First my apologies for not making the update yesterday. I was caught up with something that finished later than I thought it would. So without further delay, Chapter 26..
"No.. No.. No.. This cannot happen Bhai.. Please.. You need to explain to them. I love Deepu." Ahem looked at Jigar's pleading eyes and sighed. He felt helpless after the elders request. "Jigar, It was all so sudden, I did not have a chance to explain to them. We need to talk to them somehow, the sooner the better. You need to tell them about you and Deepu now. Its been put off long enough."
Ahem had cornered Jigar when he came home to Deepika's surprise and had taken him to the study. "Yes Bhai. I will talk to Maa and Papa now." Ahem stopped Jigar from rushing off to his Kaki's room. "Jigar. Control yourself. Its 12:30 and they will all be asleep. We will do it first thing in the morning." "But Bhai.. Why did you not just tell them tonight? Oh.. Why does this happen to me?" Jigar looked crestfallen.
"Jigar, What is this? I thought you were made of sterner stuff. You do love Deepika don't you? So what if the elders have some other plan. They are ignorant of your love. You will just have to make them understand. I will help you. We will talk with them tomorrow and clear all this up." Ahem said with determination. He did not want his brother to suffer anymore. Ahem decided to do everything possible to clear the situatiion up.
He looked up to see Jigar's determined look."You are absolutely right Bhai. I will fight for my love. I will" He said and then continued, "Bhai, lets leave Deeps and Bhabhi out of this. They do not need to know."
Ahem nodded and both brothers decided to meet Chirag the next day morning after breakfast to explain.
"Gopi Bhabhi.." Deepika hugged Gopi tightly. Gopi hugged her back laughing. She was waiting for Ahem in the room where Deepika found her alone. "Deepu ben.. What happened?" "Bhabhi, Jigar asked me to marry him. See he gave me a ring.. Oh Bhabhi I cannot tell you how happy I am right now. I want today to never end.."
Gopi smiled at Deepika's excitement. She herself felt excited for Deepika and Jigar. Her devar was finally moving on in his life.
"Bhabhi.. I am so very happy. It is like getting my family back. I can now say I have Maaji, Papaji, Kakiji and of course you once I am married. This has been a second home to me and now I am going to be a part of this family myself. Bhabhi.. This is not a dream, is it?" Deepika gushed and Gopi shook her head no and smiled. Before she could offer her wishes and share her excitement she heard her husband call out.
"Deepika, it is time you went to sleep. If somebody sees the lights on, there are bound to be questions." Deepika heard Ahem behind her. She turned around and gave Ahem a brilliant smile. Her face fell when she saw him reciprocate mechanically. The smile did not reach his eyes.
"Ahem Bhai, I will leave. But I just wanted to share with Bhabhi and you... Jigar asked me to marry him.. " Deepika told Ahem excitedly and saw him nod.l He seemed pre-occupied.
"I know Deeps. Congratulations. Now go to bed." Deepika looked hurt and confused by Ahem's less than enthusiastic answer. But Ahem saw her nod and go out. "Thanks Bhai. Good nite Bhabhi. Bye.." She ran back to her room to dream about the day and to dream about the future.
"Ji, Are you not happy about Deepu ben and Devarji?" Ahem heard Gopi ask and knew not to answer her. "Why do you say that Gopi? I am really very happy. I hoped this would happen when I brought Deepu here." Ahem replied but he again was surprised by how well she could read him.
"But you do not look like you are happy Ahemji. Is something wrong?" Ahem did not know what to tell her and he did not want her to worry further.
You never share your pain or sorrows with me. You treat me like a stranger . Her words echoed in his ears and he let out a sigh.
"Gopi.. There is something but it is not my secret to share. I will tell you when I can ok?" Ahem took Gopi's hand in his. Gopi looked at him intently and then as though she agreed, placed her right palm on top of his hands. "Ahemji, I trust you to do the right thing. You tell me when you think is correct and if I can be of any help. Ok?" Ahem nodded and pulled her towards him. He needed Gopi's comfort to sleep that night.
Jigar tossed around in the bed imagining his conversation with his dad the next day. He had first been sure that his dad would understand but the more he thought about it, the more he was worried. But however he imagined the scenarios he always ended up fighting full fledged to make his family understand his love for Deepika. He did not see him give his love up for any reason.
"Jigar, If your love is true, you will not let it go that easily. From experience Jigar, if you let Deepu go in the name of family then your love was not true.. So just sleep and we will get this done tomorrow." His brothers parting words made complete sense to Jigar now.
"I will make it right. I will." Jigar decided as he tossed one more to catch a few winks of the sleep that eluded him.
Next morning, the breakfast table was filled with silence. Jigar and Ahem signed with their eyes and both looked tensed. "Kaka, can we talk after breakfast? There is something Jigar and me want to discuss with you." Ahem put forth his first conversation of the day.
"Hmm.. Ok Ahem." Chirag replied and turned to see his son offer a small smile to Deepika as she served him. Deepika looked elated.
"So Jigar, Did Ahem tell you about Mona? What do you think? I want to confirm the rishta with Damini today." Chirag's question was met with a jerk from Jigar. The next minute they heard the bowl crash. Deepika stood transfixed at her spot and turned around slowly to see Jigar.
Jigar was flustered and angry. He had wanted to avoid the exact same thing. "Papa, I wanted to talk to you about that.." His voice was eclipsed by the arrival of Gopi, Hetal and Kokila. They started enquiring about the crash and were trying to make Deepika answer their concerned questions. But Jigar saw Deepika look at him and her look pierced his heart.
"PAPA, I need to talk to you about Mona. I DO NOT WANT TO MARRY HER." He shouted above the noise and he felt Ahem stand beside him giving him his support.
It looked like the entire household turned around to see him speak. Jigar looked down and then at Ahem who was silently willing Jigar to speak his mind.
"Jigar, what is this?" Ahem heard his Kaka ask and saw that Jigar was finding it difficult to continue. "kaka, Jigar is not in favour of this rishta. Please Kaka, you have to understand." "But Ahem, Mona is such a good girl and we know her." "But Kaka.." Ahem voice was drowned by Jigar's next words
"I love Deepu.. And I want to marry her not Mona." Jigar looked pleadingly at his dad and then his mother. "Maa, Papa please.. I want to spend my life with Deepu. I am sorry for disappointing you all but I cannot marry anyone else. Deepu is my life and I cannot even think about some one else. She loves me too and we were hoping you would understand and agree. Please Maa.." Jigar pleaded. Then it happened. It seemed to Jigar that he was hallucinating but right from his mother to Kaki a slow smile crept on everyone's face. Even Deepika was red faced.
"Well.. It is about time Beta.. I thought you were never going to tell us on your own." Hetal went near Jigar and pulled his ear." And you think you can propose and not let us know huh? See I still got to know thanks to my Deepu. You kept me this from your mother for so long." "But Maa, I was going to tell you today." Jigar whined to see his Kaki and Gopi Bhabhi smile.
"Bhabhi, don't tell me you were in on this also. And you Deepu? You too?" Jigar frowned as he saw Hetal hug Deepu and bless her. He saw Deepika smile apologetically and mouth sorry as she hugged Hetal back.
"Devarji, It was Maaji and Kakiji's idea.", His Gopi bhabhi said laughing. "So everyone fooled me. Bhai how could you?" Jigar turned around to accuse Ahem and saw surprise written all over Ahem's face. "I had no idea Jigar." He heard Ahem mutter and shake his head in disbelief.
Jigar mocked being indignant. He felt elated at his family's happiness and he saw the same reflect on Deepika's face. He knew he was grinining ear to ear.
"Well, you all asked for it. The Modi brothers will hit back. Right Bhai?" Jigar challenged. His heart was bubbling with happiness to see his family smirk right back.
"We will see about that. So now that everything is out in the open, we will have to talk about the next steps. But that can happen after work today. Lets continue this in the evening." Chirag proclaimed. He got up turned to Deepika and blessed her. Then he walked towards Jigar to pat his back and ended up hugging him. Then it was the turn of everybody else to congratulate the couple.
"So you knew already.. Hmm.." Gopi heard Ahem whisper in her ear as he was walking out with his bag. "Ji." Gopi looked apologetic and smiled. Ahem just shook his head in wonder again and walked out with his highly excited brother.
"You guys almost gave me a heart attack. What was that for?" Jigar was sitting with Deepu in the terrace again. It was night and he had come home to learn that the Pandit was coming the next day to look for dates for their engagement. Deepu had escaped him throughout the evening and he finally caught her going to her room.
Deepu again looked sheepishly at Jigar. "Sorry Jigar. I never meant to hurt you. But this was the first thing Maaji asked me for and I could not say no." She replied and saw Jigar shake his head. She misunderstood that action to be anger while all Jigar felt was disbelief.
"They are the only family I have Jigar and when they asked me I could not keep them in the dark or say no. Especially Maaji. She looked so expectantly that I told her that we were in love. I am sorry." Jigar looked at Deepika. He wanted to feign anger but he could not after the reason she gave him. "No Deeps. I am glad you told them. It is all the same to me, whether you tell them or I do. All I wanted was to make sure that Maa and Papa were happy with our decision. I would have fought for our love if needed. But you made it all easy. They made it all easy" Jigar held on to Deepika's hand and rasied it to kiss it. They were envoloped by the sweet silence of the night as each gazed into the darkness dreaming about their future together.
"Gopi.. You hid it with the others.. That too from me? How could you?" Gopi saw her husband act as if hurt. She smiled as she saw right through him. She could see that he was happy, extremely so by the turn of the events. He was just looking for a reason to trap her into doing something for him. "Ji. It was not my secret to tell." She replied calmly leaving Ahem open mouthed.
She had got him there. He had given her the same reason the night before.
"Well, it still does not mean you are off the hook." "Ji?" Gopi questioned anticipating his answer. "Well, I am hurt by what happened and that I was kept in the dark. So to change my mood you need to let me in on another of your secrets." Gopi looked up surprised.
"Are you ready?" Ahem saw Gopi look puzzled but nod. "But Ahemji, I do not have any.." "Chup. I know you do." Gopi saw Ahem bend down close to her face. She looked up trying to show that she was not affected but she knew she failed miserably. Her Ahemji was very close to her and she could feel his breath on her face. Then she heard him say, "Not now.. Later.". She felt rather than heard his chuckle and saw him make his way to the bed.
"The panditji says the engagement can be in three weeks and that gives us time to arrange fo r everything." "Why three weeks mom?" Jigar asked winking at Deepika.
"Thats the first good date available and by the way we need time to arrange for the ceremony. Also it will give Ahem time to finish his site visit. Now go to office Jigar or I will call Ahem and complain." Hetal teased him and Jigar ran from there.
"Maaji, I do not want a big ceremony. Can it be small? There are not a lot of people from my side anyway.. Only some friends.." Deepika trailed off and turned to hide her tears. Hetal stepped forward to console her when, "What is this Deepika? How can you say that? You call me Kaki and you are telling Mota Bhabhi that your family will not come? You want to hurt your Kaka and me?" Deepika looked up to see Kokila look sternly at her but she could see the care beneath the strict words.
"Mota Bhabhi, we have to make sure that the ceremony is celebrated grandly. It is after all a once in a lifetime experience, isn't it?" Kokila turned towards Hetal embarassed by the emotions she saw on Deepika's face.
"Haan Beta, why do you worry? See your Kaki is there, I am there for you. And you have Gopi. Don't ever feel you have no one. Ok?" Deepika turned towards Kokila and hugged her hiding her tears from the women who made her feel special. She really was home.
"Wish the ceremony was sooner but it is still fun. I can enjoy for three more weeks before getting committed for life.." "I really do not know how these 2 weeks will pass." Ahem and Jigar looked up to face one another. Jigar's face reflected excitement while Ahem looked sombre.
"Bhai.. Whatever is the matter?" "Well, my dear brother.. If you come back from your dreams sometime, you will remember that I have to go to visit Mr. Sharma's resorts to see what changes they need and give an assessment in 2 weeks starting Monday." "But Bhai. You were always enjoyed these tours. So what is the problem? "The problem Jigar is that I am going away. A.W.A.Y." " from Gopi bhabi" Jigar said and smiled as his brother gave him an irritated look. "So take her with you." Ahem looked up surprised and uncertain. "Jigar, I am going on a project.." "So what Bhai. We did it in Switzerland. You can do it here again. It will be a change for her and it will solve your problem of speding some time with her alone."
"But Jigar what will Kaka say?" Jigar smiled at his brother's indirect acceptance to taking Gopi with him. "Leave that to me. I will make sure that Gopi Bhabhi goes with you."
"Baa, I am really worried for Ahem Bhai." Deepika sat down near Baa's legs and started slowly massaging it. Baa looked up surprised at her. "Deepu beta, why do you say that?" "See baa, Bhai is going for his project visit for 2 weeks to some resort." Baa smiled. "Deepu Beta, Ahem always goes travelling for projects. Chirag told me that after Ahem stepped in to help him, he has really been taking up all the travelling, freeing Chirag from the added responsibilities. My Ahem was always responsible." Deepika heard Baa praise Ahem for sometime and then continued, "Bhai is really responsible about work Baa and that is why I am worried. He does not take care of himself when he is at work. At least here we have Gopi Bhabhi taking care of his every need. She makes sure he eats and sleeps on time and he is not burdened with personal work. But what will happen when he is alone?" Deepika gave a sigh. She saw Baa becoming thoughtful. "Bang on target.. Now Jigar, its your turn." She thought gleefully.
"Papa, I wish I could go to Mr. Sharma's site visit. But with my engagement and all.."
Chirag looked up surprised. "I never knew you wanted to be involved so much in this project Jigar. It is good to see you like this. I will make sure we send you on the next. Ahem can take care of this one." Jigar mentally cursed himself for the wrong start and tried again. "But I am so worried for Gopi Bhabhi." That immediately got the response he wanted. His father looked up puzzled and Jigar could see a teeny bit of worry. "What about Gopi, Jigar? Is there something that I need to know? Something between Ahem and Gopi?" Chirag asked.
"Oh.. No no Papa.. It is just that.. Poor Bhabhi has been missing Bhai so much the past year. She never gets to go out to places with him. See Bhai just returned back six months ago and he has been on numerous trips already." Jigar knew he was bluffing and was on thin ice here. His Bhai had made sure that each one of those trips did not go over a day maximum.
Chirag became thoughful. "I shouldn't have troubled you Papa. I have a few files to look at. It is just that Bhabhi never complains but I know she feels sad.." Jigar added and left his father to figure out a solution himself.
"Gopi Bhabhi, don't be sad. Ahem Bhai will be back before the engagement." Gopi looked up surprised at Deepu. "But Deepu ben I..." "I know Bhabhi, you are worrying about his stay there. Don't be sad Bhabhi..Just wait.. I will be back in a few minutes" Deepu walked out before Gopi could go on. She did not miss Baa's thoughtful look as she made her way to her room with Mani.
"Baa, Jai Shree Krishna. How is your health?" Chirag was making his daily visit to his mother. She looked at him and beamed. "With Gopi bahu and Deepu, I have no problems beta..But I am just worried.." "Why Baa? What happened?" "Chirag, I am worried about Ahem. He is just now settling in his marriage and now I hear that he is going on a trip for two weeks?"
Chirag looked up to see his mother and nodded. His mother's words made him think back to what Jigar had mentioned earlier that day.
"Yes Baa.. He needs to make this trip. But I am more worried about our Gopi. Poor child will feel so bad without him but she will never say anything." "Beta, why don't you just send them together. I used to go with your father and you sometimes took Hetal."
Chirag nodded his head as though yes and then continued to inquire about his mother's day.
" Ahem, Are you all set for your trip tomorrow. You will have to leave early from office tomorrow to take the flight" Ahem just nodded at his Kaka. He then looked up to see Jigar nodding his head furiously.
"Kaka.. I.." "And Ahem, I forgot to mention, why don't you take Gopi with you on this trip? It will be a change for her. She has been too much cooped up inside the house. Moreover you can also enjoy after work with Gopi.Kokila what do you think?"
"Yes Mota Bhai. I think it is a good idea. It will give Gopi vahu a chance to see other places." Kokila smiled and turned to Gopi. "Gopi vahu, pack your things along with Ahem's. Make sure everything is ready by tonight." She said and watched the surprise on her Bahu's face. Then she noticed the hesitation and frowned slightly.
"Ji Maaji." Was all Gopi said. She saw that everyone wanted her to go with Ahem and Ahem himself seemed to be extremly pleased. He looked at her and winked. She noticed her Papaji give Ahem a look with his eyebrows raised and saw her husband blush. She also did not fail to notice the thumbs up Deepika showed Jigar and the way they shook their hands below the table. It seemed that her Devar and soon to be devarani had conspired together to make this trip happen. She had to smile at everyone's happiness but she still felt flustered..
"What should I do? Kanhaji please help me.." She prayed as she went into the kitchen.
So first, congratulations.. A lot of you had guessed that the elders were all playing a prank and it turns out you were all right
.. So Jigar's problem is settled and he is to be engaged happily.
Now you may ask, what is Gopi's problem
.. Sorry you may just have to wait for the next update..
But thank you all for the interest shown in the story.. Comments and Feedback on this chapter please.. Will be awating eagerly