Posted: 21 August 2012 at 2:44am | IP Logged
I am updating early Stalkers..hope that was unexpected ;)
Also, I think Shyam being Khushi's husband put some of you off, hopefully the next chapters are worth it :)
Note - And yes the film is Daraar (1996) Thanks ! :)
The burnt orange sari she wore was too flimsy, if anyone would ask her which none did, but she hadn't any other choice. The rest, a bottle green, red, and the other a royal blue were transparent. She signed deeply, and picked up the material and walked into the closet. Twenty minutes later, she had the sari draped around her properly, the flimsy thing slipping out easily from her grip in the first but was no difficult to tame. She had her pins securely tucked into them, and she looked up at herself in the mirror. She combed her hair slowly, and then finally satisfied with the single necklace and a pair of studs, she went to the door.
Before she could reach out to the bellsupposed to be used for calling servants, her own maid in particular, she heard someone unlock the door and Shyam stepped in.
"Looks like you are not in a mood to dress up?" he mouthed casually, looking at her in particular which made her toes curl underneath her sari, and his eyes flipped back to the saris lying on the bed.
'How about the red one?" he said, andheld her by the elbow and toed her tothe bed. She stopped abruptly when he picked up the red one, the see through material much more thinner and silkier than the one she was wearing, and kept on her shoulder, carefully brushing his fingers near her neck which was still sort of wet, and then coughed.
"I think, this looks better. Go and change."
"But I don't want to-"
"Who cares?" He placed her finger on her cheek and stroked them choicely. Seeing her still not making any move,his eyes narrowed. "Well..if you don't want.." his voice trailed off as he removed the red one, and deftly unpinned the broach and the pleats started to come out loosely. Instinctively Khushi's hand held them, in turn holding his hand and he gave a low chuckle. "Or I can help you, here." She opened her mouth in protest, giving a quick smile, "No! I was going to change it my.."
"You are my wife, Khushi."
She stopped. He looked at her intensely, his eyes holding her and then she had to look away.
She pursed her lips and looked away, meanwhile he unfastened the other pin well hidden under the pleats, so that the pleats were now a bundle in his arms. He was about to remove it when she held his hand, and took thepleats and wrapped them around her,covering her shoulders, and turned. Taking the sari from the bed, she walked towards the closet.
"Khushi, I brought a few more gold sets. Wear them." His intimidating voice was unnaturally low, inhuman like, and she merely nodded. He called again.
She stopped again, to show that she was listening.
Khushi held the red one in her hands, looking scandalized at the transparency. She felt hot tears brimming in her eyes, her lips alreadyswollen by the constant biting she had done for the past hours, a sign toshow that she was in distress, and held out the material to wear. Only one night, and then?
Shyam had held her hand constant for two hours during the party. She felt queasy all the time, with his finger tips grazing against her skin cruelly, and she wasn't allowed to go anywhere she liked. She was his wife,and her place was always with him, she was told. She felt caged, suffocated as the guests eyed her constantly, some laughing at her expense, mostly the ladies, some of them jealous, the men eyeing her, talking ear to ear. She felt like running away then and there.
A little more time, she chided herself. And everything would fall back in place.
As the seconds tickets by, she watched as the guests going towardsthe dining, she saw the time nearing her ten o'clock. She bit her lower lip, and leaned in towards him.
"I need to use the washroom."
Shyam looked at her menacingly, andthen let her go. She smiled at him, forcing the best bright one she could,and then slowly made her to the washroom.
Best things come to those who wait.
And she watched as the guests made him busy, the best host she'd ever seen yet, always smiling upto them and making sure the guests were treated well, she hurriedly made her way to the washroom. It was a holiday there, a tribal fair being held in the nearby grounds, the crackers bursting high up the sky, almost making it smoky all over, the guards were on leave. Shyam had been angry, infuriated, sworn and left afterthe argument between him and the guards, and was decided that two would be there and the rest would go. The two of them from villages, never having seen the grandeur of the town parties, looked at awe towards the hall through the glass doors, and behind the bushes which grew along the compound wall, she escaped.
She ran till she could. She didn't know where exactly to get the transport, having never known the place, and so she ran. It only soundedfairer than standing in the middle of the road.
The passenger train had left the station ten minutes late, the passengers smiling smugly commenting on the weather, a cozy cold in the November month, and theyoung woman sat as far as possible from the few people in the compartment. Three hours from here,the only place she knew, Lucknow was where she would get down. She peeked through her burkha as the men laughed among themselves, the tea boy serving them tea, and her throat constricted. But she had no money. The only money went for the ticket, which she had solemnly bought before getting to the train. Her toes curled inside and she leaned against the cool window, closing her eyes.
Khushi had dropped a burkha into the thick bushes when Shyam wasn't home, from her window for later use . She had the money saved which a friend had given in her wedding as the a gift, most of them spent on the colorful bangles she had seen while come to Aashirwaad. The few left, shehad gotten the ticket, bought herself a bottle whose content she'd gulped down shortly after she brought it. Which again left few rupees, and she didn't know how to put in a useful use.
And the next?
She didn't know, and she didn't want to think. Right know all she knew was that there was no Shyam, no Aashirwaad, no marriage. There was only Khushi Kumari Gupta.
The burkha was warm, the cold wind wisping against her, and she strainedher eyes shut. She would have to secretly put the gold she now wore somewhere. She could feel the lighter fabric of burkha against her cool skin behind, and she grew consciously aware of the dress she wore beneath. Suddenly the idea of running away in the middle of the night didn't seem brilliant any more.
But it was always worth it.
With that thought, her eyelids dropped.
P.S. Red Sari
And yes, Arnav Khushi meet in the next one