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The Unforgettable Truth
Bani Walia (born Dixit) was known as the beautiful and often mischevious wife of the young business tycoon Jai Walia. Often quoted as the "newcomer" by the media, she was raised in Canada, and was summoned back to India, for a sudden and unexpected wedding of her older sister, Pia, exactly one year ago. It was then that Bani first heard of the handsome Jai, who stole the hearts of many and was also the groom.
As the Dixit house prepared for the wedding of their oldest daughter, an arranged marriage, to the son of their closest friend, Uday Walia, an unfortunate accident took the life of Pia. This left Kiran Dixit, Bani's mom in a state of shock and Nishikant Dixit, in guilt for not fulfilling his promise of getting his daughter wed into the Walia household. Though unreasonable, Nishikant's guilt soon led him to make Bani the wife of Jai.
Having no other choice, Bani, agreed for the marriage and lawfully became the daughter-in-law of the Walia's, taking what was rightfully, her sister's place. Despite being warmly welcomed by everyone, Bani's relationship with Jai started off with a strain as she blamed him for the sudden marriage and also herself for 'replacing' her sister, even if that was possible.
But nothing can escape fate and the stubborn couple soon learned to care for eachother, loving the other more than they thought was possible. And when they finally became husband and wife, destiny continued to play a cruel joke on them, and this time it was in the form of the long gone Pia.
As their first anniversary approached, Bani began to discover many hidden secrets about her sister and Jai, back when they were engaged. Starting from the fact that Pia never showed up to her appointment with the hair dresser, returning from which she met the fateful accident, to finding her wedding joda stowed under the bed, which was supposedly burnt in the flaming car. As one clue led to the other, Bani soon found herself in a fix – what had happened to her sister?
Though she endlessly questioned Jai, he would only reply that he never loved her sister, claiming it was solely an arranged marriage. And no matter what she did, he did not change his answers. Yeh kaise ho saktha hai, Bani used to think to herself. Pia Di toh bahut hi kushi thi shaadi se, and even for once she didn't think it was arranged. It was clear on her face that she was in love with Jai…
These alternating views continued to mount in Bani's head. Finally, on the eve of her anniversary, she accidently found a letter, that changed her life forever. It was a letter from Pia, to Jai, dated the day of the accident. It read:
I thought a lot about what you said yesterday. I know that this is an arranged marriage, but I never forced myself to love you. While you have every right to not like me, I believed that I had ever right over you. You may say that there are no sparks between us, that there is no love… but every second I was with you, I felt happy. I felt as if I was on the top of the world.
I'm sorry that you feel nothing towards me, but the fact is that I can't live without you. These past few months we spent together were the best of my life. I enjoyed every second of it and will cherish every moment of it. I know you want to call the marriage off, that you don't want to spend the rest of your life with me… I understand. I can't force you to stay with me. You can tell Uncle and Aunty and even my parents for that matter, that we were not just meant to be.
But always remember Jai, I love you. I always loved you and will continue to love you till my last breath. No matter, where am I and how I am, but it will always remain true that Pia ki dil mein sirf aur sirf tumhara naam hai! I know you will blame yourself for this, issi liye, aaj ke baad, you will never see me.
Have a happy life,
A tear slipped through Bani's closed eyelids, as she hugged the letter, the last memory of her sister. It was on that dreadful night of her anniversary that she finally understood, what really happened to her sister. She commited suicide, because of the very man that she now called husband. She clearly remembered the confrontation that happened with Jai that night…
"Kya hua Bani?" Jai asked, coming into their room, biding goodbye to guests, who attended the grand party in honour of their anniversary. It was well past midnight, but Bani was not the least bit tired, infact her thoughts were far from sleep…
"Saab kuch teek hai nai?" he continued, noticing the cold and distant Bani facing the window. "Party mein tum bahut chup thi… kissi ne kuch kaha kya? Are you not feeling well?"
The constant stream of questions and the concern that flowed behind every word of it, didn't change the growing anger in Bani's heart. In response, she held up the letter, which Jai didn't have to read to know what it was.
"Yeh tumhe kaha mila?" Jai asked, after a moment of silence that seemed to stretch for eons.
"Cupboard mein," Bani replied in a very calm voice. "by accident, since you will never ever show this to me, will you?"
Jai took a deep breath. "Look… its not what you think… let me explain."
"Explain? Do you think that at this point of time, there is anything LEFT for you to explain?" she fumed, turning around to face a distressed Jai.
"Tumhe kya laga? Mujhe kabhi nahi pata chalega? How could you Jai? How could you? I TRUSTED YOU! And you end up killing my sister?"
"No, its not like that…"he attempted feebly to explain a raging Bani.
"THEN WHAT IS IT LIKE?" Bani roared. "SHE LOVED YOU… SHE TRUSTED YOU AND WHAT DID YOU END UP DOING? DO YOU HAVE ANY HUMANITY IN YOU? WHEN SHE CAME AND CONFESSED, ALL YOU CAN DO IS TURN HER AWAY?"
"I didn't turn her away… mujhe nahi pata tha… mujhe nahi pata tha ki woh khud ki jaan lelegi!"
"Pata nahi tha? Kaise nahi pata tha Jai? How can you be blind for the love she had for you? Even I could tell how much she was attached to you, by talking to her for a few minutes!"
"I know… issiliye maine use saach bata diya Bani. Everyday, she would get more attached to me and I know I am not right for her. So, I told her as soon as I can!"
Bani stared in disgust. The man she loved deeply was selfish enough to turn away from an innocent girl who truly loved him… not even once did he pause to think about the consequences.
"Maine aaj tak, itni khudgarzi kissi mein nahi dekha!" she whispered, her throat raw from the shouts. "The great Jai Walia, who everyone admires so much is in the end worse than the worst and I am sorry, but I cant live with a person like you!"
She began for the door, when Jai caught her hand.
"No Bani, you can't leave! You have to listen to everything! Please… just once, hear me out!" he begged.
Bani yanked away her hand in response. "Maine tumhe poocha tha na? I asked you to tell me exactly what happened, but you lied to me… like how you have been lying to me ever since we got married! But, I had enough… as far as I know, you are a murderer! You killed my only sister and ruined my family! I HATE YOU MR. JAI WALIA!"
Saying that, Bani stormed out Jai's life, vowing never to return. Her heart shattered, but she refused to feel… she shut away everything, not wanting to deal with the mess of emotions locked up in her heart. She was slowly succeeding – she was becoming accustomed to the dull ache in her heart, when Jai appeared once again, bringing everything back to the surface.
Kyun Jai, she thought as the tears continued to flow down her face. Why did you do this to me? Wasn't I happy with my life? You came and made me love you to the point, where I can't even hate you!
"BANI!" Kiran called, bringing her back to the present. "Come down!"
Bani sighed and wiped away the tears. It was more than a week since Karva Chautha and since then, she locked herself up in her room, lamenting on her ill-fated life. She slowly went down, trying to keep the grief from her face. But she fooled no one. Kiran knew right away her daughter spent the last hour crying and the guests – Bani's in-laws – were not too far away from guessing either.
However, the sight of Krishna, Jai's Mom and Rano, Ranveer (Jai's cousin) wife, brought a huge smile to her face.
"Lakshmi kaha hai?" Bani asked, noticing the absence of the mischievous girl, who was Jai's Massi's daughter, married to Tarun, Jai's friend.
Rano smiled. Bani, Lakshmi and her, formed a threesome of sorts, always seen together, having fun. "Tarun ke Mummy bhimar hai. Unhe dekhne ke liye gayi hai."
Bani nodded and saw Krishna's watchful gaze. She went and touched her feet.
"Kaise hai app Aunty?" She asked.
Krishna shook her head in experation. "For the last time, its not Aunty. Saas hoon tumhari. Maa kaho na!"
Bani smiled. She never got out of the habit of calling Krishna 'Aunty'. "Uncle kaise hain?"
"He's fine," Krishna replied. "Magar tum teek nahi lag rahi ho. Kuch khati bhi ho ya nahi?"
"Uff, kyun saab meri khane ke peeche pade hain?" Bani whined. "Seriously!"
"Aur kis ne kaha?" Rano asked curiously.
"Woh Jai bhi –" Bani stopped. The name brought the pain back.
Rano and Krishna were not too late to see Bani's abrupt silence. But, they pretended not to notice.
"Jai kab aaya?" Rano asked, as if she knew nothing was wrong.
Bani maintained a blank face and said, "Last week… Karva chauth ke liye."
"Aree wah! Humari Jai ko aapki kitni parva hai!" Rano teased.
Krishna smiled. "Waise, Kiran kaha hai. Uski khabar leti hoon main!"
On the cue, Kiran arrived with tea and snacks. "Kya baath hai?"
"Tum meri Bahu ka khayal bhi nahi rak sakthi? Dekho kitni patli ho gayi hai!" Krishna scoled.
"Arre tumhari Bahu meri baath sune tab na! Bahut hi ziddi hai!"
"Issi liye, main issi le jaane aayi hoon. Chal Bani. Ghar chalthe hai!" Though Krishna's tone was casual, the reason for her sudden arrival was clear. She came to fix things between Jai and Bani, if that were possible.
Bani didn't reply, and merely served the tea. The other three women watched her carefully, before Rano broke the silence.
"Chal Bani," Rano said. "Mujhe tujhe kuch dekhana hai!"
"Kya?" Bani asked, knowing full well Rano wanted to 'talk'.
"Chotu ke scans nahi dekhna kya?"
Bani lightened up. Rano was expecting and was in her fifth month.
"It's a little Ranveer for sure?" Bani asked.
"I would like to believe that," Rano said, talking out the DVD of the ultrasound.
Bani led her to the living room and inserted the disk into the player. She was awe as she watched the small baby on the screen.
"Cute hain na?" Rano asked, with an affection that only a mother can have for her child.
Bani nodded, speechless. She never saw a baby this close.
Rano understood the silence very well. "Tumhe bhi chahiye na?"
Bani turned around for that comment. "Please don't go there Rano," she said. "I have enough to deal with right now.
"Kyun ziddi ban rahi ho Bani? He misses you!"
"Im sure you are mistaken!" Bani knew that was lie, but didn't believe that man could miss her.
"Yea right," Rano said, shaking her head. "I know that you know it's a lie. I see him almost everyday and not even for a second have I seen him forget you. He doesn't eat, doesn't talk, doesn't sleep… what else do you want?"
"Aur tumhe kya lagtha hai?" Bani snapped, angry. "Main yahan teek hoon. Do you even know the last time I slept without having to wake up every five minutes?"
"Phir yahan kyun ho? Hamare saath wapas kyun nahi chalthi?"
Bani stiffed. "I can't."
"Kyun nahi?" When Bani didn't reply, Rano continued. "I know that something bad happened on the day of your anniversary. But by being so far away and refusing to see eachother's face doesn't change anything!"
Bani chose to ignore Rano's advice. Only if she knew what Jai did…
"Please Bani," Rano said. "Come back!"
"Rano I know you care for me. Magar tumhe mujhe samajna hoga. I can't come back… don't ask me why, because I can't tell you. Issi liye, please, yahan se chali jao!"
Rano shook her head and got up. "Aaj nahi toh kal tumhe wapas aana hoga Bani. If you don't want to tell me, fine, I understand. But you can't keep it from Krishna Aunty and Uday Uncle, and even your parents for that matter. I am just warning you that it might be too late for you to take a decision, if you keep your silence this way."
Saying that Rano left, leaving a confused Bani.
Hopefully that solved alot of questions... if u guys still have questions, do ask me!
Also, would you guys like PM's?
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