Joined: 24 November 2009
I am new to this forum and started watching the show very recently. So please excuse any factual errors. Please do let me know if I made any mistakes. I would be happy to rectify them.
I envisioned this as a two-part OS. I do not have part 2 written yet so I do not know when I will post it.
I will try my best to post it in the next day or two - the operative word being TRY
Shiv drove his jeep along the muddy roads. He was so tired and he had not slept all night. It had been a hell of a morning so far. He was in Jaipur for discussions with the Chief minister (CM) and had been called back last night because there were problems in Jethsar. He and Bhim Singh had driven all night to get here. If he could wrap his hands around Heth Singh's neck he would gladly strangle him and that sidekick of his. The canal (nehr) project was taking longer than expected thanks to the machinations of those two idiots. The two of them together had convinced some gullible villagers that all their lands would be in harm's way because they were right next to the canal and if the canal floods they would lose their livelihood. The innocent villagers had believed their MLA and staged a protest. With no Anandi by his side today, he had a harder time convincing them that they were getting worked up over nothing. Things looked like they would get out of hand until Bheem Singh threatened to call Anandi to come and discuss this with them. Shiv was ready to strangle his PA until he realized that everyone had calmed down. They all knew Anandi had caught a fever and had been placed under strict house arrest by Daadisa and Sumitra for past few days. They also knew her well enough to realize that if she even got a whiff of the problem she would come running. No one wanted that to happen and so they stood around quietly worried about her health. Seeing a lull, Shiv grabbed the opportunity and pushed the engineer to explain the safety features they had put in place to prevent this. He requested the people to please give him 2 minutes to let the engineer speak. Once the engineer was done, they could discuss it. Once the people understood the failsafe measures that were in place to prevent flooding of their fields, they calmed down and apologized to Shiv for creating a commotion. They promised not to listen to anything Heth Singh had to say. Shiv was glad everything ended amicably but he was ticked off that this whole tamasha had happened in front of Mr. Rathod, the representative sent by the chief minister to inspect the work.
With that problem solved, Shiv had told the engineer to go
ahead and decided to go check up on Anandi. In spite of all the people in the
haveli taking care of her, he knew she would not sit still. Though running a
raging fever she still kept tabs on him and the discussions over the phone,
until he had called daadisa who had confiscated her phone. Shiv smiled knowing
she would be mad at him, but it was needed if she was to get any better because
she needed complete rest according to the doctor's orders. Sumitra had told him that her fever had subsided but she was still weak. Shiv hated being away when she was sick, but he could not say no to the CM plus Anandi had compelled him to go. Mr. Rathod's voice
broke into Shiv's thoughts as he asked "Collector Sahab, you handled the
situation very well and I am glad the project is on track. These people really
respect Anandiji and we are proud that she belongs to our state". Shiv heaved a
sigh of relief on hearing this. The project had gone slightly over budget but
it sounded like the chief minister's office would be accommodating. Mr. Rathod,
the Bheem Singh and Shiv started their journey back in his jeep. Just as they
were leaving his phone rang and it was daadisa telling him to come by and bring
Bhim Singh and his other guest also for lunch. Shiv was too tired to argue with her and agreed instantly. Plus a hot meal sounded good and his cook had no idea he was coming back.
As he got ready to leave, he saw a young woman in a salwar kameez standing on the road. The bus had broken down and she was standing that looking lost. Being the perfect gentleman, he stopped and asked her if she needed some help? She explained that she needed to get to Jethsar. She looked to be the decent type so he asked her to get in the back. Bheem Singh gave her a once over and said to Shiv "Sir should we be giving rides to random women? She is clearly not from the village? What if this is a trap and she accuses us of trying to kidnap her?" Shiv looked at him and said "Bheem Singh use your brain. There are three of us here and we are going in the full view of the village. The villagers saw me offering her a ride. So relax. Let us drop her and go to the haveli. I am hungry." Bheem Singh replied "So am I Sir. I am so excited about the lunch invitation." Shiv shook his head and smiled.
As they got on the road, Shiv conversationally asked the pensive
young woman "You do not seem to be from here?
Are you visiting someone?" The
young woman said "Yes I have some unfinished work here. I intend to take care
of it this time." Shiv noticed that the young woman seemed agitated and
restless and asked her if he can be of some assistance and she said that his
dropping her to Jethsar would be plenty of assistance. Shiv decided to keep the
conversation going so that the woman might feel a little less stressed. He
asked her where she was from and she replied that she was from Bombay. He said
it was a very nice city and he enjoyed visiting there. They talked for a little
about the sights and the street food. Shiv professed his love for vada pav and
bhel and the woman admitted she liked it too. Shiv then said to the woman "I
forgot to introduce myself, I am Shiv" and then Bheem Singh piped in "I am
Bheem Singh, his PA." The woman then introduced herself " I am Dr. Gauri." Shiv
just smiled hearing the Dr. before her name. He asked her where she is
originally from and Gauri confessed that she was originally from around here
but had completed her medicine degree and was working in SNG hospital in
Bombay, which was the leading hospital of its kind. She told him about what she
does and how much she enjoys it. She told him how she works with patients and
loves making a difference. Shiv listened patiently as she went on and on. Bheem Singh got a little annoyed and piped in "Our sir is no less. He has an MBA from London."
This shocked Gauri and asked Shiv "What are you doing here? You are highly educated person and you have a PA. Are you passing by or visiting someone?" Shiv laughed and said "I live here." Gauri looked stunned and said "How can you manage to live in such primitive conditions?" Shiv got a little annoyed but politely replied "I love the village and the people are so nice. What is not to like?" Gauri continued "Oh so you are vacationing here?" Shiv countered "No not at all. I work here". Gauri was not confused and asked "What job can a man with your qualifications get here?" Shiv laughed and said "I am the collector." Gauri was amazed that a man who was as well-spoken and highly qualified as Shiv was the collector of her village. Her mother did not mention how much had changed but then they never got a chance to talk about anything other than her problems with Jagya. She wondered how her life had come to this.
As Gauri sat wondering, Mr. Rathod got a phone call from the
chief minister's office saying that the chief minister wanted to speak to
Anandi about something. Mr. Rathod explained that Anandi was not with them
because she was still incapacitated. So they told him to ask her to get in
touch with the CM once she got better. After hanging up, Mr. Rathod was all praises for Anandi. He
went on and on about how much she has done for the village, how selfless she is
and how all she thinks about is the welfare of the people, how she is working
to stop child marriage and so on. All this was music to Shiv's ears and Bheem
Singh also liked Anandi well enough since she was such a nice person and also a
good cook. He also joined Mr. Rathod in
extolling Anandi's virtues. Together they went on and on without noticing that
all this was getting on Gauri's nerves. Finally she could take it no more and
started yelling at Bheem Singh and Mr. Rathod "Enough is enough. You have
only seen one side of her. Do you even know how manipulative she is? Do you
even know that her husband left her for another woman because of her behavior?"
Bheem Singh and Mr. Rathod tried to stop Gauri but she was nowhere near
stopping. Shiv who was on the phone finished his phone call in time to overhear the rest of Gauri's rant as she continued " Do you know
that she poisoned the mind of her in-laws against her husband? They now
consider her their daughter instead of their daughter-in-law. And her in-laws
disowned her husband. She is a user who only knows how to talk to people
sweetly and get her jobs done. She is the biggest player there is and takes great pleasure in destroying lives. " Bheem Singh and Mr. Rathod are by now speechless in shock at all this vitriol and then Gauri says "Is this enough or do you want to hear more about deeds of Anandi the great. I know all about her and you don't. She destroyed my life single-handedly. So stop praising her. She does not deserve any of this - the manipulative loser."
"Enough" screamed Shiv trying hard to control his temper. Bheem Singh and Mr. Rathod sat back up with their jaws open. They could not comprehend what just happened or was still happening. Shiv was enraged and told Gauri "The only reason you are still standing here is because you are a woman and I do not hit women. If it had been a man in your place, he would be needing medical treatment by now Dr. Gauri. Don't you say one more word against Anandi or else. " Gauri was too angry to care and continued "Oh wow. So you are also part of her fan club in addition to these two?? In fact you seem a step ahead, you cannot even bear a word against her. This is how she dupes people" Shiv countered back "Not one word. Do not say one more word against Anandi else I will forget my maryada. Please get down. We are on the outskirts of Jethsar. I cannot believe that you can fall to the level of demeaning another woman. It is pathetic. Whatever problems you have in your life, do not take it out on someone else. Find practical solutions." As Gauri turned to walk away he added "It is obvious Heth Singh sent you considering what you are speaking the same language he does, which is why I am letting you go. There is no use in shooting the messenger. But yes do tell him that if he says anything against Anandi, I will forget that he is an MLA and I am the collector and it will be man to man. And one more thing, don't you dare say anything about Anandi to anyone else otherwise you will face the full wrath of Shivraj Shekhar. I hope this is clear Dr. Gauri. Ghani Khamba"
Shiv leaves a steaming Gauri on the road and drives off. Mr. Rathod gathers his courage and tells Shiv "I will mention what happened here to the CM. He is unhappy with Heth Singh and he needs to know what kind of underhanded tactics that creep employs." Bheem Singh heartily agrees with Mr. Rathod until Shiv intervenes to tell him that it might put Anandi in a bad light. Mr. Rathod tells him that all he will tell the CM is that Heth Singh was trying to spread rumors to discredit Anandi in the village and nothing else. Shiv gives him permission to do that and the three drive on towards the haveli in silence.
Part 2 is on Page 3
Part 3 is on Page 6
Part 4 is on Page 8
Part 5 is on Page 12
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