Monday, 6 February 2012

OS: Pakoras, Chai, Truths

Chicky's idea. Janet's words.

OS: Pakoras, Chai, Truths
- Chicky & Janet

Lavanya walked in with a tray full of pakoras and kept it in front of Arnav and Anjali.

"ASR, your favorite" she grinned.

Without looking up, Arnav picked up a pakora and went back to reading his file. After biting into it, he looked up at Lavanya in surprise and said "These are real good. Almost like ma.." he broke off as he met Anjali's eyes and looked back into his file. Lavanya didn't seem to hear him as she was looking for Khushi.

Anjali smiled at Arnav as she took a pakora. "Lavanya ji ye toh sachme bohot achche bane hai. Hume nahi pata tha ki aap.."

"Arre Di" interrupted Lavanya. "Obviously, achche honge. Chamkeeli ne jo banaye hai. Naniji nahi hai toh I don't have to pretend ki maine banaye hai. Vaise ab woh mujhe pasand karti hai par maine Chamkeeli ko kaha ki agar mai ASR ke pasand ka kuch chai ke saath serve karungi toh aur impress ho jayengi. Toh bas, usne kaha ki woh pakore bana dengi kyunki ASR ko pasand hai. I just brought it out" Lavanya looked quite pleased with herself and Khushi.

Arnav just stared past her at Khushi who was just stepping out of the kitchen holding a tray. She walked in and placed the tray on the table. Without looking at him, she wordlessly picked one of the cups and left it near his side of the table. Straightening up, still refusing to meet his eye, she was walking out when Anjali said "Arre Khushiji aap bhi toh humaare saath chai peejiye."

"Nahi Anjaliji hum.."

"Oh come on Chamkeeli" said Lavanya. "Jaldi kaam khatam karke jaake apne fiance se milna hai kya?" Arnav's face hardened as he turned his attention back to his newspaper and put a half eaten pakora on his tea saucer, refusing to touch either.

Lavanya pulled Khushi to sit next to her. "Achcha ye batao, tumhaare fiance ka favorite snack kya hai?"

Khushi looked very uncomfortable as she said "Hume nahi pata Lavanya ji."

"Arre.. OK fine, hobby? Favorite hobby?"

"Hum.. hum nahi jaante"

"What?!" Lavanya giggled and continued "Seriously, tumhe uske saath time spend karna chahiye Chamkeeli. Itna bhaav khaana band karo aur uske saath bahar jaao! Ye sab baatei toh ASR ke baare mei bhi tum mujhe bataati ho aur tumhe apne hi mangetar ke baare mei nahi pata?!"

Arnav and Khushi looked up at the same moment to meet each others' gaze. Khushi looked away immediately, unable to take the intensity and almost satisfaction that flashed in his eyes.

"Lavanyaji aisa kuch nahi.." she started when Mamiji's loud voiced called out for Lavanya and she excused herself hurriedly.

Anjali, having observed Khushi's discomfort for a while, got up and came to Khushi saying "Humaare saath chaliye Khushi ji, hume kuch kaam hai."

Gratefully, Khushi got up and walked away into the kitchen with Anjali, all the while aware of Arnav's eyes on her.

Arnav wasn't sure why he felt such a stab of pleasure when he heard that Khushi knew what he liked and actually made it for him. And an even more prominent stab of satisfaction when he realized how she knew these things only about him. How she didn't care enough to find these things out about her.. that guy. How she didn't spend time with that guy. Feeling rather pleased, he picked up and stuffed his pakora into his mouth, savoring the taste even more.

Suddenly, he wanted to see her. He knew his Di was with her in the kitchen. Not caring, he picked up his tea and started walking, deciding vaguely that he will ask for the tea to be heated some more. He froze near the kitchen as he heard his Di say "..aisa toh nahi hai ki aapko woh.. Shyam ji.. pasand hi nahi hai?"

Arnav almost held his breath as he waited to hear Khushi's response. After a few moments, he realized he needed to hear what Khushi had to say. Walking closer, swallowing the feeling of being an eavesdropper, he flipped open his phone, put it on silent and put it to his ear, and hovered near the kitchen.

Inside, after a few more moments of silence, Khushi looked at Anjali and said "Anjali ji woh.."

"Khushi ji" she interrupted "Humne aapse kaha hai ki hum jaante hai ki hum aapse ek bohot hi personal savaal kar rahe hai lekin.."

"Nahi Anjali ji" said Khushi. "Aapne sahi hi kaha tha. Aap bhi toh humaare liye humaari Jiji ki tarah hai. Aapse kyu hum kuch chupaayenge. Woh kya hai ki ghar pe itna sab kuch ho raha hai. Babuji abhi bhi bimaar hai. Iss sabke beech shaadi.. hum kuch theek hi nahi laga. Humne Shyamji se kahaa bhi ki hum unse shaadi nahi kar paayenge. Lekin phir Buaji ne zor diya aur.. aur phir woh sahi hi toh keh rahi hai.. Babuji ne aur Amma ne humaare liye itna kuch kia hai Anjali ji.. agar unki khushi issimei hai toh hum kaise inkaar kar sakte hai?"

"Khushi ji" said Anjali softly "Aapke Babuji aur Amma aapse bohot pyaar karte hai. Woh kabhi.. "

"Aur hum bhi unse bohot pyaar karte hai Anjali ji" said Khushi "Hum Buaji ki baat samajhte hai. Itna toh hum kar hi sakte hai unke liye.

Khushi turned around slowly as she continued "Aap uss din pooch rahi thi na ki humne sagai ke baare mei kyu kuch nahi kahaa. Aapko pata hai, humaari sagai Diwali ke agle din huyi thi. Jab hum uss din subah yahaa aaye the aap sabse milne, tab hume pata bhi nahi tha ki raat tak humaari sagai ho jayegi. Ghar gaye toh pata chala Buaji panditji ke paas gayi thi aur unhone 6 baje ka mahurat nikaala tha. 6 baje ko toh hum mandir mei the toh mahurat beet gaya. Lekin raat ko achaanak Babuji ki tabeeyat kharab ho gayi aur Shyamji ne kaha ki unhono Babuji se kaha ki sagai aaj nahi huyi aur issiliye unki tabeeyat kharab ho gayi. Isiliye Buaji ne tabhi ke tabhi angoothi nikaali aur Babuji ke saamne hi sagai karvaayi."

Her eyes now welled up, she turned to face Anjali. "Aap hi bataayiye, aise huyi sagai ke baare mei aapko bataaye bhi toh kya bataaye? Hum apne aapko yahi kehke samjhaate hai ki hum ye apne parivaar ke liye kar rahe. Unki khushiya humaari zimmedaari hai aur hume apni zimmedaari nibhaani hai bas" finished Khushi, trying to sound strong even as her voice broke.

Anjali held out her arms like she did on the day of the barsi and unthinkingly Khushi rushed to hug her tightly, sobbing her heart out into Anjali's shoulder as Anjali patted her back softly, biting back her own tears at Khushi's helplessness.

Outside, Arnav clenched his fists in an attempt to stop himself from barging in and gathering her into his own arms, subconsciously knowing that she found strength and support in his arms. The pain that her tears always caused him made his own eyes well up lightly. As he heard people approaching the kitchen, he quickly walked towards his room.

"Aapko apne alaava aur koi dikhta hi nahi hai" her words resounded in his ears as he realized that even in the midst of her tears, his heart found some peace in knowing that she didn't want to be with anyone.. else. He wondered if he was being selfish in feeling that way. But, her tears always seared through his heart in a way that left no doubts as to how much he suffered her pain.

He wasn't sure what all of this meant. But, as he gazed into the starless evening sky from his room, he felt a calmness enveloping him. Almost as if someone was whispering into his heart that just like the million other times that he and Khushi thought they had parted, only to be with each other again, this time around too, the same forces would plot to ensure that, in the end, they are together.

No comments:

Post a Comment