Chupanke Ki Saaza
"Aur upar Di!" twelve-year
old Bani called, as she kicked out her legs to welcome the gust of wind that
hit her innocent face.
jaaogi!" Pia, replied, and yet pushed harder so that Bani soared even higher.
The two sisters
were caught in a small bubble of their own in a park nearby to the Dixit
household. While many passerbys adored their bond, for the they were frequent
visitors, the girls remained oblivious to the attention they were grabbing.
This was the one spot that took all their worries away, but at that age, their
only biggest concern was getting scoled by Kiran for not finishing their
Di," Bani yelled back. "Kyunki aap mujhe bachaloge!"
Despite being only fourteen years old, she was very protective of her younger sister
and more than that mature. So, when Bani
finally got her fill of swinging for the day, and the two made their way home
for dinner, Pia said:
"Toh tumhe bahut barosa hai mujh par?"
"Of course Di!"
"Toh ek baath
Bani nodded, obedient.
rehna," Pia replied. "Kyunki yeh zindagi bahut choti hai dosron se ladne
kissi ne taang kiya tho?"
"Toh apni aankhe
band kar dus tak gina. Uske baad kya karna hai, tumhe khud hi pata chal
"Yeh toh bahut
hi mushkil hai. I have an easier solution."
someone annoys me, I will come tell you. Tab aap khud hi baata dena mujhe kya
karna hoga! Teek hai?"
"Agar main wahan nahi hoon, toh?"
"Oh come on Di,"
Bani replied. "Aap kahan jaaogi? Mere saath hi rehna padeha aapko!"
walking and faced her sister. "Haan," she said. "Main hamesha tumhare saath
slowly opened her eyes to see the orange sky outside as the sun began to rise
for the onset of another day. "You lied Di… aapne mera saath chood diya."
* * *
Krishna said, as she served breakfast. "Aaj tum kya kar rahe ho?"
who was enjoying his morning tea, looked suspiciously at his mother. "Kyun?"
ki main pooch rahi hoon," she answered.
khaas nahi… doh chaar meetings. The usual."
smiled. "Good," she said. "Saari meetings cancel kardo. Tum aaj farmhouse jaa
"What?!" Jai said, choking on his food.
Maa…" he said, slowly. "Ek bahut hi important meeting hai. I can't cancel it."
narrowed her eyes. "You said it wasn't important two minutes ago!"
forgot!" he said defensively. When his Mother didn't seem convinced, he turned
to Uday who was buried behind the day's newspaper. "Kyun Dad?" he said. "Aaj ka
meeting important hai na?"
merely said, "Hmm…"
Jai said, triumphantly.
was annoyed. "Kya tum doh din ki chute nahi lee saktha? Sirf farmhouse hi toh
usse renovate kar rahi hoon."
"Toh aap kyun nahi chali
farmhouse tumhara hai, " she
exclaimed, dropping the piece of toast she was buttering. "Yaad hai… tumne
pechle saal karida tha?"
sighed, wishing to have never bought the damn place. "Magar main busy hoon Ma!"
bhi sau kaam hai Jai," she said. "Don din nahi hai mere paas woh saab kaam
dekhne ke liye. Agar hota, toh bhi nahi jati main, kyunki woh tumhara ghar hai…
it should be according to your choice,
don't mind your choice," he said quickly.
I do… aab batao, tum jaa rahe ho ya nahi?"
please," he said. "I don't want to go."
was enraged, so she turned to her next weapon. "Dekha?" she said to Uday, who
was still busy with his newspaper. "Aap ka beta bilkul aap pe gaya hai!"
refrained from laughing. Sometimes he admired his Father from being aloof from
all the daily drama Krishna sometimes presented.
usse kuch samjayenge?"
irritation peaked, so she snatched the newspapers from Uday's hands.
Krishna?" he whined. "Paper doh mujhe!"
aap apne bete ko samjaiye!"
grudingly turned to his son and said in a bored voice, "Jai, listen to your
Mother." He then held out his hand for the newspaper.
couldn't help but laugh, causing Krishna to finally snap. "You know what?" she
said, standing up. "I had enough. Tum dono baap bete mujhe ek din pagal kar
"Aab kya hua?" Uday asked. "I told him
ignored him. "I'm warning you Jai, if you didn't go to the farmhouse to look
after the renovations, toh tumhe aur tumhare Papa, dono ko ek hafte ke liye khana nahi milega. Sooch lo!"
that she went into the kitchen taking the morning newspaper along with her.
groaned. "Ussi ki baath kyun nahi sunthe tum?" he asked, turning to Jai.
"Because of you she took my newspaper!"
newspaper ki padi hai?" Jai asked, incredulous. "Yahan mere doh din barbaad ho
farmhouse hi toh hai," Uday reasoned. "Go… Ranveer will look after the
Dad," Jai whined. "I don't want to go."
Uday only threw up his hands in the air. "You have no choice! Tumhari Maa ki
aage, meri koi baath nahi chalthi."
grumbled, but nodded all the same. "Magar iss ke badle mein," he said. "I
better be going to Greece for two weeks!"
gave a curt nod as Krishna appeared once again, demanding the duo for an
was deeply amused to see the three, as she quietly ate her breakfast. She
wasn't new to this banter, for it happened almost everyday. And yet, without fail, it brought a huge
smile to her face every morning. It somewhat reminded her of the breakfasts she
used to have as a kid; Pia and her always arguing with Kiran, with Nishikant
occasionally stepping in to support his daughters.
tum dono aaj hi chale jaana," Krishna ordered Jai.
stared wide eyed as Jai began to protest at once. "Bani kyun aa rahi hai? Agar yeh jaa sakthi hai, toh main kyun jaon?"
rolled her eyes. "Kyunki meri Bahu ki choice tumse bahut behtar hai. Issi
with that she disappeared into the kitchen once again.
turned wordlessly to his Dad, who managed to recover his newspaper. "Dad," he
was the only thing Uday said in response.
* * *
Jai kahan hai?" Bani muttered as she checked her phone for the billionth time.
It was almost evening and she was out in the parking lot of the Walia Mansion, waiting
for Jai so that they could set out to the farmhouse as per her mother-in-law's
wish. But he was no where to be seen.
no other choice, she dialed Ranveer, who almost always knew his brother's
Ranveer said, picking up on the first ring. "Whats wrong?"
smiled. Her brother-in-law had a knack of reading people that she was almost
always jealous of. "Kyun Ran? Main aise hi phone nahi kar sakthi?"
course you can! Whats up?"
he not there yet?" Ranveer said, scrunching his eyebrows in confusion. "He left
a while ago."
yeh Jai bhi na!"
worry," he assured her. "Im sure he is on his way."
nodded. "Thanks Ran! Chalo… main rakthi hoon."
teek hai. Take care of yourself aur Jai ko bahut taang maat karna!"
mouth dropped open. "Main taang
karthi hoon. Tumhara bhai bhi kuch kaam nahi hai!"
laughed. "Jaantha hoon! Anyway, have fun."
see you soon Ran!"
hesitated, which wasn't unnoticed by Bani. "Kya?" she said. When she received
silence in return, she added, "You can tell me anything Ran. You are my brother
in every sense!"
could hear him smile from the other end.
just…" Ranveer didn't know how to phrase his thoughts. "tum aur Jai dono ek
dusre ke bina nahi reh sakthe, yeh tum dono bhi jaanthe ho. Magar phir bhi, ek
dusre se jagada karthe hai."
Bani didn't know what to say.
know its not your fault," he said quickly. "but its not his either."
don't know that Ran," she answered, a bit more sharply than she intended.
do know that Bani," he said gently.
"Kyunki Jai ko mujhse behtar koi nahi jaantha. Tum dono ke beech mein job hi
hua… woh zaroor ek misunderstanding thi."
was surprised with Bani's answers. He knew she loved Jai, it was written all
over face. And yet, he couldn't understand what Jai did that caused her to be this angry. "did you tell him?" he
talk again," he said. "Just give him one chance to explain. Just one."
let out a sigh. She would love to give him a chance, because she just as badly
wanted this whole mess to be a bad dream. But she didn't see how that changed anything. Her sister was dead and he was
responsible for it. No matter how you phrased it, it still spelled out the same
hai Ran," said Bani. "I will. Kya main ek baath pooch sakthi hoon?"
it was now her turn to hesitate. She didn't know if it was fair to add to Ranveer's
he said. "I am your brother!"
smiled, and let out the burning question. "Do you know how Di died?"
Ranveer said, confused. "Didnt she pass way in that accident on the way to the
Jai didn't tell
Bani thought. She half-expected Jai to reveal the truth to Ranveer, for the duo
were very close. "Yeah," she said, somewhat disappointed. "Yeah she did."
noted the change in her voice. "Bani?" he said. "Is everything okay?"
just… I can never get over the fact that Di and Jai had something in between
them. That maybe if it wasn't for the accident, they would have been together."
they wouldn't," he replied. "Because Jai never loved her."
she did! She loved him very much!"
kuch nahi badaltha," Ranveer said confidently. When she seemed to argue, he cut
her off and said, "Tum samaj nahi rahi ho Bani. Tab tum wahan nahi thi…"
it wasn't sunshine and daisies… They would fight occasionally. Not the way you
do with Jai, but in a way that is wrong. I agree Pia loved him, but sooner or
later she would have figured out Jai was bound to her only due to obligation.
And nothing more! Which is why it wouldn't have worked out. You are not
realizing how well you and Jai get along!"
didn't know how to react. Maybe I am
overreacting, she thought. Maybe we
are just meant to be and Di's accident was just that – an accident.
then a car honked, as Jai pulled up in the driveway.
is here," was all she said. "I have to go."
Ranveer replied. "Have a safe drive!"
she hung up.
Jai asked, as he entered the highway.
two days of boredom!"
nodded absent mindedly. Her thoughts were far away from the road in front of
* * *
She was dreaming
again, for there was no way what she was seeing in front of her was real. It
was a memory that was almost ten years old now. But what was strange about it
was not the fact she was seeing her sister once again in her teens, once again
protecting her own younger version from Kiran who was scolding the latter. It
was that it held a lot more than the bond the sister's shared.
"Ma, jaane do na
usse," Pia said, standing infront of Bani, who was timidly taking peeks at her
"Pia, tu usski
tarafdari maat kar," Kiran replied angrily. "Kitni baar samjaya usse, shararat
maat karo, magar yeh sunthi hi nahi. Dekho, aab Principle se bhi complaints aa
argued. "Woh ek baachi hai!"
"Joh ki aab badi
ho chuki hai," Kiran answered. "She needs to learn manners. Kal jab uss ki
shaadi ho jayegi, tab hum kyar karenge?"
"Come on Mom,"
Bani said, rolling her eyes. "Im not going to get married tomorrow! Waise bhi,
main kahan apne saas sasoor ke saath rahoongi?"
Kiran raised her
hand threateningly, but Pia didn't step aside. "Dekha," she said. "Dekha kaise
baath kar rahi hai?! Aur tumhe lagtha hai woh abhi bhi ek baachi hai!"
"Woh naa samaj
hai!" Pia defended. "We have to tell her nicely. Uss par gussa karke kya hoga?"
Kiran groaned in
frustration and sat down in defeat. "Tumse baath karna bhi bekar hai," she
said, shaking her head. "Bani joh kuch bhi kare, tumhe uss mein koi gaalathi
Pia decided it
was safe to move aside, revealing a grinning Bani behind her. "Kyunki woh meri behna hai Ma," she said proudly. "Woh koi
gaalth kaam nahi kar sakthi!"
"Kab tak support
karogi usse?" Kiran asked. "Zindagi bar toh woh tumhare saath nahi reh sakthi
"Toh? Jab tak
main zinda hoon, main usse support karoongi!"
came a voice, from somewhere far away.
opened her eyes groggily, to see Jai tapping her awake. "Kya hua?" she asked
are here," he said, moving back to reveal a beautiful house, surrounded by
endless fields. She could make out trees in the far distance, in what seemed
like a forest and a pond nearby, seen only because of the glinting ripples
under the bright sun. It was truly a sight to behold.
I will support
you too Di,
Bani thought as she made her way upto the house, with Jai tagging along. Until my last breath…
I know this was a draggy part, but had to get the Pia stuff out, cuz Bani has to make a decision about the divorce. But i promise the next part will be better, esp now that JB called it truce and aren't fighting like cats and dogs.
Waiting to hear your comments!