Hey, you all! Thank you for your responses, I’m truly grateful to each one of you. Please do keep them coming. Here’s the next episode, Happy Reading!
PREVIOUSLY, Twinkle clears Aarohi’s misunderstanding; Introduction of Bebe and Myra, and Twinkle and Kunj converse over a phone-call.
EK TUKDA PYAAR – EPISODE 12
As the sun began setting and the sky pinkened, Twinkle stood outside the main door and waited for Aarohi’s return. Yuvraj had clearly refused to talk to her the previous day, and despite her unwanted and hesitant attempt of messaging him, things hadn’t gotten better between the two of them. She’d realised, he needed more time. But she didn’t know for how much longer could she prolong the topic. It’d been more than a month, and she was certain, Kunj’s family was awaiting a response – an affirmation, perhaps.
Seconds later, when Yuvraj’s car pulled up in their driveway, Twinkle looked toward the passenger seat and smiled at her daughter. She saw her unfastening the seat-belt and hopping down from the car. Her daughter flashed her a broad smile and ran toward her, excited to embrace her in a tight hug. She wrapped her arms around Twinkle’s waist, and she looked down at her daughter, smiling at her.
Twinkle: How was your weekend?
Aarohi: It was good. Papa took me out for ice-cream and dinner, yesterday. (scrunching her face) But today, he woke me up early saying it is a good habit.
Twinkle (looking at Yuvraj who unloaded Aarohi’s suitcase from the car trunk): Which it is. (stifling a smile) But did you wake up?
Aarohi: I did, because Papa said, he’d take me to the park if I woke up.
Twinkle (in a concluding tone): So, you spent a nice weekend with Papa. (Aarohi nodded) Vaise, Nani is waiting for you. You go inside, I’ll come in five minutes? And don’t forget to take your luggage along with you, we’ll unpack it at night.
Aarohi nodded and walked inside, pulling the suitcase along with. Twinkle stared at her disappearing figure, and as Aarohi slammed the door shut, she turned toward around and looked at Yuvraj.
Twinkle (inhaling deeply): So, that’d be it for the weekend. I’ll see you next week?
Yuvraj (shoving his hands in his pockets): We need to talk.
Twinkle (looking around): Here? Do you want to come inside and talk?
Yuvraj (shaking his head): No. Aarohi’s inside and I don’t want to discuss this in front of her.
Twinkle (crossing her hands across her chest): Alright, tell me.
Yuvraj leaned against his car and stared at Twinkle. She had been wanting to have this conversation since long, but they’d lost their sanity each single time.
Yuvraj: Aarohi was telling about the past one week in the car yesterday, and I’m glad you’re able to spend more time with her, lately. And she told me about the conversation you two had before you were tucking her to bed on Friday night. (pausing briefly) I’m really grateful that you didn’t let her think that I was a bad person, Twinkle.
Twinkle: I’d never let her think that, Yuvraj. If I had to, I would’ve fought for her custody despite your refusal. (looking at him, directly) And why would I want her to believe something, even I don’t, Yuvraj? I don’t think you’re a bad person; You’re just so much different from me. And on a marriage-level, I don’t think we’d ever be able to suit each other.
Yuvraj (in a hesitant voice): Are you sure you want to do this, Twinkle? I don’t know how it’ll impact Aarohi.
Twinkle (sighing): Look, even I don’t know that. And that is why, I want the two of us to talk to her. I know, neither of us can see through this, and I won’t blame you, solely. I lose my temper as quick as you do, too. But what we do need to understand is, that a sham marriage between the two of us would be of no good. When Aarohi would grow up, she’ll realise that our marriage has no true meaning, and that’d be even more dreadful. (pausing for a long minute) She might face problems in accepting now, too. But after she grows up, and she begins understanding everything, things might turn out to be too, too ugly then. I don’t want to put her in that position, ever. And I know, you’d never want that, either.
Twinkle stared at him for a long minute, standing in the warmth of the setting sun. She had tried explaining the situation from Aarohi’s perspective, as per Kunj’s suggestion. She had contemplated on the suggestion for the entire week and she’d thought, it was, perhaps, the correct way for tackling the topic. But she did not know, if that had convinced Yuvraj.
Yuvraj (sighing deeply): I have been thinking about that, too. I know, my suggestion is vague – I don’t see a future of the three of us living happily, and I don’t want that disorientation and unhappiness to affect Aarohi. But what I do need to be sure of is, whether or not, Aarohi can accept this change in her life.
Twinkle: That’s my concern, too. But I think, if we both explain it to her, she’d understand. May be, she’d understand that her parents can’t really have a future together.
Yuvraj (in a thoughtful tone): Would she able to accept Kunj as her father?
Twinkle: Kunj and I have had a talk about this, and he doesn’t expect her, too. He just hopes, she can be friends with him and can accept the relation between him and me.
Yuvraj (looking back at Twinkle): It is very easy to say that, Twinkle. If he becomes Aarohi’s guardian, don’t you think he’d want her to call him her father, too?
Twinkle: But don’t you think, if that happens, Aarohi might also want to give him that position. Of course, not your position, but something – somewhere – similar?
Yuvraj (nodding his head): I don’t know. That’s the future, and we can’t predict it. (pausing) But we should talk to Aarohi, first.
Twinkle: What did Mom say, Yuvraj?
Yuvraj (inhaling deeply): She’s not convinced, yet. But I want US to take the decision this time, and not the elders. (pausing briefly and looking down) I know, I let Mom dictate and control me the other day. But after I returned home that day, I’d been thinking about it. And then, Aarohi’s words yesterday, too. We should take a decision for ourselves and our daughter.
Aarohi (shouting from inside): Maa, are you coming inside?
Twinkle (loudly): Yes, yes. Give me two more minutes.
Yuvraj (smiling): You should go inside. She has been so happy. She couldn’t stop talking about how you spent your entire week with her.
Twinkle (in a satisfied tone): Usually, when she returns on the weekends, she overwhelms me the entire week with your stories. I’m glad she overwhelmed you this time.
Yuvraj (chuckling): I’ll take your leave today. We’ll talk to Aarohi next weekend; So, maybe, tell her that she wouldn’t be going anywhere next weekend.
She nodded and waited for him to settle inside the car to rev the engine. As he revved the engine, and changed the gear control, he rolled down the window and waved a hand at her. She nodded and smiled at him, and turned around to return inside.
Yuvraj (shouting): Twinkle!
Twinkle (turning around and walking closer to the car): Haa?
Yuvraj: I’m sorry about the other day. I don’t know what had…
Twinkle (interrupting): It’s fine, don’t worry about it. I was certain, you needed some time, and you’d be fine. (she smiled and glanced down at her watch) It’s getting late, you should be leaving, now.
Yuvraj nodded and pressed on the gas pedal to steer out of the premises. Twinkle stared at the disappearing car and smiled. She realised, Kunj’s suggestion had helped her succeed at her attempts. She figured; she couldn’t have had done this without his help. She unlocked her phone and dropped him a quick text message. When she walked inside, peacefulness surrounded her, despite her daughter’s excited screams and she couldn’t have been happier.
After Twinkle had tucked Aarohi to bed, she sat outside on the swing in the patio and gently pushed it to set it in motion. She’d felt satisfaction fill her insides every time she’d looked at Aarohi in the evening earlier, and a huge smile curved the corners of her lips.
Leela (rounding the corner around the swing): I’ve been noticing you since the evening. What makes you so happy?
Twinkle (taking the coffee mug from her mother’s hand): Yuvraj told me, he’d talk to Aarohi and help me in convincing her.
Leela (sipping her coffee): Is that what you were talking outside the door? (Twinkle nodded) Why didn’t you call him inside?
Twinkle: He didn’t want to talk in front of Aarohi. He insisted talking outside the door, only.
Leela (nodding her head): That sounds good. When will the two of you talk to Aarohi, then?
Twinkle (sipping the steaming coffee): Next weekend. He asked me to inform Aarohi that he wouldn’t be taking her away next weekend.
Leela: I hope, you both can convince her. It mightn’t be very easy for her to accept, so both of you should make sure, you don’t lose your temper.
Twinkle nodded and stared afar, at the sky. She dearly hoped, neither of them lost their calm or resolute. While she was sure, Aarohi was old enough to understand the situation, she was also afraid that she mightn’t be able to accept it. Twinkle was in a fix, when her mind delved into the deep crevices of this topic. She just hoped, they weren’t broaching the topic too early.
Leela: Usha ji had called today.
Twinkle (scrunching her brows): Who Usha ji?
Leela (slapping her forehead): Kunj’s mother, Twinkle.
Twinkle: You needn’t give me that reaction. I’ve, certainly, not asked him his mother’s name. It’s quite obvious, Maa.
Leela (stifling a laugh, and masking mock-seriousness): Of course. Just like how obvious it was when you didn’t know his name, initially. And just preferred calling him MR. SARNA.
Twinkle (turning toward her mother): That was only for a day or two. You don’t have to laugh at me for that.
Leela (in the same tone): Meri thodi na itni majaal hai.
Twinkle (in an irritated, but soft voice): Maa!
Twinkle heard her mother laughing beside her, and a soft smile lingered across her lips. She’d always been so close to her mother, and her mother knew her extremely well. She’d always attempted to give Aarohi the same space that her mother had provided her. She wasn’t sure how much she’d succeeded at it, but her mother had assured her infinite times, that she was an equally good mother.
Twinkle (looking at her mother): If you’re done, then you can tell me why Aunty had called.
Leela (wiping the corners of her eyes): She wanted to talk about the marriage.
Twinkle (taken aback): So soon?
Leela: It has been a while, Twinkle. They’ve their relatives also around. I think, you must say yes, now. They’re a good family.
Twinkle (sipping her coffee): What did Kunj say?
Leela (stifling a laugh): Mr. Sarna said…
Twinkle (interrupting; in an irritated voice): MAA!
Leela (chuckling): Acha, Sorry. Kunj said, they’d better talk to you. And also, he wants you and Yuvraj to talk to Aarohi, first.
Twinkle (nodding): Okay, sounds reasonable. (turning around toward her mother) But I and Kunj have talked about this before; We don’t want a grand marriage. Just a court marriage should be fine for the two of us.
Leela: But, Puttar…
Twinkle (interrupting): No, Maa. As it is, we have Aarohi to be taken care of. And he doesn’t want media coverage for all of this. He wants it to be plain and simple.
Leela: But it is their son’s marriage also, Beta. They must’ve such high hopes from it.
Twinkle: I didn’t force my opinion on him, Maa. This is what the two of us wanted, and I’m sure, he’ll make his family understand. You don’t worry about it.
Leela: Okay, I will talk to Kunj’s mother, first, and then, we’ll decide about the wedding. (pausing briefly and looking down) She wanted to invite us over. So, if you’re free any day in the next week, we could go meet them. She told; she’ll ask Kunj to pick us up.
Twinkle (taken aback): Why would Kunj need to come? I can drive the two of you there.
Leela: We’ll see that later. You let me know when you’d be free, first.
Twinkle (tiredly): I’ll do that tomorrow. (looking down at her watch) You should go sleep, it’s getting late.
Leela (taking the coffee mug from her hand): I am going. Won’t you sleep?
Twinkle (stretching her laced hands): I’ll go in a while. Good night, Maa!
Twinkle looked ahead at the swaying rhythm of the trees under the dark sky, and stared afar. A number of aspects in her life had begun changing, lately, and she could only pray they were for the better. She, genuinely, hoped her daughter would accept the changes that the future withheld for her. With everything turning in her favour, her mind certainly wished to chant for optimism, but she couldn’t erase the pessimism out of her mind. She didn’t know, what she’d do, if Aarohi didn’t agree.
Alright, that’d be it for this episode, I’d love to know your thoughts. I’m not sure if the storyline has gotten a little slow and feels dragged, but bear with me for one more episode, before we head some of the major fragments of the story. Thank you!