Joined: 11 August 2010
Phulwa was soundly asleep. She looks so child-like while sleeping, thought Abhay as he looked at her, leaning on one hand. It was as if no worries could touch her. Abhay had woken up almost and hour ago and still couldn't get enough of seeing her sleeping form. It was one of his favourite moments of the day when the first rays of sun would fall on Phulwa's face and she would wake up blinking her eyes at him then smile knowing he had once again woken up early to watch her. Today was special though, it was their first year marriage anniversary and he wanted everything to be perfect. He, Phulwa, Gauri, his dadima amd Ma had shifted in this new house since he returned from hospital. He wanted his famile as far away from Thakur as possible. Their fight against Thakur wasn't over but thinking the house contained too many painful memories, he thought Thakur was welcome to it. At least his Mom would not have to live in constant dread. Just as Abhay was thinking he was the happiest man alive, Phulwa opened her eyes and smiled. Abhay bent down and dropped a gentle kiss right on her smiling lips.
'What time is it?' she asked cuddling a little more to him.
Abhay let his head drop on the pillow so that his nose touched hers.
'Still early. Happy Anniversary Mrs Abhay Rai Singh."
Phulwa sighed with contentment closing her eyes for a second.
'Happy Anniversary." She wished him back.
Abhay traced the contour of her face with his finger while Phulwa looked into his eyes a twinkling light illuminating hers. Just as Abhay leaned closer, someone knocked on the door. Abhay's finger stilled and he looked at the ceiling looking like a little boy who had his candy stolen. Phulwa laughed and slipped from under the covers.
' Kya timing hai yaar," Abhay mumbled stretching fully on the bed feeling deprived of a very good start to the morning.
Phulwa opened the door and Abhay scrambled up from the bed quickly. Badi thakurain surveyed the scene, a mischievous look on her face.
'It's already six thirty, Phulwa. There is a lot of work to do. Since you weren't coming downstairs, I thought I should come and wake you up but here I see you are already wide awake." She looked at Abhay as she said the last bit.
'I'm going to take a shower." Abhay tried to hide his grin and disappeared from the room.
Phulwa sat down to Badi Thakurain's level and held her hands.
'Don't worry Badi Thakurain. Everything will be as we thought." She said
Badi thakurain patted her hand and nodded.
Thakurain had wanted to throw a party for Abhay and Phulwa. She had appeared so happy while planning it that everybody had been taken in with the idea. The best thing was Thakurain had lost the scared look in her eyes and in front of her happiness everybody gave in to the idea. The whole house felt festive. The decorators would be coming in shortly and Thakurain had herself sent the invitations.
They set up breakfast on the table and Phulwa started serving them. Thakurain got up and made a gesture to tell Phulwa to sit down and that she would serve today. Phulwa shook her head and pushed Thakurain back in her seat.
'This is my job. Aapke bahu hone ke naathe, I should serve you and not the other way round maaji."
By the time they started eating, Abhay had showered and was getting down the stairs. Phulwa looked up noticing the way his wet hair lifted a little everytime he took a step. She wanted to run her fingers through their thickness but resisted as he sat down. Phulwa served him parathas and sat next to him.
When breakfast ended, everybody dispersed each mumbling about a task and Phulwa accompanied Abhay to the door.
'I'll be home early. There is no need for you to do any work, ok? The hired persons will do that." He told her knowing too well phulwa wasn't one to sit with her arms crossed while others did the work.
Phulwa nodded and pushed him towards the door.
'Ok, now go.' She said playfully.
Abhay glanced behind her to see if anybody was near then leaned in and kissed Phulwa long and sweet. He then grinned and waved as he went away. Phulwa stayed there feeling disoriented and light. It took the arrival of the decorators to pull her out of where Abhay's kiss had taken her.
It was a little after noon when Thakurain came to tell Phulwa to go collect the saree she had asked to be made for her. The driver took Phulwa to Mishraji's shop and as she got down from the car, she noticed the streets were not bustling with people at the this time of the day. She chatted some with the shop owner.
'Phulwaji, I heard it is your and Abhay sir's first marriage anniversary. My best wishes to you. I pray that you remain united like this forever." Mishraji told her.
'Thank you. When your people's prayers are with you, you are bound to stay happy." She smiled at him and too the wrapped parcel.
Just as she stepped out of the shop. Her phone rang. She continued walking and picked up.
'Phulwa, just calling to ask if everything is ok over there and that you are being lazy for once." Abhay told her.
'I'm not at home right now. Maaji asked me to pick up my saree so Im at mishraji's. But yes, everything going smoothly at home. The decorators are almost done and now...im just waiting for someone to come home." Phulwa said happily.
As Abhay started to answer, someone tapped on phulwa's shoulder and she turned. She was surprised to see Thakur standing there and let her hand holding the phone drop to her side.
'Kare sasuri. Bahut khush lag rahi ho. It's your first year marriage anniversary after all." He smirked at her. 'Now that Abhay is with you, you think you are strong but you are mistaken. Jab tak tum dono ko khatam nahin karde ta, how will I live. Tumhe to upar paunchake hi dum lai ge Phulwa" He pointed to the sky with his finger and laughed loudly.
Phulwa looked at him square in the eye.
'You cannot do anything Thakur. All your ploys have backfired on you. What weapon will you use against me now? You are just talk and nothing else, Thakur." Phulwa said looking amused.
Thakur's smile dimmed a little then he laughed again and lowered his voice.
'Main kuch nahin kar sakta na? Then what was it that I did to your Mother, Father, sisters, brother-in-law." He counted on his finger and looked at her mockingly.
Pain flitted across Phulwa's eyes for a second as she remembered the lifeless bodies of her family. She squared her shoulders and told herself not to give Thakur the satisfaction of seeing her wounds. She smiled at him and calmly retorted.
'That was an attack from a coward. But I am not one. Main piche se vaar nahin karti. Remember your son, Thakur. I looked at him in the eye and shot him." She said.
Thakur's face distorted in anger and he grabbed Phulwa hair yanking her head behind. Phulwa bit her lip to silence a cry of pain. Thakur pushed his face close to hers.
'I should kill you right now. In fact it would be a great way of killing two birds with one stone. Your pati Abhay too will die without you." Thakur said.
A car screeched to a halt and Abhay got down. What he saw made his blood boil. Thakur and touching his Phulwa.
'Get your bloody hands off her, Thakur." He removed his gun from the holder and pointed it at him.
Thakur let go of Phulwa instantly and crossed his arms. His expression didn't change.
Abhay looked at Phulwa.
"Are you ok?" concern was etched in his features.
Phulwa nodded and came to stand next to him. They both looked at Thakur. Phulwa calmly and Abhay with eyes full of hatred his hands itching to pull the trigger.
"You have done the greatest mistake of your life in touching my wife, Thakur and I'll make sure you pay for it."
Thakur let out a small laugh.
"Really? And what will you do?"
Abhay relaxed and smiled mockingly at him.
"I think I'll give Phulwa a second gift." He said
Thakur looked momentarily confused and Phulwa waited for Abhay to continue. Abhay looked at her.
" You will get your second gift before your first, Phulwa." Then at Thakur. "And that gift," there he paused, " will be the haveli."
Colour drained from Thakur's face.
"In case you have forgotten. That haveli and every property you own belongs to me, Thakur Daroga Singh. The fact that I didn't ask you for any of it when I left doesn't mean you can consider it to be yours." He circled Thakur while he talked then came back in front of him.
'How will it look? MLA Thakur Daroga Singh living on the streets." Abhay became pensive as if imagining Thakur in that form and he looked at Thakur, his face set in stone.
Thakur clenched his teeth.
"You will not do anything of that sort. You still don't know me well enough Abhay. If I want, I can have anything done."
"Phir kaam pe lag jao Thakur, kyunki tumhe wakil ke papers aaj hi milene wale hai."
Thakur stared at both of them then turned and got into his car.
Abhay placed his hands on Phulwa's shoulders looking at her and trying to see if she was hurt. When he had heard Thakur's voice over Phulwa's phone, he had been so angry. His heart was still beating fast from thinking of him hurting Phulwa.
"Kuch nahin hua Abhay. Main thik hoon." Phulwa reassured him. " But what was that about the house?"
Abhay had not planned on doing that but seeing him with Phulwa like this, he had wanted nothing but to kill Thakur. But that would be a too easy way to die. He needed to face humiliation first.
"It's time to give him back some of the pain he gave us." Abhay told her.
They went home together in Abhay's police van and Abhay called his lawyer who assured him he would send the necessary papers. The driver brought the car home.
It was almost seven and the guest would start coming in half an hour. Phulwa had showered and now got into the saree Thakurain had chosen. It was silky to the touch as she rubbed the material to her cheek. The colour was a light pink with silver bits making it glow. She put it on and surveyed herself in the mirror. Her hair was down. Gauri had told her she would do her hair when she finished getting ready. Babu would be there so that meant Gauri would herself take some to deck up. Abhay opened the bathroom door and looked at Phulwa. She looked like an Angel, he thought coming closer and dropping a kiss at the nape of her neck. Phulwa closed her eyes and leaned back. Abhay brushed her hair aside and trailed small kisses along the small of her back. He then turned her towards him and kissed her closed eyelids. Phulwa sighed and grabbed his shoulders. It was then that she realised he was naked. She opened her eyes quickly. Well he was almost naked. The only thing he had on was the towel around his waist. Phulwa pushed him lightly on his bare chest loving the feel of the small hairs under her palm.
'Abhay, you are not ready yet? We'll be late." But Abhay refused to budge.
His eyes twinkled with mischief. Phulwa stepped back a little.
'I don't care. They can wait."
Phulwa opened her eyes wide.
"What? Now? Abhay, don't be silly. Everyone will wonder what we are doing so long in the room." She continued to back away as Abhay was slowly advancing towards her smiling naughtily.
" They are fools if they don't know what a husband and a wife do in a closed room." Abhay shot out a hand to grab Phulwa but she was quicker and dodged. She laughed sending tinkles of laughter scattering in the room.
"Stop it Abhay otherwise I'll have to defend myself." Phulwa dodged again this time abhay had managed to catch her sari but she pulled it back.
Abhay didn't look as if he would listen. Instead he wore the smile which always made Phulwa's pulse race and advanced. Phulwa's knees bumped into the bed and she fell down on it. Abhay jumped and laughingly pushed her back before she could get up. He leaned on top of her and nuzzled her neck. Phulwa giggled. The only person who could make her do that was Abhay.
"Abhay, my saree will crease and everyone will know what we have been up to." Phulwa told him quietly already feeling quite lost in the feeling of his lips.
Abhay looked up.
"I'll take extra care, promise." He grinned.
Phulwa looked at him reprimanding while trying to hide her own grin.
"I think you have forgotten that I'm a dacait. I can very well defend myself." She told him pinching the arm holding her playfully.
"Believe me, I would love to see that. After all, I'm a police officer. We will see who's stronger . "
Phulwa grabbed the vase on the bed side table and brought near Abhay's head.
"If I break that on your head, I win. See, it's easy. I didn't even have to stretch myself Mr Commissioner" She told him her eyes shining with love and mischief.
Abhay looked at the vase then at her.
"And if I do this, you put it down." He slipped down a little and kissed her navel.
Phulwa drew a sharp breath in. Abhay lifted his head and smiled almost arrogantly knowing he always had the upper hand.
"You can break that vase on my head now." Abhay told her.
"Let's just say I could but Dacait Phulwa is on vacation today so you are safe." Phulwa said a little breathlessly.
Abhay dimmed the rooms light and came back to her. This time he was relieved nobody came to interrupt since even if they had he would have been unable to stop.
It was more than half an hour later that they came down. Thank god the saree hadn't creased, phulwa thought as she looked at Abhay. He had taken care of that by removing it completely. Abhay winked at her as he took her hand in his and started greeting the guests. He looked dashing in black suit and white shirt. His shirt buttons were open at the top making him look like a total heartthrob. Most of the women in the room spent some more time than necessary talking with him, phulwa thought trying not to feel jealous. He stopped at the mike. Babu came to hug Phulwa and stood next to her.
'Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being present here to celebrate our first marriage anniversary. This year has been the best of my life because I happen to have managed to catch the most wanted Dacait ever." He looked at Phulwa and grinned.
The whole room laughed.
"As you know, this is a very great achievement for any police officer and what's more, I have caught her permanently and there is no chance of her escaping. This means you will get many more invitations like this one in the future."
They all clapped loudly and Phulwa glared at Abhay then her eyes turned soft and she seemed to say she never wanted to get out of this imprisonment.
Gauri dug her elbow gently in Phulwa's waist.
'Jijia, you are looking really rosy. Before you went to the room, you weren't glowing so much." She teased.
Phulwa blushed and tried to looked serious.
'It must be the effect of the make-up you gave me."
Gauri shook her head and bit her lip to hide her laughter at the embarrassed expression on Phulwa's face.
"I am sure it's not make-up, jijia. This looks natural."
Phulwa slapped her arm gently.
"Shut up Gauri. Stop teasing me." She said laughing softly.
Just then, Abhay finished his speech telling everyone to enjoy themselves and came to phulwa. He shook babu's hand then took her phulwa's hand and pulled her to the dance floor.
Phulwa placed her hand on Abhay's shoulder and swayed gently with him. He looked deep into her eyes and the depth of his love was impossible to gauge. It was so strong that Phulwa felt it enveloping her with its warmth. They danced for some time until Abhay stopped making phulwa lift her head from his shoulder and look at him questioningly. His phone was vibrating. He looked at the display.
'Your gift is here." Abhay said pulling phulwa toward the door.
' What is it? You have to go out for it?" Phulwa looked amused but kept in stride with Abhay.
A car was parked outside and a young woman got out. Phulwa looked at her but she couldn't place her. She looked at Abhay as the young woman stopped in front of her.
'Kaise ho Phulwa?' she asked smiling with tears in her eyes.
Phulwa looked confused but the girl's voice evoked a strange feeling in her chest. She felt that she knew her.
"You didn't recognise me. Im chehek."
Phulwa was shocked. She looked into the girl's eyes and in her heart she knew the girl was saying the truth. She started crying thinking of all the times she had tried to find her and Shankar's father. They both hugged, phulwa still felt like she was in a dream. She looked at Abhay who nodded at her reassuringly. He then touched Phulwa's hand and went inside leaving them alone.
Chehek was so beautiful. She looked fine but phulwa couldn't stop looking at her face.
'I looked for you everywhere. I thought I would never meet you again."
Chehek wiped off her tears.
'Me too but your husband found me." Chehek didn't let go of Phulwa's hand.
Phulwa steered her towards the garden bench and asked her where was her grandfather. Chehek looked sad suddenly.
"He passed away two years back but it was old age more than anything else." She added when she saw the painful look in phulwa's eyes. " He always said he wanted to meet you. Before he went, he told me that even though he couldn't, I surely will. I've always kept that hope close and here I am."
She then told phulwa how her nani ma had saved her from sharbati knowing that she could do anything. She sent them far away when she heard Sharbati's planning with Thakur. Shankar's rejection had hurt her to such a point that she was ready to sacrifice anyone close to him to avenge herself even if that person was her niece. But her grandma couldn't let that happen and stayed with sharbati without ever telling her where they were. She invented a story on how shankar's men took them away before she could do anything. They had left india and her dadaji's health deteriorated. They hadn't come back knowing Sharbati would kill them if she knew. It was only now that she had come back and Abhay was the one who found her. They talked endlessly until Phulwa saw some of the guests leaving and came to say bye. She then brought Chehek inside the house telling her she had to stay with them but Chehek shook her head.
'My husband will be waiting for me." Chehek smiled at phulwa's expression.
"You are married?" Phulwa was so happy for her ."Why didn't you bring him with you?"
"I think he knew we wouldn't care about anyone else around. Did you see how your Abhay escaped before we got started with our reunion? By the way, I have to say you have the most amazing husband. And here I thought mine was the best."
Phulwa laughed back.
"Yes he is but I am sure yours very good also."
Phulwa introduced her to her family and only let chehek go when she promised she would come back the next day and this time with her husband. They hugged and Phulwa felt like one guilt had been lifted off her shoulders. She had always thought she had lost chehek because of her enmity with Thakur and the price of thakur's revenge had been paid by them but chehek was safe. The only regret she had was she hadn't been able to meet Chehek's gandfather. The last of the guests left wishing them again and the servants started cleaning up the place. Badi Thakurain, maaji and Gauri said goodnight and went to their rooms. Phulwa turned to Abhay. Only he could do something like that. He knew every corner of her heart. Phulwa placed her head on his chest feeling soothed by the sound of his heartbeats.
"Thank you. I could not imagine a better gift than this."
"Don't thank me this quickly, there's more to come." He told her kissing her hair.
He lifted her in arms and without looking away from her, climbed the stairs. In their room, he put her down gently and went to retrieve a red box from a drawer. He opened it. It was a necklace. The diamonds shone so brightly on the platinum base that they looked like little twinkling stars. Phulwa blinked at the beauty of it.
"It's beautiful, Abhay. Don't you think you are pampering me too much?" she asked as she traced the necklace with her fingers.
Abhay shook his head is a definite no.
"You didn't notice the design?" Abhay asked her.
Phulwa looked at Abhay then at the necklace. She saw it and almost gasped. She lifted her left arm and saw the design of the necklace reflected there. The diamonds curved into a delicate flower at the center, then she noticed the small letters on each petal. There as a P, and H, a U, an L, a W and an A. From the few classes she had started taking with Abhay's encouragement, Phulwa could make out her name. Her eyes lit up and she drew Abhay's head down and kissed him. Laughter rumbled in Abhay's chest but he could get it out since his mouth was completely shut thanks to his dacait rani. Phulwa pulled back thinking she really was the luckiest woman alive. Abhay took the necklace and clasped it behind her neck.
"I thought the best gift for my Phulwa would be a flower of her name. And now my gift." He said and lifted phulwa and placed her on the bed. He lied down next to her, that dangerous look in his eyes.
This time he didn't care if the saree got creased neither did phulwa. Phulwa thought that nothing could beat the time they had spent together before the party, but Abhay proved her wrong...just like he always did.
Sorry for the typing mistakes. Ur criticisms are most welcome
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Joined: 13 December 2011
Joined: 11 August 2010
Joined: 11 August 2010
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