Monday update - Chapter 25
"Why the sad face?" Deepu sat in the back seat with all her bags.. last minute shopping for return gifts. The Pooja was to start in another 4 hours. Ahem and Jigar had been asked to come home early. The men had picked Deepu from the mall on their way home.
She had addressed Ahem but was looking at Jigar questioningly. "Deepu, Bhai is missing Bhabhi. He has not been able to talk to her all morning." Jigar said laughing but immediately shut up as Ahem glared at him. "Well.. How will I talk to my wife when nobody will leave us alone? And she did not even see the phone." Ahem bit out. He felt like shaking somebody.
"Why can't she come out with Deepika for the shopping. No she prefers to stay at home all day.." Ahem was thinking morosely . "Well Bhai, Bhabhi will be busy with Maaji and Kakiji helping them get things done for the pooja. Why did you have to send the phone with the peon? You could have given it to her in person" Deepu argued. But she understood Ahem and his problem. Gopi Bhabhi and Ahem did need some privacy. "Oh really? When? When she is making Paratha or should I have given it to her when she was in the storeroom with Sekhar da? Don't be silly Deepu." Ahem answered back irritated.
Jigar winked at Deepu as Ahem scowled more but kept silent. "Jigar, what will Bhai say if we tell him we have a plan. That is.. a plan to help him spend more time alone with Bhabhi? hmm?" Jigar grinned as he saw Ahem's interest piqued at Deepu's words. "Go on.." Both heard
Ahem say while his concentration seemed to be totally on the road.
"Just hang a 'Do not Disturb' board on your door and stay in it for the next 2 days. See I even got one for you.." The car came to a screeching halt as Ahem applied the brakes suddenly. He turned around to see Deepu and Jigar laughing. If looks could kill, Ahem would have been accused of murdering two innocent lives that minute. He glared and started the car again.
"Really bhai. We do have a plan. We think you should go somewhere outside with Bhabhi. Like
for a week or two.. like a honeymoon.." Deepu continued seriously. "Oh..So what will I say to Mom? 'Mom I want to take Gopi on our honeymoon.'" Ahem asked sarcastically but he was liking the idea of spending time alone with Gopi. "Well why not? I am sure she will not disagree. But honestly Bhai.. Leave that to us. We will make Kakiji and Maaji themselves give you a holiday package." Deepu offered.
"You do that and I will let you both use that game room when I am gone." Ahem said. The game
room was a new addition to Modi Bhavan. An addition for Panna. Jigar and Deepu had been more excited than Panna and had occupied the room non stop for the first couple of days. Ahem had banned them from the room after that. "Deal." Both Deepu and Jigar replied in unison.
"Ji.. Tea?" "Thanks." "How was your day?" "Ok." "Did you manage to get the meeting completed on time?" "Hmm.." "Do you need anything?" "No." "Should I lay out your dress?" Gopi tried hopefully. "No Thanks. I can do it myself." Gopi sighed and went about getting ready for the
pooja. Ahem had been acting angry with her right from the morning. She went into the
washroom looking back a couple of times to check if Ahem had melted. Nope. He was still
seriously looking into his cupboard searching for a dress ignoring the Sherwani she had selected. Gopi silently went to get ready.
Ahem looked around to see his wife go. He sighed as he saw her sad look. "Ahem, this is too
much. If you miss her, she misses you too." He chided himself as he fondly fingered the bunch of 'Sorry' notes in his pocket. He had received one at breakfast, one with lunch. When he came home he saw her apology note in his cupboard and on the desk. He chuckled mentally.
Gopi had hand written each one with a smiley at the end. He came out of his thoughts as he
heard her come out of the washroom stunningly draped in green and maroon sari. She was still
eyeing him hopefully and he ignored her to pull out a blue coloured sherwani. He saw her eyes tear up but she moved quickly to the dressing table. Ahem cursed mentally.
Gopi sat arranging the bangles on her hand fighting tears. Ahem had been angry with her from
the morning and she did not know how to pacify him. She had missed him and wanted to be in
his arms even if it was for just a few minutes.
She had left apology notes for him. She had wanted to apologize in the morning to him but had found no time to meet him alone in the room due to the pooja arrangements. The minute he
had come down to breakfast she had known he was angry. She had apologized personally when he came home. But he was not willing to listen.
Gopi sighed and took the sindoor box out. She turned again to see him concentrating on a file. Gopi was disheartened and she reached into the sindoor box to fill her maang, a task he had performed everytime after he came home from US. "I will do it." She looked up to see Ahem take the box out of her hand. Gopi gave him a tentative smile. "I am sorry Gopi. I still am a jerk sometimes." He said softly as he finished the task and gave her a smile of apology. Gopi looked up to him and hugged him. "I am sorry Ahemji. I did not do it on purpose. I missed you" She said and felt him kiss the top of her head.
"I know.. I know.. Its just that I missed you too. So much and you never seem to have time for me.. Why do they have to have this pooja now?" He groaned and Gopi laughed. She was glad Ahem was not mad anymore. Ahem walked hugging Gopi to the nightstand and picked up the bag.
"See, you left this morning even before I could give you this. Actually I wanted you to have it yesterday evening itself. But you left early for the pooja and the peon missed you. Here see if you like it.." Gopi took the bag and opened it to see a cell phone box with a ribbon wrapped around it. She picked out the phone and heard it ring.. "Ahem calling" came up on display with Ahem's picture. Gopi looked up at Ahem, smiled and cut the call. "Thank you Ahemji." She hugged him once.
Then Gopi frowned. Ahem saw her immediately do something on the phone and looked over. Gopi was changing his contact name.. Curious, he continued to see her. He grinned as she changed the 'Ahem' to 'Ahemji'. Gopi looked up at Ahem and smiled excitedly. "It is beautiful.. "
"We can now talk to each other whenever we want without interruptions.." Ahem replied back
and saw her smile shyly. "Thank you. I have something for you too.." It was Ahem's turn to be surprised. Gopi rarely gave presents to him. His mistake. He had frightened her off every time she did something for him and habits died hard.
Ahem slowly opened the box she gave him and gasped. It was a photo frame. He found him
standing with Gopi with his arm around her waist leaning his head on her shoulder as Gopi
was smiling brilliantly into the camera. Jigar had called them picture perfect that day when he had taken the picture. Gopi had it framed now and she it seemed she had painted the frame herself. It looked stunning."Gopi.. This is.." Ahem hugged her tightly unable to voice himself.
"Now this needs to be right here. I will be able to see it first thing.. No second thing everyday morning. " Ahem turned around and went to stand in front of their marriage picture. The one he had felt unwanted when it was hung. Actually nani had made Gopi do it.. He placed the picture at a prime spot and turned around to see his wife. "Thank you. That looks brilliant." He went around to hug her the same way as in the picture and both looked at it together silently enjoying the precious moments of togetherness.
"Ahemji, you get ready. I need to go down." Ahem pouted. "Ok. But what about my dress? Or did you forget?" He laughed at the you-told-me-no expression on his wife's face. Gopi went to take out his maroon Sherwani shaking her head with a smile on her face. Her husband was such a child sometimes..
"Kokila, they look a picture don't they?" Hetal turned to Kokila who nodded and looked up at her son and DIL walk downstairs. But Kokila's eyes were on Jigar who was coming down at the
same time. It looked like he was having a friendly fight with Deepika. She watched as Deepika chased Jigar who ran behind his Bhabhi while Ahem tried to hold Deepika back. Her children's faces radiated the joy she felt at heart.
"Mota Bhabi, they all look lovely. The four of them." She said and nodded at her surprised Sister in-law. Hetal looked back and turned at Kokila surprised. Her eyes showed surprise and question but Kokila just smiled and looked on. "Let it take its course Mota Bhabhi. Come we have to get the items ready for the pandit." . Both the women turned around to continue their work.
"Bhai... Is everything set for day after? I am taking Deeps out tomorrow evening. Thanks for the car by the way.." Jigar whispered to Ahem catching him behind the pillar. "Jigar, How many times should I tell you? I will take care of it. And remember, not a scratch on the car" Ahem replied back sternly but Jigar could see a smile creeping on Ahem's face.
"Devarji, Ahemji why are you standing there alone? The guests are all asking for you." "Ji Bhabhi. Here we are going.." Ahem watched Jigar rush towards the hall giving him a final look. Gopi turned around preoccupied with the plate of flowers on her hand. "Gopiji, may I help you?" Gopi looked up at Ahem smiling a her with a sweet expression on his face but his eyes told her a different story. It was filled with mischief.
"Ahemji, everyone is here.." She hissed. "So? I was just thinking I could carry that plate for you. You had something else in mind?" He teased but he inched closer to her and held her by her waist in the back. Gopi tried to move away from Ahem only to find him tightening the grip. She moved forcefully and collided into Kokila. "Gopi vahu, careful.. Why are you rushing here and there? See leave these to the servants. People are asking for you." "Correct mom. I was just telling her that." Kokila gave her son a knowing look and smiled at her Gopi who was starting to blush. "And where were you my son, may I know? Mr. Sharma told me twice already that he is looking for you." Ahem nodded hurriedly and left.Gopi giggled seeing him flee.
"Everyone come take your blessings as husband and wife." Ahem nodded to Gopi as both went
forward together to take the blessings after the pooja. Hetal and Kokila had insisted that Ahem and Gopi would do the pooja sitting in the front. After all the rituals, the guests dispersed one by one..
"Mr. Modi, it was a pleasure. It was nice to be part of somethings that bring to mind our culture. Allow me to say that you are a lucky man to have a wife who understands these nuances so much." Ahem nodded and smiled as his eyes searched for and then located Gopi talking with Deepika and Panna on the other side of the room. He had felt her simple but strong faith in the way she participated in the pooja.
"Thank you Mr.Sharma. I am indeed lucky and I will pass on your wishes." "You are most welcome and I insist you visit our new site. Think about it." Ahem again nodded as he walked
Mr.Sharma to the door.
"Jai Shree Krishna. Thank you for coming today." GOpi joined him in wishing Mr.Sharma and
the old man beamed. "Thank you Beta. Bless you." Both saw him off and Ahem turned to Gopi.
"Lets go in." He smiled at his unsuspecting wife. She had just managed to impress his
toughest client and she had no inkling. And now he had an idea.. "Will talk to Jigar.." Ahem decided with a smile.
"Jigar.. Go slowly. I know you like to speed but lets just slow down for a bit." Deepika pleaded. Jigar was about to tease her as a coward when he saw her fear. He immediately slowed down. He wanted the night to be perfect. "There.. Now are you alright?" "Yes. Thank you." Jigar drove in silence. He had a smile on his face. "Jigar.. The pooja went very well right? Gopi Bhabhi looked so beautiful. And Bhai looked happy. More than happy.." " Well there is a reason to that.." Jigar said and smiled smugly.
Deepika did not question him further. Her attention was all on the decorations that adorned their favorite hit spot. It was a small clearing where a small park had been constructed. Deepika loved the spot and she had been there with Jigar a lot of times. It was never crowded and was always maintained to perfection. She loved the place.
Now it looked better than perfection. The archway that led to the small park was adorned with red and white drapes. Flowers adorned the area.
Deepika got down silently with an expression of unmatched surprise. Jigar watched her silently stand in front of the car and look at him.
"There is more.." Jigar said silently as he took her hands and guided her towards their favorite spot. They had both spent numerous hours spending time on this bench.
Today the pathway was lit by lamps on either side. The bench itself was decorated with candles and a flowers adorned it in the shape of a heart.
Deepika looked at Jigar. She was speechless. But she found Jigar grinning ear to ear. Then she heard him talk.
"Deeps.. This place is very special to me. It was exactly at this place a few years back, that I first shared my dreams and fears with someone special. That person told me that if I really wanted to acheive something all I had to do was wish for it and work towards it. She told me that my dreams will come true no matter what. I believed her that day without any question and believed. My dreams have come true Deeps.
Today I dare to dream bigger and today my dreams are for her. Because Deeps I have realized that my life would be nothing without her. She makes me laugh. She makes me cry. She frustrates me but she is also my peace.
When you are with me Deeps, the whole world seems nothing and I feel no sorrow. You have become my world Deepika." As Jigar talked Deepika sat down on the bench overcome by what was happening.
Jigar knelt down in front of Deepika with his love shining in his eyes. " Deepika, you were first my best friend and then we fell in love. I now dare to dream more because of you. I want to spend the rest of my life seeing you part of my family making it ours. I want to fight and make up with you, cry and laugh, share my happiness and sorrows with you. My love for you Deepika will only grow more and more as we grow older. I promise to be your friend and lover all my life. Will you marry me?"
Jigar extended the ring to Deepika as he made his little speech. He saw her look up with tears in her eyes. Then there was a slight nod and Jigar had Deepika in his arms the next minute.
Deepika was crying and laughing at the same time.She could not believe that Jigar had asked her to marry him although a part of her mind told her it was true. Jigar wanted her to be his wife. She wanted to hold on to that moment always.
"I will Jigar. I will.. I love you.." She gushed and hugged him tighter.
"Deeps my poor bones. hey.. Just kidding." Jigar took Deepika's hand and slid the ring through, sealing their commitment to each other
"Kaka, You said you wanted to talk?" "Yes Ahem. It is about Jigar. I wanted to talk to you about something. It is good that Jigar is not here. We would like you to talk to him." Ahem looked at his Kaka puzzled.
"Maybe they know about Deepika already. What should I tell them now?" Ahem thought as he sat at the sofa in front of his Kaka. Kokila, Parag and Hetal also walked in..
"Ahem we would like you to talk to Jigar about.. "His Kaki looked at his mom with some hesitation. "Mota Bhabhi, you need to tell him. He will talk to Jigar." Ahem was getting tensed every minute.
"Ahem beta, you are privy to nothing. You know what happened with Sonal. Beta, Damini called me yesterday and she wants us to renew our relationship. You remember Sonal's younger sister, Mona? Damini wants us to consider her rishta for Jigar." His Kaki stopped.
"But Kaki.." "Ahem.." His mom continued. "We know what is good for Jigar. How long will he live in the past. This rishta is the right answer. Mona is a very good match. You need to talk to Jigar and convince him." His mom's voice sounded final.
Ahem looked at them appalled. "But mom.." "Ahem beta.. Please do this for me.. You will do it right?" Ahem closed his eyes and nodded at his pleading Kaki. "Ji."
The elders smiled and left the room leaving a totally confused and angry Ahem.
"Ten missed calls.. From Ahem Bhai. Looks like he wants the good news. Do you think we should tell him?" Jigar looked at the smiling Deepika who was admiring her ring and was lost in her own sweet world. "Lets tell Bhabhi and Bhai both together." Deepika said and Jigar nodded.
"Jigar, you need to come home now.. Call me" Ahem's voicemail puzzled Jigar. But his brother's voice was urgent and desperate..
"What could be wrong?" He thought as the car zoomed back to Modi Bhavan with the two love birds.
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