THE BEST BETTER HALF – One Shot

4

It was a rainy evening. Aadhya was sitting near her window and was admiring the rain drops. Her phone beeped and her face brightened up to see the message.
“ Ma.. I am going out. I will come before 7 o’ clock”,she shouted and got the keys of her scooty and came out.
“Arre.. It’s raining outside beta! Where are u going? At least take this umbrella and go”, her mother shouted from the bedroom. She came out but Aadhya was going in her scooty in the heavy rain.
“She always does this! Stupid girl”, her mom said in a disgusting tone.
Aadhya stopped in front of a house and went inside. After two minutes,she came dragging a girl with her.
“Hey! It’s raining yaar! I cannot come with you. I may catch cold. Leave me Aadhz”,she shouted.
“No! You have to come!”,Aadhya ordered.
“Wait! I will get umbrella. At least I can be safe nah?”,she went with anger and came back with an umbrella.
“You are so sweet Tanu”,Aadhya pulled her cheeks. She stared at her.
Both of them stopped in front of the café Coffee Day of Lucknow. They got down and Aadhya was keeping  her feet in every puddle she could.
“You are so kiddish Aadhz”,she said in an irritated tone.
“You don’t know about all these dear! You should have some taste to enjoy all these. You are a boring girl”,she said.
Tanuja looked at her angrily. “Meri maa.. I am sorry. Please come now”,said Aadhya folding her hands and they entered the café.
On seeing them,a guy who was also drenched like Aadhya waved his hand.
“ Hey! Abhay ! I won the bet. I brought her here! I deserve something!”,Aadhya said with her eyes twinkling.
“ So bringing me here is your bet? How dare you do that!”,Tanuja started beating both of them.
Aadhya and Abhay tried to stop her.
“ We were really bored and wanted to do something interesting. And you are the victim today”,Abhay high fived with Aadhya
“ You guys are really idiots. I am going to kill you both”,she said beating Abhay with her umbrella.
After sometime she stopped as she was tired.
“ Idiots.. I have to submit the project report tomorrow. Else,our boss will fire me from the job. I was working on it. But this idiot girl brought me here. I am sure I am gonna get scolded tomorrow”,she said sadly.
“ Tanu! Nothing will happen yaar! If he fires you,just follow our policy”,Aadhya winked at Abhay.
Tanuja raised her eyebrows and signed “ What?”
“ Oorvashi.. Oorvashi.. Take it easy Oorvashi”,both of them got up and started dancing catching everyone’s attention.
“ Stupids.. Sit down. Everyone is watching you”,she pulled them and made them sit.
“ Yeah. It’s take it easy policy”,Abhay said.
“  Your policy… My foot.. If I am with you for some more time,I will become mad. I am leaving”,she got up.
“ Arre… Sorry yaar.. Let’s have some coffee”,she sat and all three of them had coffee.
Abhay and Aadhya first met in the same café on a rainy day and found that they are working in the same office but in different departments. They have the same taste and and its true that you become so close to the one who has the same taste as you. That happened in their lives too.From then on,whenever it rains,they never fail to come to the café. Both of them became best friends and  later they came to know that their fathers were friends too. They love to do crazy things like roaming around the city in rain,getting down from a running bus,playing pranks on others etc.. Tanuja is Aadhya’s friend who soon became Abhay’s too. Tanuja on the other hand,prefers to act matured while the other two always play prank on her. She is the most pathetic one among the three but they share a special bond.
******
Aadhya was dressed up in a dark blue lehnga and was surrounded by many young girls. She held her hands outstretched to let the mehandi dry. Yes. It is her mehndi function.
She signed Abhay to come near her who was roaming there eating a jalebi. He came to her.
“ Mr. Jalebi.. Get me a laddoo”,said Aadhya.
“ Sure. Miss.Kulfi”,he fed her a laddoo.
“ Where is Tanu? “,Abhay started searching for her.
“ She has to leave for her village as her grandmother is sick. She will be back in ten days”,Aadhya replied.
She  showed him the mehandi.
He read what was written in it. “ Aadhya-Nikhil!! Hmm.. I don’t know when some girl is going to write my name like this in her palms”,he sighed.
“ Don’t worry. I will help you. Check out the girls here. They are my cousins only. If you like any of them,then everything is set and soon your wedding bells will ring. Come on”,she said excited.
By then,Abhay got a call and he got up to answer it.
*****
Aadhya was crying sitting in front of the ICU of the Global hospital. Her mother was beside her who cried too.
“ Dont worry Aadhya. Nothing will happen to your father. He had a mild attack. That’s it. He will be alright soon”,Abhay tried to console her.
Aadhya‘s mother,Asha Sharma started sobbing,”I did not expect this would happen. Nikhil betrayed us. What wrong did we do? He had made my husband to get heart attack and here me and my daughter are like an orphan. I curse him. He will not live long”.
Abhay’s mother Madhu and father Prakash Arora tried to console her.
The doctor came and told them that they can meet Mr. Rahul Sharma,Aadhya’s father. They went to see him there. Aadhya cried holding her dad’s hands and Abhay consoled her again.
.              Mr. Sharma was observing all these.
********
Mr.Rahul Sharma called Mr. Prakash Arora,Abhay’s dad telling that he wanted to talk something important.
“  Prakash Ji! I have a request. If you say yes,I would be very happy and I will not forget you till the end of my life. Aadhya is very precious to us. She was born after 10 years of our marriage. So we brought her up with so much love. But,today that Nikhil let her down. And I have become old too. My relatives,they always rejoice if something bad happens to us. Myself and my wife suffered a lot because of their taunts when we had no child for 10 years. Now,those mouths are ready to talk bad about my daughter. I don’t want that to happen. And I saw that your son and Aadhya have a good understanding. So.. What I say is.. Why don’t we fix her marriage with him on the same day?”, Sharma paused.
“ Rahul Ji.. You are asking all of a sudden and I don’t know how will my wife and son react”,Mr. Arora said.
“ I hope you will say yes”,said Mr. Sharma.
**********
“ No! I will not agree for this at any cost. I have only son and I have dreams for his marriage. I can’t do this all of a sudden. Never ever. I will arrange for a great grand wedding for my beta. And I will get him married to a Punjabi girl only”,Mrs.Madhu said in an authoritative tone.
“ Papa.. Aadhya is my best friend. But I cant even imagine her as my wife. She too will not agree for this”,Abhay said to his father.
“ Beta .. Her father will take care of that. But I want to tell you something which I hid from both of you. I suffered a huge loss in business before five years. Do you remember?? I did not want to pursue our business and thought of even closing our company.It is Mr. Sharma who helped me then. He helped me both financially and gave me mental strength. Now he is suffering and its my turn to pay him back. So,you have to accept this. And beta,Aadhya is your best friend and there is nothing wrong in getting married to your friend. Time heals everything. You are getting married to her and that’s final”,he left the place without even waiting for their reply.
*******
“ Ma.. I can’t marry Abhay. He is my friend. I like him. But husband is different.I am really fed up.I don’t want to get married now Ma.. I need some break and I will build my career till then. Please don’t compel me”,Aadhya tried to convince her parents.
“ No beta. You don’t know about the consequences. Please listen to our words”,her mother told rubbing her back.
“ I can’t Ma”,Aadhya got up.
Her father came to her, “Aadhya! I have never said “ no” to anything you said since you are born. Today you have to listen to what I say and that’s final”,he said and went angrily.

**********
Aadhya and Abhay got married in spite of the opposition from Abhay’s mom.
It was night when they reached Abhay’s house.
“ Madhu! Go and get the aarti”, Mr. Arora told his wife.
She went as if she did not listen to him. Mr. Arora went inside and came back with aarti. He did aarti for both of them.
In their room,Aadhya was still crying. Abhay went near her.
“ Aadhya.. I am extremely sorry. Don’t think that I took advantage of being your friend and married you when the chance came. My father  compelled me and I could not refuse. But,I can’t think of you as my wife. I am sorry”,Abhay said looking at the floor.
“ Abhay.. You don’t have to feel sorry. It’s me who has to apologize. Because of my parents’ selfishness,your life is spoiled too. I am really sorry for it. And you are my best friend and as you said, I  could not think of you as my husband too “,Aadhya wiped her years.
By then Abhay got a call and he went out. When he came back,Aadhya was asleep as she was tired.
********
Two days later,Abhay saw Aadhya with a knife in her hand. She was trying to cut the place in her hand where her and Nikhil’s name was written with mehandi.
Abhay ran to her,”What the hell are you doing Aadhya?”.
“ He cheated on me and he spoiled both of our lives. And his name is still there in my hands. It makes my hand filthy”,Aadhya said with anger.
“ Stupid.. If u cut your hand,everything will be alright?? You will get a scar if you cut it and that scar will remind you of him every time you see it. Why are you reacting like this Aadhya? Be calm. Everything will be alright soon”,he consoled her.
***********
After a week,both of them went to the office. Abhay went in his bike but Aadhya told that she would come in cab.
“ Hey Aadhya! You were telling that you and Abhay are best friends. But now you both got married overnight?? What happened between you?”, Sameer,her colleague teased her.
Aadhya could not hold back her tears. Abhay felt bad for her.
Aadhya had almost forgot to smile these days. Her mother-in- law’s taunts and her office peoples’ gossips affected her so much that she could not concentrate on anything else.
*******
It was an evening. Abhay came near Aadhya.
“ Can I talk with you for five minutes?”,Abhay asked for which Aadhya nodded.
“ Who are you?”,Abhay asked.Aadhya looked at him with confused expression.
“ Where is that Aadhya who takes everything easy and enjoys each and every moment of her life?? You are not the real Aadhya. She used to smile whatever the situation may be. I have not seen you smiling for the past week. What happened to you?”,he asked her.
“ You don’t know what happened in our lives?”,Aadhya asked him sarcastically.
“ Of course. I do know. But the point is,can we change it? Of course not. Then why to worry about that?? Are you angry with me?”,he raised his eyebrows and asked her.
Aadhya shook her head.
” Then why are you not even talking to me like before?Our fate made something happen and that will give the solution too. Don’t worry. And let’s be friends as we were before. Smile a bit at least”,Abhay shook her.
Aadhya thought what Abhay said is right. She smiled.
“ Come. Let’s go out”,he told her.
***********
They went to a theatre and watched ‘ Dear Zindagi’ movie,as it is their favourite one.
It was 9 o’ clock when both of them were returning from the theatre walking.
Abhay was munching popcorn which he bought in the theatre. As they were walking,Aadhya stopped suddenly.
“ What happened?”,asked Abhay.
He looked at the direction where she was seeing with teary eyes.
“ Its Nikhil”,Aadhya murmured.
“ Arre… Don’t cry. Let’s go and bash him for what he did”,he pulled her.
Nikhil was shocked to see both of them there.
“ You? Here? How?”,he stuttered.
“ Haan.. I am Aadhya. The same Aadhya whom you left and ran away on the day of marriage. How coward you are! And I should be mad to have agreed to marry you. You are such a cunning animal! Don’t you have courage to tell everything to your parents and stop the marriage? Shame on you moron!”,Aadhya was shouting at him without even caring that it was road.
Abhay was watching her still munching the popcorn.
“ Aadhya.. You are talking too much”,Nikhil tried to stop her.
“ I will talk like that only. Who are you to stop me? “,She saw a girl inside the car. “ And who is she?? You left me that day only for this girl? How dare you still wander around in my city with this girl!”,Aadhya shouted like a mad girl.
“ And what are YOU doing? Going out with this stupid friend of you and that too at this time?”,he asked her fuming.
“ Mind your words! He is not my friend now,HE IS MY HUSBAND”,she told holding Abhay’s hands and showing him her mangalsutra. Abhay was surprised and he put the popcorn in the floor. He was staring at her without blinking.
Nikhil could not talk a word more than that. He did not expect that she would have got married. He got into his car and started it. Aadhya was at the peak of anger.”You coward!  How dare you run away when i was talking! Rascal”, she shouted and got a stone and threw it in his car. The glass broke but he did not stop.
Aadhya was panting. “ Relax.. Are you okay?”,asked Abhay.
Aadhya nodded and continued,”I am relieved now. I feel like I have crossed a big mountain”,she sighed.
Abhay smiled.
” You looked like Goddess Kali when you shouted at him.I was scared that you would bang his head with a stone”,Abhay teased her.“ I still have to fix something”,she thought.
*******
As they reached their house,she went straight to Madhu,her mother in law.
Seeing Aadhya coming,she got up. Aadhya held her hand.
“  Ma.. I am extremely sorry for whatever happened. I know that you are very angry with me and my family. Your anger is justified. And as Abhay is your only son,you might have had so much of imaginations for his marriage. But it happened all of a sudden that you were unable to invite even your relatives. I am really sorry Ma. And I promise you that I will not let you down at anytime. I will be there to support our family and I will take care of you and papa. I hope time heals everything. I miss my parents so much and I  am longing for love Ma. When you feed Abhay with your hands at times,I get thinking of my mom. And I wish I have a Ma here too. And you are my ma. Whatever you may think of me,but I always regard you as my mom. I have one more suggestion. If you want to announce our marriage to your relatives,arrange for a reception. I don’t have any issues. I am doing it for your happiness only. And your happiness means a lot to me”,Aadhya said with tears in her eyes.
Madhu did not reply. But she felt glad that she got such a nice daughter in law. She went to her husband and talked about their reception. Aadhya overheard that and felt happy.
“ What were you talking with mom?”,asked Abhay when she returned to their room.
“ Those were Saas- bahu(Mother in law and daughter in law) secrets. Can’t be revealed”,Aadhya said winking.
Abhay rolled his eyes.
*******
The next day,they went to the office as usual.
Someone came and closed Aadhya’s eyes from behind.
“ Tanu.. How are you?”,Aadhya found out.
“ Aadhz.. I am fine dear. And I came to know whatever that had happened during your marriage. I am really sorry. How is life going?”,Tanu asked sadly.
“ Everything changed overnight Tanu. Everything became a mess. I did not have any other option than marrying Abhay. His mother was very angry with me. Yesterday only I convinced her. Hope she will accept me as her daughter in law. But I can’t accept Abhay as my husband”,said Aadhya looking at the floor.
“  Dear… Listen to me. I know that you and Abhay are best friends who enjoys each other’s company. And do you know,you are the real you only when you are with him. And your face lightens whenever he says something. I feel like you are happy whenever he is around. You guys have the same taste and that is the icing on your cake. And do you know what is the best thing in this world? Getting a bestie who is exactly the same like us.  You have got such a person and you are lucky that he has become your  life partner too. What do you want more than this? And who said love blooms between opposite people only? Love makes its way easier when two persons have the same mindset. So what I say is,I don’t think you will get someone better than Abhay. He is THE BEST BETTER HALF”,she said pulling Aadhya’s cheeks.
“ Hmm.. Yeah. I agree with whatever you say. I will try to change myself from today. But he has to think the same way nah?”,Aadhya said sadly.
“ Why fear when Tanu is here?”,Tanu said for which Aadhya smiled.
*****”*
“ I could not believe the fact that we are married. But that’s the truth and I have to accept that.
Till yesterday,I thought that I could not think Aadhya as my wife. But yesterday,when she spoke up for me,when Nikhil asked,I was dumbstruck. She told him that I am her HUSBAND  and that brought butterflies flying in my heart. I have not had such a feeling before. But now I understand that it is love. I am falling for Aadhya day by day. I think getting married to your best friend is the best thing in the world. And we are very lucky to have experienced it”,Abhay said with a bright smile.
On hearing that,Tanu became happy.
*******
It was evening and they came out of the office.
“ Abhay! Please drop me in the bus stop”,Tanu said for which Abhay nodded.
When she was about to get on his bike a voice stopped her.
It was Aadhya.
“ Oye! How can you get on his bike without my permission?”,she said in an authoritative tone with her hands in her hip.
“ Aadhz! I have to go soon.. Please don’t pull my leg now”,she tried to get into his bike again.
“ Here is the cab. If it is urgent,you can use that. He is my HUSBAND and you cannot go with him”,Aadhya said with fake anger.
“ Oh My God! What a transformation! But I expected this would happen. I will not be visible to you anymore. You always make me mad with your tactics  when you were just  friends.Now you became life partners and now you will be getting on my nerves. Tanu is so strong that she will manage both of you I hope . Anyways, happy married life. My blessings are always there for you”,Tanu got into the cab and left.
“ If you take any other girl other than me in your bike,I will kill you”,Aadhya threatened him.
“ OK Madam. Are you coming with me now?”,he asked.
“  If not me,then who else?”,Aadhya got into his bike.
“ So.. You will come with me everyday Hereafter?”,he asked again to tease her.
“ Yeah. Till the end of our lives! As your better half!”,Aadhya said blushing.
Abhay caught her from the rear view mirror and felt happy.

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4 Comments
  1. Nice story

  2. super story….

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