Friday, 1 June 2018

Intro & part 1: Pehchan

Riddhima Modi, wife of Abhimanyu Modi, a successful business tycoon has been married to him for the last five years. They live in a joint family with Abhimanyu's parents, Shashank and Padma Modi, his elder brother, Atul Modi with his disabled wife Anjali Modi, and his younger unmarried brother Rahul Modi  is the heart and soul of this family; along with her mother-in-law, she is responsible for keeping everyone united.

 One day, a stranger walks into the Modi household. His name is Armaan Malik, a parentless young man, a musician from the US, who has come to India in search of his roots and identity- his 'pehchan.' Armaan soon forms a bond with all the Modis and while searching for his identity, falls in love with Riddhima. Does Armaan's quest for his identity help find her own self? Does she realize that despite having everything in life, something was amiss till Armaan entered her life?





Meri pehchan kya hai? What is my identity? Shayad main khud nahin jaanta. Well, to the outside world, I am a successful businessman, owner and founder of the Modi Telecom-a self made man who has worked hard all his life to make an identity-a pehchan for himself in this big city of dreams-Mumbai. We started our mobile phone business when it was still in it's infancy in India. Now we compete with the likes of Nokia and Motorola but pride in ourselves as we were one of the first home grown telecom companies in this country. Not only do people envy my business, but are in awe of my family. People wonder how I have managed to keep all three of my sons under the same roof in such harmony. The credit goes to my wife, Padma. If it were not for her patience and endurance, this house of cards would have collapsed a long time ago. Padma is the pillar around which we all have been anchored for the past thirty years. Yes, we have been married that long, but not every phase of our married life has been a bed of roses. The last twenty years have gone by in platitude, as I have pleaded and begged for absolution, but to this date she has not been able to forgive me for the one mistake I committed 28 years ago.

 I live a semi-retired life now as my sons have taken over my business. I still sign all the important documents, but it is my middle son, Abhimanyu Modi who makes all the decisions. I can see my control gradually slipping away from the company, but I have no regrets. After all, seeing his son on the throne of the empire which he built for them is every father's dream. Yes, the world identifies Modi Telecoms with me, but do I still identify with it? I am not sure. My son's way of working is very different from mine. After all, he is an MBA from the US, and I had my training on the job. I still miss my office in Andheri, my desk full of papers and my faithful employees, but Abhimanyu has moved the office to a more prestigious location near Marine drive, his desk has a number of computers and new gadgets, and his new employees change jobs faster than cars change lanes in Mumbai.

 My friends ask me to enjoy my retirement, spend time with my lovely and devoted wife. Yes, she is devoted to me, always has been, and I love her deeply-always have. But there is difference between devotion out of responsibility and devotion out of love. On paper, she has fulfilled every responsibility an Indian wife would, but only I am aware, what a pauper I've been all these years.  Craving for the day when my wife would absolve me of my sins and release me from this burden of guilt, which like my business, has just expanded leaps and bounds and is beyond my control.

 Shayad mujhey meri pehchan tab milegi jab Padma sachche dil se mujhey maaf kar degi. My doctors have warned me that another heart attack could be fatal. That's when my family had forced me to take voluntary retirement, after all the stress of work had given me two heart attacks already. But only I know the real cause- it's the guilt, the remorse, the shame, the humiliation I brought to my marriage when I broke Padma's trust'..


Meri pehchan kya hai? What is my identity? Mrs Padma Modi, wife of the retired business tycoon, Shashank Modi. My husband, a role model for many, worshipped by his sons, respected and envied by his peers, honored by the Government of India for 'entrepreneur of the year' a few years ago has succeeded in every field of life, has everything one could ask for, but will never be able to get the one thing he craves for the most-love and respect from his wife.

I have always been a strong willed woman. Even as a child, no one could deter me from my decisions. I was the only girl in my family who completed her Bachelors in Arts with her sheer determination. That's where I met Shashank and fell in love with him instantly. It was his honesty and ambition that attracted me to him. Even though Shashank came from a modest background, unlike my affluent one, I knew he was the right man for me. My parents opposed our alliance, but the stubborn girl inside me won that battle too. Reluctantly, my parents married me off to Shashank. Ironically, ten years later, when I was ready to walk out of Shashank's life, it was my family who supported Shashank instead of their daughter.  I decided to stay back- not for my sake, but for the sake of the family, my young sons and to support my husband when his business was going through a delicate but crucial phase. If I had left him at that juncture; his business, which he had so painstakingly erected, would have shattered into pieces.

As our business sky rocketed to success, our marriage receded into an ebb, the tide of love I once had for him had retreated into a cave so deep and dark, that all his begging and imploring could not rejuvenate it.

They say trust is the foundation of all relationships. Shashank had broken that foundation the day he confessed to me about his illegitimate relationship with his childhood friend from Nainital when he had visited the city two years after our marriage. Perhaps if he had told me right away, I would have forgiven him, but it was eight years after the incident, I found a letter in his locker, addressed to him, written by some woman, Damini, where she mentioned how she was taking 'their two year old son' away to the US to live with her brother. When I confronted him about the letter, his expression gave way to the truth about the letter. Our relationship was never the same again. My identity as his devoted, loving wife had been snatched by this unknown woman, Damini and their son, who was perhaps seven years old by the time I found the letter.

 To this date, Shashank has not been able to explain why he betrayed my trust, ruined our marriage and hid the truth about his infidelity for eight long years. What is I had never discovered the letter? I know I can never forgive him or give him the kind of love he expects from me. As far as I am concerned, he is the father of my sons and I am his legally wedded wife but our marriage has been emotionless and loveless for the past twenty years and will continue to be so till the day I die.


Meri pehchan kya hai? What is my identity? Well, at 29, I am Shashank Modi's oldest son but in reality one can say I am Anjali Modi's husband.  We have been married for seven years, but I feel I have been in life imprisonment since the day she set her feet in our house. Anjali is essentially a control freak, who has always wanted to be in charge of everyone around her. We had an arranged marriage, but from day one, mom and Anjali started their relationship on a wrong foot. A power struggle ensued the moment Anjali expressed her desire to take over the management of the house. Mom would have willingly given up all control, had Anjali played her cards right, won over mom's trust and heart instead of wanting to run the house from the get go, ruining their relationship forever.

To make matters worse, Anjali's fluke accident three years ago when she fell off a ladder on Diwali has paralyzed her from waist down. We all felt sorry for her in the beginning, but when her few smiles disappeared forever and her  dejected remarks gave way to caustic and bitter ones, even I started losing my patience. My family is very dear to me, and that includes my handicapped wife. I'll never desert them for my selfish needs. Anjali is my responsibility albeit a challenging one, but I shall fulfill it till the last day of my life.

My only respite is our five year old son, Kavya. Taking care of him and my wife are my full time job now. I have never been interested in business or working away from home. Perhaps, this is God's way of keeping busy at home. I know Anjali would love to see me dress up in a three piece suit, lap top in hand, walk out the door like my younger brother Abhimanyu, but I am content to be a homebody, chat with the women folk at home, run and fool around with Kavya, even if that meant listening to Anjali's non-stop banter about her 'good for nothing' husband.

Another person who lights up my day with her charming and ever so helpful nature is my younger sister in law, Riddhima. Although, she walked into this house as the 'majhli bahu,' she is in fact the real bahu, the real caretaker, the one person after mom, who has kept us all together. Mom trusts her more than she even trusts her sons; if I were in her place, I would have done the same. She is as self less as can be, always willing to pitch in, solve problems, ignores Anjali's jealous remarks and has been a surrogate mom to Kavya since Anjali was paralyzed.

If the world sees us as this one big happy Modi family, the credit undoubtedly goes to mom and alone.


Meri pehchan kya hai? What is my identity? I am the physically handicapped 'badhi bahu' of the illustrious Modi family. Yes, I am the oldest daughter-in-law on paper, but I am powerless and helpless. I have a good for nothing husband, who prefers to stay home rather than be in the limelight in the business world like Abhimanyu. When I had married into the Modi family, I was a source of envy for all my friends and relatives. After all, I was going to be the next Neeta Ambani in the making- the oldest bahu of the Modi household. Little did I know that Atul and I were going to be mere puppets in this house hold. It's Abhimanyu who gets to handle all the finances, investments and business related decisions, and it's who is incharge of the house after mummyji. How I wish someone had told me that Atul had never been ambitious and was indeed a college dropout. My only hope is Kavya. I hope he turns out like his Abhimanyu chacha rather than his dumb dad!

I don't know why God has been so harsh to me? Why does one woman, Riddhima, get the good looks, the charm, the affection, the respect and a dashing, ambitious husband, and I just a wheelchair, a lullaby singing husband and lots of pity but no respect. Why does mummyji only consult regarding all major decisions at home, like the guest list for the Diwali party, the new furniture in the den, or which saree looks good on her? I am like an old piece of furniture, tucked in the corner, of no use, but cannot be discarded either. While leads a perfect life, my life is just one long links of imperfection.

My retribution would come the day when something bad and imperfect happens in Riddhima's perfect life. She and Abhimanyu have been married for five years, but don't have a child yet. Maybe a childless would be reprisal for my paralyzed soul. She is still young, at 25, has many years to go before my dream could come true.


Meri pehchan kya hai? What is my identity? HA! Meri identity main khud hoon. I am the luckiest 27 year old man in this world. I have everything I could ask for- a large successful business handed to me on a silver platter; I run it the way I want, with no interference from anyone. Yes, I am a joint share holder in this business along with dad, Atul and Rahul, but we all know who the real emperor is. Dad's health prohibits him from being a major player any longer; Atul is smart enough to know that he is too dumb to handle the intricacies of business. I am glad he is happy at home because I would have no tolerance for a dim wit like him. Rahul, my younger brother is still in college, not ready to face the world yet. He worships the ground I walk on; perhaps one day, he could be of use at our company, but for now, I am the boss and will continue to be on the throne till the day I die.

I have a beautiful wife who is a perfect role model for the Modi household. We have been married for the past five years, but in reality she is married to my family rather than me. Don't get me wrong. We are like any other couple, had a great time with each other the first two years of our marriage, but for the last three years, I feel there is no passion left in our marriage. I find her company a bit boring. I've always had a keen eye for beauty, and frankly, have seen a fair share of beauty queens all my life-be it school, college or now. I married for the sake of the family, but I'm a bachelor at heart. Leggy, tall women are my weakness, and being the main bread winner of the family, I feel justified in fulfilling my physical needs on the road. After all, I spend most of time away from home; how long can a red blooded male like me stay deprived of basic pleasures of life. I am lucky I have a wife like Riddhima, who is devoted to me more than Goddess Parvati was to her husband, Shiv. She would never doubt me; she loves to keep everyone happy, especially me. I know she loves kids, but I have no desire to be tied down to any more responsibilities than I have. I love being a free bird, not accountable to anyone, and that's how I would love it to continue for a while.

I keep only one person happy- that's ME!


Meri pehchan kya hai? What is my identity? At 25, I am the luckiest woman in the world. God has been very gracious to me. They say, a sasural can never take the place of a girl's maayka, but I disagree. The love and affection I have received in my sasural is insurmountable. My mother-in-law is as kind and understanding as my own mother. In fact, my mother chides with me that 'sasural jaakar tho sach much paraayi ho gayi.' My brother-in-laws treat me like their own sister. Atul bhaiyya always stands up for me whenever I've been in a tough situation. I know Anjali bhabhi gets upset easily, but if I were in her place, I would also feel the same way. I can empathize with her and I pray to God that one day doctors can find a miracle cure for her disability. She deserves to be happy, and if I could give her my share of happiness, I would gladly do it in a heartbeat.

Rahul is like a younger brother, I never had. We fight, we tease each other and we share all our secrets like best friends. Only I know, he has a major crush on a girl called Muskaan at his college. She hails from a modest family, but I know I can convince everyone at home that she is the right girl for my lover boy devar. Papaji aur mummyji meri baat kabhie nahin taalte.

Abhimanyu and I have been married for the past five years. While growing up, my mother had always taught me to respect and treat my husband like God. Yes, I have tremendous respect for him, and love him more than anyone in the world. I know he has a lot of responsibilities as he takes care of the whole business. There are weeks, I barely see him for a few seconds as he is rushing from one trip to another. Even though, we don't spend much time together, he is always there with me and I'm sure he feels the same way about me.

I would love to be a mother one day, but Abhimanyu is not ready yet. He wants to give undivided attention to our child, but his busy schedule would preclude him from doing that now. I admire his honesty and his desire to be a good father. I am willing to wait for that day when I would feel a complete woman, a mother. I am sure Abhimanyu would never disappoint me. Aakhir 'sabr ka phal meetha hota hai.'

I love my family and their honor and integrity is my 'param dharam'


Meri pehchan kya hai? What is my identity? At 22, I am the youngest and 'most ladla' Modi boy. I love my life and I love Muskaan. My aim in life is to marry Muskaan one day and be as successful as Abhimanyu bhaiyya in business. bhabhi is my best friend at home. If it were not for her, I'd hate to hang out at home with my 'khadoos' Anjali bhabhi. bhabhi makes sure there is always fun, celebration and laughter at home. Right now, she is busy preparing for my college graduation party and that's when she will break the news about me and Muskaan. I can't wait to see my Muski as a bride. God! She is beautiful.

Even though, I would love to be as successful as bhaiyya, I am a lazy bum at heart. I love to party, have fun and romance with Muskaan. As long as Abhimanyu bhaiyya is there, I'm sure, I wouldn't have to slog it out.

I love my life. Thank you God!


Meri pehchan kya hai? What is my identity? At 27, I am still clueless. I wish I knew who I was, where my roots are, who my father is and why do I live in the US when my heart is still Indian? I live with my maama- my maternal uncle. I have lived here since I was two years old. Being a single mother in India is a sin of the worst kind; that's why we moved away 25 years ago. Even though, I've lived in the US majority of my life, my upbringing, my values have always been Indian. Mom passed away three years ago, and since then my quest to discover my roots has even grown stronger.

Music is my passion and I've graduated with a degree in music from one of the best Universities in the US. Recently, I was accepted to the prestigious "Indian Music Academy' in Mumbai as an exchange student. Despite my mom's hesitation, I've always wanted to return to India, and now I have a golden opportunity to discover my home land and pursue my passion at the same time.

My uncle reluctantly gave me the name of one of his family friend's, 'Mr Shashank Modi.' By the expression on uncle's face, I could tell that Mr. Modi knows my father. Even though, uncle has warned me against asking about my father, I know I can be stubborn at times and will at least try to get some hints from Mr. Modi.

Why did my father abandon my mother? Aakhir unki aisi kya majboori thi? I stare at my mother's picture, pack it in my suitcase, pick my guitar case and walk out the door to hail a taxi to the airport.

India'.here I come! Apni pehchan banane aur pehchan dhoondne main saat samundar paar aa raha hoon'''.

Enjoy this composition by me which won me the exchange student offer:

pehchaan, main dhoond raha

aaj dhoondtha hoon main pehchaan, mila de mujhein

khoye hue se mere nishaan, mila de mujhein

aakhir main hoon kaun aur, manzil meri kahaan

agar aag hai mujhmein tho yaaron, manzilein hai kyu dhabaa



( first line too muffled for me)

and i feel i can't see, what i am meant to be

(again muffled )

and then i let the world see, me


wake into the sunset, wondered where it'd go

i just can't remember, good times i used to know

seems these days, i cant find myself

lost, running away from the answers i've failed

gazing up i heard ,so plain and clear

music moved me and i can have my sea( sounds like )

aaj dhoondtha hoon main pehchaan, mila de mujhein

khoye hue se mere nishaan, mila de mujhein

aakhir main hoon kaun, aur manzil meri kahaan

agar aag hai mujhmein tho yaaron, manzil hai kyu dhabaa


maula , maula

kaise meri pehchaan

lambi abhi hai manzar meri, manzil tho baaki hai

manzil ko hai fir apne pe, kyun yakeen poora nahi

bisri hui umeedein kyun, dil mein aatish kahaan

chal kyun rahaan hoon ruka ruka jab, jism mein hai khoon bhara

khudhii par bharosa hai agar, saans jab thak baaki hai

aazaad hawa ban, mujhe karnii manzil haasil hai


kya patha ki kaun hoon main, shaayad mujhmein aag kahiin

kya patha ki kaun hoon main, shaayad mujhmein aag hai

jagaaoo usey, jagaaoo usey be contd


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