Joined: 01 January 2009
Joined: 01 January 2009
As you all know, Pavitra Rishta Reloaded has completed 150 pages, and has come to the point that I have to make a new thread for it. So readers of PR Reloaded- this is our new home.
For those who are new to this FF- welcome! As you must have understood by the summary above- the characters of this FF and the setting is quite the SAME as Pavitra Rishta the serial, with a few changes. The graph of the story and the initial few twists are also the same. Rest EVERYTHING is different.
I started this FF in February last year when I came to know that Manav was going to put Sindoor on Shravani. It disgusted me and somewhere I felt that from here on, the serial would go downhill. And so, for the sake of my own sanity, to keep my favourite characters alive, and as a punching bag I had started this FF.
I had not expected at that time that I would get such support and appreciation that this FF would cease to be my punching bag and instead become the most important part of my online life. Now it is perhaps the most important reason I still come to IF. The credit goes to all of the readers who have showered appreciation and encouraged me time and again. Thanks a lot!
A special shoutout to all the people who contributed to this FF- TB, through the lovely banners, Taz and Nisha- by providing technical help when required, and also many many thanks to the wonderful members of the forum for the discussions as well as for their comments on the different parts of this FF.
Hope to receive the same support always. Thankyou all very much!
Joined: 16 May 2011
Joined: 01 January 2009
Joined: 16 May 2011
Joined: 01 January 2009
Joined: 08 June 2010
Joined: 01 January 2009
Subpart one: Farewell
Sometimes mirrors lie so well!!!
She stared at the mirror- analyzing herself. Hmm.. the pleats in her purple silk sari were perfect, her hair, which was half open and pinned to the back with clips, had been brushed well and shone, her lips looked perfect with the right shade of lipstick applied, the kajal had been applied carefully too- it did not look blotchy at all and her eyes did not look as swollen as she had expected them to. Her face looked radiant and beautiful as always. Yes, she thought- she was looking good.
And yet she could not understand what was lacking. Perhaps a smile? She smiled her beatific smile into the mirror- which again and again told her that she was looking as beautiful as she could, but somehow she felt it was lying to her.
She turned away from the mirror. Nothing could really satisfy her today. When the heart was disinterested, upset, then a person saw the whole world with the same glasses. In this moment, when she knew her most beloved treasure, Manav, was soon going to be someone else's.. she didn't feel good. Nothing could make her happy in front of this loss. Her conscience was upset, somehow she didn't feel beautiful.
"You are looking very beautiful Archana!" her Aai told her. Archana tried to smile. She was suddenly reminded of the fact that she was not wearing a mangalsutra- what if people questioned. She didn't know what to do since her mangalsutra had been snatched away by Savita Aai, so she wore a necklace instead, thinking that an empty neck would attract more attention. She wondered whether she should wear green bangles which are the sign of a married woman, but then finally decided against it. She was going to be divorced the next day, who cared whether she wore all this or not, she thought.
"Is Vaishali ready?" she asked.
"Nah!" said her mother, shaking her head. "She is throwing tantrums over her make-up, hair etc. Go and handle her!"
Archana pretended to laugh a little, then went to Vaishali. In her blue green silk saree with heavy gold border, Vaishali looked beautiful. She was fighting her hair with her comb.
"I'm not looking good!" she wailed. "I don't like my hair!"
"You're looking very good," Archana consoled. "I'll help you out with your hair."
Vaishali was still not happy. "I wish Varshu Tai had been here," she said wistfully. "I had never thought that she would get so tired of all of us that she wouldn't even come on my sakharpuda."
Archana felt sad too. She couldn't understand why the hell Varshu was behaving so obstinate. "Its okay na Vaishu, maybe she didn't get a leave.."
Vaishali looked surprised. "Manju vahini told na that day, she had come till Delhi and called from there, couldn't she stay for one-two days more? Come on yaar, she could have done it."
"Vaishali, it's a new job, people don't consider requests.." Archu tried to explain, brushing her hair. She caught Sulochana's face in the mirror- she looked sad and upset. "Varsha has changed now." she said in a small voice. "She didn't even volunteer to help out financially in such an important occasion." Archana and Vaishali felt bad.
A few minutes later, Archana came out into the hall. Vinod and his Baba were going through the list of arrangements to see if they had missed out anything. They turned to her. "Archana everything is okay na?"
She nodded. "Yes, thank god we could arrange for a hall at such a short notice and upgrade arrangements. Hopefully all of Tarun's guests can be accommodated and they will like the function."
Vinod heaved a sigh of relief. "All credit goes to Satish- he made one phone call and asked his friend- a wedding planner- to get us this place. He has been very helpful- he arranged for caterers too and now we have a variety on the menu rather than the limited food items we had kept on our home made menu. Even the decoration is so pretty." He said, pointing out the people arranging the flowers.
Archana tried to smile. "It won't exceed our budget na?" asked Manohar, adjusting his specs.
"A little. He is Satish's friend so we will get concession.. we will try and cover it up somewhere else. Don't worry about the finances, I'll handle it."
Archana relaxed. A few guests had already started trickling in. She went and welcomed them, spoke to them, asked them about their well-being, and felt glad when they complimented on the arrangements. From time to time, she looked around, hoping that the Deshmukh family would come. She hoped they had not taken offence at the late invitation.
Finally Tarun and his family arrived. They were welcomed in a traditional way by the Karanjkar family. Dressed in a silver grey designer sherwani, Tarun looked excited. His naughty eyes were prancing about here and there, looking about for Vaishali, thinking how she must be looking. He wasn't concerned with the arrangements or the guests and only wanted the function to start quickly, so that he could be an engaged man soon. His family on the other hand, was pleased with the arrangements, and mouthed the common dialogue- "Arey is sab ki kya zaroorat thi.."
The guests had increased in number now. The Karanjkar family attended to them and made sure that they felt welcomed and respected. In all this hullaballoo.. suddenly, Archana's attention diverted to the one person who had the power to make her heartbeats stop.
He was looking his best today. He was dressed in a black maroon kurta with a maroon stole. He seemed to have had a haircut, he had shaved properly and had a day old stubble- he looked fresh and charismatic and extremely handsome- better than any other guy in the function-Archana thought. What the heck- was it necessary for him to look so drool-worthy one day before the divorce? She could see a few of Vaishali's friends gossiping excitedly about him as he came in.
And yet something seemed lacking. The most important physical attribute of Manav which lit up his whole personality was totally missing.
And that was his smile.
As he made way to the gate of the hall, he stopped momentarily. Vinod who was welcoming guests at the gate, looked coldly at him, and silently indicated a Namaste. Feeling awkward and extremely out of place, Manav reverted back with a Namaste and entered inside. As he walked away, he suddenly heard a voice, "Aai look who is here," he turned to look.
Oh wow!- Satish
He could see Vinod's face lit up with a smile and he could see that Archana's Aai Baba were walking towards the gate now, beaming happily. Satish bent down to touch their feet, and they happily blessed him, welcomed his parents to the function. They thanked them for coming, and led them to where Tarun and his family were sitting and introduced the two families.
Tarun felt uncomfortable with this sudden encounter with Satish. He looked at where Manav was standing- and he could see Manav staring at the group with an unhappy look on his face. Manav immediately looked away when he saw Tarun had caught him staring.
"I'm sorry Manav."
Manav looked at Tarun. Tarun looked very down.
"I shouldn't have invited you to the function." He continued. "It was sick- Satish and his family got a royal welcome, and you- the eldest son in law of the house was not welcomed properly at all. This is utter humiliation man! I hate these Karanjkars from the bottom of my heart."
Manav gulped. "No use thinking about this matter. I knew I was going to get this sort of welcome only- so I didn't keep my expectations high. Keeping expectations low always helps. And anyway, Vinod was there at the gate."
"But still yaar, at least to keep me happy, they could have welcomed you properly na!" said Tarun, perturbed. "I didn't want these special arrangements they made for me and my family, I just wanted my own people to get some respect. At least they could have considered you are from the guys side.."
"Manav why are you not eating?" Archana's voice sprang up suddenly. She came in with a tray of cold drinks. "Here, and Tarun you as well.."
"No thankyou." Said Tarun in an irritated voice. Manav gave him a warning glance and picked up a glass, trying to smile. But somehow, today his smile didn't reach his eyes, Archana thought.
"I hope you liked the arrangements," she said, nervously trying to make small talk with both of them, knowing that Manav must be sad and Tarun must be irritated. Tarun didn't say anything. Manav stuck an elbow into his stomach. "Very nice." Said Tarun, in a voice which seemed to say "Very nasty."
Manav ignored him. "Very good arrangements, considering you did it in very less time." He said. Some one called Archana at that moment. "I'll just be back, please help yourselves.." she said and scuttled away.
She came back a little later to find Tarun sitting alone, blowing bubbles into the glass of cold drink with his straw. As Archana came closer, he started doing it even more loudly.
"Where did Manav go?" she asked. Tarun didn't answer.
"Tarun, please, I know you felt bad, but you cannot force someone to show false pleasure. You know my parents were not pleased about Manav coming here, they did it for you only, now you cannot force them to love him and hug him and welcome him and his whole family like.."
"Whatever!" said Tarun dismissively. Archana felt sad. "Did Manav go away cos he was upset?"
"Please tell me.. I will personally apologize.."
"Arey bola na nahi!" said Tarun irritatedly. "He has gone to the airport for some work."
"Airport?" repeated Archana in surprise. "Work?"
"You don't know?" asked Tarun in astonishment. "Shravani and Girishji are going to Bangalore today.. they are shifting to Bangalore.. he has gone to meet Girishji one last time."
Archana was shocked. Shifting? Last time? Wait, what was all this happening?
She wanted to ask more questions to Tarun, but he had already gone. She looked around here and there amongst the many guests, scanning for any of her office mates. Finally she caught one of them and asked her about any recent developments in the NGO in the last 3-4 days. (she had not attended office owing to Sakharpuda preparations.)
"Yes, we got some new sponsors and.. Sheila got ticked in front of everyone and.."
"And.." asked Archana with bated breath.
"Oh yes, and Shravani took a transfer." Exclaimed her friend. "She has shifted to Bangalore."
Archana's heart thumped with excitement. "When did this happen?"
"Just today morning. It all happened so soon and so suddenly, we were all shocked. Agreed that no one really likes her anymore, but still it is customary to give a farewell party na? Here there was no time to arrange a party, since she is leaving today evening. We just bought a cake for her and asked her to give a speech and blah blah.." said her friend.
"And.. and.. were there any rumours or any news of Shravani getting married??" asked Archana breathlessly.
Her friend looked at her as if she had gone mad. "Who told you so?" asked her friend.
"Shravani is not getting married?"
"I don't think so. And I don't think she intends to marry someone in Bangalore.. I think she and her father are shifting there, bag and baggage. She was asking us if we knew someone who wanted to buy a garage- I think her father is selling their garages."
That was the last straw. Archana stared in disbelief. Girishji had made Manav supervisor, right? He wanted Shravani to get married to him, right? Then why were they leaving town? Why were they selling the garage? Why why why?
Tarun's words rang in her ears- "He has gone to meet Girishji one last time.."
A serene, peaceful smile made its way from Archana's heart to her lips- like a ray of sunshine clearing the foggy ambience. As she figured out what this meant, for the first time after she had heard Manav and Tarun's conversation, Archana truly felt happy.
Manav paid the taxi driver and got out of the taxi at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport in Vile Parle, Mumbai. He looked here and there for a while, not knowing the rules of an airport, and wondered whether he was supposed to buy some kind of ticket to wait there. Finally he spotted the one whom he had come to meet, reflected for a while, drew in a deep breath and walked towards her.
Shravani was sitting alone on a seat, with her bags near her, waiting for her father who was getting the e-ticket from the counter, so that they could enter inside the airport and claim their boarding passes. Today she wasn't wearing the sari she had been wearing since many days, rather she was again wearing her normal clothes- a light yellow coloured churidaar salwar. Her eyes were red and her face looked pale. She had a faraway look on her face and seemed to be lost, not noticing when Manav came and slid in beside her.
He sat quietly for a while, looking at Girishji, and then said in a soft voice- "Sudden decision?"
Shravani came out of her thoughts. She looked at him in surprise- he had not talked to her in this tone for days now. Tears welled up in her eyes.
"Now please don't cry Shravani," said Manav gravely. "Your father will think I made you cry.. we are in an airport.. people are watching.."
She controlled herself, sniffing a little. After sometime she asked, "How come you.."
"You called Tarun to congratulate him for the engagement na.. then I came to know that both of you are leaving today," he said, staring at the ground.
Shravani was looking at him without blinking. "It is very sweet of you to still come to meet my father after all that happened."
Manav shrugged. "I came to meet you."
She was shocked. She looked at his face- trying to comprehend whether he was angry with her and had come to vent his frustration at her, whether he had come to tell her how much she had hurt him, or whether he had come plainly for the satisfaction of seeing her walk away from him crying. He looked at her, there was no anger or frustration in his eyes- a strange softness had taken its place.
"I came because I wanted to talk to you about some things." He continued. "When we had our first big fight- you had made a number of accuses against me- that I had always taken you for granted, that I had married Archana inspite of her being from a richer household, whereas I had rejected your genuine feelings saying you can't adjust in my family, you are more educated, that I had used you.. etc.."
Shravani lowered her head. "I'm sorry.."
"No need to be sorry." He said, unaffectedly. "These were genuine grievances. Since we both are ending this chapter of our life today, I wanted to tell you everything so that you don't think about all this anymore and move on in life."
Shravani could not say anything.
"You always felt I took you for granted, right?" he said, staring at the ground. "You always felt I came to you only for help hai na Shravani? Well you are justified if you felt so. I never wanted to take you for granted, but somehow maybe it turned out that way, cos I always asked you for help, but could never give you what YOU wanted in return. You helped me everytime, and you were always there for me, but I couldn't give you the one thing you wanted in return. Somehow it turned out to be a one way street. I'm sorry."
Shravani hung her head. "Don't embarrass me Manav," she said. "I know you asked me for help, cos you considered me your friend, nothing else."
"I shouldn't have done it." He said sadly. "I still remember how when you had asked me for marriage the first time, I had refused and asked you to end the matter. You had promised you would move on. We had stopped meeting- but then I came back into your life, cos I wanted a job for Archana in your NGO. Tarun had told me at that time- Manav don't do it, it will start the cycle all over again and Shravani will find it difficult to get over you- but I hadn't listened. Archana's life was in shambles at that time, she had no direction and somewhere I had felt at that time that this job would do good to her, and so I approached you, quite forgetting that I needed to stay away from you for your own good. If I hadn't come back in your life, who knows you might have moved on comfortably."
Shravani was silent. "Even in those days she was very important to you.."
"She was always important to me." Agreed Manav. "At that time, I didn't know I loved her, but I used to think about her a lot- her happiness, her tears, her life, her future. And I didn't know when I started considering her MY responsibility, when I started having that urge to make sure she was happy- so I came to you, asking you for help, inspite of myself having told you that we should not meet for sometime. You needed a grieving period- I didn't give you one. I'm sorry."
Shravani eyes filled up with tears again. "Manav what did I lack that you disregarded my feelings everytime and gave them scant importance?" she asked. "I did everything I could to be good to you and your family.. was I not beautiful, or educated enough or good natured or.."
"That is a question to which I have no proper answer." Said Manav. "I cannot explain what was there in Archana, that was not there in you, there is no way I can compare- you were right when you said that there were many difficulties in marriage with Archana just as if would have been with you- yet I refused your love saying you and I are not meant to be together, but married Archana- inspite of the fact that they were both one sided love marriages. Till date I have no reason why I did that- I can just say that, whatever little I knew of Archana, whatever I had seen of her- I felt she was the kind of person who would accept me the way I am with NO DEMANDS or complaints. She was the kind who would accept not only me, but also my responsibilities, my family, like she had taken over responsibilities of her family at a young age. I always knew it would be unfair of me to unload all responsibilities of a dysfunctional family on a young bride, which is why I never wanted to get married in the first place TO ANY GIRL. But Archana was different.
I don't know what exactly drew me towards her. But I can only say it was the little things she did, even though being a stranger, that made an impact. I had got used to being there for others, making others happy all the time. But she was the sort of person who actually wanted me to be happy, just cos I had helped her once or twice. I still remember, she had enquired for my garage loan, and once when I was unhappy cos of a fight with Sachin, she had come to Baba's play even though her family had not wanted to come there. She had thought it would make me happy, since I had invited her there.. who was I that she thought so much for me? No one- just a mechanic working in front of her house. But she IS like that- she thinks about everyone, she CARES about everyone. For me she was like the angels in fairy tales who try to make life sweet for everyone- she is innocent and gullible, she believed others over me, but she has a heart of gold. And so I could never hate her- not even when people pointed out her mistakes repeatedly and felt I should move on and forget her. I could never do it. I had compromised on hundreds of things in my life, but she was the only one I really, truly wanted in life- for which I was willing to fight against everything- against the fences of class and society, which I had felt made our (Shravani-Manav) match impossible, against the villains in our life, wanting to drive us against each other, against fate- I wanted to fight against everything just to be with her- she was THAT special. You never lacked anything Shravani, its just that SHE WAS A LITTLE TOO SPECIAL for me. I cannot explain it- it was just like, my love for her, and my intense desire to be with her gave me courage to weave an impossible dream and try to break all the shambles which entrapped me- which I had never ever thought of doing for your sake, which I felt would be impossible to break if I got married to you. Sometimes love can give a lot of strength- and my love for Archana gave me that strength to reach out for my dream."
Shravani was silent. "And I snatched her away from you." She said, as if in a trance. "I snatched away the one thing you truly wanted in life."
Manav nodded. "That is the only reason I cannot forgive you Shravani, ever. Archana was the only happiness I wanted, for which I fought against destiny, and you shattered all my dreams. People say it is important to look at the bigger picture, to notice how good you've been to me always, and to disregard this one mistake of yours in favour of all you and Girishji have done for me so far- but I don't want to clear my debts in this manner- by getting into unwanted relationships. I know it won't keep both you and me happy, cos the cloud will always be present between us- that unspoken fact that you betrayed me and robbed me of the biggest happiness of my life. I'm sorry, I'm no God, I can't forgive you for it, that's it. And so I know our marriage will not be a successful one at all, with a foundation so weak. People wanted me to clear my debts towards you and Girishji by agreeing to get married to you, but I wanted to clear my debts by being HONEST to you and by trying to make you MOVE ON in life." He looked at her. "And that's what I tried to do."
Tears fell on Shravani's lap, as her head remained low. For a long time she did not say anything.
"Manav," she finally asked, "If I had not broken your marriage and Archana had gone away on her own, THEN would you have married me?"
Manav thought for a while. "I don't know." He said finally. "Not immediately. Not before I had moved on.. and I don't know how much time that means.."
Shravani let out a desperate sigh at this answer. "Sh**!" she said.
Manav grew irritated. "Shravani what are you made up of haan?" he questioned her. "I have rejected you repeatedly, STILL how can you come back again and again? Shravani- you are many many steps ahead of me-financially, culturally, status-wise and education-wise- I am a NOBODY in front of you, I don't deserve someone like you, why are you WASTING your life dreaming of me? You have SO MUCH potential, SO MUCH love within you, you can be so happy in life, but instead you are throwing away the happiness you are getting.. what for?? Why don't you just MOVE ON!!!"
"Even I can ask you this question." Shot back Shravani. "You too aren't moving on, in fact you refused marriage cos of Archana."
Manav was taken aback. "It was not cos of Archana," he said. "I did it for myself."
"I can't believe that. And anyway, the point remains the same, you too aren't moving on."
"At least I'm trying." Said Manav. "I don't speak to her these days, ever since I signed the divorce papers, I haven't tried to maintain contact with her, rather I've distanced myself from her completely. I pay more attention to my family and work these days.. maybe I've not been completely successful.. but at least I'm trying.. you aren't even trying.. at least do it for your Papa Shravani, in the name of love we have no right to hurt them by subjecting ourselves to heartache.. when we make ourselves unhappy we hurt our parents the most.."
Shravani looked at her father, who was still in the line. So true. Ever since all this had started, her father had always been troubled and anxious. He had gone out of his way to support her even though he knew she was wrong, trying to overcome her mistakes by his good deeds. It had led him nowhere. What right did she have to hurt him so much? She felt ashamed to think that she had always thought so much about Manav, but not thought even a little bit about her father- in front of whom she had blatantly put forward conditions when he had tried to get her married to a good guy. In front of everyone, she had embarrassed him. Archana was much better than her, she thought. At least she didn't hurt her parents who had given birth to her, in this manner.
She wiped away a tear from her cheek, looking very thoughtful. Manav noticed it. No words were required any more.
Her father came back to her a litte while later. He noticed Manav, who stood up at once. "You.. here?" asked Girishji doubtfully, looking at Shravani's red eyes.
"I came to say goodbye," said Manav politely. "Whatever happened is unfortunate and cannot be reversed, but you have always been my mentor and guide, and I owe everything, every bit of my knowledge to you.." he bent down to touch his feet.
Girishji slowly put one hand on his head. "Don't expect me to make you Supervisor again." He said. "I know you've handled the garage well, but.. I somehow don't want the two of us to be involved in any way now.. I'm selling the garage.. you can work as a mechanic for as long as you want..
Manav nodded. Girishji averted his eyes. "Take care of everyone." He said coldly, and started wheeling the luggage.
Shravani got up. "Don't worry about him." She said. "He is upset right now cos he hadn't expected you to go against him.. he knows you are not wrong, but is fighting against it.. give him some time, he will be okay.."
Manav looked at Girishji sadly, then turned to Shravani. "Take care of yourself, and PLEASE DON'T MISS ME."
Shravani tried to laugh, then bent to hide a tear. "Listen, do you want me to tell Archana the truth?" she asked. "I can tell her that I lied about you.."
Manav considered. "Leave it now." he said dejectedly. "Its too late to go back on your words now. Tomorrow is the D-day, if you go against your words now at the last moment, she will think that I asked you to lie.. one amongst the many accusations on me is also that I supposedly tried to 'convince' people to lie for me either by money or by force."
"Leave it Shravani.." said Manav. "I know the mentality of these Karanjkars very well by now.. I have no wish to go through all of it again now.. just leave it.."
Shravani felt bad. "I'm sorry Manav.."
"Leave it now Shravani.."
"Can you ever forgive me for this.."
"Please say something.."
"Its time for your flight." He said coldly.
She nodded, lifting her hand bag from the seat. "I'll miss you." She said, leaning in for a hug. Manav was taken aback, and felt extremely uncomfortable. She stood close to him with her eyes closed, while he looked uncomfortably to see if someone was watching.. oh hell.. Girishji was looking at him with fire in his eyes.. Manav separated from Shravani. "Your Papa is waiting." He reminded.
She nodded. She turned and walked away, controlling her urge to look back at Manav. He was there, and she wanted to have one last look at him. But she remembered his talks about trying to move on, and ultimately, she didn't turn even once, and instead went and joined her father, and they walked into the airport together- with Shravani feeling more confident of herself than ever.
This is subpart one people! Subpart two coming up in a few minutes. Stay tuned. :-)
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