Hi everyone.. It is exciting times in SNS now.. How long have we hoped to see GoHem and especially Aham in this state
Well.. I had to make this update for my own sanity.. Could not find any other way to expend my energy.. So her goes Chapter 37.
"Kokila, I cannot find the flower baskets. I have been searching for almost 10 minutes now." "Maa, the plates are all decorated and the mehandi bowls have been placed. The designers are ready to start. Should I take it out?" "Naani Bhabhi, should I serve the guests with Badam doodh?" Kokila looked at the questions fired from all ends with a perplexed face.
"Kakiji, the flower baskets have already been placed in the Mandir. Kinjal ben, we can take the Mehandi out after 10 minutes. We still have to complete the ritual of Kakiji applying the first mehandi design on Deepu ben. Then we can take it out. Meethi ben, I have served the guests with juice. Badam milk is right when we start the mehandi function. Can you please see if anybody else needs juice now?"
Kokila proudly turned to see her Gopi bahu walk in answering everyone's queries with ease and precision. Her bahu had been wonderful. She had handled everything with an organization skill that went unmatched. Kokila felt proud as she nodded at Gopi and smiled. She saw Gopi give her a beautiful smile basking in her appreciation. Then she blushed and walked to do the next job.
"This ritual is very important. The intrinsic design of the mehendi reveals the meaning of life. There will be a lot of times when a bahu will have to handle complex situations but at the end of the day she will find her strength in her husband's love that is hidden in the depths, just like the mehendi design. The saas applying the first design is a sign to show that she accepts her DIL and is imparting this important knowledge to the bahu. It is a promise to support and help each other." Baa explained while the woman sat around Deepu and Hetal.
Hetal placed a first dot of mehandi on Deepu's hand as a token and the designer took over. The Haldi and sangeet had all gone well and the house was abuzz with people, chatter, happiness and joy.
"Gopi vahu, you get your mehendi done too." "But Maaji, the guests. I will get it done later." "Later when Gopi vahu? Come here now. We have others who are taking care of guests. Come on.. Let me put in the first dot." Kokila made Gopi sit near her and placed the first dot like Hetal then to be taken over by the other designer.
"Kinjal, you should also have it done now. Come on." Kinjal happily complied as kokila instructed yet another mehendi wala to do Kinjal's design.
The men looked down from the balcony at the chatter and laughs going around the group of women in the hall. "I would really like to listen to what they are talking and laughing about so much." Parag nodded at his brother and smiled. "Chirag Bhai, I am pretty sure a lot of it will have to do with us men.. Even when Kinjal was getting married, it was the same."
"So Kaka, what will they do next?" Parag smiled at Jigar. "See Jigar, once Deepika's design is done they will tease, have fun and then the dance and music begins. You can soon see how the design is.. Try finding your name on her hand.. It is fun."
Aham listened to all of them talk and smiled quietly. He was remembering Gopi showing her hand with the design so shyly at him. She had looked gorgeous just like today. He saw Gopi blush at the designer and then nod. It seemed she was getting her mehendi done. He could not wait to see his name embedded in it.
Deepika looked around at the joy filled atmosphere. The design she chose had come out beautifully and it looked like her mehendi would darken well. Though she had always found the concept funny, somehow it gve her joy that the color reflected Jigar's love for her.
"Maaji, Kaki, you get your hands done too. See everyone else have started. Come on Maaji. For me. I know Papa and Kaka will be surprised and pleased. Please.."
Deepu was joined by Gopi and Kinjal who finally convinced Hetal and Kokila to get their mehendi done.
"Find your name.. Come on.. Lets see how good you are in finding it." Aham smiled as Deepika challenged Jigar to find his name in her design. He walked around trying to get Gopi's attention for a minute.
"Jiju, I got my hands done. See and my name. Panna.. How is it?" Aham kneeled down to see Panna's hands beautifully covered with patterns. "Hmm.. It is so beautiful. Looks like everyone loves you. The color is so dark" Panna beamed at Aham and excused herself to show her mehendi to her friend Sarika.
Aham continued to go around smiling and greeting guests. There were more women than men and it was understandable but that one person he wanted to see was not around.
"Ahamji" Aham turned around to find 2 lovely and small hands covered with mehendi being held up for his introspection. "Do you like it?" Two eager eyes were looking at his reaction and reading his face.
"Hmm.. Let me see." Aham took Gopi's hands in his and looked at the design. "Ji careful. It is still not completely dry." Aham nodded and continued holding Gopi's hands carefully.
"The design is very beautiful. Even the color seems to be setting very darkly.. I wonder about that. .Looks like you husband loves you very much Mrs. Modi." Aham grinned at Gopi's blush and smile.
"Ahamji.." "Hmm. Wait Gopi. What is this I see?" Gopi looked eagerly for Aham to comment on his name written hidden in the design. "What is this Gopi? The pattern is a little skewed here." Gopi looked puzzled at her hand and then shook her head disappointed. "No Ahamji, that is just the design." "oh ok.." Aham nodded, and turned around smiling to himself.
"Ahamji.." He heard Gopi's soft voice and at the same time Jigar's. "Bhai, I found it!! I found it!!" "What did you find Jigar?" Aham asked amused. "J, my name on Deepu's design. I found it. It was hidden very well. But I found it. I found it Bhabhi" Aham grinned at the obvious enthusiasm his brother showed. He saw Deepu walk across to their small group.
"Bhabhi, he did not find it. I told him, prompted him to find it." Deepu laughed while Jigar acted indignant. Then he smiled too. "What can I do Bhabhi? These designs are too complex. I thought the leaf was a J. What does it tell you about the design?" Deepu just pouted at his words. "Don't be a bad loser, Jigar." Aham teased Jigar playfully.
"Come on Bhai. Now it was very difficult to find without a clue. So did you find 'A' on Bhabhi's hand. Bet you did not or Bhabhi would have helped you. Didn't you Bhabhi?" Jigar turned towards Gopi and she looked constricted and shook her head.
"Its right at the center inside the heart. The small 'A'." Gopi looked up surprised at Aham's words and then she broke into a smile. "You noticed Ahamji.. I thought.." Aham just kept smiling.
"So Bhai, you found out on your own. Hmm.. Shoot.. I am off from here before my dear hellcat kills me.." Jigar fled the scene as Deepika followed him as quickly and as gracefully as she could.
"Now confess. You thought I did not see it." Gopi looked embarassed at Aham's statement. She could not meet his eyes. "The first thing I noticed was the A.. That is where the heart is afterall." Aham lifted Gopi's head by using his finger and smiled. She smiled back embarassed.
"The color is setting darker than the last time isn't it?" Aham changed topic to make Gopi's embarrassment go away. He stood beside her now and both looked at her hands together. "Ji.. My husband loves me so much more now.." Aham smiled at Gopi's answer.
"Hey, there is something inside the 'A'.." Aham bent down to see better. Just then his Kaki called him about receiving their relatives from the station. Aham bid Gopi his goodbye rather ruefully and started to make his way to the car.
Just as he was about to leave he saw Gopi near his window standing with her hands behind her. He slid the window down and looked at her. "Need a ride?" Gopi shook her head no and said softly, "It is a G. The letter within A.. It is a G. Drive safe Ahamji."
Aham looked at his wife hurrying inside the house. He cared naught about people giving him curious glances. He knew he had a goofy smile on his face but then he seemed to have the smile very often these days. After all he had his wife, his very own personal bundle of joy.
"Mota Bhai, this is the last set. Aham ke Papa, please go with Mota Bhai to store them at the venue. Aham and Dhawalji are not back after dropping off the guests yet. Thanks." Chirag and Parag left with the bags for the wedding next day.
"Kokila, the mandir is all ready and decorated. Gopi has done a wonderful job. I have made sure Baa is settled with Naani. I will be in the .." Kokila placed a hand on her Jethani's shoulders.
"Mota Bhabhi, you go have some rest. I have sent Jigar and Deepu to their rooms. I will check on Gopi vahu and will myself go to my room too. You need to rest. We need to be up and start early tomorrow morning." Hetal smiled at nodded. She could still not believe that the marriage ceremony was tomorrow.
"Mota Bhabhi, you know the plan. I will take Deepu with me to the venue and you come with Jigar and Mota Bhai. Now go and rest Bhabhi. You look tired." Hetal nodded and walked to her room while Kokil made her final check around the house and reached her Bahu sitting near the temple with a list.
"Gopi vahu.." Gopi looked up at her Maaji and waited for her to speak. "I have locked and checked everything. Once Mota Bhai and Aham's dad come back, I will ask Meethi to lock the entrance. You go and sleep. You have worked very hard today. Come on Dikra.."
Gopi smiled at her Maaji and nodded. "Maaji, just 10 more minutes. I will cross verify the gifts and will go to bed. You go ahead Maaji. I will turn in as soon as Ahamji and Dhawal Bhai return". As Gopi finished talking they heard Chirag and Parag enter the hall. Kokila reiterated that Gopi turn in and went upstairs with her husband.
It was around 20 minutes later that Gopi found herself in the hall waiting for her husband to come back home. She felt sleepy and tired. It had been a fantastic day as the family had enjoyed with the guests. She could not wait for the next day. Just as she thought she could not keep her eyes open, she heard the knock on the door.
Gopi ran forward to open the door to Aham and Dhawal. But she was surprised to see only Aham at the door. "Ahamji, Dhawal Bhai?" Aham smiled and placed his hand on Gopi's shoulder and prompted her to lock the door.
"Dhawal Ji is staying at his friends place tonight. He had some discussions that needed to be compeleted. So he said he would come straight to the venue tomorrow." "Kinjal ben?" "He called Kinjal up and she knows."
Gopi nodded and locked and secured the front doors and Aham stood by her side waiting. Then both slowly made their way to their room.
When Gopi returned after changing, she found Aham pacing the room. She felt dead tired. Aham turned to her as soon as he felt her presence. Then he smiled and went near her.
"Gopi, I am not sleepy at all.. Can we sit in the Jhula some time? I think the cool air will help." Gopi just nodded. She could never say no to her Ahamji.
"Jigar is estatic. I am so very happy for him. I cannot believe by this time tomorrow Jigar will be married." Aham tightened his hold on Gopi as they sat on the swing in the terrace enveloped within a shawl. "Hmm..I am very happy for devarji too."
Both fell silent as they enjoyed the swing swaying back and forth. "Gopi, when do you want me to.." Aham looked down to see Gopi sleeping soundly with her head comfortably placed on his chest. He smiled at her and stayed silent. He hugged her a little more and sat with his hands holding hers lovingly.
He realized now that Gopi was tired. Yet she had not said a word against his request to stay up a little more. Aham felt a huge wave of protectiveness as he watched her sleep serenely. She never failed to amaze him with her selfless love. Aham placed his head lightly on hers and closed his eyes for a moment. It felt wonderful.
His eyes fell on her mehendi and he traced the A within the design with his finger. He caressed her open palm gently without disturbing her and smiled to himself. The A had a G within it just like she lived within him, for him. Aham smiled to himself.. His hand closed over hers and he rubbed her palm gently.
Half an hour later Aham slowly lifted his sleeping wife in his hands. She did not stir. He carefully carried the precious bundle to their room and laid her down on the bed. Gopi had still not stired a bit. He covered her with the comforter and ran his hands over her hair setting the one stray strand behind her ears. Then he proceeded to switch the lights off and drink water before he lay on his side of the bed, facing his wife.
Gopi had by then turned to face him as had become her habit. Aham could not stop but touch those cheeks and caress them softly. She had become the center of his existence and he felt himself wanting to take her in his arms every minute awake or asleep.
Gopi suddenly smiled. Her smile made Aham smile to himself and as he watched, Gopi rolled over and snuggled close to him. She fit perfectly into the crook of his shoulders and her hand went over him hugging him to her. Aham hugged her back gently so as to not to disturb her. He felt Gopi mumble something in her sleep.
"Ahamji, I love you." Her sleep slurred words made his heart burst with happiness and Aham went to sleep intending to join her in her dreams about him.
"Ahamji..Please wake up. It is getting late. Maaji called me already. Come on Ahamji." Gopi sighed as Aham caught her hand in his, hugged it to his chest and rolled to face the next side trapping Gopi. "No, not today. Ahamji.. Please" Gopi pleaded.. She could hear her Maaji coming towards the room.
"Gopi vahu.." What Gopi's pleading could not do, Koki's voice did. Aham sat bolt upright pulling Gopi down on him. Gopi flustered, immediately got up to open the closed door, while Aham looked for the quickest way to the washroom. "Coming Maaji." Gopi deliberately gave time for Aham to reach the washroom, smiled and opened the door.
"Gopi vahu, Are you ready. Is Aham getting ready? That is good. Come on. Deepu needs your help. I am going downstairs to call panditji. You finish with Deepu and then come downstairs. We need to leave in 45 minutes." Kokila told her and marched downstairs.
Gopi gave one more look to see if she had Aham's things ready and walked towards Deepu's room.
"Darn.. Gopi.. I need help..GOPI.." Aham called as he looked outside his door. Nobody was visible. It looked like everyone was busy.
First he had overslept, then mom had called and then now this.. Aham walked briskly out looking at the broken button in his cuff and around as he searched for Gopi. He was sure she would be in his mom's room or Deepu's.
"Bhai.. Watch out. The tea will spill." Aham reared back to see Kinjal with a tray of tea cups in her hand. He nodded sternly and stood to the side to let her pass. As she crossed him, Kinjal looked up at him and gave him a tentative smile. Aham knew he had looked stern when he saw her smile disappear. "One day at a time" He mentally admonished himself.
Just as Kinjal dropped her head and walked by him, he stopped her. "Kinjal, do you know Gopi is?" He saw his sister look up surprised and slowly she smiled. "You asked me bhai?" "Looks like it, doesn't it? I do not see anyone else around her but you.." Aham knew his words came out sarcastically. But Kinjal's smile never faltered. It actually grew wider.
"Gopi Bhabhi is in Deepika Bhabhi's room. She is almost done there." Kinjal added to his advantage. Aham nodded and walked towards Deepu's room while Kinjal's step had an increased zing to it as she made her way to give tea to the others.
"Ahamji, do not move. The needle will go in." Gopi instructed as Aham stood waiting for the button to be sewed into the cuff. His cream with Maroon border sherwani matched her maroon sari perfectly.
"Honest. I did not break it on purpose. It just flew off as I wore it." Gopi smiled at his explanation and nodded as she continued sewing the button on. She had been surprised to see him come to Deepu's room searching for her.
Deepu was almost ready and when he told her about the button she had come with him to sew it on. It never crossed her mind that he could have broken it intentionally.
"There Ahamji. Done. Now you are completely ready. You look like a prince." Gopi told him and turned to replace the needle and the thread back in its place.
"Hmm.. If you say so sweetheart. Sorry I was late though." Gopi heard Aham apologize and felt his arms steal around her as she straightened. "Ahamji, we are on time now but we will be late if you do not leave me. Plus have you got their gift ready?"
Aham pouted and patted his pocket to show her that he did not. "You slept before I could ask you.. When do we give it to them?" "As soon as devarji reaches his room at the venue. Before the other gifts come in."
Aham nodded and gave her a peck on her cheek letting her go. She was right. His brother was getting married and Aham did not want to be late.
"Deepu, you cannot go. Come on child you are the bride. How can you join the others in hiding your husband's shoes?" Deepu pouted but nodded at Naani's words as Hetal laughed. This was fun. Men Vs. Women. Target - Jigar's shoes