Tuesday, 17 April 2018

part 39 :Aradhana - Anmol Bandhan


"Bhai! Time to go!" Aaliyah came to take Angad to the 'mandap'. Angad didn't move from the place as covered his hands in face.

He wore cream Rajasthani chudidhar that Naina specially ordered for him on the occasion. His hair was done by a stylist on Naina's instructions. Angad became a 'puppet' in Naina's hand. She fulfilled all her dreams with his wedding. He didn't oppose anything that Naina did to him in past four days. He looked like determined to something seriously. All the time his mind helplessly roamed around Kripa. He lost count of how many times he apologised to Kripa in mind.


"Bhai!" Aaliyah dropped her hand on Angad's shoulder to bring him out of his thoughts. He looked vaguely at Aaliyah and dragged himself towards door without any emotion.  His eyes were red with sleepless nights. He looked like a defeater. Aaliyah empathized with his condition. "Bhai!Aapne yeh kya haal bana rakha hai? Ek bar aina mein apne chehre ko dekho. Kitna badalgaye hai aap  inn char dinon mein! You look old. I can't see you so depressed. Don't punish yourself like this. Why don't you run away from here? Jo bhi hoga baad mein dekha jayega. Mom won't commit suicide. Bus wo aapko emotionally blackmail kar rahi hai. Please bhai!" Aaliyah stopped him from behind as she became emotional.

 Angad faintly smiled at her, "kya farak padta hai, Aaliyah? Main nahin jaa sakta. Kya muh dikhaoonga maama ko aur Kripa ko. Unhone hi mujhey yahan wapas bheja tha na? They don't accept me. Unhey pata hai yahan kya honey wala hai, phir bhi…" his voice cracked as eyes welled up "…phir bhi mujhey janey ko kaha tha. Mom ki baat nahin maaney toh wo maama ji ke pariwar ko aur bhi problems create kardengi." He closed eyes and hardly swallowed. "Abb kuch nahin ho sakta. Honey do aagaey  jo hona hai. Mom ney sirf khudkushi karney ki dhamki di thi. Magar maine khudkushi kar hi liya tha. Abb main ek jinda lash ke samaan hoon.."

Aaliyah warned as his words hurt her. "Aapke saat saat Ridhima ki jindagi bhi barbaad ho rahi hai, Bhai! Aapko yeh huq nahin hai ki kissi innocent ladki ki jindagi barbaad karey. Why don't you explain to her? She might help you!"

Angad carelessly smiled, "Kyon kahoon? Why? Agar apnon ko hi mera parwah nahin hai toh wo parayi ladki kyon care karegi? Honey do jo hona hai. Agar uss ladki ki jindagi barbaad horahi hai toh uske jimmedari mom hain. Main nahin hoon. Main kissi ko kuch nahin kehne ke layak nahin hoon." He strode out carelessly.

Aaliyah sighed aloud and followed him. Anittah tied 'sehra' as Aaliyah put a long tilak on his forehead. Naina gave aarti as Anjali joined her hand. He was taken to the mandap.

"Dadi kahan hai?"Angad aggressively asked aloud. Naina was embarrassed and warned him in whisper, "yeh kya tareeka hai baat karney ki, Angad? Sab mehman hai yahan. Koyi natak mut karo. Dadi was not well aur wo yahan nahin aana chahti hai." Angad ignored her warnings and carelessly stepped towards Devyani's room.

He arrogantly faced Devyani, "mere jindagi barbad karkey aap itney chain se kaise rahengey, Dadi? You cannot run away from the scene. Mera anth aapke ankhon se dekhna hi padega. Aap aur Dad hotey huvey bhi Mom ko nahin rok paa rahey hain. Mom ne apne emotions se mere haat paon band diya hai. Phir bhi aap sab chup rahey. Chaliye mere saat. You have to witness defeat in my life." He became emotional.

Dilip warned him as he followed Angad into the room. "Angad! yeh kya tareeka hai dadi se baat karney ka? Mom ka gussa dadi pur mut niklao. Kaun tumhari mom ko samjha sakta hai? We are equally helpless like you. Agar tum tumhari jindagi ka faisla khud nahin le sakte toh hum kaise ussey mana kar saktey thay? Aur tujhey pata hai ki dadi toh kissi ko bhi nahin force kar sakti. Abb iss situation mein koyi kuch nahin kar sakta. Bekaar ki zidd chodo aur mandap mein chalo. Mehman ke samney problem mut khada karo. Muhurat nikala ja raha hai."

Angad helplessly looked at Devyani with tears. He didn't believe himself so vulnerable for the first time. "Agar aap chahey toh kuch bhi kar sakte thay, Dadi! Aap Maama ji ko bharosa dila saktey thay. Kripa ko yahan le aasaktey thay. Maine khud maama ji ko mananey ki bahut koshish kiya tha.  Phir bhi  maama ji mom ke kilaf apni beti ko deney ke liye taiyyar nahin they."

Dilip dropped his hand on Angad's shoulder. "Angad! Abb situation sab ke haat se nikal gaya hai. Tumhari mom ke kilaf koyi kuch nahin kar sakta. Itna sab kuch hogaya hai toh Sarma bhi kaise humey accept kar sakta hai? Shuru se hi wo humara riste ka kilaf tha."

"Angad! Muhurat nikala  jaa raha hai. Pundit tumhara intezar kar rahey hai. Sab loag kya sochengey. Agar dadi se baat khatam huye toh tumhey mandap mein chalna chahiye." Naina curtly intruded the three in the room.

Angad disappointedly hugged Devyani as his eyes welled up again. Devyani caressed his back, "Tumhara dard ko samjhta hoon, Angad! Magar abb main kuch nahin kar sakti.  Jo bhagwan ki marzi hai wahi hogi. Himmat rakho." He wiped the tear drops from corners of eyes and walked out.

Angad's heart wept all the time when the rituals took place according to the pundit's chants. He mechanically followed the instructions from Pundit. "Abb kanyadan ke liye kanya ki haat dulhe ke haat mein rakhiye." Pundit's instructions through chants startled Angad. He looked at the hand in his and slowly moved the looks to the bride beside him. He couldn't read the expressions in Ridhima's face as she lowered her head down. He moved his eyes back to the hand in his.

"Kya kya sapna dekha tha mainey. Mere haat mein kripa ke alawa kissi aur ki haat?" he closed his wet eyes and unintentionally tied his fist along with Ridhima's hand in his.

Ridhima shivered at the sudden tight touch of Angad's. Her heart raced with unknown fear. "Yeh jo bi main kar rahi hoon wo sahi hai? Kyon main itna kamzore mehsoos kar rahi hoon? Arman ke alawa kissi aur ko khud per huq diye jaa rahi hoon?"

Mechanically both Angad and Ridhima poured the sacred flowers, yellow rice into the sacred fire in front of them, as per pundit's instructions. They were not in a position to feel anything now. Their brains were frozen with unexpected moments.

"Kanya daan ke liye kanya ke pita yahan saamney ajayiye!" Pundit's instructions brought both Angad and Ridhima into the present again. Both looked at each other without any feelings but with loads of questions in mind.

Shashank poured sacred water through Ridhima's hand into Angad's hand.

"Beta! Abb dulhan ki maang pur yeh sindoor lagado." Angad startled at Pundit's sacred orders. He looked at Ridhima who lowered her head sincerely. He swallowed hard remembering Kripa. Naina initiated and helped Angad do accordingly.

Angad watched the whole ritual just like a mere spectator. He was unable to believe himself involved into the situation. How could he marry someone else? Would he able to answer Kripa anytime in future?  He wiped tears in pretext of wiping sweat over forehead and upper lip.



Ridhima silently swallowed her tears remembering Arman putting sindoor over her mang. Ridhima's situation was no less bad than Angad's. She shivered inside realizing the blunder she made with her own life. She looked at Shashank hugging Dilip as they congratulated each other. She stared into glowing Shashank's face and swallowed hard. "Kya papa ke kushi hi mere liye sab kuch hogaya tha? She would be referred as Angad's wife from now onwards! What about Arman? Kahan hai wo meri jindagi mein? Abb koyi rista nahin bacha unke saat? Main jee paoongi iss such ko hur roz yaad kartey huvey? Kya abb meri jindagi mein Arman koyi mayina nahin lagta? Kyon kiya mainey aisa? Kyon hua yeh sab mere saat? Main kabhi iss jaal se bachapoongi? Kya iss naye ristey ko sambhal paoongi? Itna himmat hai mujh mein? Arman ke bagair jee paoongi? She silently remembered Arman. "Arman! Hosakey toh mujhey maaf kardo. Main tumhara pyar ki layak nahin hoon."



Naina tied Angad's chunni with Ridhima's sari ends when pundit asked for 'kutbandhan' ritual.

Before Angad and Ridhima completely realized their mistake of obeying the emotional blackmail of their parents, Angad tied the sacred knot around Ridhima's neck.

*************

Misthy tried Arman's mobile for four days without getting any response from other end. She left messages about Ridhima's wedding date and still got no response. She contacted Padma and realized Arman was not in touch with them since Ridhima left for Mumbai. She was worried and left for Hyderabad a day before Ridhima's wedding to meet Arman in person.

"Arman toh yahan aaya bhi nahin. Humey toh Ridhima ki janey ka khabar bhi nahin mili . Tum loag kuch khabar toh nahin kiya tha aaj tak..We were also so busy that we didn't even have time to think about Arman. Humney samjha aap sab theek hi hongey." Padma explained with sorrow filled accused tone. "Why don't you contact his room-mate, Raju?" Padma reminded about the person who was working with Arman.



"Main hospital mein poochtach karungi. I don't know why Arman was not responding to calls." Misthy wondered at Arman's silence. "Bhai Sanjeevani se resign kardiya. Usney toh ek baat bhi kaha tak  nahin." Misthy humiliated when Raju told about Arman's whereabouts.

Both Saxena couple was shocked to know about Arman's resignation to Sanjeevani as soon as he returned from Mumbai.

Arman returned Misthy's calls in the night after Raju also contacted him. He apologised to Misthy and patiently answered her anger filled enquiries. "Mainey job badal liya tha. Wahan aur kaam nahin karpaoonga, Misthy! Now, I joined Primary care. I wanted to be alone,completely myself, issiliye maussi ko bhi khabar nahin diya tha. Anyway kya khabar hai Ridhima ki?"

"Abb tak shadi hogayi hogi. I haven't checked with her. Mujhey himmat nahin huyi. Jab bhai ney pyar karkey usko apni haal per chod diya toh main kya muh lekar jaoongi uski paas? Khud hi haal chaal poochlo." Misthy rudely replied with anger on Arman.

Arman hung up silently as his eyes welled up. He collapsed on the floor with hands on face."Yeh kya kardiya hai, Ridhima! Meri galati kya thi? Tumhari support nahin karna? Tumhara papa ke saamna gidgidakar haat nahin phelana? Jab mere saat agey badney mein himmat dikhaya to abb kya hogaya hai tumhey, Ridhima? Kyon humarey jindagi ko barbaad kar dala? I wanted you to take initiative. Magar tum itni jaldi himmat haar gayi? I don't believe you did this to Me." he cried as he slowly digested the truth.



"Maussi! I have to go to Arman. He needs me very badly." Misthy informed after hung up the phone. She guessed what Arman would go through now. Both Saxena couple offered sympathies and accompanied Misthy.

Padma scolded Arman for his negligence. "Pyar karnay waley ka tareeka aisa nahin hota hai, Arman! Ridhima ko aise hi Shashank ke baat maan ne ko chod diya ? Main yakein se keh sakti hoon ki  Shashank ne ussey emotional blackmail kiya hoga. Kya karegi bechari apne papa ko uss halat mein dekh kar? Kya bigad jayega agar tum uss Shanky ke pair pakdey toh? Pyar ke liye itna bhi nahin kar sakta tha? Atleast, you should have told me before hand, Arman! Galati meri bhi thi, main bhi apni kaam mein itni ulazh gayi thi ki tumharey baren mein ek baar bhi poochtaach nahin kiya. I would have stopped this." Padma showed her concern.

Arman silently wiped his eyes as constantly welled up. Misthy kept soothing his back as empathized with him. "I didn't expect this from Ridhima, Mausi! I thought she would come over of all this mess on her own. Main uss Gupta ko chodunga nahin."

Nishant smiled sarcastically, "Lo, Padma! Aur ek Shashank paida hogaya hai. Apne pyar ko bacha nahin paya aur upper se ussey dhamki de raha hai jisney humesha iss pyar ko reject kiya tha."

Padma consoled Arman by caressing his hand.  "Armaan! Call Ridhima now. Aur poocho wo kaisi hai. Agar aur bhi waqt hai tho ussay turant yahan lekey aajao."

Arman shook his head sideway, "nahin, maussi! Shadi hochuki hogi. Kissi aur ki patni ko bhagakar nahin le aoonga."

Misthy agreed at Arman's thoughts, "haan maussi! Ridhima ney apne papa ke liye pyar ko sacrifice kardi. Abb wahan jaakar uski aur bejjati nahin karengey." She also sympathized with Ridhima.

She called Khanna's office and took leave for a week to stay back with Arman.

**********

Angad rudely refused to participate in any post marital rituals. He even refused to take blessings from the elders. "Mujhey kissi ki ashirvad iss shaid ko lekar nahin chahiye. Main aapke dhamkiyon mein aakar yeh shadi karliya hai. Abb aagey jo bhi hoga sirf mere marzi se hogi. Aap agar Kripa ki ya unki family ke taraf aankh uthakar dekha bhi toh mujhse bura aur koyi nahin hoga. You better realize that now. Aur wo case bhi turant wapas leejiye. Abhi….issi waqt." Angad harshly warned Naina and left to his room to lock himself away from the crowd.

Naina sighed helplessly and decided to handle the situation alone. Aaliyah stayed with Ridhima all the time on Naina's request to compromise the absence of Angad with her. Shashank noticed it but kept quiet as his wish to marry Ridhima into Khanna house was fulfilled.

**********

"Maa! Main aaj ghar se khana laoongi. Aap papa ke paas hi rukiye.Yeh hospital ka kha kha kar thak gaye hai hum sab." Kripa tried to convince Gayatri on fourth day of stay since Surya was hospitalized. He was paralyzed on right side and his speech was also affected. He could mumble but wouldn't construct any sentence. Surya tapped her hand as agreed with her. She smiled affectionately and caressed his left hand. He smiled with half lip moving up. She kissed his chest and placed her head on his chest. Surya caressed her head with great affection. Tear drops escaped from his eyes as he closed his eyes with a soft sigh through his breath. Gayatri and Sastry watched them with tearful eyes.

Sastry teased Kripa to lighten the situation. "Kyon kripa! Ghar ko miss kar rahi hai?"

Kripa shyly smiled as wiped the tear drops from Surya's temples. "Nahi, chacha ji! Such much khana bahut bland hai yahan. Aaj main sab ko khana banakar ghar se lana chahti hoon. Papa bhi kal se kuch kha rahe hai. Papa ke liye soft food chahiye. Unke  liye kichidi banakar laoongi."

Sastry admired her courage and encouraged. "Gayatri bhabhi! Aap bahut kush naseeb waley hai, Kripa jaise beti ko pakar. Bahut samjhdari aur jimmedari bhi hai, pyari bachi. Main rastey mein ussey ghar chod jaoonga. Kaam khatam hotey hi sham ko aap se milney aoonga." Sastry dropped Kripa on the way back of his home.

Kripa was shocked to see the wedding invitation from Khanna family as soon as she entered the house. She collapsed in the couch after going through it. She couldn't believe her eyes as her world crashed in front of her eyes. She checked the date repeatedly to digest the fact that the wedding took place today.. "Angad kissi aur se shadi kar raha hai? Kaisey rok paoongi yeh? Yeh suchi invitation hai? Kya meri aankh toh dhoka nahin khaya?" She caressed the date and Angad's name with blurred eyes as tears constantly welled up. She didn't try to wipe them. Her kurti became wet with tears. She realized this would be the reason for her pining to go home at that time. She badly wanted to run to him and save her love. "Angad ne such kaha tha wahan janey ke baad Naina aunty jaroor ussey majboor kardeti hai. Papa ney nahin roka ussey. Mainey tumhey khodiya hai, Angad! Humesha humesha ke liye kho diya hai. Tumhey wapas nahin bhejna chahiye tha.Humari hi galati thi.  Kaisey rokoon yeh shadi? Kaisey tumhey bacha paoongi? Mera saarey sapney toot rahey hai.Bhagwan! Kuch madat karo. Kissi tarah yeh shadi ko roklo. Mere Angad ko mere paas bhejdo." She cried her heartful as repetitively hugged the card to her heart. She tried to call Angad with shivering hands but didn't get any response. She didn't know how long she cried and fell asleep on the couch.

Gayatri called Kripa's mobile around 2 and worried as Kripa didn't pick up the call. She called the neighbour and requested to look into the matter. The neighbour maami immediately checked Kripa and noticed the wedding card. She understood the situation quickly and woke Kripa. "Kripa beti! Sambhalo apne aapko. Tum aisa toot gaya toh kaun mama ko sambhalengey? Jo hogaya hai so hogaya hai. Aagey kya karna hai socho. Gayatri kayi bar phone kar chuki hai. Tumharey liye wo wahan  pareshan ho rahi hai.. Abb Jaldi se nahalo; khana mein pack kardoongi." Kripa walked into the bathroom on force as the neighbour walked back home to get lunch for Sarma family.

"Abb bobby tumhey drop karney hospital tak ayega. Sambhalkey jana." The neighbour offered help to send her 15year old son with Kripa. Kripa hesitantly warned, "it's okay, maami! Main theek hoon. Bobby ko aaney ki jaroorat nahin hai." The neighbour maami warned Kripa and forced to go with bobby.

Gayatri was relieved on seeing Kripa and thanked bobby for help. "Thanks kehney ki Koyi jaroorat nahin hai, maami! Mom ney kaha tha ki aap Kripa didi ko sambhaley." He conveyed the message from his mother about Angad's wedding card and Kripa's heart break. He left to give privacy to the family.

 Gayatri tried hard to stop her tears and consoled Kripa in her warm embrace."Yeh toh kabhi na kabhi expect kar rahey they. Humey shak hota tha ki Naina jaroor Angad ko humse door karegi. Papa ka bhi iss mein dosh tha. Abb kya karengey, sab kuch itni jaldi hogaya hai. Hum rehtey bhi kuch nahin karpaye."

Both mother and daughter cried in a corner after Bobby left. Surya watched them silently and dropped tears as guessed the situation. He wanted to console Kripa but couldn't help. He cried for his helplessness at that moment.

vijaya

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