Posted: 31 July 2009 at 4:50pm
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Keshav stood up and walked to the couch Vishaka was sitting on. Seeing him approach, Maji raised her eyebrows wondering who this young man was. Vishaka introduced him to her and sunk back into her silence. Keshav was thrilled to see her after so many years and enthused, "Vish, kaisi ho? I just couldn't believe it when I saw you enter the room. How many years has it been, 4-5? What have you been up to? How are your parents? What are you doing here today?"
Vishaka kept staring at nothing specifically between the floor and the center table. Keshav continued, "Arre, cat got your tongue? Where is my Vish? She would not let anyone else talk even a word! And here I am, talking and not a word from you? Hua kya, Vish?"
At this, Maji stared at him hautily and said in her steely cold voice, " Suno beta, I do not know what relationship you had with my bahu (daughter in law). I want you to be aware of the fact that Vishaka is the Prohit khandan's (family) Bahu and she has a very important position in society. So, whether you knew her 5 years ago or not, today, I request that you learn to keep your distance. The bahus of our khandan do not talk to gair mard (unrelated men). Kindly keep your questions to yourself."
Keshav was taken aback and turned to look at her. "Maji, Vishaka is like a sister to me. We go back from the time we were little. We learned music from the same Guru and grew up together. I was glad that I was 4 years her senior and never competed against her in any school singing contest as we were always in different age categories. I am so glad that she is your bahu. I never even knew she had gotten married! Please forgive me if I appeared too forward."
Maji climbed down her high horse and gave him a tentative smile. "Sorry beta, I tend to be overly protective of my bahu as she is so shy. She rarely speaks. I did not want her to feel overwhelmed by your presence." Turning to Vishaka she continued, " Beta, aren't you glad to see your mooh boli bhai? How come I never knew about his existence until now? Why was he not invited to your wedding?"
Vishaka blankly looked at Maji and opened her mouth to speak but felt her mouth was too dry to coax out any sound. So, with some effort, she swallowed hard and hesitated, "Maji, K-Keshav and I have known each other for most of our lives. He left for Mumbai 5 years ago and has become a famous singing sensation, singing in films. We did not want to bother him with the news of my wedding. We were sure that he would come to know of it through Masterji or someone."
"That is not fair, Vish. All you had to do was even let Masterji tell me about your wedding and I would have come. How can I call myself a brother if I did not even know when my sis got married. Yes, life is very hectic in Mumbai but not so busy that I cannot carve some time out for my own little sis," and winks at her.
Vishaka could not help but crack a smile remembering the effect his voice always had on her, even when she was young. There was a sunshine in it that made even the most serious person open up to its warmth. She shyly looked at him from under her lashes and told him a simple sorry. She updated him on her wedding with Dev and her moving to Delhi after the wedding.
Both of them asked at the same time, 'What are you doing here?" and burst out laughing. maji was thrilled to see that sound emit from Vishaka. She had never heard any sound, especially joyful ones. She looked at Keshav with an idea germinating slowly. She wanted this young man, with the kind smile and a most beautiful voice to come home and get her bahu out of her doldrums.
Keshav explained how he was invited to sing for the upcoming festival and he had come to negotiate the contract and finalize the program and rehearse. Maji was thrilled to hear that. She told him how it was their trust that sponsored the show and she was happy to have met him.
"Kahan tehre ho beta (where r u staying)," she asked.
"At a near by hotel, Maji," he replied.
" No more. You check out and come right home. we have a huge house and many rooms that are kept locked. Na nahin sunoongi. Ma ke aagnya samaj ke aajao.(mom''s orders, no no's)."
" Ji, Maji," grinned Keshav and winked at Vishaka once more.
Vishaka was thrilled to know that Keshav would be coming home and yet was filled with dread. Keshav meant music and music was something she was not ready to face right now. She needed her time to confront her devils, whatever they were.
Edited by blokes - 31 July 2009 at 4:50pm
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