Posted: 04 June 2008 at 5:59am | IP Logged
One - Veer
"I won't let you marry this man...come on, Soni," said Mahi, her voice firm and determined. "Mummyji and Daddyji may no longer be here, but I am."
Veer looked up, guilt settling over him. Hadn't he accepted that responsiblity, wasn't it he who had reassured Soni that he would be her maayka? He was struck then by the difference between the two sisters. Mahi - younger, more idealistic and happily married - standing up for her sister in what she thought was a simple matter of right and wrong.
Veer knew that it could not be ended by Soni walking away, though he wished otherwise. And perhaps Soni realised it herself, for she stood like a deer caught in front of oncoming headlights - terrified, helpless, beautiful. She carried her burdens inside her heart, without allowing them to surface to anyone but herself, and Veer knew she needed protecting more than Mahi, with all her youthful innocence, ever would.
How could his mother have been so misguided? To think that money could make up for a life of misery? He wished he could shut out her words but she kept speaking, the blow coming again and again, making his anger slowly rise.
"People see you as daughters of a terrorist. Who would marry this girl?"
Why did she give in so easily to the community, despite knowing the truth? His own mind recoiled at the thought of handing his sister in law over to such a man.
"If this wedding does not take place, your sister will remain a spinster forever," his mother continued feelingly. "With the stain of your father's reputation, and the pain of being alone, there will be nothing but thorns to bear in her life!"
Soni was trembling with silent, painful tears, while beside her, unable to contradict the truth of his mother's words, Mahi was frozen, horrified. Veer looked away, trying to gather his thoughts, but he knew what he had to do, the only thing he could do.
"After knowing all this, who will marry Soni?" the words cut through the air.
I'll make things right, Rajji. At least now.
"With the same faith with which you were about to take your sister away from here, can you tell me the name of even a single man who will accept your sister as his own?"
I'm not mistaken this time. I won't let your sister come to harm again.
"Answer me...who would marry a terrorist's daughter?"
I love you, Rajji. Forgive me for everything.
He looked at his mother, the words at the tip of his tongue...when his eyes flickered beside her to rest on Soni. And suddenly, he was afraid - she was paler than he had ever seen her, face fully drained of blood, and her eyes stared into the distance, disbelief and...something else in them. He noticed her inaudible gasp and her lips move soundlessly as she tried to say something. As he started towards her, half in dread, half in concern, she said, in a shaky voice but very clearly,
Edited by bhavana02 - 07 June 2008 at 12:16am