Another update.. I know I know.. I said it would not be till another weekend. But words kind of flowed and I could not stop. Happy reading!!!
"A penny for your thoughts Kokila.." Hetal smiled as she walked to the terrace. "It was nothing Mota Bhabhi. I was just thinking of..." "Aham. and Gopi." Hetal had continued smiling at Kokila. "Ji. How did you know?" "You have a frown and you seem to be confused Kokila. I have seen this expression on your face a hundred times everyday. And I know only Aham can bring that on particular mix on your face." Hetal laughed. Her devarani was soo easy to read sometimes. "Kokila. Why do you worry so much? Don't." She continued. "How can I not Mota Bhabhi. When that stubborn son of mine will not see what is staring at his face. I don't know why..". "He is your son" Hetal thought amused. She was suprised that Kokila did not realize that Aham's stubborn attitude was exactly like his mother's. "Kokila we have talked through this multiple times, haven't we? Give Aham some time. You need to let go Kokila. He can make his own decisions now." Hetal reasoned. "Not when it involves Gopi Vahu Bhabhi. He has made not one correct decision."
Kokila continued fretfully. Hetal smiled again. "No Kokila. You are giving him less credit than he deserves. If it had not been for Aham, Gopi will not be in the place she is today." "Yes. If it had not been for him, she would be at his side right now as a wife loved and cherished like she deserves to be. Not here just as my vahu. and what is this explanation of his 'I do not love her. She is my friend nonsense.' I tell you Mota Bhabhi, I have given him too much leeway. But I cannot do anything else. Gopi vahu will not let me.." Kokila went on venting her feelings. "Kokila Gopi is right. You should not pressure him to do something against his wish. You of all people should know.. Sorry Kokila" Hetal said as Kokila's face drooped. "But I am not telling you this to
make you guilty. I just want you to see that this time, it needs to be Aham's own decison. Only his." Hetal saw Kokila nod her head thoughtfully and she knew she had hit the mark.
Hetal started pouring out tea for herself and Kokila as they waited for Gopi to come join them. The thought of Gopi always made Hetal feel happy. "Every mother would feel blessed if they had a daughter like Gopi." She had told Chirag after she had heard Gopi console Kokila in spite of the pain she herself was feeling. Yes Aham had hurt everyone that day. He had however hurt
Gopi most. But Hetal could not bring herself to blame Aham, the boy she had considered as her own son. Because she had seen Gopi's pain reflecting in his eyes that day.. She did not know the reason for the way he acted but she felt that somewhere Aham had been and still was lost without direction. His denial seemed to be a loosely built defense, his outburst seemed to be out of distress.
"Lets complete the pooja that was left undone vahu." Baa had suggested 3 weeks the 'incident' with Raashi. It had felt correct. The dust had settled and it seemed nothing else could go wrong in their house. Hetal inspite of her pain on seeing Jigar's life in shambles had been happy that atleast one of her son's life was making a turn for the better. She was also been over the moon for Gopi, her daughter. That child deserved all the happiness in the world. She was so precious.
She had seen Aham take care of Gopi with all his heart. It had actually suprised her that it had been Aham of all people who had made Gopi and Jigar smile first after that incident.3 days after the fateful night, Aham had come home with ice creams for everyone. None had been in a mood for an ice cream but nobody had the strength to deny Aham."Jigar, here you go; your favourite, chocolate flavoured." Aham had coxed Jigar to take an ice cream. "Bhai..No.. Ok Bhai.." Jigar had been resigned when Aham had pushed the ice cream in front of his face. "You have this." Aham had awkwardly given another of the same flavored ones to Gopi. "Guys.. Do you both know that ice creams melt if kept at room temperature?" Aham had continued when he saw that neither Gopi nor Jigar were eating.. 'Plop' a huge chunk of the ice cream Aham had been holding had fallen to the floor. "We know Bhai. It seems your ice cream did too.." Jigar had suprised
everyone with his retort. Then Jigar's face had broken into a smile and the sad atmosphere in the room had changed. "It was not my mistake. It was Gopi's. She took a long time to take hers." Aham had complained sternly. "Ji.. Woh.." Gopi had started when she had seen Aham's naughty smile. Gopi had smiled back shyly.
After that the house had come back to normalcy quickly. Hetal had seen Aham become a perfect big brother and husband. He had taken Jigar under his wing and had made sure Jigar did not have time to feel sorry for himself in Aham Style. He had made sure that he had involved Jigar in important office work and had stuck with him, guiding and helping him at all turns. A camaderie had formed between the brothers. What had surprised Hetal was how Aham had involved Gopi in their small group. He had let Gopi handle Jigar when he had become emotional and had seeked her advice on how to talk with Jigar on a number of occasions. Gopi, hessitant at first had
slowly grown used to the idea. She had supported Aham wholeheartedly and the sweet child had looked after her devar with utmost care. She had teased and fought with Jigar like a younger sister and Aham had helped her in all this silently. Hetal had seen visible changes in Gopi's outlook due to Aham's tactics. Gopi had overcome her sense of guilt to be strong for Jigar and had flourished. She had become stronger and had started opening up to Aham. Hetal had been proud of Aham. Her son had been so sensible.Jigar, Gopi and Aham had teamed up to become the pillars of support for the elder ones in the house in a short span of 3 weeks.
"Aham, ask Gopi to come downstairs if she is ready." On the day of the pooja, Hetal remembered telling Aham. He had nodded and had run upstairs with a smile on his face. A smile that was to vanish in the next few hours."Aham, Gopi vahu seems to have forgotten to apply sindoor on her maang. Do it for her please" She had heard Kokila prompt Aham when everyone had assembled. Aham had silently moved forward but had then stopped when midway through the action of
applying sindoor. "I cannot do it. I am sorry Gopi" He had croaked leaving everyone stunned. "I cannot lie again to you Gopi. I do not have the right to do this. I do not love you." He had continued. The silence after his speech had been deafening. "AHAM. What do you mean, you do not love her? After all that has happened.. How could you?" Kokila had been unable to continue.. She had been devastated. "Mom. I do not love her. She is my friend. She is very special. But our relation is nothing more than that mom. Please try to.." Aham had started when Gopi had given a cry of pain and had run upstairs. Nobody had missed the look of defeat on her face. Kokila had looked angrily at Aham. But even before she could say or do anything Aham had run after Gopi.
Everybody had been angry at Aham to notice. But Hetal remembered very clearly. Her son had looked almost broken when he saw his wife run upstairs. She had seen his eyes reflect Gopi's pain. She had not known why but she had known one thing without doubt. Aham loved Gopi. Inspite of his denial, his public outburst, she could not shake that belief. She had never been sure of anything else in her life as she had been sure that day. Aham loved Gopi. He loved her with all his heart.
Hetal is sure Aham loves Gopi. Is she right? I really do not know.
If she is what is Aham hiding? Or for that matter why is he in hiding? And the biggest question is does Gopi love Aham still. Well the last one was just for fun. Of course Gopi loves Aham. I cannot think of another answer to that particular question.
However to know the answers for the first ones keep tuned to the next update..
I could not help it.. I am surprised that I have still not been able to come to the present at this point. The past seems to be pulling me towards it. But rest assured, there will be a time when I am able to tie the loose ends in the present. Patience for a few more updates. And then I will be done..
Thanks for comments and feedback!!