Joined: 06 September 2006
This is a post ONS and post leap ff…..when Jai and Bani meet again…..
A Bitter Harvest
Dashrath was both, the executioner and the executed. It was an irony Bani now understood and appreciated fully. Bound by his own oath, he had sent Ram away on Banvas and then died, pining for the same Ram. Bani too had done what needed to be done and paid the bitter price….exiling herself, breaking her own heart.
As she stood on the terrace in the gathering gloom, tears blinded her eyes. The lights twinkling all around her, anticipating the arrival of Diwali, were blurred as she looked upon them without really seeing them.
Before her reverie could overwhelm her, a sequence of events that always lead to a crying jag so severe that inevitably a migraine followed, the sound of a child crying recalled her to the present.
Wiping her eyes, she hurried inside.
Pia knew that she had drunk a little too much at the party. Yet again. After repeated attempts to unlock the front door, she gave up and rang the doorbell.
The door opened to reveal a sleepy Rano. Whose expression closed up in disapproval as soon as she saw Pia.
Wincing Pia held up a hand as if to ward off a physical blow.
But a tight lipped Rano stood aside without saying a word, and shutting the door behind Pia walked away without another glance at Pia.
As Pia walked into her room, she fumbled for the light switch on her bedside lamp, inadvertently dislodging a glass of water, which clattered onto the floor.
"Shit!"She mumbled and then again as a child began crying.
Pia tried, unsuccessfully to hush the child, but the crying only increased in intensity.
As she began to panic, unable to soothe the crying, the bedroom door opened. Turning she saw Jai standing there.
"Woh main….glass tut gaya toh….." she began to incoherently explain, only to stop as he raised his hand in a gesture of 'enough.'
Turning he raised his head and called out for Rashi.
And as Rashi appeared, he wordlessly indicated towards the room before leaving.
Rashi walked in and automatically took the baby in her arms and began crooning a lullaby.
The fact that the child stopped crying immediately irritated Pia to no end.
"If you don't mind, shall I take the baby to my room?" Rashi asked softly.
In the sudden silence of the room, Pia felt claustrophobic. As if the walls were closing in on her. Yet again….
Ranveer looked up from the file he was reading as Rashi walked in, baby in her arms.
"Again?" he asked.
"Woh Pia ke pas yeh bahut ro rahi thi….toh maine socha….aapko koi problem to nahin hoga?"she asked timidly.
"No, it's ok," he answered with his usual curtness.
As rashi settled on the bed and began to softly hum a lullaby Ranveer could help but look at her. Noticing, what a melodious voice she had. And how different she looked at this moment….confident, sure of herself and smiling with such a lack of reservation that her face seemed utterly transformed.
He had noticed this both times previously that Rashi had brought the baby in to their bedroom for the night.
Without thinking he blurted out, "why do you have to keep on taking care of the baby? It's the third time in one month"
Rashi was startled. Ranveer was engaging in a conversation with her? And that too speaking so pleasantly?
"Who…Pia can't really seem to handle the child and so…"
"But why you? What about Rano?"
"Rano refuses to touch the child and she …she…doesn't even speak to Pia…woh usne abhi bhi Pia ko maaf nahin kiya toh ….ab sirf main hi hoon…aur jab yeh becaahri roti hai ..toh mujhse raha nahin jaata…" Rashi faltered to a stop.
As if suddenly realising whom he was conversing so normally with Ranveer abruptly turned his attention to the file after saying, "accha theek hai."
Please do let me know what you think of it so far and more importantly, whether I should continue writing it or not….
Part II- page 5
Part III- page 6
Part IV- page 19
Part V-pg 23
Part VI- pg 28
Part VII- pg 34
Part VIII- pg 40
Part IX- pg 46
Part X- pg 52
Part XI- pg 59
Part XII- pg 67
Part XIII-pg 74. The End
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