was the proof of it. Though he came for only few days to attend his best friend’s marriage with his brother still it was special.
He ran inside Ragini’s room leaving his luggage at the door. Ragini’s mom nodded her head looking at his excitement to meet his best friend.
He opened the door and found Sameer hugging Ragini. For the very first time that pain arouse in his heart. When Sameer dragged her out and kissed her forehead he felt a tear developing in his eye.
That comfort was gone leaving his soul and what he felt now was just pain. Just pain.
“I’m sorry” he spoke and they both jerked and looked at him. He smiled weakly at his brother and turned to look at Ragini.
Her eyes were sparkling. He narrowed his eyebrows. Why?
The preparations were on full swing and Lakshya could not find time to talk to Ragini. He felt his heart was sinking with each passing second. Now he knew what has slipped out of his life. He could just cry over the things nothing else.
But time played a very strange game. When Lakshya was in Ragini’s home for her Haldi function he got a chance finally to talk to her.
Ragini walked to her room after the ritual and he walked to the room after some time.
As he opened the room’s door he found Ragini sitting on the bed with her head dropped down staring the ground. He understood that she was getting more and more nervous to take the next step of her life.
“Are you okay?” he asked as he sat beside her. She turned and hugged him immediately and squeezed him in her hold and made it clear how much she had missed him and how much she needed him.
Laksh rubbed her back to console her. “Please Ragini don’t cry. I can’t see you like this” he said in a cracking voice and she squeezed her eyes painfully.
She relaxed a bit when he spent some time with her.
She sat there like a lifeless body. Her mother sat beside her trying to console her. “Ragini beta it’s fine. See don’t take this to your heart” she said controlling her emotions. Ragini did not react.
Her dad was crying bitterly looking at the ground and his turban was about to fall but Lakshya held it in time. He made him stand and wiped his tears.
He walked towards the mandap where Ragini was sitting without moving. Everyone looked at him dazed. “Pandit Ji please start the rituals” he said. His mother looked at him shocked.
“Are you out of your mind Laksh? She was supposed to be your Bhabi and moreover she is responsible that Sameer my son isn’t with us” his mother spat bitterly and Ragini held her clothes tightly.
“And she is my best friend mom. She doesn’t deserve this. She doesn’t deserve this life nor she deserves this pain” he said determined and the Pandit finally started chanting those mantras sitting in front of the holy fire.
And the galaxies witnessed their marriage and a union which will last for many births.
Ragini jerked hearing the whistle the cooker made. She nervously moved her hands to get the hold of the things around her. She shivered nervously when the cooker whistled for the second time.
“Ragini. Will you get the food today only?” she heard her mother in laws voice which made her more nervous. Laksh who was at the door looked at her confused. She was shivering uncontrollably.
He walked to her and held her hand. She looked at him and her heart relaxed a bit. Her eyes sparkled with the tears. “Relax Ragini. What happened to you?” he asked and she looked down and nodded her head.
He looked at her confused. “Isn’t she gets tired of this daily drama?” his mother spoke walking inside with twitched face and Laksh closed his fist in anger. He was about to speak when he felt her hand on his shoulder. He turned to look at her and she nodded her head in No. He gave her an annoyed look.
Jerking her hand away he walked out. ‘If you want to handle it all alone what can I do’ he spoke in his mind and walked out of the mansion.
It was just another day. Ragini though did not revert but somehow made her mother in law forget that bitterness. Her eyes popped out when she was arranging the things over the dining table and her nostrils sensed the same cologne. She turned to find him at the door. Her mother in law squealed in happiness hugging her elder son. Sameer stared in her eyes and her heart dropped to her stomach. He looked at her closely and that vermilion in her hairline just made his anger burst and he squeezed his hand forming a fist.
Ragini gulped in scared looking at his face which changed the expression.
All were happy as Sameer had returned except two people. Ragini reluctantly tried acting normal but Lakshya was too much annoyed with his arrival.
Though everyone blamed Ragini for his disappearance on the marriage day Lakshya knew what his best friend was and he hated his brother for leaving her in that state.
But he was worried the way Ragini was behaving.
“Ragini” he called her looking at her. She looked at him. He signed her to sit beside him and she complied. “I know it is difficult to live under the same roof with the person who left you on your marriage day and complicated your life. If you wish we will go away” he said concerned and Ragini looked at him. She smiled sadly.
“And get one more blame for breaking the family” she mocked at her fate. He neared her and held her hand and kissed it with care. “Why do you worry about what people speak? Live your life the way you want” he smiled at her and she smiled back.
She placed her head over his chest. ‘If it was as easy it looked Laksh’ she spoke in her mind and Laskh caressed her hair.
She was arranging the closet in her room. She felt a grip on her waist. It was him. Her heart beat just galloped. “Sa…sameer. Leave me” she tried getting out of his hold.
“Not bad jaan. You did not forgot my touch. Should I say my brother is inefficient to make you forget my touch?” his words near her ears made her numb. She struggled to get out of his hold.
He turned her and held her face squeezing her jaws. She looked at him horrified. “I had told you that you always belonged to me Ragini. Then why did you even marry my brother” he dragged her near to himself.
“Sameer please let me go” she cried. “For denying me that day you are already paying the price darling. You want to do the same mistake again?” asked he and she looked at him devilish face and his acts from the past made the wounds on her soul come alive.
She squeezed her eyes feeling utterly helpless in his hold. “Today nobody can stop me. And moreover my brother will be the one who will have to tolerate you all his life and I can do what I wanted to do with you just for once and get rid off. But my brother came at the wrong time and I have to leave the marriage. Because I never wanted to marry you.” he pushed her on the bed and towered her.
“I just wanted to crush you under me once” he squeezed her cheek with his cheek and she suffocated in his hold. “Please” he closed her mouth and she tried screaming but failed.
Her eyes dropped the tears smearing her kohl and she bitterly cried over her fate. She was finally accepting that it was good that this monster left her on the marriage day. She remembered how he had scratched her back on Haldi function day when she refused his advances. She moved her hands when he was trying to control her body under him and found a wooden decorative and hit it on his head.
He winced in pain and moved away leaving her. Ragini ran out of her room. As she was running with her vision blurred due to her tears collided with Laksh and he held her from falling.
`She immediately hugged him and let out all her emotions on his chest. He looked at her worried. “Are you okay?” he asked her and she just tightened her grip on his blazer and cried more. He looked front and found Sameer walking out of his room.
When he brought her to face him he found her unconscious. He lifted her and walked to their room. He looked at the messed up bed sheet and his heart was sinking.
He sat in front of Ragini and waited for her to gain consciousness. She slowly opened her eyes and found Laksh’s face. She rubbed her paining head. As she sat he made her drink the water. “Relax” he said and Ragini took slow relaxing breaths.
“You are okay right?” he asked and she just nodded her head.
Ragini was washing the dishes in the night after everyone had finished the dinner. As she turned wiping her hands she found Sameer standing at the door blocking her way.
Her eyes were filled with tears. He rubbed the band aid on his forehead. “You will pay for this” he walked inside the kitchen and closed the door behind. Ragini back walked and collided with the kitchen counter.
“Please Sameer. Don’t do this with me. I’m your brother’s wife” she folded her hands. “I know that very well” he held the mangalsutra in her neck.
“And now I regret that I should have married you. I love to torture you” he smirked and dragged her near to him holding her waist. She landed on his chest and looked into his scary eyes.
“How I wish to kill your so called good for nothing husband and make you mine for forever” he moved his nose touching her cheek and inhaling her fragrance.
Lakshya yawned looking at his laptop. He looked at his watch. “Wasn’t she supposed to come back to room at this time?” he narrowed his eyebrows.
Ragini released herself from his hold and looked around. She pounced to grab a knife and pointed it at Sameer. He looked at her shivering her hand and smirked.
“You thing it is some toy jaan?” he asked approaching her. She tried to scare him but he did not budge. They heard a knock on the kitchen door. Sameer grabbed the knife from her hand and she ran towards the door and opened it.
Sameer looked at the door and dropped the knife immediately on the ground. “Oh thank god mom you came” he walked and hugged his mother and dropped fake tears.
“You saved me from this disgusting girl” he looked at his mother who looked at him dazed. She moved her eyes to look at Ragini who nodded her head dropping the tears.
“She was trying to seduce me. I tried explaining her that she is married to my brother and she should not do this with him but she. She was hellbent on getting me back in her life. She said Laksh is an impotent man who cannot keep her happy. She craves for me. I left her for the same reason mom. She wanted to enjoy being with both of us brothers” he said and Ragini closed her fist and let out the tears squeezing her eyes.
Sameer felt a grip on his collar. And in next moment he was being dragged by Lakshya. His eyes were emitting fire. He punched Sameer’s nose which broke and started bleeding.
“One more word against my wife and I will forget that you came from my mother’s womb” he warned again punching Sameer.
“Laksh” his mother tried stopping him. But he did not budge.
“He is talking nonsense mom and how can you let him speak?” he asked her and she sighed taking a deep breath. “I know he is talking non sense. But Ragini deserves to punish him” she said and Ragini looked at him surprised.
“I came to know in the evening only but then I thought if she tells you this then it will be better” Laksh’s hold loosened on his brother’s collar. He looked at Ragini. She was about to run but felt a hand on her wrist. It was her mother in law. “If you run away today you will prove him that you are meant to suffer this. Don’t do it to yourself Ragini. Fight. Fight for your self respect. For the upbringing your parent have given you” her mother in law looked at her smiling.
Ragini looked at Sameer and walked to him and slapped him across on his cheek. “This for trying to take advantage of me on Haldi function” Laksh heard her and his memories played of that day when he found those tears in Ragini’s eyes.
She slapped him hard again. “This for evening” she said with the cracking voice. She slapped him one more time and hit him with her closed fits. “This for assuming me I’m weak” she cried. Lakshya held her by her shoulders and she placed her head on his shoulder.
His mother walked to Sameer and slapped him. “This is for being my son” she held his collar and dragged him towards the door and threw him outside.
“Remember if you show me your face again I won’t hesitate to end the same life I gave you. Get lost” she closed the door on his face. Ragini collapsed on the ground.
Lakshya looked at his mother who signed him to take her and he complied.
He made her sit on the bed and was about to move when she held his wrist. He looked at her and sat in front of her. He tucked the hair strand behind her ear and looked at her emotionally.
“I love you Ragini. Not from now. But from always. But realized it very lately” his words made her look into his eyes which had love. Limitless love for her.
“I…I” she struggled to form words. “Shhh” he placed his finger on her lips. “You need not accept it. I just wanted to tell you what I felt for you at the time when I know I can’t live without you” he said and she hugged him.
“I love you Lakshy. I love you” she grabbed him as near as possible. Definitely this was not the turn she expected but never the less it was the most beautiful turn of her life. Finally the dark clouds moved making the sunlight brighten every corner of her soul bringing that ultimate comfort. Sukoon.