Thank you all for being extremely generous,... I am flattered.. Here's Part 3
The next morning Aham
checked his schedule and moved his appointments. He left for a meeting and
decided to go home immediately after. When he reached home, he saw Gopi in the
kitchen trying to finish her chores. Kokila spots Aham and asks him "Did you
need anything dikra?" Both Aham and Gopi look up to see her, Gopi realizes Aham
was there as well. Aham looks at his
mother and says "Mom, had a meeting around here and I had a slight headache so
decided to come home and rest for awhile." Hearing that Kokila looks at Gopi and say"
Gopi bahu , please make Aham some strong coffee and take it up to your room."
"Ji Maaji "Gopi replied
nodding and got back to the task at hand.
Aham, meanwhile, was
waiting in his room, for Gopi to show up with the coffee. He heard a soft knock
about 5 minutes later, the door opened and Gopi walked in. She left the coffee
on the table and turned to walk away.
Aham saw this, was
annoyed, and said "Gopi, we need to discuss a few things before we meet the lawyer,
so how about we go out after lunch today?"
Gopi looked at him, took a
moment before she replied slowly, "I have my lessons scheduled after lunch and
I do not wish to cancel them, could we... possibly go in the evening?" she looked at him
anxiously, "I could finish my chores sooner "She was waiting for his response,
there was an uncomfortable silence.
Aham finally said, "Ok,
let's go out in the evening, I will let Mom know." She nodded turned and walked
away. Aham tells his Mom that he and Gopi were going out later this evening,
Kokila, though surprised, was happy. She assigns Rashi the responsibility to
fix dinner that evening and asks Gopi to leave everything to Rashi and Mani.
By evening Gopi finishes
her chores and is ready to leave of her room, she hears a knock and turns
around to find Aham standing in the doorway to ask if she was ready to go. She nods and they head out together. Both of
them aware, of the impression they were creating by going out together.
Aham took Gopi to a
restaurant and immediately regretted the idea because it was crowded and Gopi
would not be comfortable, he wanted privacy and wanted her to be at ease. Gopi,
sensing his discomfort, said "We should probably go to quieter place, it's too
noisy here." Aham thanked her silently and took her to a park.
Once, they reached the
destination, Aham got straight to the point, which had been troubling him all
night yesterday and all day today. "I got the contract examined by my lawyer
and he thinks it is pretty straight forward, but there a few things I need to
understand and certain things we need to agree upon before we go ahead", saying
this he looked at Gopi, who was listening to him attentively.
"Until the divorce has
gone thru, we will need to behave as a couple in public and for the sake of the
family'" Gopi nodded and he continued, "'this includes all the social and
religious functions, family gatherings etc." He paused and said "'this also
means us having to putting up with each other, in one room. " She was shocked
but he went on "just for the sake of appearances."
He paused to look for a
reaction from her and she continued to listen in silence, "The settlement of
the divorce, the alimony and the maintenance, will be at my discretion" ...
Gopi was getting uncomfortable "and you will have no say in that"
Gopi flared up, she
retorted, "I have made it clear in the contract and have told you personally, I
will take with me whatever is mine and what was given to me at my wedding by my
family, and this is not up for negotiation."
"Let me be the judge of
that", Aham stated as a matter of fact.
Gopi was annoyed; Aham asked sarcastically, "what is it exactly that you
intend to do after six months, how do you plan to survive, without any support?
What are your plans, do tell"
Gopi was quiet for a bit
and then replied slowly, "I have been taking home lessons for almost 5 weeks
now, Papaji wants me to get basic
functional knowledge of computers, so I am going to enroll myself in course
which will start in about a week from now. Once I begin to understand things, I
shall be in a better circumstance to figure out what I really want to do. I do
not want your pity or your money and I do not want the sudden show of concern";
with that last statement she stunned him.
Aham was taken aback, he looked
at her in stunned silence and said "I do not mean to undermine you; I am
pleasantly surprised at your initiative and wish you all the success. I would
be the happiest to see that your talents are being put to better use. Having said that, I am adamant about the
settlement being at my discretion" and before Gopi could object he added "and
we shall try to cross the bridge when we get there" in all finality.
It was getting dark; Aham
asked if she wanted to discuss anything else and when she replied in the
negative, they decided to head home. Aham on the way back told Gopi that he had
a busy schedule for the next couple of days but he would try and make a slot
for the lawyer.
The first thing they did
when they got back home was to move Gopi's stuff back into their room. Gopi
though a little apprehensive was adamant about getting thru it unscathed. For both of them, a certain sense of relief
set in, something which could likened to a liberation, a new sense of calm had
descended. Gopi, it seemed had moved up a few notches in Aham's value chain. An
unusual camaraderie had set in and it had never happened the entire time she
was pining for him. A daybed made way into the room later that night and they
were all set to play and fool the world, for the next six months.
******************End of Part 3 **************************
Edited by angelirebelli - 14 May 2011 at 7:38am