Though their Skype call had ended quite a while ago, Rahul's words echoed in Shaan's mind.
"Abhi ke liye bhai hi sahi, jab tak tu ussey bhabhi nai bana leta."
Was Rahul actually being serious about Khanak?
Could she really be different?
It seemed so.
Am I kidding myself, thinking that I'm just getting to know her for a time-pass theory I have?
Is my isolation actually detrimental for me?
But then, Rahul has always been the softer one of the two of us. He always believed in the ultimate relationship a man and a woman shared sincerely, even if it never really turned out the right way for him.
After all this time, and all the possibilities of success with his girl not working out, if Rahul could be optimistic then is the problem really with me?
Am I being skeptical for no good reason?
And why do I feel that Khanak really might be different?
And what if my feeling is correct?
What will I then tell Khanak?
I am not ready to commit. How will be handle the truth even if we find ourselves compatible?
Shaan had no option but to hold his head in his hands and mentally beat himself up for getting into this situation.
Acha khasa Mumbai mein baitha huwa tha tu.
Kya shauk charha tha Khanak ko dekhne ka?
Aur agar dekh bhi liya tha tou dad ko seedha seedha keh deta ke nai bhai. Not done.
But nai beta Shaan.
Tu ne tou hero banna tha.
'Theory' test karni thi apni.
And just as Shaan was wondering how to get out of this dilemma he noticed a light brown envelope on the floor, just in front of his bedroom door. The envelope looked familiar. Khanak's letter?
But how could it be, I just met her before coming in my room and she was going to go sleep. Plus, we're both living under the same roof then why would she write a letter?
Puzzled, Shaan went to pick up the envelope. The elegant cursive writing told him to was addressed to a Shaantanu Khandelwal, from a Khanak Jadeja. The elegant cursive writing which Khanak had called a scrawl, was something Shaantanu could easily trace back to its owner. Not wanting to wait any longer especially since his curiosity was increasing by the moment, Shaan tore open the envelope and sat down on his bed to read what the folded paper had to tell him.
Keeping in mind your beliefs about marriage and the apparently different relationship you share with your father your decision to give this proposal a chance has both surprised and pleased me. Your sudden appearance in my kitchen today may have shocked me but I think we can put that behind us now.
Coming to your question. It is not only a matter of how people behave around me that decides what my belief are in that I do not believe what the majority does is always right. Material or paper marriages are not uncommon but I do not believe that such evolution of a righteous institution renders the original concept obsolete. And even in such marriages, the support that a spouse provide is still a prominent feature, thought the methods of support may be different. I may have ideological views about marriage but that does not mean such view are unrealistic.
About your views on women. To say I am shocked would shock even me, because frankly speaking Shaantanu, I have not found you to be diplomatic from any angle. Hence, I'd also take the compliment of you finding me being "a woman with more substance than lipstick and mineral powder." Alas, Shaantanu that only establishes that I have a little more acceptability in your life than most women. Whether you'll give me a right to own that acceptability is another matter that is yet to be seen.
As untraditional as it sounds, I am in a way glad that you are here. Though I too believe it seems a bit premature to set a deadline for our decision, I believe we cannot keep our parents waiting for long. Hence, your trip provides us with an opportunity to get to know each other better.
Shaan scratched his head as he read the last few words Khanak had written.
Gaddi track pe hai it seems.
She's not written my full name in the beginning as if I'm a strager.
She's being more open about her views.
And she had rightly observed that I am no diplomat.
She hasn't signed off with her full name; just a "Khanak"-so may be it means we're moving towards a comfort zone.
And to top it all off- she is GLAD that I am here!
Tou ab kya Shaan bete?
Bohat forward and desperate na lagay.
But I feel like talking to her!
Insaan ban Shaan. Ziyada eagerness show karne ki zaroorat nai hai.
Yeah, that right.
Calm down man!
And calm down it was. Shaan turned off the lights and put Khanak's letter in the bedside drawer. Though her thought he wasn't thinking about Khanak, little did he know that the faint smile on his lips suggested otherwise.
When Shaantanu came down for breakfast, Alpana offered him some parathas.
"Nai nai aunty thanks, I don't like parathas."
"Thora sa try ker lo beta."
"Aunty aap ne banaey hein ya ready-made hein?"
"Nai meine nai banaey beta but-"
"Tou phir I'll pass aunty. Waise bhi paratha jaisa bhi ho I can't have it. Kabhi try hi nai kiya after childhood. Koi specially banaey tab bhi nai."
"Oh acha phir cereal lo ge beta?" asked Alpana, slightly disappointed.
"Jee aunty, cereal is good."
Khanak, who had been serving breakfast to her dad came down to sit beside her mom who sat just opposite Shaan. Their eyes met but Shaan felt something different about Khanak's look. Just then, Chitresh guided Shaan to what it was.
"Khanak beta, hamesha ki tarhaan the parathas are amazing!"
Edited by ABlank90 - 04 July 2012 at 2:37am