The voices of Anokhi and Shreya kept ringing repetitively in the ears of Saachi as she tossed around in bed,trying her utmost to sleep.It was just a few hours before her very own wedidng and she's sweating profusely as she recollected what her best friend and sister attempted to do to her.
~2 Hours Back~
Anokhi:Tum toh bohat khil rahi ho Saachi..Your complexion's doing wonders after your Haldi rasam!!
Saachi:(smiled weakly)Hhmmm..(got lost in her thoughts)
Anokhi:Saachi,tum khush nahin lag rahe ho yaar...Is everything alright?
Shreya:Nothing is,Anokhi..Par Saachi di toh kuch kahegi bhi nahin..
Anokhi:Matlab?Saachi,Aman ke parivaar waalon ne kuch??
Shreya:Di shaadi hi nahin karna chahthi..
Anokhi:Kya??(her eyes widened in shock but Saachi was standing before her,expressionless)Aur tum ab bata rahe ho?
Shreya:Anokhi,mujhe bhi ab bata diya hai Saachi di ne aur woh bhi jab maine Maa ki kasam diya tha..Warna mujhe bhi nahin bata chalti aur di shaadi kar deti Maa ki khaatir..
Anokhi:Lekin ab..Ab kya?
Shreya:Kuch toh karni chahiye..
Anokhi:Saachi,tum yeh shaadi nahin karogi!!I mean,tum khud kush nahin ho iss rishthe se aur main nahin chahthi ki tum apni aur doosro ki zindagi bhi barbaad karo..Samjhi tum?
Saachi:Anokhi,tum situation ko nahin samajh rahi ho..Bohat dher ho chuki hain..Kal meri shaadi hai!!
Anokhi:Haan!!Aur tum pagal toh nahin ho gaye ho??Ab hum dono ko bataa rahe ho?
Shreya:Saachi di,dher tab hogi jab aapki shaadi Aman se ho jaayegi..Please dii!!Aisi galti matt kariye...
Saachi:Toh main aur kya karoo?Main mama aur mami ke dil ko nahin dukhaa sakti..Dekhi hain na tumne,Shreya?Kitne khush the sab jab Amanji ne mujhe pasand kiya tha?Aaj tak kitne ladko ne mujhe manaa kiya tha!!Par Aman ji ne mujhe pehle nazar mein hi pasand kiya tha..Har waqt mami ko meri shaadi ke chinta hoti rehti hai aur unhe bohat zyaada dukh hoti hai jab koi mujhe manaa kar deta hai..Aur aise mein,main kya kahoo unse??Ki mujhe iss liye shaadi nahin karni hai kyunki meri umr sirf 24 saal hai aur main apne zindagi mein kuch bannaa chahthi hoon??Ki main bohat kuch karna chahthi hoon..Shaadi ki bandhan mein baandh kar main ek kone mein apni zindagi nahin bithaana chahthi??Main khud sochna aur jaanna chahthi hoon ki mujhe kya bannaa hai..Lekin..(paused for a while)Lekin yeh shaadi,sab kuch itni jaldi ho rahi hain par main kuch nahin kar paa rahi hoon..
Shreya:Saachi di...(patted on Saachi's shoulder)Hhmm...
Anokhi:Idea!!!!(her eyes lit up instantly)
Anokhi:Uffo,sun toh lo,Saachi!!Bhaag jaao yaha se...
Saachi:Kya??Anokhi please..Main itni serious problem mein hoon aur tum kya sochthe jaa rahe ho??
Shreya:Di,seriously aapke liye zyaada waqt bhi nahin hai..Bhaag jaayiye yahaa se..Main aur Anokhi bahar dekh kar aate hain ki aapko yaha se kaise bhaagne hai..Theekh hai??Hum abhi aate hai..Chalo,Anokhi!!
Saachi:Nahin...Rukho, tum dono...!!
However,both of them had left her room and shut the door,leaving Saachi in an unexplainable state of anxiety.While sitting upright on her bed,Saachi deeply thought of Anokhi's idea but she can never bring herself to even agree to the idea for right now,she's only thinking of what her mama and mami might go through if she were to run away.Her mami will be totally devastated and feel humiliated in front of the crowd of close- and distant relatives who've come all the way from afar to attend the wedding and that too at the behest of her mami,the one lovely soul who had raised her up since the age of five.Her mami was extremely delighted and joyous when she first got to know from Aman that he liked Saachi at first sight;not only her mami,but everyone else were equally surprised and excited as well when Saachi got liked by a guy,who didn't raise any sort of questions which mocked her identity as an orphan or questioned her capabilities of being an ideal daughter-in-law.Saachi pondered upon her life as a question.She is only here only because of her mami who bothered to raise her up with so much of tender love and affection and she should not even think of hurting or betraying her mami at any cost.However,she thought about what might happen after the marriage and will she ever become truly happy by being contented with her mami's decision of getting married to Aman?Will she be happy by just thinking about others her entire life??To Saachi,her life has become a focal point of never-ending questions with no answers but one-that this is her fate and she should accept her fate,just as it is and go with the flow.She turned to look at the photograph of her mum and dad, the only hope of happiness in her life,to whom she had always shared her deepest worries and thoughts with,which she couldn't share with Anokhi,Shreya or any of her family members at this point of time.
Just then,she heard Anokhi's voice.Saachi promptly wiped her tears and placed the photograph aside.Anokhi and Shreya have come back after 2 hours and it was already late in the night,about 12:30 am.
Shreya:Dii,aap ro rahi thi??
Saachi:Nahin toh..Tum dono ko itni dher kyun lagi thi?
Anokhi:Idea...Sab log so chuki hai!!It's a perfect time to run away now!!
Saachi:Paagal ho gaye ho tum dono?Main kahin nahin jaa rahi hoon..
Anokhi:Kya matlab??Hello,hum yaha tumhari madat karne ki koshish kar rahe hain...
Saachi:Anokhi,please samajh ne ki koshish kar!!
Anokhi:Tum samjho...Yaha tumhari zindagi ki sawaal hai!!!Tum hamesha doosro ke baarein mein sochthe aaye hai!!!Bachpan se tumhe dekh rahi hoon,kabhi apne baarien mein nahin sochi hai tumne aur ab..Ab toh tumhari shaadi hai,Saachi!!!Tumhe poora haqq hain tumhari zindagi ki faisle khud lena...Aur tumhe lena padega hi!!!
Shreya:Haan dii...Main bhi yehi tab se keh rahi hoon..Please dii!!Agar aap Maa ke baarein mein soch rahi ho,toh main unhe samjaaongi!!Pakka,dii...Dii,yeh faisla aapko lena hi padega kyunki shaadi ek aisi cheez hoti hai jo apne zindagi mein khushiyaan le aa sakti hai ya phir zindagi bhar ka dukh...Kya aap waqaiy mein Aman se shaadi karna chahthe hai??Nahin,na??(Saachi didn't respond to Shreya)
Anokhi:Tumhe meri kasam hai,Saachi..Sach batao,please!!!We want your happiness,Saachi...Tumhe apni maa aur papa ki kasam hai!!(Saachi looked at Anokhi who held Saachi's hand firmly)Yeh yaad rakhna ki Aunty aur uncle tumhe abhi dekh rahe hain!!Unhe soch kar faisla karo!!
Just then,the three of them heard Saachi's mami's voice and she was knocking on the door,startling the three of them.Shreya went to open the door.
Mami:Arre,tum teeno soye nahin the??
Anokhi:Nahin aunty,bas aise hi gupshup baatein ho rahi thi...
Mami:Saachi beta,jaldi se fresh ho jao...Theekh hai??Tumhari nani aur mama ne mujhe uthaa kar yeh kahaa hai ke tumhe do gante mein tayyaar karke mandir le jaana hai..Ek mannat rakhi hai hum sab ne...Aur uske baad hum mandap mein pohchenge,theekh hai,beta??
Mami:Ek baat bata mujhe??Tum khush toh hona??
Saachi:Aap aise kyun pooch rahe ho mami??
Mami:Tumhe bata hai,tumhari maa aaj bohat khush hogi...Hamesha woh mujhe bata thi thi ki tumhari shaadi mein woh yeh karegi aur itna karegi ki koi bhi aisi shaadi karwaayi nahin hogi..Sach kahoo,main jaan thi hoon beta ki main tumhari Maa ki jaga nahin le sakti par zaroor koshish karungi,hhmm??
Saachi:(nodded happily)Haan Mami..Aap chaliye,main tayyaar ho aakar aati hoon...(Mami left from there)Main nahin karpaaungi Anokhi!!Mami ko dukh de kar main kaise??
Shreya:(shut the door)Please dii!!!Main kaha na main sab sambhaalungi!!I promise!!!
Anokhi:Tum jaa kar nahaalo,Saachi...Jaao!!
~At the Mandir~
Saachi arrived with her family members,Shreya and Anokhi at the mandir which was unusually quiet.Saachi was adorned in a beautiful pink saree which looked pretty heavy on her due to the designs and the work of the sequins along the border of her saree.Everyone prayed in humility towards God.However,Saachi,who was very much in a dilemma,only prayed to make the right decision in her life,especially when she's standing at a critical phase and in between Anokhi and Shreya who're not leaving any stones unturned to coax Saachi to run away from there.Saachi opened her eyes and realized that everyone was still praying with their eyes closed.Shreya covered Saachi's mouth while Anokhi held her hand to bring her a bit further back from the rest of them.The three of them were equally wary of what they're attemtping to do,especially Shreya who's actually quite scared,thinking of what if just suddenly one of her family members turn around to see what they were up to but she kept calm and composed,taking deep breaths in and out.
As Saachi was being brought backwards one step at a time,both Anokhi and Shreya didn't notice that they had reached the stairs of the temple,where they had climbed at the entrance of the temple.Just then,Saachi lost her balance and fell backwards.Shreya and Anokhi turned around and closed thier eyes,thinking that Saachi must have hurt herself badly as she must have fallen on the floor due to their stupidity.However,they opened their eyes to see a totally different sight.They heaved deep sighs of relief as they saw someone having held their Saachi and saved them from a big catastrophe,which could have possibly happened a few seconds ago,had Saachi fallen and hurt herself.
Anokhi:Phew!!!Saachi,open your eyes...Tum theekh toh ho???
Shreya:Saachi di,are you ok???
Saachi gradually opened her eyes to see a guy having held her in his arms.She looked at him and to her sides.He gradually tried to help her but she quickly stood away from him,feeling extremely worried and tensed.
Anokhi:(turned towards the guy)I've seen you somewhere but...Whoever you are,thanks so much for helping not only Saachi but us as well or else we would have landed in hot soup by now!!!Thanks...Chalo Saachi!!!
Saachi was brought by Shreya and Anokhi at a corner while Saachi turned to look at the guy who also lingered for a while to look back at her,feeling confused for a second but then he went towards the entrance of the mandir to meet his friends.