Joined: 16 July 2009
"Angad'.. I'm married and yeah there will be someone waiting when I land.. My wife.."
Prem smirked as Angad stared at him agape.
"What did you say??"
Angad asked him to assure himself that he wasn't dreaming and he heard it in real.
You heard it right. I'm married."
Prem told with a smile on his face.
Angad asked him still unable to recover from the shock.
"It's been a year"
Prem calculated, wondering how he was able to stay away from her for such long time.
"It's not like I didn't try and call you.. It's just that I still didn't let that fact out to any of our friends. I wanted her to accept me first and then my world"
Prem told him, his thoughts racing back to the time he first saw her.
He shared his view of joining in business course for masters before getting into the family business to which his father readily agreed. His joy knew no bounds. He always felt he had the best family in the world, his parents and his naughty younger brother.
He always got what he wanted but that never spoiled him. His wishes were never unfair. He was happy with the things planned for him and had no complains. He engaged himself into his admission process, unknown to the fact that his fate is gonna change soon.
He just got back home after sending in the forms and all. As he walked in, he didn't fail to notice the tense atmosphere. It seemed as if his mom and dad had a serious conversation over something. He also noticed the look on their face when he walked in, it definitely meant trouble.
"Prem I need to talk to you.."
His dad just said that and walked away from there.
His dad went to attend his ailing grand-mother and just got back today. He prayed for her well being and then walked into his father's study.
"Papa.. Is everything ok? You seem to be tensed since you came back."
He asked him as his father as he took the seat beside him.
"She's ok except for the fact that she thinks her end is near and wants to see her wishes fulfilled by her family." Lalit turned to look at confused Prem for a second and then turned away.
There was an awkward silence for sometime and then Lalit finally let the fact out.
"Premmmm' she wants you to get married to her friends's grand daughter."
Lalit let out a deep sigh while he looked at him in disbelief.
Before he could even react,
"I know.. You're not expecting this. At least not so soon but I'm helpless."
Lalit put his arm around Prem's shoulder.
He just couldn't say anything beyond that.
Lalit made him look at him.
"You know right that I never wanted an arrange marriage and now.."
He couldn't digest the fact.
"I know how you feel about the thing. I wanted to tell you something then but didn't tell because I thought to tell you when the right time comes."
Lalit took Prem into the balcony outside.
"Prem do you love someone?"
Lalit asked me after a moment of silence while they were feeling the cool breeze seep in.
He looked at his father mortified and then shook his head in a 'no'. He saw somewhat happy expression on his father's face.
"I didn't want to force you to marry someone else if you are already in love with someone so I just asked."
Lalit answered an unanswered question.
"What difference does it make?"
"Even now I'm being forced into something against my will."
Prem glanced at the moon letting out a sigh,
"Hmm just put all these aside for a while. You treat me as a friend right. Now just think as a friend I'm showing you a picture of some random girl whom I found pretty."
Lalit said getting all excited.
"What??? You even got the picture!!!!!!"
Prem almost shrieked.
"Premmm!!!! What did I tell you?? Keep aside all those facts."
Lalit scowled at him.
"Now what am I expected to do? See the picture and tell you she's pretty."
"Ok. Leave the picture aside and tell me what the problem is?"
Lalit calmed down.
"I still don't get it papa' you show me a picture. I should say ok and then one day go meet her, talk to her and get married. Your work will be done but then rest of the life it's me who have to deal with her. We have to spend life with each other."
He knew his pitch was raising and then stopped for a second to calm down.
"She may have some dreams, ambitions which she want to fulfill, I may have few and rest of the life we'll be cursing each other for shattering those."
Prem fixed his gaze on the moon.
"What made you think that marriage closes door for dreams??"
Lalit questioned him.
"See Prem.. It's not scary as you have presumed it to be. It totally depends on how you want it to work. Just because I got someone's picture and asked you to marry her doesn't mean you have to brood over it.. Think about it.."
Lalit eyed his son for a while and walked away.
He stood there gazing at the stars trying to process his father's words. He didn't know for how long. He felt a hand on his shoulder. It was his mother now.
He looked at her helplessly when she let out a small laugh and took him to sit on the bench there. He laid his head in her lap while she ran fingers through it lovingly.
They sat silently for a while and then Prem asked her,
"Maa what do you think?"
Gayatri asked him unsure of what he is referring to.
"Hmm.. this marriage thing."
Prem said with a frown on his face.
"Well. From my point of view, I don't find any fault. Their family is good friends of ours, and most importantly I like the girl. Even if your grandmother wouldn't have asked for I thought she was the one. You aren't settled and even she has some plans of further studies so I thought to wait unlike your grand-mom" Gayatri told him with a smile.
Prem was shocked at this revelation.
"How do you know her?" It was all he could ask.
"I have seen her when I went to Ambala for the marriage of my friends' daughter couple of months back. I liked her instantly. The smile on her face, respect towards elders and playfulness with the younger everything made me like her. Later I got to know that she was your father's best friend Balraj's daughter." Gayatri smiled at Prem.
"It may seem weird to you but I strongly felt she was the one for you. I casually enquired her parents about her future plans so that I could consider."
She was cut in the middle by him.
"Mom you did that!!!!!!" Prem looked at her in disbelief.
"Well yess.." Gayatri was abashed a little to reveal that piece of information to her son.
"She might have finished her graduation in fashion by now and probably applying for masters."
Gayatri looked at his son who was deep in thought.
"If so then probably she might be in the same state of distress as I'm"
Prem gazed at his mother.
"Probably even worse.. When a good marriage proposal comes for a girl, the family doesn't consider anything else and that means even her wishes."
She told him with a dejected look on her face.
"Hmm" Prem uttered and let Gayatri continue.
"I can tell you only one thing. This marriage is bound to take place. It's the wish of both yours' and her grandmothers' and your fathers will never go against that. So, my only advice to you is get over the fact of turning it down and think how to work it out." Gayatri patted his cheek.
"Maaaa.. What should I do? I don't know. I almost got ready to go for the course and now this'" Prem frowned.
"You can still study Prem and even let her do what she wants to. All you need to do is sit and discuss. Try to be friends, get to know each other. As much as I hate to say this but I have to.. This marriage is sure to take place with or without your approval..." She moved from there.
She turned back and said,
"Premmm.. I have no doubts over the fact that she's the one for you. I'm 100% confident that you'll like her. For my sake, can you trust me and prove that I'm right."
She stopped in her track when she heard her son calling out for her asking,
"You didn't tell me her name yet?"
She turned back
with a smile on her face,
"Heer.. That's her name. In case you want to see her, her picture is in your room on the table near the window." Finally she left from there.
After composing himself, he went to his room where his life, his future was waiting for him.
He got changed and after a small debate in his mind, he went to pick the picture lying on the table.
Closing his eyes, he took it and then placed it in front of him. A cool breeze hit his face from the window, and slowly he opened his eyes.
He stared at the picture for a while and then he said,
"Heeeerrrr" with a smile forming on his face.
His parents were right. She was pretty.. No.. Beautiful.. There was something in her which attracted him to stare at her. Time halted for him as he stood by the window watching the serene face of hers.
"He's Prem' Prem Juneja.."
Heer face lit up as her lips uttered his name with love.
"Wow Prem ki dewaani.. It's so evident on your face'. Ab tell me everything from the start.."
Kripa asked her placing her elbow on the table cupping her cheek with her hand.
She just graduated from her college and had high hopes of joining masters in fashioning designing. She cleared the test for the same and now had to apply to the fashion university in Delhi.
She was so happy that day when she got the application form filled and was about to post it but all her dreams shattered when her father told her that someone people were coming to see her.
She was shocked to hear that as her father already agreed for her further studies and also signed in the form but now.. She questioned him about the same when he told her that it was her grandmother's last wish and he couldn't deny that.
. None of them wished to listen to her. Her parents were more than elated to have found such a wonderful match for their daughter. They felt that it was just perfect. Things went on against her wish and she could nothing about it.
Now here she was standing in the balcony beside the person whom she was supposed to marry and both of them were staring at the moon.
Breaking the awkward silence that surrounded them, he started
"It's so strange na' our grandparents were friends and so were our parents but still we never got to meet each other."
She smiled a little nodding to what he said.
"So lets' start.. Hii I'm Prem'"
He extended out his hand to her.
"This is Heer'"
Heer shook her hand with him.
"Now that everyone wants us to get married we don't really have an option. So lets' just not get into the regular set of questions' I've a very important matter to discuss with you Heer'"
He was about to ask her something when her mobile rang. She looked at the name and it was unavoidable call for her. She excused herself and then stood in a corner at a distance from him.
As soon as she pressed the button, the voice at the other end was shouting. Due to the silence all around Prem could hear everything clearly.
"Hey heer aaj last date tha posting walon ke liye' did u post your form??? Don't tell me you didn't tumhare wajah se mujhe bhi bhejna pada'"
Geet shouted from the other end while Heer asked her to calm down and that she'll call later.
Heer came back to Prem and smiled.
"I'm sorry Heer but your friend was too loud so I couldn't help but hear. May I know which form she was referring to? In fact I wanted to talk to you the same thing. I mean what were you planning to do if this proposal wouldn't have turned up?"
He asked her seriously.
"I actually wanted to do masters in fashion designing and she was talking about the NIFT-Delhi form. I don't think I could think about it anymore."
Heer replied coldly.
"That's what I wanted to clear. Everything was fixed so this meeting didn't matter much to our parents but I just wanted to assure you about certain things."
Prem took a pause.
"Heer.. I want you to do everything you planned. This marriage shouldn't come as a hurdle to your dreams.. I hope you.." Prem told her in a friendly way.
"But prem' your parents'" She asked him still not sure about what he said.
"My mom will never say no to anything you do. She always wished to have a daughter; she'll definitely treat you like one and will give you full freedom to pursue your career. You can do whatever you like to and since your applying to Delhi it makes it is even easier as we stay there'" Prem cleared all her doubts smiling.
Heer couldn't help but smile back at him. She liked the way he explained things to her unlike her who get panicked. Somehow she felt she could trust him. He seemed a good person. She could very well see the honesty in his eyes.
She took the form from the room adjoining the balcony and felt so happy while Prem just smiled and then he noticed a frown on her face all of a sudden.
He went towards her.
"woh' today was the last day.. I mean if I would have posted it today it would have reached on time but now that I.."
"Big deal' I'll go and submit this. Anyways we're leaving for Delhi tomorrow."
He said taking the form from her.
"Can't I do that much for my friend?"
He winked at her.
"Friend!! Yea sure'"
"That was how we first met"
She told Kripa who was smiling.
"Hmm' so unlikely of you Heer' tumne itni jaldi usse dosti karli' you could trust him so easily.." Kripa questioned her surprised.
"I know Kripa..mujhe bhi nahi pata.. The way he sorted things for me' the way he expressed everything.. I just couldn't help myself.."
Heer told her with a smile on her face.
"Wow.. Glad to know that and then'"
"I came to know something which I felt he should have told me himself but then I also liked him for being a responsible son and felt sad that I was being so selfish. He faced everything with a smile, had no regrets with whatever life had in store for him."
Heer told her imaging him standing with a smile on his face.
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