I am late in updating.. My bad.. But was held up in somethings I had no control over.. I apologize
"Deepu ben, We need to start.." Gopi came into Deepu's room and saw her sitting before the dressing table. Gopi smiled. Deepu looked beautiful in pink. The maang tikka and the necklace fit in beautifully with the other jewels. Gifts from her devar to his would-be wife. Jigar had requested Gopi to give it to Deepu and Gopi had agreed. She could see how much Deepika loved the gesture when she opened the gifts. It made Gopi feel warm inside seeing the girl she had come to love as a sister smile and laugh.
But now, Gopi saw that the smile was missing and Deepu looked sad. She walked near her and touched her shoulder as she peeped in to see what Deepu was looking at.
It was photo and from wht Gopi could see, it was similar to the one she had with herself. The picture of a happy family.
Deepu looked up and gave Gopi a small smile and then placed the picture on the table. "Come on Bhabhi. It is time isn't it?" Deepu's brave question made Gopi teary eyed. "Yes Deepu ben. Why don't we take that photo with us. I will place it on the stage." Gopi's offer brought tears to Deepu's eyes. As both the woman stood up, Kokila came in briskly.
"Come on Deepu, Gopi vahu. We need to start. Aham and Paragji are both waiting in the car." Both nodded while Kokila watched them. "One second." Koki came near Deepika and framed her face with her hands.
"You look lovely Deepu beta. Here." Kokila placed the red chunri on Deepu's head and then placed a kajal tikka below her cheek. "To ward off any evil eyes. Your parents will be very happy today. Come on now." Kokila placed one hand on Gopi's head as she turned. She swallowed the tears before they rolled down.
As she walked with her Gopi vahu and Deepu downstairs, Koki prayed that their family be happy as it was today. She had heard Deepu and Gopi talk in the room. Two girls who felt the same pain. But now she knew, along with Mota Bhabhi she would make sure that her girls never felt sad ever again.
"Ahamji, you just don't play fair." Aham looked at Gopi as she walked towards him with a glass of milk. This was the maximum he could get her to argue with him and he knew. She would accept his words completely not even once think of questioning him back.
Aham smiled. Of course he did not play fair. He did not want to. Not when it meant he could get to see Gopi so happy. It had been awesome in the wedding.
"Gopi, wait.. One second." Gopi turned with the basket of flowers hearing Aham call her. "Ji?" She saw him hold her with one hand and then raise another to place it on her head.
Aham corrected her maang tikka to the right spot over her part in the hair. "There. Now it looks good. It was skewed." He gave her a small sideways hug and went off to complete whatever he had started.
Gopi went on her way smiling to herself.
"It is not fair Janko." "What is not fair Maa?" "Koyeli, nobody is trying to hide Jigar's shoes. The varmaala has ended and Jigar did not even make it difficult for Deepu. He just allowed her to garland him without trouble. This marriage is so not fun." Kokila looked alarmed at her mother's words while Hetal smiled quietly. She could not believe it but it had been Aham who had whispered to Jigar about making it easy for Deepu.
"Jigar, it is better being married than without. I advice by experience." Hetal had been shocked but at the same time pleased. Aham had become so happy and open.
"Maa, what are you saying. Be happy that everything is happening well. Why should there be anything to disrupt it?" "See Revathi, my Kokila bahu is always so worried and stern. Kokila, a marriage should be fun. It is not all responsibilities and duties. Have fun. Come on." "But Baa..." Kokila felt Hetal touch her.
"Kokila, everything is going so very well. It is time to have a little fun. Come on now. Let the kids have their games." Kokila nodded being outnumbered.
"So Maasi, Baa, what do you want us to do?" Hetal's question was followed by an eager Deepika who had been standing with Gopi and Kinjal a couple of steps away. Looked like the girls had heard everything.
"Hetal vahu, first we need to make sure we hide Jigar's shoes. We will make it Men Vs. Women this time. Let the men try to find the shoes or else we get what we want." Naani eagerly explained while Deepika's eyes shined. "Superb Naaniji.. I know the perfect place. Let me just swipe that shoe and then we can go to hide it."
"Deepu, you cannot go. Come on child you are the bride. How can you join the others in hiding your husband's slippers?" Deepu pouted but nodded at Naani's words as Hetal laughed. This was fun. Men Vs. Women. Target - Jigar's shoes..
"We will go Deepu Bhabhi. You don't worry. Gopi Bhabhi, you first. See the shoes are just near Aham Bhai. Just talk to him and get them."
The task was easier said than done.
"Ahamji, can you please move? I want to place these baskets." "Under the chair? What happened to you Gopi? All baskets are all placed in the corner.See there..." Aham pointed to the corner smirking at Gopi who was turning around to look at her companions. "Now why do you look confused?" Gopi looked panicked at his words and then rushed off to Aham's amusement.
"Dhawal Bhai, I want a pen." "Panna, Wait. I will have one in my shirt pocket. Shoot.. No.. I do not have a pen Panna." Panna looked sad and turned to wink at Kinjal who twirled Dhawal's pen at a distance.
"Dhawal Bhai. I need a pen urgently. Can you please get me one? I will come with you." Dhawal nodded and stood up.
Panna linked her hand to Dhawal taking him with her.
"Dhawal Ji, here is a pen. I had it in my pocket all the time." It was Nilesh, Aham's friend. Panna took the pen disheartened and went back to the women.
Even Kokila was having a disappointed look at Panna's failure.
"Jigar ke Papa, your friends are all standing alone and you are sitting her doing nothing." "Hetal I am on an important task." "Really, I will help you out. You please take care of your guests."
Chirag looked tempted but then smiled. "No thanks Hetal. I knew my Aham will not let our guests unattended." Hetal turned and sighed as Aham stood talking to Chirag's friends. They seemed to be enjoying their conversation. Plan three - Failure..
"That is three failures. I am going in." Kinjal looked alarmed and Baa laughed at Deepu's
indignation. "See I told you Revathi.. My sons and grandsons are a tough nuts to crack. We were bound to lose." Naani just waved her hand not accepting defeat.
"Janko, don't even think that way. I know we will win. My Koyeli will be able to get the shoes. See it is with Damadji now. The men are clever but we can beat them at their game."
"No Maa. I do not want to get into these silly games. You all play. Kinjal, get the shoes from your dad."
Everyone sighed as Kokila walked off in a huff. To consider she was even up to playing.
"Kinjal, I am telling you.. I do not need anything to eat or drink. I am comfortable here.."Kinjal looked frustrated that her dad was not budging from his seat. The men had planned perfectly. At no time were the shoes ungaurdeded. Someone was always on the watch and that person never ever budged.
Kinjal sighed and turned defeated when..
"Aham ke Papa, what is this?" Kokila's thundering question made Kinjal turn back quickly.
"Kokila, what happened?" "You are asking me what happened so coolly after this? How could you? You always know I want things done perfectly. Now with this I am left to pick up the pieces again."
Parag looked down. He did not know what he had done now. "Now come with me immediately and show me where you have kept the cashews. Panditji is asking for them." Parag's face bloomed. He knew exactly where they were kept. He had smuggled a few just a few minutes back.
"Kokila, see you are tensed for no reason. I know exactly where they are. Come with me. I will give it to you." Kokila pulled her pallu to the front as she walked to the storeroom with her husband.
She turned and smirked once before going on her way.. The shoes were theirs now!!!
"Ahamji, why did you just not take the shoes from under the shelf with all the flowers? I know that you already knew the place we hid it . See you lost now." Gopi pouted.
Aham laughed at Gopi's obvious indignation at his loss. He took the milk from her and pulled her beside him and he wraped his other hand over her shoulders bringing her to his chest.
"Well, if I had not done that, then all my favorite girls would have lost." Gopi just hugged him and smiled to herself. She knew he would have an answer to all her questions. "Well Gopi, did you think of what you want from me? You are the only one who wanted more time."
"No. .No.. no.." The men were negotiating with the woman and girls for the shoes.
"Sorry Aham, I don't know how.." "It is ok Dad.. It happens. Now lets just concentrate on getting the shoes back. What are their conditions?" Aham's cool answer stunned his dad and the others who were sitting beside him.
"Come on Aham, you don't say we give in to them." "No, I say we just listen to their terms and if acceptable,see if we can get the shoes back reasonably."
"Spoken like a true businessman." It was his Kaka who was smiling at him. The marriage had happened beautifully. Gopi had tied the Ghat bandan and had taken her place besides Aham. Koki and Parag had given Deepu away.
Aham had watched his brother finally getting his love and had been moved. He had felt Gopi gently entwining her hands in his and giving it a gentle press. He had looked down at her and saw that she understood. It was all he had wanted and hoped for. Like him, his brother had another chance at love and happiness.
"So what are they asking?" This question sent a clammer among the woman sitting. Everyone wanted something different. "Money" "No.. Lets ask them to serve us dinner." "No.. No.. That is too easy, they have to cook."
The men watched in silence and with a feeling of foreboding. The only one with smile was Aham who seemed completely unaffected.
"Bhai, Do you have a plan by any chance if we cannot get my shoes?" Jigar whispered and Aham just smiled at him.
Gopi looked from time to time at the place where the men sat waiting for the conditions to be put forth. Her eyes searched for her husband. She was puzzled. She thought her Ahamji had seen her hiding the shoes. Well she had been excited enough not to notice him and she had run straight into him with the shoes she was to hide. He had just looked at her and raised an eyebrow.
"Gopi Bhabhi," Kinjle brought her back to the current world and asked for suggestions. Gopi said she was fine with whatever the others came up with. It was Baa who finally made a decision.
"Listen everyone." The hall became silent as Baa came forward. "So the girls win." There were gleeful hoots from one end and Nos from another. Baa waited for the excitement to tone down and then went about explaining what the condition was.
"We will give back the shoes but then every husband has to do one thing that his wife tells him." "No No.." Sounded from all around. The unmarried girls looked crestfallen.
The negotiations started in full vigor and finally it was accepted that they would pay up for the unmarried woman and the married men would have a choice to say no to the request once. "Not that anybody would dare, I know." Naani winked at Baa and both could not wait to hear what their son and grandsons had to say to their wives.
"Gopi, Can we come in?" "Ji.. Don't make any noise." Gopi opened the connecting doors and let the brothers in. Deepika stood waiting, her face marred with puzzlement.
The marriage was over and they had retired to their respective rooms for touching up a bit and to rest. Both Jigar and Deepu had been glowing, their happiness evident in their faces. They had been in their own worlds experiencing the joy of feeling married.
Deepu looked at Jigar who seemed to have the same confusion written on his face. Jigar shrugged at her indicating he had no idea what was happening.
"Jigar, here stand here for me, will you?" Aham made Jigar stand next to Deepika. He could see them both look at each other in confusion. "Bhai?."
"Just one second Jigar." Aham took out the envelope he had and gave it to Gopi. He signed to her that she give it to them. Gopi nodded.
"Bhabhi, what is it about?" Deepika asked as Jigar slit the envelope open and both looked down to see the colorful front cover of what looked like a long booklet.
"Mauritius.. Bhai, tickets and a 2 week paid package.. Bhai.. What?" "For your honeymoon Jigar. You are going to leave in 2 days time. Right after all the ceremonies are complete."
Jigar and Deepika looked stupefied for a minute and then Deepika blushed red. Both went forward to hug Aham and Gopi. "Thank you Bhai, Bhabhi. We are totally surprised."
Aham smiled. "I got the yes from Kaka too.. You get another 2 week of vacation." Jigar beamed and thanked his brother who just nodded his head.
Gopi then went forward to take Deepika's hand in hers. "Deepu ben, I have something else for you." She got a small box from Aham and gave it to Deepika.
Deepu opened the box to find a thin white gold chain with a small locket. It was simple and elegant. "It is not very big, but when we went shopping I wanted to get this to you the minute I saw it. It has Kanhaji's blessings. I wish you all the happiness in the world, Deepu ben"
The brothers watched as Deepu hugged Gopi with tears in her eyes. "Thank you Bhabhi. I love it. Thank you so much."
"So she gets to come to mauritius and also gets another gift? Not fair Bhabhi." Jigar's intentional compliant brought the girls from getting too emotional. Deepu gleefully gave him a thumbs up. Aham just patted Jigar.. "Calm down Jigar. You will get your other gift when you come back. " Jigar looked at Aham puzzled. "All in good time little brother." Aham said taking Jigar with him to the next room
"Well, Kokila and me have the same request." It was Hetal and they were all seated in the hall of MB.. It was almost time to retire.. After the marriage, the fun and the guests they were now back at home.. Deepika had been ceremoniously taken into the house.
The house was now filled with laughter of 12 people, Meethi included and Baa and Naani were insisting that the wives put forth their requests to their husbands.
"We want to visit the farmhouse for a week. We need a break." Finished Hetal and then smiled at Kokila who gave a nod. It had been a point of discussion between them. They wanted to make sure that Chirag amd Parag had a holiday too. Hetal had been worried for Chirag and his attitude of not slowing down and she had shared it with Kokila. They had decided that a holiday was the right way to go.
"Hmm.. Now that is tough." It was Chirag. Hetal looked a little disconcerted but Parag intervened and asked his brother to accept it. "Come on Bhai, Bhabhi gave a great plan. It is time you took a break from work." Koki nodded slightly at Parag. He was in on it and had assured her of support.
"So now lets move on.. Kinjle. Your turn." Kinjle looked up to see Dhawal looking at her with a smile. She knew she was going to surprise him with her request. But she wanted it badly. "Dhawalji, I know this is going to surprise you. But I want to be a manager in one of the shops. I would like to work." Dhawal was surprised. It was obvious and the elders were concerned.
"Kinjle beta, why would you want to work?" It was her Kaki and the same question was seen on the face of the other elders. "Kaki, I like working and I think I can manage a home and work together." Kinjle explained.
"I think she is right Kakiji." Everyone looked up surprised at Dhawal. He was smiling a bit.
"Well we all appreciated her when she worked with me in the small shop I owned. Now it is time she gets a promotion. I think she is fully qualified too. The position is yours Kinjle ji." Kinjle gave a huge smile and mouthed thank you to Dhawal. Deepu clapped and Jigar joined her.
"Not so fast Deepu. Ask from Jigar Bhai." Kinjle encouraged Deepu who needed no encouragement. "Excuse me.. I am excluded from this. I am the groom.." All shouted him down saying it was for him that they were all in the position anyway. Jigar just pouted and let go.
"So Jigar.. Well, I do not need anything big." "I will decide that." "Ok, I want your XBox." "No way." Jigar stood up nodding no.. "Not that. Ask me for anything else. But not he XBox." The elders laughed at both wondering at their childish play. "Jigar, be a sport and give it to me. Come on.. That was the condition." "Well, the condition is I can reject your first request if needed." Jigar added triumphantly and Deepu just looked at him scornfully. "Ok, Then. My next request is that I get to use the entire cupboard in our room." Jigar looked horrified.
"Hey no.. So where will I place my things then?" "That is your problem." "NO, You are my wife, you need to share." "Well that applies to you too.."
The others left them to their own devices as they turned to look at the last pair. Gopi looked perplexed. Baa softly asked her to continue with her request. Gopi looked around and saw Aham give her a grin. She smiled back.
"Baa, I mean.. I do not need anything. You have all already given me everything I want." Gopi looked down embarrassed and also a little choked. She had never imagined she could be so happy but somehow she was. Her Kanhaji had made sure she would be always happy.
Hetal started to cajole Gopi when Kokila interrupted. "It is ok Mota Bhabhi. Gopi vahu, You do not have to ask now. But you can ask Aham anytime you think you want something." She ran her hand over her Bahu's hair as she hugged her.
Aham looked on filled with emotions he could not put words to.
"So you are not decided yet?" Aham again teased and then saw that Gopi was contemplating something seriously. He decided to give her the time she needed to decide on what she wanted.
"Ahamji, you do realize I do not have anything to ask because you have given me everything I need."
"But it is still nice to get demanded for something by one's wife once in a while." Gopi looked at Aham and saw him smile at her. But there was a longing in his voice too. " Ahamji, I do not ask you for things because I have you with me. When you are with me, I do not need anything else." Aham looked at his wife's sincere words and felt her love in those words. "It is alright really. But remember that you can always ask for anything from me. Not just this one time alone." Aham said kissing her forehead.
"I do have something to ask Ahamji." Gopi went near Aham and then haltingly whispered her request. Aham listened to what she had to say. Her words first surprised him but he knew immediately that she had echoed his own wishes, like she had the same thoughts as him. It should not have surprised him. After all they were soulmates
"Of course. Anything you want sweetheart. I do love you.." Aham whispered as Gopi hid her face in his chest.
"Bhai, this is the third time. You are right. I replaced this quote at the last minute with another and somehow R & R constructions quoted less than that.. There is some mole at office."
Aham nodded and frowned. The situation was getting really bad.
"Jigar we have no time. We will have to handle the new tender and also take care of this problem side by side." Jigar nodded and both brothers retired to the study seriously discussing the course of action.