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Anandi and Shiv were returning to Jaitsar in Shiv's Scorpio.
Though they had been accompanied by Shiv's family till Sanchi's hostel, dadaji, Ira, Alok, and Meenu had continued onward to Udaipur after they met up with their beloved princess. With great hope, they had brought Anandi along to meet Sanchi,
Sad to say, the meeting did not go well. Sanchi could not get over the fact that her to-be s-i-l was a divorcee - a balika vadhu at that, was born and brought up in villages, and wore "eww" lehenga's and choli's. She was ashamed to be seen in her company and tried to get out of the campus as soon as possible. In her self-absorption, she did not realize how happy her Shiv bhaiyya was and how the couple kept sneaking glances at each other, as if for ratification. Sanchi uttered not a word to Anandi, bringing back all her buried feelings of inadequacy. Meenu was glad to see that she had one more soldier on her side.
The Shekhar's, being what they are, sensed all the lambent feelings and tried to hurry up proceedings. They had a quick lunch, with Anandi eating barely a bite. Ira was very upset with her daughter's behavior but didn't know how to handle it. Alok could barely control his temper. Dadaji kept making jokes in his attempt to cover things up.
By 3.30 pm, everyone had had enough and bid each other farewell. Sanchi did not even have the courtesy to say bye to Anandi. With his jaws flexing, Shiv just took Anandi's arm and led her to his car. Ira, Alok, and dadaji quickly followed and hugged Anandi and Shiv. "Please inform us when you reach home."
There was a deep and gloaming silence in the car. Shiv made a couple of attempts to talk, and then, knowing when to shut up, turned on the CD player and let some soothing music wash over them...
Anandi was again consumed by her thoughts of inadequacy and guilt. "Everyone is unhappy because of me, dadisa, bapusa, ma, and now CM and Saanchi. Should I forget about my promise to my mother and back out? Shiv might feel bad for sometime, but he is strong and will get over it. We can continue with being best friends without the burden of marriage. And I, even after loving him so deeply, am made of better things and will be able to face the world again." She is shocked at this first admission of her love for Shiv to herself. A tear escapes from the corner of her eye and she turns her head to the side to hide it.
The calming music and the emotional upheaval soon lull her into a deep sleep. Like a small child, she starts sliding down in the seat. "Anandi, are you..." Shiv turns to her, and seeing her like that brings a twisted smile to his face. His child bride is in another world. Sneaking glances at her from time to time, he realizes that she could hurt her neck. Slowing down for a moment, he puts his left hand out and gently slides her into position next to him. Wrapping his arm around her snugly and letting her head rest on his shoulder, he steers with his right hand. "This is how I have always imagined us during our drives!"
As he loses himself in the feel of her small, soft body snuggled against his, he drives on, inhaling her scent, her very spirit into his body! What untold dreams he spins... He is suddenly jolted out of his reverie by a rutted tarmac.
Feeling the jerks, Anandi's eyes snap open... "What's happened, Shiv?" As she tries to peer around, she can't. There's a huge weight pinning her shoulders in place! She looks up and finds herself almost nose to nose with Shiv. "Collector saheb! What are you doing." Nothing my love, just watching over you as you sleep..."
My love? Had Collector saheb really said that? A deep blush stained both their cheeks. "I, I have to tell you something Collector saheb... I am feeling so sorry that because of me... " Shiv draws up to the kerb, turns more fully towards her, and raises his eyebrow, all without releasing his hold on her.
"Yes, Anandi?" Without any attempt to free herself, "Collector saheb, I think we need to..." "Shush!" A big, warm index finger covers her lips, halting her in mid-flow. "Anandi, I know that you are feeling that you have caused a division in my family... But, I know them, and will soon get CM and Saanchi around to my way of thinking.
"But, Collector saheb, I am not saying our friendship will suffer. I am only saying that CM and Saanchi will not accept you making such a big sacrifice in the name of friendship."
"Bas Anandi, I have had enough of this to and fro! Can you not make out that while I do respect you and value your friendship, that is not all that I want? If there is something more than love, that is what I feel for you... I want you in every which way a man wants a woman... as a friend, as a companion... as a lover! Do I really have to tell you that I love you??"
Shell-shocked, Anandi stares into the deep brown sea in front of her and sees the truth radiating from him. Unable to fathom how her every desire is suddenly coming true, she suddenly buries her head in his shoulder. Her arms wriggle free of his embrace and creep around his neck. "Oh, Shiv, Shiv... what do you need me to tell you? I have already said you are my future and my best saathi. And I cannot imagine a life without you! I adore you, Shiv!"
Shiv slides a finger under her chin, turning her face up to his. Looking at the beauty and the glow radiating from her, he thanks whichever Gods were looking out for him and rests his forehead on hers.
Anandi opens her eyes and sneaks a quick peck on Shiv's cheek. Startled, but not one to be left behind, Shiv smiles gently and slides a quick kiss over her eyes. Unable to resist further, he marks a trail down her cheeks. Both breathing quickly, they make the first move towards sealing their future with a kiss.
Wrapped up in their ecstasy, muttering wild words of love to each other, they block out the world and the problems it might bring them tomorrow...
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OS: An Unconventional Affair
The strains of the shehnai had not quite faded away. The golden mogras had started drying on their strands decorating Circuit House. The air seemed to have a fresher feel to it. Colors seemed brighter and sounded sharper.
It was now five days that Shiv and Anandi had got married. Their marriage, as the rest of their hitherto relationship, had been unconventional.
A month ago, Choti Maa had shocked everybody with her intention of calling off the wedding. Anandi had felt that someone had pulled the rug out from under her feet. Her world was falling apart once again... She would never forget the tears that had rushed into her eyes when "her" Shiv had stood up and said, "CM, mujhe lagta nahin hai ki yeh waqt sahi hai baat karne ki, magar maine Anandi ko vachan diya hai ki main uska saathi banoonga. Chaliye, ghar chaltein hain. Wahin baaki baatein ho payengi."
Bapusa had turned into a thunderous cloud, with all his anger vented at dadisa. But dadisa, being dadisa, was not guilty at all. And, no one had the power to speak up against her. As Anandi did not hear from Shiv all that day and all that night, she slowly and steadily retreated into a shell.
The next morning, Anandi had woken up with new resolve and left the house silently. Walking on half-numb feet to the park, she had looked around for her friend. The absence of a strenuously working out Collector Saheb had saddened her deeply. As she had turned to leave, she spotted him sitting on the ground, under the shade of a babool tree. As she walked softly up to him, he turned, as if he had sensed her very presence. She settled softly on the ground near him and opened her mouth to speak. "Anandiji, main maafi mangta hoon. Aap mere baare mein aur mere pariwar ke baare mein kya soch rahi hongi? Mushkil aayee nahin aur humne tumhare saath chodne ki baat shuru kar di." "Please, Collector Saheb, kuch mat kahiye. In fact, main bhi aap se maafi maangne ke liye hi aayi hoon." "Meri wajah se..." Shiv started laughing, "What a pair of clowns we are. I know that you have said that you see your future with me. And hear this from me now, I will never ever go back on the promise I made to you."
From that day on, Anandi, who had been shaken out of her stupor, resolved that nothing would harm their relationship again. Going home, she announced that she could have nothing more to do with Jagya and his illness and would only consider marrying Shiv or nobody at all.
With dadisa up to her old tricks, it was all they could do to wangle a few moments together. CM had also gone and tried her utmost to break the rishta. But Shiv and Anandi had remained firm in their resolve. As time moved on on wings of fire, Jagya grew more desperate to get back his toy. But, to her surprise, Anandi realized that he did not affect her in any way; he only disgusted her. All she longed for was a glimpse of Shiv, a word with Shiv.
What was wrong with her? She had long thought that her heart had become numb, unable to feel for any man. Did she love him? Surely not! At best, it was the love one has for a dear friend. So, then why this frisson of tension when he placed a casual hand on her elbow? Why this desperation to be with him? And why was the thought of leaving her family not affecting her so much these days?
As she packed for her trousseau, she was surprised with the ease with which she could imagine Shiv approving of something. Anyway, he never disapproved of anything she did! The week before their wedding, her to-be-in-laws arrived. To her discomfort, there was a thin wall of disapproval there now. Sensing the tension, Shiv had taken her home one day and holding her hand gently, had said, "I know you are unhappy with Jagya's presence in some remote corner of Anandi's life. However, this is MY decision and MY happiness. I would be extremely happy if you participated in the wedding with open hearts, but if you cannot, I do not blame you."
The day of the wedding finally dawned. As Shiv had requested, the ceremony itself was to be simple. Though Dadisa was keeping all her promises, she did not emerge from her room, preferring to sit with her laadesar.
Anandi got ready all by herself. There was no sorrow though. Just an eagerness to move on to her new life. As she walked down the stairs to her destination, flanked only by her students, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror - simple maroon sari, huge kundan ear-drops and maang tikka, and a beaten gold odhni covering her hair. As she stepped into the simple pandal, her eyes were caught and held by her soul mate, who stood up and put his hand out to her. Without the slightest hesitation, she put her hand into his. As his large, capable fingers closed over her delicate ones, realization came flooding through her soul. "I love him. I love him till the breadth of my heart and the bottom of my soul." Her eyes didn't leave his beloved face for a minute after that. And every time she looked, he was looking right back.
After an emotional farewell to Bapusa and Ma, they returned to Circuit House where everybody had made some attempts to liven up affairs. But the constraint was clear. She had to do a lot of work to get both her dadisa's family and her new family on her side. Saanchi quietly took her to her room and said "Bhabhi, we are all leaving right now." Though shocked, Anandi thought it better not to press the matter. Standing to the side of the window, she saw Shiv bidding farewell. When the last car left, her heart almost broke in two seeing his sadness. Seeming to shake himself off, he turned back to the house. Entering their room, he said, "Arre, yeh kya, aap abhi tak soyi nahin. You must be tired." Seeing her confused state, he said softly, "I am in no hurry, Anandi. Chai pe milte hain."
Spending a restless night tossing and turning, she questioned herself why she was not relieved. Just a month ago, she had been dreading the final intimacy. Did she really want to take the final step in the relationship between a man and his wife? The next morning brought no answers.
As day turned to night and night turned to day, she gazed at the beautiful, strong face in front of her with awe. Is he really mine? Am I so lucky that I have got this wonderful second chance? Shiv too left no stone unturned to make his beautiful new bride feel at ease.
A question was now plaguing Anandi's mind. How did she take it to the next level? There was no way she could just go and tell him... Slowly, but surely, in the course of seemingly innocuous conversations about home and work, she started touching him - just little gestures to show that she did not mind the feel of him. She noticed him watching her carefully, but with a secret smile tugging at her lips, she kept dropping the odd hints here and there.. walking into his room at odd hours, asking him if he needed help with the mundane, and always ready to touch his hand at the slightest pretext.
She knew he loved her; he had proved it ample times. But how was she to tell him that she loved him?? Though just a few days had passed, she was longing to cross the final hurdle.
The fifth day of their wedding, Shiv had to stay back at work. As he wound his way back home in the silence that prevailed on the streets at 9 pm, he pondered about what was going on in his sweet little brides' mind. She seemed happy, but still... As he reached home, he saw it was pitch dark. Switching on first the porch light and then the lights of the other rooms' one at a time, he started getting fearful. Had she left? Her room too was empty, even the dressing table clear of things. Smashing his fist against the doorjamb, he threw his laptop on the table and moved despondently to his room. His nose suddenly twitched. He could smell something sweet, touched with a lemony zest... his Anandi's personal fragrance. He threw his door open with a clatter and almost fainted at the sight that greeted him. Dim candles lit up the dark recesses of the room, roses littered the room, but all that caught his eye was "his Anandi," dressed up like a bride once again, sitting on the middle of his bed.
He walked slowly over to her, "Anandi." A sigh, a question, a hope... Slowly, she lifted her mesmerizing eyes to him and he found all his answers there. "Shiv." He sank to his knees on the bed, not believing his luck. She raised a soft hand to his face and brushed his tousled hair off his forehead. "Main aapse bahut pyar karti hoon Shiv, par pata nahin kyon, na samajh payi, na sanjha payi." He cupped her face with his hands, and blew a light kiss over her eyes. Moving closer, he said, "Mein tumhein deewangee ki had tak pyar karta hoon Anandi. Ye hamari zindagi ki nayee shuruwat hai." Moving closer, he stopped an inch from her lips. To his everlasting joy, Anandi arched upwards and crossed the last distance between them. Their unconventional love affair was finally beginning.
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Wherever you turned in the city of Mumbai, only one face dominated the skyline - ShivRaj Shekhar. Bollywood's hottest and most current heartthrob. Reigning supreme for the past 5 years, there was no one to overthrow him on the horizon.
Known for his stern and standoffish behavior, the charismatic SRS is alternatively abhorred (by his contemporaries) and adored by his fans. Having the face of an innocent angel and the body of a Greek god, he has dated most of B'woods eligible and not-so-eligible bachelorettes. However, recently disillusioned with the avarice, he has sworn, in print, that he is single and not ready to mingle.
Reaching his sets one day, he was greeted at the door of his van by his make-up dada, who had a slight young thing in tow. Introducing her as Anandi, one of his neighbor's daughters, he requested Shivji to let him hire her as his assistant. Anandi, a final-year student of fashion designing, needed the job desperately as her father was an invalid and she needed to help put her younger brother through school. Planning to attend only the evening classes, she wanted to assist on the first shift of the shoot.
Something kept compelling Shiv not to agree, but his well-hidden soft heart could not take that stand and he allowed her to be hired, so long as "she did not get in his hair."
Over the next couple of days, he noticed Anandi buzzing around like a well-intentioned fly, learning the ropes, so to speak. Her bubbly nature, tinkling laugh, and smile that lit up her face did not go unnoticed. But, he pushed all those thoughts away... she was too young and too innocent.
She soon made her first overture at friendship, running to get him tea/coffee/juice, whatever he needed; almost reading his mind. Starting with a shy good morning sir, the conversation increased from the casual to the personal - about why she was doing what she was and what her plans were. They were soon on first-name basis, though she did add a "ji" to the end of his name.
It soon seemed as if he looked forward to seeing her every morning. The casual jeans and T, the carelessly tied hair, the barely made-up face, all glowing with the joy of living. He thrived on her interaction with himself and all the other members of the unit - no one was below her care and regard. On her part, she was slowly falling hook, line, and sinker. Who could blame her? His awesomeness quotient was too high for a mere girl to resist! Her adoration was apparent, and the whole unit started taking note.
Being the cynic that he was, he soon started questioning himself. Why was he feeling the way he was? He was SRS, idol of millions, and he was going moony eyed over a young girl barely out of the classroom?
Brooding over this fact the whole night, he reached his set in a foul mood. Anandi came chirpily over to him, wished him a good morning, and taking his hand, almost shoved him into his seat. "Shivji, you are late. Let me start your makeup before we all have to stay back late." His ego couldn't take this and he snapped back at her, "I don't think we have the kind of relationship where you start dictating terms to me. Just because I am being kind to you, doesn't mean that you start misunderstanding things. I hope you remember your place; you are just a junior make-up artist and nothing more."
Visibly startled, Anandi stepped back a couple of paces, face dropping, and cheeks flushing. Muttering a soft sorry, she hurried off on the pretext of fetching something. Shiv was startled by the pang of regret he felt. Anandi did not return to his side that day, running all around the set like a whirlwind, playing fetch-and-carry for everybody else. At the end of the day, when the director called for pack-up, Shiv noted that Anandi was nowhere to be seen. In the past, he had sometimes dropped her off close to her institute.
The next day was a big day. A big dance sequence was planned, with the South Indian superstar Jagadeesh coming in to shake his merry hips! Shive arrived early in the morning, to be told that he needed to be bare chested for the sequence with some artistic tattoos (painted of course) on his shoulders and arms. Makeup dada laughingly told him that his clumsy hands could not do justice to the job, and Anandi would work on both his and Jagadeesh's tattoos!
Shiv's spot helped him take his shirt off and defuzzed him' Shiv realized that working in the confines of his vanity might make both him and Anandi uncomfortable, so he called for a chair to be placed under a tree. With a sigh, he settled himself down for the torture he knew would follow. Anandi approached hesitantly, with her palette of colors. Wishing him a soft good morning, she started outlining her conceived design on his shoulders. Her soft touch mesmerized Shiv and he soon lost himself in the gentle flutter of her fingers and the delicateness of her fragrance.
His eyes snapped open when she said, "It's done, sir." Sir? She hadn't called him that in ages! Before he could say anything, Anandi quickly walked off, right over to where Jagadeesh was waiting for his turn. Seething with possessiveness, Shiv watched with an upraised brow as Jagadeesh suddenly looked alert and looked at the pretty young thing in front of him with a lascivious look in his eyes. "Shiv, I didn't know your crew members were so appealing to the eyes. I would have made it a habit to come more often." Shiv glowered at the scene unfolding before him, as Anandi bent over Jagadeesh with the same softness and attention to detail. Suddenly, he saw that Jagadeesh had asked Anandi to touch up his foundation too. As Anandi worked away with the foundation, Jagadeesh suddenly grabbed her hand and bit down on her finger! "Anandi! Come here at once! I need you '" A scared Anandi rushed across' while Jagadeesh grinned at Shiv. "So that's the way the land lies, is it?" his smirk said.
As soon as Anandi reached his side, Shiv sat down and told her to go get a drink of water. "Dada, please handle Jagadeesh for today, Anandi can look after me." Throughout the day, as Anandi touched up his makeup, all he could see was her finger, and anger boiled close to the surface. At pack-up time, Anandi took up a wet sponge and bent over his face to wipe it clean of any residues. Shiv was lost in her innocent face bent over his. Suddenly, her loosely tied bun slipped its pins and fell down in a cascade over both of them. Lost in the darkness and in each other's eyes, they seemed to lose track of time (though only a couple of seconds had passed). Without his knowledge, Shiv's hands reached up to hold onto her wrists. With a catch of her breath, Anandi jerked back, muttering "Sorry" and vanished quickly.
Shiv could not sleep that night. He waited impatiently for the morning and for his next glimpse of Anandi. To his sore disappointment, she did not turn up for work that day. Consoling himself that she was probably busy with college work, Shiv waited (im)patiently for the next, and then the next, day to arrive. On the third day, he built up the courage to ask makeup dada what was wrong with Anandi. He was dismayed to learn that Anandi had told dada that the job was not working out for her and she had got a day job at the local Big Bazaar to tide things over. The day seemed interminable to Shiv.
When he reached home, Shiv could not eat, sleep, or drink' what had he done? Life had thrown him a beautiful opportunity and he had thrown it away. Striding out of his house, he got onto his monstrous Harley Davidson and set out for a long drive, wishing that the cool sea breeze would cool his thoughts. Unknowingly, his path led him straight to the road leading to Anandi's chawl. Setting his shoulders, and accepting the inevitable, he stopped off at the local store and picked up a little something. Parking his bike at the kerb outside the chawl and ignoring all the curious stares, he climbed the stairs to his ultimate destination.
At his peremptory knock, the door opened. Shiv couldn't help staring at the vision that opened the door. Clad in a simple white kurta and jeans, hair cascading around her unadorned face, Anandi blinked up at him in shock! "Aap?" "Yes, can I come in for a minute?" Anandi stepped back, and Shiv stepped into a small but extremely neat hall, leading into another room. Anandi's father was lying on the divan, while her brother almost jumped out of his chair in excitement. Shiv handed over a pack of Ferrero Rocher to Anandi, greeted both the other occupants of the room and sat down to exchange some pleasantries. After a brief while, he suddenly said, "Sir, I need to talk to Anandi for a while. Can I take her out for a while?" Though Anandi looked visibly perturbed, her father smiled and asked when they would be back.
Walking down the stairs in silence, Anandi quickly tied her hair in a knot, not knowing that Shiv was watching her from the corners of his eyes. Seeing the bike, she balked, but seeing the unspoken challenge in his eyes, she quietly hopped onto the back. Holding on for dear life to the back of the bike, she tried to keep as much distance between the two of them as possible.
Smiling mischievously to himself, Shiv stomped on the accelerator and vroomed out of the lane' As they reached the sea front, the speed of the bike only increased and Anandi slowly found herself clinging onto Shiv, first with one hand and then with both. Veering onto the sea link, Shiv looked out for a relative oasis of peace and drew up. At the slowing down, Anandi raised her head, which was by then, buried in his shoulders, and looked around dazedly. Shiv savored the slow release of her fingers, one at a time, from the confines of his jacket, and with a sense of regret, felt her slowly sliding off the bike. He watched her walk to the rails, and quietly walked up behind her.
"Anandi, I am sorry if I hurt you." She turned to look at him with deeply sorrowful eyes' Raising a hand to brush the tresses blowing in the wind away from her eyes, he said, "But I am not truly sorry because it made me realize what you mean to me. I have missed you more than life itself these past couple of days'" Anandi blushed and lowered her eyes. Taking her hands in his, he raised both to his lips, pressing a deep kiss into each palm. "Tell me I am not alone in this, Anandi, and I can count on you in my future." Sinking slightly into his embrace, Anandi relaxed and rested her head on his shoulder. "Oh, Shiv!"
PS: Though this is not true to the characterization of the CVs, seeing both serials for the past few days put these naughty thoughts in my mind. Purists, do forgive me!!
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It was now two years since Anandi and Shiv had married. Blessed with baby Anshika a mere 12 months after their marriage, their happiness was complete, revolving around themselves, the apple of their eyes, their extended families, and Jaitsar.
Shiv, as collector of Jaitsar, and Anandi, as sarpanch, led two intertwined, yet separate, professional lives. Anandi was personally involved in the daily lives, joys, and battles of the villagers while Shiv represented their interests at a broad level, interacting with the government for the betterment of Jaitsar. Though their views clashed regularly, they had perfected the art of leaving their official problems at the office.
It had become routine for them to drop Anshika off at her nani's home while leaving for work and picking her up on their way home. Their joy knew no bounds when they re-entered their oasis of peace in the evenings. Quickly finishing off her kitchen chores, Anandi packed off all the staff for the night. Both she and Shiv did not want any intruders on "their" time. Taking turns to play with and care for Anshika relegated all their stress to the background. It was a time for joy and enjoyment in each other. Putting Anshika down to sleep was usually Anandi's job. Shiv did not ever leave her to it though. Sitting at his laptop, he cast a loving eye over Anandi rocking their baby to sleep.
After that started the magical part of their days. With Anandi often sitting on his lap, they shared their thoughts, the little things that had affected them, and often apologized for any heated words exchanged. Best friends forever took on a whole new meaning for them. Their friendly banter usually metamorphosed to something else. A night that knew no beginning and no end. Interspersed with tender caresses and heated exchanges, energizing them for the morning to come.
And then, the day arrived when Shiv got "the" letter. A letter of transfer, to a much better post, at a much bigger city. With hands shaking, he gave the letter to his beloved that night. Putting her hands tenderly on his face, she pulled him down for a soft kiss. "Aap kya karna chante hain, Shiv?" Staring into the luminous eyes, he muttered, "I can't do this to you, my love. Your family, Anshika's well-being, all lie here in Jaitsar. And if I uproot you from here, I will not be able to see you despair in the absence of the village of your soul."
Shiv tried desperately to revert the transfer, but his seniors were convinced that he was meant for bigger and better things. With a heavy heart, Shiv and Anandi decided that he had to go, coming in to meet his family every weekend.
The very same evenings that Anandi had so looked forward to became anathema. Circuit House resonated with silence. Dadisa told her to come spend the weekdays at the haveli, but Anandi could not ' how could she leave the house of her soul mate? The first week dragged, Anshika herself seemed to wilt, missing the strong male person in her life. Anandi could not wait for 8 pm to roll around and Anshika to go to sleep, so she could Skype her beloved. Each night, long into the night, they chatted, baring their hearts once again, sharing their loneliness. Each night, their stress was more visible to each other. Both tried to hide it, but they knew each other too well. Their guilt too was visible. Anandi, because she had been unable to break her ties with Jaitsar, and Shiv, because he had had to go.
When Friday rolled over, the morning seemed brighter, birds chirped louder, and Anandi's excitement at seeing her piya that evening was palpable. Everybody around her smiled at the visible joy with which she ran through that day.
Having put Anshika to sleep for the night, Anandi paced on the porch, waiting and still waiting. Shiv's favorite food had been prepared, including the "halwa" that had played such a prominent role in their relationship. As the clock struck 10, she heard the familiar sound of his jeep. She ran down the driveway and almost before he drew up, threw herself into his arms. Getting off the jeep quickly, he twirled her around joyously and almost ran down the driveway to their house.
After surfacing for breath, he rested his forehead on hers, "God, I missed you." "Maine bhi had se zyaada aapko yaad kiya. Agar ye Skype na hota, to shayad meri jaan hi chali jaati." "Shh, aisi baatein nahin karte." He dropped down on the rocking chair, draping her comfortably over his chest. "Aur main aapse kuch kehna chahta hoon' beech mein kuch nahin kehna." "I cannot bear this judaii. This one week has seemed like a hundred years to me. I am planning to resign, Anandi." "Kya Shiv, aise karne ki koi zaroorat nahi, I will come with you, wherever you want. Meri zindagi aap hi se judi hui hai'"
"Kaha than na, kuch nahin bolna? I am planning on quitting so we can be together, but I know I will never be able to live myself if I don't work toward rural upliftment. Living here in Jaitsar has shown me how much needs to be done ' education, women's empowerment, employment, roads, lights, water, so much is there to be done. And much of this gets stuck in governmental red tape. Having been on the other side, main acchi tarah se jaanta hoon what can be done to speed things up." "To kya Shiv, aap NGO shuru karna chahte hain?"
Reeling back in shock, Shiv moved her off his chest to stare at her face. "But, how did you guess Anandi." Giggling a bit, she said, "Aapko is prashna ka uttar nahi maaloom hai kya? Kya ye ho sakta hai ki aap kuch soche aur mujhe maloom na ho?" "So, Anandi, do you think we can do this? It might take time, but our dreams can and will come true."
Throwing her arms tight around his neck, Anandi breathed into his mouth, "Haan Shiv, agar hum dono kuch chahein to duniya ki har cheez mumkin ho sakti hai."
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