Posted: 20 May 2016 at 1:30pm | IP Logged
Chapter 15 - EPILOGUE
Aarti and Yash left the children with her mother and made their way to SM. He drove but he kept looking at her, sensing her nervousness and fear. He was concerned for her. She was a strong and independent woman. That was her nature and that was further instilled in her by her open minded parents. She had hopes and dreams and she was not afraid to chase after them. When he met her, those hopes and dreams were to be a successful career woman. Now that has changed. Her biggest achievements and her greatest hopes were to make her family happy. She was like an Amazon woman. Her love, commitment, courage and bravery knew no bounds. She showed her loyalty and commitment when she married him to protect Prashant. She showed her courage when she played him at his own game and won. She showed her courage when she gave up everything and went to a foreign country to give birth to their son. She showed her bravery when she had her love but risked her life to give birth to their daughter. She endured his taunts and abuse, though she retaliated, she never stopped loving him, she was always willing to forgive and give their love another chance.
She did not have a nasty bone in her body. And now she was a nervous wreck, once again for them. Because she wanted them to have a complete and happy life which included the love of a mother and grandmother. He was here simply because he knew she would not rest until she had done this and he wanted to protect her and for no other reason.
Aarti was bundle of nerves. This was so important. She prayed that she would be able to remain calm. She didn't want to revert to her old combative self. She wanted to fight for her husband and her children but not in a way that would alienate her mil even further. She looked at him as he was driving. He was wound up like a coil. He was clutching the steering wheel as if his life depended on it. She knew that she was going to have a reaction when she told him of her plan to confront his mother. She had expected him to oppose her but she had not expected that extent of anger. She had no choice but to absorb it into her literally and figuratively. He had regretted it afterwards even though she tried to convince him that the way it happened heightened her excitement and pleasure. That there would be no circumstance where their lovemaking could be wrong as she would never refuse him. And they both hardly slept, but rather than being awake worrying, they used each other as stress relievers.
She never doubted his commitment to her and their children but he needed his mother too. It hurt him too to see the rejection of his children. It hurt him that his mother never came to their home and that his family was not welcome in theirs. She didn't know what the relationship was between Yash and his mother before they got married, but it just seemed that she decided to ostracise her before she joined the family. She had wracked her brain many times thinking about what she could have done to make G3-ma hate her other that her lack of domestic skills but she couldn't.
Now her purpose was to find out and try and make amends for the man that she loved more than her life and the beautiful children that he gave her. Vendant and Vedhika would be at school but she asked Pari to take her kids out of the house too just in case things got out of hand. She knew that Pari would probably be at their house.
Yash took her hand as she got out of the car and went inside without knocking. His mother was sitting in the lounge having tea with his Aunt Maya. She was visibly shocked and annoyed to see her. She clearly did not approve of the hand holding either.
Yash went to them and took their blessing and as usual her mil had none for her.
She chose to ignore Aarti and addressed Yash.
"Yash beta, you haven't been here in a while. What brought you here?"
"Aarti and I have come to talk to you Ma."
"You know I have nothing to say to that woman"
"She is my wife and your bahu."
"Oh, you are still married. I never know. Then you are married then you are not."
"You know very well that we are. You would have known for sure if you have attended our wedding."
"I did attend your wedding but the marriage didn't last long did it. She left here and went back home."
"Yes she did but we have sorted out our differences. We are happy together now Ma."
"Then what are you doing here."
"Ma ..." he started but she put her hand on his arm indicating that she wanted to talk.
"Ma-ji, I know that I am not your ideal bahu. I was young and volatile when I joined this family. I felt that I was forced into it and I did not behave appropriately. We have been through a lot and I have matured. This is why I have come here today to apologise and to ask your forgiveness. I have changed a lot, if you give me chance I can become the bahu you want. I am prepared to do anything so that you will accept my children and Yash. Please Ma-ji."
"I will never accept you. I can hardly believe that you and Paradhi-bahu are from the same house. She is decent and respectful, but you. You are not fit to grace our doorstep. I will never accept you or your children. My son had an opportunity to married to a decent woman but you came back to ruin his life."
"My life is not ruined Ma."
"Ma-ji, why do you hate me so? What have I done to cause you despise me so much that you can't even acknowledge my children as your own grandchildren?"
"I don't have time for your drama. Please leave."
"Please Ma-ji. How can I improve and make myself worthy if I don't know what I did."
"Aarti! Enough! I have had enough. I told you that we shouldn't come here. Now you are grovelling for the acceptance of someone that is not worthy of it. This is not the woman that in know and love. I will not have you become the kind of woman that would be considered a perfect bahu in this home. I fell in love with a strong, spirited woman. And I won't have you compromise for anybody!"
"No more Aarti. We are leaving." he started dragging her out.
"Is she all you care about!" his mother shouted.
He turned around and looked at astounded.
"Since she came into your life, you have changed. You even went against your own mother to marry this characterless girl. Don't you remember how you ended up marrying her? How she was in your room doing who knows what. That night you refused to marry her but as in everything she convinced you otherwise. I bet I can tell what she did to make you change your mind."
"Ma! She didn't do anything wrong. We told you that night it was an accident. I was at fault yes. It was my intentions that were not pure but it was for another girl. Aarti mistakenly wandered into my room. She was never here before that day, she didn't know it was my room. And yes, I didn't want to marry her in the beginning and neither did she want to marry me. She didn't persuade me to marry her. I had forced her, actually blackmailed her to marry me. And you might as well know she was pure when we got married. So I won't have any disparaging remarks made against her."
"Yash, please" Aarti begged again.
"And because of that, you give your all to her. You give into everything she wants. She came here, not prepared to fit in. She can't even cook. She didn't even dress properly and when I spoke to her you stood up for her. You were disrespectful to your own mother for her. She couldn't even bare children without drama."
"Ma-ji. That is hurtful and cruel. I can accept all your criticism but that was beyond my control. How can you hold me accountable for a medical condition? But despite all that, I did have children. No matter how they were born, I gave my husband children and you grandchildren."
"Yes, you did. You have everything don't you. Everything just works out for you doesn't it. You always get your way in everything. In my day a girl like you would have been thrown out of the house. You are hopeless and rude. You dress the way you want, work outside of the house, sleep when you want and refuse to do any work in the house. And your husband not only condoned this, he encouraged it. You ran roughshod over everyone here and then you just leave and he runs back after you. Do you think that you are the only one that had dreams? Do you think I didn't have them? I was well educated, I went to college. I was a qualified teacher. I was looking forward to a profession, independence and life, but I couldn't choose. My marriage was arranged as soon as I completed college and I had no choice but to be a wife and a mother. Make no mistake I grew to love my husband and I love my sons, but my life always lacked. But I did it because it was expected of me. And when Yash was born, he loved me. I was the most important person in his life. I was his everything. Until his grandfather and father started making him aware of his position in this family and in the business when he was still in his teens. And like this (she snapped her fingers) he changed. He matured beyond his years and he didn't need me anymore. Yes, I had Pankaj and Prateek but Yash was still my first born and we had a special relationship. But he just drifted away from me as if I was nothing. Like I had no place in his life. Yet when you came, he changed. Even his business was secondary to you. He made so many compromises for you. Gave you your way in everything. What am I to him? Nothing. Don't I deserve for once in my life to have what I want. Why do you get to have it all? You have everything. I have nothing. All my sons have married and have their wives. My husband's first priority is still the business."
Aarti and Yash were shocked. She was jealous of Aarti.
"Ma?? I'm sorry. It was never my intention to be disrespectful. But that was all I knew. My parents allowed me to do what I want. They were happy with the way I was. Just as Yash was groomed to take over the Scindiya business, I was groomed to be a career woman. That was what ma and pappa wanted for both of us and I wanted the same. I loved my life. It was a huge adjustment for me to be married. and to be submissive to a man, to adhere to household rules. It wasn't me trying to be rude, I lived my life the way I was used to living it. And I felt trapped at first and I acted out as I normally do. Once again, I apologise for that. But I have really changed. Because of my husband's love. He has given me everything Ma, you are right. He loves me that much. He is a great husband and father and that is your influence Ma. Although he was groomed to be what he is today, he still felt enough love from you to be able to be that husband for me and that kind of father to my children. And I didn't take him away from you Ma. We want you in our lives. Yash misses you. He misses spending time with you. He misses sharing our children with you. He misses you at the family gatherings and he misses his home. I probably will never be your perfect bahu but I beg you for my children and yours to be a part of our lives. You don't have to love me or accept me but just be there for your son. You remember how you felt he had distanced himself from you, he feels the same now. I beg you ma. I beg you"
They were all crying now.
"Yash, looked at Aarti and they shared a look. He left her side and went to embrace his mother.
"I'm sorry Ma. I have hurt you badly without even realising it. I took you for granted all these years. I know you did everything for me. Please forgive me. I love you Ma. And like Aarti said we want you in our life as well."
She embraced him as well.
"I'm sorry Yash. Do you know how difficult it was to hold back from showing love to Aayu. And I have never even seen Payal. Only on photo's. I want to be in your life too."
"But then you have to accept my wife as she is. I know she is crazy. She drives me crazy most times too but we just have to live with it." He got a smile from all of them.
"Come here bahu"
She moved closer.
"I am sorry for treating you like that and for the way I have treated our grandchildren. Thank you for being prepared to give me another chance. Bless you bahu."
"Thank you Ma-ji"
"Now go make your Ma some tea"
She immediately looked nervous.
"I am just teasing you. I hear you still don't cook."
"No, Ma. They don't allow me in the kitchen. It is always disastrous. But you are still welcome to come for dinner tonight. I know Pari is there and she can cook for us. It would be great if we could all have dinner together. You can see our house and spend some time with the children."
"I'd like that."
Later that evening Vidhi and Pankaj and their parents arrived. Prateek came straight from work and Pari stayed there for the day. Everyone was awkward at first but G3 broke the ice.
"I was invited for dinner but I will only eat if you promise me that Aarti-bahu did not cook." Everyone laughed.
"I promise ma, I did not cook. My mother has raised at least one daughter that can cook and she cooked tonight. So it is safe to come inside and eat."
"Where is my little Payal?"
"Here she is G3-ji" her mother said.
"Ahh, she is gorgeous. And is she fine now." she took the baby in her arms.
"Yes Ma, she is fine and we are so happy that you will be coming to her naming ceremony. She will be doubly blessed."
"Where are the other kids?"
"In the play room, Ma. Come Ma I will take you." said Aarti.
As she got there the kids were happy to see her there. But Aayu stayed back.
"Come Aayu, dadaji & dadiji has a present of you. Mamma says you like puzzles. Come see."
He came slowly and took it.
"Come let us sit down and I will help you with it." And they sat down at the little table to start the puzzle.
"Ma, let me take Payal. I will call you when dinner is ready." Aarti's moist eyes were not unnoticed by her mother in law.
Aarti turned around and saw her husband at the door. He looked at her adoringly. If it were not for her, this would never have happened. She walked towards him and he rubbed her arm and gave her a peck on the cheek.
Dinner was great fun. Finally the family was complete.
Payal's naming ceremony was beautiful. At the last minute G3 changed most of the arrangements to her liking. Her daughters in law just let her. They found it quite amusing. And the proudest person at the party was grandma G3. She told everyone about her strong and brave little granddaughter.
In bed the night after the party
"Mrs Scindiya, it seems your powers of persuasion doesn't only work on me."
"Why whatever do you mean, Mr. Scindiya"
"If you can persuade G3 SJ Scindiya to do mellow out, you are a master at persuasion."
"But you are happy now, aren't you baby?"
"Yes my love, very happy. Thank you for being who you are and for loving me so much."
"Do I get a reward?"
"Yes, what does your heart desire wife of mine. Jewellery, clothes, holidays. Name your wish."
"All of them but I want something now" she said snuggling against him.
"Are you not tired after such a long day?"
"Yes, but I still need my bed time treat."
He kissed her.
"You are truly insatiable, wench" she giggled as he started to nuzzle her in her neck, giving her what she wants.
Aarti, was sitting in the auditorium, her heart swelling with pride. She was watching the graduation of her youngest daughter, Dr. Priya Yash Sindiya. Her husband held her hand and she dabbed the tears away. Her 3 boys were laughing and showing each other that she as crying again. Their father gave them a warning glance that made them stop immediately. She couldn't worry about those crazy boys. She was too happy.
She thought about how her youngest two children came into their lives. Aarti never went back to work full time. She did some contract work but what she focused on was continuing the work that Yash had started. She had taking over the fundraising of the medical wing that was started because of her. Her greatest help and support was her mil. Not only did they raise funds, they also visited the hospital often to help with the babies and entertain the mommies. G3 was in her element and she was very good at it.
She grew close to a widow that was expecting twins. Everyone was surprised that the pregnancy progressed so far. Aarti was very excited to go the day after the babies had to be delivered. But she was heartbroken when she learnt that Priya didn't make it, but the babies did.
"Yash," she sobbed. "What will happen to the babies? The doctors said their families did not want them. They said they couldn't afford to keep them. I'm so worried, Yash. They will end up in an orphanage."
"Shh, baby. They won't end up in an orphanage."
"How do you know?"
"Because they will live withtheir family."
"I just told you that their family do not want them Yash" she said angrily.
"You don't understand Aarti. We are their family. I know you always wanted more than just our two monkeys. And Aayu is 4 and princess is 2 and I miss the sound of a baby in our house."
Her face lit up.
"Really, baby. Can we bring them home, really?"
"I'm guessing I'm going to get lucky tonight because my wife looks very happy."
"You have no idea how lucky, sweetheart."
So Priya and Aakash became part of their family. Priya was the apple of her naani's eye. She was following her footsteps and would eventually specialise in Obstetric Gynaecology. Their birth story was familiar to them and they had their biological parent's names.
She looked down the row of seats at her big babies. Payal was looking annoyed again. It seems Kunal, Aayu's best friend had that effect on her always and Aarti smiled knowingly. Payal was like her mother, she was a fashion designer and jet setting all over the world and would not be tied down, but Aarti knew that would change soon, even though Payal did not even know that yet. Aayu, as his father was groomed to take over Scindiya Enterprises. He was a serious young man. All he thought of was the business and his new PA, Neelam was giving him uphill at the moment. He always complained about how she thought she was boss instead of him. She was the loveliest girl and she was sitting behind Aayu looking at him lovingly as she always did when she thought no one was looking. Aakash idolised his older brother. He had graduated in business management and was going to continue studying. He even moved to the USA with Aayu and studied there. Of course G3-ma would not let her favourite grandson, Aayu live on his own and she stayed with him until he moved back to India. Sadly she was not there today as she passed away soon after their return and her husband soon after. Aarti's parents were still alive. Her mother was frail but she wouldn't miss seeing her Priya graduate.
Aarti's heart was full. She had so much love for the people around her. And most of all for the man beside her, still holding her hand after all these years, still making her heart flutter after all these years.
They had Priya's graduation party and Yash was embracing Aarti from behind, kissing her in her neck, causing her to giggle.
"Really Mrs and Mr Scindiya, are you not too old for that?" said Payal.
"Yes, mom and dad. Get a room." said Aakash.
"This is embarrassing. Stop it dad." said Priya.
"You heard them Aarti, let's go to our room."
Aarti blushed and hit his arm.
"What? They said it not me." he said trying to be innocent.
"Yes, mom and dad this is really gross. And besides the young people want to be alone." said Aayu
"I don't have a problem with that as long as you don't do what I do." said Yash.
"Daaad!" all the kids said together.
"We're going. We're going." he dragged his embarrassed and exited wife up the stairs.
BR]The kids stared after them, smiling. They pretended to be outraged but they loved that their parents still loved each other so much. It's what they wanted in their lives as well.
Once they closed the door behind them he embraced her and said,
"Well Mrs, Scindiya, Are we too old for this."
"Those children don't know what they are talking about."
"Good, now me."
And she did. They were so content and so happy. They lost count of all their fights and who won them. Although it was never him. He set out to TAME his Amazon woman, she TAMED him more. She even TAMED his difficult mother. He loved more, he discovered that he was more than Yash the businessman, he was a husband, a father and a son. The love that she exposed him to overwhelmed him. She fought with him at every step and then she fought for him and alongside him to get them to this place. But she was no longer the person that lashed out because she felt challenged. Her volatile spirit was TAMED. But she remained spirited and fiercely protective of her own. Her heart was his and his was hers. The desire and passion for each was never TAMED, it was still wild and unabated after all these years. THEIR LOVE WAS UNTAMED AND FOR ALWAYS.
Edited by B-onesie - 21 May 2016 at 12:00am