I thought I would wait for the weekend to make my next post. But what the heck. I completed a chapter yesterday night. So posting it now..
I am really thankful for all your comments and feedback. Although I am not able to reply individually on your comments, please consider this as my way of thanking you all for your interest and support. So to Chapter 6..
Kokila supervised as the servants set the tea cups on the table in the terrace. She was waitng for Mota Bhabhi and her Gopi vau to come so that they could start their 'tea break'. 'Tea Break', that was what Gopi vahu had called it a month back when she had suggested the idea. Kokila remembered how she was suprised that her usually placid bahu had come up with a suggestion that day. Changes in her bahu had not gone unnoticed by Kokila. It seemed her vahu was slowly coming out of her shell. She seemed to be more confident when talking now and also seemed voice herself better. She had changed from a frightened little girl to a confident person in a matter of 3 months. The change had been gradual. "Maybe its because I have mellowed down a bit and she feels it easier to talk with me now." she thought and felt happy.
She then thought back to the request her son had made on the fateful day of Rashi's and Kinjal's exposure.
"Kinjal. Please just STOP." Kokila had thundered after Aham had carried Gopi upstairs to their room. She had seen how her vahu had kept her head dowm and had not met her eyes or that of her son during Kinjal's outburst...
"Chi. I am ashamed that you were born out of my womb Kinjal." she had continued. "So sly and cunning. Is that what I taught you?" "But ma.." "I said shut up.. Now listen once and for all Kinjal and listen carefully. All that has happened in your life is because of your fault. No one else's. You disgraced us with Umang. Or did you forget it? Do you not realize that even after what you did with Elesh we still loved you enough to talk to Umang? Your Bhai went to him and came back because Umang told him that he had done this to disgrace us. He had no intention of marrying you. It was not Gopi's fault that he refused. He would have refused you one way or another. Keep that in mind. And..." She had continued as Kinjal looked at her.. "First learn to look at what you have done before you point your fingers at others for your misery. God was kind enough to give you a husband who is hard working and truthful and you still have problems with him. Till today I thought you were just selfish. But today I know that I have given birth to a monster. Get out of my sight Kinjal. You are no better than Rashi and I do not want to see you here again." Kokila had choked the last few words as her heart had broken seeing the daughter she gave birth stooping so low. With those words she had turned away from her daughter to tend to her vahu.. no her other daughter who needed her more.
She had seen her vahu sobbing in Aham's arms when she reached their room and had seen Aham holding her and talking to her as if she was a child. She had known then that her vahu had been in good hands.
That night had been difficult for all. Sometime after everybody had dispersed downstairs she had seen her husband walk into their room. At that time Kokila's mind been replaying everything over and over and she had been disgusted that her daughter had turned out this way.
"We can only teach them the right path Kokila. It is up to them to follow it." Parag ji had told her. Kokila had looked at him in surprise. "I know you are doubting the way you brought them up. And blaming yourself for Kinjal's mistakes but you were not wrong in your upbringing Koki. If Kinjal had even a percent of your goodness she would be a better person." her husband had continued. Kokila had been proud of being Parag's wife that day . She had understood that whatever happened between them, the bond that held them together was unbreakable. "I talked to Dhawal ji Koki. He is ready to give Kinjal another chance. I think your choice of a Son in law is flawless. We will support him to the best of our ability. And as you always say Koki, leave the rest to Kanaji. Don't take this too hard on yourself. Our Gopi vahu needs you now." He had continued. For once Kokila had been glad for his words. She had understood then that her Paragji may not have been the best in terms of business but inately nobody could match his goodness or kindness. Their relation had turned for the better from that day.
Kokila smiled to herself as she absently twirled the bracelet in her hand. Paragji had gifted that to her 3 days back on her birthday. He had got it from the money he had saved over the years working on his poems. She had felt proud.
Kokila's thoughts continued in less happier direction.
Although Parag ji's words had soothed her, Kokila had been unable to sleep that night. It was then she heard someone walk towards the terrace. It had been Aham. "Aham. What are you doing out here? Is Gopi vahu ok?" She had asked her son. "She is sleeping mom. She was crying and fell asleep crying." Aham had said tiredly. It looked like her son had aged in a matter of few hours. She had stood along with him looking at the stars and their thoughts had been all over the place. Kokila had been sure that Aham was suffering for the part he played in Gopi's misery. She had placed a hand over her son's shoulder to offer him her support, when he had spoken up. "Mom she has suffered so much. So much mom. I had no idea." Aham had continued without looking at her. But Kokila had known that he had been on a verge of breaking down. "I added to that mom. I am her biggest offender. I let her down so badly and she never said a word. Not once. I do not know if..." He had been unable to go on.. Silence had surrounded them in the darkness and she had felt the air grow heavier. She had understood that for her son the guilt was unbearable, the guilt of making an innocent person suffer, irrespective of the reason. After what felt like eons, she had seen her son turn towards her. "Please mom. Take care of Gopi. She needs a mother so much. She needs you mom. Now more than ever. Promise me that you will always be a mother to her first. Promise me that you will always think of her first even before you think of me. Please mom. Promise me." He had pleaded. Not just his words but Kokila had seen his eyes plead to her desperately.
"She was always my daughter Aham. And I will make sure that she understands and gets to enjoy what she has missed till now. I promise." Kokila had said. Her son seemed to visibly assured after that. Both had gone back to their rooms that night each having made a promise to themselves.
The days that followed had not been easy. But everyone had contributed to make Gopi feel loved and cherished. If Aham had taken care of her after her operation, after this he had taken care of her like she was made of glass. Her son and DIL had seemed to come closer and closer everyday. That is why it had made no sense to Kokila when her son had refused to acknowledge his love for his wife.. "Why had Aham been so stubborn?" Kokila's brows creased as she thought.
"A penny for your thoughts Kokila.." Mota Bhabhi was smiling as she walked to the terrace.
Not a long update.. But seems like a logical place again
I am sorry for having no Gohem scenes in this chapter but will try making up for it the forthcoming ones.
As usual comments and feedback please!!