Posted: 14 February 2007 at 5:29am | IP Logged
It is morning time and massi ma, kaya and gauri are all in the kitchen making breakfast for everyone. No one has awoken yet except alok ji who is reading the paper. As the food is layed on the table everyone awakes and makes their way down the stairs.
Nikhila:mmm...this smells amazing...who is this delightful chef..
Gauri:You mean chef's...we all help in the kitchen but it is the magic of massi ma that fills our tummies...
Massi ma: Gauri is learning well though too...
Alok ji: ajo, everyone lets eat before it becomes cold...is that everyone? i don't see shiv where is he?
Nikhika: Shiv never has breakfast only tea...
Alok ji: Gauri, why don't you take Shiv some tea up if that is what he prefers...
Gauri: jee baba...
Gauri prepares a tray with tea and toast on it and makes her way up the stairs. She knocks hesitantly on Shivs door. He doesn't reply. She knocks a little harder. There is still no reply. Thinking he must have gone out early she slowly opens the door thinking she will give the room a clean whilst he is out.
She walks in to see Shiv lying asleep on the sofa fully dressed. He hadn't changed from the night. He seemed to be in a sitting position and was hugging a cushion close to his chest. Gauri turned to leave but thought that she should wake him allow him to get up and sleep on the bed where it would be more comfortable. She stood unsure, she knew if she woke him he would be unhappy that she was there...what should she do? Gauri went to the bed and picked the smaller blanket. She made her way slowly to Shiv and softly threw the blanket over him. It fell on top of Shiv but then slipped down to the ground. She sighed, picked it up and gently placed it over Shiv. As she was bent over Shiv's eyes flickered. He opened them slowly.
Shiv: What are you doing?
Gauri: I was putting a blanket over you. I thought that you might be cold...why didn't you sleep in the bed?
Shiv: I don't know..I must have fallen asleep whilst checking my phone for messages...em...well I will get up now..
gauri: I have made you tea..
Shiv: Thanks...you really do live up to the chai making stereotype..
Shiv smiles as Gauris eyes light up with annoyance again. Gauri realises he is purposely teasing her. She decides to play along.
Gauri: Tea making types are are needed because there is a demand...there are many older men who still like to drink tea first thing in the morning. You know the type...who read the paper and ask for their slippers. These men are the reason types like us are still around. I didn't think you were that type to be honest...but everyone to their own.
She gestures to the tea tray she prepared.
Shiv: Okay...point taken.
Gauri smiles innocently and leaves.
Later in the day Shiv and Vivan are out at a cafe. They have ordered coffee and are sitting chatting whilst waiting.
Shiv: Vivan, I see I have much to teach you yet..
Vivan: what? why biya...?
S: I see that you have yet to learn how not make a complete utter fool out of yourself in front of girls...you gudday ka bucha...kaya kay pehchay pechay gumta rehta hai...like a servant...
V: No i don't...Its just...um... she is a faster walker than me so I am always behind her bhiya.
Shiv: You idiot...what rubbush you are full off..
Shiv shakes his head in amazement
Shiv: When God was handing out brains where were you hiding..
Shiv: class say absent tah?
Shiv laughs at him in a brotherly way.
Shiv: Well not everyone can have my charm and charisma...
Shiv stops talking as he see a familiar face in the table opposite. It is Karan. But he is not alone. There is a pretty girl with him at the table. Shiv sees that Karan is being affectionate towads her and wonders who this is. He mentions to Vivan that he is going out to make a call, he then goes to pass Karans table and thinks of saying hi but is stopped by what he hears.
Karan: We have to end this now. There is much pressure on me to marry and settle...otherwise papa will not make me managing director of our business.
Pretty Girl: lakan...I love you...main shaadi karnay kay liya tayar houn.
Karan: I am sorry but my family won't accept you..they want someone who is religious and will make an ideal bahu...I love you too but we both know you are a modern girl...you would never be able to adjust and I can't expect you too...no Gauri is the perfect choice foe a wife...
Pretty Girl: I will die without you...why are you doing this to me?
KARAN: It is only a matter of time. Just wait...in a few years time I will ask Gauri for a divorce and by then the company will be in my name...then we will marry...I love you and no one else...Gauri is a good person but it is you that I belong to...you have to undertsand. I really respect Gauri. I will make sure she is very comfortable when we divorce, she will never have to work another day.
Shiv hears this conversation. He does not know what to do. He leaves the cafe and calls Vivan to say he will not be back as work has come up. Shiv stands alone. Why should I care? he thinks. I will be home in a few days and will never enter these people lives ever again. They can deal with their own problems. I can't be bothered with these people's headaches. He shakes his head and goes back to making his business calls.
Later in trhe evening everyone is getting ready to go to the after party. Shiv is doing up his cuff buttons and is about to make his way downstairs. He glances into Gauri's room as he is about to past. Gauri is sitting at the dresser. She is dressed in a royal blue sari. It has a beautiful multi coloured border on the arms, neck and feet of the sari. The border shimers elegantly in the light. Her make up is done, smoky eyes and a shimmery pink lipstick. She would look radiant to anyone who saw her. Shiv sees she is struggling to tie her necklace. He goes to her room. He takes the necklace and softly ties it in place.
Shiv: Gauri, have you ever thought about marriage?
Gauri: Shiv, are you proposing to me?
She giggles at his horror expression in the mirror.
Shiv: I have no wish to die young thanks...marriage to you would surely bring on a heart attack. No I mean in general...do you think you are ready to marry yet?
Gauri: em....it's hard to say. Of course one day I will get married but I don't know when. If the right person came and if baba thought it was the right thing to do then I would say yes. Ultimatley if I am happily married and sukee then my family will be happy. This means a lot to me.
Gauri stares at Shiv in the mirror. His expression is aloof and he seems in his own world.
Shiv: Would you only marry for love?
Gauri: Shiv...why all these questions? and no I wouldn't only marry for love because love is ever evolving...it grows and grows...it has no limit so therefore I can hope that after I marry the love I would have for my husband would always be strong and get stronger.
Gauri stills for a few seconds staring directly into Shiv's eyes ion the mirror. She breaks eye contact and begins to put on her bangles. Shiv is quiet whilst he watches her...listening to the soft feminine chinkle they make.
Gauri laughs: Shiv...I can't believe I am taling to you about love. The Mr I Love Tina, Mina, Seema...Don't worry about my life...concentrate on your own.
With that she smiles. and strightens her mothers photo on the dresser.
Gauri: I have plenty people watching over me...
Shiv watches her stare at her mothers photo then leaves. She is right he thinks..she can look after herself. He nods his head as if to get rid of any guilt that is lingering.
The whole family is ready and everyone gets into their respective cars and make their way to the party. Shiv is in the car with Mahen and alok ji.
Alok ji: I have some good news...Gauri kay liya rishta aya hai...
Mahen: That is very good news..who is it?
Alok ji: Karan.
Mahen: That is great news that boy is very nice. What do you think?
Alok ji: I am happy but I tod hime he must first speak to Gauri. It is important that she is also happy...but from my pnt of view this is an ideal jodi.
Shiv frowns as he listens, the men have pretty much forgotten that he is driving them as they are engrossed in converstion.
At the party, everyone is happy and socialing. There is music playing. Yet Shiv is in deep thought outside. He thinks about Gauri with the picture of her mother. He thinks of his own sister...he imagines if she was in such situation today.He would never put up with this. He makes his mind up to tell Gauri at once what is going on...it will then be off his concious.
When he steps inside he sees a crowd has gathered. Gauri is standing shyly between massi ma and Kay and alok ji is speaking to a small group od people:
Alok ji: Frieds, I am truely the happiest father on the earth today. My niece has just married and I can now also announce that my eldest daughter Gauris' marriage is to be fixed with...
Shiv hears someone shout this and wonder who it is. He then reaises it was himself. He looks around to see everyone staring at him. He panics but pushes forward and repeats it again.
Shiv:um..yes...I am going to marry Gauri.
Shiv hardly realises what he is saying. In his mind he can only see the faces of Gauri, her mother and her sister...he had to do something...but this? he thinks. He makes his way to alok ji and stands at his side. He is confused and doesn't know what to say. Everyone is shocked. He look around and catches Gauris' eye. She looks pale and is shocked.He holds her gaze. I am sorry to ruin this for you Gauri...but I was helpless...