Joined: 11 April 2009
' kitchen mein jaakar, usse straight forward tareeke se sorry boldunga... Haan that's a good idea.' Shan was tensed, he still couldn't figure out the best way to apologize to Khanak. Abhi had also not been of much help, he had just wacked him ... Pretty hard that too... On his head and before he could ask for his advice Tashu had come and Abhi had gone. And he had become busy with trying to apologize to Tashu, which wasn't much difficult but took time. And he couldn't very well ask Natasha for advice... No that would be like asking for death sentence.
He looked at himself in the mirror and fixed his tie, 'no biggie, I'll just go to the kitchen, where she will be, and walk towards her and say, I'm sorry....uh I mean mujhe maaf kardo...' he shook his head. 'maafi toh aise maang raha hai jaise tune hamesha ki tarah ek choti si galti kardi ho, aur sincerity laa Shan, tune bahut badi mistake ki hai!'
He thought for a second,'sooch ... Sooch kabhi toh dimang istemal kar, jab gusse mein tha tab no nahi kiya ab toh karle... Haan! Okay', he took a deep breath and tried to get a sincere face, ' Khanak, mujhe pata hai, jo meine kaha uski koi maafi nahi hai...' he closed his eyes in frustration,' Nahi agar koi maafi nahi hai toh tu kya maangne jaa raha hai ? Shan! Focus! Focus on khanak! Par yaar bolonga kya?' he paced around the room for a few seconds, when another idea struck him,he went infront of the mirror again. 'okay... Shan you can do it', he took a deep breath, 'jab hum mile the tab hum dost baan gaye the, par phir kismat ne ek aisa modh liya ki humari dosti toot gayi. Aur tab se lekar aaj tak hum dono ek doosre ke dukh ke kabhi na kabhi wajah baane hai. Kal raat jo hua, jo meine kaha, usse mein chaha kar bhi wapas nahi le sakta, jo meine kaha uski koi maafi nahi. isliye mein chahata hoon ki aaj se hum sab beeti bate bhulane ki koshish kare. Mein chahata hoon ki hum wapas dost bane... agar tum bhi yahi chahati ho toh bus ek baar keh do. Iss baar mein humari dosti mein koi galti nahi karoonga, mein iss dosti ko tootne nahi doonga. Toh kya tum mujhe sirf ek aur moka de sakti ho? Please. .. Yes! That is perfect, bus yeh jaa kar usse bol de phir ram jaane...' he pause for a second, 'ram jaane?! ... Yeh mein kya bol raha hoon! Anyway abhi jaakar bol deta hoon, office ke liye bhi late ho raha hoon.
He went downstairs feeling confident about what he had to say, and hoped that Khanak would be alone. 'arrey, hari suno, yeh Khanak kitchen mein hi hai na?'
'Ji sir, woh aur Abhishek sir kitchen mein hai.'
'acha theek hai, thanks.'
he walked to the kitchen.
'hmm... Khanak yeh Shrikhand toh mind blowing hai! Mera matlab Bahut, bahut acha hai!' he took another spoonful, 'Hmm...'
Shan smiled, 'Abhi and his sweet tooth!'
He stood at the kitchen door, watching their little rendezvous.
Khanak smiled at the compliment.' meine kaha tha na! Mujhse acha shira koi nahi baana sakta. Sivai meri bai ke.'
'haan, hum gujrat mein maa ko bai kehte hai, aur babuji ko ada. Par yeh toh apko pata hona chahiye.'
'Khanak meri mom... I mean meri bai gujrat se hai, par unhe shrikhand ke alawa gujrat aur gujrati culture ke bare mein kuch nahi aata, toh woh mujhe kaise sikhati?'
'Acha? toh woh kaha badi hui?'
' meri mom delhi mein badi hui, phir London gayi padhai karne, waha woh aur dad mile. Mere dad London mein bade hue hai. Dono ko phir pyaar hua aur phir shaadi, phir mein. Uskke baad dono ke beech bahut ladai hui aur hoti rahi, phir mom ne dad ko divorce, mera matlaab talak de diya aur woh wapas India aa gayi.'
Khanak gave him a comforting smile, and put her hand on his shoulder, they both looked at one another. As if silently Khanak was comforting him, and he was thanking her for doing so.
Shan was surprised, Abhi never talked about his mother, his relationship with her was so sour. And here he was not shy about talking about his mom with Khanak, it was weird, Abhi seldom talked about his mother with him!
He sensed a friendship growing between them, and he felt sad, and even a tad bit jealous. Sad because he could not be there for Khanak, she has gone through so much, and he didn't help her through anything. It must have been so overwhelming for her to be in the city, especially after the close-knit setting of Dhulwadi, where everyone knew each other. And he rather than being helpful, had said awful and hurtful things to her, especially last night. He was sad that he could not be there for Abhi either; he just always assumed he was fine about his mom. But know he felt stupid to have never talked to Abhi about it. He was jealous of Khanak, jealous about the fact that with her innocence and sincerity she had made Abhi comfortable around her in no time, so comfortable that he was being able to discuss his mother with her. Something he probably didn't do with anyone. He felt jealous of Abhi, he felt jealous that he had befriended Khanak, and made her smile again.
Shan remembered last night, Khanak sobbing, her sadness. He had caused it, he was the reason of her pain, and wanted to be the one who helps her. He wanted to be the friend who holds her hand and sees her through her problems. He felt that was the only way he could forgive himself. But now that friend was Abhi, he knew that by looking at them.
He looked at Abhi and Khanak, they were talking, and she looked happy. He had seen a full- fledged smile on her face after such a long time, it made him smile too. Why wouldn't it, he thought. Khanak's smile, and the way her whole face lights up with joy when she smiles, always made him smile. Since the very first day he had meet her, when she was dressed as a bride for her wedding with Suraj. Her smile was the most unforgettable things about her.
'Arrey Shan! Tum waha kyun khade ho andar aao. Tumhare hi ghar hai.'
Shan looked at Abhi, 'haan, woh, Abhi, umm… mein…aa hi… raha tha, woh…'
Abhi looked at his friend sarcastically, he knew Shan must have come to say sorry to Khanak, and saying sorry would be very difficult for Shan. He thought to himself, Hmm… a good friend will make this easier for Shan, by going away, but sadly for Shan, I'm not in a "good friend" mood today.
'toh Shan, aaj kitchen mein kaise? Itne bade ghar mein kho gaye ho kya?' Abhi said with a devilish smile.
Shan gave his I-will-kill-you look to Abhi, but it didn't work.
'aao, Shan mein tumhe sahi raasta dikha deta hoon, aao…'
' Abhi, mein apna rasta bhoola nahi hoon.'
'acha? toh tum yaha kaise?'
'me…mein woh, mein woh…'
' bhook lagi hai? Breakfast kafi nahi hoga na…. kher don't worry Khanak ne awesome , mind-blowing shrikhand banaya hai, aao kha lo.'
Shan was getting more irritated by the minute, 'mujhe koi Shrikhand, wikhand nahi khana hai!' Shan shut his eyes, damn it! ' mera matlab hai, haan mujhe Shrikhand khana hai… kyun na khana ho, isski khushboo hi toh mujhe kitchen tak kheech le aayi hai.' He looked at Khanak, she wasn't looking at him, 'umm… Khanak dona…' she looked at him, ' woh shira.'
Khanak went and got another bowl and served the dish to Shan, ' yeh lijiye, shrikhand .' she stressed on shrikhand, to make Shan realize his mistake.
'haan woh hi shrikhand,' Shan took a deep breath, sorry bolne aya tha, aur yahan par aur mistakes kar raha hoon! Yeh Abhi bhi naa. Maloom hai isse mein Khanak se maafi maangne aya hoon, aur phir bhi yaahan par bedh kar meri taang kheech raha hai, iski toh mein…
'ghanti baaj rahi hai!'
Shan looked at Abhi, yeh kya bol raha hai.
' Shan teri ghanti baaj rahi hai!'
'mere pyare bewahkoof dost tere phone ki ghanti baaj rahi hai!'
'oh! Sorry!', shan took out his phone, 'ab kaun hai… Bhai! Office! Late!' Shan reluctantly picked up the phone, and was greated by Akshay's shouting, and so before Akshay could say something, 'haan bhaiyya, traffic bahut hai, mein office ke paas hi hoon, thodi der mein phone karta hoon, theek hai, okay bye…'
'tu kabhi nahi sudharega! Ab jaldi jaa, aur zyada late hua toh tu Akshay bhai ka lunch hoga!'
'mein terko dekh loonga, Abhi ke bache chodunga nahi mein terko…', he then looked at Khanak, ' uh Khanak, thanks… shrikhand ke liye…'
With that Shan left the kitchen running, and hoping that Akshay bhaiyya won't kill him today.
Abhi smiled then looked at Khanak. He had noticed how her smile had been wiped clean off her face as soon as he had taken Shan's name, he realized then that she won't forgive him easily.
'woh tumse maafi maangne aya tha.'
Khanak looked at him, ' mujhe pata hai, par tumhe kaise pata?'
Abhi smiled, 'Shan mujhse kabhi kuch nahi chupata. Khanak mujhe pata hai jo usne kaha usko maaf karna bahut mushkil hai. Par woh bahut sharminda hai… kya tum…'
'nahi, mein Shan ko iss baar maaf nahi kar sakti.' She smiled, 'kher, tumse baate karke acha laga.'
'tum kahi jaa rahi ho?'
'haan, dadiji ke paas, unhe kuch kaam tha, mein tumse baad mein milti hoon.' Khanak left the kitchen with a bowl of shrikhand for dadi.
Abhi looked at her going, 'mein jaanta hoon ke tum Shan ke bare mein baat nahi karna chahati, aur issliye, bahana bana kar chali gayi.'
He scratched his head, he couldn't think of anything that Shan could do to salvage the situation. ' Shan mere bhai tujhe yeh aasani se maaf nahi karne wali, you will need to do something significant to get her forgiveness. Ab tera kuch nahi ho sakta Shan, kuch nahi.'
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RBO Express Columns - 2nd edition rules on Pg8
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