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Ch21: My Fair Lady
He hovered over her like a shadow in the night and leaned down to take her lips in deep kiss blocking out the moon and stars. She meshed her fingers in his thick hair and held him to her as he deepened the kiss, her other hand digging her nails on his back. They broke apart when breathing became a necessity. She closed her eyes in ecstasy as he ran his stubble covered chin over her face and neck living a trail of whisker marks on her dark skin. She stretched like a bow string to offer more access to him. He hissed her name ,"Meethu." She murmured softly,"hmm.."
Dutta smiled in the darkness. They lay like that for innumerable minutes. Under the canopy of stars bathed in silver moonlight in a secluded part of the terrace where the uplifted dais of the water tank provided them complete privacy. He had dragged out the bed sheet and coverlet to make a cozy nest for their lovemaking. "Toh…kaisa laga mera sirdard aur gussa theek karne ka illaaz?" He grinned mischievously. She harrumphed,"Huh! Badey aaye doctor saab banney! Aap to 420 ho. Mujhe bewakhoof banaya, mere saath badmashi ki. Bholibhaali hoona, isliye!" "Accha? Bholibhali? Toh mujhe zor zor se kaun pukar raha tha? " he tickled her cheeks with his stubble. She pushed him away lightly,"Shhh..Chup koi sunn lega." Dutta stopped as he saw worry of being caught in her eyes and whispered,"I am so madly deeply, irrevocably into you…From the first moment I saw you." She stopped fidgeting and looked up in his eyes,"Paheli mulakat?" Dutta nodded,"Jab tujhe chor samajh kar tera haath marora tha, tab kya pata tha tu mera dil chura legi?" He laid back beside her as she pillowed her head on his chest listening to him,"Tab nahi samajh paya tha ki mujhe tujhse pyar ho gaya hai..aapne gussey mein itna mashroof tha…par teri har baat ne us din mere dil mein ghar kar li thi..teri badi badi badami aankhen..unmein chalaktey wo do badey badey aanso…Tere muh se nikali wo halki si aah.."
Nakkusha interrupted him,"Meri behti naak…Chiken pox ke sukhtey daag…lal ribbon ki do chottiyan..aur wo badey badey mickey mouse print walla baby frock. Unssey bhi pyar ho gaya tha?" Dutta jerked up forgetting the shade above and banged his head on the wall in hurry,"Awoo!" Nakkusha hissed at the sound of his head banging and immediately reached up to rub the spot at the back of his head. Dutta looked at her blinking his eyes in confusion,"Kya kaha? Chootiyan? Baby frock? Matlab?" She got up carefully covering herself modestly and giving him a chiding look,"aapne hi kaha ki aapko humari paheli mulaqat mein pyar ho gaya tha so maine socha puch loon ki mere frock se aur do chottiyon se aur behti naak se bhi pyaar hua tha kya?" Dutta glared at her laying back with his head on his hand,"Tu kya bol rahi hai..mere paaley nahi pardh raha." She laughed,"Lo !aapko to humari paheli mulaqat yaad bhi nahi. Aur chale hai paheli nazar mein pyar karne! Agar aapki inhi chikrichupri baaton mein in shaheron ki ladkiya fisalti hai to phir to bechaari bahut bewakoof hai." Dutta pulled her back down on his chest and held her neck in a tight clasp and warned her darkly,"Nakku?" She reached to his ear and whispered as if sharing a secret,"Hum jab paheli baar milley the..tab maine mera purana dancing baby frock pahena tha…aur aapne apna Bermuda aur bandi…main tab chicken pox se theek ho rahi thi aur aapko badi badi ghamoriyan huyi thi. Kuch yaad aaya?" Dutta shook his head frowning at her. She bit her lips and said softly," tab aap tai ke ghar garami ki chutiyon mein aaye the aap yahi koi 15-16 ke hongey aur main 8 saal ki thi. Main didi ke makeup box se sindoor lene aayi thi painting ke liye lal rang bananey aur aapne mujhe tab bhi chor samajh ka mera haath marora tha."
Dutta broke into a laugh as he recalled the incident,"Wo bandariya t uthi? Mujhe kaat ke bhagi thi na tu?" nakku nodded,"Dibbi ki sindoor aapke muh par urail ke aapka haath kaat kar bhag gayi thi…aap bhi kuch kaam sardu nahi the…itni si bacchi ka haath koi aise zor se marorta hai..raat bhar dard hua tha. Pata hai kitna royi thi main?"
Dutta picked her left hand and placed a kiss on it looking in her eyes,"Sorry!" She smiled,"Ulta nahi seedha haath marora tha." Dutta picked her right arm and kissed the wrist,"Sorry?" She looked away shyly,"Ok." Dutta cleared his throat,"Waise tune mujhe bhi bahut zor se kaata tha,haan!" She picked his hand and kissed it,"Sorry?" Dutta smiled- ab mujhe kaise pata hota ki wo bandariya badi hoke meri meethu nikalegi? She sighed,"hmm..par mujhe to malloom tha." Dutta raised his eyebrows,"kya?" Nakkusha looked at the moon,"yahi ki wo bada sa ariyal sa ladka bada hoke bhi hari sardu rahega." Dutta- accha abhi batata hoon tujhe. He tickled and kissed her mercilessly till she begged him to stop.
That night was just the beginning of the Patils being sucked into the whorl of social niceties as wedded couple. The invites for dinners and small lunches on weekends poured in like flood in fields. Nakkusha was drowned with social whirlwind of her husband's high flying life style. The corporate hospital chains he worked for and various research institutes he was involved with honored them in their events. She floundered most of the time and was scared of missing her tentative footing into the fast world that her husband inhibited.
Dutta sipped his drink and looked around the crowded room trying to spot her. It was her first party in town as his hostess to celebrate their wedding. He spotted her immediately in the crowd, moving gracefully from group to group smiling shyly providing a refill, pushing them towards the buffet table, enquiring about their families. His friends said he had changed after his wedding. He was more calm and happy, more relaxed. But he knew that a change has come over his shy little wildcat. She was opening up a little at a time. Her confidence was building up. He wished she could see things as he did. Thinking about how she had felt her whole life that there was nothing in her that stood out in crowd, that she was forgettable and ordinary, he wished she could realize what he had realized long time ago. That she was special. She was special in a different way. It was not looks or some superficial acquired quality. It was something that was within her, her innocence combined with genuineness. She hesitated before speaking in public, stuttering and stumbling with her words a little but when she began she presented her views in such a simple and unique manner that left people spellbound. She lacked the polish of higher education yet her awareness about the world around her made her good company and admirable opponent in debates. And the best part of her charm was that she was unassumingly unaware of her own charm. She had this enchantingly embarrassed expression on her face when she finished felling people with her wit that just pierced your heart and leaves you mesmerized.
Now days Dutta walked into a room holding her hand and felt a surge of Neanderthal pride in being with her. After that disc incident Jassi and Shonali were very friendly with Nakkusha taking her out for shopping trips and there girl days out. Nakkusha was in the beginning apprehensive about going out without Dutta to guide her, had gradually began to enjoy their company. Dutta's collegues' wives too had taken a liking for the unassuming young girl who smiled shyly and stole coveted glances at her husband before speaking in groups. They found her reverence to her husband enchanting.
Leelwati made her way beside him and gave him a wide grin looking like a proud mother. Leelawati nodded,"Chann waiwastha keli na, nakku ne? Sara intezaam bahut acchey se kiya hai,bahu ne.Party is a hit." Dutta smiled and put his arm around her portly shoulders,"Sirf Nakku ne tai? Aur aapne?" Leelawati waved a hand,"arey nahi,tillu. Ye kamyabi Sirf nakku ki hai. Haan, paheli baar kar rahi hai to thoda direction aur guidance ki jarurat to padegi na bacchi ko. Par ussne sab jaldi sheek liya. Hoshiyaar bacchi hai. Kalawati ne accha sikhaya hai usse management..par kala khud kuch to manage nahi kar paati. Ye kamal kaise kar diya?" Dutta laughed,"Tai? Aap bhi naa! To aapko Mrs.Dutta Patil ne finally impress kiya." Leelawati's smile faded and she turned towards him with a serious look in her eyes,"Dutta, mujhe kabhi nakku pe koi shaq nahi tha…halat aur uske saath nakku kaise pesh aati hai uski ghabrahat thi. Itni pyaari si bacchi hai..bachpann se dekha hai maine bhi usse, har baar kala ke ghar jaun to nakku ko dekhe bina kaise reh sakti hoon..main jaanti thi ki usmein koi khot nahi hai..isliye usse koi chot pahuchey ye nahi chahti thi…par haan,bacchi ne sambhal liya hai..aur ab mujhe yakeen ho chala hai ki sab theek hoga..perfect hoga..Bhagwaan tum dono ko safal aur sukhi jeevan dengey." She caressed his hair lovingly and frowned at his glass. Dutta looked down and flushed,"Bas yahi ek peg liya hai tai..aur nahi lunga." She nodded as Nakkusha came beside them looking pale and harried,"Tai..wo….wo..lagta hai navratan pulau kum padega..ab kya karoon?" Leelawati turned to her with a serene face,"Pahele to yun darr se kaapna band karo…koi bhi party mein khana hamesha thoda extra arrange kar lena chahiye…pahele thoda jayada banwa lo aur kuch raw material bhi handy rakho takki jarurat banana pe kuch bann sakey…chalo caterer se baat kartey hai ki wo kitni der mein bana saktey hai extra rice." Nakkusha heard her as if making mental note of each word uttered and nodded,"Haan….aapke kehne ke hisaab se maine sab saaman extra maangwaya to tha." Dutta couldn't help but stealthly run his finger at her delicate little back where sari exposed her golden skin. She swatted his hand off irritated at him and glared back. He gave her a sizzling smile and a wink. Nakkusha turned to leelawati,"Tai, sab inki galati hai. Inhe party ke baad khub daatiyega. Kitni baar inke picchey guest list leke ghumi ki ek baar check kar lijiye..aap jinhe bulane waale hai unka naam bata dijiye..Tab mujhe aise gurtey the aur zor se daatey bhi the..Nakku mujhe koi kaamdhanda nahi hai kya…ab dekho kitne logo ko bula liya hai?" Dutta smiled,"Arey mehmaan bhagwaan hota hai na? Ab kya karey humare culture mein hi kuch jayada bhagwaan hai..aur unkey sab avatar bhi." Leelawati stopped nakkusha from giving him a set down and pulled her towards the kitchen but before leaving nakku turned back and gave him her squint eyed angry look that made him grin.
"Aur Dr. Patil…how is the research with Glasgow Medical team going?" Dutta turned towards his senior Dr.Ravi Deshmukh's voice. Dutta inclined his head a little, "It's making steady progress, Sir. We are very close to nailing the discharge issue of modern day electronic pacemakers." Dr. Deshmukh- so you will be flying to Budapest soon. Is Mrs.Patil accompanying you? Dutta hesitated-Actually, I don't think that's possible. Dr.Rohini Singh chirped in- Oh, that would be so nice Dutta. I know you couldn't take her for a honeymoon and it has been 2 months since the wedding. You can treat this as nice paid honeymoon trip. Dutta looked at her feeling color creeping in-Well, I had not thought of it like that. The thing is that it's going to be a total medical circus, you know. With the conferences, seminars and practical presentations. She might not be Ok with it all..I mean she will get bored as I would be so busy all the time. She has never been anywhere much and Budapest is so different. He shrugged and went on-And then there is the other thing about her passport not being ready. And I will be flying soon in about 2-3 weeks. So..As he trailed away he saw Nakkusha coming out of the side where the party hall's kitchen where situated. She smiled at a group and moved towards a lone guest who was looking very quiet. She talked softly to him and drew him in conversation with a group and looked around biting her lips, checking things out.
Dr.Deshmukh's wife Nimita smiled following his gaze- Dutta saab,agar aap apni patni ko yahan chood jayengey to aap wahan kaam mein dhyan laganey se rahey. Actually, rohini ne sahi kaha. Honeymoon to banta hai. Ab haan aap Doctors ki life aisi hoti hai ki your spouses are always at loss..par work aur play to mix hota hai. Now see conferences ke baad evening dinners etc to rehtey hai…aur when other people will be presenting papers aap aapni patni ke saath thoda waqt beeta saktey hai..its all about handling it. Hai na,Honey? She looked at her husband. He nodded-absolutely, tum apne pahele honeymoon mein nahi jaa paa rahey Patil aur main nimmi ji ko second honeymoon lejane ka soch raha hoon. Rajasthan ke kissi Raja ki surgery ke liye bulaya hai Jaipur. Soch raha hoon biwi ko jara Pink city dikha doon. Aur passport ka kya hai..chor uchako ke bann jaatey hai..to tumhari shareef si pyari si biwi kyun nahi? Dutta laughed and sipped his drink thoughtfully.
"Kanhaji ka lakh lakh shukar hai, tai, ki sab theek se ho gaya. Mere to gale ka paani such gaya tha jab bawarchi ne kaha ki chawal kum padega. Aur phir wo Dr.Basu ji ki patni ki silk saree par kissi ke haatho wo lal drink gir gaya. Bechari ka to mood kharab ho gaya tha." Nakkusha was rubbing balm on Leelawati's aching ankles after the tiresome day. Leelawati looked at girl sitting on the floor beside her and smiled,"Par phir tune aapni naani ke nuskhey se sab theek kar diya na?" Nakkusha giggled- Maine to andhere mein teer chalaya tha. nIshaney pe lag gaya. Leelawati laughed and caressed her lightly,"Ab main theek hoon beta. Jaa tub hi aaram kar. Ek haaftey se is party ke chakkar mein tu bhi relax nahi kar payi na? God,main bhul hi gayi thi ki kitna mushkil hota hai. wo party planner to sab party ek jaisa hi arrange karta hai. Tera khud sab arrange karne ka idea achcha tha."
Nakkusha shyly looked down rubbing the sore ankles tenderly- wo mujhe Madhudidi ne phone pe idea diya tha. Unhone kaha Party khud arrange kar wo personal touch rahega. Impression banega. Mujhe to kuch samjha hi nahi..isliye aapko takleef di. Leelawati looked at her amused- ismein takleef kya hai? humare time pe bhi hum khud sab kartey the. Mujhe to bahut passand tha ye sab karna. Phir dheere dheere sab kaise badal sa gaya na. insab baton ke bare mein socha bhi nahi..Aai-baba ke baad tere bade jijaji se alag ho gayi phir unke jaane ke baad…aapne kaam mein musruf ho gayi..achcha laga beta, bahut dinno baad dil se khushi maanane ka mann huya..loggo ko bulana..khatidaari karne mein aapna pan sa laga..Event manager ki arranged party mein to mezbann bhi mehmaan ho jata hai.
Nakkusha looked at leelatai doubtfully- Par tai, sab ko accha to laga hoga na. koi ye to nahi kahega na ki Party bahut..wo kya kehtey hai…downmarket thi? Leelawati shook her head- kissi ki himmat hai jo leelawati ke bahu ki party ko aisa kahe? Ek baat sun nakku, sunna duniya bhar ki…par karna sirf aapni. Logon ko na aapne se dur dhakelna..na itne kareeb aane dena ki unki baton se dard ho. Badey shahero ki ye jo society hai na iske yaadasht bahut kamjor hoti hai. Ye kissi ka bura waqt bhi jaldi bhul jaati hai aur accha waqt bhi. Mujhe maloom hai ki tumhare wahan pura ganj ek bada parivaar tha. Kiske ghar mein kheer pakk rahi hai yahan tak ki khabar hoti thi sabko.aur to aur kheer pe ubal chadha nahi ki log meva leke hazzir ho jate the hai na? Nakkusha nodded shyly. Leelawati looked at the still bouquets arranged around the room- shaher mein pados ke ghar mein koi akela mar bhi jaye to log police ko khabar kartey hai ki waha se badbu aa rahi hai. puri duniya ki khabar hoti hai logon ko..ye bhi pata hota hai ki America ke rashtrapati bhavan mein kya chal raha hai..par aapne hi ghar ke kissi kamre mein parivar ka koi sadsya ro raha hai iski khabar nahi hoti. Keep your innocenece beta, but develop a thick skin against the social mongers. That's the trick! Cha lab jaa soo jaa.
Nakkusha nodded and reached behind to take off the kundan set that leelawati had given her to wear with her peach designer saree- Ye rakh lijiye. Leelawati stopped her- aarr…Hey kai kartos? Kya kar rahi hai. ye meri taraf se bhet hai pagali. Ab ye sab paheney ki meri umar kaha? Aur phir mera tum dono ke alawa kaun hai.
Dutta came in striding casually with his hands in pocket- haan haan nakku ji. Aapki to chandi hi chandi hai. saasu ma ka sab aapka..Kalatai ka sab aapka..leelatai ka sab aapka..aur to aur mujh garib ka bhi sab aapka. Humara kya hai?
Leelawati frowned at him-Tillu? Dutta scratched the back of his head- Wo tai main to bas…Nakkusha gave him a smug look- aur daato inhe tai. Jab dekho tab mujhe chedtey hain, aapke tillu baba. Leelawati got up shaking her head- dekho tum baccho ke beech pardne kin a to meri umar hai na energy main sone jaa rahi hoon. Good night. Dutta and nakku mumbled their greetings back.
Nakkusha got up and sat down on the couch wearily once leelatai went away. She sighed and wriggled her toes and slowly took off the heavy jewelry ignoring his hawk like gaze on her. He moved towards her and slipped infront of her to the floor. Slowly picking up her one foot on his lap he rubbed the ball of her ankle making her gasp. "Ye kya kar rahe hai? chee! Chodiye naa. Mere pao ko mat haath lagao. Suniye naa!" Dutta looked up to her making her go quiet with his fiery gaze,"Shhh…You must be so damn tired naa? Runing around arranging everything single handedly with no help from your lout of a husband,huh?" She leaned towards him pushing the lock of hair falling over his forehead. He needed a hair cut soon she thought, making a note mentally to mention it on next weekend. Nakkusha shook her head,"mere pati ko kitna kaam hota hai..pata hai videsh ke badey badey doctor ke saath raat raat bhar meeting kartey hai computer par. Kitne moti moti kitaabein pardhtey hai. Din mein Office ka kaam itne saare patients,operations..phir raat ko research ka kaam…wo bhi kitna thak jaatey hai!"
Dutta laid his head on her lap as she ran her fingers on his forehead slowly rubbing the tightness on the nerves,"Thakk jata tha, meethu. Meri zindagi mein tere aane se pahele thak jata tha..ab jabhi thakawat mehsoos hoti hai..tab tujhe dekhta hoon..sukoon mill jata hai…raat ko jab research papers tayyar kartey kartey aankhon mein dard ho jata hai..tab chup chap tujhe chain se sotey dekhta hoon…teri neend mein wo halki si hasi..haathon ko gaal ke nichey bachon ki tarah dabba ke sona..meri puri frustration gayab kar deta hai." He looked up and caressed her cheek with a finger,"I was the proudest man today in that room, you know? And the most tranquil." He looked at his hand which was resting on her cheek,"Jaanti hai main kalatai ke ghar kyun gaya tha itni lambi chutti pe?" She shook her head,"Kyunki main itna thak chukka tha ki main anjaane mein aapne kaam se daga kar baitha tha. I was in a very bad place nakku…and I needed out. And it seemed the best plan. Normally main doston ke saath kahin chala jata hoon..trek pe…adventure sports pe Goa,Shimla…ya india ke bahar kahin..dubai etc..but us waqt mujhe Duniya se bhaagne ka mann tha…And now I know why..because my therapy and peace was there. You were there. I need to go to a conference in few weeks. Videsh mein hai…Hungary mein two weeks ka conference hai. " Nakkusha frowned,"Kahan?" Dutta- european country hai, Hungary. Wahan ke capital Budapest mein Doctors ki International meet hai. wahi humara ye research paper present hoga. Wo maine bataya than a Glasgow ki doctor ke team…Wo bhi ayegi. Nakkusha looked at him as tears pooled in her eys-do haftey..aap do haaftey ke liye itne dur chaley jaoge? Main yahan akele rahungi?She sniffed and wiped her tears- main bhi pagal hoon. Akeli kahan tai hai na..mary bhi hai..sab hai…aur phir aap to kaam se jaa rahe ho…Shaadi ke pahele bhi to 6 mahine alag the..phir ye do haaftey to yun nikal jayenge,hai na? She looked at him with gloomy eyes with unshed tears pooling in them. Dutta- nahi beetengey, mere liye nahi beetengey….Do haaftey kya do din nahi beetenge tere bina. Maine kaha na tujhe ki tu ab meri jarurat ban gayi hai mere mann ka chain bann gayi hai…aur main aapna chain yahan chod ke kaam pe concentrate nahi kar sakta..isliye, tub hi mere saath aa rahi hai, budapest. Samjhi?
The look of pensiveness turned to open expression of horror in her eyes as she shook her head in denial.
...To be continued.
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Superb update shilpi…
Wow the in-house doc doing marvellous things….
So happy to c nakku managing all alone with guidance from leela thi n happy to c that she too happy with her how she is learning them fast..!!
Dutta the proud hubby with collars up!!
Wow now the honeymoon is on the cards…
Yeeehhh we will c more romance with Tasha in the coming epis *c for wah me dancing for ]
Thanks shilpi or yet another wonderful update n waiting eagerly for the next part…
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