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The mini bus reached Shimla just before lunchtime. They all clambered out and looked around. The view from the hotel driveway was spectacular in itself. "Wow, this place is amazing " Chirag exclaimed."
"You are right Papa.. Bhai has picked such a nice place." Jigar added..
At that moment, they were greeted by the Hotel Manager, who welcomed them all. They were registered in, and shown to a private lounge where they saw Baa and Nani happily talking. KOkila rushed over,, aand asked when had they arrived.. "Only a little while a ago, responded Baa.. She looked at her family and suddenly frowned.. Kokila.. Ahem and Gopi, they aren't here?
'Baa, Ahem had to stay in Rajkot for work.. As soon as his work is done, he and Gopi will come and join us." Kokila explained.
They stood chatting for a few minutes until Jigar commented, "Mom, I am feeling very hungry after that long drive' is it ok if we go freshen up and then we can meet for lunch and talk?"
Everyone agreed to this plan and headed to their rooms, with Hetal and Kokila taking Baa and Nani to their rooms first..
Jigar and Rashi entered their room, and Rashi immediately started checking everything before walking over and opening the curtains, she let out a happy cry.. "Jigarji, you must come see.. it's so beautiful"
Jigar closed the door and leaned against it, his arms folded across his chest.. "Yes Rashi, it really is beautiful," he said dreamily..
Rashi turned and gave a small frown "Jigarji, you are standing over there, how can you see what is beautiful out the window."
Jigar walked over to her, and placing an arm around her waist, pulled Rashi close to him.. "the beautiful thing I saw, is right here in this room.. " he said huskily' Rashi, blushed, looking away..
He turned her so that she was again facing him, bringing up his right hand to caress her cheek. He felt her shiver at his touch and close her eyes. He leaned in, and softly blew on her cheek. She eyes fluttered open at the sensation and he could see her looking at him with wide eyes, realising how close his face was to hers.. Jigar smiled, a mischievous twinkle again in his eyes. He leaned in even closer.. his lips a mere millimetres away from hers.. "Rashi'.. he whispered looking down towards her lips before looking at her eyes again.. "Hmmm" he heard her respond, her eyes looking down at his lips..
"Rashi, I" Jigar again whispering.. his lips curving up in smile..
Abruptly, he pulled away and said, "Rashi, I am going to freshen up.. Everyone will be waiting for us." and walked off in the direction off the bathroom.. he turned slightly and looked over his shoulder and was happy to Rashi standing there, with a look of disappointment on her face.. He chuckled to himself as he entered the bathroom. This is going to be fun he thought to himself.
Jigar came out of the washroom and saw Rashi was unpacking their bag. "Rashi, leave that for now. Everyone will be waiting for us. You go and freshen up and then we can head down for lunch."
"Ji Jigarji, I will get ready fast and we can go."
Jigar watched as she disappeared into the bathroom, thinking about all the things he had planned for them to do in Shimla, hoping that this trip would bring them closer together and also relieve Rashi of the tension she had gone through the last few days. Thank God her eyes are ok, he thought to himself. He had been so worried when he had seen her with the bandages. While he would have loved her all the same had something happened to her eyesight, he knew Rashi would have devastated if anything like that happened to her.
He was bought out of his thoughts by a ringing phone and realised it was Rashi's mobile. It must be Rashi's mum, he thought, as he picked up and phone and answered it.
Before he could say a word though, he heard his mother in law on the other end "Rashi dikra, what happened? Why haven't you called me in so many days. What happened with our mirchi kalakari? Was Kagdi in a lot of pain? How is she now?"
Jigar kept silent, wondering who Kagdi was and what his mother in law meant by 'Mirchi kalakari"?
"Rashi dikra why aren't you saying anything? " after a pause Urmila continued "Is someone nearby you, is that why you can't say anything? Don't' worry, you can tell me about what happened later.. I rang you as I came up with another kalakari to get Kagdi and Hetalben to be even more angry with each other.. Suno '"
Jigar listened, as Urmila blathered on how to get his mom and Kakiji to get into argument with each other. Jigar didn't want to believe what he was hearing. His mother in law was intentional trying to cause rift between his mom and Kakiji. And Rashi! She was going along with all this?
"Rashi, you understood what you have to do? When you are free call me back ok and call me back fast so we can talk properly. Jai Shree Krishna" saying that, Urmila hung up.
Jigar stood there, looking at the phone, as waves of emotions crashed over him. He felt like he had been slapped in the face. How could Rashi do this? After everything that had happened between them.. He had believed her every word, that she honestly wanted to change herself and be part of his life. And here she was, trying to cause a fight within his family.
He hadn't been able to follow every word, but he had understood enough to realise what his mother in law and Rashi were trying to achieve. They wanted to create animosity, to create a divide between his mom and Kakiji or Kagdi as his mother in law seemed to call her. Jigar looked up sharply as he recalled more of what he had heard. His mother in law had referred to Kagdi and the mirchi kalakari. Surely this didn't mean what it sounded like. Jigar shook his head, Had Rashi tried to hurt Kakiji with mirchi powder? Was Kakiji the intended target and if so, how had Rashi ended up getting hurt? He knew Rashi got annoyed with Kakiji but to hurt herself, to purposely get mirchi in her eyes. He had to get to the bottom of this, he thought to himself. If Rashi was up to her old tricks then there was no point in trying to get closer to Rashi, there was no hope for their marriage, he added glumly
Hearing the bathroom door, Jigar quickly put Rashi's phone into his pocket. He didn't want Rashi speaking to her mom until he had worked out what was going on.
She was chirping away, about how happy she was to be here, and Jigar could feel the anger in him growing. Control yourself, he thought to himself.
'Jigar, are you ok" he heard her say
'Yes, I'm fine, " his voice flat. 'let's go, everyone is waiting." He strode out of the room, not waiting to see if Rashi followed him.
Rashi watched as Jigar walk out the room, a puzzled look on her face. He had seemed happy when she had gone to freshen up. What had happened in those few minutes she wondered? It almost seemed like he was angry at her.
She followed after him hastily, trying to work out what might have happened. She finally caught up to him and walked along side, glancing up at him every so often. He was definitely upset about something, she thought. His jaw was set and he was looking straight ahead, not looking at her, not even once, like he normally would.
Rashi felt a shiver go down her spine. It felt like they had stepped back in time, when Jigarji was not talking to her, after the whole family had found out about how her mom and her and gotten her married into the family. She recalled everything that had happened, being kicked out of the house, how Ahemjiju and Gopi had helped to bring her back and to bring her and Jigarji back together again. She remembered how miserable she had felt when each night Jigarji had gone to sleep on the sofa instead of on the bed.
They reached the dining area and spotting the rest of the family at a table, joined them. Soon they were enjoying the delicious food and making plans for the next few days. Throughout the lunch, Rashi kept glancing over at Jigarji and each time he seemed to be in deep thought, a slight frown on his face. He would smile every now and then, but it didn't seem genuine to Rashi.
She looked over at Jigarji again, hoping whatever it was that was upsetting him, would pass soon.
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