Hi Guys.. Now for the next Chapter.. I have been swinging back and forth between misery and ecstasy watching SNS and so I apologize if you find the update very similar.. With that.. Chapter 29
"Mrs. Modi is in the garden sir. She said she wanted to see the flowers." Ahem nodded at the ursher as he made his way to the garden looking for Gopi. They had both had breakfast together before Ahem left for his meeting leaving her with her music and needle work.
Ahem had wanted her to come with him to the meeting but Gopi had assured him that she would be ok and would not go anywhere. He had to agree. Afterall the meeting would take hours to finish.
Ahem walked around the corner and stood stumped. The vision in front of him was so beautiful that he did not want to disturb it anytime soon. He brought his phone up to capture the moments forever. He wanted to savor it now and forever.
Gopi was right in the middle of the garden sitting in the centre surrounded by rose bushes in bloom. The sun was streaming down and Gopi was laughing.. Her laughter had the innocence of a child and she was playing with a small rabbit. The ambience of the garden, the color of the flowers, the butterflies abound flying around and most of all his wife with her innocence all made it picture perfect. A huge wave of protectiveness washed over him as he saw her smile and talk to the rabbit in her hand.
"I will never let that smile leave her face. Help me God." He mentally promised himself.
As though she sensed something Gopi looked up and starred right at him. Ahem felt his heart burst with happiness as he watched the brilliant smile that broke on her face when she spotted him. She lifted the bunny as she tried to show him what she was doing. He signaled that he would come to her. He wanted to take in the scene a little bit longer.
"See.. Ahemji is here and I will have to let you go soon. We need to go in for lunch. Good rabbit. Finish the carrot.. Come on.." Ahem heard her coax the bunny to eat the carrot she held in her hand. "Is he troubling you?" Ahem asked in a mock stern voice and saw her look up to defend the rabbit. Then she smiled at his grin and nodded her head. "No Ahemji, He is not eating.. That's all." Ahem kneeled down in front of her and took the carrot out of her hand. He had an aversion of sorts to all animals and birds. But this was an oppurtunity he could not let go.. Plus the bunny was really cute. White and fluffy.
"Here bunny.. Eat this." He struck the carrot right under its mouth and waited. He heard Gopi giggle first but then she broke into a delighted laughter. "Ahemji, He is eating.. He is eating.." Her excited chatter excited him too. He saw that the rabbit thankfully had decided to behave and had taken the carrot. He thanked the rabbit mentally once before he schooled his face to reflect a 'why-did-you-think-i-could-not-do-it' expression. He felt happy to see her adoring gaze on him.
"No this one.. Try this one.." Deepika looked at the dress that Jigar pointed out and immediately started shaking her head. "Jigar, no.. It is pink.. I do not think.." "Deeps, I know it is pink but it is our marriage and I know you love pink. You will look wonderful in it." Deepika sighed and looked down at the pink dress she had loved the minute they had shown her. But she was selecting the dress for her marriage day and she wanted nobody to question the choice.
Jigar saw Deepika finger the dress lovingly. Then he saw determination set in. "No Jigar. I will go with the traditional color. This is beautiful but all this is not important when compared to the realtionship and sentiments that go along with it that day. I will take the red one please." Deepika told the salesman.
Jigar was about to stop her when he heard his mom interject, "No.. Please pack the pink one. That is more beautiful." He turned around to see his mother and Kaki walk towards them. His mom was smiling and his Kaki had a pleasent expression on her face.
"But Maaji, Kakiji, it is pink.." Deepika trailed. "So what? You like it and the sentiments you are talking about are held together with the happiness of all involved. Deepika, red is indeed the color for a marriage ceremony. But it does not beat this pink one that you like. Mota Bhabhi and me, we would both like you have have everything according to your choice for this wedding. This is after all your wedding Deepu. And to add to it, that the pink one is absolutely beautiful. So do not worry about it. You will anyway have the red Chunri over it. So go with your heart.."
Jigar felt proud of his Kaki and mom as they talked Deepu into buying her favorite colored sari for the wedding. He saw the love and concern they had for his future wife and it made him fill with happiness. She had indeed made a place in his heart and that of all the others in his family and now they were all going to be one big family very soon.
"Deepu ben.. Do you know? Ahemji beautifully fed a rabbit today. He was so good at everything. I could not make the bunny eat at all. But Ahemji made him. Isn't he wonderful? Ahemji knows everything." Ahem heard Gopi talk into the phone and smirked. He could imagine Jigar and Deepu's faces. Not only will they have disbelief written all over but they would be rolling their eyes at Gopi's words on his magnificence.
"Ask them if Panna's exams are going well." Gopi nodded and talked into the phone and in a couple of minutes she came with it towards him. Ahem looked up from the file he was reading and raised an eyebrow. "Panna" Gopi mouthed and handed the phone to him. He got it from her and started to speak into it.
Gopi watched as Ahem instructed her sister on the various things to concentrate on for the next exam. She knew that he loved Panna as his own. He was also her confidant and friend. Gopi proudly watched as Ahem encouraged Panna and gave her advice on something that was worrying her. His face was tender and he looked relaxed and a natural talking to the little girl. The file lay forgotten on the bed. As she watched she saw him say goodbye and then listen again. He released a huge sigh. "Yes Jigar. I did feed a rabbit. Really? Yes. I have pictures. Oh.. Why don't you ask your Bhabhi?" Gopi heard Ahem control his smile as he answered his brother in an exasperated voice. When she heard her name, she eagerly went to take the phone from him. She still had lots to share with her family.
"I just missed them so much today. Especially mom.." Jigar feld Deepu tighter with his left hand as she turned into him and tried to hide her tears. Jigar rubbed her hand slowly to let her cry.
"That's the last box. Thank god.." Jigar mentally thought as he walked towards Deepika's room. "Deeps.." Jigar went silent as he saw the way Deepu was sitting on her bed. She looked distressed and for one minute he thought she was in pain. He moved in quickly to see that she was really in pain. Her parents. Deepika was starring intently at her family photo. Jigar knew it was taken when she was at school just a year before her dad had passed away. He had seen her mother with the same photo many times. Now it was Deppika's turn.
He silently went and sat near her. She did not move. Jigar's heart clenched at the sadness and pain he could see in her eyes. They were filled with unshed tears. He slowly placed his arms around her to support her waiting for her to say something.
"I just missed them so much today. Especially mom.."
"Hmm.. I know..Shh Deepu..Shh.." Jigar held her tighter "I am sorry. Sorry." He heard her say between sobs. "Shh.. It is alright. Don't apologize. I wish they were here to see us together. Aunty would have pulled my ears for still teasing you all the time.." Deepika looked up at Jigar and gave a watery smile.
"Hmm.. She would have. But she would also be very happy. Jigar, Do you know?" Deepika paused to raise her head and looked at Jigar straight into his eyes. "I am sure that she would have been very happy to see that I am marrying you. So would have dad.." Deepika trailed away.
Jigar looked at her with a small sad smile. He wanted to so much remove the pain he heard in her voice. So he did what he knew best. Tease.. "Of course.. She would have been happy that you got such a good husband. But you know Deeps, she would have been worried for me.. After all her favorite son is getting stranded with a hell cat."
"What? Jigar..What did you say?.." Deepika playfully hit Jigar on his shoulder and again hid her face in his shoulder."Thank you Jigar.", she continued. "It was really stupid. I have all of you now and I am crying." "Deepu, it is right to cry. I actually really wish mom and dad were here alive." Jigar caught Deepika's face in both his hands and wiped her tears with his thumb.
"Actually, you know I think Mom and Dad are both here, with you. Not just today but every day. They are watching over you all the time and do you know what they see?" Deepika looked at Jigar with fresh tears in her eyes but her pain was reducing.
"They see their little girl all grown up and so mature. They see a loving daughter and a loving sister and a wonderful woman who is generous and beautiful at heart. They are proud of you Deepu. Very proud." Deepika hugged Jigar and felt the last of her pain melt away.
"It was built in 1537 by the portugese, not by the french." Gopi told Ahem in a loud whisper and he smirked. Both of them were visitng some old historical sites around the area.
"Bhai, I think we have seen enough. Thank you." Ahem placed some money into the guide's hand and pulled Gopi's hand and turned around. "But sir..sir..", the guide's words went unheeded as Ahem sternly marched in the opposite direction.
"What happened Ahemji?" Gopi's questioned as she tried to catch up with Ahem's speed. Ahem did not say anything until they reached behind the pillar and the minute he did Gopi saw him laugh holding his hip.
Gopi looked on in wonder. She had never seen Ahem laugh this much before. But she was puzzled. She did not understand what made him laugh so..
Ahem looked at Gopi's puzzled expression and he wanted to laugh again. "Do you know Gopi, you almost made the guide lose his job today.." He said containing his laughter and trying to keep a straight face. Gopi was horrified. She looked at Ahem with horror written all over her face. "Ji, I did not do anything.." "Really? I think you did.. Do you know that this was the 12th time you have corrected a fact he was saying? Other people can hear you too, you know and the poor man will be caught red handed in his lie."
Ahem saw Gopi drop her head and worry lines etch her brows.. "I was just telling you Ahemji.", Her small voice sounded very worried. Ahem just pulled her towards him. "Gopiji, now stop worrying. I got us out of there, didn't I. Plus now you can be my guide now. You seem to be an expert in history." "But the guide bhai.." "He will be in no trouble. I was just joking about that. He is not in trouble...", Ahem assured. "But if you had continued he may not survive the job today.." Ahem added smiling. Gopi blushed at that embarassed.
"By the way, how do you know all these?" Ahem asked casually as they walked to the next place with Gopi explaining about the place's history.
"Ji, the tourist booklet from the flight. I read it all there." That answer left Ahem in surprised silence making him forgot to tease Gopi again that day.
"It's not that difficult, is it?" Gopi looked up from Ahem's chest where she had rested her head and smiled shyly nodding no. Both swayed slowly as the music played on and Gopi slowly relaxed enough to place her head on Ahem's chest.