The room was engulfed in darkness except for the faint
moonlight coming through the aperture between the curtains……..and it was pin
drop silent as Dev and Radhika lay snuggled to each other underneath the thick
quilt, fast asleep.
Suddenly there was a loud beeping sound from the
mobile…….and it kept beeping continuously.
Dev's brows frowned in sleep, feeling irked as his sweet
sleep was getting disturbed. But the sound didn't seem to cease and he turned
his head to the side lazily, mumbling some curse.
He saw his phone ringing and frowned in frustration,
wondering who was calling him at this point of the hour. Groaning inaudibly, he
leaned to pick the phone.
Radhika sleepily shifted her body and didn't bother to open
Picking up the phone, Dev cleared his heavy eyes to
check…….and instantly his frown disappeared.
It was not any message but alarm! Set by him……for the
obvious reason because he would never get up in the middle of the night like
A small smile filled his face. He stopped the alarm and
placed the phone back on the table, before turning to his wife. Propping on his
one elbow, he leaned down to get a better view of her face. She slept comfortably
beside him with her face looking serene and beautiful in the moonlight. His
smile transformed in to a beam and his fingers caressed her one cheek lovingly.
Her face looked serene and beautiful in the dim moon bleached light. He always
loved watching her face quietly after they made love because her face literally
glowed with joy – pink flushed cheeks with a slight curve on her lips and eyes
closed with contentment. As if she was floating in some delightful trance. More
than often, he would stay awake after their passionate love making, just to
catch up on this lovely scene……
Leaning closer, he pressed his lips to her's very softly.
Radhika's eyes tightened on feeling his warm, hot lips, and
she slowly opened them to be invited by darkness. Battling her eyelids, she
tried seeing him and found his face after a small moment.
He smiled and ran his hand across her forehead, fixing her
hairs, and edged closer to her ear, to whisper. "Happy Marriage
Anniversary…….." and pressed his lips again with her's...but instead of a
peck, he took her lips in to his and began kissing her sweetly.
Radhika smiled to herself – every cell inside her seemed to
be beaming with joy. Wrapping her bare arms around his naked torso she began
returning his kiss with equal passion.
It was a year to their marriage……and what better way to
celebrate this moment than to be in each other's arms, enjoying some passionate
moments……..and although she did remember their anniversary, but she never thought
he could wish her like this in the middle of the night – at the stroke of 12
probabaly. The thought made her lips curve and he bit her lips naughtily and
she giggled between the kiss.
Her giggles as if reached his soul and penetrated deep
inside him. And as a result the kiss intensified……..and amplified. Her mouth
burned with his love.
After some infinite minutes, Dev released her lips and gazed
at her silently in the moonlight – her lips were sheening red and swollen,
bearing the imprints of his lips. Sometimes he wondered as to why he doesn't
ever grow tired watching her beauty, why does it always amaze him that someone
could be as beautiful as her even though he had spent so many days with her.
She gazed in to his eyes, breathing heavily as a result of
their burning passion, and smiled.
"Happy Anniversary" she mumbled, letting her fingers play
across his nape.
He titled his head and pressed a warm kiss on her cheek.
She smiled sluggishly. "Mujhe laga aap subah wish karenge"
Brushing his lips across her cheekbones, he traced a path to
her jaw. "Obviously this moment had to be special" He came back to face her and
smiled. "Very special and very private"
This brought a grin on her face and she cupped his one
"Sabke saamne wish karne main utna maza kahan aayega" he
Stroking his stubbled cheeks, she smiled and nodded once.
"Sirf…..hmm? Kya huwa? Surprise acha nahi laga?" he asked
She grinned and began caressing his lips with her fingers.
"Bahut acha tha…….something special……" she mumbled.
He didn't say anything; just kept his passion laden gaze
fastened on to her's intensely.
Her heart that was swelling with happiness began racing as
she looked in to his intense gaze in the dimlight. "I love you" she whispered.
He smiled. "Love you too…….." mumbling, he pressed a small
loving kiss on her forehead and then began trailing kisses across her face…………
Radhika came out of the washroom wearing a beautiful, new
brown saree with beautiful design…….and ambled towards the dresser. Halting in
front of the mirror, she began drying her hairs with the towel…….when her gaze
fell on Dev, lying on the bed with his gaze fastened on to her figure.
Her lips stretched pulled up shyly. He winked and she
blushed harder. Turning her attention to the mirror, she began drying her hairs
"Kya huwa? Aise kya dekh rahe hain? Aapko uthkar tayar nahi
hona hai kya? Aarti ka samay ho jaayega…….chaliye na" she urged and tossed the
towel on the chair.
"Erm……tum kuch bhul nahi rahi?" he asked naughtily.
Sitting up, "Abhi to shaadi ko sirf ek saal huwa hai……aur
tum abhi se hi bhul gayi!? Kuch saalon baad pata nahi kya kya bhul jaaogi!?" he
"Jee?" she asked, shifting her gaze to him. "Main samjhi
nahi. Kya bhool gayi main?"
"Erm……Good morning kiss" he reminded sweetly
Her lips curved again. "who to aapko maine de diya……aapko
aapka kiss dene ke baad hi to nahane gayi na" she pointed out.
He pushed the sheet and stepped out. "Haan. Lekin aaj to
special din hai na……to bonus milna to banta hai na?"
She grinned and shook her head. "Bonus wonus kuch
nahi…..chaliye jaldi se tayar ho jaaiye. Hume neeche jaana hai na" she urged,
putting her earings.
He halted behind her and wrapped his arms around her slender
waist easily. "Hmm. Jaldi kya hai?" he mumbled, and rested his chin on her
"Jaldi hai. Aarti ke liye der ho jaayegi" she tapped his
cheek and smiled.
Cocking his head, he pressed a quick kiss on her ear. "Happy
She blushed with a smile and placed her hands above his.
"Waise samay kitna jaldi beet gaya nahi?" he said.
A radiant grin spread across her face. "Haan. Lagta hai
jaise kal hi ki to baat hai. Aap mere ghar shagun lekar aaye the……humara who
chup chupkar ghat main milna……aur phir….."
He interrupted. "aur phir……mera who special tofha"
She patted his hands a little hard. "Haan haan who bhi…….aur
kaise hum shaadi tak intezaar nahi kar paa rahe the" she giggled.
He too beamed. "Haan. Sab yaad hai. Sach much……kal hi ki
baat lagti hai"
Turning to face him, she smiled. "Aapka saath jo hai……to
jindagi itni aasan lagti hai……. Aapke aur humare parivaar ke saath samay kaisa
beet jaata hai…..pata hi nahi chalta"
He nodded and cupped her face in his palms. "Tumhara saath
jo mila……sab raaste aasan ho gaye…….kyunki mujhe pata hai…..ke chahe kuch bhi
ho jaaye…….meri Radhika humesha mera saath degi"
She beamed. "humesha"
Suddenly he remembered something. "Acha ek minute….."
mumbling, he quickly turned and walked to the sidetable.
Her brows puckered slightly wondering what it was. He turned
around with a beautiful, long stemmed rose. Instantly a smile appeared on her
Coming closer, he gave it to her. "For the most beautiful
woman on this earth……."
She smiled sweetly and was about to take it…….when he pulled
it behind. She frowned with a smile.
With a crooked smile, he brought the rose closer to his lips
and kisses the petal softly…..and then again held in front of her.
Blushing a little, she took the rose with a grin.
"Haaye…….!!" He exclaimed, wrapping his arms around her.
"aapki yeh aadayein to humare dil to cheer ke rakh deti hain!"
She giggled at his words and hit the rose lightly on his
face. "Aap bhi"
"Are sachi…….Ek saal ho chukka hai……lekin ab bhi jab tumhe
muskurate huwe dekhta hoon to bas……..dekhte hi rehne ka man karta hai" he
replied, coming closer.
But she brought the rose between their lips, making him
halt. "Bas bas……ab subah subah romance mat keejye……."
"Kyun? Tumhe acha nahi lagta? Jhoothi!" he snapped cutely.
She just smiled to herself and he planted a tight loving
kiss on her cheeks that left her skin burning. Even now his kisses and touches
made her melt like anything in an instance.
"Hmm……bas yeh na aise hi rehna chahiye…..tumhara sharmana"
he grinned. "Erm……waise tumhare liye kuch aur bhi hai……."
"Kya?" her eyes brightened up.
Shoving his hand in to the pocket, he fished out a small box
and held out in front of her. "Here you go……."
She took it from him and opened the box to find a pair of
exquisite diamond earing – small and cute. Her eyes sparkled with joy.
Glancing up at him, she grinned. "Bahut acha hai"
"Tumhe kya laga……..ek rose dekar kaam chala dunga? Huh?" he
"Umm……mere liye to……jitna mehenga yeh diamond earing
hai…….utna hi mehenga yeh goolab bhi hai……..kyunki dono tofhe aap mere liye
laaye hain……aur jo aap mere liye late hain…….woh apne aap anmol ban jaata hai"
she replied sweetly.
He loved that and pressed a small peck on her forehead.
"Acha pehno na ise……" he said.
"Umm……main pehnoon?" she asked, her eyes twinkled.
He grinned and took the box from her. Bringing his hands up,
he began unhooking her earings from her ear.
She blushed feeling his fingers behind her sensitive
earlobe. Seeing this, he deliberately leaned closer, pretending that the hook
wasn't coming out, and nibbled her earlobe.
A small shiver passed through her body and her neck angled
slightly in reflex.
"are dekho yeh nikal hi nahi raha hai……." Mumbling against
her ear, he again brushed his stubbled chin against her skin.
Her skin was left red under his touches. She perfectly knew
his tricks but didn't mind him doing do because she purely enjoyed it.
"Dekha…….tum kitni jyaada pyaari lag rahi ho iss naye
earings main" he praised, looking at her reflection in the mirror.
She smiled sweetly.
"Waise Radhika…….tumse kuch poochoon"
"Yeh sirf in diamond earings ka kamaal hai…….mere pyaar
ka……yah phir kuch aur hai…… because your face seems to be glowing so radiantly.
Kuch naya cream shream lagati ho kya aajkal?" he asked sweetly.
"Umm…..shayad aapke pyaar ka asar hai" she mumbled shyly.
"Haan meri jaan…….woh to humesha hi rehta hai. Par peechle
kuch dino se……tumhare chehre ki chamak kuch jyaada hi bad gayi hai……Aur bhi
jyaada khoobsurat lagne lagi ho. Kya baat hai?"
"Oho. Kuch bhi nahi hai" she turned to face him. "Who kya
hainaa…….aaj aapne mujhe itne pyaare pyaare tofhe diye hain na…….isiliye" she
Beaming, "Hmm…….shayad" he shrugged.
Suddenly something flickered across her mind and her
expressions first turned shocked, and then solemn.
"Hey kya huwa?" he asked in confusion, seeing her changed
She glanced up at him, somberly. "I am sorry"
He scowled in confusion. "Kyun?"
"Main bhi kitni idiot hoon……kaise bhul gayi" she hit her
"Are par huwa kya?"
"Aaj humari aaniversary hai…….aur aap mere liye tofha laaye
hain……lekin main to aapke liye kuch laayi hi nahi" she mumbled somberly and
looked down, feeling guilty.
He sighed and smiled. "Bas! Radhika kisne kaha…….tumne mujhe
apni pyaari si muskurahat de di…….mere liye itna hi kaafi hai……I don't need
anything else……besides I have already got the most precious gift in you……."
She glanced up, penitently. "Nahi. Aaj humari shaadi ki
pehli saalgirah hai…….aur use khaas banana ke liye……..yaadgaar banana ke
liye……..main aapko kuch dena chahti thi….. gift dekhkar bhi rakha tha…….kal
sham ko jaane bhi waali thi……Lekin dekhiye na…….ghar ke kaam main itne ulaaj
gayi ke….." she again hit her head, rebuking herself.
"Ofo! Stop this!" he held her wrist. "Kya tum bhi……"
"Mujhe maaf kar deejye na……"
"Radhika!" he said in a stern voice.
She looked down sadly.
Sighing, he cupped her face and nudged it up. "Radhika
comeon stop feeling guilty for such a small thing. Mujhe bura vura nahi laga.
Aur waise bhi……shayad tumne mujhe gift nahi diya iske peeche kuch acha hoga……" he
tried assuring her.
"Iske peeche kya acha ho sakta hai?" she mumbled sadly.
He pondered for a small moment as to how to explain this to
her. "Erm…..shayad Kanha chahte ho ke tum mujhe bahut special sa gift do…….and
probably that's why he made you forget your gift! Shayad aaj tumhare haathon
mujhe bahut jyaada special kuch milne waala ho……who kehte hain…..ke kabhi kabhi
bhagwan ki marzi hoti hai……isiliye humare soche huwe kaam nahi bante"
She went silent wondering if this could be the reason.
"Shayad. Umm…..lekin mujhe to aapko tofha dena hai. Acha ek
kaam karte hain…….hum naashta karne ke baad na…….mall chalenge…….phir wahan
main aapke liye who gift khareed loongi jo maine aapke liye choose kiya hai"
she said. "Aur rahi baat special tofhe ki……to who agar Kanha chahenge to aap
main de hi doongi"
He smiled. "Acha theek hai"
"Umm……ab jaaiye tayar ho jaaiye……..aur jaldi neeche aaiye"
she said and pushed down his arms.
"Hmmm……..ek kiss hi de deti……uss mall waale gift se to
kayi jyaada special hota!" he began coming closer.
"Bas bas…….ab jaaiye aur naha leejye!" she said and pushed
As Radhika came downstairs, she was greeted by Dadima.
"Happy Anniversary beta………" Dadima smiled wide.
Radhika quickened her steps to reach Dadima and touched her
feet to take blessings.
"Jeeti raho…….Sada saubhagyawati raho………" Dadima blessed and
cupped Radhika's face. "Thakurjee kare tere chehre ki yeh muskurahat kabhi kam
na ho……..bas isi tarah tu khush rahe……..aur humare ghar main raunak bani rahe"
Radhika grinned hearing this. "Bilkul…….aapka aashirwaad jo
hai Dadima" she kissed Dadima's hand.
"Chalo…….tumhare Kanha to kabse raah dekh rahe hain……..ke
kab unki bhakt aayegi aur unhe sajayegi…….." Dadima said sweetly, leading her
to the puja room.
Following the preparations as everyone came down, Dev and
Radhika did the aarti together thanking the lord for every ounce of happiness
showered on them. After the aarti, everyone blessed the couple and wished them.
Slowly everyone proceeded to the breakfast table…….
In the breakfast table………..
"Vivek!!" Dadima scolded on seeing Vivek pulling the crisp
newspaper of the day.
The moment Vivek heard her voice, he left the paper in the
"Tujshe kitni baar kaha hai ke naashte ke table pe no
"Sorry Dadima" Vivek apologized sheepishly.
Mrinalini giggled and Vivek frowned at her.
"Waise Ma…….aaj aapne saara naashta khud bana liya? Main aa
hi rahi thi" Radhika said.
Vaishali patted her chin sweetly. "Kyun? Mera haath ka acha
"Are nahi nahi Ma aap aisa kyun keh rahi hain"
"To? Beta aaj tum dono ke liye itna special din hai…….to aaj
bhi tumse kaam karwaungi kya? Aur waise bhi tu akeli iss ghar ki bahu nahi
hai………ek aur bahu hai……who bhi iss ghar ke kaam karna ache se jaanti hai……." Vaishali
said, mock sternly.
Radhika chuckled and shook her head like a kid. "Jee ma"
"Acha Dev tujhe mera ek kaam karna hoga…….." Dadima said.
"Kya?" Dev asked.
"Who aaj tu Radhika ko lekar bahar chala jaa……..aur sham tak
Dev's face brightened up instantly.
"Uske pehle ghar main kadam rakha na………to pair tod dungi
tera!" Dadima warned.
Hearing this, Dev wondered as to why he was getting such a
stern order. So did Radhika.
"Par kyun?" Dev asked sharing a glance with his wife.
"Because we want this girl out of this house today!"
Mrinalini replied, biting her toast.
"Haan! Yeh Radhika yahan rahegi to hume shanti se kaam nahi
karne degi! Aajaayegi humare peeche peeche……..help karne!" Dadima said. "Aur
main nahi chahti ke aaj ke din yeh koi bhi kaam kare……..aaj kie party tum dono
ke naam hai……aur tumhe sirf enjoy karna hai. Kaam nahi!"
This erased Dev and Radhika's puzzlement and they smiled.
"Maaji bilkul sahi keh rahi hai. Radhika ko to kaam karna
bahut pasand hai……..aur who baar baar humari madat karne aati rahegi chahe hum
kitna hi mana kyun na karde! Isiliye Dev hum sabke orders hain ke ise tu kahi
ghumane le ja!" Vaishali backed.
Dev grinned. "Okay Boss! Aaj yeh banda apni patni ko leke
sham ke pehle ghar nahi aayega" he saluted, feeling delighted at the prospect
of spending the entire day with his wife.
Radhika glanced at him once. "Umm…….par Ma……..lekin…….."
"Dekha……..dekha…….abhi se hi shuru ho gayi…….Radhika yeh
mera order hai. Samjhi!" Dadima said sternly.
Radhika pouted like cute kid.
"Umm……..Babuji……..to iska matlab aaj office se chutti na
meri?" Dev asked, to confirm.
Mr. Purohit laughed. "Haan beta……."
Dev beamed. "okay…….to Radhika…….chalo jaldi nashta
karo………phir jaldi tayar ho jaana" the eagerness in his voice was easily
Hearing this impatience, Radhika blushed and elbowed him
sneakily. He arched his brows naughtily and she blushed some more.
"ahem ahem!" the family coughed bringing them back.
Startled, Dev and Radhika blushed and began having their
food silently. The family burst out laughing at this.
Radhika was pinning the pleats of her blue saree when Dev
came to the dressing table.
"Suniye na…….sabse pehle na hum Kanha ke mandir
jaayege……phir mall jaayenge" she requested sweetly.
"Mall? Kyun?" he asked brushing his hairs.
"tsk bhul gaye? Who gift lena tha na aapke liye……."
He sighed. "Okay. Mandir……..Mall…….phir……phir kahan jaana
hai humari madam ko?" he asked, turning to wrap his arms around her waist.
She smiled. "Kahi bhi jahan aap mujhe le chale….."
He grinned. "Okay……..to ek bahut achi si horror film lagi
hai paas ke multiplex main……wahan chalen?"
Her smile vanished and she hit his chest playfully. "kya aap
"Kyun? Tumhi ne to kahan main jahan le jaaun…….chalogi…….ab
chalo" he replied with a straight face.
"Anniversary ke din……..horror film dikhayenge mujhe?" she
asked, adjusting the collar of his tee.
He shrugged. "Haan. Actually you get really scared watching
those English horror films…….and you come close to me……..hug my arms
tightly……….and……." he winked.
"Oh…..to yeh plan hai aapka?"
"Hmm! Ise kehte hain………Horror main romance"
She tapped his cheek cutely. "Badmash!"
He laughed aloud at that and she too joined him.
"ab tayar ho jaayen?" She pushed his hands down to turn
towards the mirror.
But he came closer and circled his arms around her again.
"Itni jaldi kya hai…….." he whispered and began nuzzling her ear.
She giggled as his actions tickled her and quickly turned to
face him. Seeing this, he began coming closer to her lips but she placed her
hand on his lips at the right moment.
"Kya aap bhi………." She mumbled. "Kabhi to apne aap ko
sambhaliye" she chided; but was unable to hide her smile for she felt joyous
seeing Dev being so impatient to come near her always.
With a sigh, he moved her hand away and winked. "Who to hone
Her smile grew so did her blush. "Acha ab chaliye na……der ho
rahi hai……." She pleaded cutely.
He chuckled with a grin and came closer to press his lips on
her forehead warmly.
Meanwhile downstairs, Dadima called Vaishali with an
ever-so-very urgent tone. Vaishali came out hurriedly wondering what was making
Dadima so excited.
Dadima quickly handed her the newspaper. "Yeh dekho…….kya
aaya hai aaj ke paper main"
Vaishali took hold of the paper, pondering about Dadima's
unusual excitement, and dropped her gaze to find what was so important in that
paper. Soon her eyes grew wide seeing Radhika's picture in the newspaper with
an article written up for her.
"Maaji? Yeh to………." Vaishali's voice trailed off as she
began reading the newspiece delightedly.
The article was all praise for Radhika's efforts towards a
Some months back, Radhika had agreed to be a part of fund
raising events for a NGO in the suburbs of Mumbai, which was in a very poor
condition. Back then, her talent had just been discovered by the society
through Mrinalini's charity event and many people began approaching her for
playback singing, or for making devotional cassetts. But Radhika had politely
refused everyone although the family and especially Dev insisted that she take
up singing as her career; they didn't want her talent to go wasted. But Radhika
stood firm in her decision as she didn't want to sell her talent for money.
It was during this phase when a particular NGO people had
come to Radhika very apprehensively with a proposal. The debilitating NGO had
fallen short of funds very badly and the patients couldn't be taken care of,
even their basic necessities couldn't be met. The NGO was thinking of a fund
raising musical event, however, because there was a lack of funds, no big
personality was agreeing to be a part of this event……….and without having some
known name on board, they couldn't gather money. When Radhika heard about this
offer, she didn't think much and decided to help them readily, much to the
NGO's joy. She agreed to be a part of this charity event for free and even
requested Dev to put some money in this event so that things could be done at a
larger scale. Purohit's didn't mind spending for such a good cause………and for
Radhika's happiness. They started with some small events. Since Purohit's were
involved in this effort, their friends and colleagues began donating money to
this NGO. However, soon people from other sections too started pouring money
for this event…….and Radhika's musical events began attracting more and more
Vaishali's eyes brimmed with tears of joy as she read the
words of appreciation written for Radhika. She remembered Radhika's words when
these people had approached her.
"Ma……Kanha ki krupa se
humare paas sab kuch hai……Hume dhan aur shohorat ki koi kami nahi……...lekin jin
ke paas nahi hai…….agar hum unki madad kar paaye……..agar meri awaaz se main un
logon ke kuch kar paaun to is se badhkar mere liye aur kya ho sakta hai? Kehte
hain na…….jab hum kisi jaruratmand (needy) ki madat karte hain……to who bhagvan
ki seva ke barabar hota hai" Radhika smiled.
"Sach much Maaji……aaj to meri bachi ne mera sar garv se upar
kar diya" Vaishali said, looking up.
Dadima bobbed her head in agreement. "Sahi keh rahi ho tum.
Radhika ne iss parivaar ka sar garv se uncha kar diya. Mujhe garv hai ke hum
Radhika se jude hain"
"Sahi kaha aapne maaji. Who chahti to…….kitne paise kama
leti……par usne doosre ke baare main hi socha"
"Are humari Radhika to hai hi laakhon main ek. Usne to kabhi
apne baare main socha hi nahi. Humesha doosron ke bare main sochti rehti. Aur
ab to who aur 3-4 organizations se jud gayi hai" Dadima said.
Vaishali nodded proudly. Radhika was now a part of some more
such organizations, including a old age home, poor children home. Not only did
she participate in the functions for them but also visited these organizations
every now and then. She would even distribute goodies and food to these people.
"Maaji jab bhi Radhika aashram ya inn NGO's se wapas aati
hai……aapne dekha hai ke uske chehre pe kaisi chamak hoti hai" Vaishali said.
"Haan. Bas who bachi khush rahe……..meri to yahi duwa hai
Thakurjee se" Dadima added, beaming.
In the meantime in Vrindavan………..
Shastrijee came in calling Devki's name loudly in an urgent
tone. 'Devkijee!!! Are kahan hai aap??"
Devki came out running and saw him struggling to remove his
footwear as soon as possible. "Kya baat hai aap itni jaldi jaldi….kya huwa?"
"Are baat hi kuch aisi hai!! Yeh dekho……." He held forward
the newspaper for her.
Her brows puckered seeing the newspaper because he never
brought paper while coming back from the temple after morning aarti.
"Jee?akbaar? kyun kya hai isme aisa?" she asked, wondering what was in the
newspaper that was making him so excited.
"Are aap dekhiye to sahi……." He urged impatiently.
She took the paper to read and her eyes widened with
happiness. "Isme to apni Radhika ki tasveer chapi hai……."
"Haan……Devkijee!! Humari bachi ki tasveer chapi hai……..aur
dekhiye kya likha hai. Uski taarifon ke pul bandhe hain! Humari bachi ko bahut
naam mila hai shehar main" Shastrijee said in a single breath in an animated
voice. He felt very, very proud of his daughter at this moment.
Devki began reading the words carefully and slowly.
"Jaanti hain…….Varmajee ne galli main rok kar……mere haathon
main paper diya……..aur kaha ke Radhika ki tasveer aayi hai…….angrezi paper main
bhi naam aaya hai apni betiya ka………pure Vrindavan main charche ho rahe hain
humari bachi ke. Pure galli main sabne badhaiyan di! Sab apni Radhika ke gun
gaa rahe hain!" Shastrijee continued his enthusiastic rant.
Devki looked up grinning ear to ear. "Sach much jee……aaj to
humari bachi ne humara sar garv se uncha kar diya……..pehli baar humare parivaar
main kisi ki tasveer akbar main chapi hogi…….woh bhi itne ache kaam karke"
"Sahi kaha aapne Devkijee. Meri bachi chahti to apne awaaz
ko……apne sangeet ko kayi lakhon ke liye bech sakti……par usne aisa nek (noble)
kaam chuna. Sahi keh raha hoon Devkijee aaj mujhe galli se yahan ghar tak aate
aate…….to…..main……apni khushi sama hi nahi paaya" Shastrijee said, unable to
hide his overflowing excitement.
Devki felt real happy seeing Shastrijee in such a mood.
After he came to know Amma's truth, he had never been so joyous before.
His voice softened down. "Devkijee…….kaun kehta hai ke sirf
beta apne parivaar ka naam uncha karta hai. Aaj humari bachi ne humara sar garv
se upar kiya hai. Humara sar uncha kar diya" Small tears of happiness welled
"Sahi kaha jee aapne" Devki couldn't agree more.
Shastrijee gulped his tears and kissed Radhika's picture in
the paper. "jeeti rahe meri bachi"
"Acha suniye…….aapko yaad hai na aaj kya hai…….." Devki
Shastrijee looked up and smiled. "Bilkul kaise bhool sakta
hoon. Aajse ek saal pehle apni phool jaisi bachi ko vida kiya tha iss ghar
"Jee. Unhe phone nahi karna?" Devki asked excitedly.
"Are haan haan……main bas muh haath dho ke aata hoon……phir
saath main phone karenge unhe……" Shastrijee tapped her cheek, much to Devki's
surprise that left her eyes wide, before he turned towards the wash area. Happiness
seemed to be flowing infectiously through his veins.
"Aapka lakh lakh dhanywaad……." Devki said, folding her hands
in front of the lord.
In Purohit House, Dadima and Vaishali were walking towards
the stairs to reach Dev's room.
"Lagta hai Dev ne aajka paper nahi pada……warna ab tak to
pure ghar main double celebration hota!" Dadima said cheerfully.
"Haan Maaji. Aaj subah se janab ko apne anniversary ke alawa
kuch sujh hi nahi raha hoga" Vaishali chuckled.
Dadima laughed. "Hmm. Who to sabse jyaada excited ho jaata"
"Waise Maaji……ek aur insaan hai jo super duper excite ho
jaayega" Vaishali laughed. "Vishaka"
"Are haan…….uska phone nahi aaya ab tak! Ab tak to who udne
lagi hogi apne behen ki picture dekh kar" Dadima agreed and then her face went
somber. "Waise bhi Vishaka ke vivah ke baad to kabhi uski awaaz bhi nahi suni
"Haan Maaji……..woh to hai. Who apne gruhasti main vyast ho
gayi hogi…….." Vaishali smiled, remembering Vishaka's wedding.
Vishaka's wedding took place around 2 months back. The
wedding however happened in a rush. Since Amma's condition was far from
improving and was worsening with every passing minute, Shastri's wanted
Vishaka's marriage to be postponed for sometime atleast. Chaubey's (Keshav's
parents) too agreed on this. They decided to get the couple engaged and so went
to an astrologer to get their horoscopes matched and to get a date for the
engagement. However according to the astrologer, if the marriage didn't happen
within a month then the marriage may not take place for the next 10 years or
so. On listening to this, both the parties agreed for a quick marriage because
postponing the marriage for 10 years was not an option Shastri's could afford.
The marriage preparations was done hurriedly and the wedding took place at a
smaller scale because they didn't want too much of pomp while Amma was in such
"Maaji bas Vishaka khush rahe"
"Vaishali…….keshav hai na" Dadima smiled.
"Keshav??" Dev's voice reached them and they looked up to
find Dev and Radhika coming down the stairs.
"Are tayar ho gaye tum dono? Hum tumhare hi paas aa rahe
the" Dadima said.
"Aap log keshav ke baare main kya keh rahe the?" Dev asked
"Who sab chodo. Tune aaj paper pada kya?"
Dev shrugged. "Nahi. Kyun? Kuch important news hai kya?"
"Are bahut jyaada important news hai! Mujhe na Vivek ko akbaar
pad lene dena chahiye tha. Warna Breakfast table pe hi sabko pata chal jaata. Abhi
who bhi study main busy ho gaya" Dadima giggled.
"Par Dadima huwa kya?" Radhika asked curiously with a smile.
"Tum dono khud pad lo…….." saying, Vaishali handed the paper
Dev and Radhika looked down at the paper……..and soon a grin
came on their faces.
"Dadima! Yeh to Radhika ke baare main hai!" Dev said
exuberantly, looking up.
"Haan" Vaishali said with a jubiliant smile.
Wrapping an arm around Radhika, who stood overwhelmed, he
kissed her forehead. "Radhika I am very very proud of you…….."
Radhika just smiled humbly, feeling happy that she could
make her family and husband feel proud.
"Radhika you've become famous!!" Dev continued in his
excited voice and tightened his arm around her.
Vaishali came closer and cupped her cheek. "Thank you
beta…….aaj tumhari wajah se humara sar garv se uncha ho gaya" She kissed her
Dev grinned joyously. "Dadima this calls for a double
celebration!! Aaj sham ki party main……. Double dhamaka hona chahiye……..aakhir
meri patni itni famous jo ho gayi hai!"
Dadima hit his arm lightly. "Kya teri patni? Sirf teri patni
hai kya? Meri poti famous ho gayi hai" saying, Dadima framed Radhika's lower
"Sirf aapki poti thodi na hai? Pehle meri patni hai" Dev
Radhika grinned modestly seeing them.
"Bas bas…….bas keejye aap dono. Sachi beta……aaj to double
celebration hona hi chahiye"
"Yeh sab to aapka pyaar…….vishwas aur saath ke bina mumkin
nahi hota" Radhika said sweetly. "Aur phir Kanha ka aashirwaad bhi to hai"
"And this calls for some sweet as well!!" Mrinalini's
thrilled voice reached them and they turned to find her coming near them with a
plate of sweets.
"Ofcourse tumhe kya laga aap log mujhe batayenge nahi to
mujhe pata nahi chalega? Huh?" she asked in a half angry-hald sad tone.
"Are beta hume bhi abhi abhi pata chala" Dadima reasoned to
pacify her. "Tum andar busy thi isiliye tumhe disturb nahi kiya"
Mrinalini smiled. "To theek hai. Waise I got to know this
from one of my friends. I couldn't believe her and checked on with my paper…."
She came closer to feed Radhika a piece of sweet. "Congrats dear!"
"Thanks bhabhi" Radhika hugged her.
"Bhabhi hum log bhi khade hain…….humare liye sweets?"
"haan haan lo na!" saying, Mrinalini took four pieces of
sweet and shoved in to Dev's mouth at once.
"Bhaahb…….b.." he made a face at Mrinalini, unable to utter
Mrinalini and others giggled loud at this.
Amidst all this fun and laughter, Radhika slowly glanced
down at her phone somberly.
Dev noticed this. "Kya dekh rahi ho?" he asked, wiping the
corner of his lips. "Kisike phone ka intezaar hai?"
Radhika jerked her head up. "umm…….woh……."
Dadima smiled. "Hmm……Apne babuji ke phone ka intezaar kar
rahi ho na?"
Radhika couldn't hide and she nodded once. "Hmm"
"Thodi der main aajaayega. Aaj ka din who kabhi nahi
bhulenge. Unhone aaj apni gudiya jo humare ghar vida ki thi" Dadima smiled
sweetly and tapped her cheek once.
Radhika shook her head with a smile.
"Acha ek kaam karte hain Babuji ka phone aajaye uske baad hi
mandir chalte hain okay?" Dev asked.
Instantly Radhika's smile widened. "Theek hai"
"Waise Radhika…….if am not wrong……yeh earrings to tumhare
paas pehle nahi the na?"Mrinalini asked, checking out the diamond sparkling
Radhika blushed. "Haan……..woh……" her gaze shifted to the
corner, towards Dev.
Mrinalini's eyes grew big with a teasing glint. 'Ooh!!! To
Dev ne gift kiya hai? Huh?" she elbowed Radhika, who inturn could only blush
Dev grinned. "Haan maine gift kiya hai. Apni patni ko kuch
to dunga na? Waise kaisa hai?" he asked putting an arm around Radhika.
"Hmm. Good choice. Waise Radhika ke upar to koi bhi cheez
achi lagegi. Doesn't matter tumhara taste kaisa bhi ho" Mrinalini retorted.
Hearing this, Dev's smile vanished. "Bhabhi aap kisi bhi
cheez ka sahi dhang se jawaab nahi de sakti kya?"
"Tumhare saath reh rehkar aise ho gayi hoon Dev ab kya karun"
Mrinalini snapped back with a acidic smile.
Vaishali and Dadima share a helpless glance and shake their
heads in exasperation.
"Acha isme bhi meri galti! Bhabhi why don't you admit you
were born with sarcasm dipped tongue!" he retorted back and then shrugged
smugly. "Meri baat to kuch alag hai…don't even compare me yourself..…..I am
"Huh! Born charmer? Please! Don't make me laugh!"
Amidst all this bantering of theirs, Radhika suddenly
started feeling sick – kind of nauseous. Her one hand came up to her mouth as
she felt the nauseous feel inside her growing intense.
Mrinalini, who stood just next to Radhika, noticed her
uncomfort and pausing the bantering, shifted her gaze to Radhika.
"are you fine?" she asked concernedly
Dev and others too looked at Radhika only to find her
standing with her hand clamped on to her mouth.
"Kya huwa Radhika?" Dev came closer.
Radhika couldn't control anymore and she rushed to the
nearest bathroom near the corner.
"Radhika!" Dev called behind her and quickly followed her.
Dadima, Vaishali and Mrinalini too followed swiftly, feeling worried.
"Radhika?? What happened?" Dev banged against the washroom
door. But the next moment, he heard her vomiting and his face crumpled in to a
He shared an anxious glance with the ladies in the room.
Some moments passed and Radhika came out, wiping her face
with a clean towel.
"Tum theek to ho na?" Dev asked; worry was layering his
She tried smiling but felt slightly tired. "hmm…….."
"Kya hmm! Halat dekho apni……kitni thaki huwi lag rahi ho?
Kya huwa? Achanak se aise vomiting?" he asked, stroking her head lovingly.
"beta tumhari tabiyat to theek hai na?" Vaishali came closer
and touched her forehead. Dadima too looked on in worry.
Radhika took a deep breath. "Main bilkul theek hoon. Aap
fikr na kare. Who shayad kal maine…umm……nandu ke saath bahar thele (stall) ka
gol gappa khaya tha. Shayad bahut jyaada ho gaya…….isiliye…….." she said,
rubbing her throat.
Mrinalini sighed. "Gol Gappa! Radhika tum bhi na! Nandu ko
samjhane ke wajay khud khaane lagi? Huh? Ab dekha na kaise pet kharab ho gaya?
Itna jyaada kyun khaya tum dono ne?"
"Bhabhi who gol gappe
bahut ache banata hai" Radhika said sheepishly.
Mrinalini threw her hands up. "Great! Ab bahut jald aapka
Nandu bhi aajayega school se!"
"Bhabhi let it be na. Dekhiye iski haalat theek nahi lag
rahi. She looks pale. I think we should call up doctor"
Radhika swiftly held his forearm. "Are yeh aap kya keh rahe
hain? Jara si to ulti huwi hai usmain doctor ko bulane ki kya jaroorat hai?"
He cupped her face. "Jaroorat hai. Look at yourself. You
look weak aur agar pet kharab huwa hai to doctor ko to bulana padega na?"
"Aap kuch jyaada hi chinta kar rahe hain. Mujhe doctor ki jaroorat
nahi hai. Who ghar main hi koi gharelu nuska bana lungi. Mujhe pata hai" she
He sighed, annoyed by her stubborness. "Tumhe to sab pata
hota hai na!"
"Radhika Dev bilkul sahi keh raha hai. Doctor ko bulane main
harz kya hai?" Dadima backed Dev.
"Magar abhi doctor ko bulayenge to mandir jaane main bhi der
ho jayegi aur phir abhi mujhe theek lag…….."
Dev interrupted her. "Mandir? Kaun jaa raha hai mandir?"
Radhika looked at him blankly.
"You're not stepping out of this house now! Tum kahi nahi
jaa rahi ho until you get get well" Dev ordered sternly.
Hearing this, Radhika sighed. "Dadima samjhaiye na"
"Samjhana to tujhe hai. Who theek hi to keh raha hai" Dadima
said. Vaishali backed her.
"Dadima aap bhi. Main……main jara sa paani pee leti hoon phir
theek mehsoos karungi. Mera mandir jaane ka bahut man kar raha hai……" she
requested to Dev.
Dev exhaled once, feeling irritated at her insistence.
"Theek hai main paani lane ke liye kehta hoon"
"Main le loongi na. itni bhi kamzor nahi hoon ke ek glass
paani bhi nahi utha sakti" Smiling, she began walking.
Placing his hands on waist, Dev sighed in frustration.
"Dekha Dadima. Meri baat hi nahi maanti hai. Aaram to karna hi nahi aata hai
Radhika had barely moved a few steps ahead when she suddenly
felt dizzy; her feet halted and hand came up to her forehead as everything
began spinning. She tried taking a step but wobbled.
Dev's gaze noticed this at once and he rushed to hold her
before she fell down. "Radhika!"
Dadima, Mrinalini and vaishali rushed to her as well.
Radhika fell on his arms unconscious making him all the more
"Radhika!!" he tapped her cheeks, feeling worried. But there
was no response. He again tapped her cheeks and called her name. But she lay
"Radhika aankhen kholo beta" Dadima called but in vain.
"Dadima………Radhika ko kya ho gaya hai!??" Dev wondered aloud
in panic. "Radhika!"
Mr. Purohit and Vivek came out hearing their voices……..only
to find Radhika lying unconscious in Dev's arms. They rushed towards Radhika.
"Dev tu ise kamre main le jaa……..Vivek jaldi se doctor ko
phone karna" Dadima ordered.
Dev swiftly carried Radhika in his arms and began climbing
the steps hurriedly.
Everyone stood silently with anxious looks on their faces as
the doctor checked Radhika.
The doctor looked up at Dev and then got up.
"Kya baat hai Doctor? Radhika theek to hai na?" Dev asked
quickly, unable to control his worry.
Doctor nodded his head once. "Haan Dev. She is fine. Just
some weakness" he smiled.
Dev sighed in relief. "Par who behosh kyun ho gayi?"
Doctor's smile grew seeing Dev's anxiety filled face. "Itna
ghabrane waali koi baat nahi hai Dev. She is fine. Infact baat to khushi ki
Dev frowned. "Jee?"
Doctor grinned now. "Jee! Radhika is pregnant……"
On hearing this, Dev's frown erased and lips parted
instinctively in surprise. "Radhika is
pregnant" Doctor's words circled across his mind again. The thought was
Purohit Family burst in to smiles hearing this good news.
"Maaji……humari Radhika Ma ban ne waali hai" Vaishali said exuberantly.
"Haan!!" Dadima replied cheerfully.
Their voices brought Dev back and blinking once, he turned
his gaze to Radhika's figure on the bed. Slowly a smile creeped up his lips and
soon a grin formed on his face – he was soon going to become a father……their
child was growing inside her!! It was an ineffable feel…… something too
overwhelming that didn't sink in easily inside him. They would actually become
a kid's parents……!! The thought tingled his heart and his gaze turned loving.
"Congrats Dev!!" Vivek came in to give a hug.
Dev just grinned and hugged him back mechanically; the
happiness was too huge for him to easily absorb.
"Doctorsaab aapka bahut bahut dhanywaad jo aapne hume itni
pyaari khabar sunayi" Dadima said.
"Dadima……isme mera thanks kyun? Dhanywaad to aapko apni bahu
ko karna chahiye jo aapko itni badi khushi dene waali hai" Doctor replied back
Dev glanced and smiled at him. "Umm……par doctor Radhika ko
hosh nahi aaya ab tak?"
Doctor's face turned slightly serious. "Don't worry Radhika
ko thodi der main hosh aajayega. Lekin ek baat ka jaroor dhyan
rakhiyega……Radhika is a little weak…..isiliye use apna bahut jyaada dhyaan
rakhna hoga……warna uski aur uski baby ko bhi khatra ho sakta hai"
A frown came across Dev's face. "Koi darne waali baat to
nahi hai na?"
"Nahi. Agar khayal rakhenge then there is nothing to worry"
Doctor smiled. "Jahan tak ho sake Radhika se koi kaam na karwayen…….she has to
take complete rest. Aur haan aaj use aaram karne den……..aur kal mere clinic
main le aana. Kuch tests karne hain"
"Theek hai ab main chalta hoon. Agar koi problem ho to mujhe
call kar leejyega" he said to Mr. Purohit. "Aur haan abhi Radhika ko aaram
karne de…….jaise hi inhe hosh aayega……give her something light to eat"
Vivek went along with the doctor and others came in
congratulate Dev. He took their blessings, with a grin, that seemed to have
fixed on his face permanently.
Dadima suggested they sit downstairs in the hall so that
Radhika can get some rest. Everyone
began moving out slowly.
"Dev tu yahi ruk jaa…….jaise hi use hosh aaye hume keh dena"
Dadima said and closed the door behind her.
Dev's gaze shifted to Radhika and turned reverent. He came
closer and sat beside her, looking at ger lovingly. Stroking her head once, he
leaned down to kiss her forehead.
His touch brought back Radhika in to senses. Her forehead
creased and eyes slowly began opening.
Noticing this, Dev moved his face slightly to meet her gaze,
propping his elbow on the pillow.
She fluttered her eyelids to clear her vision and found Dev
in front of her with a loving look in his eyes.
A sparkling beam came on his face and he bent to place a
peck on her lips. "Thanks"
Her brows puckered in confusion and she gazed in to his
joyously smiling face in puzzlement.
"jee? Kyun?" her voice sounded slightly gruff, feeling weak.
Caressing her head, he smiled sweetly. "Mujhe iss duniya ki
sabse badi khushi dene ke liye"
She didn't understand; his words only added to her
puzzlement. "Jee? Main samjhi nahi"
He inched closer to her face. "Maine tumse kaha tha
na…….shayad Kanha chahte hain ke tum mujhe koi anmol tofha do…….isiliye aaj ke
din……unhone tumhe mujhe kuch aur nahi dene diya" he mumbled; their breaths
She gulped wondering why he was saying so. What priceless
gift had she given him?
Framing a side of her cheeks, "Is se acha tofha to mujhe aur
koi nahi de sakta. Thanks Radhika" he mumbled lovingly.
Radhika didn't understand anything except for one
thing…….that he was very or rather extemely joyous at this moment; his eyes
were easily stating his happiness. But why was he thanking her? What had she
given him? She tried remembering what had happened. She had felt sick…….had
thrown off ……then…….then she'd felt dizzy……then……then……..she didn't remember
anything. What had happened to her? Her gaze shifted away from his intense
loving eyes and she realized herself to be on the bed. But why.
Her hand came up to touch the side of her forehead,
remembering the dizzy feeling she'd felt sometime back. "Umm……kya huwa tha
mujhe? Main yahan kaise?" she asked softly.
He shook his head with a smile. "Kuch nahi. Tum behosh ho
gayi thi neeche…….to hum yahan upar laye tumhe. Nothing to worry. Tum bilkul
She blinked in puzzle – his smile puzzled her. What was
making him so happy? What gift was he talking about?
"Kya baat hai…..aap bahut khush lag rahe hain? Aur kaunse
tofhe ki baat kar rahe hain? Maine to kuch nahi diya" she mumbled, gazing in to
Chuckling once at her innocent tone, he stroked her cheeks.
"Diya hai……bahut bada tofha diya hai" he said softly and shifted his hand,
resting on her cheeks, to slid it underneath her saree and caressed her tummy
once – he felt a gush indescribably joy inside him.
"Kya?" she couldn't understand anything as she felt weak and
slightly dizzy. What was he trying to imply – it was surely something very very
special for he looked so joyous. But her weakness didn't allow her brain to
ponder on it properly and she wanted him to disclose the riddle.
He let his hand remain over her tummy, aching to feel more
of that happiness that seemed to be bursting inside him……..wanted to feel his
baby inside her.
His other hand propped on the pillow storked her forehead
sweetly and he came very close to her, so close that their breaths mixed with
the others. "Radhika tum ma ban ne waali ho……you're pregnant"
As she heard his words, her eyes grew slightly big in
surprise and astonishment. She was pregnant!
Comprehending the pleasantly surprised feel inside her – as
he had gone through the same feel some moments back, he smiled. "Haan
Radhika…….humare pyaar ki nishaani tumhare kok main pal rahi hai……."
She blinked mechanically without showing any emotion – it
was unable to absorb this happiness at one go…….and dropped her gaze to where
his hand rested, over her tummy. She was pregnant. Their baby was growing
inside her……..their baby.
"humare pyaar ki
nishaani tumhare kok main pal rahi hai……."
His words floated in her head again…..and slowly pulled her
lips up in to an overwhelming smile.
Her one hand moved up to touch her tummy. His gaze moved to
her tummy as well and he shifted his hand so as to let her feel the sensation.
She slowly placed her hand above her tummy……and felt her throat choking
suddenly…….while her eyes welled up with small tears. Their baby was growing
inside her. With ever so soft movements, she caressed her tummy, to feel their
baby. A grin spread across her face and small tears of happiness streamed down
her cheeks. The next moment she felt Dev's hand coming atop her's……..and sense
of completion filled inside her.
She slowly looked up to meet his loving gaze and smiled in
pure delight. "H….Humara bacha"
He beamed and nodded his head once. "Hmm. Humara Baby"
mumbling, he brought his hand up to brush away those tears. "humare pyaar ki
But she couldn't contain it; the feeling was too overwhelming
and inexplainable. Her smile just grew with every second.
"Bolo huwa na yeh mera sabse special tofha. Is se special
aur is se anmol tofha mere liye kuch aur ho hi nahi sakta……." He cupped her
She nodded; this was the most special gift they had got from
the Lord. How silly was she to not have understood this simple fact. She
remembered feeling nauseous and then dizzy before falling unconscious……..and
then remembered that she had missed her monthly cycle as well. There were many
things pointing towards her pregnancy and yet she couldn't understand.
She giggled at her sillyness. He loved her giggle and came
close to kiss her lips softly – it was a soft reverent kiss to thank her for
the greatest happiness she gave him and his family…….and to share this biggest
happiness with her in every way.
When they parted after a small minute, Radhika slowly
shifted her gaze towards the Kanha's idol in her room to thank the Lord for
this happiness. Her eyes again brimmed with tears of joy.
Dev didn't say anything, just brushed off her tears. Radhika
glanced back at him and giggled softly in joy.
"Kanha ne hume sabse khaas tofha diya hai aaje ke din……..."
her gaze shifted to her tummy where her hand still rested. "Unhone apni bhakt
ko aaj iss duniya ki sabse badi khushi de di hai"
He couldn't agree more and nodded his head. "Hmm…….sahi kaha
Looking up at him, she chuckled and grinned in delight.
"Thanks……mujhe papa banane ke liye" he whispered naughtily
that made her blush.
Just then, a knocking sound on the door made them turn their
gazes towards the door. Dev leaned back straight.
Vaishali slowly opened the door to come inside without
making any sounds…….but found Radhika to be conscious. A bright grin came
across her face and she quickly came closer to the bed.
Dev got up to let Vaishali sit.
Radhika tried getting up but Vaishali didn't allow. "are
nahi nahi beta……aaram karo. Doctor ne tumhe aaram karne ke liye kaha hai na"
saying, she cupped her face and placed a warm motherly kiss over her forehead.
"Humesha khush reh meri bachi…..."
Radhika smiled sweetly.
"Mujhe phirse Dadi banane waali ho tum!" Vaishali chirped,
unable to contain her delight and glanced at Dev.
Dev grinned with a small blush coloring his cheeks.
"Acha. Abhi tumhe jyaada kamzori to nahi lag rahi na? Maine tumhare
liye soup banwaya hai…….abhi lane ke liye kehti hoon" Vaishali said, tapping
Radhika's cheek once.
Vaishali rushed out to call the househelp asking him to
bring the soup…….and also informed other family members that Radhika has gained
Dev helped Radhika slant her back against the headrest,
pushing a pillow under her back so that she can be comfortable in having the
Soon the room was filled with the family members and their
wishes, blessings, laughter, teasings etc. Dev and Radhika couldn't do much
than blushing, smiling and accepting everyone's wishes and teasings. But they
felt happy, didn't mind the jokes, and rather reveled in it.
Radhika's cellphone began beeping and Mrinalini's leg
pulling halted instantly. Mr. Purohit who stood closest to the couch, where the
mobile had been kept by Dev, leaned down to pick the phone and instantly a
smile came on his face. He switched the phone and placed it to his ears.
"Radhe Radhe Shastrijee" he said cheerfully and glanced at
As in instinctively, a quick grin came on Radhika's face on
"Radhe Radhe Purohitjee……." Shastrijee smiled. "Kaise hain
"Jee main to bahu jyaada acha hoon…aur khush bhi….aur sab
aapki beti ki wajah se"
Radhika blushed and lowered her gazy coyly.
Shastrijee assumed that Mr. Purohit was being so exuberant
about the article in the newspaper. "Maine who Radhika ke baare main akbar main
pada……..man ko bahut jyaada khushi mili"
"Shastrijee……sirf khushi hi nahi……humari bachi ne to humara
sar garv se uncha kar diya" Mr. Purohit replied.
Dev grinned hearing that and tightened his arm around
Radhika, who was sitting adjacent to him.
Shastrijee shared a smiling glance with Devki, feeling proud
for the fact that Radhika has made her in-laws so proud. "Jee……aapne sahi kaha.
Aaj to aap sabke liye……Dev aur Radhika ke liye…….dugni khushi ka avsaar hoga.
Un dono ki shaadi ki salgirah…….aur ab yeh akbar main khabar……sach kahoon
Purohitjee……mera man to karta hai wahan aake apni bachi ko gale laga loon aur
dher saara aashriwaad doon" he said, unable to quell his desire to see his
little girl once again.
Mr. Purohit smiled widely. "Shastrijee dugni khushi
nahi…….teen guna khushi ki baat hai. Aaj ek hi din main Thakurjee ne humare
jholi main itni khushiyan bhar di hai ke hume dar hai ke kaise sambhale ise"
saying, he laughed happily.
Shastrijee felt a little confused and shared a puzzled
glance with Devki. What was the reason for triple celebration? Was Mr. Purohit
being happy just for the article or was there something else as well.
Devki blinked in confusion and nudged her chin up gesturing
"Main kuch samjha nahi Purohitjee……teen guna khushi ki baat?
Kya koi aur bhi achi khabar hai?"
"Shastrijee…….teen guna kya main to kahunga hazaar guna
khushi mili hai mujhe aur mere parivaar ko iss samay humari betiya ke wajah se"
Mr. Purohit continued in his elated tone.
However, Shastrijee felt all the more confused. "Hume bhi
bataiye Purohitjee aisi kya baat hai"
"Shastrijee…….Hum phirse Dada ban ne waale hain…….aur aap
Naana……..humari bachi Radhika……..Ma banne waali hai!" Mr. Purohit gushed.
Shastrijee felt his eyes widening in joyousness. "Kya…..?"
Devki's brows crinkled seeing sudden spurt of happiness in
Shastrijee's face and touched his arms gently to ask what was the good news
making him so happy?
Shastrijee turned his face to her with a huge smile.
"Devkijee humari Radhika Ma ban ne waali hai!" he replied in elation
Devki's lips parted in joy and her hand came up to her
mouth. "Sach jee? Humari bachi Ma……" her voice trailed off, unable to utter
anything in the sheer joy.
"Haan Devkijee….." reiterating to her, he shifted his
attention to the phone. " Badhai ho
aapko Purohitjee……..bahu bahut badhai ho Purohitjee aapko"
Devki grinned and folded her hands to thank the Lord.
"Shastrijee aapko bhi bahut bahut badhai ho……….leejye
Radhika aur Dev se baat keejye" saying, Mr. Purohit switched the speaker mode
and gave the phone to Radhika.
Taking the phone from him, Radhika smiled at the phone, as
Shastrijee's face began floating in front of her eyes. "Babuji……."
Shastrijee felt the same happiness again which he felt
everytime on hearing her voice – the same feel of elation that made every inch
of his grin widely. Radhika's voice seemed like a perfect remedy to all his
worrries…….he would just forget all his tensions and just concentrate on the
happiness reflecting in her voice……which reiterated the fact that she was
extremely happy in her house.
"Radhika……kaisi hai meri bachi?" he asked lovingly.
This concern and love made Radhika's throat tight and she
gulped. "Theek hoon Babuji…..aur aap?"
Shastrijee too felt the lump in his throat and couldn't
control the tears from forming in his eyes; he wasn't sad though.
As a father he felt too lonely without his two daughters. He
had missed Radhika's presence in the house after she went away to Mumbai. But
Vishaka was there to cheer him up with something or the other. She would keep
chattering endlessly and her effervescent voice would keep resonating in the
house. However, since the day Vishaka too got married, the loneliness had
entirely creeped inside their house. Every now and then he would remember how
lively the house had been when his lovely daughters resided in them. How they used
to play in his house, used to bicker around for trivial things when they were
kids, how Radhika would keep pestering Vishaka to oil her hairs, or how Devki
would run behind their little daughters to have some more food, how his
daughters would usher in with their report cards from the school when they got
good marks, how Vishaka's chatter-patter would frustrate them, and Radhika's
sweet melodious voice would wrap the entire house in a sweet reverie……how the
sound of Vishaka's anklets would echo across the house when she would dance,
how his both daughters would laugh and giggle sweetly…….and those sounds would
keep reverberate in the entire house day long. But now, both the girls had got
married and moved in with their husbands……are settled happily in their own
worlds. All that was left for him to cherish were those sweet memories that
would keep coming back to him; every small thing had the capacity to trigger
some or the other memory related to his daughters. He didn't complain though
but did feel sad and yearned to live those moments just once more. Yet, he knew
that it was the best for them to live with their husbands because they were
Gulping his lump, he tried keeping his voice normal. "Main
bhi bahut acha hoon…….aur ab to tune mujhe duniya ki sabse badi khush khabri di
hai…….mujhe Nana banane waali hai. Badhai ho beta…….bahut bahut badhai ho……" he
wished her with all his heart; small tears just rolled down his eyes
uncontrollably but his voice was cheerful.
Radhika smiled, controlling her tears.
"Beta……Dev kahan hain?" he asked.
"Main yaha hoon Babuji………" Dev came closer.
"Aapko bhi bahut bahut badhai ho beta…….aur pure Purohit
parivar ko bhi" he said warmly.
'Dhanywaad Babuji……." Saying, he glanced at Radhika, who
seemed to have got emotional after talking to her father and was crying
silently. He got a small idea. "Lekin Babuji…….main na thak gaya hoon aapki
beti ki wajah se!" he mock complained.
Immediately a small frown came across Shastrijee's face.
Radhika's forehead creased in puzzle as well.
"Main kuch samjha nahi beta"
Dev glanced back at Radhika. "Aur nahi to kya babuji…….jab
dekho kaam karne ki zid karti rehti hai aapki beti! Main ise videsh ghumane le
gaya take iski yeh har samay kaam karne ki bimari chut sake……par nahi India
wapas aake wahi sab!"
Radhika made a cute face at him. Shastrijee sighed in relief
deciphering Dev's joke and smiled.
"Infact babuji iss halat main bhi madam ko kaam karna hai!"
Dev continued to lighten the moment.
"Maine kahan zid ki?" Radhika asked cutely, sniffling once.
Leaning closer, Dev brushed off her tears lovingly. "Kyun
thodi der pehle nahi kar rahi thi?"
She felt lost in his loving eyes. "Sorry" she mumbled
"Ab sorry kyun keh rahi ho?" he asked, chiding her gently.
It seemed like they were lost in their own world again forgetting everyone else
Sniffling again, "to kya karun?" she asked.
"Ahem……ahem!!" the chorus coughing sound brought them back
and they realized everyone looking at them; they blushed profusely.
"are bhai…….humare saamne sharam mat karo……par Shastrijee ke
saamne to romance ko control karo" Mrinalini quipped and burst in to peals of
Dadima tapped her hand gently and smiled. Meanwhile, Dev and
Radhika shared a quick blushing glance.
Shastrijee smiled at his place. "Erm……..Radhika?"
"Dev beta bilkul theek keh rahe hain…….tujhe iss halat main
koi kaam nahi karna chahiye" he advised.
Radhika bobbed her head obediently.
"Leejye Shastrijee…..Radhika ne haan kardi hai. Ab ise
humari baat maankar yahi aaram karna hoga!" Vivek chirped in.
"Thakurjee ki aseem krupa se aaj hum sabko yeh khushi mili
hai……main aaj hi Dev aur Radhika ke naam pe yahan puja karwaunga" Shastrijee
"Yeh to aapne bahut acha socha" Dadima agreed quickly.
Devki who had been silently hearing Shastrijee's
conversation felt too impatient to control herself from talking to her daughter
and tapped Shastrijee's arm.
"Are haan…….ek minute beta apni ma se baat kar" Shastrijee
said, handing the phone over to Devki.
"Radhika……." Devki called.
Another sweet smile flashed across Radhika's face.
"Ma……kaisi ho aap?"
"Main to bilkul theek hoon…….aur tujhe aur Dev ko bahut
bahut badhayian……." Devki said elatedly.
Radhika just smiled sweetly but felt her throat choking
again on hearing her mother's voice.
"Apna khayal to rakh rahi ho na Ma?" Radhika couldn't hide
the lump in her throat.
Neither could Devki. "Pagli……yeh sawaal to mujhe karna
chahiye tujhse" she chuckled. "Mera kya hai…….main to apna ache se dhyaan rakh
rahi hoon. Aur ab to…..ab to meri bachi mujhe jaldi naani banane waali
hai…….agar koi takleef hogi bhi to gayab ho jaayegi" she gushed excitedly.
Radhika grinned again and sniffled.
Shastrijee smiled at his wife's excitement.
"Acha sun beta…..apna pura dhyaan rakhna…..aur jaise Dev
bte ne kaha……jyaada kaam mat karna……." She said and then added after a
miniscule pause. "Waise Vaishalijee ke hote huwe mujhe fikr karne ki koi
jaroorat nahi……mujhe pura vishwas hai ke who tera pura dhyaan rakhengi…….."
Vaishali smiled and framed a side of Radhika's face.
"Devkijee aap fikr na karen……main aapka bharosa toothne nahi doongi…….main apni
bachi ko koi takleef nahi hone dungi……. Uska poora dhyaan rakhungi" she said in
a motherly tone.
Devki smiled in delight, relief and nodded her head. "Jee…….Radhika
beta khub khush reh aur humesha muskurati rehna…….tabhi tera bacha bhi khush
Radhika smiled and nodded her head. "Jee Ma"
"Hmm. Suna Ma ne kya kya kaha?" Dev chirped in. "No rona
dhona! Samjhi. Main nahi chahta ke humara bacha…..cry baby ban jaaye"
Radhika hit his arm lightly and everyone laughed at this.
Shastrijee asked for the phone again.
"Acha le beta apne Babuji se baat kar……aur sada khush rehna
tum dono" Devki blessed them and gave the phone to Shastrijee.
Radhika and Dev smiled at each other.
"Radhika…..beta aaj tere baare main akbar main pada
maine……bahut khushi huwi beta yeh jaankar ke tune apne sangeet ko aise nek kaam
main lagaya. Apne iss pita ka sar garv se uncha kar diya tune……"
"Aapne bhi pada…..?" she asked.
"Aur nahi to kya? Maine……aur poore Vrindavan main iss baat
ki charcha ho rahi hai. Main mandir se wapas aa raha tha to Varmajee ne rok ke
yeh paper dikhaya mujhe. Sach much mujhe bahut jyaada prasannata huwi……"
Radhika felt touched seeing her father feeling so proud of
her. "Aapko meri wajah se garv mehsoos huwa……mujhe bahut khushi huwi"
"Tu to humesha se mera garv rahi hai meri bachi" Shastrijee
Radhika smiled at this and Dev too smiled along.
"Waise to tujhse baatein karte rehne ka man kar raha
hai…..lekin tujhe aaram bhi karna hoga na……main phir phone karunga" Shastrijee
said warmly and blessed her.
Dev hung the call and glanced at Radhika. "Ab khush?"
She just smiled sweetly.
"Hmm……Mamma……ek kaam karo jaldi hi Radhika ke liye khana
banana chalu kar do" Mrinalini said.
"Kyun?" Vaishali asked in curiousness.
"Kyunki Radhika bahut jaldi thakne waali hai……"
Everyone looked at her in confusion.
"Hmm……Vishaka is online in my phone!!" saying, she gave the
phone to Radhika.
What followed was a string of wishes, laughter, teasings and
Time started flying. Entire Purohit household started taking
utmost care of Radhika and would not even let her step inside the kitchen or
lift a bucket. Radhika was left with no option but to sigh and return back to
her room, disappointed but she loved how everyone was taking so much care of
her. She did feel tired and sick in the morning sometimes and even threw up.
But Dev was always up and beside her to give the towel and pat her face dry.
That touched her heart very much. She started noticing slight weight gain and
her face appeared blotchy in the mornings but Dev would kiss and appreciate her
even in such conditions. And however busy Dev may be he took her regularly to
the doctor for check ups. He even brought many pregnancy and baby care books
for her and asked her to read them to kill the boredom rather than doing any physical
work. She had to just nod and agree or else face his wrath; ofcourse she chose
the earlier option. He took care of all her cravings and whatever she desired
would be given to her. Dadima would take her out for small morning walks and
then to temples while Vaishali would ensure she ate at the right time. Mrinalini
or Vaishali would always accompany her when she would go on her usual visits to
the NGO' and aashrams. She tried cutting down her singing assignments and the
NGO's understood her very well. Meanwhile Nandu tried his bit by keeping
Radhika happy always with his little tricks and pranks.
Purohits were all very excited for the baby to arrive,
especially Dev who was hyper excited……. and in his over enthusiasm started
buying toys for the baby.
"yeh sab kya hai?" Radhika asked in shock as she saw the
househelp placing one bag after the another, filled with toys.
Dev grinned at her cutely. "Toys. Bachon ko toys ache lagte
She blinked at him and picked up one toy – a car, from the
bag. "Yeh?" she asked, glancing at him.
He shrugged. "Haan. Kyun kya problem hai……why are you
looking at me like this? Can't I shop for my baby?"
That made her smile. "Nahi……bilkul kar sakte hain par…….yeh
saare toys to thode bade bache ke liye hain……aur humara bacha to" she paused to
keep her hand above tummy. "abhi to 3 mahine bhi nahi huwe……."
He pursed his lips sternly and sighed. "To kya huwa? Kabhi
to bada hoga na……aur tab khareed nahi paaye to?"
"kyun nahi khareed paayenge?" she asked.
"Are Radhika shopping karne main burayi kya hai? Aur waise
bhi……sirf 6 mahine baaki hain. 6 mahine to bas……yun udd jaayenge" he snapped
his fingers. "Phir baad main baby aajayega……lekin koi toys hi nahi honge uske
liye" he replied cutely. "Isiliye maine soch liya hai ke abhi se hi shopping
shuru kar doonga"
She pursed her lips from smiling. "Oh. Acha socha aapne"
saying, she let her gaze adore him reverently. Despite being so busy in his
work, he was taking time out and buying all these stuffs.
"Hmm. Maanti ho na acha kiya na?" he asked.
She shook her head, agreeing. "Umm……lekin who itni der ho
gayi aapko….thak gaye honge na aap?" mumbling, she came closer to unbutton his
shirt. "Hum weekend main bhi to shopping kar sakte hain na?"
He wrapped his hands around her and placed a small kiss on
her forehead. "To kya huwa…… tum itni takleef utha rahi ho humare baby ke
liye……main itna sa nahi kar sakta?"
She glanced up to meet his loving eyes.
"Aur rahi baat weekend shopping ki…..to hum weekend ko bhi
challenge aur shopping karne ok" he replied.
"Aur shopping?" her eyes widened. There were almost 10-15
bags in their room already and he wanted to shop some more?
"Hmm. Tumhe kya laga main bas itna sa khareedonga apne baby
ke liye?" he retorted.
Her lips parted to say something but then she let it be and
pursed her lips; a small curve formed in the ends of her lips.
Noticing this, he sighed. "Mazak uda rahi ho mera? Main apne
bache ke liye kuch kar raha hoon to mazak uda rahi ho?"
"Are nahi nahi…..aisa kuch nahi hai. Who main soch rahi thi
ke itne toys to aap le aaye na…… isiliye" she mumbled back sweetly.
"To kya huwa? Mera bas chale…….to pura room uske toys se
bhar doon" he replied warmly and cupped her face.
That made her grin and she titled her head to look at him
"To main kahan soungi?"
"meri bahon main" he was quick to answer.
Her cheeks blushed. "Aur aap?"
"Tumhari baahon main" he again answered quickly.
She hit his chest lightly and giggling, they both hugged
With every single passing day, the excitement grew in the
Purohit house……….from Dadima to Nandu…….all were awaiting the new member to
arrive soon. Dadima began reciting the
Ramayan to Radhika everyday in the morning citing that the baby growing inside
would love to hear it; Radhika waited eagerly to listen to it everyday. Meanwhile
Vaishali and Mrinalini would sit down with her to discuss the names for the
baby. As usual Dev and Mrinalini would never reach a mutual point and they
would end up everyday in a silly argument. During the night time, Dev would
chat for long – extra long time with the baby before going to sleep.
Kissing her tummy, he caressed it once. "Baby……its ur papa
Slanting against the headrest, Radhika smiled at his
cuteness and stroked his hairs lovingly as he spoke to their baby.
"To aaj kaisa tha aapka din?" he asked and pressed his ear
close to her tummy.
She just shook her head seeing him do this. He did this
everyday for some long minutes as if the baby replied to him – probably the
baby didn't…..but the baby shall surely hear his voice. This made her smile.
"Hmm. Mera bhi bahut acha tha. Aapko pata jabse aapke aane
ki khabar mili hai na…..aapke papa ko bahut success mil raha hai. Aaj bhi who
tender pass ho gaya……jiske baare main maine kal kaha tha na……..wahi. Aur sab
aapki wajah se. Tum apne papa ke liye bahut jyaada lucky ho" he kissed her
tummy once again.
"Acha aapko tender mil gayi? Mujhe to nahi bataya? Sirf apne
baby ko bata rahe hain? Not fair" Radhika chirped in, with a mock disappointed
Dev glanced up. "Umm…..woh main bhul gaya. Sorry"
She folded her hands across, pretending to be angry. "bas
bas. Aajkal to aapko bas apne baby ki padi hai……meri nahi. Jaaiye aap usi se hi
baat keejye" mumbling, she turned her face away.
A quick grin came on his face and he pondered something for
a small instant. Resting his ear on her tummy, he acted as if the baby was
saying something urgent. "Oh…..acha……okay okay"
Radhika glanced at him from the corner of her eyes in
Looking up, he came closer to her. She just moved her face
"Are Baby ne mujhse kuch kaha. Who to sun lo" he requested.
"Kyun? Aap aur aapka baby……mujhe kahan shaamil karte hain
aap? Har din to keh dete hain…..ki don't disturb……yeh aapke aur aapke baby ke
beech ki baat hain!" she retorted.
"Oh. To isiliye gussa hain! Baby ne bataya mujhe" his lips
quirked in the corners.
Sliding his hand across her jaw, he turned her face to him.
"Bilkul……Baby ne kaha ke aap sirf mujhse pyaar karte ho kya? Mummy se nahi?
Baby wants me to love you as well……." He added in a whisper and started coming
closer to her lips.
She quickly placed her palm in front of his lips. "kya kar
rahe hain aap?"
Seeing her blush, he grinned. "Kyun? Baby wants it"
The redness in her cheeks grew and she looked down.
"mm….hmm. What will baby think?"
He nudged her face up and gazed in to her eyes intensely.
"yahi ke uske papa……uski mummy se bahut bahut jyaada pyaar karte hain"
whispering, he brushed his lips over hers.
She glanced down coyly.
"Waise tumhe pata hai……jabse tum pregnant huwi ho…….tumhare
chehre pe ek alag si chamak hai……Dadima ne kaha ke ise pregnancy glow kehte
hain" he said sweetly.
"Aapne Dadima se poocha?" she asked.
"Haan. Kyun? Kya problem hai usmain?" he shrugged.
She smiled shyly and shook her head. "Nahi. Kuch nahi……"
"Khubsurat to tum pehle se bahut thi…….lekin baby glow ki
wajah se aur khoobsurat lagne lagi ho…….aur jaanti ho aise main mere dil ka kya
hota hai?" he asked
Her lips curved up in the corner in a smile. "Kya?"
Sighing, he came closer to whisper. "Har baar tumhe dekhta
hoon to dil ki dhadkane tez ho jaati hai…….iss dil par thoda bhi reham nahi
"Main kya kar sakti hoon?" she asked teasingly.
The look in his eyes transformed in to a passionate one.
"Bataun?" he whispered.
She dragged a quick breath and found herself probably
inhaling his breaths as well.
He didn't say anything just began kissing her. She felt her
body slightly turning and their arms entwined about each other as their lips
melded in a passionate fusion.
Time flew by. Dev and Radhika's eagerness too increased
proportionally to hold their baby in hands and to love the baby. Radhika would
everyday stand in front of the mirror and check her tummy to see if its bulging
out……..she even used the measuring tape to confirm. However, much to
disappointment, there was no change. She was just 4 1/2 months pregnant……and
she knew that changes wont become visible so soon……..yet her eagerness was
pushing aside her common sense and everytime she hoped that there should be some
miniscule change atleast.
One night, Dev caught her doing this. He had gone to Vivek's
room to give some file. While returning back to his room, he opened the door
slowly and entered inside…….only to find his wife standing in front of the
mirror and measuring her tummy. He frowned wondering why she was doing this.
Since he hadn't worn any slippers, his feet didn't make any sound as he
approached her gently.
Standing a little away, he tried observing her actions. She
was measuring her tummy from the front, side and then pouting
disappointedly…….and then would push her tummy slightly out and again measure
it……then smile…….and then touch her tummy sweetly.
Her actions made him realize what she was doing and he
grinned at himself – the sight was cute and funny!
She didn't seem to notice him, being in her own world.
Tiptoeing, he reached near her and blew some warm air in her
ear, while holding her arms.
This made her jump and she turned to find him standing
behind with a grin. She heaved a sigh of relief. "Aap na!"
"Why did you get so surprised?" he asked non chalantly.
"Umm……erm……nahi……kuch bhi to nahi" mumbling, she looked down
and found the measuring tape still in her hand. Her eyes widened for a small
second – she didn't want him to know about her silly experimenting……..and
quickly pushed her hand behind.
Dev noticed her hiding the tape from him. "No. You were
surprised. Kuch kar rahi thi kya?"
"Aapne kya dekha?"
"Kuch nahi" he shrugged.
She smiled. "To bas kuch nahi kar rahi thi"
Pursing his lips, he sighed and gave a knowing smile. "To
kya chupa rahi hain aap mujhse?" he asked, stretching his hand to reach the
tape. She tried keeping it away but in vain.
He pulled up the tape and smiled. "What were you doing with
She tried groping for an answer. "umm……erm…..woh…….woh
main……haan…..woh Bhabhi ne na mere liye ek dress banaya…….par who waist size
main problem tha……to bas main wahi check kar rahi thi" she lied with much
"Tum kyun measure kar rahi thi lekin?" he asked, pretending
to infuse some skepticism.
"who…..aise hi" she looked down, sheepishly.
Grinning once at her reluctant attempt in lying, he slipped
his fingers across her jaw and nudged her face up to gaze in to her eyes
lovingly. "To kuch fark aaya hai?"
She blinked. 'Hmm?"
"Tum mujhse kyun chupa rahi ho? Tumhara pati hoon…..tumhare
hone waale bache ka pita hoon main……jitna tumhe intezaar hai uska…..mujhe bhi
to hai……tum dekh sakti ho ke humara bach bada ho raha hai ya nahi……measure
karke dekh sakti ho ke tumhare tummy size main fark aaya hai nahi……..lekin
mujhe nahi bata sakti?" he mumbled lovingly.
Her lips parted in surprise – he knew everything! And then
her cheeks went red in embarrassment.
Glancing down sheepishly, "erm…..woh mujhe laga aap hasenge"
she replied back cutely.
This made him laugh indeed and she looked him somberly.
"Radhika comeon! Main kyun hasunga"
"To abhi kya kar rahe hain?" she asked, feeling hurt.
"Are baba……main isiliye has raha hoon kyunki tumne yeh socha
ke main hasunga yeh sab sunkar! Iske liye kyunki tumne mujhse jhooth kehne ki
koshish ki. Samjhi! Acha ab bolo na……kuch difference aaya hai kya?" he asked
She shook her head. "Mm….hmm. Abhi nahi. Usmain samay hai"
"To phir tum abhi se kyun dekh rahi ho?" he asked, confused.
For this she didn't have any answer – it was just her
impatience and nothing else. She did feel some slight changes in her waistline…….but
then it seemed because of some pounds she had gained over these months.
However, he understood and embraced her tight. "Mujhse bhi
intezaar nahi ho raha hai"
Hearing this, she twined her arms around him and smiled.
"Lekin mujhe roz aisa lagta hai jaise……mera matlab hai…..ke I feel like its
Smiling, "Agli baar na main measure karta hoon okay?" he
She slapped his back cutely. "Koi jaroorat nahi hai. Who to
aaj pakdi gayi……"
He interrupted. "Oh you mean tum roz dekhti ho……..aur mujhe
bataya bhi nahi?" asking, he inched back to face her.
She bit her lips and lowered her gaze, smiling inwardly.
"Hmm…..woh maine kaha na…..i feel like its growing every moment……"
"Hmm……dekh raha hoon main. Mujhse baatein chupayi jaa rahi
hai" mumbling, he knelt down to her tummy.
"Are yeh kya kar rahe hain?"
He threw a mock stern glare at her and gestured her to keep
quiet. Then, pushing her saree pallu beside, he kissed her tummy.
His stubbled cheeks made her skin tingle and she sucked some
Noticing this, he deliberately rubbed his cheek over her
soft tummy skin and pretended to talk to his baby. "Dekha aapne…..aapki mummy
mujhse baatein chupa rahi hai. Aapne bhi mujhse nahi kaha kyun?"
She stroked his hairs sweetly.
"Oh……acha acha. Mummy ne aapse kaha tha ke aap mujhe kuch na
bataye. Hmm. To phir aapki koi galti nahi hai. Saari galti sirf mummy ki hai"
he smiled. "Hai na?"
Her lips parted hearing this conversation.
"Acha. Theek hai. Keh doonga mummy se. Bilkul. Saza to
milegi……aur bahut badi saza milegi. Ab se na hum bhi mummy se kuch nahi
kahenge. Kuch share nahi karenge okay" saying, he kissed her tummy once……it
burned her skin there.
"Sun liya na!" he glanced up and pretended to be angry.
She held her ears. "Acha baba sorry……ab se nahi chupaungi
He sighed and looked away, pretending to not accept her
"Umm…….maaf nahi karenge?"
Touching her side tummy, "Dekha aapne aapke papa mujhse
naaraz ho gaye hain. Unse kahiye na ke mujhse na roothe. Who rooth jaayenge to
aapki mummy upset ho jaayegi……aur phir aap bhi andar upset ho jaayenge. Please"
Puckering his brows once, "Theek hai. Is baar maaf kar diya"
he replied and looked up.
She just burst out giggling and he too couldn't stop his
laughter……feeling silly to be doing all this childish drama. Standing up, he
just hugged and kissed her head.
Around a few days later…….
Dev came in holding a huge covered frame in his hand.
Radhika asked him as to what it was. He smiled and quickly unwrapped the frame
to reveal a cute, plump baby staring at her lovingly.
Her lips parted in delight seeing the lovely baby.
"Liked it? The baby is cute na?" he said, glancing once at
She grinned. "Haan. Photo to bahut acha hai. Lekin aap ise
laaye kyun hain?"
Placing the frame down, he came closer to her. "Kyunki
Dadima ne mujhse kaha ke……jab koi ladki pregnant hoti hai……to uske saamne jiska
chehra har samay rehta hai na……uska hone wala baby bilkul waise hi dikhne lagta
hai" he replied, cupping her face.
She smiled hearing that theory.
"To bas main le aaya iss photo ko. Poora market chan
(search) maara…….aur tab jaake yeh cute baby mila mujha" he glanced at the
photo frame. "I want my baby to be this cute"
However, her face turned solemn. "Isiliye aapko office se
aane main itni der ho gayi? Kya jaroorat thi aaj jaane ki?"
"Oho Radhika. Tum bhi na! I am not tired. Tum bas yeh kaho
ke tumhe yeh photo achi lagi na?"
She grinned and clinged on his arm. "Hmm. Baby to bahut cute
hai. Lekin……main nahi chahti ke iski tasveer meri ankhon ke saamne humesha rahe
"Kyun?" he frowned in confusion.
Her lips curved sweetly. "Kyunki main nahi chahti ke mera
bacha aise dikhe"
"Par kyun? Itna cute to hai"
"Haan par maine to pehle se hi who photo rakh liya hai……..jo
har samay mere aankhon ke saamne rahega……aur main chahti hoon ke humara bacha
bilkul waise hi dikhe" she smumbled lovingly.
Twitching his brows in puzzle, he scanned around the
room……but didn't find any baby's picture. He just saw the usual photo's hanging
around the walls. "kahan? Yahan to kuch nahi hai?"
Inching back to smile at him once, she pointed towards a
Frowning once in confusion, he turned his gaze…….only to
find his own photo hanging across the opposite wall of the bed; the photo
usually hung there always. "Yeh to……."
"Main chahti hoon ke humara bacha bilkul aap jaisa ho" she
He felt touched and turned to face her.
"Who aapki taraj samajdaar, buddhiman, ache sanskaron wala
ho……jitna pyaar aap sabse karte hain…..jitna samman aap sabko dete hain…..main
chahti hoon ke humara bacha bhi sabko de……main chahti hoon ke who aapki
parchayi ho…….bilkul aap par jaaye" she said sweetly, stroking his cheek.
He grinned and held her arms. "aur meri tarah handsome bhi
na?" he added naughtily.
"Haan haan who bhi" she tapped his cheek lovingly.
He laughed and kissed her forehead. "Acha mujhe batao……tumhe
ladki chahiye ya ladka? Humne yeh discussion to kabhi ki hi nahi"
"Kyunki ise karne ki jaroorat kabhi mehsoos hi nahi huwi.
Bacha to bhagwan ka vardaan hota hai. Ladka ho ya ladki…….us se kya fark padta
hai. Bas bacha healthy ho" she replied gently.
He agreed completely. "Bilkul. Nahi par main isiliye poocha
kyunki……agar ladki huwi to mujhpar jaayegi to thoda odd nahi lagega?"
She hit his chest lightly. "Kya aap bhi?"
Laughing, "Are sach keh raha hoon" he said and then his gaze
turned loving. "Waise tumse ek baat kahoon……meri soch tumse thodi alag hai"
"Main chahta hoon ke humara bacha bilkul tumpar jaaye" he
mumbled. "Who tumhari tarah sundar ho……aur sabse pyaara ho"
"mm…..hmm. Aap par jaana chahiye. Aap main who saare gun
hain…..jo apne bache main dekhna chahti hoon" she replied.
"No. Who tumahri tarah hoga" he retorted lovingly.
"aap par jaayega"
"Maine kaha na tumpar……."
She shook her head, disagreeing. "Nahi aap par!"
He sighed. "Acha theek hai…..iska ek solution hai"
"Tumhari ek pyaari si tasveer wahan mere photo ke side main
laga dete hain. Aur phir agar ladka huwa to meri tarah handsome hoga…….aur
ladki huwi to……tumhari jaisi pari hogi" he mumbled lovingly.
That made her blush. "Aap bhi na……"
She just smiled.
Around the mid fifth month, Radhika's tummy had already
showed up and she started feeling soft movements inside her – sometimes tiny
fidgeting or squirming and some tiny movements. The first time she felt it, she
felt thrilled and the happiest……overjoyous! Her baby was showing some soft
movements…….and although she was pregnant from so many months……the feel of
having actually a living being inside her sunk in! A tiny breathing, moving, living
being was residing inside her…...and that was the most beautiful, precious feel
in this world. All her sickness, headaches and every other pain seemed so, so
very less in front this happiness!
"Baby……this is your papa" Dev said against her tummy. He had
been on the cloud nine when she had informed him of their baby's movements.
She smiled seeing him being so impatient to feel the baby.
"Ma kehti hai ke jab hum aaram karte hain……to yeh sabse jyaada active hota hai"
"To abhi kya so gaya? Papa aaye hain…….aur aap so gaye?" Dev
asked the baby and pressed his cheek softly against her hard part of the tummy
to feel the baby.
Just then, he felt a very slight nudge across his cheek and
he was stumped! His baby moved…… probably touched him.
He quickly got up and looked at her. "Radhika……..it moved!"
She too was too delighted. "Haan……abhi abhi na"
Again there was a soft nudge and Dev beamed ear to ear in
joyousness. "Aap mujhe sun sakte ho na! Main hoon……aapka papa……" mumbling, he
kissed her tummy.
As he kissed, another tiny movement came up and he felt
jubilant – his kid was responding to him! And that was the best feeling in this
Radhika caressed her tummy lovingly as their baby moved
again – it was as if the baby was involving himself in their parents'
conversation very eagerly.
"Lagta hai use bhi bahar aane ki bahut jaldi hai" she
"Hmm…..bas thoda sa aur intezaar" Dev said and kissed her
tummy once again. Again he received a nudge.
As weeks passed by, the baby's punches and kicks got
stronger, regular. Dev couldn't just wait to come back home and feel his baby
again. It seemed like it was the most active during the night time when Dev and
Radhika would speak to him. They both enjoyed it immensely.
Radhika's tummy began growing and soon the god bharai rasm
arrived. Shastri's came down from Vrindavan while Vishaka, Keshav and his
parents too came down so did Susheel and his family.
Deepika came in to hug Radhika.
"Tu bhi to jaldi khush khabri sunane waali hai na?" Radhika
said to Deepika, who blushed.
"Hmm…….par abhi to aur 7 mahine baaki hai"
Just then, Vishaka came in rushing like a kid. "To be
mummy!!" and was about to hug Radhika tightly, but her bulge came in between.
She just gave a light embrace to her.
"Kaisi hai Vishaka?" Radhika asked happily.
"Main to theek hoon…..par tu moti ho gayi hai!" Vishaka
Radhika didn't mind and just shook her head.
"To kya huwa? Pregnancy main to sab mote hote hain! Meri
patni phir bhi sabse sundar hai……" Dev came to defend her quickly.
"Ofo Jeeju! Main to bas mazak kar rahi thi!" Vishaka replied
and tapped Radhika's tummy gently.
"Baby…..main aapki maasi hoon" she said, as they all seated
"Radhika……tum na Vishaka se thodi dur hi rehna……warna pata
chala iski tarah chatter box ho jaayega……aur agar ladki huwi to phir……" he
Vishaka's lips parted and she narrowed her eyes. Radhika hit
Dev's forearm gently. "Kya aap bhi"
"are nahi nahi Radhika……Dev bilkul sahi keh rahe hain. Pata
chala paida hote hi baby baat karne lagega!" Keshav chirped in and Vishaka
glared at him cutely.
Dev and Arjun laughed at this.
"Waise I am damn sure Shastrijee…….Vishaka paida hote hi
royi nahi hogi…….baatein karne lagi hogi!" Dev joked and guffawed.
"Jeeju! Agar aap isi tarah meri taang keenchte rahenge na to
main jaa rahi hoon!" saying Vishaka got up.
However, Radhika held her wrist and made her sit. "Kya tu
bhi……..inke mazak ka bura kyun maanti hai? Yeh to aise hi hain" she touched her
"I know. Tu jhelti kaisi hai Jeeju ko?" Vishaka retorted.
"Kyun…….tumhe Keshav jhel sakta hai…..to Radhika mujhe nahi
jhel sakti?" Dev snapped back, leaning to face her.
"Dekh na Radhika!"
"Tu kyun pange leti hai inse?" Radhika asked.
"Main kaha?" Vishaka pouted.
"Tu hi to………..aah" suddenly her face crumpled, as if in
pain, and hand flew up to tummy.
Dev who sat beside her quickly leaned closer. "Kya huwa?" he
"Kya huwa Radhika?" Vishaka asked. Dadima too looked on with
Radhika glanced at Dev and smiled, feeling fine. "Nahi……bas
kal ke jaise thoda sa"
Dev grinned in relief.
"Kya huwa beta?" Shastrijee asked.
"Kuch nahi Babuji…..woh humara yeh nanha mehmaan hai
na…….bahut active hai….kicks aur punches maarte hi rehta hai apni mummy ko!"
saying Dev grinned joyously and stroked Radhika's tummy.
Shastrijee smiled at that.
"Lagta hai who aap sab ke aane se bahut khush hai….."
Radhika added in.
"Radhika bahut pareshan to nahi karta?" Vishaka asked.
"Karta to hai……lekin kya karen…….yeh ek din bhi pareshan
nahi karta na……to main chinta karne lagti hoon" she replied, smiling.
"Hmm…..lagta hai jeeju pe gaya hai poora!" Vishaka chirped
"Ab mera baby hai…….mujhpar hi jaayega na!" Dev retorted
"Ab bas bas……." Dadima intervened. "Shuru ho gaye. Mrinalini
andar hai to Vishaka ke saath shuru kar diya isne! Kya sochega tera bacha"
"Kya sochega? Abhi se seekh lega ke iski maasi ko kaise
handle karna hai!" Dev said, pinching Vishaka's cheek.
"Ow! Jeeju! Keshav aap kuch kyun nahi kehte hain! Maaji……"
she complained to her in-laws.
They just laughed off at her cuteness.
Vaishali and Mrinalini came in with snacks and tea. "Chaliye
aap sab kuch kha leejye"
Shastrijee politely refused and Dadima didn't urge in.
"Theek hai…..lekin Susheel aapko hotel le jaake nashta
karwayega" she insisted.
Shastrijee didn't deny.
"Radhika beta…….le tu thoda sa kha le" Vaishali came closer
to feed her something.
"Ma man nahi kar raha" Radhika tried refusing.
"Kyun? Subah naashta bhi theek se nahi kiya tune. Abhi yeh
lena hi hoga…..chalo" Vaishali insisted.
"Lekin ma man nahi kar raha hai……..main lunch kar loongi na"
"Radhika. Kabhi kabhi aisa hota hai. Mood nahi karta. Par
iska matlab yeh nahi ke hum khana na khayen….samjhi…..yeh lo ab….." saying sternly,
she took a spoonful and fed her.
Dev chirped in "Ma……iska man kare to bhuki hi reh jaaye!"
Radhika pursed her lips and frowned at him.
"Main bhuki rehne doongi ise?" Vaishali asked lovingly and
fed another spoon to her.
Devki felt touched seeing vaishali taking so much care of
her daughter – even if she had the slightest worry for Radhika, it just
vanished in to thin air now.