Madhu had left behind a lot of things in her life, but she knew that the gain on the other end of the world was far more great. She'd always heard from her father what a bold personality Dutta had had. Dutta's reasons were justified for not wanting to speak with Madhu. Everyone else in the house was rather welcoming, especially Naku. Roops and Leela weren't too fond of her. Kala seemed to be warm toward her, she spoke with a tone of comfort, but Madhu couldn't help noticing a hidden edge in Kala's words.
The weather wasn't too bad, though she wouldn't mind if the humidity in the air took a back seat.
Staying on the phone for over an hour making calls to London, enquiring about her one and only most blessed gift, from her father. It hurt her heart to even part with it for the short time span, which was still far too much. But of course Madhu hadn't learnt how to quit, a word she was very unfamiliar with, and planned on keeping it that way.
While waiting in the queue for a further 20 minutes listening to an unknown composition played on the piano repetitively, she played with the piece of jewelry that pierced through her tongue, twisting and turning it against the roof of her mouth to pass time.
Kala had gotten so busy that she was almost unaware of the happenings around her house itself.
As she stared down at the list of contacts that had gotten back to her, she felt immensely pleased with her doings over the past couple of weeks. She smirked, thinking of Dutta's words some time back. He told her to take it easy, as he wanted her to make money and expand her gains on her own. He thought it would draw far too much attention to her, but what her dear brother didn't understand was that in the Fashion Industry 'attention' was key.
Nakusha had accepted Dutta's stubborn ways but yet worked around him freely, knowing that he would give in eventually. Although she would never know the depths of torture Dutta was suffering.
However, she was extremely keen on Madhu, who had a lighter approach to everything in life in her own particular way. She'd dealt with her Father's death so well, that it had amazed Naku deeply.
Recently Dutta had been drowning himself in drink. In fact it was the day's one found him without a drink that was the miracle. Strangely enough for him however, the more he tried to run away from Naku and her memories, he found him even more dwelled in the past then he could ever imagine. Although alive, he was deliberately trying to deteriorate his health to experience death even though he was still breathing.
So far his life had turned into a daylight misery, so his methods were a success. Every time he saw Madhu, he could feel the bitterness of his Father's memories slapping him in the face, it was like a segment from his past had come to the future, just to taunt him of his bad relationships. Seeing Madhu made him realise that he was a failure with any kind of relationship he shared amongst his loved ones. Even a man like Damodar Patil had been able to re-settle in his life and have a successful marriage with yet another child, but Dutta being a whole chunk younger than his Father had not even had one successful relationship till date. How it was that everyone around him were able to move on in life care-free, except for Dutta.
As Dutta observed everyone around him, he could picture the loss everyone had suffered there in that room, but yet every single one of his family members had disguised their loss with some kind of front or otherwise.
Dutta seemed to be the only person who remained isolated. It felt like he was the sole person in the room who was frozen in time, and could never move on even he chose to. A creature trapped inside a fragment of glass is what he felt like, nothing to do, nowhere to go, but yet known to everything.
How it was everyone else was able to move on so freely, is what bewildered him. Why hadn't he shared the gift of moving on. He remembered Jagtap Dada saying 'when you hold onto something so tight, you know you do so because you fear of losing its loyalty toward yourself, but when you let it free. That's when you find out if it's true love, because it is bound to nothing or no one, but a sole bonding of true love between two souls, that know it's impossible to live without each other'. This much was certainly true, regardless of leaving Naku with no choice but to leave, she 'being true to her own theory' created a path that wasn't there, she added her own option by staying, and more so, didn't seek permission to do so. Dutta knew then that Naku's love was in the most purest and truest of forms. Her choice to stay was proof that her love for him was unconditional.
Since Dutta had taken a back seat in the home, Aye Sahib had ordered Baji to take care of Madhu's trips around the area, much to his agitation. Every day had felt like World War three, was on schedule.
Madhu had always complained about sitting in the back of the open jeep, and always fought with Gaurav for sitting in the front. Of course Gaurav and Baji had taken the jeep on purpose rather than an air-conditioned car, simply to irritate Madhu as much as they possibly could. Madhu however, hadn't left no stone unturned, she did whatever she possibly could to annoy Baji and Gaurav whenever, and where ever she could.
She often put down Baji's taste in music, and claimed he couldn't drive, by comparing him to a child driving an electronically charged mini car better than he could.
Oh what is this crap! You're listening to, I mean honestly, put something decent on, I can't take this torture from you lovebirds anymore... she said while flinging her legs up to rest on the edge of the jeep, and crossing them over.
Who the heck you calling lovebirds?! Gaurav and Baji snapped back from the front instantly.
Oh god I thought that was pretty obvious, but then again I am dealing with dumb and dumber... she replied back too casually, with a hint of laziness in her voice, and taking the courtesy to yawn to express her boredom. While slipping her sunglasses down to block the sunlight out.
Just before any of the boys could reply back, a group of guys who seemed like trouble had halted nearby. Two guys in particular who had seen Madhu blew pervertified whistles at her while the other threw loud smooches in her direction. Both Gaurav and Baji had boiled up at the sight of the whole thing, and were ready to take them all down in that same instant. Madhu seemed laid back about it, but when she saw her guys in the front of the car feeling offended about the whole thing, she felt a little surprised. Hey guys just chill out, seriously it's no biggie, they're just idiots, and believe me when I say I don't need you guys to fight for me. So do me a favour and stay where you are, alright, I can't be asked for any trouble right now.
The hooligans in the car had thought of them to have gotten scared, and mocked them further, before the traffic lights had turned amber, they revved their engine; challenging Baji to a race. 'First one to the crossroad wins...' said the guy behind the wheel.
A race with you lot, in that! Shouted Madhu pointing at their car in an insult, ...that's so lame!
Oooh... was all that came from the other side, the boys had felt offended by Madhu's words, and instigated the owner by their bodily noises to showcase the insult.
Madhu... just shut it will you, you don't know these people, this is all road rage okay, they won't give up, come on Baji, call it a day, and forget them, otherwise this will get nasty... advised Gaurav throwing a quick but fierce glare back, and we do have had Madhu with us, Ayi Sahib ka tho socho.
Without easing off the gas, Baji felt bothered by backing off.
Madhu watched on from the back, not wanting to miss this opportunity for a harmless race, she hadn't given Baji a chance to answer, and shouted over... hey! Not here...time and place, and I'll be there... she informed, without realizing she'd used the word 'I'.
Fine! Tonight at this address, one of the guys shouted back throwing a card over to here, while kissing the back of it, ...be there, on time! He prompted and drove off at a fast pace. Madhu caught the card and just shook her head at the guy's pathetic wooing attempt.
The rest of their journey went along in silence, she could feel the cold looks from Gaurav and Baji, who hadn't bothered to speak to her.
She couldn't help it, her baby was going to be there when she got home, and what better way to welcome her, than a victorious win on her first day here. She was secretly excited already.
Forgetting the fact that both the boys tried to block her out, she leaned forward tapping Baji on the shoulder, ...hey before we head off home, stop at KFC yeah, 'cause boy am I starving... she said as though nothing had happened.
How much do you eat? Asked Gaurav sarcastically, ...you remind me of Conan the bloody barbarian, he added hoping she'd get the point.
Oh I love that film... she replied ignoring his sarcasm, ...but lemme tell you something, me and my food are a match made in heaven, and I don't give a toss what anyone thinks about it. I eat extra when I'm excited and I also eat extra when I'm upset alright, but barbaric is what I can be, when I don't get what I asked for... she warned.
Apun ne bola tha, bola tha apun ne ke yeh ladki rakshas hai, aur upar se jahan bhi jaati hai, wohi pe panga paake aati hai, dekho abhi abhi phir se yeh nayi museebat paida kardi isne... he stressed, ab main Ayi Sahib ko kya bole ga, he questioned in irritation.
Just relax okay, Ayi Sahib ko kuch batane ki zaroorat nahin hai. Main bachi nahin hoon, main apna khud ka khayal rakh sakti hoon... said Madhu with confidence.
Bas...bas... said Gaurav, ...enough is enough! All your other tantrums were fine alright, but this time you've seriously lost the plot. You're not in London anymore, this is India! Which not only is geographically so far apart, but literally worlds apart of how things run here okay. Girls don't go to places like that, and the ones that do, have lost everything before they step into a playground like that. And even if I have to tie you up, I will to keep you away from going there tonight, and trust me... he said making direct eye contact with her, ...I don't joke.
I don't understand... argued Madhu whining like a school kid and slouching back in her seat while crossing her arms grumpily. Why do you care anyway? She mumbled sulkily without expecting an answer.
Because! Shouted Gaurav within the same second, ...any girl that's in my life won't be in danger because she makes 'stupid' decisions for herself! He blasted narrowing his stare on her, while using his finger to make his point more clearly, which came across rather aggressively.
Okay... Madhu mouthed silently but in surprise, ...keep your hair on, I didn't mean to get on the wrong side of you, but technically speaking I'm not actually 'in' your life, she said mellowing down the tone of her voice. She wasn't used to explaining herself to people.
Gaurav looked back at her a second time, holding a look of threat in his eyes, making Madhu lower her gaze and finally shut up for the first time.
Baji just watched both of them silently, knowing that Gaurav was right, but the fact that he'd made Madhu understand that within seconds of her tantrums, and also performed the miracle of silencing her, had made Baji throw a smile of victory over to his most recent mate, who still seemed like he was pissed off with something.
Breaking into the fashion industry was obviously difficult. However, Kala had the one thing every designer strives for, before making their mark; money. With the capital Kala had managed to keep stashed away with the help of Sudarshan, she would be sure to draw all attention on her. Young designers had to make money before they had any hopes of becoming recognised. Of course this hadn't applied to Kala, she wanted to take her entry by storm. Literally buying her fame from the very beginning. Her designs would be modeled by the most famous super-models, with the best fabrics and material money could buy.
As the Garra Rufa fish sucked off the dead skin on Kala's feet, she sipped on her glass of champagne with pleasure. She conversed with Sudarshan on loud speaker.Curious to find out the given status of her fashion studio, purchased recently. As she refused to rent one, which was normal practice. Along with managing and booking her numerous appointments with trend consultants, and finding her a list of creative designers most popular in Mumbai, who had experience of international markets too. But not without the mention for the hunt of highly experienced seamstresses that were best in what they did.
Slowly things were falling in place, and so far things had all gone according to plan too. Her company had also been accepted and registered to trade. Everything was simply perfect. Except one thing, which Kala had awaited eagerly- the court order, with the legal summons, ordering Dutta to be presented in court regarding a tax inquiry.
Later that evening, upon returning, Madhu had lit up upon sight of her beloved 'darling', it had been delivered, she couldn't wait to see it back in action. This was definitely the best thing that had happened all day. As she removed the plastic cover off it like she were discovering a gold mine. She very slowly revealed its beauty to herself admiring every angle of her glistening 'baby'. Once the plastic overalls were removed, she gasped in surprise at how gorgeous it looked. Had she missed it so much that she was astounded by its beauty once again. Of course she did! Without further ado, she wasted no time and sat on it, she rummaged through her Louis Vuitton bag hysterically as soon as she'd found the key. She entered and twisted the key in its engine and revved the gas listening to its roar, she closed her eyes to let the sound kick in properly. It was like it a drug. Breathing in the smell of the petrol burning, she revved the engine harder, sniffing in the smell like it leased a new bit of life into her. How she longed to feel the wind flowing through her hair with that extra bit of force, as she felt her Harley warm up beneath her, she felt tempted to shift gears and take it for a ride after all.
Dutta knew he couldn't break Naku, all this time he'd tried, but he failed miserably. Instead it was like he was attacking with so much force to cause Naku grief, but landed with the rebounded pain of failure onto himself. Every time he saw her, he felt his life to be like an empty hole with no motive. Why couldn't she understand that he could never return her love with the same unconditional circumstances she accepted him with. Never in his life had he felt like he needed to be punished for any of his deeds, but this time he knew deep down inside he knew it was different. A strange part of him longed for this torture, like he knew he deserved it; a criminal finally getting punished for his crimes.
God I swear that girl is getting on my nerves... moaned Gaurav as he hurried through all the kitchen cupboards searching for any food items ready to eat.
She's a good girl. She's just so used to living alone, that she always expects to do things her own way, that's all. Living in India we often think of life to be like an open book, and expect everyone to have the same sort of personality as we do... explained Naku calmly as she filled the deep pan with water, adding sugar and tea leaves to brew. But she is different she demands her peace, and seeks no advice on how to live. She does everything herself, so she doesn't expect anyone to question her methods of living either. She paused to observe his watch on her. You and Baji have quite an effect on her though... she then pointed out looking to him from the corner of her eye, returning to her work.
Oh yeah... why do you say that? Asked Gaurav curiously, flicking the peanuts he found from the store cupboard into his mouth one by one per second.
Noticing Gaurav's curiosity Naku decided to stall him a little. Oh nothing really... she replied not paying much attention to his words, and getting busy with other chores in the kitchen. You just seem pretty fond of her company...
Are you kidding me? Gaurav threw back immediately, literally spitting the words out denying Naku's crazy thoughts.
No... Naku answered letting off a look of confusion, ...since when did I kid... she stated tactfully. It's just that I've seen you around hundreds of girls and when I say hundreds of girls... she said looking at him for a moment this time. I mean hundreds of girls... she confirmed nodding her head up and down with raised eyebrows. And in all those times I've never seen you take so much interest in a girl even once, including Gauri, who you were very much aware of the fact that she had a soft spot for you... she reminded. Anyway, I think Madhu may be the one for you.. she added as she turned away.
Oh god, Naku... whined Gaurav throwing his head back in a strange sort of disappointment. Why do you forget, I'm a Brahmin's son, a strict vegetarian, and 'that' girl is complete opposite to me, we don't match in any way possible, she is a hard-core meat-eater! And what am I... he asked rhetorically.
Yeah but if you look beyond all that, I see a curious part of you that pulls you towards her almost like gravity. There's something about her you can't quite put your finger on, but you're willing to find that out... she predicted with furrowed eyebrows and deep in thought for a second. But the only problem is you're too proud to admit that to yourself. You once told me to understand that turning a blind eye to love is not an option, and today you're doing the same thing Gaurav...I'm not particularly saying it is love! But I am suggesting it could be... she said changing her voice and tone to that of an argumentative one. Don't you think I want to see you happy? You were the one person who helped me through a difficult path, you showed me that climbing a mountain is not the problem, the pebble in your shoe is, which only you have the power to remove... finished Naku while handing a cup of tea to Gaurav, and further informing him that Madhu had planned to watch a film in Saab's bar, and had invited her to join. If you want to come, you know you're most welcome, she tempted.
Gaurav hadn't replied, he stared at her blankly, shocked at the strength Naku had held with her words and wondered if she was the same girl that was scared to take action against everything that was once a terrible state in her life.
A few hours later, Roops and Naku had gathered in Dutta's bar, waiting for Madhu to return. Meanwhile Baji had trailed behind Roops along with Gaurav. They had joked around while waiting for Madhu to grace them with her presence, and messed around like children who were up way past their bedtime.
I'm so sorry I'm late... said Madhu while running in with her laptop and wires, ready to set it up to the flat screen hanging on the wall. I got kinda caught up... she explained in a hurry.
Once she'd connected the HMDI wire from her laptop to the TV, she managed to bring up the picture of her laptop screen onto the telly, and then asked her audience to choose from the wide selection of films she had up on screen.
Gadar! Baji shouted.
As expected... mumbled Madhu under her breath, while rolling her eyes so that Baji couldn't see, or no one else for that matter.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenga... proposed Roops simply because it was her favourite movie of all time and her favourite hero also starred in it.
Not a chance... interrupted Baji, ...tere ko sharam nahin aati apne hone wale pati ke saamne ek gair mard pe nazar daal na chahti hai tu... he said rushing through his words.
Par DDLJ to ek all time classic hai Baji, main uss wajah se nahin suggest kar rahi thi... she tried to argue.
Mere ko tu yeda samaj thi hai kya...agar koi picture dekenge ko Sunny ki Gadar dekhenge, usme ache ache fighting ke scene hai... he pushed.
Hey hey... said Gaurav, raising his hands in the air to calm everyone down. Forget all your choices, I say let's watch, er... he said, pausing and squinting his eyes to scan through the options on the telly, ...Junglee, he finally said. An all-time classic, and a fine tribute to one of my favourite actors Shammi Kapoor, stated Gaurav while raising his eyebrows in question toward Madhu, who quickly threw back a one sided light smile in his direction, approving of his choice, and at the same time surprised.
Naku hadn't got a chance to even sieve through any of Salman Khan's films which happened to be Maine Pyar Kiya, Andaz Apna Apna, and Saajan, but as Madhu agreed to Gaurav's choice she let it slip.
The movie began, with too much use of overly dramatic music with the logo of the classic 'Eastman Colour' beneath the title of the movie, clearly proving it was a film from olden days. The credits rolled in with the names of the actors and actresses with the all famous 'Yahoo' song from the movie playing in the background in trumpet version.
Madhu had moved to the bar to fetch herself a drink. A double shot of Jack Daniels Whiskey on the rocks was just perfect. Exactly what she would have had if this moment existed with her father, she thought trying to hide her thoughts behind her stern face.
Tu sharaab bhi peeti hai... questioned Baji, not being able to but his nose out of Madhu's business.
Why, is that a problem... Madhu questioned back with attitude, not bothering to face him and quickly gulping down a large sip at the same time.
Damn that! I don't have a problem with drinking, but I do find it weird when the girls in my house start drinking hard stuff before my very eyes... he said still sitting laid back on the sofa beside Roops. As long as it isn't my lady drinking, I'm cool with it, he said pecking a quick kiss on Roops' forehead.
How original... replied Madhu plastering a fake smile. But you know, we happen to have grown up in very different worlds, but you know whatever... she shrugged, ...you're entitled to your own opinion, she said nodding casually. Taking her place on the floor beside Naku and resting her elbow on her knee and cuddling up to her while the movie began and the lights were dimmed out by Gaurav, before taking his place beside Naku in the dark.
How do you have all these films anyway, whispered Baji ruining the silence.
It's called Isohunt... whispered Madhu back, ...in other words downloading, she informed very slowly like she were talking to a four year old.
Privately Madhu was surprised to find Gaurav's taste similar to hers. She had never come across anyone who had old fashioned taste as hers, according to her everyone felt extremely distant from her when it came to taste in making choices with songs and movies. For the first time it was otherwise, someone else had made the decision to watch the old fashioned film, rather than she, making her feel impressed with the choice-maker.
Shammi Kapoor was real handsome during his days... said Madhu dazed without thinking.
You know I never thought I'd say this but I can't agree less... said Roops, ...liking the atmosphere created by watching the old time movie.
Tu ladki hai ya kya...ab tu is budhe pe bhi nazar daalegi... he said moving out of synch, ...wo tera baap aur dada to kya...tera par dada ban ne ki umar ka hai... he said using his hand to direct the actor on the telly.
Baji...chup to karo... Naku finally said, ...hum bas Shekhar ko...er mera matlab hai...Shammi Kapoor ko dekh hi to rahe hai, isme kaun sa pahar toot jayega...
Naku... tu bhi... Baji responded back feeling low, mujhe laga ke tu alag hai, acha hua meri shaadi tujhse nahin huwi... he added coming back to his normal Baji-like routine.
Oh Jesus Baji...cut the crap man! Tu khud kaun sa dhood ka dhula hai... started Gaurav.
Hey...what do you mean by that?! Asked Roops immediately alert.
Oye Gaurav but out, kyun mera basa basaya huwa ghar ujaar ne pe tula hai... Baji said starting a new fight.
I'm not the one starting a fight here alright, I think you'll find that there's only one trouble maker here, and everyone here knows that's not me, responded Gaurav.
Oh will you just shurrup! You're starting to really piss me off, 'cause this is like one of thee most favourite films since my childhood, and you're kinda like ruining it, Madhu blurted out expecting Baji to understand the obvious hint of irritation in her voice. Now will you all just calm down, she ordered as she headed back to her bottle to top up.
Here...why don't you have some white wine... Madhu offered to Roops and company trying to change the subject. Baji refused to drink white wine, claiming it was a ladies drink, Gaurav and Naku obviously didn't drink but held up their tea cups instead to show they had their drinks.
Oh I couldn't... Roops replied, wary of Baji who weren't aware that she drank, not the hard stuff, but nonetheless she still drank.
Noticing Roops' want for the wine, Madhu insisted. After much persuasion Madhu had convinced Roops to have a glass or two, but she was still hesitant. It wasn't the end of the world, it was just a drink to let one get away from the horrible incidents that life constantly reminded you of. It isn't half as bad as what people often tend to say. It's just a drink with a little alcohol in it that lets you live for the time that you consume it and back to reality the very next day. No harm in it, according to Madhu. And after much argument and constant pausing of the movie, Baji finally allowed Roops to have one glass of Wine. But of course Madhu had topped her glass up occasionally without Baji noticing, and winking at Roops every time she did so.
She weren't as bad as she thought her to be, confirmed Roops, she was actually an okay person. The fact that she wasn't the least bit interested in 'her' Baji, was a cherry on top. She had worried over Madhu's presence for no reasons necessary.
Baji also joined in with Madhu helping himself to the occasional top up of the Jack Daniels Whiskey. He couldn't help feeling the absence of Dutta, but the fact that things elsewhere in the house had started returning to normality helped. He knew while Naku was around Dutta would also come round.
Only a few days ago Dutta had started to eat and drink from Naku's hands again too. For a long time he'd stopped, in hope that Naku will soon get fed up of trying. Of course Naku hadn't but Dutta had, and eventually began drinking her tea which she sent up without failure everyday only for it to be returned untouched, or left abandoned in his room. Then a few days later, he decided to let go of his grudge against her cooking too. So it was obvious even without interacting with one another, their actions said much more, and even resulted in a success.
Baji couldn't believe it, watching Naku's strength weaken Dutta's ego, and gaining control over his actions with such minimum effort was like witnessing a miracle. He strongly felt like she should have been a character in Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Her method was no short of adopting Bappa's Gandhigiri, carrying on until the opponent understood what he was doing was in actual fact wrong. But in Baji's strange mind she resembled most with the lanky guy who had kept on wiping the refused paan outside his doorstep day in and day out.
Almost halfway into the movie, Baji couldn't help opening his trap once again. Arre Naku...dekh tujhe nahin lagta ke apun ka Bhau bhi Shekhar ki tarah hota tha, bole tho bilkul kharoos, aur phir jab Raj Shekhar ki zindagi mein aaye...bole to tu uski zindagi mein aye tab Bhau ki bhi zindagi khil gaye re, par pata nahin kiski nazar lag gaye. Jab se tu iss ghar mein aaye hai na, tab se pata nahin kitne saalo ke baad apne Bhau ko khushi ko gale lagate huwe dekha, lekin ab ek ajeeb sa darr laga rehta hai Naku...pata nahin Bhau phir se hass payega ke nahin... he questioned taking the present atmosphere and bringing its status down with his own upset mood.
Nahin Baji...tum aisa matt bolo, mera dil kehta hai ke Saab bohut hi jaldi humare paas lot ayenge. Pann main ek baat bole... she asked. Mujhe lagta ke iss baar kuch alag sa hai, iss baar Saab ko khud apne andar ki ladaye larni hai, woh dheere dheere sab samajh jayenge.
I know Naku, I know... he repeated trying to reassure himself. But I can't help missing the times when Bhau ordered me to do things in a jiffy, his anger.. he said drifting off. I miss his anger...I can't believe I'm saying this but I do, I miss the times we got drunk together, he laughed off, realizing that he'd bought down everyone else's mood in the room with him.
Hey... don't worry Baji, said the surprising voice of Madhu, ...I'm sure the good days will come again, if the good times don't last, why should the bad ones...huh? Madhu comforted feeling kind of sorry for Baji while she placed one hand over his knee to show him some support. Baji couldn't help his lips curving upwards at Madhu's kind gesture.
So! Sighed Madhu out very loudly trying to lighten the mood, while getting ready to play the movie again, ...you know you always got me to drink with, I may not be as good as Bhaiya's company but I can try, she tried to please.
Hmmm... teased Baji acting like he were thinking like he was in two minds, ...errr you're not so bad, he finally let out with his hand midway to show the uneven balance towards both sides.
Oh my god! I can't believe you said that! Here I am being so nice to you, and you... she said hitting him over his leg without thinking.
Hey you better watch it... warned Baji in a play tone.
Or what?! Madhu immediately snapped back raising her head in question.
Or... replied Baji looking around, I'll let Roop's loose on you!! He finally shouted, and then quickly jumped over the back of the sofa running away from both the girls this time, knowing he'd be under attack by both of them.
Naku and Gaurav sat back and watched, while having a good laugh at the three of them on the loose. Roops had even managed to throw her chappal at Baji, with precise precision. Making Gaurav laugh out so loud, that even Baji cursed his mate during his moment of need, even though he was on the run.
Saale tujhe meri madat karni chahiye aur tu waha beth kar hass raha hai mere haal pe... Baji squeezed in while trying to duck from a random attack.
What can I do, you bought it on yourself, amused Gaurav. And besides you may be able to handle Roops, but seriously how do you expect me to handle that wild child over there, he said tilting his head in Madhu's direction. What!!!!!!! What the hell did you just say, did you just try to call me a wild child???!!! Madhu screamed in return.
Hell no! I didn't 'try' to call you anything... he confirmed, ...I 'did' call you call you a wild bloody child, replied Gaurav smugly.
Oh you are gonna regret you said that you flippin' prick! She shouted.
Uh-oh... said Baji in the background, ...now this is going to be one hell of a fight, cheered on Baji, but not before Roops hitting him on his arm to bring him back to reality.
Gaurav, Madhu... Naku ordered them to remain disciplined or else she will leave. Clearly leaving them no choice, but letting off cold looks to each other as they sat down.
What a nutter, muttered Gaurav under his breath.
What an asshole... Madhu mumbled under her breath so that no one heard.
Everyone turned to look at Baji, who was comfortably taking his seat on the couch again with Roops. What don't look at me, I didn't do anything, was all he could say.
Troublemaker, said Madhu and Gaurav together.
Right that's it, I'm going... threatened Nakusha.
No don't go Bhabi... Madhu said first. I'm sorry, I won't say anything anymore, okay, she smiled while holding Naku to remain seated, and turned to look at Roops instead. You know I really dunno how you're gonna live with him, she said actually feeling sorry for her.
Hey don't go feeling sorry for Roops' feel sorry for him over there, said Baji nodding his head in Gaurav's direction. The girl that's going to get married to him is the one that's going to regret it, joked Baji giggling at his own joke.
Yeah true say, pitied Madhu.
What! Don't even go there... argued Gaurav. Feel sorry for the man that's going to marry you!
Do you know what would be funny, said Baji, unknown to the conversation at hand due to his busy trouble-making thoughts. It would be so funny to see you two getting married and then looking back to this moment you'd be eating your very own words.Now that would be funny, he said feeling impressed with himself.
Ewww...me and marrying him, if he was my husband... she said pointing her finger as close to Gaurav's face as possible and sounding as rude as she could, ...I'd poison his flippin' coffee!!
Yeah good one! Gaurav provoked. You're not the only one who feels that way, because boy I tell you, if you were my wife I'd bloody well drink it!!
There was a long pause after their face off. No one was sure when and if to break the silence.
Well that went well, said Naku not sure what to say.
Er haan er...bole to rab ne bana de jodi... said Baji wondering if that was the right thing to say or not, and nudging Roops instead to help him out.
Erm...haan...woh er...I guess love at first sight don't really come into question with...you...guys... she decided to say but then slowing down, realizing it wasn't the best of things to say.
Love at first sight is plain rubbish! Only dumbass boys fall in love with what they see at first sight, cussed Madhu, not removing her gaze.
Yeah, is that why stupid girls fall in love with whatever those dumbass boys say to them, Gaurav replied back.
Well actually come to think of it now I understand why girls wear tons of make-up, said Gaurav speaking sarcastically.
Yeah I wondered why boys always tend to lie, answered Madhu simultaneously. If only every boy's nose grew just like Pinocchio every time they lied, all girls would be saved from heartbreak, she added while crossing her arms over arrogantly, and cutting her eyes at him.
Oh please, Pinocchio was a sissy, are you saying you want your man to be a sissy, actually don't answer that, it's pretty obvious you like to rule the roost in your house.
Don't even think about dissing my cartoons alright, Madhu said in defense.
Oh those cartoons, said Gaurav overly sarcastic, ...the ones that are aimed at children, where Cinderella comes home after midnight, Snow White lives with seven other men, and Sleeping Beauty sleeps for a hundred years just because she pricks her finger, and of course not forgetting Pinocchio who happens to be the biggest liar! It makes perfect sense now that these are the films that you watched while growing up and that's why you are the way you are! He finished, knowing his every word had had more impact than the one before, watching Madhu's face expression change from bad to worse.
Arrggghhh I so wanna kill you right now, but I can't afford to get my hands dirty on a guy who is after the fairytale characters with a vengeance! It's too bad people like you don't come with warning signs, like...beware of dogs! She finally shouted attempting to claw him in midair.
Yeah even I feel the same way, it really is too bad that certain people don't come with warning labels, like... caution! Toxic contents! He spat back not losing out for any moment to have a go a Madhu.
This is actually quite entertaining guys... said Baji in-between the fight, while he munched away on his snacks. Keep it up guys, nice one Gaurav, it seems like you're winning, he cheered on.
Baji! Naku and Roops yelled at the same time.
Madhu...I beg you...play the film, said Naku in her tired voice.
Yeah sure Bhabi, she said as she headed towards her laptop realizing their baseless fight would lead them nowhere, but not before giving Gaurav a narrow-eyed glare. Who had also taken his seat back to where he was.
Another forty minutes into the movie had passed. The songs were good, which was on the main reasons that Madhu loved this film. A lot of memories were associated with the songs of this film, but it weren't only the picture that reminded her of certain things. It was Mohammad Rafi's voice most of all that linked her memories with her Dad. Miraculously they had managed to get close to the end of the movie, mostly due to the fact that Baji was probably buzzing and couldn't be bothered to talk.
The song 'Ehsaan Tera Hoga' had come on, allowing Madhu to turn the volume up a notch on the sly. Everyone was so engrossed no one had really noticed. Gaurav had also seen this movie on television a long time ago, but had often heard most of these songs on discs and players when foreigners had come to Banaras. People abroad seemed very fond of the olden goldies, and it seemed like Madhu had also shared the same thoughts. But seeing Madhu during every song, it was like she was in some kind of world of her own. During the slow song Gaurav was sure that he saw a tear drop glisten in the light at the corner of Madhu's eye, but he couldn't be sure.
As Madhu listened to the last song, she could remember every time she argued with her Dad to listen to a song of her own choice next, and he would always tease her knowing that she'd always pick the same song. Her and her Dad shared an amazing bond, she loved him to bits, and missed him every step of the way. The day she found out that he had cancer was the worst nightmare of her life. She could still remember how that bright day had turned into a dreadful dull shadow casted over her near-perfect life.
Her songs were the one thing that could attach her with every memory created with her Father. It was like never letting him go. With each song a new memory was reminded per se. Her Father's every word echoed itself in her mind like it were only yesterday that she sat with him listening to the things he would say. Each and every time they drank together, never was there a moment that he forgot to mention Dutta, he had always remembered his son. But every time he looked up and saw Madhu, she could see the emptiness in his eyes yearning for the love of his son for just a single moment. That moment always stood out in her mind, how she wished she could see them re-united, just to see that content look in her Dad's eyes, but it never happened. Her Dad told her that he would spend his last days seeking the forgiveness from his son, knowing that I'd have tried as hard as I could, will give me peace he would say.
Being the bitter old man Damodar Patil once was, or rather the man that Dutta would always remember him as, Madhu's Father always tried to be a better man and hoped that he would never let Madhu down the way he did his son. He put Madhu in the finest of schools and gave her the best education possible, although she was mischievous and a hand full, she always came first in her studies. How she did it alongside being a complete goner when it came to revision, had always surprised her Dad. Being a tomboy when she was younger, she happened to join the company of the bullies in school often hanging with the 'good for nothing' boys. So her Father had tried to prevent this further by introducing her to a few girls that lived nearby belonging to a Sikh family. Who went to Punjabi School on the weekends, and so Damodar decided to enroll Madhu too, just so she wouldn't part with her new found 'girl' friends, and would be forced to share their influence. The fact that she had to wear a salwar kameez to the School helped in taming her. But to Damodar's astonishment the arts and skills of the age-old Sikh battles were also taught to pupils, making Madhu love every bit of it. There was a particular Sikh Martial Arts called 'Gatka', its main weaponry choices being wooden/bamboo sticks and often swords too. The basic terms of it was having both hands full with a weapon, most common being the laathi's, which was Madhu's favourite, he co-ordination in the arts was mind-blowing. The practicality of the arts kept her physically fit, which she maintained as a hobby finding further sanctuary in fitness. She even tried to teach it to her Dad a couple of times, who praised her unusual skill of fighting.
Although they were gangster based, he tried hard to keep Madhu well away from the ferocious world of the blood-filled gangster environment. But was however, amused that she'd adopted her own method of fighting regardless. It seemed to him like it ran in the blood of Damodar's family to fight, whether they saw it as an option or not. If that weren't enough Madhu hadn't only learnt one skill of fighting. She went onto to study Criminal Law, which she had grown an undue passion for. She had eventually trained to become a barrister too, as she grew older, so she was literally paid to fight, just like the Patil clan, although circumstances were a little different from what they seemed, in theory they remained the same. Her Father was too proud of his child, she had a profession but yet she was a unique 'Patil 'in her own way. She shared the talent of being a strong fighter as her brother and father. Since her graduation and work experience thereafter, she had but one dream - to fight her first case in the Old Bailey, which still remains on the waiting list.
After she graduated her home-coming present was a Harley Davison bike! This was another one of Madhu's peculiar passions.
In University she'd dated an MI5 agent, who had taught her a series of combat and defense skills, which also got her into the world of bike riding, as he'd only preferred to ride a motorbike. Since then Madhu had grown fond of the two-wheeler and hated driving cars, so a Harley seemed perfect for her. The relationship hadn't lasted much to Damodar's satisfaction, but nonetheless her relationship with bikes only grew with the coming years, which was redeemable. However, with her bike riding habits new problems had cropped up, which was the get-up. Such as tattoos, piercings, and of course the leathers, in other words bad influence. At first her tattoo weren't so bad, but then once she broke into the routine of getting a tattoo done, she became addicted to them, and then as a result to come to a stop. She decided to go for a piercing instead, and got her nose done first, which wasn't too bad. But then it had carried on, first with her belly button, and then with her tongue; which was the final blow. Her Dad had kicked in the rooftops! He tried to explain to her that all this body art and piercings made her look hideous - not to mention unprofessional!
Madhu always argued back that her personal taste and life had nothing to do with her professional life. I'm a helluva a barrister, and I know when it comes down to the crunch all these piercings and tattoo's won't be the judge of me, she would argue.
When she got her tongue pierced that was the longest her and her Father hadn't spoken. She chose to indulge her time in shopping with huge bills, or ordering the biggest entree on the menu with everything that could possibly fit on her plate when she was mad, or was at a standstill type position.
Eventually her Father would always be the first to give in, so you could say Madhu was a spoilt brat.
Her efforts were always never to let her Dad feel the obvious absence of Dutta. Her Dad had never hidden anything from Madhu since her childhood days, simply because he did not want history to repeat itself, because of stupid decision making skills, which affected the future in the long run. Whatever has to happen, must happen, we need to make the wiser decision of letting the truth play its part when it happens and not hold it back for any reason we might believe it necessary to do so, he would say with regret from his previous experiences.
So Madhu was well aware of every event every happening around her life or the people that were linked with her life. Her biological mother had died giving birth, and her brother had hated their Dad because of a silly addiction he had, which caused him to ruin his life for that petty moment. Not to mention that he knew nothing of his sister, but then again Dutta hadn't ever given the chance to let their Father meet her.
With a strange background, her life seemed rather chaotic. The truth of the matter was however, that Madhu had high morals in life. Although her habits seem like they prove otherwise, it was deceiving. She enjoyed a good dose of leisure, but she knew where her limits were. When she drank, she drank with her Father, a good amount, nothing to get her pissed, unless of course she was with friends, but that didn't mean she was a bad person. It was simply social pleasure. She often judged people with vibes from their talks, and usually made up a picture of what their intentions are like in hindsight.
The deeper fact was, that Madhu was very old fashioned about things, like having certain beliefs in traditional things. Abiding by the rules culture and society set for us, still seem appropriate to her, although she alters a few rules to her personal preferences. Relationships were most important to her, if in any relationship, she believes it should be accepted whole-heartedly, or needn't bother if you choose to deceive. Advice and blessings are a must for her, living with one parent her whole life has made her responsible too, in sense of understanding what our elders have learnt from their ancestors need to be passed down generations. Being a firm believer in the Lord Shiva, because of the stories shared by her Father, when she was younger, he often told her of the short adventure type stories, which he had learned of from Madhu's Mother. He read them to her just so she would be able to feel a connection with her Mother even after her loss. Hearing these stories Madhu had always felt closer to her Mother, it was a strange sort of relationship really, but she couldn't help feeling the presence of her Mother every time she prayed to Lord Shiv. Old posters of Shiva previously owned by her Mum were still kept safely by Madhu. It was one of the reasons she had got Shiva's trishul tattooed on her arm, keeping it discreet from the fact of it being associated with her Mother, but yet symbolizing her ardent faith in her favourite God instead.
As if being pulled out of a non-existent time machine, Madhu heard Naku's delicate voice calling out to her with a gentle shake on her left shoulder. Madhu kya huwa tumhari ankhon mein se yeh ansoon kyun... she questioned with a worried frown.
Nahin kuch nahin Bhabi, she instantly replied back, woh bas Papa ki yaad agaye... that's all, she said wiping her tears as though they were nothing of concern.
Bolo Madhu... bolne se dil halka ho jaata hai, Naku encouraged with concern, still keeping a firm hand on her shoulder.
Oh it's nothing major, she confirmed, ...I was just in a different era, she said again looking up to one corner and soaking the tear clouding the inner corner of her eye, with a single finger.
I used to drink with my Dad just to keep him company, and while drinking he'd always get me to connect up my laptop to listen to the old skool songs...erm sorry I mean olden day songs by Mohammad Rafi and stuff, and hearing this song I just kind of let myself get lost in old times.
Eh Madhu...bura nahin maane ka re, lekin agar tu apne Baap ko itna chahati thi, tho phir tu antim sanskar ke din kaha thi? Questioned Baji with curiosity and trying to remain serious.
Madhu smirked at Baji's question, it was a good one too. My Dad made me make him a promise, before he left for India, she started.
Kaisa vaada? Roops asked.
His words were 'remember your old man alive Madhu, I don't want you to see me as a lifeless being, if you don't see me dead, you won't know I'm dead. Do me a favour and remember me how you see me now. I'm returning home, to immerse in the very earth I was created from. I will try to spend my remaining days with my son, if he considers me worthy of his company. But Madhu I want you to promise me that after I turn to ashes, you will return home...and when I say home I mean India. Return to India and complete my family Madhu, give your old man some final peace', and in return I asked him, what if Bhaiya rejects me, and he would always say, 'no matter what happens, you'll always remain his little sister, uski chauti behen'. With this he also left me with a challenge, knowing that I loved turning the impossible into a possibility. He knew I would come here and make my brother see the reality of the situation. 'Tu hamesha apne Papa, aur apne Bhai ki chauti hi keh layegi na' she paused ...'chauti wali', he said, these were his last words.I could never refuse my Dad, but I know if he was here right now, we'd be toasting for the moment that I'm actually sitting here at Bhaiya's house. I'm sure Bhaiya will also come around, and see that our Dad was a good man deep down, she finished off quietly.
Lo...tumne to apne rone dhone mein to picture ka 'the end' hi kar diya... Baji joked lightening the moment immediately, and pointing out the movie had in actual fact ended.
Actually Baji you're wrong... challenged Roops, tumne Om Shanti Om nahin dekhi kya, she said with a slight hint of a buzzing tone in her voice. Agar picture mein 'happy's endings nahin hai... she paused to hiccup shyly ...toh picture abhi baaki hai mere dost' she quoted trying to impersonate the exact character of Shahrukh Khan.
Exactly... agreed Madhu standing up, ...waise bilkul barabar actin' ki tumne Roops, praised Madhu not dwelling on the past too much.
Aur nahin to kya...akhir meri Roops hai, Baji showed off putting a smug arm around his fiance.
Wah wah... exaggerated Gaurav, ...kay nazarana hai, pehle rona dona, phir Oscar-award winning acting, ab jhooti taarif... he said indicating his hand movements in Baji's direction. What's next? He asked rolling his eyes and pretended to cough showing his lack of belief in the whole bullshit from the crowd of drunkards.
Oh really... said Madhu getting back on her feet. What you think you can pull a better act then that... she challenged, ...I dare you to act out one famous Bollywood dialogue, just once, she further repeated.
Oh gimme a break, I refuse to make a fool of myself thank you very much, he informed back while flicking his head determined by his words.
Oooh I get it...you're just scared... teased Madhu putting on a baby type voice and talking over to her crowd like she were in a theatre talking to her audience.
'...Kabhie kabhie kuch jeetne keliye kuch haarna parta hai,' he said in a mellow voice lower and ever more seductive then his usual voice. 'Aur haar ke jeetne walo ko Baazigar kehte hai.' He finished moving closer to Madhu slowly, and irresistibly raising his arms into a Shahrukh type pose, and at the same time making direct eye contact with her. Watching her knowing that she was mesmerized by his act, and she also knew that she had his full attention too.
A lone hysteric clapping had begun behind them, only to discover it was Roops who was too pleased with the act. Indeed his act was a decent one, but before Madhu could speak up, they were interrupted by a second uncalled for abrupt dialogue.
'Kutte, kameene!' Shouted Baji with perfect reason to pick this specific dialogue for that moment and making his way to toward Gaurav who realised the idea he'd put in Baji's head, 'main tera khoon pee jaunga!' He shouted in Dharmendra's voice and clutching onto Gaurav's collar.
Refused to be left out, Roop's had also risen up to the challenge, 'Kaun kambaqt' err... she stopped and scratched her head as she got off the couch, and tried to remember the remaining dialogue from Shahrukh's all famous Devdas. Haan yaad ayaa.. she said jumping. 'Kaun kambaqt bardaasht karne keliye peeta hai!' She finally fitted in a dramatic voice. Baji jolted his head back in confusion, and wondered what she really meant by that. Iska kya matlab hai, tu kis keliye peeti hai... huh? A drunken Baji questioned his buzzing fiance.
'Main tumhare bache ki Maa bane wali hoon!' Naku blurted out, using one of the most common dialogues in Bollywood Cinema, just to prevent Baji and Madhu stirring up more b-class entertainment.
Er is she saying that to me, or you asked Baji to Gaurav. She's saying it to you, Gaurav quickly said escaping. Jaldi se koi dusra dialogue maar warna teri waat lag jayegi, feared Gaurav. Haan haan apun soch rela hai, he answered scratching his head. Er... 'Kya issi din keliye maine tujhe paal pos ke bhara kiya tha?!' Baji threw back while covering his ears like a typical black and white melodramatic filmy mother.
Jesus Baji is that the best you could come up with, taunted Gaurav.
Oh classic Bhabi, nice one, said Madhu, siding with Naku, as Baji and Gaurav decided to stick together.
Oye you cheater, everyone done there dialogue except you, what about you...who's the wimp now... Gaurav quickly harassed Madhu not letting the moment pass.
Madhu within the same second stood on the sofa. Never! She said like she were in an epic movie, taking her position with her back to the three of them and paused, like she were waiting for someone to say 'start'. Within an instant she turned around and began, like she was a natural, but of course stumbling a little from time to time because of her heavy drinking.
'Ek chutki sindoor ki keemat tum kYA samjho ge Ramesh BabU!' She said convincingly, and theatrically. 'Eeshwar ka aashirwaad hota hai ek chutKi sindoor,' she said motioning closer and creeping lower with her hands acting to her words before her. 'HaR suhaagan ke saR KA taj hota hai...ek chutki sindOOR' she added exaggeratedly as if holding out an imaginary pinch of vermillion in her finger and thumb. 'Har aurat ka khWAB hota hai...' she said stepping onto the floor and twirling in a circle while pretending to act distressed and then imitating the act of filling her maang with sindoor, '...EK...chutKI...ssSin-door,' she finally finished ending the last word in two syllables.
Vah vah... shouted Baji extremely loud and overjoyed, kya acting ki tune Madhu, mazaa agaya, he said unaware of his over expressed joy.
Maan na parega... said Gaurav putting his hands together to applaud her fine act.
Madhu tumne to bohut acha kiya, said Naku and Roops together agreeing with the rest.
Thank you! Thank you! Said Madhu bowing down in her typical theatre way and blowing kisses from the palm of her hand to everyone.
If I didn't know any better I would say you've been involved in theatre, said Gaurav not really wanting to praise her, but had little choice.
Not hardly... convinced Madhu, but yeah I think Bollywood spoof is classic, she admitted.
Madhu I'm sure with the qualities you possess, the guy that proposes to you will certainly be a lucky one, said Naku, ...you're so full of life, I'm sure the person you marry will be the happiest man in the world.
Er I don't think so Bhabi, my luck just doesn't support guys like that, I always attract the 'bad guys', she quoted with her fingers showing lack of confidence. The good guys just seem to stay away from me, she said this as though there was something wrong with her, but didn't know what. And besides what fun is there in romance today, it's all too fast, lust but no love, physical actions but none affectionately. The old skool romance has just died out, the people that attain true love are so lucky, she finished coming back into her normal tone, but with a hint of regret in her words.
Are you saying that guys these days aren't romantic anymore... questioned Roops with a curious frown.
Hell yeah... replied Madhu, slouching towards the sofa again, ...what happened to old-fashioned romance, singing that old-fashioned song, climbing up the balcony, writing the long hand love letters quoting poetry snatched from famous poets. Those moments that hint that true love might be round the corner this time.. she said clutching onto a cushion and daydreaming into an empty corner. What happened to the good old-fashioned guy who'll do anything to prove his love to you.
Tera love to kisi ko marvaye ga... interrupted Baji, jis love ki baat tu kar rahi hai na...woh love aatma hatya wala pyar hai...hooo... he said as though giving a warning with his hand signals. Maine hazaaro picturon mein dekha hai, jab hero entry maar tha hai, aur phir sab ke saamne dhamki deta hai, ke agar uski shaadi uski mehbooba se nahin huwi to woh apni jaan dede ga! He finished like he was acting the scene out once again.
I don't think she means it quite like that Baji, said Gaurav while giving him weird looks.
Tere ko maine poocha kya... Baji replied defending himself, dekh tu ek kaam kar Madhu, agar tujhe yeh sab purane kisse ache lagte hai, to tu na...apni shaadi black and white mode mein shoot kar lena...phir to tu samajh ke tere mann ki muraad poori hogi.
Uff Baji...woh aisa wale purane love scene ki baat nahin kar rahi, uksa matlab hai ke usse un ladko main se ladka nahin chahiye jo seedha bole ke...er...haan...'eh chalti hai kya nau se gyaara' wale type ladke...right Madhu, she asked.
Right, nodded Madhu, ..but anyway I know I'm wasting my time, ab yeh duniya bohut modern hogi hai, everyone seems to forget there are the simple options in life.
How strange, Gaurav finally spoke, you look like you're so ahead of life but yet your thoughts are so backwards, you show a totally different picture, but yet you paint us another. You seem like those complex paintings that have hidden meaning to everything but only the ones clever enough to understand them can read the deeper meanings. The more someone gets to know you, the more mysterious you become, he said like he was trying to decipher a code.
Well I wouldn't know, responded Madhu, none of the guys lasted long enough to find out.
What do you mean? Asked Naku, did the guys leave you before it got serious?
In other words you dumped? Baji filled in.
No actually...every guy I dated almost always ended up in hospital, she replied to all questions.
Baji's jaw dropped thinking he got lucky for not fighting with her that day she arrived for what seemed like long ago. Gaurav reading between the lines got most it, and understood that given her information on being old fashioned, and her outer appearance stating things pointing in the other direction, probably sent the wrong message to all those useless guys. But one thing was for sure that Madhu was no damsel in distress, from her words he certainly knew that she knew how to kick butt! This seemed like impressing piece information for a girl so modern, yet so virtuous in her thinking. Old fashioned...huh, he liked the sound of that.