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Dev was feeling very tired as he entered into his apartment complex. He thanked God for having this long day to finally end . He stretched out once as he stepped down fom his car. Then took his black leather bag and walked towards his room. He checked his mailbox and got surprised to see a package inside it. He turned it around and smiled happily as she saw the sender's name as Lekshmi Bhatt. He picked the rest of the mails and took the stairs to his room. The minute he stepped into is apartment, he kept the bag on the side and put the mails on the table . He took the package and slowly opened it. Dev's face lighted with happiness as he saw the beautiful Rakhi. He felt like it is smiling at him.. His heart started pounding faster , his lips stretched out further. He felt like talking to her then itself.. He took the phone in his hand.. but then he got aware of the time back in India. So he kept that away'
He sat on the sofa chair , unbutton few of the upper ones, and then tilted his head back to rest on its headrest. I am missing you a lot Lechu. All these years you were tying this around the wrist with a naughty smile on your lips, thinking about how much love I will show you back for selecting such good rakhi. She sometimes buy more rakhis and very happily tied it wround few ofmy friends wrist too, and she used to wink her eye at me.. at the end of the day she sit and count the money and tell happily how much she collected the day.. he lifted the rakhi up in the air and thought.. now this looks really special, really beautiful, and I can feel her love in it.. for a fraction of second his eyes felt wet. He got up from the chair and went to fresh up'
Made himself a tea and checked on his few of college work.. Then his eyes fell back on the rakhi..
He dialed to his home.. There everyone was started waking up only.. Suchi as usual was lighting the diya in front of the Lord and was praying with folded hands together, the towel still wrapped around her hair. The smell of agarbathi filled the house giving the atmosphere a freshness of morning. She heard the phone bell ringing.. she was walking faster towards it but found Surender took the phone already. Suchi paused near looking at Surender..
Surender: Goodmorning beta..
Suchi's hand automatically extended to take the receiver away..
Surender: let me also talk Suchi..
Suchi nodded her head and brought her ear near to the reciever.. Surender saw her head coming closer and closer..
Surender: beta, I should have brought the speaker phone here.
Dev: why dad..
Surender: your mom otherwise is not letting me listen to you properly.
Suddenly Suchi stood straight and showing a kiddish face, she moved away little.
Surender looking at her..: Dev, I will talk to you later, you talk to mom now, I will call Lechu, she is still sleeping..
Surender before giving the reciver to Suchi: aur beta.. try to come for Daadaji's birthday..
Dev with a chuckled throat: dad, I.. I told you already..
Surender: its ok beta, I was just trying with a hope.. but its ok.. absolutely ok..
Dev felt the sadness in his voice. But then he heard his mom's voice. He tried to bring a smile..
Dev: Suchi.. how are you..
Suchi: Dev, you will get nicely in this morning..
Dev with a clear smile: so is My suchi is standing there after praying to the Lord Almighty with the towel wrapped around your wet hair.. and I am sure now our house smell the agarbathi' I am missing that mom, the fresh morning inside my house..
Suchi's eyes felt wet , she tried to manage, but her voice had a tinge of sadness: then why you are talking to me from such long distance, come near to me dear, I will make sure you wake up to smell the freshness of this morning..
Suchi: I am sorry beta, when you told me like that, I also ' anyway leave that.. tell me, what made you to call this early..
Dev said about the rakhi..
"that I will talk".. sayin that Lechu snatched the phone from Suchi..
Suchi: Lechu, I was talking to him..
Lechu: that you do everytime, but this call is for me.. so.., no chance.
Suchi looked at Surender with a hope.. Surender shrugged his shoulder saying he don't have any role there..
Suchi still stood close to Lechu, looking at her talk and her expression.. and smiling with her excitement
Dev: lechu, I miss you dear..
Lechu; I too bro.. so you like it..
Dev looking at the Rakhi: very much..
Lechu: I made it with my hands..
Dev: hum, really, I am impressed.. and I can see your smiley eyes through it..
Lechu: actually Radhika di was making for Birju bhayya and Rahul, so only I got the idea.. and she instructed me how to do it..
Dev: so it is Radhika's guidance.. Nice.
LEchu: you want to talk to her'one minute Bro.. she was trying to say Suchi to call Radhika..
Dev: no LEchu.. don't wake her up.. she may be sleeping..
Lechu: sleeping who? Radhika di, her exam is going on. Di is not sleeping properly at all.. studying studying studying.. and in between she says, if it was in her Chandenpur, she might be sleeping the whole night.. I asked her about the secret and she said, if she walk on the chandenpur backyard with the book, she can recollect everything easily.. so with all this she is still going to Chandenpur on weekends, with all her books.. to study there' strange na..
Lechu: what um.. I am talking to you so much, and you..
Dev: Lechu, I will call you back' I need to go..
Dev: I need to eat something dear.. I waited to talk to you..
Lechu: oh Bro.. ok.. call me later, ok..
Dev sat back on the chair.. thinking Radhika's words.. about Chandenpur.. slowly his eyes closed.. he was walking with Radhika along the greenery of Chandenpur. He could see her lip moving.. he tried to hard to listen to her.. she was talkig about the breeze'
"you know, the breeze always bring the smell of the season here.. sometimes it fills with fragrance of flowers reminding everyone that it is spring.. but mostly you can smell it year round as one or the other plants in Chandenpur bloom all the time. Sometimes it is fruity and sometimes it is purely flowery.. and in mansoon you can smell the wet mud.. you know then the rorad side sometimes are so squishy , but you can see the energy in each leaf tip and the new ones peeking from the ground' see to feel all that you need to come here, if you live in that crowded city where people don't have enough space to walk on the street'. Radhika saw the smirk smile on his lips.. she reasoned herself..; I am not joking, did you try to walk on the street there, you move to one side, then the bike person take more side and look at you as if we are walking on his space.. and if you move from that side, you may hit the shopkeeper's shouting... she again noted the smile..
Radhika with an irritated tone: what?
Dev: no Rahdika, I was thinking when we came to Chandenpur, you know what stopped us from entering this village' it was a group of buff'
Radhika: so what? They are animals not humans'
Dev: what do you mean by that..
Radhika: I mean., atleast they don't know , I mean they need to be guided, but humans, they know everything and riding over the head of poor people.. she made the angry annoyed face and paced faster..
Dev with a smile..: Radhika I was just ..
Radhika: no I don't want to hear anything.. Ok' and she speed up more on her feet..
Dev stood there smiling to himself.. but then.. the scene slipped ot his departure.. there he was sitting at the front seat' and he easily saw her reflection coming and standing there at the door, but he couldn't read her face.. his forehead tightened to see it clear, to read her eyes.. but he falied.. he felt hurt that he can't see her face anymore as dad took the turn.. he heard his dad's & Mohan uncle's voice and then the honk from the passing vehicle, brought him back to reality.. Dev opened his eyes'
I tried to keep the distance from her, I tried to avoid coming face to face with her.. because she told me everything, what she think about me.. she is blaming me that I didn't support her, I didn't ' but then it was not my fault.. whom am I to support her, why she choose me to support her plans.. whom am I? I met her just the other day.. why didn't she tell her wish to her dad.. but then , ....that day,... as the time was ticking away, my heart felt so heavy, I thought it is because I am leaving away from my home.. but then when I heard her vice calling out for me, I was unable to control myself.. all I could do was to force her to look at me,.. and then my God! Why did I talk all that nonsense, I felt happy to see her frightened face, I felt like frighten her more, and kept her mouth shut by telling her that she did wrong too.. I wanted to see her defeat face when I revealed that to her that I actually got her kisses, especially after I heard her telling to my mom the otherday' but then why did I kissed her, saying I am giving it back to her.. did I really meant to gave it back to her.. but my heart felt light as I my lips touched her burning cheeks. I could easily sense the heat radiating from her skin' but still why did I do that? Why I told her that I won't return till she leave to chandenpur forever, why did I tell her that I will take my kiss back' why I siad and acted two absolutely opposite things at the same time'
What she might be thinking about me? A sadist? Or selfish? Mom once in a while just mention that she left to Chandenpur or lechu and she are playing together, something like that.. is she still angry with me? But then the thought of angry face of Radhika brought a smile on his lips and then he saw her pacing from one corner to other, forcing a nice blow of air from her corner lips that pushing away her loose hair, and then the sniff with keeping her finger under her nose tip' he smiled wild imagining her posture'
Time was passingby'
The small crowd at the Sunnyvale Temple was walking around , pausing at the front of each Idols, trying hard to see their own Lord thru the front vision.. to sooth their heart with the image in front of them.. to satisfy their mind ache that take them back to their own land for fraction of seconds' Dev was offering his prayers too.. he moved to an empty corner.. he opened his hand and smiled at the rakhi in his hand. He tried to tie it around his wrist, but failed, he tried few times.. but then he pushed away from his balance slightly as a little one run around him brushing his legs..
"no, beta, come here..' followed by a sweetvoice of his mom..
Dev stood there holding onto his Rakhi, making sure the little one is fine..
The mother came near and held the boy by his shoulder, looking at Dev said "sorry'
Dev with a smile " it's ok"
But then as his mom's attention diverted to the stranger, the little one made its move again'
"ye, stop, Pranav, I am telling you, stop.. stop' Oh God' Pranav .. I am telling you, I won't bring you anymore here, you see' come I am taking you back home now itself".. but the little boy kept on running, making sure his mom is behind him.. Dev just looked at this little one's naughtiness.. but then suddenly he saw him nearing the step side.. his mom was way behind.. Dev's long leg made faster move and swept the little one in his arm within fraction of seconds..
His mom stood with holding her heart tight.. for a second she looked at the Lord , thanking Him.. Dev came near, and handed the boy to his mom, he still smiling at his mom and at this stranger, as if he is still in his play'
Taking her son back in her arms she looked at Dev's eyes with a thankful gesture and forcefully said in her fearful voice: thank you'
Dev tapped on Pranav's head and said: naughty one..
Suddenly his mom's expression changed and said: not just naughty, he is in his terrible three.. here they say terrible two, and in his case it is extending to three' I don't kow from where he is getting all these energy, he won't eat anyhing, and still running around in full form.. I don't think I can manage him all alone'
Dev smiled at the mom's comment'
The mom again looking at Dev's face: I am really sorry, and thank you so much'
Dve: no need to say sorry or thank you' then tapping on Pranv's cheek': he is so cute..
Mom smiled: thank you'
"let's go".. a male voice caught his attention..
Pranav's mom turned and said: did you buy the Tulsi?..
Man: no, I am not going to. We already brought them more than 10 within last 10 month, and none of them survived.. there is something wrong and I am not going to buy anymore.
Mom; please,those looks so healthy, that will survive..
Man walking away: I don't think it will, each time you say the same ..
Mom: this time I will take care of it well..
Man: you said the same earlier too'
He watched the mom as she walked away with her son in her arms, arguing with her husband for the Tulasi plant.. her voice trailed off ' dev stood there smiling at them one more time and then brought back to his own reality struggle.. He again tried to tie the rakhi around his wrist..
'may I help you''
Dev jerked and looked at the familiar voice and found Panav's mom standing near to him..
'ji?' he looked at her..
She forwarded her hand and took the rakhi from his hand said: I can clearly see that you are struggling hard to get it tied.. somebody send you this with love, right.. as she said that she tied it around his wrist, and then looked at her husband, and he forwarded the Prasad, she took kumkum from it and applied on his forehead saying: Let the Lord take care of you..
Then she held his wrist and said: it's a beautiful Rakhi, tell your sister that..ok
Then she turned and said to her husband; I told you na, he is'. Suddenly she looked at him and asked..; sorry, what is your name..
She continued: ha Dev, he only caught him on time, otherwise.. this naughty one might have fallen from those steps today..
Her husband extended his arm to shake his hand: thanks Dev, .. and I am Balaji'
Dve shook his hand': hi
Balaji: I never seen you here before..
Dev: no , actually I am coming here first time..
Balaji: no wonder.. that means you may be single..
Dev: ha, why?
Balaji: simple, then lowering his voice.. because after marriage, you will call the God more often' ha ha.. saying that he laughed loud..
Mom: very funny' Dev, now you are my Rakhi brother.. come home when you are free ok..
Dev just smiled'
Balaji: ok Dev, we are getting late, need to go for a birthday party.. it is nice meeting you..
Dev: nice to meet you too'
He watched them climbing the steps down.. but then something flashed his mind as he looked back at the rakhi..
'Balaji Sir'' the voice of Dev made them to stop on the parking lot.. and they looked at Dev
Dev came near and forwarded the Tulasi plant to Pranav's mom' " you made me your Rakhi brother and prayed for my Reksha, then I need to give my sister something special too, right'..
She looked at him with 110voltage smile, looked at her husband and then looking back at Dev she said: oh thank you so much'
Dev : my pleasure..
Balaji: only one month life for this plant..
Kid's mom: no, you see, this will survive, I am sure, because it has my Rakhi brother's love in it..
Dev: yes, sure..
Pranav's mom; Dev, tell a big thank you to your sister, and tell her that you met a nice deedi here OK..
Balaji: ha ha.. nice deedi here' and his sister will know who it is?
Mom with a nice smile: ha tell her that you met Rema deedi , ok..
Dev: Rema deedi, sure, I will..
Rema looked at Balaji with a winning smile: see, now he knows..
Balaji; um um.. Ok Dev, stop by sometimes Ok, ' or give me your number, I will make a call soon..
Dev: sure' they exchanged the phone number.. and he saw happy Rema sitiing with the Tulsi plant in her hand as if she won the whole world holding onto it' while Balaji was fastening the seat belt for Pranav on his special seat.
Dev came back and talked to his mom the whole thing.. Suchi was smiling throughout listening to him and at the end she said: that's how the moms are, they run behind their kid with each step, making sure they are safe, even though they complaint each time, their heart aches seeing a bruice on her little ones hand or feet.. It is good that you held him safe' but then he felt the tinge of sadness in his mom's tone' he felt sad too.. his heart also ached to see her nearby, to hug her tight' his eyes felt wet, he kept the phone down with a heavy heart..'.
Joined: 21 October 2009
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