Wednesday, 18 April 2018

part 40 :Aradhana - Anmol Bandhan


Gayatri and Kripa drew away from each other when they heard groaning sounds from Surya. Surya was struggling to get up from bed with support of his left part .They ran to him and tried to calm him down.

"Yeh kya kar rahey hai aap? Shaant hojayiye." Gayatri warned him when he tried to speak up pointing at Kripa.


"Papa! Calm down. Aap kyon uthna chahtey hai? Kuch chahiye aapko?" Kripa lay him back on bed forcefully.  Surya caressed Kripa's cheeks and cupped her chin as mumbled something. Both mother and daughter looked at each other as they suspected if Surya came to knew about the news. Kripa lowered her eyes and tried to be normal. Surya mimed enquiring about her tears. Kripa ignored his suspicious enquiries to divert his attention. But he insisted by banging his fist on bed.

Gayatri realized there was no point in hiding the truth from him anymore. "Haan, aap ka shak sahi hai. Angad ka shadi ho chuki hai. Aaj hi kuch ghantey pehle. Ghar mein card pada hua tha. Kripa lekey aayi apni  saat."

Surya looked at Kripa for confirmation and she shook her head. Gayatri brought the card to him when he asked for proof. His eyes welled up and he dropped the card with sigh. He suddenly took Kripa's hand and slapped on his cheek as if punishing himself.

"PAPA!"  Kripa screamed at his weird behavior and sought help from Gayatri as she couldn't stop him. Gayatri warned him hurriedly, "aap pagal hogaye kya? Kyon aisa kar rahey hai" She pulled Kripa out when Kripa broke into tears.

Surya slapped his forehead as if cursing himself. Gayatri warned him by holding his hand. "Abb pachtaney se kya hoga? Jo hona toh wo ho chuka hai. Kripa ki jindagi kissi aur tarah taya hogaya hai. Aap shaant hojayiye. Hum pehley se hi hitchkitcha rahey they. Abb wo sab janjhat khatam hogaya hai. Aur un logoan ke barein mein sochne ke bhi jaroorat nahin hai. Aise karney se, khud saja bhugatney se kuch nahin milega. Aap kamakha bachi ko rula rahein hai. Wo waisey bhi dukhi hai." She wiped his tears and her own tears with her sari ends. He stopped hurting himself but wept with a soft moan.

Kripa blurted out her pain in a corner while Gayatri consoled to stop him from sulking. Surya wouldn't control his emotions and his pulse beat raised as it sent warning signals out of the room. Duty Nurse came in running, "aap kyon patient ko takleef derahey hai?" She alerted the duty doctor who immediately attended Surya.  He warned Gayatri, "Aap yeh kya kar rahey hai patient ke saat? Kyon ussey itna takleef de rahey hai?" Gayatri tried to reason the situation and doctor continued his warnings. "Jo bhi ghar ke problems ho patient ke saat saavadhani se peshana chahiye. Abb inke saat kuch hogaye toh aap hi iski anjaam bhugtengey na? Be careful next time." He turned to Kripa who occasionally wept her eyes while his check-up. "Tumto padhi likhi ho. You should know better how to deal with a patient. Koyi dardbhari batein issey pahoonchna nahin chahiye." Kripa reassured to take care of her father. She decided at that moment to swallow her tears till Surya became normal and discharged from the hospital.

*****

Angad paced in his room fuming at his helplessness. He missed Kripa very badly. He wanted to call her, to hear her voice. He felt her voice might sooth his pain. But he suspended the thought with hesitation. "Kya baat karunga? Yahi ki, meri shadi hochuki hai? Tum bhi apni jindagi mein agey bado? Unkai sawalon ke jawab kabhi depaoonga? kya beetegi  bechari per. Wo kitney khwaishein lekar humay dhoondney Mumbai aayi thi. Kabhi us sey pehli tarah baat karpaoonga?" His desire to talk to her was as much deepened as he thought of her.

He decided to listen to her voice atleast after loads of debating in mind. He called her from landline to hide the identity of the caller. Kripa answered on other end. He silently cried while she was irritated at the blank caller. He kissed the receiver after Kripa cut the line. He didn't try to stop his tears to flow over cheeks. "Jindagi bhar ka saja mila hai mujhey. Hum saat milkar kitney sapney dekhey they. I promise you, Kripa! I don't give your place to anyone else in this world. Tumhari jagah mere dil mein waisey hi sajaker rakhoonga." he took an oath himself as he missed Kripa much deeper.

"Angad!yeh kya haal bana rakha hai. Jaldi se taiyyar hojao. Atleast wash your tears. Abb Ridhima aarahi hai. Aaj tum donon ka suhag raat hai. Ridhima Kya sochegi tumhara yeh halat ko dekh kar?"

Angad threw hatred looks at her, "For God sake, please mom! Stop this nonsense. Aapke kehney per shadi kar liya na. Aur kyon mujhey aisey satana chahtey hai? Why don't you leave me alone? Aur yeh suhag raat! Kya matlab hai iska. I'm not ready for all this nonsense. I don't share my room, my life with anyone. Aap yeh sab bakhwas rukvaiye. Aap chaley jayiye yahan se."

Naina suppressed her anger at his rejection. "Angad! bachon jaisa behuda batein mut karo. Hum samajh saktey hai ki tumhey yeh sab acha nahin lagega. But Ridhima can't understand all this. Don't insult her in front of guests. Ghar mein sarey mehmaan abb bhi maujood hai. Damini hai, Gupta hai aur Ridhima ki behen Anjali bhi neechey hall mein hai. Wo log kya sochengey? Ridhima kya muh dikhayegi unko? Don't embarrass everyone now. Mein haat jodkar vinati karti hoon." Naina folded her hands as pleaded him. Angad didn't expect this face of Naina and backed up from his refusal. Anjali and some other women brought Ridhima inside and Angad immediately escaped into bathroom before anyone noticed him. Naina sighed with relief and took Ridhima to the bed with forced smile.

Angad banged his fist over bathroom wall and banged his head out of frustration. "Kyon main itna kamzore banta jaa raha hoon? Kyon mom ke baton mein aaraha hoon. Jitna sulazhna chata hoon utna hi iss jaal mein ulazha raha hoon. Why do I care about Ridhima. I have to get out of this mess now. I don't care what she thinks. Mujhse shadi karna uski problem hai. Mainey koyi wade toh nahin kiya ussey. Main kaise uske saat jeeoonga? Kripa ki jagah kissi aur ko kaise depaoonga? Kabhi nahin. Chahey mom kitna bhi natak karey main uss baton mein nahin aoonga. I have to escape from here now." He cursed himself for obeying Naina's orders unexpectedly.

Ridhima mechanically sat on the bed as Naina guided her. Naina covered Ridhima's head with her sari. Women's dirty jokes humiliated Ridhima and she cursed herself for falling in such embarrassing situation. She constantly prayed for courage to face her husband now. She quickly planned different ways to escape the night's sensitive situation."Bhagwan! Main iss raat ke liye abhi taiyyar nahin hoon. Iss problem sey mujhey bachalo. Don't force me to this, please." She turned the prayers into curses over herself. "Bhagwan se kyon pooch rahi hoon. Unhey toh nahin kaha Arman ko chodkar Angad se shadi karo. Yeh saari galati meri hai. I should have expected this situation before I obey to papa's wishes. Shadi ke baad kya kya sehna padta hai, mujhey pehley hi expect karna chahiye tha.  Magar main kuch sochey bina papa ke liye 'haan' kardi. Abb pachtaney se kya faida. Abb yeh sab jindagi bhar bhugtna hi padega." She silently sulked as she lost the freedom of showing her frustration out.

 After the women left Ridhima sighed aloud and fearfully looked at bathroom. "Hope he never comes out. khaash kuch aisa hi hojaye." Her heart started racing when she heard the sound of water flowing. She prayed as fiddled with fingers.

He spent an hour in the bathroom and decided his further plans.  Ridhima closed her eyes tightly when bathroom door was opened. She started sweating as the footsteps closed to her. She closed her eyes and curled her toes with pounding heart.

Angad stared at Ridhima who sat with lowered head like in movies. He wanted to explain her about his forceful marriage and immediately suspended the thought to avoid the conversation with her. He passed the bed and walked to lock the bedroom doors. Ridhima's heart sunk as heard every sound he made. He turned to her and briskly mumbled, "aap sojayiye." He walked to the couch on other end of the room. He pretended sleepy and closed his eyes as turned his back to Ridhima.

Ridhima watched him through her sari and was relieved. "Thank God! Aaj ka museebut  tal gaya. Khaash he does this every day. By the way, yeh itna tired kyon hai? kuch pareshan bhi lag raha hai. jo bhi ho mere liye acha hi hua na. Why would I bother about him now?" She waited for few minutes without moving from bed as thanked God many times for helping her. After ten minutes she slowly removed her heavy jewelry and switched off the light. Her thoughts moved on to Armaan. "Armaan kya karta hoga abb? Kya sochta hoga mere barein mein? Kyon wo mere liye ek baar bhi papa se baat nahin karpaya? Does he care about me at all? Phir mujhey iss museebat se kyon nahin bachaya? Papa ke liye mere jimmedari ko kyon nahin samajhpaya? Agar wo ek baar papa se mere haat mangliya hota main aaj iss situation mein nahin padti. Jiju mein aur Armaan mein kitna farak tha. Anjali such much bahut bhagyasali hai. Itna pyar karney wala pati jo milgaya hai." Web of thoughts surrounded Ridhima till late night.

On the other hand, Angad silently soothed his pain by remembering his days with Kripa. Their first meeting; acquaintance in the elevator, Kripa's first visit to Khanna house, her first time singing, their sweet nothings, their love encounter on the terrace, their promises of love and many more. He turned to check Ridhima breathing heavily in sleep. He checked the time as it was silent all over the house and confirmed everyone slept in the house. He slowly opened the door and checked the clear hallway. All lights were off indicating the house was in slumber.

He wrote a note on Ridhima's name. "We were not made for each other. Meri choice tum nahin ho. Yeh shadi mere marzi ke kilaf hua tha. You can go your way as you wish. Main yeh ghar se door chala jaa raha hoon. If you want you can tell this to mom and your father. I won't come back to you. Tum chahey toh kissi aur se doosere shadi kar sakti ho. Ho sakey to mujhey maaf kardo." He didn't address Ridhima nor signed his name at the end of the letter. But he wouldn't put her in dilemma either. He checked over Ridhima and felt sorry for her for the first time. He placed the letter on other pillow besides her. He silently packed his bag with necessary cloths and toiletries. He glanced all over the room before stepped out. Ridhima folded her legs to knees and covered herself under the sari. He walked to her and covered her with blanket. He glared at her for last time and left home.

********

"Bhai! I want to move back to you. I want to be with you." Misthy announced her decision while having breakfast next morning.

"Kyon? You don't have to change your jobs for me. I'm perfectly fine. I can take care of myself." Arman disapproved with her decision.

Misthy smiled and pressed his hand as concern, "bhai! Mujhey pata hai aap khud ko kitney care letey hain. Kal se abb tak aap kuch khaya hi nahin. Kitna khoye khoye rehte hain? Main jitney baar aapko iss duniya mein laney ki koshish kiya tha maloom hai? Har baar aapko mere presence ke barein mein yaad dilana padraha hai.  Aisi haal mein main wahan Mumbai mein aram se nahin rehpaoongi. Atul janey ke baad hum donon hi ek dooserey ki care karte aarahay hai. Phir main kaisey aapko akela chodkar reh paoongi? Aapke jimmedari mujhper hai, bhai!"

Armaan smiled at her protective thinking. "okay meri maa! Tumhari marzi. Jo theek lagta hai wahi karo. Main toh pehley bhi kehdiya ki tumhey job karney ki jaroorat nahin hai, main tumhari care le sakta hoon. Abb yahan aakar tum mere khayal rakho."

Misthy smiled through tears, "Haan bhai! Main wahin karooongi. Aapke aur iss ghar ki khayal rakhoongi. Phir dheerey dheerey ek job bhi dhoondloongi." Both pressed each other's hands with affection.

"Bhai! Aaj aap chutti lesaktey toh mujhey pura Hyderabad ghuma saktey hai?" Misthy asked to lighten the atmosphere. Armaan immediately agreed and called his hospital for permission.

"Pehley hum humara clinic chalengey. Wahan kuch logon se aur Padma maussi se milengey phir hum khaney ke liye bahar jayengey." Arman gave a big list of day's plan. He tried his best to be normal.

Misthy noticed but prayed silently for speed recovery of normalcy in their life. She prepared a resignation letter and emailed to Khanna office. Her heart pined for Kartik and quickly dismissed the thought, "Armaan ka pain se jada nahin hai mera pyar. Armaan theek hojaye bus yahin dua karti hoon. Jaldi se Armaan apna jindagi ko dooserey taraf modeley phir main apni barein mein sochoongi.."

*********

"Yeh toh hum shuru se hi shuk karte aarahey hai. yeh sab toh Naina ki chaal hai. Bua ji kuch nahin kar saktey they. Khamkha humari bachi ki dil dukhaye hai wo loagon ne. yeh sab jitna jaldi hosakey bhul jana hi acha hai. Sarma ko ek baar theek honey do phir hum Kripa ke liye achasa var bhi dhoondlengey." Sastry empathized with Gayatri when she updated the news while Surya was slumbered under effects of drugs.

Gayatri sighed helplessly, "abb hum kar bhi kya saktey hain? Inhey kuch honey se pehley Kripa ki haat peeley karliya toh acha hota." Sastry understood her worst fears about Surya's health now. He agreed with her as empathized with her.

Kripa talked to Sastry separately when Gayatri was napping on the sofa aside. "Chacha ji! Aap jantey hai, mere liye mama papa se badkar koyi nahin hai. Aur unkey liye bhi main akeli sahara hoon. Main shadi karkey chala gayi toh kaun undonon ko sambhalengey? Maanta hoon ki unkey liye mera shadi hi sab kuch hai. Magar inn halation mein main shadi karkey nahin chala jana chahti hoon. Pehley kahin bhi mujhey ek naukri dilvayiye. Phir sochengey aagey kya karna hai."

Sastry agreed at her thoughts. "Tumhey music studio mein kaam karna acha lagta hai na? Mera ek friend film nagar mein kaam karta hai. Main abhi ek khabar unke khanon tak pahoonchata hoon. Yahan sab theek honey ke baad tum unsey mil sakti ho."

Kripa was highly delighted at his help. "chacha ji! Agar aap nahin ho toh pata nahin humey kya hojata. Aapke bahut bahut shukriya hain."

Sastry smiled and patted on her head as consoled her, "yeh toh mera farz hai, bachi! Apnon ka kaam nahi aa saka toh apna banker bhi kya faida?"

 vijaya

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