Joined: 27 April 2012
Joined: 21 October 2012
Joined: 27 April 2012
Joined: 27 April 2012
Chapter 24 '
A kalash made of copper, full of rice was kicked down resulting in rice covering good area of the entrance of the apartment; while newly married couple Kunal and Siddhi stood at the door. Seema had performed all rituals to welcome new bride with puja's thali, tikka, etc. With utmost happiness she welcomed her jethani into house. Like every other ritual, Siddhi's grah pravesh also took place at Kunal's apartment. All close family members were present there and may be still in wedding mood. Anand clicked a picture of Kunal-Siddhi as they entered the house as couple in their wedding attire. Knowing Kunal, this was the last ritual and no games were to be played here today. Once again Siddhi went to all elders and touched their feet to seek their blessings accompanied by Seema as she introduced her to everyone. Kunal on the other hand was not the type to bend down over and over, he actually took off his varmala and went to wash his face.
Siddhi was looking around the apartment, although she had been here before, but now this is her own house. Looking around apartment was still very simple with just enough furniture, no decoration what so ever. She looked over the kitchen, seemed small but enough. While she was still looking around, Raveena came to her engaged her in some random chat with Seema. Raveena, "so now you are Mrs. Chopra. Tell me how does it feel Siddhi" giggled
"Bhabhi" came heavy voice from corner, heard by almost everyone in the apartment as Kunal came forward, "must address her as Bhabhi. We do not address those elder in relation by name."
Pin drop silence in the apartment. Raveena looked down and walked away. Siddhi wanted to say something but then looking at how things were at the moment she decided against it. For another minute or so no one said anything. Siddhi was of course very tired visible on her face. Seeing her in such state Kunal, "ahh..you must be tired. The room is this side (showed using his hand), please go."
Seema, "tired already? (teasing tone) are you sure Kunal bhaiya you are asking her to go to room because of that and not'" Before she can finish her sentence, Kunal's piercing eyes were looking at her. Seema realized she may be crossing line here with everyone around so immediately moved away. This time Siddhi too felt very uncomfortable knowing what Seema was about to say.
Looking at all this Raj, "well wedding is over. Everyone must be really tired so I guess we all should get going. Besides, this is a small house so can't stay here for long."
All relatives started getting their selves together to leave. All family members started cleaning the living room and re-arranging the furniture. It took them hardly 10-15 minutes while Kunal-Siddhi stood there. Once everything was done, Ishani-Anokhi went and hugged Kunal, gave him kiss on check; they also gave hug to their Chachi and were off to chembur with everyone else. Kunal went and locked the main door while Siddhi went towards the bedroom.
Siddhi slowly entered the bedroom, a double bed in the middle, desk and chair with a lamp in one corner, mirror at the right side wall right next to a cupboard, large window on other wall where chilled air was making its way in, few family pictures on the wall and Kunal's Gold medal. Siddhi stood there and stared at the wall with all the pictures; Kunal was not in any one of them. As she noticed, there wasn't even one picture of Kunal in this entire apartment, strange. Soon enough she sensed Kunal is standing right behind her. She turned to see Kunal was standing by the door, looking at her, perhaps a sly smile on his face. He came near Siddhi, "it was indeed a long day. I myself am very tired. I am going to go and change in bathroom; you can change here, ok." Siddhi nodded yes to this. Kunal took his kurta-pajama and went to bathroom. After about 5 minutes, wearing his usual white kurta-pajama, Kunal came out of bathroom. For a minute he stood right there, looked around in the apartment; it was again quite. Took a breath in and went toward the bedroom. He knocked on the door, Siddhi was somewhat surprised so she went to open the door herself, "why are you knocking on the door? It is your own room."
"No, I didn't know if you have changed already or not so'"
Both looked at each other. Although Siddhi had seen Kunal before in his white kurta-pajama, that day she was very stressed. Today she is able to look at him carefully. But for Kunal, this was the very first time he saw Siddhi wearing red-white nighty. Kunal entered the bedroom, went near the window and saw Siddhi was standing by the bed in somewhat awkward and nervous manner. She was looking at Kunal, but also trying not to make any direct eye-contact. Kunal himself was not sure, had perspiration on his forehead. Both were confused as who would talk first but more importantly, how are they going to sleep. Kunal broke the silence, "You go ahead, sleep on the bed. I have already arranged extra gadda for myself" he took out a gadda from the cupboard. "see, so you go ahead and sleep well."
"No Kunal. How is this possible? We will be sleeping sep'..I mean why would you sleep there. You sleep on the bed, I will sleep there" took a step towards Kunal.
"No, stay there'..I mean you sleep on the bed. I am use to sleeping on this gadda. Most days I sleep on it so don't worry about me. You sleep on bed ok" and quickly arranged the gadda, took a pillow from bed and even made himself comfortable on it. Now Siddhi had no excuses or chance. She too got bit comfortable on bed. But neither one of them was able to sleep. Both kept looking at each other, stealing glances, thinking what to do, should they talk or not, change positions over and over; everything but fall asleep. Soon Siddhi got sat up on the bed as she couldn't fall asleep. Looking at her Kunal too sat up, "what happened? Are you ok, do you need anything?"
"I am fine. Just not able to fall asleep. But wanted to ask you something. Why did you scold Raveena like that before? Also the look you gave to Seema bhabhi? Why do you have to scare everyone like this?"
"Wait a minute? How is it my fault? Raveena should know how to address you. I simply pointed it out and Seema, don't even get me started on that."
"What was wrong even if Raveena calls me by my name? You were just too harsh on her."
"I was harsh? Tell me, why do you address Seema as Seema bhabhi? It is simple, you give respect to your elders and I simply pointed that out."
"I know but Raveena is the young, so what if she makes such mistake?"
'Young? Raveena herself is engaged now, what are you talking about with young. You simply have to argue with me on everything? We just got married and here you are arguing with me."
"I am arguing? You are the one arguing and as you said, we just got married so at least not today."
"Wow, so even here I am wrong. You are the one who started it. You know what, I rather listen to my radio. At least my radio won't argue with me so much" ended in somewhat attitude. Siddhi frown a bit at Kunal's last statement thinking sure now you want to listen to your radio.
Kunal tuned in to listen to his bhoole bisre geet and as soon as he got the station, "Suhaag raat he, goonghat uta raha hoon me, simat rahi he, tu sarma ke apni bahon me'kabhi kabhi.." The song simply increased Kunal and Siddhi's anxiety. As if the nervousness was not enough, now both felt little more awkward but then pondered on something as well. Very carefully they turned toward each other at the same time and their eyes met. Their eyes met only for a second but it was more than enough, so intense they had to turn to other side. Kunal quickly turned radio off and put blanket over his head. Siddhi too turned other side and put blanket up and closed her eyes. Both lying there, kept thinking about what other might be thinking and what they their selves are feeling. But they simply had no answer. They wanted to look at each other, don't know why but had no courage. So they remained on their spot and not aware when they fell asleep.
Next morning, as usual Kunal yawned a bit, stretched his body while in bed and slowly opened his eyes. To his surprise, his eyes caught something he never imagined. Siddhi was standing in front of the mirror, red dress, wet hairs, putting her earrings on and then filling sindoor. For years he either woke up with a headache or unfinished sleep as sun came to attach him in the morning, but today. Siddhi also realized Kunal had woken up so she turned towards him. Kunal slowly got out, took his towel and before Siddhi says went right in the bathroom. Siddhi couldn't understand why he did that as she was about to say something but then that's akdoo.
As usual Kunal took 30 minutes to get ready. He came out of the bathroom like he does every single day. He was simply walking in the room like every day and bumped into Siddhi. Both of them got hold of each other and once they had proper balanced Siddhi got bit embarrassed and turned her face to other side, "I am sorry, I didn't mean to see you this way." First Kunal didn't understand but then realized he came out of bathroom like usual and was not wearing his west. He is so use to take only towel, he left everything in cupboard. He felt too embarrassed, covered himself using his arms and went towards cupboard, "d.d..don't look here. Just keep looking other side" took out his clothes and literary ran back into bath room. Siddhi slowly turned around once she knew for sure Kunal went back to bathroom.
After about 10 minutes Kunal came out. This time he was fully dressed in his pants and shirt as well. First he looked in living room and kitchen to see if Siddhi is there. She was not there so he knew she must be in the bedroom. Feeling somewhat embarrassed he walked into bedroom and saw Siddhi was arranging things in the room. He cleared his throat to get her attention, "ahh..the cupboard, other side is completely empty. All my clothes are on one side so you can arrange your clothes there." Siddhi simply gave a smile back for it as she had already started arranging her clothes there. While she was doing so, Kunal simply stood there, looking at Siddhi as she started giving the room her touch. Soon she reached to desk for something and grabbed Kunal's diary. Then Kunal jumped next to her and took away his diary, "that.. you don't have to do anything with. You don't even need to touch it."
"Why? What is it that you are so protective off?"
"That is my diary so please don't touch it."
"You keep a diary?" chuckled "ok but why so much'"
"what do you mean so much. It is my personal diary so of course I don't want anyone to touch it. Now as usual don't start arguing with me on that too."
"I argue with you? You are the one who always argues with me. Even last night you started it. By the what is in it that you are so protective off?"
"Wait a minute, I argue with you. You are the one who is always ready to argue with me. Now once again your questions started. You have been questioning me from day 1. Who are you, what are you doing here? Now even my poor diary is being questioned. Look, I am telling you, don't come near my diary. You know what, I am taking my diary with me outside while you do whatever you want" ended in bit childish manner. Siddhi again was bit annoyed by this.
Kunal opened his diary, with a smile on his face
Akela chalata tha in rahon pe, Aaj ek hasi saath mila he,
Har dum darr sa lagta tha, Koi aur mere karvan me kaise jud payega;
Aaj ki subah jaise, nayi kirno aur ujale ke saath aayi he,
Ab unke aane se, kitna khubsoorat yeh safar hua he.
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