Payal sat on the bed looking at a sleeping Aryan. He looked so innocent while he slept that no one could imagine how vicious he could be when he got up. She smiled and kissed his forehead. What ever he would put her through she could never hate him. He was her saviour. He was the one who helped her in keeping her sanity through all the chaos and turmoil.
She could still remember the day when she had gone to Buaji's place after Khushi.
When she had reached there Khushi was already there. When buai opened the door she looked surprised and then concerned. She looked back at Khushi and ten Payal and then asked in a concerned tone, " What happened Payaliya? First Sanka devi comes here and after half and hour u reach here. Is everything alright?"
Khushi, who had come up to the door behind buaji looked shocked but when buaji asked this question she hid her shock and plastered a fake smile on her face. She then looked at buaji with mock reproach in her eyes and said, " Why buaji, r u not happy that both of ur titaliyas have come to visit u?"
Buaji eyed Khushi with suspicion and then replied, " If u have come to visit then its okay but if u have done something naughty and come here to hide then I should tell u that I will not shield u from Arnav babua."
Payal tried to intervene, " Buaji..."
Buaji raised a hand and said , " U don't know bitiya. This Sanka devi troubles Arnav babua a lot. When he was here she did not let him in peace for even one minute."
Khushi rolled her eyes and said, " See jiji, I told u na! Buaji always takes his side."
Buaji, " Why not? He is my dutiful and mature son in law. He is not Sanki like u."
Khushi shook her head impatiently and said, " Buaji would let jiji inside or do u plan to make her listen to Arnav Gatha from outside the main door and then send her back."
Buaji realised her mistake and hit her head with her hand and said, " Hai re Nand Kisor I have become Sanki too in the company of Sanka devi. Come in bitiya."
Payal entered the Gupta house with her suitcase. When buaji saw the suitcase she looked concerned. and asked her, " Have you come here for a few days?"
Khushi's eyes widened but she again hid her shock and said," Buaji! don't u love us? Don't u us to stay with u for a few days?"
Buaji pinched her chin lovingly and said, " Why wouldn't I want that Titaliya? Both of u suddenly came with ur suitcases so I got worried but if everything is fine then I am glad that you came to spend sometime with us."
Buaji then looked at Payal and said, " Wait I'll make tea for u and then we can sit and gossip." Saying that she went in the kitchen leaving Payal and Khush alone in the drawing room.
Once buaji was gone Khushi sat near Payal and asked with worry clouding her face but before he could say anything Payal asked her in a stern voice, " So u didn't tell buaji!"
Khushi looked down and replied, " I didn't want to worry them."
Payal looked incredulously at Khushi and said, " Really Khushi...do u think that this truth can be hidden. How can u be so childish?"
Khushi , " I know that this cannot be hidden for a long time and believe me I intended to tell buaji everything but I lost courage when I saw her face."
Payal, " So u plan to keep this a secret for all ur life? And what reason would u give them for not going back?"
Khushi , " I will tell them everything after day after tomorrow when amma and babuji come back from the ayurvedic camp."
Payal shook her head in exasperation.
Khushi hesitated and then asked, " Did they...did they send u away too?"
Payal shook her head and Khushi looked confused, " Then why...?"
Payal put her hand on Khushi's head and said, " Because they sent my sister away. I could not live with people who treated my sister with such disrespect."
Khushi's eyes filled with tears and she hugged Payal. Then she broke the hug and looked reproachfully at Payal and said, " U shouldn't have done that jiji. Jijaji loves u a lot."
Payal gave a bitter smile and said, " Yes, he loves me but to him, his family comes before me. I have never felt bad abt this fact till today. HE expected me to stand by him but he never stood by me. He let my sister be insulted and never said a word. He said that he treated my family as his but those were just words. He never really treated u as his sister or for that matter even as his sister in law. The only people he cares abt is his family even if they r wrong. But I could not stand and let injustice happen. I tried Khushi but I could not help u so I decided that I would also leave that house which was full of prejudiced and selfish people."
Khushi was abt to say something when buaji entered the room with 3 steaming cups of tea and their conversation ended there.They started to talk abt mundane stuff.
Next morning Khushi was setting table for the breakfast when Payal came out of the room. Buaji smiled at Payal and said, " See bitiya I have made ur favourite Halwa poori. The moment smell of ghee hit her nostril a wave of nausea rose within her and she rushed to the bathroom to throw up. Buaji and Khushi looked shocked and then they looked at each other with confusion clouding their faces. When Payal came out of the washroom both of them went to her and Khushi handed her a cup of water. Buaji looked worried, " what happened bitiya?"
Payal took a sip of water and then said, " I don't know buaji. I have been feeling a little weird since a few days, especially in the mornings. I don't feel like eating anything right now."
The moment buaji heard this she smiled and said, " I think I should call Akash babua."
Payal and Khushi looked panic stricken and Payal said, "Why?"
Buaji smiled secretely and said, " I think something big is going to happen."
Now both the sisters looked really scared. Khushi asked in a miserable voice, " Do you know...?"
Bauji interrupted her and said, " Of course I know! I have seen more of this world than you. Did u think you could fool me?"
Khushi's eyes widened and she asked, " But how do u..."
Buaji laughed and said," Payal bitiya we must take you to t doctor to confirm the news before telling Akas babua."
Now PAyal and Khushi both were shocked and said unanimously, " Why doctor?"
Buaji smiled and said, " Because I think Payaliya is expecting a baby."
" WHAT?", both screamed together and then looked at each other in shock. Then the shock turned into heart felt happiness and they hugged each other.Buaji warded of the evil eye off the
sisters and then asked them to get ready.
As expected the doctor confirmed the news of Payal's pregnancy. She asked PAyal to take care of herself as she was weak. She prescribed some multi vitamins, iron and calcium to her.By the time they reached home it was evening and buaji insisted on calling Raizada's and telling them the news but Payal dissuaded her by saying that she would herself call Akash. Buaji was satisfied with that and sent Khushi to buy the medicines that were prescribed by the doctor.
At night when Khushi and Payal were alone in their room Khushi asked her if she had called Akash.
Payal said, " I will not call him and tomorrow when amma and babuji come back I would tell them the truth."
Khushi looked miserable, " But jiji what abt the baby?"
Payal stood strong, " The baby is mine and I don't want him to have any influence of Raizada's on him/her. I don't want him to be emotionally weak like them. I will work and earn money to give my child a decent upbringing."
But Khushi remained unconvinced. Being an orphan herself she knew the importance of parents in her life. She did not want the baby to be deprived of it's father's love. She knew that Akash jiju might have remained silent when she was being insulted but that did not change the fact that he as essentially a good man and he loved her jiji a lot and he would love his baby too. Her case was different. Raizadas did not have proof of her innocence but Payal and the baby were different. They would accept her without any qualms and love her. She tried to reason with Payal.
Khushi - Jiji u should think abt the baby. A child wants a father and what abt u. Don't u need ur husband by ur side during this time of ur life. And jiji the doctor has said that u r weak. How will u work in this condition. The medicines that the doctors prescribed r so costly that I could only buy a week's stock with the amt of money I had. I don't know how long will we be able to afford them.
Payal - I don't care abt the medicines. Even poor poeple have kids. They don't take costly medication.
Khushi - but u r weak jiji and u need the medication.
Payal - I'll be ok. Don't worry.
Khushi ws unhappy with Payal's decision but could not do much so they decided to call it a day.
Next morning when they got up they heard their amma's voice coming from the kitchen.They ran to her and hugged her. Amma hugged them lovingly and then smiled at Payal.
Amma - I am so happy bitiya. I will become a grandmother.
Payal's eyes filled with tears and amma hugged her thinking that she was overwhelmed with joy, missing the pain which did not go unnoticed by Khushi. They touched babuji's feet and he smiled happily.
They had just finished their breakfast and bauji had gone for his nap when their neighbour Bimla mausi came to their house. She looked disturbed.
Bimla mausi - Madhumati ji did u hear something?
Buaji - What happened?
Bimla - Our neighbour Shalini's daughter Sunita committed suicide.
Everyone was shocked. Six months ago Sunita was married to a boy from Mumbai but one month ago he left her with her parents as they could not fulfil the groom's increasing demands for dowry.
Buaji - but why Nand kisor?
Bimla - because she was pregnant. Her husband refused to accept her and u know how important it is to be with ur husband in such times. She went into depression and some vicious people used taunt her and her family because she was left by her husband. She used to fee guilty that her parents had to go through all the ridicule because of her. Poor girl could not take it any longer and committed suicide.
Buaji shook her head sadly and said, " Poor Shalini...firstly her daughter was left by her husband and now she committed suicide. People can be really vicious."
While they were talking abt all this they heard the siren of an ambulance and a police car. Buaji and amma went out with Bima mausi while Khushi and Payal sat down hugging each other and crying for the poor girl who was just a year older than Payal.
After sometime buaji and amma came back with tears in their eyes. They looked at Payal and Khushi and asked Payal to take rest as it was bad for to take any kind of tension. Payal went inside while Khushi stayed with amma and buaji.
As Payal lay on the bed she kept on thinking abt the girl who had met with such cruel fate. After sometime Khushi came inside and tried to lift up her spirit by talking abt funny things but Payal was way too disturbed o be amused by her antics. She knew that Khushi wanted to cheer her up because of the baby and even she should try to be happy for the baby but she could not stop thinking abt the poor girl.
In the evening buaji came inside and tried to cheer Payal up by asking if she had told abt her pregnancy to Akash, not knowing that it would depress her further. When Payal shook her head buaji snatched her phone and o her horror called up naniji and told her abt Payal's pregnancy.
She told them that naniji was delighted and she was going to come to Gupta house the next day with all the Raizadas to take Payal back.
Both the girls looked miserable. When buaji left them Payal said, " Khushi I think now we should tell buaji,amma and babuji everything."
Khushi looked scared and said, " Jiji buaji and amma were feeling so bad abt Sunita, what would they do if they knew that both their daughters have also left their homes. I cannot go back but u should return or they would be heart broken. People will start taunting our family also?"
Payal - " I don't care abt such society"
Khushi - " I don' care abt myself but I do care abt u and my family"
Payal - " Khushi we cannot hide the truth. "
Khushi - " Okay we will tell them tomorrow"
That was the last time Payal talked to Khushi.
As Payal was thinking about all this when the door opened and Akash walked in. He glanced at his wife who ignored him as usual and then at the sleeping form of his four month old son.
He went to the bed and looked at Payal who was looking at Aryan and asked, " How was your day?"
All he got was silence from her side. It had been a year since she had talked to him. He cursed the day when Khushi was turned out of the house. He had been a coward. He had chosen to stand by his bhai because that was the thing he was used to. He had always let Arnav take decisions. He had loved his wife but had taken her for granted and that cost him his married life. He looked at his son and silently thanked him for being the reason that Payal was still in RM.
Edited by kutkut12 - 22 April 2014 at 12:41pm