Joined: 21 May 2005
Radhika roamed around inside the big haveli, getting herself familiar with everything. It was a very big mansion, she had gasped as she stared at the beautiful dcor of the mansion, she noticed several people dressed in navy color pants and white shirt arranging everything, servants she realized, she bent her head and tried to be as silent as possible as she surveyed her new home and encountered the many servants. She didn't know what else to do, back at her father's haveli, her early mornings were spent in washing everyone's clothes but she wasn't yet told what to do in this haveli which was filled with strangers…. no not strangers… her new family… she reminded herself. The Haveli was very massive and ornately designed. She fingered the flowers that were draped around the banister, every wall was covered with flowers, she couldn't help the giggle that escaped her as she was showered with rose petals. She lifted her head to see the servant staring at her with a look of horror. She smiled at the servant, watching how she seemed to stammer in her apology. Radhika shook off the petals from her head and continued on with her exploration. She glanced around at the beautiful marble floors, the large staircase, the intricate carving and statues. She grimaced as she encountered the unclean rooms and the paintings, sculptures, and many other items that adorned the haveli were misplaced or covered with dirt. She did not dare enter any rooms but just peaked inside from the doorway. Her brothers were definitely not joking when they said the new haveli will be a lot bigger than theirs. She spent almost thirty minutes exploring some parts of the haveli, staring at the paintings, feeling the drapes and sofa cushions, gazing at the many pictures of her new family members that were adorned on almost every wall…..
Her exploration of the mansion stopped when she found the kitchen. It was very large, a lot bigger then her kitchen back home Radhika noted. Then she remembered Mrinalini's words from last night "aur phir tumhe halwa bhi toh banani hai na kal subha nashte me". She cautiously entered the kitchen and started going through the cabinets and the containers. She shook her head in disbelieve, although the kitchen was very large and well equipped but everything was disorderly, all the groceries and the many containers were scattered around inside the cabinets. Everything was disorganized. With a determine sigh, she began her job of cleaning and organizing everything in the kitchen…..
It took her nearly two hours to set everything rightly in the kitchen. She sighed with contentment as she looked at her work. It was almost eight she noticed as she cleaned the microwave, she gasped in shock; she still had breakfast to prepare. She quickly began preparing the breakfast for her new family. She was glad to find the microwave and an oven, both will be very useful in the future for baking…..
"Badi bahu…. aap yahan kya karrahee hai" Keshav, the cook asked upon seeing Radhika standing by the stove in the kitchen so early in the morning, that too the morning after her marriage.
Radhika dropped the spoon she was holding startled by the sudden voice. She stood there unsure of what to do, grasping her hands together tightly in fear.
"Yeh kya aapne pura kitchen ka naksha hi badal diya" Keshav remarked rather angrily as he picked up the fallen spoon. He did not like it when someone tried to change something in his domain and the kitchen was his domain. He had already had many arguments with Dadiji over his way of handling the kitchen happenings.
"Nashta bhi bana diya" Keshav exclaimed, lifting the covers and peeking inside to see what she made. He swiftly turned and walked out in search of Mrinalini Didi, he would have to inform her about the change in breakfast today, and let her know about Badi Bahu's prepared breakfast…..
"Radhika yeh kya karrahee ho" This time it was Mrinalini's loud voice that had Radhika jerking back in fright and knocking the bleach water filled bucket down.
Radhika sat still on her knees, her head bowed down, grasping her hands tightly at the cloth as Mrinalini stood there waiting for Radhika's answer.
"What is this?" Mrinalini yelled, still shocked over seeing Radhika on her fours and wiping the kitchen floor. She was too shocked to notice the terror filled eyes of Radhika, it was only when she saw Radhika flinch back at her approach that Mrinalini realized she had scared her with her loud voice.
"This is not your work Radhika, tum ab es ghar ki badi bahu ho" Mrinalini explained in a low voice as she cautiously took the tightly grasped cloth from Radhika's hand.
"Let's go from here, leave all that. Manju will clean everything, it's her job not yours" Mrinalini informed, keeping her voice low.
"Arre wah, You have already prepared everything. The Halwa looks delicious!" Mrinalini commented as she peeked in at everything.
"Yeh choti bowl mein thoda Halwa nikal lo. Matarani ko bhog chadana hoga tumhe" Mrinalini said handing Radhika the small bowl.
"Ab chalo DadiMa ne tumhe pooja room mein bulaya hai. Aaj ki pooja tumhe karni hai" Mrinalini informed and took Radhika towards the Pooja room. Radhika just followed her quietly, holding the small bowl in her right hand……
"Arre Badi Bahu Pooja shuru karo" Kamini said as they all stood waiting for Radhika to start the prayers.
Radhika just stood there holding the thali and staring at the murthi in front of her. She did not know how to do the prayers, she was never taught how to, they did not have any mata ki murthi at her father's haveli.
"Start the prayer Radhika" Mrinalini stated but found Radhika still not moving.
"Maybe she doesn't know how to" Muskaan pointed out, earning an angry glare from Mrinalini.
"Dev" Mrinalini called and stepped back to give Dev the space to stand beside Radhika and start the prayers instead of Radhika. Kamini shook her head at this revelation; her Badi Bahu did not know how to pray "hei matarani" she sighed. Rahul elbowed Muskaan warning her not to make another retort while Vivek sat in his wheelchair and watched his wife staring at Dev and Radhika with a content smile on her face, quickly thanking matarani for the positive change in Mrinalini. He had waited two long years to see that same content smile back on his wife's face, for two years he had witnessed the depressed and lost look on her face but now she was glowing, she was happy, she was back. His Mrinalini was finally back……………
"Radhika has made the whole breakfast today" Mrinalini informed everyone, as Radhika tentatively served everyone, starting with her "Pati" first. Mrinalini smiled happily seeing Radhika already caring for her husband first.
Dev watched with an amused smile as Radhika continued to serve everyone, after him. He smiled unconsciously when Radhika served him first, happy at being her first interest…..
"Yeh sab rehnedo Radhika, Keshav karlega, tum baitho. Breakfast sab saath mein karthe hai" Dev heard his sister say but watched as Radhika stood still with her head bowed down.
"Aao baitho Radhika" Dev heard Mrinalini repeat. He gazed as Radhika tilted her head, peering her eyebrows to stare at him; her eyes unsure searched his face. It took Dev few seconds to realize why she was searching his face.
"baitho Radhika, nashta thanda ho raha hai" Dev stated, indicating at the chair beside him with his hand. She was waiting for his approval. He watched as she silently sat on the chair and stared at the empty plate, her hands hiding under the table. He took the bowl and served her the paneer and placed a paratha on her plate.
"Nashta shuru karo Radhika" he stated in a low voice and watched as Radhika stared at the food in front of her and then looked up hesitantly and stared at everyone. Dev observed silently as she heaved a sigh of relief upon finding everyone "engrossed" in their breakfast.
"Eat Radhika" Dev whispered when Radhika narrowed her eyes at the plate and then looked up at him. He sighed inwardly when Radhika tentatively took her first bite. Dev smiled, shook his head and continued his breakfast while everyone continued to discreetly stare at the two……..
"Wah bhai, pehle itna acha nashta aur ab yeh gajar ka halwa" Vivek commented as he took the bowl from Radhika.
"You are right Jeeju. The food and now this halwa! Very delicious! You are a fabulous cook Bhabhi" Rahul added devouring the halwa oblivious to the deadly glare Muskaan was casting towards him.
Dev smiled hearing everyone praising his wife's cooking. They were right, she was an excellent cook. He especially loved the Gajar ka Halwa, it has always been his favorite sweet dish and he always preferred it be cooked by his grandmother but now it seems he would have to slightly change his preference. He would rather have his wife cook the halwa from now on.
"Badi Bahu, idhar aao" Dev heard his grandmother call to Radhika but she just stood there at the far end of the sofa with her head bent down, her hand holding the edge of the dupatta that covered her head. It was very hard to see her face when it was half covered with the dupatta and her head bowed down.
"Radhika, come here. DadiMa bula rahi hai tumhe" Dev heard Mrinalini call seeing Radhika still standing not acknowledging grandmother's call.
He watched as Radhika lifted up her head upon hearing her name but she still stood there for few seconds a look of nervousness passed on her face. Dev watched silently like others as Radhika tentatively walked up to his grandmother, her eyes glued to the floor the whole time. His mother picked the small box and extended it towards Radhika.
"Ab itna acha Halwa banaya hai toh inaam tho milna chahiye na" his grandmother stated upon seeing Radhika's questioning gaze.
Everyone waited for Radhika to take the gift from grandmother's hand but Radhika did not move her hand forward to take the gift instead her head turned towards Dev, her eyes lifted up to look directly into his, again Dev saw the same searching look in her eyes. And it was only after he nodded his head in consent that Radhika extended her hand to take the gift. Dev watched curiously as Radhika stood there holding the gift in her hand, her eyes shifting back and forth from his mother, to the gift in her hand and then to him and then back at the gift in her hand. Her face showed the confusion, curiosity, suspicious and distress and Dev could not understand the reason for such expressions.
"DadiMa ke pair chuo Radhika" Dev said realizing Radhika still did not thank his grandmother. Radhika quickly bent down and touched his grandmother's feet.
"Now it's my turn. Come here Radhika, I have to give you my gift too" Mrinalini exclaimed in excitement as she waved the wrapped up box. Radhika moved towards her and cautiously extended her hand to take the gift. Dev smiled when he observed Radhika darting a quick glance towards him as she bent down to touch Mrinalini's feet. This time she did not wait for his consent neither needed to be told to touch Mrinalini's feet. Dev watched as Radhika continued on repeating the same procedure with Vivek and then moving on to Rahul and Muskaan. He chucked silently when Muskaan jumped back as Radhika bent down to touch her feet "What the hell! I am not OLD" Dev heard Muskaan scream but his eyes were on Radhika who dropped the gifts in her hand at the sudden outburst from Muskaan. He noticed she was shaking, her eyes wide in terror at the loud voice of Muskaan.
"Now Muskaan, no need to overreact at such a thing, you are older than Radhika" Mrinalini pointed out to Muskaan, not wanting to hear more of Muskaan's screams.
"Haan but Radhika is older than me according to relationship" Muskaan remarked. Mrinalini smiled a glint in her eyes when she heard Muskaan's remark. "True, then Muskaan you and Rahul have to take Radhika's blessing. After all she is your Badi bhabhi" Mirnalini stated, pressing her lips tightly to keep from smiling at seeing Muskaan's appalled look.
The men laughed silently as they watched Muskaan's appalled look and Mrinalini's gleaming eyes as they both continued on with their argument. Dev returned his gaze back to Radhika who stood there in terror, her eyes wide, her hands grasping on the edge of the dupatta as she watched the two women arguing. He smiled, soon his wife will join Muskaan and Mrinalini…. soon there will be more such arguments and bickering with his new wife now in the family…..
"Come Radhika, let's take these gifts to your room" Mrinalini said picking up the gifts from the floor, satisfied with yet another win against Muskaan. The look on Muskaan's face when touching Radhika's feet was one Mrinalini will never forget and neither was she going to let Muskaan forget it.
"Dev, the keys" Dev handed his sister the bundle of keys. "Now this belongs to Radhika" Mrinalini stated to her brother but her eyes darted to Muskaan and a smirk on her face as she handed Radhika the keys. "Radhika, take all these gifts to your room. I will just follow you" Mrinalini said and walked towards her room.
Radhika carefully placed the gifts on the bed and sat down staring intently at them. She still did not understand what was happening, everything that her brothers and father told her of her life after marriage, of her husband, and her new family was not happening. Her husband did not beat her, he did not even yell at her, and her new family they were not mean….. they all seemed to be nice, they even gave her gifts. She caressed one of the wrapped up box…. She did not know what to think of this, she had never really received a gift in her whole life, all she ever got from her brothers and father was old books, and clothes apart from that they had never given her anything. And now all of a sudden she was given five new gifts by her new family and her husband had let her take the gifts.
"arre….. You still haven't opened your gifts?" Mrinalini asked walking in to see Radhika caressing the wrapped box. Radhika looked up at hearing Mrinalini's voice, her gaze lingered on the dress in her hand.
"You have to wear this dress for the muh-dikhai raasam. It's in the evening so don't worry we have plenty of time" Mrinalini stated placing the dress and jewelry on the couch, and walked up to Radhika.
"Now how about you open these gifts up and see what your new family gave you" Mrinalini suggested, sitting down beside Radhika on the bed and shoved one of the gifts in her hands stating "start with DadiMa's gift first".
Radhika stared at the gift, hesitant to open the perfectly wrapped box. "Open it Radhika" Mrinalini urged and upon not receiving any moment from Radhika, took her hand, placed her fingers on the box and made her pull on the wrapper.
"There, now you open the rest" Mrinalini said letting go of Radhika's hand. Her hand lay still on the box, her eyes glued to Mrinalini, as her eyes searched her face, mrinalini stared back waiting for Radhika to open the box and look at her gift. Mrinalini waited two whole minutes but still no movement came. Radhika continued to stare at her face. Mrinalini sighed, took Radhika's hand and pulled out the rest of the wrapper, she waited few seconds for Radhika to open the top and look at the gift inside but the girl still sat, her gaze shifting from Mrinalini's face to the box. She again took Radhika's hand and helped her open the box, took out the kangans from the box.
"Yeh khandani kangan hai, Ma ke the ab tumhare hai" Mrinalini said as she placed the kangan in Radhika's hand. "aaj sham ko rasam me pehanna hai tumhe, lao main tumhe pehna dethi hoon" Mrinalini said as she held her hand out for Radhika to place hers her on them. Again two minutes passed, but Radhika did not move her hand, she stared at the kangans placed on her hand.
"Radhika, mujhe kangan do main tumhe pehnadeti hoon" Mrinalini stated again, her voice a soft whisper, Radhika looked up at Mrinalini, then down at the kangans in her hand then back at Mrinalini, her eyes darting back and forth, the confusion and distress evident in them. Then very tentatively she moved her hand towards Mrinalini, her eyes peering at her through her eyebrows. It was then Mrinalini realized the girl never showed any expression but then with her face covered with the duppatta it was hard to read anything on her face, it was her eyes that conveyed the emotions that she was going through.
"Yeh do set the, ek set Muskaan ko diya ab ek set tumhara hai" Mrinalini informed as she gently pushed the kangans in through her hand, Radhika bit her lip to stop from crying out in pain, her hand still hurt from the fall she had few days ago.
"arre wah, this fit on you perfectly" Mrinalini remarked as she admired the kangans adorning on Radhika's hands while Radhika just stared blankly at Mrinalini. "Now let's open the next gift, tum pick karo kaunsa gift kholna hai?" Mrinalini asked wanting to converse with Radhika.
Radhika blinked at Mrinalini's smiling face, tentatively lifted her hand then stoped and stared at Mrinalini, Mrinalini nodded her head in encouragement. Radhika moved her hand and lifted the gift box covered with pink wrapper, Mrinalini grimaced it was the gift Muskaan had given, she was hoping Radhika would pick the gift she had given her. She just hoping she would have a partner to agrue and fight with Muskaan but what if Muskaan was also thinking the same thing….. She might also be planning to team up with Radhika. Mrinalini chuckled at her childishness; she really was getting too attached to Radhika so soon.
Radhika looked up at the sound of Mrinalini's laughter, "open the gift Radhika" Mrinalini said seeing Radhika staring at her, the girl must think I am crazy Mrinalini thought.
Radhika nodded, her eyes clouded with wary interest, for a moment she just held the gift and looked at Mrinalini quizzically. Mrinalini urged her once more to opent it and watched as Radhika tentatively opened the wrapper. Taking the book out, Radhika looked at it and then at Mrinalini, her eyes returned to the book.
"A book! Should have known that's what Muskaan will give as a gift" Mrinalini exclaimed with a sneer. "A domestic crime book! What was that girl thinking!" Mrinalini shook her head in exasperation at Muskaan's action.
Radhika flinched back at Mrinalini's loud voice which did not go unnoticed by Mrinalini. "Sorry, Muskaan just never thinks sometimes, I don't know how she topped her class in college!" Mrinalini apologized.
Mrinalini watched as Radhika fingered the edges of the book carefully, She looked up at Mrinalini and for the first time smiled at her. Mrinalini smiled back and stared as Radhika continued to stroke the book cover, feeling the letter of the tittle with her fingertips.
"lets finish opening the rest of the gifts Radhika, we still have three more to go" Mrinalini pointed to the three gifts but Radhika held the book her hands, cluching it in her hand but never opening the book, over and over again she fingered the letters and the book cover but would not open the book.
Mrinalini sighed in disappointment, seems like Muskaan had won over on this one without even trying, Radhika hadn't even opened her gift, Mrinalini couldn't stop from sneering as she watched Radhika holding the book and gazing at it as if it was the most precious thing in the world. She didn't really had the hear to take the book away from the girl but she knew she had to, the book held the horrors that have been inflicted on women by their in-laws, something Radhika should never read not when she hardly new her family. As it is the girl seems to be terrified of them all and if she read that book then god known what will happen……
"Radhika, book idhar do main esse library mei rakh doongi hoon, You can read it whenever you want, now lets finish opening these gifts" Mrinalini stated again and waited for Radhika to hand back the book.
"I will show you the library tomorrow, there are lots of books in there. You like books?" Mrianlini asked Radhika. A tentative nod came from her "good then you will love the library you can read as many books as you want" Mrinalini informed and did not fail to notice the sudden spark of happiness in Radhika's eyes. "You like reading don't you?" Mrinalini asked the girl again a tentative nod from her, Mrinalini groned inwardly cursing her fate, Radhika seemed to have the same passion like Muskaan, if Muskaan found this out then she will never stop gloating about this revalation and will definitely use every trick to befriend Radhika and turn her again me!!! Mrinalini reflected hating to see Muskaan having the upper hand!
"Here give me the book" Mrinalini said extending her hand and waited for Radhika to hand her the book. Her heart thumped withing her chest as Radhika handed her the book, it was very obvious Radhika was finding it hard to give it back, Mrinalini cursed herself for causing the girl pain but it was for her own good, someday she will return the book back to the girl… someday….
One by one together they both opened the rest of the gifts; Mrinalini noticed Radhika's eyes shifting back to the book resting on dresses. Mrinalini felt bad but didn't dare hand the book back to her instead continued on opening the gifts and talking to the girl about the family and how everyone is going to love her and how she must do all her duties as the badi bahu of the family. She informed the girl about the Muh-dikhai and what was expected from her, she talked with the girl for an hour with the girl just nodding her head now and then. Mrinalini suddenly realized the time, she jumped out of bed and hurried started picking up the torn wrappers scattered around the floor, Radhika assisting her in it. Mrinalini informed the girl then that she should always clean her own room should never let any of the maids clean it.
"This is your marital bed, Dev aur tumhara
kamra hai samjhi main kya keh rahi hoon? Everything that happens between you
and dev should remain in this room, it should not go out and neither should
anyone enter this room" Mrinalini explained, placing the wrappers in the
dusbin. She would have to explain it clearly to both of them; she didn't want a
repeat of the fiosco that happened with Rahul and Muskaan!
So how was this part? I believe this is longer than my previous parts! Let me know what you all thought about this part...... will be waiting to read everyones thoughts on this part....
Part 8: A chat between Dev and Radhika, and Dev and Vivek where Dev expresses his thoughts about his wife.
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Nabesa, sonia122, choudhary.a, chipak, bvs7691, Asyalover,
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im also a silent reader buh i gotta say u have talent :D i love the way u write. plz continue soon <3
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