She stood with a huge bag in her hand, at the center of the hall, her eyes brimmed with tears. It was all done. Everything was over… except one thing. The last duty of her… to leave the house! She looked around to find things that were the same when she entered, but now, they were more close to her. She could find her own fragrance having its impact on the lifeless things, blending with them as one. But she knew… she couldn’t be one with them, not anymore. Turning to the other side, not able to bear the pain, she found her dearest ones standing besides one another, everyone sad, distressed. But still it wasn’t everyone.
There stood her sister, whom she still thought was her kid, as a married woman. She was not happy, definitely not happy… but things will settle soon…after all, time is the best healer. “Think once again di” she said, with tears. “Do not weep my bubble. You will break and I will become the reason, the thorn that pricked you” she said with a smile, but tears brimmed in her eyes too. The sisters hugged each other sharing their worries, the way they had shared their happiness. She wiped her tears herself. “Bulbul, this is the only decision that can give happiness to all. I am happy. Everyone will be too, ‘soon’. Goodbye sister” she continued, after kissing her forehead.
It was Purab who was standing next to her. How well he had roamed behind her, calling “didi, didi” all the time? It is true he is more like a brother to her. “Is this why you were rushing my marriage?” he asked, angrily. “No dear, it is only that I didn’t want to separate you, love birds, for a long time. You are happy with your marriage, aren’t you?” she asked, trying to smile… but the truth is—she had failed terribly. “I am happy… with my decision…but not yours” he said, undefeated by her smile. She smiled again. “There’s nothing more to talk, Purab” she said and moved away, leaving an angry brother behind. But before she could walk further, he hugged her tight. She patted his back, and after a moment he stepped back, wiping his tears.
She moved further to find her Bhabhi, Tayji and Tauji standing with sad faces. She folded her arms, held her palms together in front of her and slightly bent her head. The three had nothing to say. They were sorry too but they had no words to express it. Before moving on, “Bhabhi, I had made everything necessary to bail bhaiya out. He will be soon released” she said while Mitali joined her palms in gratitude. Nodding in a no, she smiled and separating her palms, she strode further.
The one standing next was one person she thought would never become a human! But now, she seems to be the most caring person she had ever seen… Aaliya! ‘All this is only coz of her’ she thought. But the thought that she got another sister overpowered it, and she hugged her. Aaliya stood with tears, wetting her Bhabhi’s pink chudi—which she had bought herself—leaning on her shoulders. “I know you won’t listen to anyone… and I know you are not going to stay. All I wanted to say is, I am sorry for everything” she said between her sobs. “There is no need for you to be sorry. It is only because of you that I have got such a wonderful family. I think you can understand what I tell… so you shouldn’t weep young girl” she said as she caressed Aaliya’s back. “After all, I must say thanks for everything” she continued breaking the hug. “Goodbye” she said and walked on.
At last, she saw her dear Dadi standing, smiling. She bent down touching her feet, while Dadi blessed her whole heartedly. “I will take leave Dadi” she said, with so much difficulty, a fake smile in her face. “May you live long and happy” Dadi said hugging her. She knew it must have literally killed the woman to say those. Above all, she was the first person in the house who loved her like her own daughter. What good it does to an old woman to see her bahu, whom she saw more as her own granddaughter, leave the house? She had prepared herself to pacify her Dadi, whom she thought will be broken so much. But seeing Dadi with a smile, who agreed her decision for her good, filled her heart with guilt. She was going to break the promise she had made to her. How can she leave the house? How can she not fulfill the duties as a daughter in law of this house? Is this right? But this was the only option. Dadi gave her an assuring smile, telling she will be alright and so she walked on.
Everyone in the house was present in the hall… but not him. There was not even a sight of him. It pained her heart to accept it, though it would become her reality, for the rest of her life. She wished he could at least say her, a goodbye… but did he really think her to be a burden, which he didn’t even want to send off? Did I bother him so much, that he doesn’t even wish to see my face for one last time? The thoughts killed her from within, but she walked on not showing a single emotion in her face.
She stepped out of the home, taking away all the happiness with her.
She remembered the day when she entered the house… he was there, right next to her, stepping in as she stepped in too. She placed her feet in the bath that contained kumkum water and walked forth into the house. Her feet made impressions on the floor, that were temporary… but the meaning was permanent. She felt those footsteps, which now were disappeared… but she knew they will always be there.
She walked still further, and the curtains and the front door met her. She remembered, placing her hands on the walls, making her the daughter of this home… but now she is of no relation to them! Smiling to herself on how her fate had become, she looked up. The sun was only about to set but the full moon had already started shining bright.
Again she remembered how she had been drunk and helplessly out of control, one night! She smiled thinking the moments she had, with him, and walked further.
“PRAGYA” she heard Dadi’s call and so stopped. “Why don’t you light the diya in your home for one last time?” Dadi’s trembling voice made her agree. “Ji Dadi” she stepped into the house again, but that will be last time.
After she had lit the diya, she got blessings from Dadi again. She came back to the hall and walked back out. The urge to look around the house, for one last time, was compelling.
She did look back and tears found their way that was closed before. She started walking off. With a faint smile, she remembered the previous night… her last night in her home, and yeah, that is no more hers!
“Why didn’t you love me? Why? Am I not worth to get your love?” Pragya asked while her tears flowed like stream. She sat down, completely broken. She did not go there for that. All she wanted is to say a sorry and a thank you. ‘Sorry’ for coming into his life… ‘Thanks’ for coming into her life!
She placed the photo frame back in its place. It was all, just like a dream.
Though he had married her for revenge, Pragya had helplessly fallen in love with him. She tried to stay away, but the more she went far, the more he drew her near. But she knew it wasn’t right. He didn’t love her and she couldn’t think of forcing herself on him. After Aaliya turned good, they were more than good friends. Pragya had feelings for him, but she never revealed them. Their fights, silly fights, increased, in turn increasing their closeness. Pragya got addicted to his smile, his cuteness, his naughtiness, his punishments, his reasons… correctly HIM. But Pragya never forgot her limits and as soon as the marriage got over, she disclosed her divorce matter. He fought telling he will not allow her but Pragya was adamant enough to not obey him… something she learnt from him! She came to the balcony, after the fight, hoping he would be there.
Well, he wasn’t there. ‘He must be angry’ she thought. She returned to get back to the kitchen. But seeing him smiling at her from within the picture, she couldn’t help but open her heart out.
But then, she saw Abhi really standing in front of her, his eyes moist. Yet they looked at her the way she always wanted them to. He gazed at her with love. And suddenly he rushed to her, and she threw herself into his embrace. For long she stood, her heart finally getting what it had longed for. Then they walked to the balcony, enjoyed it with him, spoke with him, told her how much she cared him, how much she had wanted to be in his arms and how much she had loved him. All the while, he had looked at her intently speaking nothing and she didn’t complain as his eyes told it all. But then there was a sudden wind and Pragya was taken aback. She looked around, only to find the place empty.
“Suniye” she called out… there was no response. She walked into the room to see that he was lying on the bed, a vivid frown in his face murmuring incomprehensible words. She called out to him but he didn’t respond. She called a few more times, and finally she took in, he had slept! There were more tears in her eyes now. Realising that he never heard a bit of what she spoke made the moment even more miserable. She ran to the guest room and collapsed on the bed. After weeping for almost an hour, her tears dried. Soon she was filled with guilt. ‘What have I done? What if he really heard me? What if he had rejected it?’ she said to herself with sobs. ‘Whatever… he heard nothing. Ignore it as one of your unfulfilled dreams’ she told herself as she added to her endless list of wishes another unfulfilled dream. And then she dozed off.
Pragya smiled. She was going mad at her fate when she realised that she was talking to air and then to a sleeping him! But then she soothed herself telling it was better he didn’t hear. She cannot bear a rejection from him… she knew it was inevitable (if she had confessed).
Pragya saw around and realised that, thinking about him, she came near the car. She did not turn back… she didn’t want to cry again. All these tears are enough but she doesn’t regret shedding them. It was her own worry; she was supposed to handle it. Her doings would only give him his wanted freedom and happiness and so she doesn’t regret. Well, soon he would get his complete freedom… she would send him the papers very soon and within a few weeks, it would all be over.
She wiped off the last of her tears and opened the car door.
“FUGGI” she heard it, and unmistakably it was him. A heart filled smile formed in her lips. She turned smiling, and tears filled her eyes again. Well, they were happy tears this time. But to her dismay, she had been dreaming! He wasn’t there, not anywhere around. She turned back, disappointed.
“FUGGI” she heard it again. Without much expectation, she turned and it was him! She smiled, but it faded off soon as she saw that he was carrying a big bag. ‘Did I forget something?’ she asked herself.
He stood next to her, panting, while she got the bag. “Give it back to me” he grabbed it back, while she saw him, shocked. After a moment he said, “Don’t you remember? We made vows! You can’t go alone!” he said making her more confused. She stood still baffled.
“Fuggi… don’t you understand? I can’t let you leave my side” he said taking in deep breaths. She did not react. Yes, his words didn’t reach her. She was more absorbed in her own thoughts. Everything was still and Pragya decided to dwell for sometime in the silence that was created amid them. She wanted to stay calm. She didn’t want to break down in front of him and so she let the silence be and got its help to control herself.
Abhi stood silently, still taking in full breaths. He was thinking… thinking of it. The last night…
“Please suniye. Only this is right” she said.
Why doesn’t she understand?
“No Pragya. I cannot. Why is it so necessary, I mean now? Did you think of Dadi?”
Say yes at least for the sake of Dadi, you four eyes!
“No suniye. That won’t work. That really won’t”
“What are you talking? How did it work all these days? You stay. After I convince Dadi you can leave”
“I already did”
“What? You already did?” you brute “but…”
“There’s nothing between us suniye. I cannot live with you”
“We were friends. Dadi will—
But that alone won’t work. You do understand, don’t you?”
“Why are you repeating the same thing again and again?” Abhi lost his patience and a whole lot of arguments erupted between them. All the while, Abhi was saying her to wait for a few more days and she wasn’t listening. “Fine” he had finally screamed and rushed to his music room. Taking the sticks of his drum Abhi started beating it violently without a note and without any other thought. Well, he was getting rid of his frustration in this way. His mind was roaming.
Abhi had finally got back his sister who happily let Purab and Bulbul marry… he got back his friend who refused to even look at his face for torturing his di… he got back his lovely Saali who had stopped roaming behind him calling him jiju-jiju after she learnt the truth of his marriage… he got back his Dadi who finally forgave him whole heartedly for hurting her bahu. He had won everything back. But, yet, he felt lost. Yes, lost, defeated, doomed, hopeless, helpless… he had lost the reason for all his successes.
He had lost her. How ill fated of him to lose her? He didn’t know why, but he just couldn’t bring up the topic of divorce between them, nor was he able to settle with the fact that it was only what she wanted from him. Why? He wasn’t able to digest the fact that he wouldn’t be with her. He had got himself addicted to her smile, her cuteness, her naughtiness, her pouts her lectures… correctly HER. He couldn’t see any way of why she wasn’t wishing to live with him. Was he the only one thinking too much of it all? Was he the one weaving his own rainbow of dreams only to see it finally ending in a colourless portrait? Why? Why wasn’t she able to see it? “Why doesn’t she love me?” he asked himself, pulling his hairs in frustration. And the thought suddenly struck. Well, in recent days, he was confused on why he was worried if she was letting him free and now he himself came to know what he wanted. Indeed, he understood that he only wanted to be captive. And that morning, he was again smiling thinking of her and him! But that was the time she came to him telling she wants divorce. What a blow it was. Only then had he realised what he really wanted. Only then had he saw himself as a love sick teenager standing in front of the mirror trying to propose his lady love. Only then had he planned what he would gift her first. Well, he had come up with limitless ONLY THENs in just a moment. And then she came to him and started fighting for divorce. He really was unhappy. And she said it won’t work! Why? It will if she gives him the love that he is ready to pour on her. And then she said it AGAIN! Why should she repeat it again and again? It would… if definitely would. But then he was thinking of her thoughts. Is she really NOT liking me? Was he that much unfit to get her love?
And it was breaking his head. He simply jumped on his bed, covered himself with a duvet, cursing— not anyone in particular—and not knowing when dozed off.
But the next morning, he had seen his picture hiding below her saree in her travel bag. Well, it wasn’t making any sense to him. If she really wants to go far, why is she taking his picture with her?
Women are unpredictable!
And so he decided to hide behind the bedpost to know what really is happening around him. Now, he saw her talking to his picture. He couldn’t make head or tail out of it.
Abhi was beginning to doubt—has she gone mad or is she trying to drive me mad?
Pragya continued endlessly and Abhi gave a helpless face staring her.
When will I get a relief from her blabber?
And finally he saw it happen… she kissed him! She kissed the ‘him’ in the picture! And then she even shied out an ‘I love you’.
Oh my! What a shocking surprise it was. She just kissed him. KISSED HIM! K.I.S.S.E.D HIM! And she even told an ‘I love you’! Abhi didn’t know how to react. He wanted to run to her, tell her back, kiss her, hug her…but all he did was to stuff his knuckles into his mouth to stop himself from shouting and screaming. Well, he did all of it after Pragya, had moved out of the room.
“HOO-HOOOOO” he shouted. “So Fuggi loves me” he told himself. He ran into his closet and made a mess of his wardrobe searching for nothing! Finally, he stood still—he was all thoughts.
If she loves me, why is she leaving the house? Is she mad?
And then it struck Abhi. Oh! Now she turns the sacrificing angel she usually is! Let me guess what she thinks. ‘I do not want to force myself on him’ he imitated her angelic expression she usually gives while sacrificing something—like the countless times she had sacrificed her piece of sandwich for Bulbul or sacrificing her ego to let him win an argument or sacrificing herself to protect her sister or… oh it was many. How many Ors he is getting?!
But then he was thinking of her selfless sacrifices. Even now she was letting go her happiness for him. Abhi turned resolute. It’s high time since he has recognised her. He somehow has to make her realise that she is really important to him.
What can I do???
“Why are you silent?” he asked Pragya who was standing like a statue. “I don’t know what you are talking” she said, her innocent cuteness predominant in her face. Abhi wanted to pinch her cheeks, right there. But he controlled.
“Don’t be a daft. You don’t understand what I say?” he asked waiting eagerly for the fight to begin.
“Why are you calling me a daft? Why do you always fight me? Even now! Can’t you let me live peacefully for once at least?” Pragya found her anger gear up. Her grief had suddenly vanished. *and yeah, that’s our Abhi. He knows very well on how to make his Fuggi forget her sorrow ^- ^ cutie!*
“WH-AT? Do you even understand what you are talking? You were the one fighting me since yesterday. Remember?” their usual room atmosphere was created in the parking lot.
“So, you fight me now?” That isn’t a reason! Not fare suniye
“‘SHHHHHH’ I said ‘SHHH’. How much do you talk? Now what is your problem? I told you I want to be with you. You don’t want me to?” Well, the situation was going out of control. Soon his family members would be out if she goes on shouting. He wants a private space. He is ready to stop fighting if they would remain alone (he can fight her later—how much ever he wants to!)
“Yes. I want u to stop fighting. I want u to—WAIT! WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?” Did I hear it right?
“Why do you have to scream so much? You girls are really impossible. You yearn for something. Yet you are ready to sacrifice it. You get it. You scream. Like what?” he shook his head in disbelief and sighed. But he continued “Anyways, I told you I want to accompany you”
“But… but… I… I am…” she fumbled.
“Are you hungry? Why are you eating the words up?” he was growing more impatient now.
“I am leaving the house, aren’t I? What do you mean you like to come with me?” finally she spoke!
“For god sake Fuggi… act like a professor. How did you even work as one being such a dumbo?”
“Stop it. I am not a dumbo. You purposefully are confusing me” I have had enough. Why is he fighting me even now? Had I caused him that much trouble that he always finds pleasure if I am sad?
“Hmm… as if you understand everything if I didn’t confuse you” he spoke as he was busy framing the next argument, not even noticing that her face had turned hollow without expressions.
“Suniye please… Don’t make me cry even now”
The last words were a bit shaky and Abhi stopped abruptly. He looked at her and she was about to cry. A tear threatened to fall off the precipice of her eyes and Abhi was alarmed. He rushed to her and wiped the tear before it could even fall. Pragya wiped her eyes not before withdrawing.
“It’s nothing. Just dirt” she said and turned her back to him. “Please tell me what you wanted to. I am getting late” her voice trembled.
Pragya was really distressed. Why does he have to do this? Does he hate me that much that he doesn’t want to even send me off, happily? She thought bitterly. Well, it was a thousandth time in the day she was thinking these!
Abhi could read her thoughts very well. Only he didn’t know how… and that didn’t even matter to him now.
Hate? To hell with her! Why doesn’t she understand? “Fuggi… please stop crying”
“I told you—I am not!”
“I can see. Fine… now don’t start crying again. I am sorry” Abhi stood like a school boy, his head bent down and face shrunk. “I didn’t mean to. I thought I could make you normal—my normal, wild cat, Fuggi” he continued, his expressions solemn.
“I am not a wild cat” she shot him a defiant look. Her eyes flared and Abhi asked silently “What are you now?”
Pragya smiled a bit but her lips quickly turned a bitter line. I gotta leave…
“What do you want to tell me suniye? I know you were joking all the while. Tell me, I am getting late”
As if you would win a marathon if you leave now! “It’s nothing. I just wanted to —
You wanted to?” Pragya cut in. “Please Fuggi. Let me finish” Abhi literally begged. “I told you I want to accompany you”
“I am capable of taking care of myself suniye. I am not a kid, I can find my way”
You understood like that? Oh Fuggi! “I am not telling you I will come with you to your home…like dropping you. I am telling you I will come with you to your home… like staying with you”
“So that my mom gets hyper when you leave me and go. Right, am I?”
“So that aunty Ji gets happy when I take you with me and go. Understand, do you?”
“But you are not taking me back with you”
“And I am not leaving you back there”
“Suniye please… will you tell me things clearly. Why are you dragging?” *well I guess this is getting longer than you guys imagined. Don’t worry, will finish it soon*
“I am not dragging & I’m clear cut. Only you are not understanding. I don’t want it to happen that simply” he dropped the bag, with whose handle he was fidgeting all the while. Pragya still didn’t understand a thing. Well, Fuggi, if you give me this same dumb reaction even after thinking…
Pragya thought. There was no way she could get it. “You don’t want WHAT to happen that simply?” she asked bluntly.
“This” Abhi said quickly and pulled her to him. He pressed his lips to hers in a swift and mapped it on hers. His hands cupped her face while his breathing rose unevenly.
Pragya was genuinely taken aback. Her eyes widened in shock while her hands gripped his collars. They twitched convulsively and finally came to a rest on his shoulders. When Pragya’s mind steadied itself, she responded back, following Abhi’s lead.
After they broke the kiss, Pragya quickly turned her back to him, unable to face him. Her cheeks went through a rapid change of colours—a violent mix of rose red, baby pink, pale crimson, scarlet pink…Uff!—finally it settled on a deep shade of pink with a ruddy tinge. Her heart was beating faster than it had done ever. She thought she would burst with emotions. Well, she had learnt to control!
This side, Abhi was bursting with excitement. He had just done it. Oh my goodness! I can’t believe it! He ran his fingers through his hairs, a broad smile falling on the full of his face. Seeing Pragya turning and shying to herself, he was even more thrilled. The whim to turn her back and give her another long kiss was overwhelming but he stayed… He waited. He wanted to make it more memorable.
Pragya turned back, her fingers interlocked but very badly twisting and turning in their place. I am not dreaming am I? It was her first thought.
“You are not dreaming” Abhi said coming closer, his hands taking hers in them. Pragya looked into his eyes that were intensely looking back into hers. Her expressions were unreadable. She only waited for him to continue. “After Purab and Bulbul’s engagement, the very thing that came to my mind was about our divorce. It was not on when to give you the papers. It was on how to remit the talk between us. I was very confused on why it was happening with me. But I just couldn’t think of giving it to you and I was hoping against hopes for you to not ask for it. All was well until yesterday and I actually forgot that something like that was supposed to be settled yet. All I was thinking about was the new realisation that dawned on me. Guess what? I realised I was in love with you. No… I realised that I was madly deeply helplessly in love with you. Happy me! Do you even see something? Tanu isn’t showing up. She didn’t even attend the wedding. Why? I cleared things between us. I told her I loved someone else, I told her I loved you…” he paused; his hands rose to her cheeks, and gently caressed it with the calloused tip of his thumb. He continued. “I was going to somehow convince you on staying here. I never imagined you would ask for divorce. I thought you too felt the same thing towards me. But you demolished all my castles even before I could build them completely” he said and waited.
“I thought you never saw me that way. I thought you loved… definitely not me” she said facing the floor.
Abhi raised her chin with a finger, making her face him again. “Well, you now know” he said. His mind wanted him to go on, yet he couldn’t. All he did was to stand gazing intently into her hazel brown eyes, his finger still fondling against her chin. But then he took his hand back.
Pragya stood still… something unknown overpowering her. Working more out of emotions than out of conscience, she hugged him, her hands rising up his back as her head rested on his chest. “I am sorry” it was a mere whisper.
“I did not want to hear these three words” he said without breaking his hug… “I want you to tell me those three words you told him”
“Whom” Pragya asked bewildered, suddenly breaking the hug.
“You needn’t break the hug for that” he hugged her back… “He, who was in the photo frame”
Pragya was all red. So he had seen it. She was shying very badly. “That’s why you made this much drama now, did you not? Else, you would have let me go, right?” she asked, breaking the hug again.
“How would I know that you too love me? And if you are ready to sacrifice yourself for the sake of not forcing me… will I not be, for the sake of not forcing you?” he paused. Both remained silent. Abhi continued… “But, if you had left – I would have came back to you, starting everything afresh… starting everything new” he ended, his hands withdrawing themselves from her shoulders.
It was a long silence and none of them spoke. Pragya was the one to break it “I will send the papers by tomorrow” “WH-AT?” “You told you would like to start it afresh”
Abhi hugged her while she happily threw herself to him.
Hey guys. An update after a long time! I am sorry I was having continuous exams. Well, after this I would be coming back only by March 25. Enjoy until that!
Coming to the story… I know it’s high time since Abhi had acted himself. That’s why I decided to let him do something. This plot is set at the time after the MMS of Suresh and Pragya—after Aaliya turns good *for name sake – in the show*. Here she really turns good and the kidnapping thing and all doesn’t happen. After Purab and Bulbul’s marriage this happens. Hope this gives some more clarity. And I Hope this wasn’t too long or boring. If this was very stupid or annoying or something terrible… I am sorry guys. Please bear with this. If there are any mistakes, please adjust *i couldn’t proof read—in a hurry* but do point the mistakes out. Helps me improve…
Ok Ok… now let’s put a full stop to my stupid talks. I guess you will have to bear with me more than my story! So, don’t forget to hit the button. Do drop in your views.