Posted: 15 October 2011 at 2:57pm | IP Logged
Walking alone on the dark streets Gopi realised that she has not taught of where she will be going after leaving MM as she did not intend on returning to her Maama's house because a daughter returning home after marriage will disgrace the family and she love and respect her Maama too much to let him go through that even though her Maami will hate her more if she return there. She kept on walking the deserted street until she saw a shrine and decided to stay there until day break and since she has some money that she got during her marriage and her Maama too gave her some money on her wedding. A man approach her and said beta what are you doing here at this time as your family will be worried and Gopi panicked and asked the man who he is and he said the keeper of the shrine sensing a worrying look on her face and asked her whether she fought with her family but she started to cry and said no but she has to go far away from them and the man sympathised with her and offered her his place and said that he lives with his ageing mum and three kids aged between five and ten and a helper who brings his family food and take the kids to school whilst he comes to and take careof the shrine as his wife has passed away. He said he will help her as much as he possibly can and won't let anyone know of her where about. Gopi thanked him and went with him to his place and notice the place is not big and that they seems poor but the man assure her that they are doing ok and introduce her to his family. When they greeted her they said " assalaamu alai kum" and she said jai shree krisna. The man named Abdul told her that they are muslims and that she is ok to greet them in her religion and that they have no problem with her religion and since this is the first time she has been outside by herself, she just smiled and noded as she does not know what a muslim is.
Next day, Gopi woke up and washed and Abdul offered her his wife's clothes but Gopi was sketpical to take then and the he said if you do not want to be recognised then you can wear this burka over your clothes when you want to go out as this way no one will recognise you and you can also do what you want without raising suspision but only my neibours will ask but i will tell them you are my cousin's daughter and has come to help me with the children and that we lovingly call you Gopi so that you can keep your name. Gopi was happy with the decision and agreed and said from now on she will handle the household chores and also take the kids to school. Abdul then said he will tell the other helper not to come for a while until Gopi decides what to do next and to avoid gossip about her arrival and left for the shrine after showing Gopi the house and all that she will need for the kids and house.
At MM, The milkman rang the door bell continuously and waking the whole family and all ran towards it wondering what happened. Kokila noticed opened the doors and saw the milkman who said he has been waiting patiently for a long time but only decided to ring when no one came. Kokila then asked Ahem where Gopi was to which he said maybe in their washroom. She asked Rashi to collect milk and said will deal with Gopi later as all went back to their room to freshen up since they could not sleep again.
Ahem came to the room and knock on the bathroom door but got no reply and check to see it empty and then thought may be Gopi slept in the guest room after what he has done to her but then wondered why she did not collect the milk and after let it drop and went to wash and change and still no sign of her, may be she is avoiding me still and I possibly cannot blame her, he said to himself. When he came done all the family members were already there and then Kokila said is Gopi vahu not intending to come down today or is she not well enough to even make us breakfast. Ahem look at his mum confused and said I thought she is down here as she was not in our room either. Kokila interrupted him saying " Ahem what do you mean she was not in your room. Did you two fight again". "Mum I was tired last night and after I had dinner i went to sleep and did not see her yet and when the milkman came i thought she was in the washroom but i did not find her there but may be she decided not to disturb my sleep and went to the guest room and over slept so let me just check" and went up the stairs and to the guest room to find it empty and was now getting aggitated as to where she is. He then check the balcony, terrace and everywhere that he think she might be even the store room and when she is no where to be seen he panicked and thought what if she has left him because of what he has done to her. He felt his heart beating faster at the though and wish it to be untrue but he could now something was up sense the worse. He went down looking beating and said I can't find Gopi anywhere and all exclaimed "what" with confusion written on their faces. Kokila then said to him " Ahem tell me honestly what happened between you two and what do you mean that you can't find her. If something happen to my bahu I will not forgive you" and strolled off angrily in search of her. Everyone else went to search the house and asked the guards but Gopi was no where to be found and that when both Ahem and Jigar took their cars and went in different directions to search for her and asked people they met along the way. In pretence of searching for her, Rashi went to her room and called her mum and told her every thing and both were reeling with happiness as now Rashi will rule the MM and be princess.
Ahem drove for along time changing routes and finally came to the shrine and packed and made prayers that he find Gopi soon as he was going out of his mind not knowing where she is and her safety. Just then Gopi drop the food basket she was holding. shaking and standing few steps away from her Ahemji and wondering whether he will recognise her in her burka and he turned and looked at the person and went to help her picked up the basket and was handing it to her but Gopi was shaking so badly that she does not know what to do and just then Abdul came and took it from him and thanked him and asked him what he want as he can go inside to pray but Ahem cut through him and said he is not muslim but did pray and he asked Abdul whether he any girl in his shrine that look lost and may have a married tikka on and about the girl standing behind him in height and Abdul looked at Gopi who shook her head negatively at him not to reveal her identity and then he said no to Ahem and Ahem left disappointed and sad. Abdul said to Gopi the man is your relative and she said the you is her husband and left to the house. Ahem reached home and saw Jigar and new that Gopi has left him and before Kokila shouted at him he went to his room and checked her cupboard and found all her expensive clothes neatly hanged there and came nearer and smiled them and started to cry pressing her close to his mouth to avoid being heard. He sobbed for a while and angrily closed the door and headed to the table to take his office bag but his eyes fell on something on the dresser and as he neared it took a deep breath as he saw her mangalsutra and picked it up with tears now feeling his eyes once again and shut them and recalled the many times he has looked at her admiringly putting on her chain and now he can't believe he has it in his hands and cried more and put it in his breast pocket, washed his face and left to meet with Sanjay.
Gopi rushed hurriedly to the house and cried and wondered why Ahem is looking for her now that he is free to be with Anitaji. Dadi came and saw her crying and asked her what happen and if she is missing her family then she should think of going back but Gopi assured her she is fine and went to the kitchen to cook their meals. Later that night after dinner and the kids gone to bed, Abdul call Gopi to talk to her outside. When they were seated on the bench he said " look Gopi you are like my big daughter and hopefully will understand what i will tell you as you seem intelligent and smart and kind hearted and therefore my advice to you is go back to you husband and sort out your problems as i can honestly say that he loves you enough to be looking for you so worriedly. But if you do not want to go back then we have to do something about you as i notice you have keen interest in studies and study with my other children and also you have a talent in sewing which you can develop. I know you are not ready to tell me your problems but do you realised in your sleep you are always cyting and saying all sorts of things and calling out names like maaji, rashiben, maami and ahemji. Ido not know these people but they might be your relatives. Also if you want I can call your husband here and let you two sort out your differences before it's too late". Gopi cries hesterically and hug him and left him when calmed and told him everything and when she was done, Abdul said we will enrol you in my friend's vocational school where you can learn many things as sewing, drawing, painting and so on and i will tell him to give you school lessons and we will see what to do next and do not worry about money it's a charity organisation for women of poor background. But Gopi if you do not want to be recognised then we will have to change you name and she chose Hamida