Balika Vadhu


Balika Vadhu
Balika Vadhu

SS: Anthapura - Part 18 Upd - Apr 19th

-Mitra Senior Member

Joined: 06 October 2012
Posts: 636

Posted: 13 January 2013 at 6:53pm | IP Logged
                     Anthapura                                                                                                                      ...a world in itself.

Author's note:Most likely the shortest one I have written to-date. Its a given I will not be able to stick to the rural premises and so, I have moved the backdrop to a more modern one. Do not look for parallels between the soap's story line and this SS - you will not find one, except for some borrowed details like that of her past with Jagya.  
                                                            * * *


Sometimes I wonder whose name I take as I sigh. Is it him or that of the almighty?


If it wasn't for him I would have never taken up a postgraduate studies in Public policy - a subject that isn't everybody's cup of tea and yet, I had chosen it for the same reasons I agreed to reside with his family - at his Udaipur home - while I pursued my masters degree. To be around him or in close quarters with things that reminded me of him. No! I wasn't a masochist by nature, but to be near and far at once was a harmless association I couldn't deny myself. Besides that indulgence, I have never had other aspirations for us. 

The few moments that had given me everything and taken away all else, were my own vision of a dream that had seeped past the seams of reality.  As I said, they were mine alone and he'd only been an innocent bystander drawn into the vortex, the situation had become. That one kiss...enough said, that it had brought into light the workings of a woman's heart. The tug and push and the web of complexities that I spun for myself in wanting the simple pleasures of life. The denials that were one too many to count. He'd been right the first time Daadisa had approached him to take my hand in marriage. We were too different people to be cast under the same roof, he'd said and I could not agree more with him on that note. With that reminder, I had walked away from him. 

This personal account of mine narrates the events that led to the day of the kiss. A day I could not yet fully accept or curse for having come to exist. It has been two years since he left Udaipur, possibly after having taken a silent vow never to return while I stayed at his home. It doesn't bother me that we will perhaps never meet again. I'm content with the memories of us locked inside the courtyard of my soul, hidden deep among all things forbidden. My own Anthapura - a world unto itself. 

I smile, as I take his name again for my solitary amusement. Not Shivji. Just Shiv.

Note: The collage is only a composition of the characters I see in my head and you are free to assume and picturize your versions of Anandi, Prithvi and Mytreyi  as you read along. 

Edited by Lahari. - 18 September 2013 at 8:54pm

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-Mitra Senior Member

Joined: 06 October 2012
Posts: 636

Posted: 13 January 2013 at 6:54pm | IP Logged
               P h O T o   S t a M p S

Image credit goes to uploaders. I don't own any of the above copyright content.

Edited by Lahari. - 26 January 2013 at 1:36am

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-Raz- IF-Rockerz

Joined: 19 June 2009
Posts: 8032

Posted: 13 January 2013 at 7:05pm | IP Logged
Wow an interesting introduction continue quickly...very promising

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rsk16 IF-Dazzler

Joined: 04 August 2011
Posts: 3586

Posted: 13 January 2013 at 7:32pm | IP Logged
really nice n different. good going.

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-Mitra Senior Member

Joined: 06 October 2012
Posts: 636

Posted: 14 January 2013 at 12:46am | IP Logged
Part 1: Presumptions

Jagya was already a thing of the past. It took me a while to realize that I only loved Jagya like everyone else you are bound to accept. Just as those other relationships you never had a choice to begin with. Like that of maasa, bapusa and all others who were embedded into my life, the roots of my relationship with Jagya ran deep, however, only as a companion and never the husband he was meant to be. But, after all this time, I have little doubt that anyone else could have hurt or disappointed me in similar ways, for such betrayals were reserved for inclinations involving a man and woman alone. I was bound by marriage to see Jagya as that man and so, with time I gained the clarity to compartmentalize the hurt from that relationship; to acknowledge my life for what it was. The process still hadn't been easy and I had gone numb in someways. I didn't know if one could truly get over relationships that broke you into a thousand pieces, perhaps in the future I would, but in the meantime I learnt to tune out the pain, if nothing else. 

With Jagya's leaving, I could not bring myself to move back with my parents. May be I had found another set of parents in Maasa or bapusa. Or that they saw a daughter in me; or the fact that I could not destroy the small consolation I had become to them, when they were practically being choked by shame and guilt over their son's grave misdoings - I could never tell. 

In the years following my legal separation from Jagya, I drowned myself in household chores and teaching at the village school. Being one among the few educated village folks had its perks and occasionally, I was asked to aid with the panchayat office administration work to upkeep documents and pen down tenders or proposals in English. The initial solace I found in the monotony, soon lost its appeal and I craved for a bit of unpredictability to be thrown into my everyday din.

It was then - when  the idea hadn't fully taken form in my head - he moved into Jaitsar as its new zilla collector. 

With more doubt in my own decision - rather than the apprehension that came with such ambitious propositions - I expressed my interest to further my studies. Maasa and Bapusa were supportive, excited even that I still wanted to do something of my life. They were convinced that it was indicative enough I wouldn't go into a downward spiral and fade within the fringes of everyday life.  However, my dreams of owing a post-graduate degree were threatened when Daadisa saw a prospect groom in Shiv. 

With his frequent visits to the haveli - owing to our involvement in the panchayat board - Daadisa could not help but entertain the idea of our marriage with a senile enthusiasm that was perhaps acceptable for her age. Of course, I hadn't been present when the pitch had been made and for the life of me, I have never been able to understand why I had presumed his acquiescence to be the only natural progression to Daadisa's offer.  At that time, I only saw the wedding as an impediment to the change I was looking for and thus, with justified contempt and acerbity in my tone, I marched into his office. 

Even as I walked in, without a care for his occupations, I yelled at him. "Why Collector Saab? What led you to believe that you were doing me a favor by agreeing to marry me?"

He looked up from his laptop screen and sat back in his chair keeping his composure. When I didn't see any signs of regret on his face, I kept on with my accusations. "Well, if you are so insistent about plugging yourself into my life, then do me a favor and have Daadisa agree to my higher education.  Certainly, I don't have to lecture you on the merits of having a wife who has done her post-graduation. It wouldn't suit for a zilla collector to marry someone with a mere bachelors degree."

I noticed a suppressed amusement in his eyes, as he crossed his legs and raised his hand to support his chin. For unknown reasons, his appraising posture irritated me more than his silence. "Having me tied down to another marriage isn't what I need now."

We held each others gaze and with the passing of a full minute, I felt the anger in me dissipate as a slow realization dawned from what I read in his eyes, making me feel sick in the stomach. A pool of bile burned my throat from the uncalled for mortification. 

"You didn't really agree to the marriage proposal, did you?" My voice grew tremulous as it trailed and my embarrassment reached my eyes.

He pushed the glass of water on the table towards me and I reached for it at once. "No, I didn't," he spoke and I averted my gaze taking a sip. I wanted to be anywhere but there.

"Oh!" was all I could manage then. 

"No offense," he jumped to clarify half expecting me to misjudge him again. "Its not personal. But, I can't agree more that you shouldn't be getting into another relationship just yet." He leaned forward and rested his arms on the table, "I think college is a good idea."

"Well, I'm almost certain you would be apologizing any minute now," he said and his words made me want to roll my eyes at that so-full-of-himself moment. But, I was too tongue tied to get a word out, let alone a full apology.

"Why don't I tell you how you could make up to me," he paused studying my reaction and when I didn't object, he continued with his proposition. "You let me make a few calls to IIMU. My friend is the director there for PGP studies in public policy.  And, I think I can have a word with your Daadisa too. All that, if you don't have a problem that is."

Recommendation! Taking help from others came apropos to drowning myself in wet cement, but I couldn't deny the fact that I needed it at that moment. If life was about living by a few principles, then it was also about breaking some. Especially, if it could set my dreams of an higher education into motion - refusing to take help would only prove I was both stubborn and foolish. Anything to get myself out of a wedding, I reminded myself. If not collector saab, then Daadisa would surely summon another groom even out of thin air.  I sighed feeling helpless and then regretted the next instant that it had been a bit louder than I liked when his eyes had remained with me the entire time. 

I gave him a slow nod. "I'm sorry, collector saab," I said.

"Uh-uh!" he shook his head. "Shiv, not collector saab. Not Shivji. Just Shiv." He corrected with a smile.

It didn't take me long to see that he was extending a hand of friendship in return to my outburst. I didn't know how or when I had made an impression on him. If there been an initial impression at all, I was positive I had shredded it to pieces with my brashness and unladylike behavior.

Nearly clueless as I'm to-date, I mustered a small smile after seconds. "I'm sorry, Shiv" I said with a faint curiosity for what he could do about my future. 

Edited by Lahari. - 02 February 2013 at 12:34am

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Serviana IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 14 November 2012
Posts: 34488

Posted: 14 January 2013 at 1:16am | IP Logged
Nice story! Clap Update soon!

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adi2512 IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 06 August 2012
Posts: 18595

Posted: 14 January 2013 at 2:30am | IP Logged
I'am thrilled..
I have two amazing stories now., from Shiv as well as Anandi's being this and another from Pal...
Two different story lines...yet keeping up with characters...written in an amazing manner...crisp ., subtle and succint...
Could not ask for more...
I feel., am'  compensating my neglect that I've developed towards my habit of reading lately.. in a these two beautiful stories...
Waiting for next update...Smile

Edited by adi2512 - 14 January 2013 at 2:32am

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-Mitra Senior Member

Joined: 06 October 2012
Posts: 636

Posted: 14 January 2013 at 2:58am | IP Logged
Part 2: The start of something beautiful.

Without doubt, he was a man of his word. Not only was I accepted into IIMU by the summer, but he'd also spoken to Daadisa in getting me her blessings. I would have been elated, if it weren't for the favors he'd called on his friend at the graduate school. 

Clearly, I was able to overlook his help with Daadisa. It was plain for anyone to see the leverage he'd with her, when she saw him as my prospective groom.  According to Daadisa, the possibility still remained as a silent lingering hope and so, she was only pleased to oblige any request from him. Partly, I thought it was his easy charm that earned him everybody's agreement. In truth, I had succumbed too unknowingly. How else could you explain why I had assented to have him help me?

If college admission and having Daadisa bought into my education plans weren't enough things to be grateful for in a lifetime, he insisted that I stay with his parents in Udaipur. Of course, this time around, he used Daadisa to get to me. 

"With Mahi gone, they wouldn't mind having Anandi at home," he said during one of the many dinners he'd come home for, "Daadu actually thinks she would be a good influence on Saanchi." 

Like hell, I thought as I scooped a serving of dal into his bowl. It wasn't that I had something against Saanchi - I didn't know her then. But, he had to stop with his assistance and that led us to our second confrontation of sorts. However, this was one exchange that I will forever be thankful. For, it had been the start of something beautiful between us. Not friendship. Not that of a romantic nature either. It was the beginnings of a wave of earnest affection that would have tossed between the shores of friendship and love, a wave now lost to the impulse of a premature kiss. 

"I would do better, if you let me fight my own battles," I said when we found ourselves alone in the courtyard. I fetched water from the balti and poured over his hands to help him wash-up.

"Which battles are you taking about? If you are referring to your accommodations at my place, that hardly qualifies for a battle, " he quipped.

I scowled and he was keen to read the gravity of  my words. 

"If I'm not wrong, you are pretty much on your own on all other fronts." He wiped his hands dry with the towel I had handed him, "I'm one person who firmly believes that not everything can be solved by taking external help. You have crossed those bridges and many more all by yourself."

"I think its needless to say you have been observant. But, that is besides the point, Shiv. Would you just stop making things easier for me?"

"Give me one reason why I shouldn't," he retorted with a smile. 

"Lets start with one reason why you should." I said turning around to draw water from the well and buy us time to continue our conversation. "You don't know me. We are not friends. You are not bound by honor, blood or ink to do so. And if you continue being difficult, then I cannot help but conclude you are just being driven by pity or perceive me as your annual charity case."

"Anandi!" The hint of anger rang clear in his voice and I had not heard him take that tone with anyone, let alone me. Just as I was about to turn around and give him all my attention, he took me by surprise when I felt his hand over mine. Not having anticipated his move, my hold on the rope slipped and the bucket slid back into the well with a loud splash. 

"Never go down that road of assumptions again," he said and I could still hear the censure in his voice. "You deserve the best and I don't see why my good deeds deserve an explanation, when by my standards they hardly pass for favors."

Perhaps, I was too stunned to agree; or disagree for that matter. My eyes fell over his clasp of my hand and he discerned what had brought upon my stillness. The next instant he let go of my hand and I exhaled fully not having realized I had been holding my breath all that time.

"I'm sorry," he said taking a step closer to me and my gaze fluttered to everywhere but him. I couldn't tell him his towering form was imposing, or that the desperation I heard in his voice to clear himself of my accusations was unnerving. Or was it the imprint of his fingers over my skin that remained even after my hand was out of his clutch?

"Charity?" he sounded disgusted with my suggesting, "If anything, its a privilege."

Without my knowing, there was a small smile at my lips and he responded in kind.

"Anandi, just know that you will always be held differently than others." His voice fell as he spoke and I raised my eyes to him then. One sentence with many interpretations and I didn't dare venture that route  to assess them. In the moments he held my gaze I couldn't fully comprehend what I saw there. Though, it was far beyond my grasp, there was a sense of familiarity about it - an unspoken assurance that I was more than a charity to him.

Some assurances did run deep when spoken without words.

I didn't question him there after. Not when he had ushered me into believing that he was the company I needed then. 

Edited by Lahari. - 24 January 2013 at 4:27pm

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