Hey guys. I finally decided to attempt my hand at a SS and here is the product. It is a four-part story and I've just finished with the first part and am posting it without thinking. Please read and
. Don't be too nice-if you hate it, say so!=)
The title of the story has given me some problems.I finally settled on one and you will fully understand it when the SS ends.
P.S: A BIG thanks to Saaz for encouraging me to finally do it and reviewing part of the first part.
The bright sun blazing brightly through the window woke up Khanak.They had once more forgotten to draw the curtains before going to sleep.Khanak stirred a little, discovered Shaan's tight hold on her and smiled happily. Contentedly.
Her back was against his front so she couldn't gaze at his face, using these few lazy moments of the early morning to just look at him and trace his features and scrutinize any changes, any lines that might have appeared. She now knew his face better than anyone else's, better than her own. Glancing at the table clock next to the bed, she realizd that Shaan could afford to sleep in for a few minutes more before he had to get up and get dressed for the office.Overwhelmed with love for him, she decided to grant him those few precious moments of sleep to him today.
'Aaj Shaantanu k liyey mera ye uphar' she thought to herself as she eased herself out of his arms, grinned at his attempts to hold her back in his sleep and went and drew the curtains over the window.As she turned back towards the bed a wave of nausea hit her making her clamp her hands over her mouth.
The sound of retching from the bathroom woke Shaan up.He stretched sleepily on the bed and tried to figure out where the sound was coming from and what it was.As the cobwebs of sleep cleared from his mind and he realized that the sound was coming from the bathroom and was surely Khanak he leapt up from the bed and banged on the door.
'KHANAK!!!Kya hua tumhein?Tum theek tou ho na?'
'Haan Shantanu mein bilkul theek hoon! Yeh tou meri roz ki aadat hai.Subah utho, ulti karo aur phir koi aur kaam.'
'Uff yeh ladki.Abhi bhi mujh se ladne ka mauqa nahi chode gi!' he thought as he started banging on the door again.
'Aaaaaaarghhhh' he heard a strangled shout come from the bathroom and he pitched inside as the door suddenly opened.
'Kya pirablem hai Shantanu aap ki?!Kya mein iss tarah darwaza khatkhatati hoon jab aap jatay ho?'
But Shaan was in no mood to fight after seeing Khanak's pale face.He placed one hand against her clammy forehead as his other one roamed around her face.
'Khanak batao tou kya hua?'
'Kuch nahi.Ulti ho gaee.Kal aap ne bahar se pata nahi kya khilaya tha.'
'Oh hello.Pata nahi kya nahi.Italian cuisine tha woh.Aur woh bhi iss shehr k sab se mehenge restaurant ka, okay?'
'Haan wahi.Italeeian.Uss se tabiat kharab hogai.Jis mulk ka naam ajeebo gharib ho wahan ka khana bhi ajeeb hee hoga.Pata nahi khanay ke naam per uss mein kya daal diya hoga.'
'Haan haan.Tumhe tou woh unhygienic bhajiya waghaira khaane ki aadat hai na.Acha khana kha ker tabiat tou kharab honi hee thi.'
Their fight continued as they went down the stairs for breakfast.The other five members of the family were already seated and had started eating.They looked up as Shaan and Khanak entered, shook their heads and smiled at the usual sight of them engaged in verbal sparring.How they got energy for it this early in the day while the rest were still orienting themselves, no one knew.
'Beta aaj tum dono ko itni der kyun ho gai?Khanak tum tou her roz jaldi aa jati ho' Daadi interrupted their spat gently.
'Ji daadi bas woh tabiat thodi si kharab ho gai thi'
'Kyun beta, kya hua?'
'Woh kal bahar ka khana kha liya tha na tou shayad iss liye ultee ho gai.'
'Haan aur agar yeh tumhari woh 'phillum' hoti tou tum maa banne wali hoti' Shaan teased Khanak which instantly made her fire up in defence of her beloved films while Daadi and Madhavi looked up instantly with mingled expressions of surprise and hope.Even Khushboo seemed interested but Shaan and Khanak had started arguing again and did not see their looks.
A week had passed since that day and Khanak had been waking up queasy every morning.The smell of food cooking or frying made her nauseous and so she couldn't even spend much time in the kitchen.
'Agar yeh tumhari phillum hoti tou tum maa banne wali hoti...' Shaan's teasing words came back to her as she sat staring into space in their bedroom.
'Kya yeh sach ho sakta hai?Kya mein waqai mein...?' She wondered whether what they showed in movies was true for real life too.She had seen lots of pregnant women in her life before but unfortunately never paid much attention, always being more interested in playing marbles with the kids or running around the village.She regretted not having paid attention to anything her mother or those pregnant women had said on the subject.Finally reaching a decision she went to Daadi's room and saw her sitting on the bed.She went and lay down on the bed, resting her head in Daadi's lap and confessed the whole to her.
Daadi could not contain her happiness.
'Shukr hai! Ab itne arsay baad ghar mein bacho ki awaaz phir se goonjay gi!'
Khanak blushed and smiled.
'Daadi abhi mujhe pakka thori pata hai.Aisay hee tabiat bhi tou kharab ho sakti hai na!'
'Chalo meray saath'said Daadi getting up from the bed.
'Lekin kahan daadi?'
'Madhavi ke paas.Mein uss se kehti hoon tumhein doctor k paas le jaaye.'
Khanak couldn't think straight.She was a mass of emotions. Happiness, longing, excitement, fear and many other indescribable emotions were warring inside her, each trying to gain the upper hand. Had Shaan not mentioned it that day, she wouldn't even have thought about it. Like any other girl she had grown up thinking she'd have kids someday but till now it had been something in the distant future. Today that far-off future had become the present. She was pregnant! They were going to become parents! Happiness won out and filled her entire being.
She turned to Madhavi, who had been steering Khanak towards the car with a protective hand on her back and smiling unrestrainedly, and gave her a hug. Madhavi hugged her back tightly. It was the first spontaneous and excessive display of emotion between the two. No words were needed as they drew away and grinned at each other.
Madhavi blinked back the tears from her eyes and quickly admonished Khanak.
'Ab bahar khari raho gi ya car mein betho gi? Ghar ja ker sab ko batana bhi hai! Sab kitna khush hongay na.Sunil will be so happy. Aur Shaan!'
She smiled again as she thought of her younger son, so very close to her heart. He was going to become a father now but she could still remember the day she had held him in her arms for the first time.
'Khanak tumhe pata hai, jab Shaan paida hua tha hum sab kitne khush thay? Waise tou we all thought ke Akshay ke baad ab humari beti hogi aur hum ne uss ka naam bhi soch liya tha lekin Shaan ko dekhtay hee beti k khwab bhaag gaey thay. Shaan aisa hee hai. Sab uss se pyaar karne par majboor ho jatay hain...'
Khanak grinned.Relly now?she thought.
'Jab Shaan ek saal ka tha tou uss ne....'
Madhavi started telling Khanak all about Shaan's childhood and Khanak listened with a faint smile on her lips and various emotions in her eyes. She had heard most of these stories from Daadi but hearing them from Madhavi leant them a different importance altogether.
Madhavi and Khanak glanced at each other across the dinner table. They had decided to break news when the family was together at dinner.Daadi was the only person apart from them who knew.
'Everyone, listen! Mujhe aap sab ko kuch batana hai!'
'Haan Madhavi bolo na.Iss mein poochne ki kya baat hai?'
'Sunil mein pooch nahi rahi thi mein-'
'Mom, boliye na.Aap kya keh rahi theen?' Akshay interrupted Madhavi.
'Haan woh mein yeh keh rahi thi k mein aur Khanak aaj doctor k paas gaye thay.'
Everyone stopped eating and looked up at her statement, worry evident on their faces.Shaan turned to Khanak.
'Doctor k paas?Kya hua?Khanak tum ne mujhe bataya kyun nahi?Tumhari tabiyat kharab thee tou mein tumhe le chalta!Tum theek tou ho na?Doctor ne kya kaha?!'
'Shaan!Wait beta.Itne hyper kyun ho rahe ho?Mein bata rahi hoon na.Actually....Khanak pregnant hai!'
Surprised smiles broke out on everyones faces.
'Kya?Waqai mein?Aaj tou hum sab k liye bahut khushi ka din hai!' Sunil said happily as he got up and put his hand on Khanak's head.
'Pregnant?! Congrats chote! Congratulations Khanak!'
'You guys! Hamaray ghar mein chota sa bacha aye ga? Wow!I'm SO happy!'
Everyone started speaking and congratulating each other at once.Everyone that is except Shaan.He tried to speak but no words came out.Pregnant! Khanak was going to become a mother which meant he was going to be a father.A father?!Was he old enough to be a father?Were they even ready to be parents?There were so many things he needed to do in life and this was a major step. A huge change.
'Khanak tum..mera matlab hai hum..yaani ke hum dono..'
Shaan was struggling with words.He was a bundle of doubt, fear and incredulousness.But through it all something else was threatening to escape.
He looked deep into Khanak's eyes and saw them lit with joy, saw her glowing face and knew that this was the time to rejoice. This was her time. THEIR time. This was one of those moments in their lives that they would revisit time and time again. And so he locked up all his uncertainties for the moment and hugged Khanak. She clung to him as tears escaped her eyes.
Everyone else got up from the table and left them alone. They could congratulate and tease them later. For now they were in their own world, isolated and together.