"Sagarika... Saga-- aap yaha hai. Sab log aapka intezaar kar rahe hai, chaliye."
Bounty smiled at his wife, who was sitting on the bed sewing something. She looked up at him and blinked. His smile disappeared when she put the stuff on the bed, and got up, fixing her saree. Her eyes were sad and there was no indication in her face that she had been smiled in a while.
Sagarika walked past Bunty and down the stairs where everyone was without a second glance at him. She looked at everyone without really seeing anyone. She smiled robotically, pretended to enjoy herself. It was Swara, her sister-in-law's birthday party after all.
Even though she was the daughter in law of the house, and there were guests, strangers, present, no one looked as out of place as she did.
She felt numb. She was neither happy nor sad, neither angry nor elated. She was just... there. It had been 6 months since her wedding, and she was so miserable that she had been rendered numb.
Bunty watched as Sagarika slipped into a corner quietly, and get lost in her own world. He feared for her health sometime. Not physically but her mental health. She had gone strangely quiet in the last few months. He had visibly seen a change in her behavior. There was no expression in her face, and even if there were, they were fake. Her eyes told the real story: they were always so sad. The smile he'd fallen in love with hadn't made an appearance in months, and it worried him.
Making up his mind to make her happy again, Bunty approached Sagarika.
"Sagarika, kal na hum-aap aur main, picture dekhne chalte hai. Shahrukh Khan aapka favorite hero hai na? Uska hi koi film dekhenge." Bunty said.
"Ammaji ko acha nahi lagega. Aap Swara aur Ammaji ko le jaiye, unhe achcha lagega." Sagarika said it almost monotonously.
"Arre, hum amma aur Swara ko kyun lejaye humari pyaari patni ko chodke?" Bunty rebuttled. He took her hand in his and grinned, "kal toh hum aapko hi lekar jaayenge. 5 bane tayyar rehna."
"Arre Bunty, tum udhar kaha beth rahe ho. Idhar aao, tumhari behen ki maange suno. Tumhe hi to pure karne hai."
Before Bunty had a chance to say anything, Sagarika spoke up. "Jaiye Bunty, aapki jaga waha hai, yaha nahi. Plus aaj Swara ka din hai, jaiye."
Sagarika watched as the entire family surrounded Swara and laughed and joked. "What you just told Bunty is correct... His place is not with you but with his family. And you really are the outsider. Even Satya is more of a family than you are."
"Beta, bas dekhneka irada hai yah waha Jana bhi hai?" Babu ji came and sat next to Sagarika.
Sagarika turned to babu ji and to his surprise, there were tears in her eyes. "Please... Please mujhse apna wada wapas lijiye. Please."
"Chalo, walk par chalte hai."
Sagarika and babu ji went out of the house and start walking quietly, except for sagarika's sniffles as she's crying.
"Tum sachmuch yaha se jana chahti ho?"
"6 mahine ho gaye hai, babu ji, humari shaadi ko. Maine bahat try kiya adjust karne ki. Maine try kiya ladne ki, jhagadne ki. Maine yaha tak try kiya ki Jo Ammaji bolengi main wahi karungi. Lekin Ammaji ne na mujhe kabhi apna mana hai aur na manengi. Isse pehle ki main nafrat ki aag main chaknachur ho jau, mujhe mukti dijiye is life se," Sagarika requested, and then confessed, "I am miserable babu ji."
Finally, Sagarika burst into tears. Babu ji pulled her into his arms, his eyes welling up. "Tumhari Ammaji aur Bunty dono hi bahat unlucky log hai. Ek tumhe pehchaan nahi paya, aur doosre ne pehchana bhi to kadar nahi kar paya." Babu ji wiped the tears from her face, "aaj main tumhe us wade se mukt karta hoon Jo mane tumse liya tha 2 mahine pehle. Tum ghar chodkar ja sakti ho, beti. Main tumhe nahi rokunga."
4 days later-
"Sagarika yeh sab kya hai?" Bunty asked Sagarika as she packed her stuff. "Aap kahi ja rahi hai?"
"Oh, aapke baba ka ghar? Sab kuch thik to hai na?" Bunty looked worried, "aapke baba or buaji thik to hai na?"
"Woh sab thik hai."
"Aap wapas kab aarahi hai?" Bunty continued to watch Sagarika's face. The lack of expression was making his nervous.
"Yeh... Yeh aap kya keh rahi hain, Sagarika?"
"Main ghar ja rahi hoon, hamesha ke liye."
"Lekin yeh bhi toh--"
"Nahi Bunty, yeh mat kehna hi yeh bhi to mera hi ghar hai. Sabne base baar prove kiya hai yeh ghar mera nahi hai." Sagarika closed her suitcase and turned to look at Bunty, "zindagi bhar hum shayad pyaar sirf aapse karenge, par shaadike har bandhan se ab hume nafrat hone lagi hai. Sare kasme wade jhoote hai, sare rasme jhooti hai. Aap jhoote hai, humara rishta jhoota hai." Sagarika took a deep, shuddering breath while Bunty gaped at her with wide shocked eyes. "Aap beta bahat achche hai Bunty, lekin achche pati nahi ban paye."
Sagarika wiped her tears that she had not even know existed and sniffled. She walked up to the dresser and handed his a file, "yeh rahe humare talak ke papers."
"Ta...talak?" Bunty was more shocked than he had eve been his life. "Par..."
"Maine already sign karliya hai, aap karke Bhupali ko dedena. Woh submit kar degi papers." Sagarika grabbed her suitcase and stood in front of Bunty, "kuch mahino main sab kuch finalize ho jaayenge. Phil aap Ammaji ke pasand ke saath shaadi kar lijiyega. Phil aapko dono ke beech phas na nahi padega. Have a good life Bunty."
Sagarika walked away leaving a shocked Bunty in his room.
3 years later...
"Mamoni, kiya kar rahi ho?"
"Baba, one selfie. Aiye na! Just one." Sagarika pulled her father closer to herself to take a picture with her phone. " Acha now tell me, Bhupali kaha hai? Aur hamare hone wale jeejaji? I haven't even met him yet!"
"Mamoni, relax. Abhi to aayi ho, Thoda relax karo."
Sagarika froze as she saw Bunty standing at the entrance of her house. Her heart filled partly with misery and partly with happiness. A part of her wanted to run to him and forget the world, the other part, more practical part, wanted to kick him out of her baba's house.
With a heavy heart she smiled at Bunty. "Hi Bunty, aap kaise hai?"
"Hum thik hai." Bunty just stood there with a blank expression on his face.
"Aur gharme sab kaise hai? Suna hai Pappu bhaiya papa ban Gaye hai?"
"Haan, Ratna didi ka bhi chautha mahina chal raha hai."
"Aur Swara? Woh computers main masters karna chahti thi. Usse... Permission mili?"
"Haan, Babuji ne--"
"Beta Bunty, come inside. Waha se kab se baat kar rahe ho. Come in. Main tumhari liye chai lata hoon"
Sagarika frowned as she watched her father go into the kitchen. What was going on? Why was Bunty here? How could her father just leave her here alone with Bunty? Sagarika was suddenly startled out of her trance by Bunty's proximity. He was standing uncomfortably close to her. Now that he was closer she notices some things about him. His eyes had bags under them, his forehead had worry creases on the . The lines by his mouth from his smiles were strangely missing. And now that she looked at his entire body, he seemed slimmer than she remembered.
While Sagarika was observing Bunty, he was doing the same with her. She had lost weight too. She looked anorexic at best, and a tiredness to her that did not suit her. The smile he was crazy about was lacking, and did not quite reach her eyes.
"Why did you leave me?"
Sagarika was startled.
"Why did you let me go?"
Bunty placed a hand on her cheek, "aap bas... Chali gayi. Ek baar nahi socha ki aapke bina aapke is Bunty ka kya hota?"
"Aur aapne yeh nahi socha ki mujhpe kya beeti hogi ke mujhe yaha chodke wapas London Jana pada. Aapke liye aapki Ammaji thi Jo aapko samhal sake. Who did I have? In London?" Sagarika closed her eyes with remembered pain, "aap hamesha chahte rahe ki main aapki nazariye se dekhun. Did you ever try to see things from my perspective?"
Bunty was struck dumb. Had he done that? Had he not tried to see things from her perspective?
"Forget it. Ab in sabko discuss kar ke kya faida? Hamari divorce ho chuki hai."
Sagarika took a few steps back. "By the way, Satya kaisi hai? I bet she won't be happy you're here with me."
"We're not divorced. Humne talak ke papers sign hi nahi kiye. I never signed them."
I'm working on part two, I'll post it tomorrow!
Edited by MUNNIBABA2009 - 31 December 2014 at 12:42am