Saturday, 13 October 2018

part 55 : To Err is Human

I didn't marry you because you were perfect.
I didn't even marry you because I loved you.
I married you because yougave me a promise.
That promise made up for your faults.
And the promise I gave you made up for mine.
Two imperfect people got married and it was the promise that made the marriage.

    Thornton Wilder



MUMBAI CENTRAL (RAILWAY STATION)


"Jaana zaroori hai kya?" A glum-faced Angad asked Kripa as she was ready to board the train to Ajmer. He held her hands firmly, hoping she would stay back instead. The last nine months that they had spent together with each other, albeit the toughest time in their lives, had been the most memorable time of their lives. It was hard to fathom that even though they were deeply committed to each other and practically a couple in most senses; a few rituals of the society still separated them from completing each other.




Even though, she dreaded this month long separation from her love, Kripa put up a brave front in front of him, "Jaante ho na main ziddi hoon….aur mere mama papa mujhse bhi zyaada ziddi hain," she squeezed his hands, "wo apni beti ki vidai apne ghar se hi karenge…..bas ek mahine ki hi tho baat hai…phir humein koi alag nahin kar sakta….ladai bhi karoge mujhse tho tumhara peecha nahin chhodungi!"


"Roz phone karogi na?" He asked dejectedly.



"Nahin karoongi!" She teased him, "kyunki jaanti hoon tum kar loge….phir main kyun time waste karoon?"



Angad chuckled back and pinched her nose, "transplant ke baad phir chul buli ho gayi ho! Kyun le rahi ho mere pyaar ka itna imtihaan?"



"Angad," she replied softly, "us imtihaan mein tho tum kab ke pass ho chuke ho…..ab imtihaan nahin…bus thoda intezaar aur baaki hai….. socho…..ek mahine baad jab milenge tho woh milan kitna…" she paused bashfully.



"Kitna khubsoorat hoga…..ab yeh soch soch kar aur tadapta rahoonga main," he had the urge to pull her into his arms but approaching footsteps cautioned him that her parents were nearby.


"Beta…train ka time ho gaya hai….chalo andar chalte hain," Suryabhan and Gayatri joined them at the platform after picking some magazines at the stand.



"Papa…mama….aap sab mujhey akela chhod kar jaa rahe hain….achcha nahin lag raha," Angad replied sadly.



"Beta….tumhare saath rehte rehte….hum bhi bhool gaye the ki hamara ghar Mumbai mein nahin…..Ajmer mein hai…..kya karein…duniyadaari tho nibhaani hai….saare rishtedaar shaadi Ajmer se hi karna chaahte hain…..beta jo tumney hamare aur Kripa ke liye kiya hai wo hum kabhie nahin bhool paayenge…..hamara apna beta hota tho woh bhi shayad itna nahin karta," Suryabhan patted Angad's shoulder and hugged him.




"Beta hi hoon main aapka….please paraya mat kariye," he bent down and touched Gayatri and Suryabhan's feet. Gayatri bid a tearful farewell to her son-in-law-to-be and the man who saved all their lives, "beta….chaahe tho jaldi aa jaana….shaadi ek mahine baad hai tho kya….ghar tho tumhara hi hai….wahin se tayyari kar lena apni bhi."




"No way aunty!" Shabbir, Aaliyah and Isha joined them, "Angad ke bhai aur bhabhi hai na…hum baraat lekar aayenge Ajmer."




"Aaliyah! Shabbir!" Kripa hugged both of them and took Isha in her arms, "ale ale….Isha rani is dress mein kitni pyaari lag rahi hai." In a short span of time, the Aggarwals had become family, especially now that Kripa and Shabbir shared a special life long bond for which she would always be indebted to him.



"Theek hai tho hum pehle pahunch jaayenge….hum tho ladki waale hain aakhir," Armaan and Riddhima joined them too.



"What a surprise!" Kripa was elated to see them all at the station.



"Armaan yaar…..tu ladki waala hai tho mere camp mein sirf Shabbir aur Aaliyah?….Yeh kaisi baraat hogi? 3 logon ki baraat?" Angad asked.




"Sorry yaar…..duty calls….pehle bhai hoon phir dost!" Armaan shrugged his shoulders.



"Don't worry Angad," Riddhima defended him, "poori Sanjeevani baraat mein aayegi….everyone wants to attend your wedding in Rajasthan."



"Chalo…yeh tho bahut badhiya baat hai," Suryabhan smiled, "phir tho poore baraat ghar ka intezaam karna padhega….chalo Gayatri….jaldi chalo….bahut kaam hai….aakhir beti ki shaadi karni hai."




The friends said their goodbyes to the Sharmas and promised to arrive in Ajmer a few days before the wedding.


Angad and Kripa exchanged heartfelt glances as she boarded the train. With heavy hearts and misty eyes, they swallowed their tears and waved to each other as the train departed the station, heralding a new beginning in their lives.




……………………………………………………………


NEXT ONE MONTH:



Angad and Kripa made the most of their month long separation. Long phone conversations about sweet nothings, Angad's latest song compositions, his updates on work, home and friends made Kripa feel like she was still in Mumbai. She filled him on all the hustle and bustle of the wedding preparations.



"Jaante ho….Harshini ne tumhare liye khaas shaadi ka joda banwaaya hai."



"Kahin Rajasthani joker tho nahin lagoonga?"



"Angad!"


'Sorry…I just don't want to look like a Rajput from my history books."



"Lagoge tho waise hi," she chuckled and teased him.



"Kripa!"


'Sorry….tumhara achkan bankar aa gaya hai….pyaar kiya hai tho achkan pehen na hi padhega."



'Achkan? What's that?"



"It's like a sherwani…..aur saath mein jodhpurs (riding breeches cut full through the hips and close-fitting from knee to ankle), jooti, pagdi, necklace, kamarband aur talwaar sab pehen ne padhenge," she giggled.



Angad frowned as he imagined himself as a Rajput prince, "should I grow a mustache to go with this outfit?"


"Nahin baba," she laughed, "kahin galat aadmi ko varmaala na pehnaa doon."


"Don't worry….tumhari jaisi ziddi ladki ko koi gale nahin lagaane waala."


"Haan ziddi tho main hoon.....aur poori tarah saj kar nahin aaye tho main var maala nahin pehnaaungi."



"Theek hai Kripa….itni cheezein pehenaogi tho mushkil tumhein hi hogi," he smiled wickedly.



"Mujhey kyun?"



"*cough*cough* ab yeh bhi mujhey hi samjhaana padhega? Do you know how difficult it is to get a jodhpur off?" He laughed.



"one track mind," she chuckled back and admired his wedding outfit which lay in front of her.



"OK…now tell me what you are wearing?"


"Mama ne lehnga banwaaya hai," she smiled.


He sighed, "kis color ka?"


"Red."


"I have always dreamt of you in red…..tell me more," he shut his eyes as he imagined her in a red bridal outfit at the mandap.


"Nahin…bus aur nahin bataaoongi……kuch tho surprise rehne do….bye goodnight……jao so jao…..kal night duty hai tumhari."



"Night duty tho shaadi ke baad shuru hogi," he replied huskily.


Kripa blushed but playfully smacked him through the phone, "goodnight one track mind!"



"Sweetheart….it's all bad night without you…..good nights bhi shaadi ke baad hi shuru hongi," he groaned.


She bit her lower lip bashfully and was about to hung up, when Angad asked, "did you take your medicines?"


"Haan baba le li…..koi bachchi nahin hoon."


"Good girl…..OK ab rakhta hoon…..goodnight." He sighed.


"Goodnight."


………………………………………….


ANGAD & KRIPA's WEDDING:


The Sharma's home became the epicenter of all the celebrations and ceremonies leading up to the wedding. Riddhima arrived a few days early to be there with Kripa through all the rituals.


As the day of the wedding got closer, both Angad and Kripa became more impatient to see each other. Even though Angad was in town now, he was not allowed to meet her till the wedding ceremony. Anticipation of the big day made them restless and desperate for each other.


Finally, it was the day of the wedding. Dressed in a red Rajasthani lehna, mehndi in her arms and legs, heavy jewelry which her relatives had all gifted her -the rakhri (a circular piece of jewellery for the forehead), danglers for the ears, the timaniyaan (a choker studded with uncut diamonds) the chooda (a set of ivory and gold bangles), the bajuband or gold and stone-studded armlets, gold anklets and the bichhiya or gold toe-rings for the feet, and the nath or the stone-studded nose-ring- she looked like princess from one of the royal Rajasthani families.



"Pata nahin….shaadi ka joda hai ya Angad ke pyaar ka rang….Kripa…you have never looked more beautiful," Riddhima admired her friend and then smeared a small amount of her kajal behind Kripa's ear to ward off evil spirits, "kahin aaj nazar na lag jaaye meri saheli ko."






"Jiji! Jiji!" An excited Harshini barged in, 'baraat aa rahi hai……jiju ghodi par aa rahe hain."


Kripa's face lit up as her heart started pounding against her chest at the thought of Angad approaching their house. A scenario she had dreamt of for months, was finally becoming a reality in her life. The music and dancing got louder as the baraat was steps away from their doorstep.


--CHORUS--
Chaandni raat taaron ki baaraat hai
Dil ki mehfil sajaane mein kya der hai, kya der hai
Dhadkanein dil ki shehnaaiyaan ban gayi
Ab to saajan ke aane mein kya der hai, kya der hai






Riddhima and Harshini helped Kripa walk towards the stairs……

--FEMALE--
Meri zindagi mera pyaar yaad aa raha hai
Aane waala hai jo, voh yaad aa raha hai
(Saajan saajan teri dulhan tujhko pukaare aa jaa
Aakar mere haathon mein mehndi tu hi racha jaa) - 2


--CHORUS--
Aa jaa, aa jaa, aa jaa

--FEMALE--
O, meri zindagi mera pyaar yaad aa raha hai
Aane waala hai jo, voh yaad aa raha hai
Saajan saajan teri dulhan tujhko pukaare aa jaa
Aakar mere haathon mein mehndi tu hi racha jaa

--CHORUS--
Aa jaa, aa jaa, aa jaa


Angad descended from the horse, and walked in, looking dashing in a black achkan, jodhpurs, cummerbund, sword, turban with a sparking piece of jewelry adorning it. Gayatri and the other women were impressed that Angad had taken pains to completely blend in with their family traditions. No one could say he did not belong to their 'biradari'



--FEMALE--
Paayal kaajal kangan daaman, saare tujhe bulaaye
Aa jaa saajan, aa jaa tere apne tujhe bulaaye
Aa jaa aa jaa, saajan aa jaa
Mere mehboob, mere hamsafar


Kripa descended the stairs with a garland in hand, her face covered with a long veil, typical of Rajasthani brides.


They were finally face to face, she behind the veil, and he awe-struck by his beautifully adorned bride in front of him. How he wished, he could just get a glimpse of his beloved, but he knew he would have to be patient till after the pheras. Rajasthani brides stayed under the veil till the ceremony was over.


Tujhko kya pata, hai tujhe kya khabar
Ehsaan tere kitne hai mujhpar
Rab pe yakeen hai jitna, utna hai tujhpar

--CHORUS--
Aa jaa, aa jaa, aa jaa

Kripa's hands brushed against his chest as she placed the garland around his neck. Angad bent down purposely and tried to peek through the veil after he garlanded her. Even though their eyes met for a split second, they managed to exchange admiring glances. Kripa gazed at him gratefully, as if thanking him for giving her the most beautiful day of her life. Angad recognized that look from the day of her surgery- it was the same loving look of complete surrender that she had given him the moment she had regained consciousness after the anesthesia had worn off…….




--FEMALE--
Mera mehboob mera sanam aa raha hai
Hum to mar hi chuke the, phir janam aa raha hai
Saajan saajan teri dulhan tujhko pukaare aa jaa
Aakar mere haathon mein mehndi tu hi racha jaa

--CHORUS--
Aa jaa, aa jaa, aa jaa

The priest performed the rituals as they took their vows around the sacred fire. Suryabhan completed the ritual of 'kanyadaan'

Aaliyah, the sister-in-law then tied the wedding knot (ganthbandhan) between the couple with the red odhni from the temple that Kripa had received a few months ago……


--FEMALE--
Chunri meri rangeen hui hai tere rang se saajan
Aakar rang de mera ang ang apne rang se saajan
Aa jaa aa jaa, saajan aa jaa
Tumse vafaayein bahut main karoongi
Kasam teri ab yeh dil kisi ko na doongi
Aa tujhe bata doon mere dil mein kya hai
Dil lene waale tujhe jaan apni doongi

--CHORUS--
Aa jaa, aa jaa, aa jaa


Finally, Angad came closer and filled her maang with sindoor and tied the scared mangal sutra around her neck…..



--FEMALE--
Dhadkanein badh rahi hai, voh kareeb aa raha hai
Khushnaseebi banke mera voh naseeb aa raha hai
Saajan saajan teri dulhan tujhko pukaare aa jaa
Aakar mere haathon mein mehndi tu hi racha jaa

--CHORUS--
Chaandni raat taaron ki baaraat hai
Dil ki mehfil sajaane mein kya der hai, kya der hai
Dhadkanein dil ki shehnaaiyaan ban gayi
Ab to saajan ke aane mein kya der hai, kya der hai


The couple received blessings from everyone in the family. To Angad's and Kripa's relief, she was finally relieved of staying under the veil. Angad gasped with pleasure when he saw his beautiful bride emerge from the ghunghat. Armaan, Riddhima, Shashank, Padma, Abhimanyu, Gauri, Shabbir, Aaliyah, Josh and Simone all took turns to hug and wish the couple. The photographer clicked away as everyone vied for a place next to the beautiful couple.


"This is from all of us at Sanjeevani," Dr Gupta handed over a long roll of paper to the newlyweds. Kripa was perplexed, but Angad seemed nonchalant.



"Sir…yeh kya hai?"


"Kholkar dekho beta."


Kripa unfurled the roll and was surprised to see a detailed plan for what looked like a small hospital. She stared at the draft in front of her eyes and saw the word- KISHANGARH, SANJEEVANI imprinted in a corner.


"Yeh kya hai?" she looked at everyone for answers.


"Angad….tum hi bataa do," Josh gestured.


"Nahin sir….aap hi bataa deejiye," Angad replied.



"Well Kripa…..this is a rough plan of the new community hospital Sanjeevani is planning to open in Kishangarh…..it will be run on the lines of the Sanjeevgarh clinic…..interns and residents from Sanjeevani will staff it along with all of us…..we will all work there by rotation….kyun kaisa lagaa wedding gift?"



Kripa was blown away; she was speechless. After leaving Kishangarh almost a year ago, she had given up any hopes of going back there. After reuniting with Angad, her illness and their dream of being with each other had taken precedence; she had never imagined that Kishangarh would still be alive in her life. Tears rolled down her eyes as she stood facing all her friends and colleagues from Sanjeevani. They had gifted her something that she had only imagined in her wildest dreams- a state-of-the-art facility manned by the best doctors of the country near her home, in an underprivileged area of her state.



Aware that this was probably his idea, she glanced at Angad gratefully and then profusely thanked everyone for their benevolence, "Sanjeevani sach much mere liye jeevan booti bankar aaya hai…..wahan mujhey apna pyaar….sabse achche dost…..aur apne zindagi bhar ka sapna ek saath mila hai…..sir I will always be indebted to Sanjeevani……thanks all of you."



"It's our pleasure Kripa," Dr Gupta smiled and patted her shoulder, "after all it's for a good cause."




Later, the Sharma family bid a tearful vidai to their beloved daughter. Angad reassured her family that he would always cherish their love and place her needs and comforts ahead of his own. Kripa hugged all her cousins, uncles, aunt and then bawled in her parent's arms. They would no longer accompany her wherever she went. They had been her pillar of strength all through these years and especially in Mumbai while she awaited her transplant. It was hard to fathom her life without them, but Gayatri comforted her as best as a wailing mother could. A heartbroken Suryabhan wished them a long and prosperous life and promised to visit them in Mumbai frequently.




As a final ritual, a coconut was placed under the wheel of Angad's car before their tearful departure. Angad seemed lost and wondered why the car would not move; he had been very patient through the long ceremonies and rituals, but any further delay was testing his limits. He was dying to hold his lovely bride in his arms, but looked like there was one more hurdle in his way. Harshini slipped a box into his lap from the car window. With a puzzled look, he glanced at the box and then at Harshini.



"Jiji ko pehnaa do abhi, warna car aage nahin le jaa sakte," Harshini whispered.




"Tab tho problem ho jaayegi," Angad smiled suggestively, "dulhan ke bina suhaag raat kaise manaunga?" He opened the box and took out a beautiful necklace," Chalo Kripa…jaldi pehen lo." Kripa looked up and smiled tearfully; Angad's impatience helped mask some of the sorrow of leaving her family forever. He placed the necklace around her beautiful neck and bent over to tie the knot behind her. His fingers lingered around her neck, a few extra moments as he whispered, "welcome to my world…….Dr Mrs Khanna."



She gazed into his eyes and whispered back, "our world."


The wheels crushed the sacred coconut as the car zoomed off to the hotel where their wedding night suite awaited them.






………………………………………………………………………….


LATER THAT NIGHT:

After checking into their suite, Angad removed the large turban from his head and heaved a sigh of relief, "log sach kehte hain….shaadi karna aasaan nahin hai…..abhi se itne papad belne padh rahe hain."


"Ek pagdhi nahin sambhaal sakte?" She challenged him, "mujhey kaise sambhaloge?"


"Hmm…..koshish tho kar sakta hoon," he grabbed her wrists and pulled her closer. Well aware of each other's proximity, their hearts raced in unison, their breaths mingled into an intoxicating potion, driving their passions into frenzy. The familiar sweet fragrance that had disturbed his peace from the day he had met her, was closer than ever and his forever.



Even though they had anxiously waited this moment for ages, now that they were officially united, their bodies hesitated to take the first step towards conjugal bliss. Whether it was nerves, disbelief that they were actually married, or were just overwhelmed by the moment, they shut their eyes and held each other for a while.


With his eyes shut, Angad traced his fingers on her face and neck. Gently, he removed all her jewelry and barriers between them….


bandh aankhon se tumhe aankh bharke dekh le - 2
dil jo kehta hain chalo aaj karke dekh le
katra katra apni khusbu saans main ghul jaane de
band aankhon se tumhe aankh bharke dekh le
dil jo kehta hain chalo aaj karke dekh le
katra katra apni khusbu saans main ghul jaane de
jaaniya ve.. jaaniya ve..
jaaniya ve
jaaniya ve.. jaaniya ve..
jaaniya ve

The painful but pleasurable union washed away all the pain from the past that both had endured separately and together……

yeh kisiliye in ankhon main sisak rahi hain baarishe - 2
pighal rahi hain arzooo baras rahi hain khwaahishe

The shadows, fears and memories of the past receded with each kiss and tender touch….



gujarte waqt ne chode kayi dhundhale lamhe bhi
gamo ke saaye main gunje kayi khushiyo ke nagme bhi
jaha khoyi thi neende bhi wahi bikhrey hain sapne bhi
wahi bikhrey hain sapne bhi
shabnami si in labo ki aag mein jal jaane de
jaaniya ve.. jaaniya ve..
jaaniya ve
jaaniya ve.. jaaniya ve..
jaaniya ve

bheej bheej jaye bheeje hothon se sawan
main hothon pe tere rakh du kai chehre gulabo ke
main palkon se tere chun lu hazar


The vows that they had taken around the sacred fire a few hours ago were sealed by the commitment their heart, soul and body had finally attained…..



na mere bin tu jee paye na tere bin main reh pau
na tere bin main reh pau
apni dhadkan ke hasi har saaz main dhal jaane de
band aankhon se tumhe aankh bharke dekh le
dil jo kehta hain chalo aaj karke dekh le
katra katra apni khusbu saans main ghul jaane de
jaaniya ve.. jaaniya ve..
jaaniya ve
jaaniya ve.. jaaniya ve..
jaaniya ve

………..to be contd……..

bheegi

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