Malini’s POV –
The day I met Imlie… Oh, how well I remember our first encounter.
It was a pleasant morning. I woke up at the glimpse of intense sun piercing through the windows, over my face. The windows appeared to me as translucent as my life which is an open book. I went downstairs and helped myself with a cup of ginger tea. You might ask me why a cup of tea and why not coffee ? Well, what else can be more refreshing, irresistible and convincing other than a strong ginger tea made as per Indian cuisine ! The aroma is enough make you pine for it.
And it was when I was savoring the last drop of the ginger tea, I received a call from Aditya’s mother. Initially, we talked about things in general but after a while she said that the family members are going to shop for the sarees as my wedding was around the corner. So she invited me to shop along with them. I was excited. I was very excited. But I withheld my excitement over the phone and as soon as the call ended, I took a deep breath and let out my excitement. I was humming a tune, swinging in air and felt the joy of excitement. After all, Aditya’s family is so lovely, so caring, and so full of affection. And that is what I yearned for, all my life. I wanted my in-laws to be such that I shouldn’t be able to differentiate between the love and affection of my parents and them. And I felt I am blessed to be going as a daughter in law there. All this made me, even more excited. My mom says that I love spending time with my in-laws already more than her. Perhaps…
And then I selected a favourite saree from my wardrobe which I believe is my luck enhancer. And then I headed straight to Aditya’s house.
When I reached Aditya’s house, I received a warm welcome. I could figure it out from their faces that they were more excited to meet me than I was. Then I noticed someone whom I didn’t notice before, during my previous visits. I saw her hiding behind a wall and peeping at me. She looked very innocent and at the same time, very nervous. And the primeval thing I noticed was her attire. She looked like a typical village girl somewhere around 17-18 years. But there was something else about her. There was some hidden spark in her eyes. I felt an instant connection with her which I can’t describe in words. I really didn’t know why I felt so, but the feeling was soothing and I wanted it to persist. I wanted to believe the idea that we had some connection. And that is when I asked the family members. “Who is she, standing behind the wall ? I never saw her before.”
Aditya’s mother replied turning towards me. “She is Imlie. Aditya brought her from Pagdandiya.”
My heart sank a bit. I wondered, “Why didn’t Aditya tell me anything about her ? Aditya was never like this before. He never hid things from me.”
But then, I was more excited than suspicious, so I came back to my normal self. I met her and greeted her. She was bubbly, charming and well-mannered. Then I remembered an incident. When Aditya was at Pagdandiya and I called him, I heard him call a village girl – Jhalli. Perhaps it is her. But as it was the first time I met her, we couldn’t talk much since first meet with anyone is always awkward and it is strange to initiate a conversation. Then my attention switched towards the family members. We all talked about things in general, then ate the lunch together. We did shopping and then I returned back to my home.
The day before the engagement too, I remember Aditya bringing food for me when I said I was not interested to eat. He said Imlie made the food for me. Her gesture made me think she is interesting. I thought more than the family, there is someone else too who will entertain me and make me feel as a family.
And on the day of my marriage, I felt blessed to have got someone like her in my life. When my veil got damaged at the last moment, she gave her veil that she liked immensely. She gave me the sindoor from her village which is believed to be auspicious. And then I became her fan.
She became my constant companion in the house, but sometimes I used to regret it when Aditya scolded her for no reason. Everything was fine until one day I realized Aditya was no longer giving me any attention. I observed his attention shift towards Imlie and his interests and tastes changing. Like any other woman, I developed suspicion on her due to my mom’s influence. But somewhere deep in my heart I knew a person who calls me ‘Malini didi’ lovingly, can never cheat me.
Soon, Aditya was feeling frustrated at my presence for the reason I don’t know. I tried talking with him, I tried understanding him and I attempted to spend time with him, but tensions grew with the prospect of the day until I and Aditya had a big tussle. Aditya was being silent. I shouted, I cried, I broke within myself, but still no explanation came from Aditya. I felt dejected and depressed when I decided that I should go and visit my parents and should give a break to Aditya so that the things come to normal again.
This was when I noticed Aditya and Imlie’s growing closeness. I started suspecting Imlie but still I kept off that idea since I shouldn’t jump to conclusions without discussing things with Aditya.
And my loneliness and depression grew intensely that I developed suicidal thoughts. I couldn’t bear the growing distance between me and Aditya. Our togetherness was my pride, after all ! And the thought that he would go away from me made me shatter into pieces. And I collected my dispersed strength, took a knife and slit the wrist’s superficial vein. I just wanted to die.
But then came Imlie. There was no one at the house, but she made her way into the house. She called me on top of her voice. “Malini didi ! Malini didi ! I came to meet you.” But I couldn’t answer. No voice came from me for I had already lost a good amount of blood enough to doubt my survival. Only my eyes, my ears and the pounding in head and heart proved that I was alive.
When Imlie didn’t hear any reply, she took a few steps ahead when her feet made it’s way into the puddle of some liquid. When she looked down, she was devastated. There was a puddle of blood. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she gave a scream. “Maaaaaaliniiii Didiiiiiii !”
And soon after that, I collapsed.
When I opened my eyes, I realized with pain that I am alive. But I felt guilty for committing suicide which in turn intentionally made Imlie sad. Then I wondered how worried my parents would be. My heart ached at the fact dawning on to me that having loving parents is an enough reason to survive, to live. If I was brought into this world, there might be some purpose before whose fulfillment, I took a step to die. But by attempting suicide, I fell in my own thoughts. “You are not the Malini who is sensible ! You are an emotional mess who didn’t care about the feelings of the family !”, I said to myself.
Then I devised an idea to make Aditya confess what is going on in his mind. I made a fake story that the reason I committed suicide was because I was not happy in the marriage and loved someone else named Kunal Chauhan. For a moment, Aditya found it hard to believe. But I somehow convinced him into my words.
After I got discharged from the hospital, I coincidentally met Imlie again. When she met me, she said that she didn’t believe that I can love someone other than Aditya and that I should speak out the truth. And then I wondered, “How is it that Imlie understood me better than Aditya did ? That only means Aditya never understood me.”
Then after the turn of events, I made Aditya somehow confess the truth he has been hiding for long from me. The truth he confessed, devastated me. I felt lifeless, all of a sudden. It dawned on to me suddenly that the life I was enjoying was not truly mine. It was Imlie who deserved my position. I felt so disturbed when Aditya told me that I was not his wife but Imlie is his wife. He told me everything that happened in Pagdandiya.
I was angry, and I shouted. “How can two people hide such a big thing as this ? Who gave them the right to strangle with my life ? And besides, the girl whom I trusted so blindly, didn’t make any move to tell me the truth ?”, I wondered. The fact that Imlie didn’t tell me truth all this while hurt me more than Aditya’s blunder. I felt listless, hopeless and sad. When you learn that your husband is not your husband, what would you feel ? That was my state now. I cursed Imlie under my breath. But a sudden realization dawned on to me. How can I expect Imlie to reveal truth to me when a person who loved me for seven long years, couldn’t dare to tell me the truth which would pain me ? Imlie was still a person whom I know much recently.
Days passed and finally I received another shock of my life. My mom broke into tears and when I consoled her, she revealed her age old suspicion which she hid for a long time believing I was still a child. She said that she didn’t want to hurt me that’s why she hid a truth from her. I wondered why in the world, everyone wants to protect me and keep me away from the truth for ages and suddenly open up, breaking me up into pieces ! Mom sobbed with moist eyes. “Long ago, your father went to Pagdandiya for some business trip and I suspect that Imlie is his daughter or related to him in some or the other way.”
I was angry at my father. All the days I suspected my mother to be at fault as she remained cold for years. But when finally I never my father is at fault, my respect increased towards my mother. And then I wondered, “Is Pagdandiya, the powerhouse of all the problems ?” but I kept the idea within myself. But I was curious to know if Imlie was really my sister. I wanted all the answers. I had an enough hide and seek from truth for uncountable decades now.
I visited Pagdandiya, without revealing the real purpose to anyone. I, instead lied that I was going for trip with Kunal to Manali.
On reaching Pagdandiya, a fresh breeze welcomed me. The aroma and speaciality of the air is enough to prove the liveliness and humility of people here. And that reminded me of Imlie’s bubbly nature, humility and liveliness. The first villager I met happened to be Imlie’s mother, Meethi strangely. I felt the same connection with her, the way I felt with Imlie.
After spending a few days with her in the false disguise of the name Kalpana, I could finally dare to ask Meethi ji that who is Imlie’s father and to my shock, I heard my father’s name. Well, I have become habitual to the thing called ‘pain’ and ‘shocks’ now.
And then I thought about Imlie. I felt bad for Imlie as I can understand how it feels to be to not have a father inspite of having a father. Same was my pain when I realized some days back that I lived with my husband who was not my husband. “How can she withheld all her pain within and bring a smile on other’s face ? How did she live a miserable life without complaining to anyone ?”
And then one by one, many incidents flashed infront of me. When I first met her, I found her nervous. I assumed that she was new to the city and that’s why finding it difficult to adjust but I never did any effort to know her hidden pain I happened to have noticed, a bundle of times. When Aditya brought me the food which Imlie made, I realized how much it would have hurt Imlie to cook food for me. No woman can digest the fact of serving or being a servant, or living in presence of a second wife to her husband after all. I appreciated her strength in my mind to not even let out her frustration inspite of all the sufferings she endured herself. I wondered how it must have paned her to share her sindoor with me. Also I remembered the incident when the bridge collapsed and I was traveling in the college bus for an educational trip through that way. She came running to me in an effort to save me. She tried to move the tree which fell on my leg which immobilized me before. She even got hit by the debris when she was trying to save me. She didn’t care about her life and saved me but I was cursing her for my failure in the marriage. Strange. I suddenly thought that I have every right to be angry with Aditya for playing with my life but Imlie ? No. She is not the root cause of this mess. After all being a great person and gaining the love of someone is not the wrong thing.
Then I wondered. Maybe I met Aditya so that I can meet my sister. Maybe Aditya was a way by which I could find my sister. Or maybe it’s the destiny’s game. I realized that it’s a honour to be a sister to a person like Imlie. She indeed deserved a better life but she suffered a lot for her age. I felt happy after a long time. Finally I knew what I have to do. I was now happy to get a sister and didn’t bother to leave Aditya for her. After all, blood relation is above all. Even if I knew Imlie’ wasn’t my sister, I would have divorced Aditya for the sake of her happiness. And that is what I exactly did.
The divorce proceedings continued and finally Aditya and I were declared divorcees.
After the divorce, I informed Imlie that she was my sister and she was devastated. She couldn’t digest the fact and cried her eyes out. I stood by her side and consoled her. She took out her frustration, and had hate conversation with our father. But finally she accepted that we were indeed sisters. She exclaimed, “Though I am sad for knowing that your father is my father, I am very happy, Malini Didi that you are my sister.”
It was some days later that I got to know about a shocking truth. I got to know that Imlie and Aditya are divorced too. I was shocked.
I met Imlie and asked her straightaway. “Imlie, why did you both get separated ?”
“I don’t want to make an awkward situation for three of us. With Aditya between us, we can never become sisters. Awkwardness will always accompany us. And hence I decided that how can I live with a man who destroyed my sister’s life knowingly or unknowingly ! I want to remain as your sister than as the woman who broke your marriage. I wanted everyone of us to be happy and peaceful. Hence, I divorced him though I love him. I can lose the love of my life but not you. A blood relation can never be ignored. A true love may or may not be with you forever but a sibling will. A sibling’s relation is more than true live and hence I left everything just to be called as your sister.”
And saying that, she smiled. I felt so moved that I hugged her. And the hug felt warm and close. She is indeed my sister. She is more than a sister. Before this, I never knew that sacrifice plus sacrifice brings peace back into the life. And with Imlie back into my life, peace came back and my age reduced to 17 years with her company. And we relived our childhood we missed by being constantly together with one another thereafter.
Two years later, I find myself at the lawn, swinging on swing besides Imlie’ laughing merrily. To relive childhood with her is a bliss and I thank God for our union and for giving me a sister as I longed for, in my childhood.
Hope you all liked this OS !
This OS is written on the request of @Shruti Alias Board Exams !
Hence, this OS is dedicated to @Shruti Alias Board Exams…
Update Credits : Shriharshita & Shruti aka Board Exams
So you did a ‘Destiny’ piece here…very impressive 👐👏
You also gave it a well-rounded finale which is also creditable 💯💯
Well done to the both of you @Shriharshita and @Board Exams 🎉🌠
btw…I guess I can forfeit my piece on destiny 😁 as you clearly have it covered here…
Looking forward to your next masterpiece 📝✨
Hi @Yolande !
Maybe masterpiece is too much to be digestible by me 😜😂..
But well, I’ll take it as a compliment !
And I would like to thank you for one thing and that is for your patience.
I didn’t expect that anyone will read this huge write up as it is time consuming.
So, thanks for both your patience and giving this piece, your time ❣️
Awww! Thankyou so much Shriharshita 🙏🙏🙏this is truly a masterpiece, and I simply loved the heading❣️very well expressed, just saying this again, in your each and every piece of writing, you express the emotions brilliantly and that is what makes your work standout🙋🙋🙋
It has a very very beautiful ending, sister’s bond as I said😊😁🤗
The Imlie writers should learn something or rather many things from you🤣😂
That’s true, Imlie writers ought to learn a lot from us !
I will write another OS on Kunal and Malini as suggested by u !
It is the next writeup…
I am really impressed by all your writings, Shriharshita. You are the most active writer and, once again saying this, the usage of vocabulary is really good. I always learn new things from it. ❤
You captured Malini’s personality very well too. This is just how the original Malini’s thoughts process would be. Basically, the story is the same as the show’s, with a different end, but it was an enjoyable read all the same. Here, in the end, both sisters unite and explore their sisterly bond which is so beautiful. Finally they realize a man doesn’t dictate their lives. 😊 I never thought of that, also I never emphasized on their first meet. Now realizing! 😂
Please don’t consider this as flattery, I genuinely admire your work and say what I feel.
I am flattered I must say 😊😂… Just joking. Well, having no belief in my capabilities is also wrong, so I take my credit 😹.
But it really feels good when someone appreciates me. Well, who won’t be 😜 !
Any moderations in the story you anticipate from me ? Do tell me what I should change in my write up so that I can improve. Suggestions are always welcome.
And thanks for reading this huge write up. I almost thought no one would read frightened by the length 😂
Nah, don’t worry about the length. 😂
Well, at the moment I can’t think of any suggestion. But if I ever feel something could be improved or altered, I will definitely tell. 😊
Great story and better than the evil writers.