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Radhika was pulling onto her daadi's hand as she wanted to be cuddled more. It was mixture of all feelings that was haunting her brain. She wants him to be near her, but she was unable to digest the fact that she needs to leave soon, leaving this motherly protection behind, the thought made her to move closer to her daadi. For a second she thought how much she blabbed with him, thinking of this separation time, but somewhere I feel comfortable to be back in here. But I miss him so much. She smiled shyly imagining his action to make her silent. He might be snoring now. that broght a smile on her lips and sooon escaped her thraot as a giggle as she thought about his sleepy face.
Daadi: what is it Radhika? Why you are giggling?
Radhika suddenly closed her eyes, conveying that she is sleeping for long.
Daadi smiled to see her sudden still posture in her arms and just tapped on her shoulder few times.
The time ticked by and slowly the darkness gave way to the sunshine outside.
Rohini: still sleeping. looking at daadi's face, daadi just nodded her head.
Rohini: I hope she wake up early over there.
Daadi: ha, she does, this I think she is very tired after all these functions and all.
Rohini: Birju, I need that suitcase, will pack everything in that , and let her take to Delhi and choose whatever she wants later.
Birju:3 ha Maaji, I will keep the suitcase in her room.
Rohini: do it soon. Otherwise if we keep it for later nothing will happen. They are coming for lunch here, and then going from here, right?
Daadi: ha, that's what Mohan said.
Birju: ha Maaji.
Radhika woke up from her sleep and stretched her arms out to feel better and then bringing her open hands up to her face, she took the blessings of the morning and then slowly got up from the bed. She remembered the day before how he wake her up. Imagining that she giggled again.
Daadi: Radhika, what is this? While sleeping also you were giggling like this.
Radhika covered her mouth suddenly, and then with a serious tone: good morning Daadi
Daadi: um.. but I am serious, I can understand your happiness, but what others may think beta.
Radhika getting up quick and walking towards her room: let me go fresh up. Ok
Radhika went to her room and after taking a nice shower, she changed into a nice yellow churidar. She looked at her image and thought, he will be coming soon. She smiled again and came out from the washroom. She throw the towel near the rack and was adjusted her hair well. Slowly put the bindi and then applied the sindoor on her maang. Suddenly her forehead tightened seeing the image in the mirror. She turned quick to make sure she is not seeing things. Keeping the kumkum bottle over the table she went near the bed, she saw him sleeping sound, at the edge of the bed. She looked at the condition of her bed, filled with all the gifts and he cleared the space just for him, and sleeping there comfortably.
She stood straight as she saw Birju coming in. Birju smiled as he placed the suitcase on the floor.
Birju:. See we are going to pack up everything, take whatever you want today and don't complaint tomorrow that you missed something, ok. Or if you need anything else, let me know today, will get it soon.
Rahdika stood there unable to speak anything.
Birju turned to walk away and then suddenly turning his face: Radhika, come down, tea is getting cold.
Radhika nodded her head silently.
Birju with a smile: what happened to you? Why you are standing so silent. Um'. Then with a tease smile : missing your prince, right?
Radhika tried to smile..
Birju: um, don't waste time, come down quick, we have so much to do before lunch time. Ok.
Radhika again nodded.
Saying that birju walked away confusing at Radhika's strange expression, her silence.
Birju talking self: esse kya hogaya hei. He climbed down mumbling on to his thoughts.
Radhika kneeled down near his face. She felt so bad for him, seeing him in that state. He might have come during night, but then how did he got in? did he ring the bell?
Can I try to wake him up. She sat in confusion.
Mohan in his deep serious tone: Rohiniiiiii.....
Rohini from kitchen: coming.
Mohan walk towards the kitchen area: why nobody told me that Dev came here.
Daadi: who came?
Mohan: what? .... then with a normal turn ...Dev. Surender just called and asked whether he wake up or not? I felt so ashamed, when I told him that I didn't see him yet.
Daadi looked at Rohini's face, Rohini looked at Birju's, and Birju back at Mohan's.Chameli was standing there seeing the whole seen.
Mohan: why everyone is looking at each other. Where is Radhika?
Mohan took his long strokes to climb stairs and the family just followed him without understanding anything.
At the same time, Radhika took courage to wake him up. She tried to call his name :
Dev'.. very softly.. but that didn't help, she gone little louder, and then she tried to tap on his shoulder, that also didn't help, she just shook his shoulder calling out his name little louder, that he opened his eyes and saw the confused face of Radhika.
The smile disappeared from Dev's face and he looked at her face with an exclamatory eyes and then as a reflex released her . Radhika stood on her feet within fraction of seconds, so did Dev.
They saw the widely smiley face of Mohan in front of them.
Mohan: Beta, this is not good, you came and you didn't let me know. Not at all fair. If I have known that you are coming, then I would have surely stayed back. When did you come?
Dev was trying to speak out. He saw Daadi, Rohini, Birju all standing just behind with their surprised look on him. He looked back at Radhika, found her standing with the most innocent face.
Mohan: beta, what time did you come?
Dev: vo, actually right after you went to bed.
Mohan then in a confused tone: then why didn't hear I the bell ring? I was awake for sometime.
Dev: vo. Vo..Birju bhayya opened the door for me.
Birju lifting his hand up touched back of his head: meine door khola tha. Kab? He spoke to himself.
Mohan looking back at Birju: Birju. why didn't you call me?.
Birju: Vo mei. Mei door khola'
Interupting him to continue, Dev: vo, Birju bhayya was about to call you, but then I only told him not to disturb your sleep, I said I will see you in the morning.
Birju mumbled: aisa kaha tha? Kab?
Mohan: phir bhi, Birju, in an angry tone: you know me well, right? Then why didn't you call me.
Birju: ha meine, kaha na.
Mohan: kya kaha.
Birju: vahi tho mei bhi soch rehe hum.
But then Mohan 's eyes caught the sight of the room. He looked around, including the bed. Full of gifts and things all around. Blood rushed into his eyes: RADHIKAaaa..
Radhika jerked with that roar and looked at her babuji's face
Mohan: Is this the way you keep your room? And you made Dev to sleep in this untidy room. I never seen your room in such bad condition.
Radhika: vo Babuji, mei.
Mohan: I don't want to hear anything, I can see it clearly.
Rohini: vo, Radhika nahi, hum sab.
Radhika was unable to speak anything , her eyes filled up quick. Seeing that Mohan came back to reality and looked at Dev who was standing next to her, he cooled down quick and said: Radhika, atleast you should keep your bed clean na, see what somebody may think. SO bad.
Mohan lowered his voice: but then how you made Dev to sleep in this room.
Daadi looked at Dev and then looking at Mohan: actually they slept in my room.
Mohan: oh really. I thought.
Then going near Radhika holding her shoulder, Mohan : ayyayye, I was just joking dear. You should have told me na, that Dev slept in Daadi's room. Then I won't be this angry na.
Rohini: ha, first you will say something to make her cry and then go back and try to console too.
Mohan: Dev beta, fresh up and come down quick. Ok
Dev: ji babuji.
Mohan went down.
Dev looked at the wet face of Radhika. Daadi taking a deep sigh turned and faced Dev.
Daadi: so Tell me, when you came ?
Dev: vo mei. Birju bhayya heina. Birju bhayya bethadona.
Birju still in confused state: mei, vo. Vo. Then looking back at Dev: kab aya tha?
Dev: around 11.
Birju: ha around 11.
Daadi: um, not bad, nice match for my Radhika betiya. Anyway now go and fresh up.
Dev shooed off into the wash room. Daadi saw Birju still standing with that confused state, trying to recollect the last night.
Daadi looking at Radhika: Is he was sleeping in this bed.
Radhika nodded her head.
Rohini: Oh Bhagavan, what a shame for us, what he might have thought of us. Keeping rooms like this? Now what we will tell him Maaji.
Instead of saying out a solution, Daadi just laughed out loudly.
Radhika, Rohini and Birju looked at Daadi in surprise. Daadi was trying hard to control her laugh.
Rohini: kya huva maaji.
Daadi: think Rohini, some how he got in, he came to meet Radhika, Radhika was sleeping with me. How he might have felt, poor Dev, he might have tried to wake her up , or searched her in each room, but poor him., was unable to call anyone as he came in secretly. he should have told us na.
Rohini in a secret voice: secretly?
Daadi: um. .. look at Birju, you will come to know.
They looked at Birju and found him still standing to figure out things.
And then she continued: poor Dev, he came to see his wife, and ended up sleeping in this junk room.
Daadi then looking at Rohini: let's tidy up this room , quick.
Rohini: ha Maaji.
They dumped most of the stuff into the suitcase and then to the nearby carton and then arranged it near the corner.
Daadi: Radhika, bring him down Ok, we will wait there.
Daadi was walking out, knocking at Birju's head: come
Birju: Daadi , actually I didn't open the door.
Daadi: patha hei. Now come with me.
Birju: aap ko patha hei.
Birju : phir aapne babuji se kyum nahi bet'...'
Their voice trailed off from Radhika's ears. Her heart started pacing faster, imagining him searching for her, he came just for me and then I was sleeping sound in Daadi's room, he should have told me , na. How do I know. Then how he got in. Her eyesballs circled as she imagined that scene " ladder!!!!".
She saw the door opening slowly. Dev peeking his head out, and making sure the space is safe: Radhika, towel.
Radhika suddenly looked around and picked a fresh towel and gave to him.
Soon he stepped out looking around wearing his jeans and towel around his neck, still trying to dry his hair.. He took a relief sigh.
Radhika was looking at his face keenly and started stepping back as he was coming closer to her with his questions. Finally her heels halted near the wall as it touched the hard part of it.
Dev: um, why you didn't call them.
Radhika: vo mei..
Dev with a soft innocent voice: just imagine Radhika, how cutely I tried to wake you up yesterday. Did anyone came to know that you were sleeping till that time. Here, you were shaking my shoulder like anything as if some earth quick is happening around, and calling so loud to bring all your family.
Dev: do you have any reasoning for this ?.
Radhika cleared her throat: how do I know that you are coming?
Dev left the towel on his shoulder and caged her inside his arms by holding onto the wall at her neck level on both sides: ha, how do you know? Good question. I am a fool , right? Listening to all your blabbering. How you made up that face yesterday and what all you said , remember? she looked at her with that question.. night before I slept while you were talking, then the morning I went out ,and then you need to go. I know you are going to leave, and Babuji told me already, but when I saw you and listen to you, I thought you may be going to stand the whole night near this window, looking for my face in that darkness. Where? Poor me,
Then I lost all my hope, but still I thought you maybe around. I went in search of you and finally found you sleeping comfortably in daadi's arms. Do you know how jealous I felt. I should have surely slept in my bed. But what to do, I told mom and dad that I am coming here, and doesn't want to take a risk to go back, I adjusted myself here clearing this tiny space for me, with a hope, at least you may come and see me soon. Ha you did come, with all your family. Oh Radhika.
Radhika went in total confusion thinking whether to laugh or cry. She wanted laugh loud thinking his frustration whole night and his action, but then poor him , he did all this just because I told him like that. But then Dev's voice caught her attention again
Dev: So you were faking all this time , right? Saying that you were thinking about me, missing me badly, whereas you were sleeping under the comfort of your daadi.
Radhika: no, vo
Dev: now don't try to clarify me, I saw it. Ok.
Radhika: vo sach mei.
He saw the tear drop rolling up inside her eyes, he thought he said little harder this time, but it was his frustration that just spoke out.
Dev: its Ok now. Now don't expect me to come after you like this anymore Ok. then with a normal soft tone: If you have a shirt for me to wear, go get it, mine got wet. Saying that he moved his arms from the wall.
He took it form her and looked at it. And then: now who will open all this buttons.
Radhika took it back from him and unbuttoned and opening it nicely she gave to him.
Dev with a chirpy smile took it from her and put the sleeves in. He saw her sad face, he tried to hide his smile, he tried to button it up, but then he asked : now who will button it up? He stood there with keeping his hands on the flanks.
He felt her heavy breathing near his chest. He looked at her passionately.
But Radhika looked at him with a cold face.
His eyes smiled knowing the reason: kyum? Now why this look.
Radhika: don't talk to me. I heard what you said now.
Dev: what did I say? Nearing his eyes more closer to her eyes, his eyes moved one corner to other , reading her eyes.
Radhika: chodiye mujhe.
Radhika: I don't want to talk to you?
Radhika: jaane deejiyena.
Dev: give me my hak, I will.
Radhika: no I won't
Dev: You said that you don't have any stock when I asked you earlier. But now I know you have many stocks for me, so give me at least one.
Radhika trying to get away from his hold: no
Dev: otherwise I won't leave you.
Radhika forced her hands on his upper arms with a hope to get it release, but Dev tightened as she tried hard from her side. Time ticked by , slowly their eyes stared each other, and her resistance melt in that gaze of him, but he held her closer to him still.
Dev: dona.. his soft voice mumbled.
Radhika lips felt dry and she just gazed back.
But he didn't let her, but mumbled again " my hak'
She denied his request my nodding her head. Then he nodded his head back denying her silent words.
Radhika draw her eyebrows near to the center in a pleading posture, his relaxed forehead just ignored that pleading.
Radhika tried to give a smile. Dev looked at her surprisingly
She said: babuji.
As a reflex he released his arms and moved away. Radhika controlled her laugh,as Dev's eyes fell on the door. Radhika looked out and found Birju coming closer to the room, she quickly went and placed a quick kiss on his cheek and stood next to him. He tried to grab her but then Birju came in.
Dev: ha Bhayya Coming.
Dev looked at his wife's naughty smile, he moved his face more near to her ear and said: I will see you. A soft warning sound tickled her.
She smiled again , as if he already lost the game, and stood there watching him going with Birju.
Dve: ha Birju bhayya, you didn't
Birju: see, that's what I am saying, Then why did you said like that to babuji.
Dev: because I don't want to tell him about the ladder secret.
Birju stopped for a second: ladder secret!
Dev: ha, you only kept that near the balcony for me , right?
Dev: ha come, I will show you. He held his wrist and brought him near the balcony: see the ladder, you only kept this last night right?
Birju: did I? No Dev, it was at the backyard. I was doing that earlier for Radhika, whenever she comes late roaming around, to protect her from Babuji's scolding. in a very innocent tone.
Dev: I know , that is what I said.
Birju: ha Dev, I didn't keep it last night here.
Dev: yes you did? Otherwise how will I know about this.
Birju: dev, you are really confusing me.
Dev: no Bhayya, if you want to tell Babuji that you didn't open the door for me, then I may need to tell babuji that you kept the ladder for me to climb up.
Birju: ha, but then I was doing that earlier.
Dev: so what? He doesn't know it, right, and you don't want him to know either, right.
Birju: ye, don't tell him, you know what, when he get angry na, he looks like a hitler, didn't you see how he made Radhika to cry this morning.
Dev thought of that but then coming back to reality: see, so only I said, you opened the door for me.
Birju: ha, I agree , I only opened the door for you.
Dev flaring up his hands out: see that's all. Very simple.
Birju: ha, very simple.
Radhika saw her daadi's laugh and went and joined with her too.
The Bhatt family came in soon and joined the fun too.
Suchi: Rohini , nobody caught my son yesterday night, right?
Rohini burst into laugh again and Suchi looked at her surprisingly. She shared the incident with Suchi, Suchi also controlled her laugh, imagining poor Dev's face. It reached Lechu's ears too. She was almost dancing and gave daadi a high five saying" he tricked me last night and see now, he got into the trap by himself.
Rohini: Lechu, slowly, if babuji here his na, he won't spare any one of us, for him his damaad babu is a hero. And already Radhika got scolding today morning for messing up her room.
Lechu went into silent quick and then went in search of Rahul , to play with him.
After lunch , they said bye to everyone. Radhika and Dev took the blessings of the elders and went and sat inside. She felt some heaviness leaving her home, but then Dev held her hand in his. She looked at him, and he tried to smile.
Mohan as walking with him towards the car: Surender: don't forget the two day program that we discussed yesterday.
Surender: and don't forget the reception party too. All need to come. Babuji also agreed, so no excuse this time
Mohan with a smile: no , we all will be there on time. After all, these all for our kids.
Surender smiled and then scanning around , he came more closer and asked secretly: I need to ask you one thing.
Mohan understood the seriousness and he replied: what?
Surender: what si this ladder secret?
Mohan looking at his face surprisingly: What ladder?
Surender: I thought you know?
Mohan: I know what?
Surender: the ladder secret?
Mohan: I don't know anything about ladder. Why you are asking me this ?
Surender: vo.. I tried to get it from Suchi, but she played around it, I thought to ask you today but it seems like I am unlucky with this.
Mohan: I don't know anything about ladder. Let me ask Birju
He turned and looked at Birju ignoring Surender's action not to..
Mohan: Birju, do you know anything about this ladder?
Birju stopped breathing for a second, he thought his heart stopped beating inside his chest, he looked at Dev in question. Dev turned his face away as he himself doesn't know what to say.
Birju with a big relief looked at daadi thankfully.
Mohan: no Mam, Surender was asking something about it, so only.
Suddenly Surender looked at Suchi and met her heavy face. And then tried to nodd his head denying Mohan's words.
Rohini: I think you are getting late, need to reach there before dark , right?
Surender: ha, also they are expecting thunder storm tonight. So
Mohan: then better start now itself.
Dev opened the door for the ladies , while Surender took the driver's seat. With a smile, taking everyone's permission, he went and sat near the front passenger seat. Rohini moved back silently holding onto Rahul's shoulder. Daadi also smiled through her wet eyes. Chameli went and held her hand and tried to bring a smile.
Mohan: Rohini, I need to go out, need to see Sudev today . Rahul, birju coming?
They both went and sat on the jeep and soon he flew off.
Rohini: it is easy for him, see how easily he tried to mask his pain by getting into some other stuff, wish we could also do the same.
Daadi: all this time I waited for her prince to come and take her away, but now. She sighed as she looked at the empty long road in front of her.
Later to break the silence of Radhika Suchi asked secretly: so did anyone caught my son while he climbed that ladder.
Radhika's droopy head stood staright and looked at Suchi's face unbelieveably: you were knowing it.
Suchi tried to control her smile, Radhika too joined her , and soon Lechu got the reason and she tried to control her laugh too.
Dev noticed the back seat secreting and surprised to see smiley face of Radhika. What they may be talking?
Dev: what is it Mom, you all are laughing , that you are not sharing with us.
Lechu: that is for girls only okay.
Dev: what is that dad?
Surender: I don't know. Let's talk about something manly, Dev.
Dev looked at his dad.
Surender: so now you are really afraid to drive on our roads.
Dev: not really, but not in town for sure.
The talk went on and they reached home.
Lechu: Bro, this is the best time, touch my feet, I can bless you too.
Lechu: ha, may be di can, to protect from the sis-law arguments.
Radhika smiled and hugged her tight.
The door bell rang.
Dev: Chandru, come on in.
Hearing to Dev's voice Suchi: chandru, come inside. See my bahu is here now.
As he coming in with a smile, he signaled something and Suchi nodded her head acknowledging it.
Suchi: Dev, I am getting very bad head ache, can you get me some medication.
Dev went and touched her forehead in concern: you ok.
Suchi: Dev, but my personal stock is over. Please beta.
Dev: I will try to go by the bike.
Suchi: ha that will be Ok. She went and wrote it down and gave the piece of paper in Dev's hand and said: I should have send Chandru too, but I need him for now. So
Dev: its Ok mom, I will be right back.
Suchi: no go slow.
Dev with a smile: ha Mom.
And then looked at Radhika conveying that he will be right back. Radhika just nodded her head silently.
As Dev left, Suchi; Radhika, call home and talk to dadi and all. OK and tell Rohini that I will be calling her later.
Radhika: ji Mom.
Radhika called home, she felt the lump, but she listened to her mom's wet voice along with her happiest smile. It took sometime for her to bring out that voice out. Time ticked by.
Radhika looked at Suchi's face, and kept that surpsrise look listening to her talk. But then Lechu came and held her hand forced on her wirst to walk with her.
Radhika looked at her curiosly , seeing her action, Lechu climbed the stairs with a tease smile on her face.
Suchi: Rohini, I will call you back, Otherwise I can't trust this Lechu comepletely. i won't be able to recognize my bahu's face.
With a laugh she kept the receiver on the rack and went upstairs with keeping that smile on her face.
Dev coming in: Mom, what kind of medicine is this? I went to four shops, thought to call you back. But then luckily that shop had it. So.
Suchi Thanks beta, and took the packet form him and kept that over the table.
Dev: are you not taking it?
Suchi: my headache is gone?
Suchi: ha, now you go sleep , ok.
Lechu : goodnight mom, goodnight dad. In a louder voice as he saw his dad coming out from the office room.
Surrender: good night beta
Lechu as she climbed the last step: Bro, Di is sleeping with me tonight, okay. She is already in my bed. goodnight, because you didn't touch my feet when i told you to, remember?
Dev stood there puzzled: what?
Suchi hiding her tease smile: its ok beta, let the girls enjoy one night, They are meeting after a long time , you know.
he walked with his mom , as she forced him to take that steps.
Surender: good night beta.
Dev looked at his dad's face acknowledging his wish and then tried to say the words back, but unable to comprehend what to say, he walked with his mom.
Suchi nearing his door, left his arm and asked him to proceed. Dev stood in confusion, as he wants to see Radhika who is already in lechu's room. But his mom's eyes demanded him to go in. To satisfy her he opened the door flap slowly and found the room all dark, he tried to turn the switch on.
But before that Suchi held the open flap and then trying to close it , with a smile she said: Goodnight beta.
Dev smiled at his mom's gesture and then said "goodnight" and looked at her face with a forceful face as she closed the door behind.
As Dev was about to turn. She opened that door again: beta, atleast you don't have to climb the ladder tonight. went like a hero and then ..
Dev widely opening his eyes: what? Did they tell you that?
Suchi controlling her laugh: um..
Dev brought a childish face.
Suchi: beta, if you wake up early, make tea yourself and sit silently ok, because I want to sleep well tonight, so don't try to disturb me.
Dev smiled again: ha Mom.
Suchi pulled on his nose and said: ha mom..
Dev: what? Leave me it is painful.
Suchi: ha, it should, for that only I did. Now goodnight.
Suchi; um, , saying that she closed the door with a warning to put the latch on with a tease smile on her lips.
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