Joined: 04 September 2011
Failure is a common occurrence in life. Failure to succeed in work. Failure to convince others of your point of view. Failure to win a competition. Failure to understand something or someone. Failure to trust someone. Failure to give what you take from others. Yes, failure is quite common indeed.
But which failure are we talking about? Which failure has now highlighted itself in the course of this tale?
Failure to honour a mutual decision.
Readers, you might be wondering a lot many things at this point in time. Why did Shaan and Khanak fight? Why did our usually patient Khanak lose her temper? Why did our Shaan suddenly decide to leave for India? Why did Khanak seem unaffected? Was there any room for amends to be made?
So many clear questions, such few apparent answers.
As Khanak was clearing up in the kitchen after dinner her mind raced on a track so bumpy that she felt a slight headache after a while. Her outburst this afternoon had surprised even her. She wasn't quick to lose her cool. In fact, she couldn't even recall the last time she had lost her temper. What was it about Shaantanu that had ignited such fierce frustration within her?
She knew not.
All she knew was that her patience was getting her nowhere. And apparently, the outburst had not been as unfair on Shaantanu as she had earlier feared. The conversation at the dining table had proved so. She had tried to analyze the discussion from several angles but all of them lead to one conclusion: Shaantanu was running away.
If he had indeed wanted to return to India on some tangible and reasonable grounds what could they possibly be? His mom was missing him- after 25 years had she not come to realize that children grow up and might not be at home always? Didn't he go to business meetings? Wasn't he away to the US for 4 years when he was doing his MBA? Madhavi Aunty knew that Shaantanu was coming to London to finalize the crucial initial details- of course she'd be mentally prepared to not see him for a few weeks! Plus, she didn't yet know that all the work had been completed.
Second: Shaantanu was genuinely not interested in touring London. WHO could not want to see London? It had heritage, landmarks, history, culture and if not anything else museums and modern architecture! Even if he was genuinely not interested, did he not have any other reason to stay back? Couldn't he look into some other basic business decisions like her dad had proposed? Was he not enjoying himself here? Certainly didn't seem like that! And who doesn't like relaxing by taking a few days off? Or he could've proposed seeing other parts of the UK. After all, travel is not much of a difficulty considering their schedules and wealth.
No. There could only be one explanation for Shaantanu's decision: he did not have the courage to stay in London and face her.
They hadn't talked ever since they came back from the market, even though they did get a few chances. She could have initiated but wasn't he the one who cut her off and told her she wasn't all welcome in his life first? Even a simple awkward half-smile would have shown his interest in her.
But what now? He was leaving soon. Would he talk things out with her? Would he clarify his stance and ask her about hers? Would he ask for more time?
Uh! Again? But at least it would be better than not saying anything at all!
But what if he didn't say anything? Should she go talk to him? Should she explain why she reacted the way she did?
Khanak halted at these questions and stared at the sink. A few seconds later she realized that she had been running water over a glass which had been cleaned already. She quickly put it away and proceeded to take off her gloves, rinse her hands and leave the kitchen whilst summing up her thoughts.
At this point in time, keeping everything in mind, it seemed to compromise her position if she went to talk to Shaantanu.
He'd never learn or realize anything if I always readily accommodate all his insecurities and shortcomings. Things will never change if I go and talk to him. At least not tonight.
Meanwhile, in the television lounge Shaantanu and Manya were watching television. Khanak, in an effort not to be seen affected by Shaantanu's abrupt declaration, came and sat with them.
"Di, sab kaam ho gaya?" asked Manya.
"Tou aap humare saath movie dekhein gi!" exclaimed an excited Manya.
"Kon si?" asked Khanak.
"Insiduous! Abhi abhi shuru hui hai Di, you haven't missed much."
"Insidious? Wo horror movie?"
"Arre nai baba please kuch aur dekhlo not this."
"Kyun Di? You know I like it so much and Shaan bhai has no problem in watching it."
"Tou Shaan ke saath hi dekho phir, I'm off" said Khanak.
"Ohho Di," Manya held Khanak's arm to stop her, "come join us na. Maza aye ga." She winked.
"Mujeh interest nai hai iss movie mein Mannu, kabhi koi aur movie dekh lein ge if you have to watch this today," replied Khanak and tried to move away.
"Bhai Di ko kahein na ke humare saath movie dekhein," teased Manya.
Since Shaantanu had been brought in the conversation very explicitly, he had no choice but to answer. And being not very suave with word that unfine day, Shaantanu replied with "Rehne do Manya. Agar Khanak ko horror films se darr lagta hai tou let her go. If she's not willing to understand you then there's no point."
"Bhaaii! You're not being helpful," cried Manya, "Di please?"
Releasing her arm from Manya's grasp, Khanak replied: "Nai Manya, not today. Waise bhi jin logoun ko darr lagta hai they run away. Jinhe sirf dislike ho kisi baat pe, they tend to stand a little afar and take things as they come. Mera dil nai hai movie dekhne ka tou mein tum se jhootha wada kar ke movie dekhne nai baithoun gi only to tell you midway ke I can't watch it tou I'm leaving. Tum movie dekho and enjoy."
Khanak smiled and went to her room.
Not understanding that the first few lines Khanak had said were not meant for her, Manya went back to watching the movie but not before sighing: "Ye Di bhi na. Itni philosophical ho jaati hein kabhi kabhi ke un ki baatein sar ke upar se nikal jaati hein."
The next morning, a lazy Sunday morning, brought with it several advancements. Firstly, Khanak had made a strong resolve not to sympathize with Shaantanu. He did not warrant nor deserve it. Period. Secondly, Shaantanu had made concrete plans about his return flight which were unfolded on the breakfast table. The tickets had been booked for an early morning flight for tomorrow. Family had been notified and was glad he was coming back. No further debate ensued. A few customary disappointed statements and sighs were thrown in, but none challenged the decision. Thirdly, a deadline had been set for Shaantanu. A deadline he might never know existed.
After breakfast, Khanak retired to her room to do some work. No matter how hard she tried, Alpana could not trace a hint of disappointment in her elder daughter's behavior. Had she raised her so well that she shielded emotions a woman was not deemed acceptable to flaunt in public? Or had her daughter detached herself from the cause? Neither the former nor the latter seemed to convey the entire truth. Though as more informed people, we readers can safely conclude the latter was more the case than the former.
Manya knocked and entered Khanak's room, only to find her brother and sister deep in some economic mumbo jumbo. She waiting for them to conclude their discussion over something called the Law of Equi-Marginal Utility but it seemed to take them forever. Finally, when they seemed to be done with Harsh's work, Manya exclaimed: "No wonder Shaan Bhai ja rahe hein!"
A little, though unnecessarily tensed Khanak asked why Manya would say that and was greeting with something no elder sister wants to hear, but every younger sister wants to tease her about: "Aap itni boring ho! Wahan Bhai ja rahe hein and yahan aap iss stupid Harsh ke saath ye accounts ya economics..jo bhi hai…wo parh rahi ho? Seriously Di!"
"Tou aur kya karoun? He must have tons of things to do. Let him do it in peace. Ab kya un ki packing bhi mein karoun?" replied Khanak.
"Tou aur," said Manya whilst jumping on the bed where Khanak and Harsh sat. She fluttered her eyelashes to emphasize her point and tease Khanak.
"Pagal mat ban Mannu. Di has better things to do. And you're forgetting ke Di and Bhai ki shaadi abhi hui nai hai tou tu ziyada khush na ho." interrupted Harsh.
"Uff ho. Tum tou duniya ke sab se unromantic insaan ho Harsh. Please Di se door raho warna yahan Bhai ki daal nai galne wali," replied Manya.
"Jis ki daal galni hoti hai us ki gal jaati hai Mannu. Don't get so excited that you lose track of reality." chipped in Khanak.
"Exactly," said Harsh.
"What is wrong with you two?" Manya exclaimed, "Di you should spend the whole day with Bhai aaj…"
"Manya relax," Harsh interrupted her again, "Ye Di ki life hai and I think she knows how to live it better than you. Ziyada expert na bano and let her decide."
Khanak smiled seeing her younger siblings discuss her life. Her life with a man who didn't trust her when she had given him every reason to believe in her sincerity. From disclosing her likes and dislikes to discussing her education and work plans. From declaring what marriage meant to her and being honest about why she agreed to give their relationship a go.
"Di," Khanak was brought out of her reverie by Harsh's voice, "Aap iss idiot Manya ki baat mat sunno. Shaan Bhai may be a nice guy but of course being well-mannered, well-groomed and business savvy isn't the only criteria. And face it Mannu, that's all we know about him. Di knows better so kindly don't push her around. At the end of the day Di ki khushi matters."
Shaantanu zipped up the last of his suitcases and put them away near the bedroom door. The wall clock claimed the time to be around 10 pm so his tired body decided to go to bed early since he had a morning flight to catch. A good night's sleep seemed especially attractive considering the messy state his mind was in.
Was he wrong to shout at Khanak like that? Hadn't she been the one who was intrusive and demanding? Wasn't she playing with words to corner him? Of course she was! A tiny part of his brain told him that he was equally, if not more, responsible for the caf fiasco but he shut that part up by saying it was irrational and emotional. Emotions never bode well for a man who sought reason in them, he reminded himself.
He turned off his bedside lamp and pulled the duvet over his head.
Sometime that night, he heard someone enter his bedroom. Something told him it was Khanak.
Joined: 25 May 2011
Joined: 07 July 2010
oh u stopped at wrong point...i cnt wait...
awee harsh is advising as a big bro lol...bt loved deir convo...OMG shaan leaving in morning...n khanak entered at midnite will dey talk??????? whts gonna happ cnt wait...
Joined: 30 September 2010
Joined: 01 February 2012
Joined: 12 March 2012
Joined: 24 April 2011
Joined: 01 January 2011
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