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Joined: 26 January 2009
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Shocks, it is said, are definitely not good for weak characters.
"Ajit stop it!" yelled Rasika Aai, as Ajit threw another bottle of liquor on the floor. She looked around worriedly and ran towards him. "Stop all this nonsense NOW!"
"How did this happen!" shouted Ajit, beside himself with anger. He paced about agitatedly. "How could Archana go back to Manav?!? I had planned everything! Everything was going according to the plan only! How could she go back to him inspite of knowing he frequents brothels!"
"Ajit, there are glass pieces on the floor, be careful!" shouted Rasika Aai. Ajit paid no heed. "How could this happen! Everything was planned! Archana's marriage with Satish broke as per plan! Archana's engagement with Varun broke as per plan! Why did this marriage not break?!?"
"AJIT!!!" shrieked Rasika Aai, pulling him away from the glass pieces. "It didn't break cos it's not the same as the last two times!" she said. "Archana said that she loved him and has gone back to him to nurse him back to health. Manav played the master stroke by his illness card."
Ajit sat down on the sofa angrily. "That girl embarrassed me in front of everyone, broke my wedding and is still leading a happy married life? I will NOT let that happen! I will do something, ANYTHING to break Archana and Manav!"
"We can do nothing now Ajit." Said Rasika in a small voice. Of late, she had started feeling scared of Ajit. He crossed all boundaries when it was something regarding Archana and Manav. His thirst for revenge had gone ahead too much. Earlier she had supported him out of spite for Archana and the Karanjkars, but now she felt Ajit was seriously crossing limits. She didn't like it that Ajit got so volatile every time. It almost seemed nowadays as if he was obsessed with them- nothing except revenge even mattered to him. It was almost as if Ajit had no life other than creating trouble for the duo- and this futile revenge she did not like.
"We can do nothing now." she said again. "Archana has accepted Manav with his past. She turned out to be one of those 'pativrata women' who tolerate every damned bull**** in the name of wifely devotion, even brothel frequenting. We can do nothing now. However much more we denigrate Manav now, it won't matter- cos Archana won't budge from her stand. Ajit, leave them alone now. The poor people have got enough punishment. Now we must concentrate on our life- you have your wedding too, and I have my election campaigning."
Ajit was still seething with anger. "For the first time someone defeated Ajit Lokhande." He said, curling his fist into a ball. "Manav defeated me. I won't tolerate it. I won't. I will show him his place!"
"Ajit, try and understand.. Manjusha.. thank goodness you are here, knock some sense into Ajit, see what he is saying."
Manjusha gestured her Aai to keep quiet. Ajit in a rage was uncontrollable.
"Ajit, Aai is right. We may try more tricks against Manav, but they won't succeed in making Archana leave Manav again. His illness card is too strong."
"We have to do something!" said Ajit.
"Why not attack from the opposite end?" suggested Manjusha. "Do something that makes Manav leave Archana? The end result is the same anyways!"
Rasika groaned. "No more now!" she said. "Leave the two fatichars to their own state! Don't both of you realize that Manav has caused enough trouble to us already? Manjusha, you've put your marriage at enough risk. And Ajit, he almost got you caught and dragged to jail once! I don't want any more trouble, especially when elections are hanging around my throat like a noose. I don't want anything to ruin my election chances right now."
"Good you reminded me." Said Ajit. "I have to take revenge for my jailing too." Manjusha too looked at her Aai. "Aai, it is not good for us if Archana goes back to Manav- if he convinces her that he was right and Ajit was wrong all this while, then people will start suspecting me too. As it is, I've come to know that Varsha is in India only- in Delhi. If he manages to contact her anytime in the future and she spills the beans about the night before the court hearing, then all will be ruined. If Vinod ever comes to know about this, then he will throw me out of the house and his life. We must do something to distance Manav from Archana in such a way that even Varsha's return, Archana's return etc cannot make a difference in their relationship. It has to be something BIG!"
Ajit looked at Manjusha suspiciously. Rasika too was curious.
"What are you thinking of doing?"
Manjusha put her hand on her mouth and giggled a little. Then she put her hand on her brother's shoulder.
"I act first, and think later." She said, grinning from ear to ear. "Don't worry Ajit, your Tai has solved your problem already."
"Aai, look who is here!" said Vaishali in a cheerful voice as she entered the bedroom with Archana.
Sulochana's face changed colour as she saw Archana. She tried to get up, but Archana asked her to lie down. She resisted, and finally Archana helped her sit.
"How have you been Archana?" cried out her mother. "Let me take a good look at you, come here! Did they scold you? Did they shout at you? Did Savita Aai hit you? Oh my god, Archu, you have no idea how worried I've been since last night!"
"I've been very well Aai." Said Archana quietly. "They took me in the house, accepted me, and treated me very civilly. You got worried for nothing."
"Nothing?" repeated Sulochana incredulously. "When there is a woman like Savita in your house, and a man like Manav who is completely hopeless, I have every reason to be worried. Now I won't let you go back." She said with a determined face.
Archana sighed. "Aai, I must go back.. we have had this discussion so many times now.. that house is now my home.."
"That house is not a home.. it is a hell.. and.." she suddenly caught hold of Archana's elbow, staring at the blue bruise on it. "Who did this?" she asked sharply. "Manav?"
Archana gulped. "It was an accident." She said. "Aai didn't mean to hurt me, I'm sure, she just wanted me out.."
"SAVITA THREW YOU OUT OF THAT HOUSE?" shrieked Sulochana. "This is the limit. And yet you want to stay with that family? I will not let that happen! Absolutely not!"
"Aai.. please calm down.. you will get an attack again."
"As if you care." Said Sulochana tearfully. "If you cared you wouldn't have behaved the way you did yesterday. You would have come back to me. You're not the same girl who cared for her mother so much that she kept an asthma pump with her at all times. You are not the one who sacrificed everything for your ailing mother."
Archana hung her head. "Aai, I have to balance both sides now.. and I'm trying to do it to the best of my ability. I know you want me here with you, but Manav needs me too.."
"And you care only for him.." finished Aai.
"Aai, why are you being so difficult? There are so many people to look after you here, I cannot stay here.. I have to go back and.."
"Here's the medicine!" said Vaishali triumphantly, butting in suddenly in the conversation, handing her mother a glass of water. "Tai come outside for a second." She said.
Archana nodded. She went outside, and Vaishali followed her outside. "There's no use reasoning with Aai." She said shortly. "Just do what you want now. That is what Varsha did, that is what I did when I wanted to get my way. You will have to do it too."
Archana looked at her Aai with sadness in her eyes. "I guess I should accept the fact that this family will never accept my sasural. I just hope that if things cannot improve, at least they don't worsen."
Alas! The prayer came a bit too late
Manav rested his head against the iron bars of prison. His bruised cheek hurt, but he ignored it. He was too angry at the moment to pay attention to his pain. Again and again, the humiliating scene replayed in his mind- when the whole family had been arrested in the morning on grounds of dowry harassment and domestic abuse, and dragged from the chawl to the police station with all the neighbours watching them.
He looked at the female lock up through the bars, where his Aai was lying down unconsciousness. The female constable had thrashed her mercilessly. He had begged and gone hoarse shouting not to hit her, but the police officials had not paid attention. They had gone on record taunting the Deshmukh family. "Will you take dowry now?" they had asked, pulling Manav's head by the hair. "Will you beat your daughter in law now?" they had asked Savita Aai, who only cried in return and begged them to stop.
He looked outside the bars. Vedant and Vandita were sitting on a bench, and Vandita was crying. Thank goodness they were children (under 18) and had therefore not been arrested. But it must have been difficult for them to see their mother being hit by lathis, and their brother slapped and abused. He looked at Damodar. He had been zonked up when he had been brought to the police station, and had blabbered nonsense, infuriating the policemen more. At least he had not been hit so much, thought Manav. Now he was resting on the bars of the prison, slowly getting back to his senses. "Archana cannot do the complaint." He was muttering. "She cannot do it."
Yes, thought Manav, she could not do it. She could never throw him in jail, knowing what his condition was at the moment. She was too soft hearted to behave like that even with an enemy. And anyway, she was too gutless to ever attempt something as bold as making a police complaint on charges of harassment, he thought sarcastically. Nah! A sheep like her could not do it. It had to be someone else. He could see Vedant talking to the police inspector, folding hands and requesting him, while the inspector barked at him to get lost, and Vandita silently wept in a corner, holding the bottle of water she had brought from somewhere for her Aai. Finally, he saw Vedant hurrying over to the cell to talk to him.
"Dada are you okay?" he asked with concern.
Manav nodded. "Give water to Aai." He said. Vandita ran to Aai and helped her get up. Vedant turned to Manav. "Dada what should I do? How do I get all of you out of here?"
"Call Tarun and ask him to come here quickly."
"Tarun Dada went to New York yesterday, forgotten or what?"
Manav cursed under his breath. Of course, he had talked to Tarun before he left for New York the previous day. He hadn't known that within 24 hours of his departure he would be missing him already. "Call Uncle Aunty then.. no wait.. call Sachin.."
Vedant groaned. "Dada we don't know Sachin Dada's whereabouts- I will check out at the hotel where we met him last time, but I don't suppose he will be there now. He must have gotten married to Sweety and honeymooning abroad right now."
Manav thought hard. He looked at his Aai who was regaining consciousness. "What have we done to Archana to go through all this.." she was mumbling to herself. Vandita hugged her and both of them cried their heart out.
"Vedant, did you talk to the Inspector? Who made the complaint?"
"Manjusha Karanjkar" Said Vedant promptly.
"I knew it!" said Manav, banging his hand on the iron bars. "Archana couldn't have made the complaint herself, HER FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE DONE IT! Vinod threatened me last night also!" He paced about restlessly, then looked at Vedant with angry eyes. "Vedant, do you know Archana's address?"
"Go to her home NOW! You will find her there, she has gone to meet her mother. Go and tell her this is her last chance. If she doesn't come and get us all out of here before afternoon, then I'm never going to see her face ever again."
Archana shuddered with every breath as she thought about what was happening. It was beyond scary. It was a living nightmare.
She looked around herself. It was the first time she had entered a police station, and she felt nervous at the whole somber and serious atmosphere. Add to it, the current tension and anticipation of future brouhaha.. and it was certainly not pleasant. She looked at Vedant, who was standing next to her, for some relief, but he was so serious and expressionless that it did nothing to help her. He was too grown up for his age, she thought. She looked at her lawyer standing on the other side and got some relief.
"Sign here." Said the police inspector. Archana signed quickly. "Will they be set free now?" she asked hopefully.
"Sure." He answered. "Now that you have signed that you were not abused by the Deshmukhs, they will of course be set free." He ordered his men to open the lock up. "I hope you're sure though, of what you are doing."
Archana understood what he was trying to say. She just nodded.
"And what about my Vahini?" asked Archana, scared. "Will action be taken against her for making erm.. a .. false complaint?"
Archana was stunned. "Why?"
"She is not at fault here." Said the policeman. "She suspected that you were being harassed, and therefore like a responsible citizen and your relative she came forward and warned us of the danger to you. Now if it turned wrong, well, it's her mistake, but her intention was only to safeguard, right? She was only taking precaution lest you end up dead tomorrow. You know na, like we encourage people to call up the police if they find unclaimed baggage on crowded places? Most of the time, it turns out to be nothing, there's no bomb involved. But we never arrest them for it bcos they were only doing their duty to safeguard others. It's the same way. No action will be taken against your Vahini here."
Archana nodded silently. She remembered her Vahini's words when she had had a fight with her at home, before she had rushed to jail. "Abuse is not just physical, its mental too!" she had said loudly and self-righteously. "Confess it Archana, you also know you were harassed at the Deshmukhs' house and later also. You may lie to save them this time, but you know my complaint is NOT false."
"Its exaggerated!" she had shouted back. "Savita Aai never hurt me physically!"
"Oh yeah?" Manjusha had sniggered, pointing to Archana's bruised blue elbow, and Archana had struggled for an answer. "That was an accident!" she had said. "Manav and the others treated me very well in that house, and you exaggerated the complaint by saying that they hurt me. I will definitely go and save them. You should have made individual complaint against Aai if you were so concerned for me!"
And she had walked out. She had been shocked to see that none of her family members had reprimanded Manjusha Vahini for what she'd done. In fact, no one said anything at all.
Her thoughts were disturbed by voices. She saw Manav coming out with Baba, helping Savita Aai walk. Manav had a bruise on his cheek and Baba also looked shaken up. Her heart broke when she saw Aai's condition. She immediately rushed forward, but Vandita rushed to Aai before her. Together they walked out of the police station.
Manav drank water from the bottle Vedant gave him. He looked up to see that Archana and the whole Karanjkar family was there, including Manjusha, who was biting her nails in fear.
"Oh!" he said, with a big sarcastic smile. "Look who is here to meet us! We have been gratified today!"
The Karanjkars felt embarrassed to be addressed in this way outside the police station. They stifled uncomfortably.
"I only called Archana, that too, cos I needed her help to get out of jail. What have the rest of you come for?" asked Manav angrily. "Circus hai kya? Or have you come to see our wounds and gain sadistic satisfaction? Come, come with me and I'll show you where I've been hit, where my mother has been hit."
Vinod tried to speak. "Manav.."
"Shut up!" he roared. "What do you people think of yourselves? Just cos you are richer and from the girls' side, so you think you will misuse laws to fulfill your personal agenda? Arey I know you hate me and my family! What was the need to prove it again to me today? Have I not suffered enough by being associated with you that you threw me and my parents in jail by making a false complaint? What more did you want- that we fall at your feet and beg and apologize for 'god knows what' until you take pity on us and set us all free?"
"Manav, listen to me.." said Manohar Baba.
"No Baba today I won't listen to you," cried out Manav. "My mother was beaten in jail cos of your complaint. And complaint for what? What have I done to your daughter that you made a complaint like this? How have I harassed her, can you explain? Forget hitting, I've never even talked to her in a loud voice. We've silently been bearing all her whims since day one. She walked out of the house- yet we've all been decent to her. We've been insulted and embarrassed because of her, yet we never vented it out on her. Despite our resentment, we still took her in the house when she wanted to come back and treated her civilly. Then what is this complaint for? What more do you expect from us? Any answers?"
"I know all of you wanted Archana to come back," continued Manav. "But what was the need to throw US in jail for that? Did you think it would be easier for you to make her return by using force- scare us into forcing Archana to return? Arey if you want her to return by force then give her one slap and drag her back home, why are you punishing my family for that? Do you think we have no respect of our own, that you can insult us whenever you want? Insult us in open functions, in front of neighbours, in markets, in the courtroom?"
"No, Enough to you!" Manav roared. "I've had it upto here with you people!" he shouted, indicating his neck. "No more now. You've constantly looked down on my family members, treating them inferior. I bore it silently, cos I could not debate the fact that yes, my family is not perfect. You treated us poorly all the time- after marriage, after Archana left home, at Vaishali's engagement. Every time you've insulted us and in PUBLIC. But this is the limit! Making a false complaint and getting an old woman beaten in jail- sheesh! Yes, we are poor. Yes, we are dysfunctional. Yes, we are flawed. But at least we are humans, you aren't even human!"
"Manav, listen to me." Said Sulochana Aai firmly. "Manjusha made the complaint. We had no idea. So stop blaming us."
"No idea? Really?" asked Manav, fuming with rage. "Wow, what a family!!! You people have no idea of what goes on in your own house! And then you go around town calling other families dysfunctional! You slapped me once when Ajit showed pictures of me with prostitutes saying I was characterless and not worthy of your 'sanskari' family. You hated me when Ajit lied that I got him bashed. Tell me, tell me right now, how many slaps did you give Manjusha for making this false complaint? For getting an elderly woman thrown in jail and beaten up? For throwing a terminally ill person in jail, who might even be.."
He stopped, remembering that the rest of the family didn't know about his illness. He looked at the Karanjkar family with angry eyes. ". Tell me how many slaps did Manjusha get for humiliating Archana's sasural? Tell me why is she still with all of you? Why hasn't she been thrown out of the house? Why was Archana asking the Inspector with worry whether Manjusha would be arrested or not for the false complaint? Why was Vinod threatening me on the phone yesterday, that if Archana doesn't return to you, he will take action? Tell me! Speak up! Why are you silent now? Why are you supporting Manjusha's act? If you are still supporting her, then you are as much of a culprit as she is. So don't give me the excuse that Manjusha did it, you didn't do it. Truth is- ALL OF YOU DID IT. ALL. And I know NONE of you are sympathetic for me or my Aai Baba at the moment, nor for our lost reputation. Nothing! My family maybe flawed, but at least we are humans! You don't even deserve to be called humans! PAh! Hypocrites! Your sanskars are a big joke if they don't teach you a basic virtue called humanity."
He put his arm protectively around Savita Aai who was crying. "Come Aai, lets go home. Vedant, call a taxi." He gave a nasty look to Manjusha and walked slowly along with the rest of the group. Vedant and Vandita were too disgusted to react or say anything. Savita Aai was plain tired and too much in pain to say anything, while Damodar Baba simply observed.
Archana rushed to follow them. Sulochana pulled her back. "What do you think you are doing?" she hissed. "His blood is boiling right now. Don't go in front of him."
"If I don't go now, things will get ruined." She said, running again. Sulochana followed her. "Archana, stop your foolishness. Savita mistreated you earlier and now she will be worse than a wounded tigress."
Archana looked at her Aai with irritation. "Aai, for a moment can you think of people apart from your own daughter? Can you feel sympathetic for them also?"
Sulochana was enraged. "Whom do you want me to feel sorry for- Savita?- who has been troubling you and threatening you since day one of marriage, and has terrorized you till date? Well, I'm definitely NOT sorry for her. She deserved those lathis in jail cos what she did was abuse only and very much a crime- harassing you mentally all the time. About Manav, yes I admit, he suffered for no mistake of his, but even then, you cannot ignore the fact that he made you suffer mentally by cheating you and.."
"Oh stop it!" said Archana irritatedly and got in the taxi.
She felt nervous as she alighted from the taxi to enter the chawl. Even though it was early evening, she could see people peeking out of their houses and whispering to each other. She knew everyone must be discussing the police complaint, that 'she' had supposedly made against the Deshmukhs. She cringed at the thought. Oh dear, it must have been very very humiliating for Manav to get imprisoned and dragged by the police in front of all the neighbours, that too for a serious charge like harassment.
She got up the stairs slowly, hoping people would stop staring at her. The door of the Deshmukh house was usually kept open at this time of the day to let in natural light and air and to chit chat with the neighbours. Today it was closed.
Nervously, Archana knocked at the door. It was so light the first time, that she herself couldn't hear it. Later, she knocked again, louder this time. This time the door was opened by Vedant, who gave her a hard look, and disappeared.
"Who is it Vedant?" a voice called out. Archana entered the house to see Savita Aai sitting on the Diwaan with Vandita who was applying a warm cloth on her hands.
"Noo!" shrieked Savita. "Someone turn her out of the house please! I don't want to go to jail again!" she kept her head on Vandita's shoulder and started weeping. "Aai.." Archana rushed forward. "Don't call me Aai.." said Savita tearfully. "I'm not your Aai."
Manav came forward and comforted Savita Aai . He looked at Archana with cold eyes and walked towards her slowly. "Archana, go home right now. I don't want any more discussion on the matter, and I don't want to do or say something nasty which both of us would regret later. My state is not right at the moment."
Poor Archana felt very scared. "Manav, I didn't make the complaint.. You know what place you have in my heart.. I would never even think."
"I know." He said gruffly. "Keeping the romantic aspect aside, you are not someone I would expect to do something as bold as this. Sorry to say, but you don't have that many guts."
His reasoning startled her. Oh well, whatever, at least he believed her. She tried again. "Manav, I didn't even know about it, in fact I supported you only when I came to know about it, so why are you getting angry on me.."
"Why am I getting angry?" said Manav loudly. "I'm getting angry cos I'm human, not God. Cos I'm tired of you and your stupid family! Ever since I've got married to you, nothing good has ever happened to me! I've lost every bit of peace in the world! Is it too much of me to expect a simple normal hassle free married life? No na? But maybe, in your case, and with a family like yours, it is! You've reduced me to a pathetic state today- without money, without a name, without respect in society- nothing I have today."
Archana's ears turned red. She knew whatever he was saying was harsh but true. Ever since he had got married to her, he and his family had only suffered. She bowed her head and stood still.
"Your family is out for my blood." He continued. "I had told you earlier also, don't come back, it will increase problems. Look what they did now- making a false complaint about all of us to get you back with them! Till they were after me, it was still okay, but I will not tolerate them messing up the life of my family members."
"Manav.. please let's move ahead.."
"MOVE AHEAD?" he roared. "How to move ahead? Do you have any idea of how much this complaint has harmed us? It has cost us our good will, our reputation! It has become difficult for us to face society, who look upon as dowry hunters and bride burners. Who would like to be associated with such a family now? Who will marry Vandita now? Any idea?"
"I.. I will go and tell them that I took the complaint back, that you were not at fault Manav.."
"HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL YOU TELL?" he shouted. "10? 15? 20? 100?" she opened her mouth to say something but he showed her his finger. "Keep quiet now." he said sternly. "Take your luggage and get out."
"Manav.. please.." cried poor Archana.
"Are you going or..?" he caught her by the hand and started pulling her out. "Manav please!" she screeched, and Manav left her immediately, looking at her with angry, tear filled eyes.
Damodar who had been standing in the corner, now jumped in. "Manav, what the hell is this behavior?" he asked angrily. "Go inside!" He held her by the shoulders to support her as she cried.
For a moment Manav tried to compose himself looking at the ground, and then folded his hands in front of her. "Please Archana, just leave this house, I beg of you. I have frankly had enough of you and your family. I have been ruined financially, the future of my siblings is bleak, I have suffered humiliation in society and loneliness, and now I have a police record as well. The only thing I had till now was my good will and respect for me in the public. People used to think of me as a good man even though I was poor. But now I am nothing less than a wife beating monster for them. And this tag has been given by YOUR family. I have nothing more left in me for your family to suck. Just leave the house Archana, and spare us more grief. Of course, I can't force you out, otherwise this time YOU might make a complaint that your husband threw you out, I can only request you with folded hands. If you want to live here, then live, but let me make it clear that we have no relations with the Karanjkars anymore. I don't want to hear about them any more now."
He turned and walked away into the house. Everyone was quiet for a while. Finally Savita broke the silence, "So he IS MY son after all." She said. "When the time came to support the family, he did it and with full conviction. He did not support the outsiders."
Archana knew this comment was targeted at her. Tears fell more steadily from her face now.
The rest of the family members understood it too. "Come Aai, come in and rest for a while now." said Vandita. Vedant too retired to his room after a tired day. One by one, all of them walked away, and Archana was left alone with Damodar.
She slunk down on the floor and began to cry. "Everything is ruined now." she wept. "Manav hates me. I came to win him back and improve things between us, and now.. oh god.." she could not speak more and simply wept.
Damodar Baba sat down on the floor next to her. "No beta, he doesn't hate him, you know him that much, don't you, that he can NEVER hate you. He's just VERY angry with you right now. In fact, it's actually not even you, he's angry on your family. At the most he is only upset that you let the matter spiral this much ahead Archana, that your family doesn't think twice about getting their son-in-law thrown in jail. If you had put your foot down against their repeated insults earlier or warned your Vahini, then they would have never thought of doing something like this. Since you don't respect Manav, they don't respect him too now. And thanks to your silence, they have been emboldened."
Archana did not say anything.
"Come come, stop crying now." said Baba. "Leave Manav alone right now, he is too angry to think straight. He will get over it. But one thing I know- more than angry, he is HURT. Hurt by the accusations hurled at him- that he beats his wife, makes her work like a servant, has taken dowry and so on, whereas he has always looked out for you and even fought for you with Savita at times. You remember na Archana, when Savita wanted to take dowry, he returned it even before the gold could enter the house?"
"See, and after this sort of understanding behavior, such accusations have been hurled on him. He is bound to feel hurt and have resentment. Once his cloak of anger wears off, he will need you. You have to be with him then, so prepare yourself for that time." He said. Archana understood what he was trying to say. She wiped her tears. "Where were you yesterday Baba?"
Damodar Baba smiled. "I was outside. I didn't know you had come back, else I would have welcomed you back properly, not like this mad woman Savita."
"Its okay Baba, Manav was there.."
"How did things go between both of you?"
"Fine." She said shortly. "Baba, can I do something for you? Warm Bandages?"
"No its okay." He said, trying to smile. "I was drunk so I didn't really feel much, and anyway, they hit Savita basically. I will just go and rest now."
Archana nodded. As Baba made preparations to rest on the Diwan, Archana went inside the kitchen. She had no heart to face Manav in their bedroom.
Night arrived. No one ate anything. Archana made dinner, but it lay untouched. The kids refused to go to school next morning, and decided to study at home instead, especially since Savita Aai wasn't in the state to do household work. Vedant simply wanted to avoid questions by his friends and neighbours.
It was close to midnight when Archana tiptoed silently into the bedroom. Manav was lying on his side. That surprised Archana, he usually never slept that way. He always slept on his back.
She closed the door and walked to him slowly. "Manav," she called out softly. He didn't wake up- he appeared to be fast asleep. She put the glass of turmeric milk on the small table next to the bed and sat down on the bed beside him, watching him sleep. He looked like a baby when he slept- lost in his own world. It was so rare to see him in a peaceful moment like this. How she wished her family could give him more of such moments.. she thought. Unfortunately, that would never happen, it seemed. Till now, no one had made even a phone call to clear matters with the Deshmukhs or apologize on behalf of Manjusha Vahini. No one seemed concerned about the gravity of the situation at all. She couldn't believe it. Her family had thrown their eldest son in law into prison and were not even bothered about it!
He woke up a little while later, astounded to see Archana sleeping in a sitting position next to him, her hand on his head. He felt slighted, then woke her up by shaking her a little. She woke up with a jerk.
"Sleep properly." He said in a gruff voice. "The bed is all yours. I don't want another complaint of harassment against me."
His words made her sad, but she ignored them for the moment. "No, I did not intend to sleep.. umm.. here.." she said, extending the glass of milk towards him. He did not appear as angry as before, just tired and slightly irritated.
"I don't want it."
"Its turmeric milk, you will feel better.."
"Nothing can make me feel better." He said. "And certainly not milk."
Archana tried to laugh. "Oh yes, I remember, you hate milk, don't you? Even on our first night, you couldn't finish the customary glass of milk.. I had to help you finish it.."
The memory of that night brought a small smile on Manav's face. He remembered how nervous he had been that night, and had appeared like a lovesick idiot in front of his beautiful, blushing bride. He looked up to see Archana smiling, looking keenly at him. He controlled himself at once and stopped smiling.
"Go to sleep." He said curtly. He reached over for his phone and checked for any missed calls. There were none.
Archana felt embarrassed. She understood that he had expected to see a call from the Karanjkars. She couldn't help feeling angry on Aai Baba now. So what if Manjusha Vahini had made the complaint? Wasn't it their duty to call Manav and try to convince him or apologize for Manjusha's mistake, since she was a Karanjkar at the end of the day? Manav was their SON IN LAW and they had thrown him and his old parents in prison- it was not a joke- relations with in laws were delicate! And she knew that her parents understood this thing. There had been a time when they had offered dowry meekly to Savita Aai to placate her. And now? What in the world had happened to them now? Why were they so unsympathetic to the Deshmukhs? Here Manav was ready to break relations with them forever, and there they were not at all bothered about the whole affair!
She looked up at Manav. "Manav.. I.. I want to say something.."
"What is it?"
"I.. I want to apologize on behalf of my Vahini.." she said. "What she did was wrong, especially when she knew very well that you've been good to me. No, not good, very good. And Baba too has always treated me like a daughter.. it was wrong of her to complain, really, I.. I apologize on her behalf.."
"Archana.." Manav started.
"And I want to apologize on my parents behalf too.." she said quickly. "I don't know why they've not called till now.. maybe they are scared of your reaction.." she suggested.
"Maybe they were in agreement with your vahini to make the complaint.. not Manohar Baba, but maybe the rest." He said silently. "Vinod had threatened me when he called me last night.. saying he will take action if you don't return you, he thought I'd brainwashed you.."
"I guess he was threatening just for the sake of it.. he might not have meant anything."
"Who knows- he had threatened once before also that he would call the police if I did not stay away from you."
They were silent for a moment. Archana waited for Manav to say something. He did not say anything for some time and only stared in the darkness. Finally she tugged at his shirt. "Manav.."
"what is it.."
"Please say you've forgiven me.." she said, in a begging tone.
"The question of forgiving you does not arise," he said shortly. "You haven't done anything."
"Then why are you annoyed with me.."
"You want to know?" he looked at her suddenly. "All this wouldn't have happened if you had listened to me and gone home quietly yesterday, instead of staying here for your weird reasons of misguided responsibility. And now I can't tolerate that you are trying to justify your parents and your Vahini. I can't forgive them! Never! And I don't want to hear any stupid justifications. You would have known how it feels if your mother had been in place of mine.. in fact, both my parents.." he looked away for a minute. "Tell me what have I not done for you?" he asked. "When my Aai asked for dowry, I made her see sense and RETURNED it, each time she got angry, I saved you from her anger. If she ever passed sarcastic remarks, I took your side and defended you. Tell me where did I go wrong haan? My parents are suffering for my choice of a life partner, and I'm suffering for being good to you! It hurts to see that my love has been reciprocated in this manner!"
He suddenly became silent, and Archana felt very bad. He drew in a deep breath before speaking again. "They treat me this way because you let them! All these months you've let them treat me in this humiliating way, and never opposed them. Of course, your 13 day love hadn't crept up at that time." He said sarcastically.
"Lets face it- I HATE your family now. And you love them. Of course, since they are your parents. As if differences were not enough between us, it is impossible for us to live together now, since you will obviously feel bad about me and the others feeling angry on them. That is why I'm telling you to go, before your parents make another complaint that we are torturing you mentally in this house by not letting you meet them."
"Don't say sorry to me." He said irritatedly. "Just leave."
She tugged his shirt slightly again. "Manav please, I know they are wrong, trust me, I'm on your side this time, I don't blame you for being so heated up. I'm with the Deshmukhs on this matter. My people owe you a public apology or something like that. I won't talk to them till things don't settle between both families.."
"Things will never settle down now." said Manav grimly. "So stop making such declarations. And anyway, I know exactly for how long you'll stick to your stand. Today you are speaking of supporting me, a few days later, you'll be crying with your mother."
"Manav, its not like that.. truly my loyalty is towards the Deshmukhs only.."
Manav shrugged and got up. "Please don't go!" cried out Archana, tugging at his hand. He gave her an irritated look. "Bathroom ja raha hun!" he said. She felt embarrassed. "Yeah.. go.." she said in a small voice, leaving his hand. He walked away with a smirk.
She sat silently for a while, then reached out for Manav's phone and dialed her parents' home. Her mother picked up the phone.
"Archana, how are you?" she asked.
"Not good." Said Archana unhappily. "Everyone is angry with all of you now. Manav said he never wants to see your faces again."
Sulochana Aai was quiet. "Well, there is nothing we can do I guess.."
Archana was shocked. "Won't you try and talk to him.."
"Archana, what shall we talk to him about? We are definitely NOT going to go against Manjusha for everything- she had your best interests in mind, and she did something which all of us always hesitated to do- a police complaint against your mother in law. Savita deserved it long back."
"But Manav got punished for nothing! And Baba too!" protested Archana
"Children have to suffer the burden of their parents Karma," said Sulochana philosophically. "Manav got pushed in jail unnecessarily because of his mother's deeds."
"Oh please Aai! Here I'm trying to ease the matter and you're not helping me at all." Protested Archana. "Aai, you must come over and talk to everyone."
"Your husband is not interested in talking to us, I guess. Big- big things he was saying today, parading his mother as the victim. He doesn't know his mother is the greatest witch out there. Someone needs to fling the truth right on his face about how his not-so-innocent mother made life hell for you."
"Aai please.. this is not the time.. and think about Manav.." said poor Archana. "Manav is already angry and.. Aai you will have to take some action against Vahini in this regard. She had no business getting into my affairs. Now even I'm feeling angry with you and Baba. Manav and his Baba have been punished for nothing and I am with him if he is taking offence over the whole matter. It is not easy for a son to see his mother getting hit in front of him." She disconnected the call.
She stood holding the cell for a few moments. Her attention went to Manav who was standing near the door, listening to HER side of the conversation (so he had not heard what Sulochana said about his Aai). She stood up straight.
He came to her and took the cell from her hands. "You should not have talked in this manner. She is elder to you- she is your Aai." He said quietly.
"I thought you said they don't matter to you anymore.."
"Yes, but that does not mean that YOU also should be impolite to them." He said. "It is my fight with them, not yours.."
"Are we separate, Manav?" she said.
"These are nice things to say.. but.. listen Archana.. even though I was taunting you about it a little while back, the truth is that I myself don't want you to break relations with your parents and family because of me. But all the same, don't expect me to ever be pally with them again."
"It's not because of you, it's FOR you." She said. "You were right when you said that they take you for granted because I let them. At some point, offence must be taken I guess."
"Are you doing all this to please me?" he asked slowly. "You don't need to do this."
"I'm not doing it to please you." She said firmly. "I'm doing it because you are right and they are wrong. They threw you and Baba in jail unnecessarily. You have always been good to me and yet now you are suffering. This is not fair. That is why I'm with you and against them."
Manav was quiet for some time. "Well, then you need not prove it by breaking relations with your parents." He said a while later. "Just support the truth."
Archana was confused. "What do you mean?"
He was silent again. Slowly he went and sat on his bed.
Archana saw a ray of light in this whole affair. Eager to seize the opportunity, she rushed to him and sat with him. "Manav, have you thought of something?" she asked.
"No, leave it."
"Manav tell me please.."
"Archana I said na, leave it.."
"You definitely have something in mind- I understand everything very well." She said finally. "Tell me what it is."
He was silent for a while more. He kept the glass away, and then said, "Will you support me in court?"
"Yes." He said. "I am planning to sue your Vahini for the false complaint. Even if I have to use my last penny I will do it! And that can be done only if you testify against her in court, that the complaint was false and you were never abused."
Archana was shocked. Panic gripped her. She started perspiring nervously.
"I.. will have to testify.. in court..?" she repeated, thinking hard. "But the police inspector said that a counter complaint cannot be made against Manjusha Vahini- she cannot be imprisoned!"
"Yes, she cannot be imprisoned for making a false complaint." Agreed Manav. "But we can sue her for irrepairable damage to our name and reputation cos of her careless complaint." He explained. "I talked to the police inspector about it. It is called Abru nuksani. The accused has to pay a fine. It's like a public apology. It's basically not about the money for me, but rather that I don't want Manjusha to go scot free after humiliating my family so badly."
Archana's hands felt cold. Her heart thumped nervously. "Manav, then.. why don't YOU do it haan, why am I being dragged into it.."
"Because it is your testimony that will matter here. Till you don't testify in court that you were not harassed and the complaint was false, the court shall not sue Manjusha."
Archana fell silent. Oh God- she thought. Where did you land me!
She was aware of Manav's gaze on her for a few moments as she struggled to think of an appropriate answer. "Fine." He said after some time. "I got my answer." He got up and started folding the bedsheet absent mindedly.
"No its okay." He said quietly. "Manjusha is your vahini, and obviously Vinod will be angry if you testify against her in court. I understand."
He did not say anything more. He lay down on the other side of bed, again resting on one side. Archana lay down next to him, thinking hard. Yes, she knew Vinod would be enraged with her if she stood against Manjusha in court. They would have to pay a fine as well, and Manjusha Vahini would grumble for sure. Her parents would be very disappointed that she had chosen her sasural of few months over her blood relatives.
Add to it the fact that deep down she knew the complaint had not been false. Manav and Baba had never harassed her, but Savita Aai had been nothing less than a devil. It was one thing to lie in front of the police inspector, if she had not done that then the Deshmukhs wouldn't have been released from jail. In all probability, even the Inspector had known that she had lied to save her people, and had accepted her lie thinking the Deshmukhs had suffered enough punishment. But to lie in court and claim in front of all that the Deshmukhs were innocent and even worse, to sue Manjusha Vahini for it, was WRONG.
But if she didn't do it, she would go away from Manav's heart. He hadn't said it, but somewhere she felt that testimony against Manjusha was just the opportunity to clear away Manav's doubts forever, and prove that she was trustworthy, and he could rely on her freely now without pondering about the past or worrying about the future.
The turmoil continued for a long time. Again and again she turned to look at Manav, but he was still looking the other way. He didn't talk to her or speak at all. She wondered whether he was sleeping, or simply feigning sleep. Slowly, she tugged at his shirt from behind. Nothing happened. She tugged harder, and his shirt slid a little from behind to expose his back.
She suddenly went numb. There were red bruises on his back.
She was stunned, hypnotized for some moments- her heart cringing at the thought of what Manav had gone through in the prison that day. Then as if in a daze, she got up and sat on bed.
Was it right on part of her Vahini to send Manav in prison, when she very well knew Manav was not guilty?
Agreed that Savita Aai had tortured her, but why should Manav pay?
Had her Vahini thought for even a minute that Manav was suffering from brain tumour, and anything could have happen in prison in the midst of third degree torture? That he could have got an epileptic attack?
Had she realized the gravity of the situation about getting someone as old as Savita Aai hit?
Had she thought for even a minute about how her decision of making a complaint could affect Archana's married life, Vandita's life and so on? Had she thought that in her quest to provide 'justice' to Savita, all the innocent parties would be the worst sufferers- Manav, Baba, Vedant and Vandita? How would the Deshmukhs show their faces in society?
Weren't there better ways to manage the situation, than rushing like a hurricane to take an extreme step of making a police complaint? Why hadn't she consulted Archana's parents or even Vinod?
Was Archana truly happy that Savita Aai had been punished today? Why could she not feel any happiness? Why had she cried on seeing Savita Aai unable to walk out of prison.
She turned to look at Manav again. Like always, he had understood her situation. Like always, he had not demanded. Like always, he had given in to what she wanted. Like always, he had not protested when she had made it clear that she didn't want to go against her family. Like always, he had NOT made her choose.
And like always, he had suffered for no mistake of his. "My poor Manav suffers everytime." She thought, her heart weeping silently for him, as she stroked his back lightly. She felt very angry as she thought of Manjusha Vahini and the complaint she had made- but more so of the fact that her Vahini was completely unapologetic about it, and had no sympathy for Manav or Damodar Baba whatsoever. Aai getting her punishment had not made Archana as satisfied as Manav getting punished for no reason had left her disappointed and angry. At that moment- she didn't care about what was right or wrong, she simply wanted Manjusha Vahini to pay for what she had done to a good husband like Manav.
She caressed his back softly, taking care not to wake him up, love churning in her heart. Finally it crossed the peak point, overflowed, and came out in the form of tears.
Manav, contrary to what she was thinking, was not asleep. He was lying on his side, thinking about the events of the day, when he heard sounds of sniffing. His ears perked up. Not again! What was Archana crying for NOW?
He turned immediately. "Arey Archana what happened?" he asked, getting up and sitting on bed. "What happened now?"
She sniffed again, and said, "I'm a very bad wife Manav."
Well, he didn't really want to comment on this. "Archana, I told you I'm not angry at you. Please stop crying now."
"I'm a very bad wife." She continued, not paying heed to what he was saying. "You are right, it would have been better if I had not come back. At least you would not have to suffer so much. Manav," she looked up at him. "Did they beat you with a stick in prison today?" she asked tearfully.
He understood. He sat quietly for a minute, then finally he held her hands. She looked up at him with tears in her eyes
"They didn't beat me that bad." He said. "And anyway I'm a guy Archana, I've been involved in worse brawls than this- remember the time someone passed a nasty comment on you at Rakshabandhan day? That time when I fought with those goons, they hit me more badly than this police inspector. The next day I was back at work in the garage."
"That is no consolation." She said sadly.
"Archana, come now." Hesitatingly, he rubbed her tears away, as she gazed lovingly into his eyes. It made him feel nostalgic and uncomfortable at the same time. He left her face and looked away. "Stop thinking of all this."
"You're upset and you expect me not to think of all this."
"I'm not upset because I got hit." He said. "I'm upset because of the charges leveled on me, which are false. I had tried my best to be a good husband, and the fact that I have been punished unfairly for something I did not do, hurt me, and that the people who are legally my family do not support me or sympathize with me in any way."
She continued to look at him as he spoke, love dripping from her eyes. She saw him noticing it, and trying to pretend as if he had not noticed it. Finally however, he turned to her with emotion in his eyes, and put a hand comfortingly on her head.
"Listen, I'm sorry." He said softly. "I shouted at you and made you feel guilty when you have no mistake in all this. Did it hurt when I pulled you by your hand?"
She shook her head.
"I just couldn't control my anger.. sorry I vented it out on you.. all this is not your fault so stop feeling guilty about it, okay?"
She did not say anything. He grew more restless. "Say something now, for gods sake!"
"Manav," she said. "I will testify against Manjusha Vahini in court."
"WHAT!" he almost jumped up on bed. Then he controlled himself. "I mean Archana.. you.."
"Yes." She said, with firmness in her voice. "Go ahead and get a lawyer. Sue Manjusha Vahini. I will support you in court and say I was never harassed."
He could not believe his ears. "Archana, are you, like, completely sure?" he asked incredulously. "Promise me you won't backtrack later?"
"I won't!" she promised. "Trust me this time Manav!"
For the first time that day, a smile crossed Manav's face. "Good!" he said excitedly, waving his fist in the air. "Now I'll show all those liars!" he looked up at her to see she was smiling too, staring at him with love. He suddenly felt very shy. "What?" he said, trying to evade her eyes.
"Nothing." She said. "You're such a little child Manav."
He tried not to smile. "I'm not a child. Rather you are a child- you cried last night and tonight too.. is this the way you plan to 'get things back on track'?"
She laughed softly. "Don't make fun of me." She put her hand ahead on his cheek suddenly, making his heartbeats increase. She caressed the bruise on his cheek, as he gaped at her. "Does this hurt?" she asked softly. "A little." He said, feeling very conscious, and gulped.
"Let me get a moist warm cloth.. I'll massage your back for you.."
"Don't bother, it shall get well on its own- it's not so bad.."
"Take out your shirt for a moment, let me at least have a good look at it."
He was alarmed. "Archana, NO!"
"Are you sure.."
"Yes." He said firmly. "At least have the milk." She persisted. He made a face, but then thought it would be better than her earlier suggestion. He nodded. She handed him the glass and he gulped it down quickly, trying his best not to puke.
"Go to sleep now." he said, handing the glass back to her. "If we have to make the complaint tomorrow, we will have a lot of work to do. Tomorrow is going to be one busy day." He said, lying down on one side again- his heart thumping wildly, and he didn't know it was because of excitement for the next day, or emotions because of what had passed between them some moments back. Archana lay down next to him, comforting herself that she had made the right decision.
She woke up late next morning. As she came out of her bedroom, she saw the rest of the family staring at her. "The queen is here!" whispered Savita Aai. Archana felt embarrassed. "Aai.." Manav said in a warning tone. Savita made a grief- struck face at him, and Manav looked down quietly.
"Sorry I overslept." Archana said to Manav. "Its okay." He said. "You didn't have much of a sleep the night before, so I understand. But get ready quickly now, we have to go to meet the lawyer. And yeah- there was a call on my cell from your office. So talk to them also."
"From my office?" asked Archana, extremely puzzled. "How did my office folks get your number?"
Manav shrugged. "There was a certain Mrs. Ruhia. Do you know her?"
Archana tried to remember. As far as she knew, she had never come across any Mrs. Ruhia. "I don't remember, I'll talk to her." She said, taking his cell. "Get ready quickly." Manav reminded. "I've told everyone that you are ready to testify in court, and they are very pleased." Archana was surprised. She looked at Baba, who gave her an approving nod.
"I'll change and come." She disappeared inside, thinking who Mrs. Ruhia was.
"Archana, how much more time?" called out Manav, waiting impatiently for her. He walked up and down the living room, looking at the bedroom door every few minutes. He had an appointment with a lawyer and at court, and he didn't want to mess it up. "Come quickly!"
He picked up the newspaper and started browsing through it to pass time. "Are you sure she will testify?" asked Savita Aai doubtfully. Manav nodded.
"I don't think so." She said. Manav opened his mouth to protest, but she walked away. He shook his head and browsed through the morning papers again.
He looked up. Archana was standing in front of him in the same sari.
"Archana, you're not yet ready?" he said in shock. "We have to leave in a couple of minutes.. what were you doing all this while?"
"I was on phone.."
"You have been on phone since 20 minutes?" he said in disbelief. "Oh fine, go and get ready now. We'll have to go by taxi I guess, to make up for the lost time."
She did not move.
She was looking down at the floor. "Manav.. I.."
"I will not testify against Manjusha Vahini in court."
There was silence. Manav looked at her squarely. A few minutes later, he spoke, "Is this your final decision?"
He looked agitatedly here and there for a few minutes. "So the pendulum is back!" he said quietly. "You never stand on your decisions Archana, all the time you give false hopes and then return back to square one. Can you blame me for not trusting you when you say you've come back to the house forever, that you won't go away again?"
"Do me a favour Archana," he said in a hurt voice. "Don't make promises if you can't keep them. And don't raise expectations if you can't fulfill them. The fault is mine too, though. I forgot that it is useless to keep expectations from you."
He looked at the kitchen and called out. "Aai, I'm going to the garage."
And he walked away.
"Manav.. listen to me please.." she called out, running after him. But he had walked out of the chawl in a hurry. His phone was still in her hands. She dialed the last number again.
"Mrs. Ruhia speaking.."
"Ma'am.. this is Archana.." she almost sobbed. "What I feared came true. Manav didn't take it well. He is angry with me again, and very upset."
Mrs. Ruhia sighed. "He will come out of it, don't worry. You have taken the first step, I will handle the rest.."
"I don't know Ma'am, I'm feeling very scared now.." said Archana. "I feel I shouldn't have refused him.."
"Archana, don't doubt your decision now. I have spent 20 minutes in convincing you, now don't let it go down the drain.. thank goodness Pony came to know about the whole harassment complaint issue when she called your home to inquire why you hadn't come to office since the last 2-3 days, otherwise you were in no mood to tell us, I guess."
"No Ma'am.. I just did not think the matter was that big.."
"It is a big issue, Archana, it really is!" said Mrs. Ruhia. "And you need to tackle it in a proper manner, not brush it under the carpet, and if you can't tackle it, you must contact a NGO or social worker working for women, like myself. What Archana.. you are yourself a social worker and you didn't do that.."
"Now listen to me Archana.." said Mrs. Ruhia. "I know you want to win back your family and your husband who are enraged cos of the harassment complaint, but you have to remember that you are a social worker also. You must set a good example for others to follow. If you yourself succumb to emotional pressure and lie about harassment in court, the way you were going to do today, then what example does it set to those women who quietly gulp down abuse and go through it every day, instead of being bold and taking action against it."
Archana controlled herself from crying. "Ma'am, frankly speaking, I don't care about being an example to others. I am a normal woman who wants to lead a normal life with her husband and family, that's it. And that can happen only if I support my husband's family in court, otherwise they will never accept me back."
"Alright." Said Mrs. Ruhia. "I accept your argument. "But Archana, will lying in court help you? Think with an open mind and tell me- will it help you or deteriorate your condition? Maybe in the near future, it will help cos your husband will be pleased that you supported him. But what after that? Archana, this woman harassment act was made to instill FEAR in the minds of people, that they MUST NOT harass their wives and daughters in law, else they would land in jail. This fear has now got instilled in the mind of your Savita Aai also- she will think 100 times before being nasty to you. But if you declare her not guilty in court and instead get Manjusha sued for rightfully making a complaint against her- the whole purpose will be ruined. She will start behaving EVEN MORE badly with you, cos now she will know that you are under her control, that you will save her each time by lying for your husband's sake. Today she only badmouths you, tomorrow she might hit you, day after she might burn you! Why? Cos by saving her butt in public by saying that she never harassed you, you are actually emboldening her and discouraging a genuine complaint against this social evil! People will feel scared of complaining cos women like you sue them for speaking up! Archana, our ancestors were not fools when they said that tolerating evil is encouraging evil!"
Archana knew what Mrs. Ruhia was saying was correct. "But Ma'am, my husband suffered for no reason in all this. He is a good man. Doesn't he deserve some justice too?"
"Archana, if you truly love your husband, then rather than trying to PLEASE him or take REVENGE for what he has suffered, do the thing which is for his BETTERMENT. And his betterment lies not in winning the case against Manjusha, but rather in being TOLD THE TRUTH about his mother, so that he can put a lid over it and save himself and you also, and your marriage as a whole. He is the sole bread earner of the house and the eldest son Archana, it is only and only Manav who has the power to control your mother in law. You might try to please him today by lying in court about Manjusha's complaint, but if it ends up encouraging Savita, and she continues to be nasty, and tomorrow if someone else at your chawl complains, then Manav will AGAIN land in jail for no fault of his. Have you thought of that? Leave aside all that, if you declare in court that you were not harassed, and then one of the neighbours of the chawl gives testimony in favour of Manjusha, saying that he has seen Savita throwing you out a number of times, then what?"
Archana closed her eyes. "Either way I will lose Manav, I guess." She said. "I don't know what to do now."
"Archana, by listening to my advice and refusing to testify against Manjusha and accepting that you were abused, you have done the first right thing. Now leave the rest to me. I shall handle Manav."
"What are you going to do Ma'am?" Archana asked nervously.
"Ah well.. lets just say a small session with Manav is in store for me this morning." Said Mrs. Ruhia calmly and disconnected the phone.
Okay that was part 72, and now I'm waiting for your feedback. The Manav fan in me didn't like this part for the sole reason that Manav got bashed. But I could not leave out this twist as it was one of the best twists in PR, and the climax of the Savita-abuse story, plus Savita got a punishment of sorts for being so nasty. I was not very pleased with the way this twist was handled in the serial, so I wanted to present a version of my own, with proper research of all the rules and laws pertaining to it. If the whole part bored you, then I'm sorry, I tried to put in some entertaining bits too here and there.
Special thanks to Kools for guiding me regarding the rules related to domestic abuse and women harassment. All the rules and laws stated in the fiction are ACCURATE to the best of my knowledge.
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Author: nikitagmc Replies: 1197 Views: 133636
|nikitagmc||1197||133636||31 May 2011 at 11:56am by nikitagmc|
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