Posted: 02 May 2007 at 4:56am | IP Logged
Kripa was still trembling after her first kiss. She had never been touched like that before, or for that matter felt that way in her life. She was dazed and confused, Gayatri's voice was still echoing in the background, but Kripa's legs were paralyzed and she could not move.
"Kahan ho tum? Main kab se dhoondh rahi hoon….yeh rahi…..baahar kya kar rahi hai?" Gayatri came out and saw Kripa standing in the middle of the backyard staring at the swinging back gate.
"Kya hua? Sab theek tho hai na?" Gayatri got worried.
Kripa came back into reality and flustered, "Oh..maa…wo main yahan paudhon mein paani dene aayi thi, bas ek billi ne mujhey daraa diya the….chaliye main baaher se saamaan le aati hoon…."
Gayatri followed Kripa, but was not satisfied with her answer. It was not unusual for stray animals to intrude into their backyard from time to time, but what she saw on Kripa's face was not fear from an unknown animal-it was a strange expression of heavenly bliss mixed with a trance-almost an out of world expression which she had seen on people's faces in the temple, after they claimed they had seen "God."
Kripa helped her mother with the groceries. Gayatri found it strange that her normally boisterous daughter was so quiet. On a regular day, Kripa would bombard Gayatri with questions after her trip to the bazaar, "maa aaloo kis bhaav miley? …..Bania ke paise de diye?…..Maa, us Hari Prasad se tho kabhi aata mat lena, wo usmein milawat karta hai…..," she would go on and on. Gayatri would have to shush her most of the time.
Suddenly Gayatri saw something on the kitchen counter, "Dr Khanna apna stethoscope yahin bhool gaye?…."
Kripa startled, "Oh….haan wo aaye the aap ko check karne, par aap nahin thi tho wapas chale gaye…."
"Kuch chai-wai pilaai thi unhey? Kahin aise hi tho nahin chale gaye?" Gayatri smiled to herself, as she knew his reason for the visit.
"Haan pooncha tha maine….par wo bahut jaldi mein the…" Kripa lied.
"Theek hai tu baad mein jaakar unka stethoscope de aana…..arre main tho bhool gayi, aaj Harshini aane waali hai….keh rahi thi aaj raat ko bhi yahin rukegi…" Gayatri remembered that her niece, Harshini had called that morning.
Kripa remembered that Angad had asked her to come over that evening; she decided to stay back with Harshini-her head was still giddy from the kiss and she needed sometime away from him to collect her thoughts, "maa…aap maamaji ke yahan khaana de aaiye aaj, main Harshini ke saath ghar reh loongi…aur aap hi Dr Khanna ko yeh stethoscope de dena…"
"Theek hai…waise bhi Dr Khanna mujhey dekhney hi tho aaye the…." Gayatri lifted Kripa's chin and teased her. Kripa turned red as a beetroot and just turned her face away, "nahin maa…mera matlab haan….naa…haan….," her confused mind could barely utter any words; she ran to her room and buried her head in her pillow.
Later that evening, Angad waited impatiently for Kripa, but she did not show up. Gayatri came and dropped off his stethoscope and food for the two doctors. Gayatri could see Angad's crestfallen face when she showed up without Kripa. She did not need any more proof; she was determined to talk to Dr Misra about a possible alliance between the two lovers. Angad had to attend to a few emergencies that evening, and by the time he got back, it was already past midnight. He tossed in bed all night, craving for Kripa's touch….he could still feel her lips and tongue….her racing heartbeat….her fragrance….her curvaceous body pressed against his……he was sure she was as crazy about him as he was for her…..phir aayi kyon nahin…..kahin phir se naaraz tho nahin ho gayi?
Angad started his day early at the clinic after a sleepless night. Around 11 am, there was a lull at the clinic; he could not wait any longer-he had to go and see Kripa!
Kripa was teaching a 3 rd grade class when the recess bell went off!
Kripa looked at her watch, as it was still 20 minutes to recess. Before she could stop the kids, they were on their way to the playground!
Kripa was baffled; she checked her watch, "ghadi tho kaam kar rahi hai…phir aaj ghanti jaldi kaise baj gayi?" Suddenly she felt two hands blindfolding her eyes.
She felt the hands and instantly recognized the fingers which had been working on her wounds for the last 1 month, "tho yeh maazra hai?"
She turned around and saw her handsome doctor standing in front of her, smiling mischievously.
"Yeh kya tareeka hai Dr Khanna? Jab aap apne patients dekh rahe ho, aur main beech mein aa tapkoo, tho aapke kaisa lagega?" she asked.
"Bahut accha lagega! I would love that! Batao kab aa rahi ho?…," Angad pulled her closer.
"Angad….kya kar rahe ho? Yeh school hai!" Kripa was mortified
"Main bhi tho tumhara student hoon….mujhey bhi tumhari attention chahiye!" Angad pulled her closer.
"Angad! Koi dekh legaa!" Kripa clenched her teeth.
"Dekh ne do! Yadi tum apne vaada thod dogi, tho main kuch bhi kar sakta hoon…," he pressed his body on hers.
"Maine koi vaada nahin kiya tha….kal meri cousin Harshini aa gayi thi….," Kripa explained.
"Chalo mere saath paas waale dhabe mein lunch karne…" Angad insisted
"Lunch? Abhi mera ek period aur hai…."
"Kya Basanti? Tumhara Veeru itni door se tum se milne aaya hai, aur tum ek period ki chinta kar rahi ho….so what?…it is just an elementary class….ek din bacche kam padhenge tho koi farak nahin padhega….chalo mere saath..," Angad grabbed her wrist and started walking.
Kripa freed her wrist and felt offended at that comment, "Angad….aapke liye ek maamooli class hogi, but this is my job, I take pride in my work as much as you do in yours!"
Angad saw the indignant expression on her face; as usual he felt bad for his offending comments, "sorry Kripa….i understand….yeh lo..my apologies…..," he took a rose out of his pocket and held it in front of her.
Kripa was amused, "yeh rose hamesha aapki pocket mein rehta hai?"
"Kyonki tumhari naak par hamesha ek makkhi baithi rehti hai….iss liye main hamesha prepared rehta hoon…," Angad grinned.
"Aapki…," Angad put a finger on her lips as she spoke, "No aapki…just tum…OK!"
Kripa smiled as her body felt a sudden shiver from his finger on her lips, 'OK," she said softly.
"Chalo ab lunch par chalein? Maine principal se baat kar li thi…..he has given you permission to have an early lunch.."
"Wo kaise maan gaye?" Kripa was perplexed, as the school principal was normally very strict.
"You know chote sheher mein doctor ko bhagwan ki tarah pooj te hain….meri baat kaise taal te?" Angad grabbed her hand again and started walking outside.
"Mujhsey poonch na chahiye…yeh bhagwan kitne shaitaan hain!" she laughed as she picked her bag.
They drove to the nearby dhaba and ordered some lunch. Angad sat across for Kripa and kept grabbing her hand.
"Angad…please yahan mujhey sab jaante hain….aur ab tho tumhey bhi jaante hain….please haath chhodo…," Kripa felt awkward as she noticed everyone was staring at them.
"Nahin chhodunga!" Angad teased her
"Jaante ho ek doctor ka ek patient ke saath itni nazdeeki ka anjaam kya hota hai?" Kripa asked, still trying to free her hands.
"Kya hota hai?"
Angad smiled and came closer. He looked into her eyes and said, "shaadi ka doosra naam bhi barbaadi hota hai…..aur main poori tarah barbaad hone ko tayyar hoon!"
Kripa was startled. Did she just hear "shaadi?"
"Kya kaha tumney? Sh..shaadi?" Kripa thought her ears were ringing.
Angad pulled his hands away and tore a corner from the foil under the plate of 'naans' and rolled it between his fingers. Then he bent the rolled foil into a ring. Kripa looked at him strangely.
"Laao haath do!" he ordered, "Come on Kripa, main khaa nahin jaaoonga!"
Kripa reluctantly offered her hand to him. He slipped the rolled up foil ring into her ring finger and looked into her dazed eyes, "I love you Kripa! Will you marry me?"
Kripa felt like she was in a dream-like state; she stared at him and did not realize that tears were rolling down her cheeks.
"abhi se kyon ro rahi ho? Shaadi ke baad tho rona hi hai!" Angad joked and squeezed her hands.
Kripa got up from the chair and ran behind the walls of the dhaba.
Angad followed her, "kya hua Kripa? I promise main tumhare liye asli anghooti bhi le aaoonga…"
Kripa was sobbing and shook her head, "Angad yeh baat nahin hai! Main…main…..I love you too…," she could not speak anymore and buried her head in his chest.
Angad caressed her thick hair with his fingers, "Tho main haan samjhoon?"
She shook her head and looked up, "tum jaante ho tum kya keh rahe ho? Are you sure? Tum sach much mujhsey shaadi karna chahte ho?"
Angad traced his finger on her face and softly said, "never been more sure in my life…..main chahta hoon ki tum meri adhoori zindagi ko poora kar do…..," he kissed her hand and held it close to his heart.
Kripa wiped her tears and hugged Angad tightly; her frail arms encircled his strong neck.
Angad closed his eyes and cherished the warm embrace; there was something very comforting about her…he knew he could face any adversity in his life as long as she was near him….
"Ab chalein? Tumhare period ka time ho raha hai?" Angad smiled and helped her back to the car.
As they drove back, Angad took a detour towards a park in the town.
"Yahan kyon laaye ho?" Kripa asked
"Abhi tumhari class mein time hai…..chalo thodi der baith te hain…" Angad helped her out of the car.
They sat under a tree with Angad resting his head in her lap.
Kripa gently stroked his head and asked, "Angad…ek din tum bahut badhe aadmi ban jaaoge….tab mujhey bhool tho nahin jaaogey?"
"Kripa…tum mere andar is tarah samaa chuki ho, ki tumhein bhool ne se pehle mujhey apne aap ko bhool na padhega…par aisa kyon soch thi ho? Shaadi ke baad tho hum hamesha saath hi rahenge…." Angad got up from her lap and brought his face close to hers. He was about to kiss her, when Kripa sang:
"Ek din….tum bahut badhe banoge…ek din"
enjoy this cute song from "ankhiyom ke jharoke se" as Angad promises Kripa that he would always be there for her as long as she is:
ek din, tum bahut bade banoge ek din
chaand se chamak uthoge ek din
wil you forget me then?
how i can, tel me how i can?
maan lo kaheen ki shahazaadi
baithi ho tumhaare liye aankhen bichhaaye
aur use ye zid ho ki wo shaadi
kisi se na karegi tumhaare sivaay
wil you forget me then?
yes i can, if only you can
ek din, le gaya tumhe jo koi ajanabi
gair ki jo ho gai ye zindagi
wil you forget me then?
gentleman, oh no gentleman
saans saans mein tumhaari kushabu
kis tarah jiyoonga bolo tumako bhulaake
dil pe jaan pe kar chuki ho jaadu
jaanati ho poochhati ho phir bhi sata ke
gentleman, sorry gentleman
they drove back to the school humming and whistling together…
…..to be continued….