Posted: 13 December 2013 at 6:26am | IP Logged
Preet , meher and maya peeked from behind the curtains while heer paced the halls, fidgeting with her dupatta and trying to calm her nerves. She tried to look past them at what was happening in the study but the trio was more or less crowding the window so there was no chance she could see anything , " preet kya ho raha hai , prem mana ki nahi" she saw preet angling his nose some more on the glass of the window and murmured, " kuch sunai nahi de raha hai bhabhi, par don't worry matashree apna kaam kar dengi" and heer crossed her fingers hoping so.
Inside prem looked at his mother trying not to flinch as she asked him to go to the dargah which was a 3 hours ride, a little more rural and in the heart of the desert. She wanted him to accompany his siblings and he had no doubt that it was their another matchmaking plan. He wanted to say no and he would had if someone else had asked him to go but it was his mother who was making the request and he had no way out. He opened his mouth to try to find an excuse which would get him out of this awkward situation but he was cut off by his mother immediately, " prem I want no excuses, you are going and that is final, I want you to be happy and just enjoy with the rest of the lot and you are going to do that"
Prem couldn't help himself , " why are you all doing this to me , I know its not fair on heer's part but you have to understand that it is also not fair on my part. I am like living a nightmare, everyone except me seems to know that I love a girl and I am about to marry her , I don't know how to tell you that how it feels." He saw his mother moved towards him and put a hand on his shoulder and he didn't know why but it calmed his trembling a bit, " listen son, I know its hard for you and you are living a nightmare, but look at that girl , do you realize how she feels when she looks at you and doesn't feel back even a bit of love from you ? give her a chance prem, she is the best thing happened to you, you don't have to pretend anything. Go on this trip with everyone , just spend the day , talk to her , be yourself. No one is going to judge you baby. Please do this for me." The battle was lost, prem nodded and without another word stepped out of the room and closed the door behind him and as he turned three pairs of eyes looked at him with smirk and amusements while another pair of coffee brown eyes looked at him with hope from a little distance.
" I am going to go pack , preet let me know when you guys plan to leave." Without another word he walked back to his room and slammed the door on the shouts of hoots and cheers coming from his brother down the corridor.
Preet eyed everybody sheepishly and then ran inside the room and nearly missed colliding with gayatri. He gave her a blowing kiss on cheek and then hugged her tight , "matashree aap great ho , jo amavasya ke chand I mean papa nahi kar paate wo aapne kar dikhaya" and in reward he got a pinch on his shoulder by gayatri , " kitni baar bola hai apne papa ka naam izzat se liya kar"
Preet rubbed his shoulder and pouted and then gayatri continued, " ab sun, maine to aadha kaam kar diya ab sab tum logo par hai, usse heer se baat karne ka mauka dena , sirf apni mauj masti mein mat lage rehna tum log. Usse ye ehsaas dilana bahot jaroori hai ki heer aur prem ek doosre ke liye hi bane hai"
Preet gave another smirk to his mother, " don't worry mom , plan is on, unki kahani dargah se suru hui thi aur phir wahi jake phir se suru hogi"
Gayatri patted him and said , " I hope so beta, I hope so, heer ki zidd kabhi undono ke beech mein nahi aayi , par mujhe darr hai ki prem ki zidd kahin in dono ko alag na kar de" and with that she left the room wishing preet all the luck.
It was next morning and heer stood infront of the mirror looking at herself, thinking if she was overdoing it or not. She wore a white salwar kameez with a mismatched red dupatta. The only accessories on her were her diamond tops,thin payals and the kangan prem had given to her while they were engaged. Her usual choice for a trip would have been a jeans and a tee but in her salwar also she would not stand out in the crowd as most rural women wore indian wears. The only thing she cared about was, if prem would notice the way she had taken time with her appearance this early in the morning. She checked her mascara and light cherry lipstick again to make sure nothing was out of the place. Her nerves were on jitters, she knew that the group was going to coop her and prem in a car alone and she was afraid thinking about how prem will react because she knew he is not going to appreciate their matchmaking. She shook her head at her thoughts and then went to the bed to pick up her duffel and headed downstairs.
Prem rubbed his hands in an attempt to warm them while he watched preet and meher fight over where to put the picnic baskets. He hated the damn weather, it was either too hot or too cold and this early in the morning it was cold but atleast he could tell that his brother and meher were enjoying. The way they fought was quite amusing and he couldn't help thinking was there something more to their story than what met his eyes. He turned trying to zoom their fight out of his ears when another slight noise caught his ears and on instinct he turned towards the main door to watch heer come out and for a second he totally blanked and stopped breathing. He had never seen her dress or take time with her looks, not that she was hard on eyes but today, there was another glow to her. She stood just outside the door checking something on her mobile and prem couldn't take his eyes off her. The white cotton moulded to her curves and the red dupatta made her look beautiful. Her wild curls were slightly wet from her shower and he could make out payals on her feet which he found alluring and he didn't know why. He saw her turning towards him and without giving much thought he turned his back on her as if he hasn't seen her but he could feel his throat go dry. He has never experienced the gut punching impression and he didn't know what to make out of it. Was it love ? he shaked his head trying to get rid of the thought and chanted to himself, " it's not love you idiot, it's just a reaction any hot blooded guy would have, seeing a beautiful girl." But he didn't know why he couldn't shake off the sound of her payals while she came towards him.
Heer moved towards prem trying to gain his attention, she felt sad thinking about how previously prem would feel her presence but now she was so close yet his back was turned on her. She finally reached him and stood behind him and cleared her throat. She saw him look towards her, giving her an acknowledging nod while she said "hii" to him but that was the only acknowledgement she got. There was no checking her out, or his eyes going warm over her. He even didn't seem to notice that she was dressed a bit differently. Disappointment washed through her yet she held her head high and chanted to herself, " you have the whole trip heer, don't let him get to you so easily."
Preet nudged meher, while she grinned at him , " meher kya tum wahi dekh rahi ho jo main dekh raha hun"
Meher gave him another smile and sighed, " abhi do minute pehle prem bhaiya aankhen phad phad ke di ko dekh rahe the, aur unke aate hi palat gaye, iska main kya matlab nikalu."
Preet turned towards her and put his hands on her forearms and looked at her, " bhaiya bhabhi se bahot pyaar karte hai meher, sab dekh sakte hai ye aur jald hi unhe bhi ye realize ho jayega, aur nahi bhi hua to hum karwaenge unhe realize. Main apne PB ko janta hun, unke liye agar koi ladki bani hai to wo heer hai, wo khud bhi iss baat ko kahin na kahin ab bhi jante hai par manna nahi chahte, par hum bhi unhe itni asaani se bhabhi ka dil todne nahi denge."
He told each word with such passion that meher couldn't help but lean into him, " tumhe main jitna insensitive samajhti hun, tum utne ho nahi preet juneja"
Preet didn't put his arms around her, but he inclined a little closer and put his chin to her forehead and whispered, " mere baare mein bahot saari baatein hai jo main chahta hu tum jaano meher aur sirf tum jaano , kyunki ab mujhe bhi lagne laga hai ki jo ladki mere liye bani hai wo mujhe mil gayi hai bas pata itna karna hai ki kya uss ladki ko bhi lagta hai ki main uske liye bana hu"
And with that he let go of her and turned to go talk to the group where harman, maya, veera and nihaal stood while meher stood at her place in shock. Did preet juneja just proposed her?
Veera maya and harman eyed nihaal while biting their nails, prem was ready to go, everything was set but now how to make him go with heer. The rentals were already lined in the parking lot, all they had to do was get prem and heer in one. They saw preet followed by meher come and stand beside them while prem stood near a car looking little tensed, while heer gave them a questioning nod.
Prem turned towards them and yelled , " what is the reason for three cars in here , we all could have easily gone in two" Everybody nudged nihaal and harman forward to babble the lies they could make out. Nihaal went ahead and put a hand on prem's shoulder, " This is all harman's fault, his idea of little romance was the reason we have to get 3 cars" Everyone looked at harman and harman coughed trying to not show his squirming. Maya elbowed him and he was trapped as he had to make up a lie, soon. He put a hand around maya's waist and pulled her closer," who kya hai na prem , I and maya want to spend some time alone and together, we have a long ride so why don't we go together in a car." With that he planted a kiss on her cheek while maya smirked. As soon as harman was finished preet took meher's as well as veera's hand dragged them to another car yelling at the top of his lungs," PB in this car I, meher , veer and nihaal are going because if I and meher start fighting then someone has to pull us apart nahi to accident ho jayega na, ek aur gaadi hai aap bhabhi ke saath usme chale jao bhabhi knows all direction." With that he pulled meher in the front passenger seat while veera hopped in back." Nihaal also murmured something about long ride and being late and joined veera in the back of the car while preet slid in the driver's seat.
Everybody looked expectantly at prem and heer. They were standing in the middle of the parking looking at everything but each other. It looked like prem wanted to say something but the parents chose that same moment to come out of the house and yell goodbyes and happy journey to them. Prem didn't get any chance as the other two cars pulled out of the driveway and reluctantly he opened the passenger door for heer and she brushed past him silently and sat while he slammed the door and moved to the driving side and slid behind the wheels.
He knew he has been played but what else did he expect. As he pulled on his seat belt a slight sensuous citrus scent passed over him and he looked at heer, he knew it was going to be a torturous ride for him, his heart and his libido.
Somewhere in the deserts a tear fell down a woman's eyes. While another woman confusingly asked her , " kya hua jugni, kyu ro rahi hai"
Jugni looked at the clouded sky and sighed , " ajeeb din hai aj ka ,kahin dil judenge to kahin dil tutenge. Jinhe ek hona chahiye tha wo ek nahi ho payenge. Pyaar ka rang to chadhega par kya uss pyaar ka ehsaas sabko hoga. Is jag ki rasme todke unka pyaar pata nahi jeet payega ya nahi"
The other woman murmured about riddles and warnings but jugni didn't respond anymore, she closed her eyes and let the tears fall.