Guys I dont know what made me write this.Probably the fact that I had not written since days now and missed writing on AnSh.Else my writing had been pathetic since the past few days bcoz of which I abstained from writing.But couldnt resisit this with this one.So pls bear with this crappy OS of mine bcoz I am not at all satisfied with it.Its worse as compared to my previous ones so pls dont compare it with my last few stories. Feedback - both good and bad is always welcome
Of Gifts and Grievances(An AnSh OS)
Anandi browsed through some men's shirts as she stood near the counter waiting for Shiv to finish off with the billing. It was Ira and Alok's wedding anniversary and dadu insisted on celebrating it in Jetsar with Anandi and Shiv. Anandi had been really excited since Shiv told her about his and dadu's plan of a Rajasthani style surprise get-together for his parents and specially took a day off from her work to help him with the party preps at the Circuit House. But it was only after she had returned home did she realize that she had forgotten to buy some gift for her mother and father-in-law. Worried, she called Shiv, who had first giggled at her innocent fear but later drove her to the Jaipur market fearing she might not return to her sarpanchnee mode all over again. Though her angry bird avatar in the temple had surely come as a pleasant surprise for him, he dreaded if someday the sink of her anger happened to be him
"Aapne bhi abhi tak koi tohfa nahin khareeda" Anandi felt annoyed learning how he too had forgotten to buy some gift for his parents; but later decided to excuse him only on the ground that he had been too busy with the canal project as well as an upcoming mass immunization drive in Jetsar. "Anandi beta ye sab aadmi aise hi hote hain…inse ek kaam theek se ho jaye to woh bahut badi baat hai. Never expect them to multitask" Anandi giggled as she remembered her mom-in-law's insightful advice on the male psychology. It was quite strange how her understanding perfectly suited her own son. Anandi had certainly loved this quality of her new sasra a lot. It was so amazing how everyone in her new family understood and loved each other so perfectly.
Once reached, it didn't take Anandi and Shiv much time to shop as most of the times their eyes settled for the same thing. It was a kind of telepathy Anandi was now becoming used to. Buying all the stuff they needed Shiv directed Anandi to wait near the counter till he got the items billed.
As soon as the billing was done, Shiv returned to the spot he had last seen Anandi peaking at him from but felt a bit surprised not finding her there. He looked around and scanned the place as a slight restlessness began to grip his heart. It was only then did he spot her at the accessories counter browsing through some ties. Some fresh air pumped into his lungs as he saw her smilingly looking at the ties.
"Lagta hai aapko ties kaafi pasand hain" Shiv walked encircling around her from behind shifting her attention from the ties to him.
"Arey mujhe to pata hi nahin chala aap kab aaye…billing ho gaya kya? Woh I am sorry main yahan chali aayi…bas ye ties dekhi to raha nahin gaya" Anandi exclaimed as Shiv tried to absorb the excitement in her eyes.
"Iska matlab mera andaaza sahi tha. Aapko ties bahut pasand hain" Anandi looked up at him surprised how every time he read her mind
"Jee woh mujhe bachpan se hi kisi ke liye tie khareedne ka bahut shaunk tha. Maa jab bhi mujhe sheher ke bazaar le jati mera bahut mann hota ki main bapu ke liye tie khareedun, par bapu to tie pehente hi nahin. Aur phir jetsar aakar bhi kabhi mauka nahin mila.Yahan bhi to bapusa tausa koi bhi tie nahin pehenta. Isiliye aaj jab yahan pe dekha to bachpan ki yaad aa gayi aur rok nahin payi khud ko" Anandi explained making Shiv smile at the nuance of her innocence. Peaceful silence descended upon them as Anandi browsed through a few more ties in different shades and designs while Shiv adored her silently from his place.
"Shiv aapko tie pehena pasand hai?" Anandi spoke after a pause.
"Mujhe..?" he cleared his throat at her sudden query. "Jee han matlab main hameshan nahin pehenta…par jab koi meeting ya function ho to achcha lagta hai pehena"
"To kya aap ek baar isse try karke dekhenge" she asked submissively pointing to a beautiful azure and grey striped tie.
Shiv gulped at Anandi's request as he looked at the tie and the bustling crowd around him
"Anandijee kya hum isse baad mein nahin khareed sakte. Abhi kafi der ho rahi hai…maa aur papa aate hi honge. But I promise agli baar hum isse zaroor lenge" Shiv tried to excuse himself from putting on the tie.
Anandi's happiness vanished into air as Shiv's words sank in. In a spur of the moment, all the memories of Jagiya throwing away her gift, like some frenzied screen transitions began to dance in front of her eyes. A few silent tears escaped her eye as she tried to look away from Shiv who had certainly noticed the hurt on her face.
"Anandijee aap ro rahi hain?" Shiv was shocked "I am really sorry…mera woh matlab nahin tha. Main aapko hurt karna nahin chahta tha. I am really sorry agar apko bura laga to"
"It's ok collector sahab…main samajhti hoon."Anandi spoke; her voice gruff and hurt. Galti meri hi hai ki main bhool jati hoon kay mujhe tohfa khareedne ki samajh nahin hai. Jagdish bhi mujhe yehi samjhate the…ki mujhe kabhi kisi ke liye tohfa nahin khareedna chahiye kyunki mujhe iss baat ki samajh nahin hai ki kiske liye kya tohfa lena chahiye. I am really sorry ki maine sabke saamne aapko embarrass kiya" More tears rolled down her cheeks making Shiv flinch at his place. Every time a new chapter of her past unfolded in front of him, his respect and love for her grew deeper
"Anandijee aap mujhe galat samajh rahi hain…pls ek baar mujhe samjhane ka mauka deejiye" Shiv squeezed her gently on the shoulder offering her his handkerchief. She looked up at him, her eyes still puffed due to tears.
"Anandijee pehli baat to ye ki agar koi insaan ye sochta hai ki aapko tohfa khareedne ki samajh nahin to mere hisaab se shayad us insaan ne aapko kabhi pehchana hi nahin….aapko kabhi theek se samjha hi nahin. Kyunki jitna main aapko janta hoon, aapke liye koi bhi tohfa…chahe woh aapne kisi ke liye liya ho ya aapko kisi se mila ho…woh koi cheez ya saaman nahin hai. Agar aapko koi tohfa de to aap uske mol ko nahin…balki usmein chupe pyaar aur aadar ko dekhti hain. Aur agar wohi tohfa aapko kisi ko dena ho to aap uske mahatav ko…uske peeche chipi bhawnaon ko samajhti hain. Ruk kar pehle us insaan ke swabhav, uski pasand…uski napasand ko parakhti hain…aur ye sab dhyaan mein rakh kar hi apna tohfa deti hain. Bilkul waise hi jaise aapne Ashi ko woh photo frame gift kiya tha. Kyunki aap ne ye samjha ki usse photography ka kitna shaunk hain. Mujhe aaj bhi yaad hai Ashi kitni khush thi us frame ko dekhkar. Aur iss sab se to yehi pata chalta hai anandijee ki aapko na hi sirf tohfa khareedne ki samajh hai balki aapke tohfe dusron ki zindagi mein khushi aur umang le aate hain. To phir aap kaise kah sakti hain ki aapko tohfa khareedne ki samajh nahin"
Anandi stared at Shiv as he said those words. Something about them was so stirring that it left her almost breathless
"Aap har baar aisa kaise kar lete hain Collector sahab? Kaise mujhe aur mere dil ko itni asaani se padh lete hain aap"
"Shayad isliye kyunki hum dost hain…aur dosti ki hai to nibhani to padegi na" he said with an innocent smile tugged at his lips that made her feel much better.
"Ab to pls ye hanky le lejiye…I promise main roz dhula hua hanky use karta hoon" Shiv tried to crack a joke and though it was a miserably poor attempt it certainly managed to bring a little smile on Anandi's lips. She took the handkerchief and wiped off her tears.
"Ananijee koi kuch bhi kahe ya soche…us se mujhe koi farak nahin padta. Kyunki mere hisaab se jis bhi insaan ne aapmein koi kami dekhi hai to shayad use insaan ki parakh karna hi nahin aata. Aur jahan tak meri baat hai to maine tie try karne se isliye mana nahin kiya tha kyunki mujhe aapka gift pasand nahin aaya. Mujhe tie pehena bahut pasand hai.Even maa bhi kehti hain ki main tie mein bahut handsome lagta hoon. Lekin phir bhi maine isliye mana kiya kyunki…"
"Kyunki..?" Anandi asked inquisitively.
"Pehle aap wada keejiye ki aap hasengi nahin aur na hi maa ke saath iss baat ka mazaak udayengi. Aur han na hi dadu ke saath milke mujhe iss baat pe chedengi"
"Achcha baba wada…par bataiye to sahi"
"Woh maine isliye mana kiya kyunki mujhe tie bandhna nahin aata"
Anandi was shocked to hear her would be hubby's genuine confession. How could a man of his age and position not know something as basic as knotting a tie? Anandi grinned as she thought of it
"Dekha isiliye main nahin bata raha tha" Shiv made a face making her burst into a giggle
"Shiv aap ekdum bachche hain…I can't believe aapko tie bandhne nahin aati." she teased him giddily making him irritated first but then smile to himself.
"Anandijee aapse ek baat kahun – Pls ye muskurahat khud se alag mat keejiya kariye. Bahut pheeka pheeka lagta hai sab kuch is muskurahat ke bina" Anandi's cheeks blushed to a shade of pink hearing his words. She looked at him; her eyes locked into his for a few passing seconds.
"Agar aapko theek lage to main bandh dun" Anandi sighed as she offered to knot it for him. He bit his lower lip, a shy blush forming on his cheeks, and nodded slyly. Anandi circled the tie around his neck as he bent his head down to match her height. His heart fluttered beneath his chest as she worked her fingers under his collar. It was the first time he had felt her this close. He inhaled, allowing himself to feel, the scent of her, her warmth, her breaths
"Leejiye ho gaya" Anandi declared jerking Shiv out of his thoughts.
"Hogaya?" Shiv looked down at the tie disappointedly
"aur nahin to kya! Ab bataiye kaisi lag rahi hai" Anandi turned him towards the mirror excitedly. Shiv smiled impressed with the perfection with which she had done the tie. It was the first time he'd actually noticed the color and design of it; else most of the time he was just lost in her sweet gestures. She was such a heady blend of innocence and naughtiness that it always left him feel drowsy whenever she was around. He had felt surprised at her selection too; azure was surely one of his favorite shades of blue.
"Anandijee aapko kaise pata chala ki mujhe blue tie pasand ayegi" Shiv asked with a genuine curiosity in his tone.
"Bilkul waise hi jaise aapko pata tha ki mujhe hari chudiyan pasand hain" her reply made a sly smile spread on his lips.
Finally they finished off with their shopping and Shiv got the tie billed. Though the salesman had offered to pack the tie with their stuff but Shiv preferred it likewise, near his heart; stuffing the bags into the back of the car they settled into their respective seats and hit the road back to jetsar.
In the car:
"Shiv ek baat kahun apse" Anandi broke the silence after a few minutes of drive.
"Maine aaj aapke liye gift khareeda…to aapko nahin lagta iske badle mein mujhe bhi kuch milna chahiye?"
"Ohh I am really sorry Anandijee maine to aapke liye kuch khareeda hi nahin…main bhi kitna bada idiot hoon. But aap jo chahein maang sakti hain…I promise main khud lene aaunga aapke liye"
"Soch lejiye ek baar"
"Arey ismein sochne ki kya baat hai…aap kahiye aapko kya chahiye"
"Ek promise" Anandi said, her lips curling into a mischievous smile which looked more like a smirk.
Shiv suddenly realized where she was going. His face drained off color with the promise thing she had started with. He knew what promise she was talking about. She wanted him to be at Jetsar on the day of the immunization drive as his mom had already spilled the beans about how irregular and unupdated he was with his routine shots. Anandi knew he had hatched a master plan to leave Jetsar for some supposed urgent meeting on the day of the drive itself once all the work related to it would finish. But she had been equally determined to foil his plans.
"Anandijee pls don't do this" he made a puppy face making her giggle to herself.
"Shiv please! Har baar aise bachchon jaise zid karna sahi nahin hota. Aapko pata hai na Rajasthan mein…aur specially gaon mein kitni hi khatarnaak beemariyon ka khatra hota hai. Aur phir aap to kitne samay tak India se bahar the. Maa ne mujhe bataya kaise aapne na London jane se pehle aur na hi wahan se wapas aane ke baad iss bare mein koi dhyaan rakha. Aap itne laparwah kaise ho sakte hain! Mere saath ye sab nahin chalne wala." Anandi warned, making him realize he had little option left now
"Lekin anandijee aapko to sab pata hai na…woh Lal Singh aur Abhishek phir mera mazaak udayenge. Sochiye sab gaon wale kya sochenge mere bare mein…aur aapke school ki bachiyan…woh kya sochengi"
"Koi kuch nahin sochega…main hoon na aapke saath…phir kyun ghabra rahe hain"
"Lekin wekin kuch nahin…promise keejiye maine jo gift maanga hai mujhe denge.Warna phir main apna gift bhi wapas le leti hoon" Anandi gimmicked him smartly.
"Arey nahin…theek hai I promise main uss din kahin nahin jaunga aur jaisa aap kahengi waisa hi karunga. Afterall maine promise kiya hai ki aap jo bhi mangengi main dunga" he said making a child like face leaving a grin on her lips.
Finally reaching Jetsar Shiv dropped Anandi at Haveli for her to get ready for the party.
"Collector sahab ye aapka rumaal" Anandi said handing over his handkerchief to him. He noticed how the hanky had got stains of her mascara on it. "I am sorry collector sahab waise to main aapko ye rumal dhokar deti par main isse apne paas nahin rakh sakti"
"Par aisa kyun?"
"Woh dadisa kehti hain kisi ka rumal apne paas rakhne se us insaan se jhagda ho jata hai aur main nahin chahti kay..."Anandi stopped midway realizing what she had just said.
"Phir to aap ye mujhe abhi ke abhi wapas kar deejiye" Shiv grabbed the hanky back into his pocket smiling naughtily at her. She too reciprocated with an equally blissful smile.
"Thankyou so much Collector sahab…thankyou is itne pyare din ke liye. Mujhe lagta hai main aaj ka din kabhi nahin bhool payungi"
"Main bhi" he confessed stroking the tie in his neck; leaving a beautiful flush on her face.