#13 MADHUMITA: Confusion Or Being Selfish

Madhumita got ready for the meeting in evening. She dressed in bottle green kurta with a beige trouser, paired with beige block heels and pearl earrings. She left her hairs untied. She complimented her look with kajal and Mauve Bliss shade of lip primer.

She reached the venue on time. She looked all around. She did not see any guy who is single and waiting there. She took a table for two and instructed the attendant “I am waiting for someone”.

She took her seat facing away from entry. She was very much nervous regarding her meeting someone who is a stranger that too to decide about marriage ‘what I am doing. I don’t even know him and I am meeting to decide about marriage…Isn’t this bullshit’ She was convincing herself ‘bullshit was that you did in college. Even after knowing those men for months together, you fell prey to their malicious intentions. Now be calm, smile a bit and be ready for this meeting. Every thing will be fine’

She heard a voice “Madhumita”.

It was Mohit’s voice. She turned around and stood up in a jolt. “Hi…Mohit. What are you doing here?”

Mohit seemed confused and raised his shoulders asking ‘why, what happened’

Madhu hurried towards him “I am sorry, I should have told you this before. I am waiting here for someone and I think you should leave”

“What?” Mohit tried to hold her hands.

Madhu immediately withdrew her hands out of discomfort. Her eyes fixed at entry “Look, I am waiting here for a man….. advised by my parents….. for marriage… ” Her gaze down towards her feet. “He can come anytime. I am sorry, I can not go for love marriage” Her eyes moved again towards the entry and her face drenched with sweat. “Please you leave now, I will tell you every thing in detail later” she pleaded.

“Who is he” asked Mohit raising his left eyebrow.

“I don’t know. I don’t even care”

“His name?” Mohit asked again.

“I told na, I don’t know”

“You did not see his pic?”

“No. I don’t want to. My answer is already yes. Its just a formality”

“Why…you don’t want to know whom you are meeting” asked Mohit out of surprise. “How will you recognize him “

“He has my pic and details. He will recognize me, that is enough. He may come any time. Please go. I don’t want any complications. I will call you later, promise”

“Ok. Do call me. And at least have a look at the pic of that lucky guy”

“Ok. After you leave, I will “

Mohit left the restaurant. Madhu felt relieved and sighed and took her seat again. She opened her handbag. Wiped all the sweat from face and did apply some compact and looked in hand mirror. Her mobile rang “Madhu , did you reach” It was her mother.

“Yes mummy”

“Did he come”

“not yet”

“send me the pic how are you looking now”

“Mummy…”

“just send me your selfie and best of luck”

Madhu clicked a selfie and shared with her mother. She turned on her data connection. There were lot of notifications.

She checked her whatsapp. There were many notifications. She opened her fathers chat head. She was awestruck to look the details of boy and his pic. It was none other than Mohit. She stood up and looked back towards the entry. Mohit was not visible. She ran towards the entry to search him outside. Mohit was standing outside, probably waiting for her only. Mohit had a smile on his face. Madhu raised her mobile screen towards him showing his pic. She raised her other hand in air with a gesture of what and a peaceful face. She invited him to come and join her.

Present

Natasha asked “but you said you are single, then what happened”

Madhu smiled and replied “My love life is cursed I guess. May be that is the lacuna of my life”

“Did Mohit slept with you after this and then he denied for marriage?” asked Natasha

“no….He is a good guy. But this time issue was different”

“What else? You said you would marry anyone as per your parents wish. He was your parents selection…… His dad said that if both of you are ready, he is OK. Both of you were ready…. Ab kya ch#ti#apa hua fir” Natasha was looking tense.

Madhu burst into laughter ” He is no longer my parents choice”

“Why?” Natasha was confused.

“Actually his package is less than mine. Earlier my parents thought that he is a doctor. Then they got to know he is earning 1.5 lakh per month. So, according to them, if wife is earning more, marriage will not be successful and they are confused. So most probably, its 90 percent no from their side. Rest 10 percent depends on our horoscope matching. They will go to guruji next week to seek his advice on our horoscope. As far as I know my parents, they want a match earning more than me”

“Mohit knows this?”

“Yes.. he is aware of all the developments. Even his parents have the same concern. Husband should be earning more than wife, otherwise marriage is bound to be broken” sighed Madhu.

“what’s your say on it?” asked Natasha

“I have nothing to say. I am neutral” sighed again and took a cushion to hold.

“If that’s the case, then Aarav is a good option dear” suggested Natasha. She continued “He earns more than you”

“Natasha please” stared Madhu.

“To be honest, if there are so many ifs and buts, you will remain single darling. Because its not easy to find a man of your community…. earning more than you and…. not having a girlfriend ….and waiting for his parents to find you as his partner” laughed Natasha throwing a cushion on Madhu.

“I don’t care. Whenever my marriage is destined, it will happen” replied Madhumita with a sigh and they both went to sleep.

Next morning

Aarav came to their room with coffee for all three.

“Good morning lovely ladies, coffee for you” he greeted them.

“Good morning Aarav. Why did you bring coffee” asked Natasha.

“I wanted to have it with you two to make my morning special” replied Aarav with a smile. Natasha laughed “really, or its because of Madhu”. They had coffee together. They decided for their days plan. It was again a shopping day, apparels for Aarav, for which Vishal would also join. Then accessories for girls.

After breakfast, they got ready. Vishal came at around 11 am in morning to pick them up. Vishal and Natasha took the front seats. Madhu and Aarav had to take back seats.

They reached the Mall. They went first to Men’s Showroom. Vishal looked for Sherwani and all 3 helped him to select one. Now, Aarav was looking for his suit. Natasha said “You also go for Sherwani Aarav”. He looked confused. “No, It will be too heavy, what do you say Madhu”

“I think you should go for kurta types ” Madhu looked at the section having traditional attires .

“yaa, I also think so. Dhoti Kurta” Aarav was excited to hear that Madhu has an opinion for him.

They went to the section. On the way Madhu whispered in Natasha’s ears “I was saying for Kurta pyjama and jacket, not Dhoti Kurta”

Natasha replied “That means you care for him” and smiled. Madhu looked at Natasha with anger on her face “Don’t push everything in one direction”

Aarav tried some Dhoti Kurta sets , but no one approved. Then Natasha suggested “why don’t you try kurta with pyjama and jackets”

“really… Do you think so?” replied Aarav as he wanted to buy Dhoti Kurta considering it as choice of Madhu.

Natasha looked at Madhu “what do you suggest Madhu?”

“Yaa, he can give it a try” Madhu replied with an ignorant attitude.

“Ohh !! Sure why not?” Aarav now was focused on that section.

“Madhu why don’t you help him in selection ” suggested Natasha ” He is waiting to buy your choice” Natasha and Vishal laughed.

Madhu short listed few sets and Aarav tried them. Finally two sets were selected. One for sangeet and one for marriage ceremony. Madhu also bought one more set. It was Maroon colored silk kurta with Maroon Pyjama and Off White jacket. Aarav was happy as he thought that he is the one for whom Madhu did buy.

Vishal suggested “Its Sunday today, Natasha what about the last movie date before getting married”

Natasha “Yaa , sure. But I don’t want a group. It should look like a date” winked Natasha

“What do you mean” asked Aarav.

“You want Madhu as your life partner, but you are so dumb. I doubt she will say yes to you” Natasha whispered to Aarav.

“Did not you notice, she bought kurta set for me” Aarav did sound excited.

“you are really a dumb. Seriously you did not deserve her” Natasha replied “It was not for you”

“What do you mean? ….It was not of Vishal’s size. Yes I admit I am not as smart as she is. That’s why I want her…She will take care of me” Aarav shied.

Meanwhile, Vishal came with tickets. “Look Madhu, its our last movie date before marriage. I hope you understand. You have to bear with Aarav” Vishal requested.

“OK…No problem” replied Madhu “you people enjoy”.

“ohhh….Now I understood” Aarav looked with a smile at Natasha “we will not disturb you”

In theatre , Aarav could not resist and asked “For whom did you buy that kurta?”

“Why do you think I will tell you” replied Madhu sipping her cold coffee.

“We are on a movie date”

“A forced movie date”

Aarav tried to hold her left hand “Madhu , I really love you. What I did was my biggest mistake and..”

Madhu interrupted “Lets not waste our movie ” and withdrew her hand.

10 pm

Madhu was again chatting when Natasha entered the room. “Apne aashik ke sath lagi padi hai…. ek bechara tera aashik yaha tere piche hai” giggled Natasha.

“Shut up” Madhu laughed

“Chatting with Mohit?” asked Natasha

“Yes. Told him about today”

“What? your movie date with Aarav?” asked Natasha

“No ways. It was not a date. It was a forced date” Madhu replied.

“OK, tell him that you went on a forced movie date with your ex boy friend” Natasha looked at Madhu with a naughty smile.

“Are you mad. I did not tell him anything about my past, neither did I ask him about his past” Madhu replied

“Why?” asked Natasha. Madhu kept quiet. Natasha continued “Because you are worried that he may react adversely and may say you good bye like others did”

“No…. he is only my friend”

“Then, whats the problem with Aarav. He is suitable for you…..loves you… earns well…..What else you want?”

“Actually, I did not tell Mohit about my past because I have left it behind. I have moved on. So, if anything does not keep significance in my life, why should I keep on discussing it…Natasha, its more than 3 years now. Moreover i don’t know whether he is my future or not” replied Madhu.

“Madhu, may I suggest you one thing” Natasha asked.

“Hmm”

“You and Aarav had very good understanding and because of circumstances misunderstandings did happen. You also did not tell him about Rohit at that time. May be if you would have told him about Rohit, circumstances would have been different” Natasha kept her view.

“Hmm, may be”

“You were also wrong to hide details. You were in a relationship with him. Jealousy do happen. Aarav was also going through a tough phase due to his father” Natasha continued.

“Hmm”

“Why don’t you give him another chance. When he came to know the truth, even after so many years, he has the same feelings for you. He admitted he was wrong. That means , your love means more to him than his ego”

“Hmm. Its difficult Natasha”

“But Its not impossible”

“Actually, I have started liking Mohit. He is my present and may be we get married soon”

“you said, parents are not ready”

“Yaa, but he is trying. I wish he changes their minds. I mean such a stupid reason it is. He is a Doctor. Still our parents think that his earning less than mine will create problem later in life. He will also grow professionally with time”

“What efforts you are making to make this understand to your parents”

“Why will I take efforts…I mean… I will marry anyone they say”

“That means, if they say marry Aarav, you will?”

“Why will they say marry Aarav”

“Suppose they say”

“May be yes” Madhu replied after giving a thought.

“ok…. I will tell him to go and meet your parents” Natasha laughed.

“no..please… ” Madhu requested Natasha.

“You know what Madhu, you are confused. You still love Aarav, but now your ego is not allowing you to accept him. Your ego is also not allowing you to convince your parents for Mohit. Because you are confused”

“Good night. Let me sleep and you also take rest ” Madhu tried to escape the conversation.

Morning

Madhu got up early and had tea in dinning area. She got ready to work from home. She took her laptop and was seated in Natasha’s room. At around 11 am , Vishal’s family came to discuss about the arrangements. Vishal’s cousin came to Natasha’s room for relaxation. Madhu was getting disturbed due to their chit chats. Madhu asked Natasha “Is there some other room available, I am getting disturbed”

“Yaa, go upstairs then on left “

Madhu took her laptop and went to the said room. She started working there peacefully. After around 15 minutes, the door of bathroom opened and Aarav came into the room in his boxers. He was surprised to see Madhu “Hi….Madhu, ….you here”

“Oh!!….I am really sorry. Vishal’s cousin were in Natasha’s room and I am working from home today… So Natasha told me about this room. I was not aware that you are staying here…..I am really sorry…” She was shocked to see Aarav in only boxers and turned her gaze after having a look at him from head to toe.

“Its Ok you can work from here. I will not disturb you”

“You wear something …please” said Madhu

“I am already wearing Madhu….”

“Please wear shirt as well…”

“Ohh… Does it matter to you that I am not wearing anything. Madhu I work as fashion photographer. Models wear revealing and sensuous attires… I never feel anything for them….I once felt that fire within me to just fu#k only with one of my model…..” Aarav went close to Madhu taking his mouth near her left ear and completed his sentence “That was you,….do you remember…that rainy day” Aarav held her shoulders from behind.

Madhu could hear the sound of Aarav’s breath and the warmth of his body from behind. Her heart pleaded her to turn back and hug him. But her brain was very strict this time. She ignored all her feelings and did not reply to Aarav.She clenched her fists to divert her mind away. He moved his hands from her shoulders down towards her elbow and continued “Madhu, only you excites me. Your presence, even your thoughts make me hard. I have never felt this with any one else….I love you so much”

Madhu wanted to break from her minds cage to submit herself to Aarav. But her past experiences made her so strong that she did not even let her emotions escape from her face so that they could not be revealed to Aarav. She said “Aarav stop”

“Why Madhu, don’t you want me to love you. I know that you feel the same for me. Its only me who ignites that fire …that current in you”

“Aarav please stop…I am working” she said , but she did not try to get way from him.

“What if you were not working now….you would have hugged me. I know you still want to hug me and kiss me. You still love me…. that’s why even after so many years, there is no one in your life. You still cherish our moments of togetherness Madhu. You still live with them. Accept it that you love me. ” Aarav put his lips on her cheek holding at her arms tightly.

“It’s not so. You are my past and nothing else. I don’t feel anything for you” replied Madhu with very low volume.

“Then why did you ask me to wear shirt… because seeing me like this is making you horny down there Madhu” Aarav inhaled a deep breath near her neck. and put a kiss there “I still remember you fragrance Madhu”

“Aarav please stop” Madhu did say to stop but she did not move her body away from him.

“Let it happen Madhu. Please be mine…. You also want this… ” Aarav moved his hands from her arms towards her abdomen to hold her from behind and kissed her neck.

Madhu was about to surrender to her heart but she received a call from Mohit. She came to her senses and got relieved from the arms of Aarav to receive the call.

“Hi” Madhu took the call.

“”Hello Madhu, how are you” Mohit on other side.

“Me fine, you say”

“I got the call letter just now for fellowship in Singapore “

“Wow !! congratulations… “

“I will have to join next week”

“ohh! When are you leaving”

“This Sunday evening”

“hmm”

“Actually, after this fellowship, I will have good opportunities as I will be specialized in cosmetology”

“hmm”

“May be our parents will understand and we may get their approval”

“Its 1 year fellowship?”

“yes”

“I want to meet you before you leave….but I don’t know how” Madhu was happy to hear about his selection but was upset as it will be one years separation.

“Madhu I miss you a lot….”

“me too Mohit”

“I love you Madhu”

“hmm… ok call you later, I am little busy now, I am working from home this week. Miss you” She disconnected the call. Aarav heard everything what Madhu said, but he was unaware about the talks on receiver end. As soon as the call was disconnected, Aarav held the left wrist of Madhu tightly “who is this?”

Madhu stared at him “Who?”

“Who was on call?”

“Mohit” replied Madhu trying to loosen his grip, but in vain. Aarav pulled her towards him “Is he your boy friend”

“No” Madhu was feeling discomfort.

“Is he your fu#king partner, do you sleep with him ?” Aarav asked in rage and his face was red.

“Aarav, leave my hand. Please” She pulled her hand and went back to take her seat.

“You lied to me..You have boy friend” Aarav shouted at her.

“Keep your mouth shut Aarav. I am not answerable to you. Please leave me alone, I have a lot of work to do”

Aarav did wear his t shirt and left the room out of rage. Madhu was thankful to her brain not to let herself submit in Aarav’s arms in that weak moment. ‘look, I was telling you. He is still the same. You thought of giving him another chance, stupid girl’

‘Agree, I was wrong. I really felt weak when he was making love to me’

‘It was not love you stupid, it was pure lust’

‘But how would I differentiate between love and lust, I thought he did change and loves me’

‘just remember one thing Madhu, all men are same. Never ever be weak in front of them. They will Fu@k you and then allege that you are a slut’

Night

Natasha enetred the room. Madhu was chatting. “Always in your mobile. If he is so important let him be part of your life”

“He is going to Singapore this Sunday, for one year” Madhu sighed.

“Good, let Aarav come in your life”

“No ways. Do you know what he did to me today”

“What?”

“First he tried to fu#k me and then when I did not agree, he did hurt me” Madhu complained and told every thing that happened. Natasha replied “Look, let me make it clear. It was not that you did resist. You were also willing for same. And second, that Aarav did react out of jealous. He loves you and when he found that there is some other man in your life, it was his obvious reaction”

“He still don’t trust me”

“Why do you think, he will trust you. Are you committed to him. Did you accept your love for him. He did apologize , he is trying since 3 days. You are neither denying him nor accepting him”

“I did deny him”

“No, you did not. When he was trying to come close to you in room today, you should have got up and immediately would have said no. But you allowed him come close to you. Touch you, kiss you” Madhu was only listening. Natasha continued “You are also playing with emotions of Mohit. If you like him, your families are in contact with each other, you can convince your parents. But no, you are only enjoying the attention of two men that too simultaneously. You were not like this Madhu. If you ask me, Both Mohit and Aarav are good for you. Now you have to decide who will be your man”

Madhu kept listening. She kept mum. But she was having a battle in her mind with herself ‘look I was telling you, talk to mom and tell them that you want to marry Mohit’

‘no, you never wanted to marry him. I never stopped you from getting married to Mohit. I just warned you to keep distance from him before marriage’

‘Whatever happened in past with Aarav, somewhere it was my fault also’

‘Now Why are you looking in past. Today also I stopped you from getting close to him. Thanks to call of Mohit, otherwise you would have submitted yourself to him and later would have blamed me’

‘I don’t know what to do . Am I really selfish?… Am I really playing with the emotions of Aarav and Mohit?… I never felt so confused…. Yes I still love Aarav, he is in my mind. Now that its clear that it was misunderstanding… Why you don’t want me accept my love’

‘I am not allowing you.. What rubbish. I only stop you from going to bed with these men. If you really feel love, go ahead. Marry him’

‘I don’t know what to do…. He is too childish. He reacts to minor things. But I love him.. I like Mohit also. He is too gentle and really cares for me’

‘Now see… You are confused and blames me always. I never stop you from marrying a man… Its actually you who is enjoying the attention now which is satisfying your ego… Natasha is right’

‘shut up…. now I will never listen to you and will do what is right for me and will take the decision soon’

Madhumita did not sleep the whole night. She was thinking through out. Early morning, she did text to Mohit and also called her mother.

What did Madhu decide?….Was she really selfish at this phase of life?… Will she be able to decide who will be her life partner?… We will see in next chapter.. Till then, lets just think, in which phase of our life we were confused regarding what is right and wrong…. Being selfish is some times good as we think what’s good for us… Keeping ourselves at focus…. Keep thinking… Lots of wishes to my readers 😀

#12 MADHUMITA: Some More Truths

11 am:

After breakfast, Natasha and Madhumita were ready to leave for shopping. Vishal did send his car with driver for them. Madhumita is in white lucknowi chikankari kurta paired with white palazzo and white block heels. Her hairs were half tied in a white clutcher. She complimented her look with silver ear rings, nude shade of lip colour and brown eye liner. Natasha wore a long yellow kurta with red floral prints with red salwar and dupatta. She complimented with black platforms and golden ear rings. She did put Ruby Crush shade of lip colour from Lotus Naturals. When they were about to sit in car, Aarav came running..”Hey Natasha….wait”

Natasha looked back ” What Aarav?”

“Where are you going gorgeous” winked Aarav

“Well… I am going for shopping ” told Natasha with a smile and she raised her eye brows out of pleasure. Madhu was already seated in car. Natasha was facing away from Madhu.

“ohh… Great..I am also coming for shopping with you” Aarav did sound excited

“Ahh….actually, WE are going for shopping…” Natasha waved her hands towards Madhu sitting in car. She continued “You may not be comfortable with us”

“Oh…no..not at all… I am comfortable..provided she is” Aarav winked at Natasha “you ask her…”

Natasha looked at Madhu and asked “Hey Madhu, I hope you will be fine if he comes along?”

Madhu looked at Aarav and raised her shoulders out of ignorance and moved her neck away to look outside the window. Her face was blank. Natasha asked again “Tell Madhu, will you be ok?”

“Why would I have any problem Natasha, he is your guest” replied Madhu.

“Thanks yaar. Actually he also has a long shopping list. He came here directly from his shoot” Natasha tried to justify. Aarav took his seat in front . Madhu and Natasha were on back seat. Natasha sat behind Aarav, so that Madhu and Aarav can have a glance of each other.

“Where are we going dear” asked Aarav.

“Karol Bagh” replied Natasha “We will look for lehangas or may be sarees , not decided yet”

“Your wedding Lehanga” asked Aarav

“No, wedding lehanga will be from Vishal’s side. My mother in law did not say anything about it. So I will not be looking for wedding Lehanga. I will look for sangeet ceremony. And few formal sarees and few daily sarees, few suits… and a long list ” laughed Natasha. Madhu was indifferent to the talk.

“Only you have a shopping list?” asked Aarav looking at Madhu

“No… Madhu has a list too… She is confused what to wear…lets see at showroom” Natasha replied looking at Madhu and then at Aarav.

“May I suggest one thing” asked Aarav

“yaa, sure go on” Natasha replied

“I just want to say that Madhu should go for a Saree…She really looks gorgeous in Saree ” Aarav was looking at Madhu while saying, but Madhu was looking outside the window and was not interested to talk or reply.

“Hey Madhu” Natasha touched Madhu’s left hand with her right hand to involve her in talks. Madhu turned with a jolt “hmm..” looked with her eyes wide open towards Natasha.

“Aarav has a suggestion for you” said Natasha and continued “You should wear Saree on my wedding…”

“Thanks for the suggestion. I will think over it” Madhu replied.

“Thanks Madhu….for accepting my suggestion” intervened Aarav. Madhu stared at him and then turned her gaze towards window again. Madhu was not at all interested to talk to Aarav. But Aarav wanted to ignite the spark again.

In the showroom, they were looking for lehangas. First they finalised Natasha’s lehanga for sangeet. It was a combination of orange and green color with embroidery all over. Now they were looking for Madhu’s dress. Madhu liked a black colored lehanga with orange embroidery and orange blouse. Natasha also said ok for it. But Aarav said “You should go for a Saree”

“Not at all” replied Madhu

“Believe me..you look stunning in Saree”

“I very well know this. But in sangeet, it will be easy to dance in a lehanga rather than Saree” replied Madhu

“ohh…I did not give a thought this way” laughed Aarav

“Your ambit of thinking is very narrow Aarav” taunted Madhu “moreover it did not improve over so many years ” Madhu showed displeasure.

“I am sorry Madhu ” Aarav apologized.

“Oh! You learnt to say sorry at least. That is really a big improvement. I hope you will also learn one day to respect others” Madhu replied “well…you need not be sorry for this..You gave a suggestion ..I did not follow …Its simple “

“I want to say something to you Madhu ” Aarav was about to reveal his intentions but Natasha intervened ” Hey Aarav, now lets look for Saree, we are already short of time”

“ok” Aarav got her hint. All three got involved in selecting Saree. Natasha short listed few Saree. Now Madhu was trying to finalize a Saree for wedding night. She shortlisted 2 saree. One is red colored pure crepe Saree with black border . Another is turquoise pure chiffon Saree with silver work at border. She was confused which one to buy. Aarav suggested “Why don’t you buy both” . Natasha looked out of rage at him and said “will you please keep quiet for a while. Let her decide”

But Madhu was impressed by his idea “yaa… I can have both. I mean both the saree are awesome and why should I be bothered. I will wear both on different occasions. Thanks Aarav”

“Waah Aarav” Natasha whispered in his ears “going on right track” . Aarav smiled back.

They were done with their traditional shopping from showroom. “Aarav you did not buy anything?” asked Natasha out of curiosity.

“Ohh yes. We two were so much involved in our shopping that we did not even care he has to buy too. Let’s go to another showroom to buy things for him” said Madhu

“oh thanks. But first we should have lunch. Its 3 pm now” said Aarav out of joy.

All three went to the restaurant. “Lunch from my side for two beautiful ladies” said Aarav.

“ok” Natasha replied.

They took the seats. Madhu and Natasha were on same side of table. Aarav took his seat opposite Natasha.

“3 pints of Tuborg” ordered Aarav.

“no please. Not for me” Natasha said.

“ok, then 2 pints”

“Aarav its day time. We have to go for shopping also. Are you sure you want two” Natasha was concerned.

“oh… One for Madhu and one for me Natasha” smiled Aarav.

“I don’t take alcohol. Make it one pint only” said Madhu

“What?.. Since when?..I mean you used to enjoy it” Aarav was surprised “I thought you will like it”

“Time changes… Things do change… I did quit alcohol long way back” Madhu smiled. “In fact… Natasha also doesn’t take alcohol since long. You may not be aware”

“oh, then cancel Tuborg” smiled Aarav.

After having their meals. They ordered ice-cream in dessert. When they were waiting Natasha asked “Aarav… Are you single or have a girlfriend?”

“I am single Natasha”

“oh. You did not find anyone in London” winked Natasha.

“Actually, I had two relationships, but I always felt that something is missing and none of them worked for long”

“what was that something?” asked Natasha

“Love and affection” Aarav looked at Madhu. Their eyes met and Madhu changed her gaze. He continued “I always missed something all these years. Never felt contentment in any of my achievements. Even when I was receiving my first award… I was not cheerful. I could not understand what was that thing. But now, today, I realized what was that thing”

“oh, really. Tell us” Natasha asked with excitement

“Madhumita” said Aarav looking directly into her eyes. “I realized that I am incomplete without you”

Madhu was speechless. She felt furious “May be Mr Aarav has not got a partner in bed here. As he thinks I am a slut, may be he want me to be at his service. But I am sorry, I am not available” Her eyes were as red as hot iron, fist holding the table cloth tightly.

“Madhu calm down” Natasha put a hand on her shoulder.

“What calm down Natasha. You know everything. How dare he even think like that again” Madhumita’s voice had aggression.

“I am sorry Madhu. There were few misunderstandings in college” Aarav tried to explain “Actually, not few, but I was jealous. I felt that I am of no worth and all that ignited a fire in me. I had no courage to face that you will leave me. So out of madness, I myself pushed you away from my life. I did not want to face rejection at your hands at that time… “

“You did not push me away. You alleged that I am a slut. You told me in front of Rohit that.. Go and sleep with him… I can never forget that evening. Still I tried to contact you… Even after facing so much humiliation… I tried to contact you. I did leave a number of messages… But you did not reply even once. “

“Exactly… I was afraid that you would come and say.. ITS OVER.. so I tried to escape from that situation” Aarav has tears in his eyes.

Madhu took a deep breath and said “why am I even replying all this. Natasha you know everything. Please tell him to stop. I am not going with him in his bed at any cost. Please tell him that I am not a woman that he thinks”

“Madhu, I talked him in the morning. Believe me, there was misunderstanding and he still loves you. He really missed you all these years. He tried to hate you a lot. But his love did not allow. Today when I told him about Rohit… he felt so sorry for whatever he did to you. At least try to hear what he has to say” Natasha held Madhu tight at her shoulder.

“Love. He doesn’t know the meaning of word love. It requires affection, will to be together and most important TRUST. Today you told him about Rohit……. He believed you……… But he did not believe me, when I tried to explain…….. His ego was more important. If he can think at that time that I sleep with boys in want of money and their status… He can think same in future again………… You will always not be present between two of us to sort out the misunderstandings. He can anytime allege me of being slutty……. I have gone through a tough time Natasha, you know very well… I do not want to go through all that again”

“Madhu please forgive me” Aarav pleaded.

“If its about forgiving. I did forgive you already. But that doesn’t mean I love you”

“Thanks for forgiving Madhu. I hope I will be able to build trust among us again” Aarav wiped his tears.

10 pm:

After dinner Natasha entered room. Madhu was on mobile. “Hey Madhu. What’s up”

“Nothing much. Chatting with a friend. Told about todays shopping” smiled Madhu.

“boyfriend?” asked Natasha

“No dear. Not boyfriend. Told you already I am still single” Madhu came closer to Natasha

“ok… Friend who is a boy” Natasha laughed.

“yaa, exactly. Actually he did propose me, but I was not ready for any relationship. So we are friends” explained Madhu.

“only friends or did you sleep with him” Natasha was curious now.

“No. We did not. I mean once he did try to come close. Same night he did propose too. But I said no and he did respect my decision” Madhu smiled

“when?”

“almost 6 months back” Madhu looked at Natasha.

“Since then you are playing friends” Natasha laughed.

“What do you mean by playing. We are good friends”

“what he is?” asked Natasha

“He is a doctor”

“oh.. . He must be boring”

“no.. He is not boring. I enjoy being in his company”

“why did you say no to him”

“told you na.. I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR A RELATIONSHIP”

“May be you still love Aarav only, that’s why you are not ready” Natasha looked directly in Madhumita’s eyes and was waiting for an answer.

Madhu stood up. She took water. Sat on sofa and started “I met Mohit in a party. His dad is friend of my boss. Mohit was doing final year of MD in Dermatology at that time. He just cleared his exams and have joined a hospital as consultant. Presently he is planning for advanced course in Singapore in cosmetology. He is a sober guy.

8 months back:

Madhu went to the 25th marriage anniversary of her boss Rajiv. She was sitting with her colleagues at the party as she is new in office. Rajiv came to their table with Mohit. “Hey guys, meet Mohit. He is my friends son and alone in this party. Please don’t let him feel alone.”

Mohit joined their table. Everyone introduced themselves to Mohit. Mohit was impressed by Madhumita’s beauty. Madhu was also magnetised by him. On that table only Madhu and Mohit were single. So after short while only two of them were left on the table. Both of them interacted formally. Mohit asked “Where are you from”

“I am from Uttarakhand” replied Madhu

“Oh wow! I am also from Uttarakhand. ” excited Mohit replied.

Being from same place acted as a bonding factor between the two. They both exchanged their numbers. Started interaction over social media. Mohit was impressed by the multi talent of Madhu. He liked her photography. Over one month they both started meeting on dinner over weekends and for movies.

After around one month of dating, one saturday night after movie, Mohit came to drop Madhu at her society. It was raining heavily.

“Mohit its too heavy rain. You will get stuck in jam. If you are comfortable, you can stay at my flat. Tomorrow is Sunday and its your off too” Madhu offered Mohit considering the traffic situation in Mumbai in rains.

“Will you be comfortable if I stay at night at your place” Mohit confirmed raising his eye brows.

“Yaa, sure. There are two bedrooms” smiled Madhu.

They both went to Madhu’s flat. She showed him his room. Went in her room and brought towel. “Take this. There is bathroom attached. You can change there”

“Ok thanks” Mohit took the towel and moved towards bathroom.

“Coffee?” asked Madhu

“Yaa sure” replied Mohit

“I will make it after changing” Madhu flashed smile. She moved out of room.

After around 30 minutes, Madhu did enter Mohit’s room. He was sitting on sofa with towel around his waist. Madhu was holding two mugs of coffee. She felt awkward and said “Oh.. I am sorry, I should have knocked at the door”

“Its ok. Actually I had nothing to wear and clothes were wet” replied Mohit and tried to cover his chest with the cushion.

Madhu handed one mug of coffee to Mohit. She took another sofa to sit. “Its still raining outside heavily. Its better you stayed here” she smiled.

“Hmm. Thanks for letting me stay here. You have a good apartment”

“Thanks. I liked the society and the flat was fully furnished too”

“its 2 bhk”

“yaa. when I rented 2bhk was fully furnished. 3bhk was not furnished. So I did opt for this one”

“You stay alone. What you would have done with 3 bedrooms” laughed Mohit. He continued “We have single cubicles and toilets are shared in our hostel”

“Why don’t you look for a good accommodation outside” asked Madhu

“my stipend does not allow me” laughed Mohit.

“Its so disheartening. You are in your 29th year of life. Doing MD. Medical education is too difficult and challenging I must say. Moreover the facilities you get are so poor. There are so many hardships”

“Is there balcony in every room” asked Mohit pointing towards that room’s balcony “

“yaa. Come, let me show you my flat” Madhu offered Mohit. They both were done with the coffee. Mohit agreed. They both stood up.

At the end, Madhu and Mohit came to balcony of Madhumita’s room. “This is my favorite place. I sit here daily in morning after jogging. I really find peace being here” Madhu said and they both were standing in the balcony.

“I think I should shift here in your apartment” Mohit smiled

“I will take rent” giggled Madhu.

“Marry me” Mohit came closer to her.

Madhu burst into laughter “You want to marry to save rent”

“No. I am serious. I want to marry because I want to live with you. Be with you” Mohit took Madhumita’s left hand in his right.

“Please marry me. Be mine Madhu” he now held her at the shoulders.

Madhu looked into his eyes directly and after a while moved her face, making her left cheek closer to his lips. Mohit put his lips on her cheek. Madhu closed her eyes, held him at his forearms. Mohit went closer and tried to hold her neck in his palms. He moved his lips closer to her right ear and whispered “Madhu I love you, please marry me” and moved his tongue into her ear. Madhu was not able to control herself. She held Mohit at his waist by her hands and hugged him. She moved her head and kept on chest of Mohit.

Mohit held her face again and put his lips on her forehead. “Madhu I want to live my life with you”

“But… Hows that possible” Madhu tried to control her emotions of attraction towards him.

“why” asked Mohit.

“You are a doctor. Your parents will be looking for a doctor bride”

“No. They want a girl from our own community. Being doctor is not their criteria” Mohit smiled and hugged Madhu “You just agree. Rest I will manage. There will not be any issue”

“I have not thought about it. I am not prepared for marriage now” Madhu showed her inhibition.

“Its Ok. I will wait for your decision. Take your own time. Its a big decision….. Involves two families, two souls” Mohit looked into her eyes and moved a flick of hair from her face.

Madhu again hugged him and asked “What if my decision is negative”

“then we are friends. You can take free consultation for your skin and cosmetic issues and I will take your help in my financial issues” Mohit smiled and hugged her again. He continued “Madhu I like you a lot and want to spend my life with you, if you too agree. If you marry me, its easy to be with you always, otherwise I will love to be your friend and find my place in your list of good friends”

Both Madhu and Mohit remained silent for few moments and hugged each other. Then Mohit said “lets have coffee again”

Few months passed. Madhu and Mohit started meeting over weekends. Sometimes Mohit would come to Madhumita’s house on Saturday nights for dinner and stay. Madhu started liking his company. Many a times, she even thought of saying him yes for his marriage proposal, but her other self resisted her ‘are you mad?’

She used to struggle with herself over this issue ‘Madhu you know very well, how these men are’

‘yaa, but Mohit is not like others’

‘how do you know’

‘I have spent a lot of time with him’

‘less than Rohit and Aarav’

‘yaa, but it was different time. We were students then’

‘time did change, but men doesn’t’

‘ohh… Mohit is not like Rohit and Aarav’

‘just because you yourself are attracted towards him. How can you forget, what you faced at the hands of men in past. What if you say yes to marriage. He will try to sleep with you. And later, he will allege you of being character less and the same drama will repeat’

‘I can not forget that, but…’

‘but what…., you kept distance from boys at Bengaluru, see the result, you are successful now. Do you want to ruin everything’

‘nothing is going to be ruined’

‘ok, go ahead, do whatever you want’

‘but I will marry someone, why not Mohit’

‘don’t forget, you promised your parents, that you will marry the man they say’

‘I know… but…’

‘do whatever you want. Always remember what you went through whenever you tried to be close to a boy. Don’t cry later’

‘ok, fine. We are friends and nothing more’

She always felt the same inhibition. So she was never ready for any relationship.

5 months passed:

It was sunday morning. Madhu received a call from her mother

“hello mummy”

“hello Madhu. Your uncle came yesterday with a proposal. He saw in our community magazine”

“ok”

“the boy lives in Mumbai”

“your father talked to his papa on phone yesterday. He shared your pic and details. His father said, let two of you meet each other. If both of you are ready, they will be happy for this marriage”

“mummy, what I will do by meeting him. You people see him. Meet his family and then decide. I will follow what you decide”

“When both of you are in Mumbai, meet each other. And let us know your views. Time has changed. Girls and boys decide by meeting each other”

“mummy please. Its ok from my side”

“but let the boy say ok as well after meeting you. His father called us in the morning. Boy wants to meet you at 5 pm at Pizza hut near your society”

“mummy I hate all this formality”

“shut up. Your father will send you his pic and details on your WhatsApp. Go through it and be there at time today evening”

“what else can I do now”

“hmm.. Go well dressed. Try to look best”

“ok” Madhu disconnected the call.

She was not interested. It was a formality for her. She thought, its better to avoid all this. She turned off her data connection of her mobile, so that she can not see the pic. ‘What am I going to do after seeing the pic. My answer has to be yes’.

What will happen next. Will she gather courage to accept her feelings for Mohit or she will agree for this arrange marriage proposal?….. Will Aarav be able to gain Madhu’s trust again?…. What is the fate of her relationship with Mohit?…Is Madhu’s fear right regarding men …. we will see in next chapter whats next in Madhumita’s journey of life.

Till then, lets have a look in our lives… Do past experiences really affect our decisions in present and future. Is it Ok to make mistakes repeatedly or should we act cautious in similar situation that have given pain in past. Should we be judgemental…….or open to new opportunities ignoring past experiences…….Keep thinking… lots of good wishes to my readers…

#11 MADHUMITA : Facts.. Truths… New Beginning

FRIDAY MORNING :

Natasha took the scheduled flight to Mumbai and landed. Sahil welcomed her at Airport with floral bouquet and they left for the venue. A room is booked in the same hotel for her. On reception, Sahil told Natasha that he will be waiting for her in restaurant for breakfast. Natasha went to her room and after keeping her belongings, she went downstairs towards restaurant. On her way, she called Madhumita “Hi Madhu, I am in hotel now, going towards restaurant, your HR manager is waiting for me”

“ok dear. We will be coming in a couple of hours. How was your flight” Madhu did inquire

“It was good. Vishal dropped me at airport in the morning”

“wow… It must be a romantic morning….” Madhu giggled

“shut up…. he just dropped me at Airport ” Natasha replied

“hmm, I am so excited to meet you Natasha, I can’t tell you in words”

“me too Madhu…. I came here just for you.. So that I get you by my side. I am feeling nervous since the marriage is fixed…”

“hmm…don’t worry. We will leave tonight…. I have so much to talk to you… Everything will be fine.. Have faith dear” Madhu replied

“yaa…. Ok… I did reach restaurant, your Sahil is waiting… Let me have a nice breakfast… Feeling hungry”

“ok… And he is not my Sahil…. He is our HR manager…” Madhu laughed and disconnected the call.

On the breakfast table, Sahil was being courteous to Natasha, offering her various items. Sahil initiated “Thanks Miss Natasha for accepting our invitation”

“Hmm… Actually I did accept only for Madhu” Natasha smiled

“congratulations ma’am for your wedding” Sahil wished Natasha

“thanks, but please don’t make this news public…. I mean, it will be a family function with only close guests”

“ok ma’am, sure” Sahil gave thumbs up to the idea…. “Madhumita is very close to you..? ” he tried to ask

“yaa… She is my best friend. We were room mates in college. It was the best time of our lives…. Infact I told her that I will not marry in her absence” She flashed a smile “that’s why I am here.. To take her along with me tonight” said Natasha.

“yaa of course ma’am. I will drop you tonight at Airport along with Madhu” Sahil said.

Madhu arrived with her team at lunch. She came with her luggage which she kept in Sahil’s car. Program followed lunch. It was a wonderful and interactive session which was followed by dinner and cocktails. Natasha denied for any cocktails and Madhu was also not interested. At the earliest after dinner, they headed for airport.

They did board their flight to New Delhi. They had seats in business class. Comfortably they were seated and now they had time to talk to each other. Madhu started “Now tell me, how it all started and when?”

“hmm.. Ok…. It all started after Asian Games. I felt being close with Vishal. He too was attracted towards me. We even belong to same community, so I thought that it will be easily accepted by our parents too… But when I told my mother about him… She was like… No.. It cannot happen ”

” why? ” Madhu was curious

” they wanted a very high profile match for me” Natasha replied

“high profile? Vishal sir is so famous, like you are. He is also silver medalist and olympian too.. What else they wanted”

“Madhu… He was silver medalist… I was gold medalist… He opened his sports academy… I joined government job.. DySP in Haryana Government…. So my parents wanted a secure man for me.. They wanted IAS or IPS or Judge… To be very clear and precise…not a private work person that too a sportsman….. Just imagine… How I would have felt… I practised with him…. I won… And my parents said that he is not a right match…” Natasha was trying to show her anger towards her parents thinking.

” Then…. What happened”

“What would have happened… I tried to ignore Vishal… My parents searched SUITABLE match for me… They contacted eligible IAS and IPS and judge candidates. Few said no on their own… Others denied after meeting me…” Natasha expressed relief

“What.. how can they say no to you.. you are a star Natasha” Madhu was curious

“God knows… Its better that they did say no… Actually being a sports star is different, but no man want a bride like me… I mean who is independent and star and that too sportsperson. Most of men want a tender, obedient wife… may be like you” Natasha laughed.

“ohhhh… then… What happened?” Madhu asked with a smile.

“What would have happened … After 3 years of their hardwork in roaming here and there.. To find a groom for me… My parents realised that no one is interested to marry me….”Natasha burst into laughter “they realised that being a star is different… I am a sportsperson and no ordinary man will marry me… I mean a person who is not involved in sports…”

“ok… But Still I can’t understand that why no one agreed” Madhu asked

“Its so simple Madhu… Sportsperson do get multiple endorsements but, marriage is still a different thing… A successful man mostly want a woman of his life to follow and obey him. Its a perception that Sportsperson are usually rough in relation and emotion ” Natasha tried to explain

” But it’s not so….. I am too close to 2 sports people.. Both are too gentle and full of emotions dear… ” Madhumita said

” I said.. Its a perception… What people are pre occupied in their minds”

“Then what happened?” Madhu asked

“after 3 years of hard work, my parents understood that its better to marry me to Vishal only” Natasha smiled

“ok..” Madhu reciprocated

“but the real problem started then only” Natasha continued

“means?”

“Even Vishal’s parents did not want a khiladi daughter in law” Natasha giggled with her mouth covered with her palm.

“OH MY GOD…. then”

“It was the real tough time we did face… Me and Vishal” Natasha expressed her state of mind.

“His parents almost fixed his marriage to a girl who is 21 years old, relative of the local MLA. She was beautiful as hell… And rich too…”

“Then…?” Madhu now was too much involved.

“Thanks to Vishal… he said that either he will marry me or no one else”

“ohh.. Thats good.. He supported you…. He loves you Natasha… I mean when your parents told you to stay away from him… You ignored him.. Right… But just imagine… He went against his parents to support you and to be with you…” Madhu was impressed by Vishal’s affection towards Natasha

” yes… I was timid… I could not disobey my parents. I really thank all those boys.. Who rejected my parents proposal… If anyone would have agreed… I would have no other option but to marry” Natasha sighed.

“Hmm…thats what I am saying… That he was clear and he dared to stand against his parents for you.. Always keep this in your mind… He loves you more than you” Madhu replied.

“Hmm… You are right… And that’s why I am too much nervous… Will I prove to be a good wife? ” Natasha told the reason of her concern

“Ok…. Thats the worry… Hmm.. Now I can understand…”

“yes… Since both parents agreed… I am too nervous.. that his parents agreed under pressure and my parents also agreed to our marriage as there was no other option… Will our marriage be successful… Definitely his mother will find some issues daily to blame me.. As I am not her choice….. will I be able to handle it? ” Natasha continued “love is between two persons but marriage is a link between two families and when both families come together under pressure…. Its obvious that marriage is under pressure….. Sometimes I really feel that its better that me and Vishal go for livein… Only me and him…. Away from both families…. No customs.. No obligations” Natasha’s face revealed all agony she is going through.

“Hmm… listen Natasha… I have many friends who are in various phases of life and marriage. Many of them discuss their domestic issues with me. They say I am a good listener and my advice works well. Out of my experience I want to give you a suggestion. Always keep this in mind. I want that my friend Natasha and Vishal’s marriage to be a success and happy one” Madhu looked at Natasha with her eyes firm.

“Hmm.. Please tell” Natasha fixed her gaze too

“Be a dumb daughter in law and a lively wife” Madhu said with mischievous look.

“what?… Means?” Natasha could not get the point.

“means very simple… In front of your in laws… Anyone.. Be it mother in law or brother in law or sister in law… You are as dumb as donkey… You know nothing… You hear nothing.. You say nothing. Just be physically present there. Never give your opinion. Never show your displeasure. Never ever show your feelings of anger. Never give your ear to what they say”

“hmm” Natasha tried to understand

“when you are with Vishal… Be what you are. Be naughty as monkey. Be a wife. Show your love and affection. Tease him with your acts of love and lust. Give your 100 percent ”

“hmm..but what if I win my in laws love as well” Natasha asked

“listen my dear darling… Don’t waste your energy to try to win their hearts. It will happen on its own with passing time. If you try.. You will expect their love and support. 90 percent you will not get it. Then you will feel that your efforts failed. It will give you more trauma. You will feel irritated and defeated. Your nature will turn into complaining one. You will share your thoughts with Vishal. It will irritate him. After all no one will see things from your vision. He will feel Offended that you are blaming HIS parents…. you understand? ” Madhu tried to explain.

” hmm.. Little bit” Natasha was hearing

“Its better that you focus only on being Vishal’s wife. Give him what a man wants… You understand” Madhu asked

“yaa…. A man wants only one thing” Natasha winked

“yes…. Be a wife. Never ever complain about your in laws. In fact never talk about your or his parents. Avoid discussing them” Madhu looked at Natasha

“hmm…”

“if you will never discuss them, it will strengthen your bonding. Never ever complain that your mother said this.. Said that… Bla bla… In fact talk about your work… And about what he likes or what you liked and how you can further improve the acts”… Madhu completed.

“hmm.. You are right. But what if his parents try to provoke me… Its difficult to keep mum then” Natasha asked

“thats what I am saying… be a donkey. Ignore everything. When you know that you are being provoked, and you react….. You are the weakest person” explained Madhu

“hmm…” Natasha nodded

“in front of inlaws, do what they say. Never waste energy to convince them that you are a good daughter in law. If you are a good wife… With time, they will accept you as good daughter in law. When you will have children, it will make you permanent in that house. But never ever ignore Vishal. Keep him at your priority list ” Madhu explained

” hmm” Natasha was listening as an obedient fellow

“I have noticed that girls try to gain their in laws trust and love. They ignore their husband’s need. All these efforts make their life hell. Because its difficult to win in laws hearts and moreover you lose husband’s affection”

“ok…” Natasha looked at Madhu

“so…. Focus your energy and efforts on one person.. Your husband and keep him at the top of your priority list……always” Madhu instructed

“hmm” Natasha nodded

“one more golden advice” Madhu winked

“go on… I am listening” Natasha with smile on her face.

“Never praise your family in front of them” Madhu raised her eyebrows.

“ok… Noted madam”

“always give most of your time.. Valuable time to Vishal. Remember that men’s emotions flow from….” Both of them laughed.

“I understood Madhu mataji… All your golden words made permanent impact on my mind. I will definitely go with your advice” Natasha smiled

“always remember that you are in that house because you are wife of Vishal. He should be the priority. If he is happy, everything will fall in place itself with time.” Madhu compiled her advice “never complain”

“hmm”

“moreover, it will not be difficult for you. You have your job commitment to focus upon. Your two focus points, Vishal and your job. Even children should come after Vishal in your priority”

“Thanks dear.. I am feeling far better and relaxed. I will continue to bother you after marriage also” Natasha smiled

“of course Natasha. I am always with you, anytime” Madhu put her left hand on Natasha’s right shoulder.

“What about you… Who rules your heart now” Natasha asked

“hmmmm… No one actually” Madhu moved her gaze towards the window and after a while looke back at Natasha with a smile.

“hmm.. Really.. Are you still single” Natasha was curious

“yaa… At IIM, I focused on studies only. You know that what happend in past… I didn’t want to distract and you can now see the result.”

“but now you are what you wanted… Last one year.. Koi ni mila yaa tumne aane ni diya kisiko” Natsaha asked

“means?” Madhumita could not get the point

“means.. Is it still Aarav in your heart”

“no way… Actually now I have started to look for options. Aarav stands no where.” Madhu again looked at the window and said “I have come far from him and his memories”

“why are you looking in the window, its almost midnight and its dark outside. Look at me and say that he is nothing”

MADHUMITA looked directly into Natasha’s eyes and said “I am single and Aarav have no influence on me” Madhu was firm in her voice.

There was an announcement giving information about landing of flight. It also instructed to fasten the seat belts.

“Vishal will be coming to receive us” asked Madhu

“No… he will be going to receive his friend. My brother will be there at Airport to receive us”

“hmm.. I have nothing to wear anything for your wedding. I will be shopping with you” Madhu told

“yaa tomorrow we will go for shopping”

“your leaves sanctioned?” Madhu asked

“yaa.. Monday onwards”

Next morning when Madhu woke up and came out in dining area, holding her hairs to tie in a bun, she was shocked to see Aarav sitting on dining table, sipping tea. Aarav was shocked too. They both looked at each other. Faces blank, out of expression. Madhu was taken aback 4 years ago when she faced humiliation at Aarav’s hands. Even though she said that she has moved on, but it wasn’t that easy to face him when she didn’t expect. She could not react.

Madhu took her morning tea and went back to her room. Natasha came out of washroom. Madhu immediately frowned at Natasha “why you did not tell me that he is also here”

“who?”

“Aarav… He is sitting on dining table outside”

” ohh… I thought that you have moved on… His presence or absence does not matter to you” Natasha raised her shoulder while sitting on her bed.

“yaa… it doesn’t matter, but still to face him like this… It was really awkward” Madhu tried to explain her reaction.

“He came yesterday night, Vishal went to receive him only. I did not tell you then, as you are not comfortable talking about him. Will it be ok for you to be with him in this house, or I ask him to move him to Vishal’s house.” Natasha asked

“no… Its ok… I was not able to handle his presence out of sudden encounter. Now its ok. You better ask this question to him. May be he is not comfortable…. You know how he reacted in canteen that day” Madhu said

“which day? ”

“last day of our exam, when her mother passed away”

ohh… You still remember that…. I thought you moved on” taunted Natasha

“yaa.. I did move on… But there are some moments that you can never forget”

“do you cherish other moments spent with him” Natasha giggled

“No… I only remember those moments that he humiliated me in presence of Rohit and that he did not allow me to explain anything” Madhu had tears in her eyes, but she managed to wipe them off before Natasha could note.

“hmm… You sure you are comfortable”

“yaa of course. I am” Madhu was stern.

“So.. Cheer up dear. Its my wedding, we have to do a lot of preparation” Natasha was excited and so was Madhu.

Aarav is now a renowned fashion photographer. He was the recipient of The Best Debut Fashion Photographer of The Year Award. His work is appreciated worldwide. He is the most promising upcoming photographer who won many hearts in the first year of his individual career. He has many national as well as international projects in hand. Recently he finished his shoot for the beauty pageant.

Natasha went to dining area to meet Aarav after so long. Both exchanged warm greetings and Natasha thanked him “Thanks Aarav for coming at short notice. I know how busy you are now”

“It’s your wedding Natasha that too with Vishal sir, I can not give a miss to this…. but you should have told me that she will also be here”

“who” Natasha did pretend as she is unaware

“That bitch” Aarav in very low voice coming close to Natasha “Madhumita”

“Aarav, she is my best friend. Please mind it. She is a gentle lady and she topped her college as well and now she is well placed” Natasha showed her anger over Aarav ‘s reaction.

“you don’t know her… She must have slept with the examiner to top the college” Aarav crossed the limits this time.

“Aarav… Please… Mind your words for her. She is my guest. I will not allow you to demean her” Natasha was furious

“ohh… You actually don’t know her well. I loved her so much. But she started dating Rohit. She ignored my love for her. When Rohit did better than me in marathon, she started flirting with him. When I objected, she said that there is a reason behind it. Later I realised that the reason was that he was rich, smarter than me. I was good for nothing. She thought that he is better option to sleep with..”

Natasha interrupted Aarav “enough Aarav. Do you have any idea what you are talking about. If I tell you the truth, you will feel ashamed of yourself and your thinking”

Natasha narrated about what did happen between Rohit and Madhumita. How he did cheat her. How much trauma she went through. Madhu did flirt with Rohit, just because he tried to outshine Aarav. So she decided to give back Rohit in his own way, where it will hurt him the most. She was afraid to tell all this to Aarav because he was too impulsive. She loved Aarav. How she was agonised by Aarav’s allegations . Moreover he did not allow her to explain anything. Infact Madhu thinks that Aarav never loved her and used her the same way as did Rohit.

Natasha narrated everything to Aarav. All her journey and success uptil now. How Madhu transformed to what she is now. All her struggle with Rohit, Aarav, her parents.

Aarav could not believe. He was ashamed of her behaviour and all these years. “Natasha, is it true?”

“yes. Every word of it. You were so close to her, but you never tried to understand her. I know everything about her. She is my best friend because she is worthy. You could not see her devotion.”

“Oh My God. What I did. Natasha I am really ashamed. I could not trust her. She tried to contact me repeatedly, but I ignored her. I was preoccupied by the thought that she just want to sleep with boys.” Aarav grabbed his head with his hands. He continued “I lost my mom and lost my true love also”

“Aarav.. You will not believe how much she was hurt. It was not easy for her to lose you. Moreover her parents wanted her to marry after graduation. She worked hard, cleared CAT. Now she is well placed, but her journey was not easy”

“Natasha I love her. I want her back in my life” Aarav pleaded.

“Aarav are you mad!…. Just now you were raising questions on her character… Now you saying you love her…”

“Yes, I love her. I will just go and tell her”

“do you think she will accept you”

“why not… We loved each other Natasha”

“exactly… She loved you once. But now, she has moved in her life”

“is there someone else in her life”

“I don’t think so. But she has no feelings for you as well”

“I will apologise for whatever I did”

“I don’t think that will help. She is a totally different girl now with her vision very clear”

“Natasha help me please. I want her back in my life”

“do you think she is an object. What do you mean by you want her back in your life. She is a human being. She has her choices. What do you want is not the only thing that matters. Its her wish that matters too”

“Natasha please help me”

“you can try to express your emotions, but carefully. Let her decide what she wants”

“I am going right now”

“no… Wait for the right moment. Don’t be impulsive. Please grow up. You have given her a lot of pain for more than 3 years. Which eventually she did overcome. Do you think she will hug you out of love, if you go and apologise”

” I don’t know.. May be yes….. May be no”

“Its definitely no. Be tactical. Try to ignite her past feelings, but gently”

“Hmm…”

Aarav and Natasha are hopeful about igniting Madhumita’s lost feelings. Will they succeed. Will Aarav get back his love. Will Madhu forgive him and accept him for whatever he did to her?.. We will know in next chapter. Till then lets have a look in our lives… Do misunderstanding really ruin relationships. Do we allow others to explain or are we preoccupied by what we think…. Will it change our life, if keep our vision open…. Till then wish to you all.. lots of positive thinking…

#10 MADHUMITA: Success Awaits You… Stay Strong

3 YEARS LATER

It was 6 am in the morning, as a part of her daily routine, Madhumita was in the park for jogging in her blue shorts and white tank top. She received a call from Natasha “Hi Madhu”

“Hello Natasha, is everything OK, you called so early in the morning” Madhu stopped her jogging and stood under a tree.

“Yaa, everything is fine. You are busy the whole day, so just thought to catch you in the morning”

“Hey, I am never busy for you ” Madhu replied

“Hmm….How are you?”

“Perfect, right now I am standing under a tree” Madhu laughed and continued “I always thank you and Vishal sir in the mornings”

“why” Natasha asked

“Because of you I developed this habit of jogging and exercises and I feel so fit and active the whole day”

“ok…..to thank us you have to do something ” Natasha tried to add thrill

tu hukum kar meri jaan…..tere liye jaan bhi hazir” Madhumita tried to show her level of affection towards Natasha.

“I want you here for 10 days ” Natsaha ordered.

“Ohhh, this is difficult than dying for you” laughed Madhu.

“I am getting married ” Natasha giggled

“OH MY GOD….WOW…” Madhu could not control herself “kiski shamat aayi hai meri behan” she laughed “All of a sudden, no hookup, no roka, direct marriage”

“Yaa…. yesterday only date was fixed. As per panditji, after this date, next will be 6 months later..” Natasha tried to explain

“Ooooo, how can Natasha wait for 6 months ….Oh my God…. 6 months…. so long….lets do it now” Madhumita tried to pull her leg

‘Shut up. Date is fixed by elders. I had no role. They just told me yesterday only” Natasha replied

“Ok ji. Agreed. Now tell me who is the lucky man”

“You know him” Natasha was feeling shy for the first time.

“Who?……Vishal sir?” Madhu guessed

“Hmm….” Natasha did not say more

“OH MY GOD…you know what I am feeling just now?” Madhu responded

“What?”

“I just want to kill you right now…” Madhu showed anger

“Ohh really” Natasha laughed

“Yaa, you were hooked up and you did not tell once. Badi chupi rustom nikli yaar. You even did not give a hint.”

Natasha laughed. “Its a long story. Will tell you in detail when we meet. What is more important right now is that I want you to be here with me on my wedding day. Its 15 days later. If possible please come few days early. I need you badly”

“OK….I will … in office today I will check and talk to my boss and HR manager. I will definitely come dear. I will resign if they do not sanction my leave. I will be there with you at your service madam. You are getting married. OMG , I still cant believe. Have to do so much preparation. Its such a lovely morning Natasha. I am feeling so happy…” Madhu in full excited mood “and yes… many many congratulations to you and Vishal sir….no …not Vishal sir…Vishal jiju…. ” Madhu could not control herself. She was moving her arms up and down. While she was talking to Natasha over mobile, everyone passing by her side were noticing her moves “Natasha I just want to fly right now and land on your terrace. I want to hug you yaar. “

“Hmm…me too Madhu. We last met when you were leaving for your MBA”

“3 years passed yaar. It looks like yesterday only” Madhu exhaled “I completed my MBA and even got my first bonus as well. You are a star Natasha, Gold Medalist at Asian Games, Common Wealth Games, Bronze medalist at Olympics. Time just flies “

“Yaa, thats true Madhu. Time just flies and whatever happens, happen for good. Stop getting emotional , else I will cry now” Natasha tried to divert the topic.

“OMG… Natasha , is it really you. I can not believe. You are talking about crying. A girl who is as strong as a rock, who can make others cry…you are talking about crying…such a drastic change. Dear you are only getting married….. its only a marriage, not personality makeover “

“I don’t know Madhu, but I am really feeling nervous and I am not really able to handle all this. Thats why I want you to be here, by my side”

“Hmm, don’t worry. Vishal sir will not let you face any problem after marriage”

“Madhu, you know all these men are same. Before marriage we are jaanu….and after marriage we become jaani dushman. Whatever wrong happens in their family , happens because of the outsider, I am really scared. Will I be able to become a good wife, a good daughter in law….. ” Natasha opened up with her fears

“Hmm…. don’t worry , you are DySP. No one will try to mess up with you” Madhu laughed and added “I will give you tips for your married life”

“Whatever, you just try to come as soon as possible…please… Now its your turn to be a supporting friend” Natasha pleaded.

“Sure dear, will let you know in the evening” Madhu finished and disconnected. She was feeling energetic. She started jogging again. After finishing with her workout, she went to her apartment. She rented fully furnished 2 bhk apartment in Mumbai in a society having park and swimming pool too. She made herself lemonade and went to the balcony of her living room with newspaper. While having it, she finished with her newspaper. She enjoyed the view of her balcony as her daily routine. Then she cooked poha for breakfast and boiled 2 eggs. After bathing , she dressed up in a knee length black A line skirt paired with peach formal shirt and black coat. The look was paired with well tied hairs and black stilettos. After having her poha and having tea, she did put a Faces lip primer orange burst and black eye liner which gave her a perfect office look.

Madhumita is now placed as financial analyst with a CTC of 90 lakh per annum. She had the best package while campus placement and recently she even got the annual increment of 15 %. She now lives in Mumbai. She is the talk of her hometown and inspiration not only to girls but also to boys in her town. There was a time that she struggled with her parents mentality as well. Now, her parents feel proud of her. Infact, every parent of her town want their children to be like Madhumita . While getting ready, she was collecting all her journey up till now. All her ups and downs in life from college in Delhi till now. Now, she has no grudges in her life. She feels contentment. In her MBA, she was a nerd. She never entered any relationship. She was aware of her level of involvement in a relationship. Its actually all or none for her. Either there is no one in her life or if someone is present, she is fully devoted towards him. Knowing her weakness she decided that now, its career building time and she can not get a second chance. She managed to maintain a comfortable distance from all boys in campus. Although her charisma attracted many of them initially, but her ignorance kept all of them away. The only thing she would do apart from her studies and curriculum were her daily workout in morning and try her photography skills. The daily workout is like a part of her personality now. She never skips it at any cost. She used to spend daily half an hour on photography as well. Watching videos on you tube regarding improving her photography, different online tutorials and then trying that in her shoots.

She was very determined to give her best in her academics, which paid her well off as well. She was the favorite of all her professors and impressed the interview panel as well. She had two calls, one from UK and another from Mumbai. She preferred Mumbai as she did not want to leave India. She wanted to prove herself right in front of all her countrymen. She is no less than a star on Instagram having 10k followers. All her Instagram posts are her photography skills only which is even appreciated by the professional photographers. Her text content in support of her pics are even better appreciated. She is praised as model as well in her pics. She gets many offers for modelling in DM, but she is never interested. She enjoys all her limelight that she is getting on social media. After getting into job, since last 1 year, she even started to participate in 10 km runs and now she did complete her first half marathon recently in Bengaluru. She is now even preparing for full marathon by the end of next year.

Recently, her parents visited in Mumbai and stayed with her in apartment. Her mother accepted that how wrong were they, when they were against her post graduation. She told Madhumita, that they feel proud of their girl now and that her father is now with her in all her decisions in life. She even said that their concern regarding her marriage is no more existent. Madhumita is delighted that all her hard work is worthy now.

She is totally a different personality now. She evolved from an insecure Madhumita in her relations and timid girl to a strong, determined, focused and most important full of satisfaction woman who is most talked about in her office and every where. Her aura is magnetic that in one year only she is the hot favorite of her office members and even clients. Her presence around is enough for positive vibes, her positive attitude towards life issues is the reason that everyone in office feels comfortable discussing any damn issue with her. She has a working solution to any problem either professional or personal. Her boss Mr Vijay many times told her that you are multiple personality in one . According to him, she is a perfect financial expert, a fitness freak, a photographer, marathoner and also motivational speaker. She now feels to be a complete woman.

After having breakfast, she took her bag and car keys. She now owns a white Honda Amaze Ace Edition CVT petrol. In her car she changed to her sling back wedge sleepers which are kept permanently in her car, for comfortable driving. She reached her office in half an hour. While entering her office she went at the reception counter “Hi Rekha good morning”

“Good morning madam”

“I want to meet Sahil Sir today. Please fix my appointment with him and let me know”

“OK ma’am” replied Rekha , receptionist, with a broad smile.

“Thankyou” Madhu reciprocated her gesture.

Sahil is HR manager. Madhu moved to her cabin exchanging greetings on her way with others. She got involved in her work. Her boss Vijay called her ” Madhu come to my cabin”

“Yes sir” Madhu took her mobile and went to his room. She entered Vijay’s cabin with a warm smile on her face “Good morning Sir”

“Good morning Madhu. Do you have any problem in this office?”

“No sir” Madhu stunned on the question.

“If you have any, you can tell me, I will try to handle it at best”

“No sir, not at all… I do not have any problem”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes Sir, absolutely. But who told you that I have some problem?”

“Ohh..you asked for a meeting with Sahil today, that’s why I thought that you may be having some issue”

“Ooooo.. No . Actually, I was about to come and talk to you also. Sir…. Actually I need leave of 10 days”

Vijay interrupted Madhu “10 days…are you out of your mind. Who gets such long leaves in corporates ?”

“I know sir, but it’s really urgent. That’s why I fixed a meeting with Sahil” Madhu explained

“What’s the urgency Madhu… 10 days is too long…. Only in marriage you can get such long leave” Vijay laughed

“I know sir and its actually marriage only”

“you are getting married?… You did not tell anyone in office” Vijay was amused

“no sir, it’s not my marriage, but my best friend is getting married and she want me to be there with her” Madhumita explained. She continued “so, its really urgent and I can not say no to her. I would have cut short my leaves in my own wedding, but as its Natasha’s wedding and she stood by my side in my struggle days, I myself want to be there”

“Ok… But you cannot get full off. You can work from home for few days out of these 10” Vijay suggested

“let’s see sir, what Sahil has to say over it. Its my humble request to you …please recommend if he asks for your comment” Madhu requested. She added “Sir…. you know my friend”

“Do I?” Vijay raised his eyebrows

“yes sir, Natasha…. the olympic medalist, common wealth gold medalist, Asian games gold medalist… sprinter Natasha”

“Ohh my God…. Natasha is your friend, I mean best friend… I can’t believe it”

“we were room mates in graduation”

“I will definitely recommend your leave” Vijay extended his support.

“Thanks a lot sir” Madhu smiled and got up and left the room.

After lunch, Rekha called Madhu “your meeting is fixed at 4 pm”

“ok thanks, I will be there at time” replied Madhu

“ma’am, Sir was asking regarding the purpose of meeting”

“Hmm.. Its personal” Madhu replied

At 3.45 pm Madhu was getting ready to meet her HR manager. She opened her bag and combed her hairs. Looked in the mirror, got touch ups by lip primer and Chambor compact powder. She also used perfume spray kept in her drawer. At 3.55 pm Madhu reached Sahil’s cabin. Madhu knocked at the door, opened it a little. Sahil got up “Hey Madhumita get in”

“Good evening sir” Madhu entered his cabin with a warm smile on her face.

“Good evening Madhu. Have a seat” Sahil pointed towards the chair opposite him.

“Thanks sir” Madhu took her seat comfortably.

“coffee?” Sahil asked

“Hmm” Madhu nodded. Sahil on intercom instructed to send 2 coffee

“How are you sir” Madhu asked out of courtesy

“Absolutely fine”

“Sir, I want to say something”

“Ok”

“Actually I need leave…..”

“hmm…”

“10 days”

“ok” Sahil was calm

“Thats why I wanted to meet you in person”

“Vijay told me. Its your friends marriage…. To be honest, we do not allow leave for such long duration… You must be aware”

“yes sir” Madhu replied “but sir, its emergency and I have no other option but to go”

“Ok”

“yes sir. I mean I will resign if I do not get this leave” Madhu was now firm and determined.

“I see… So you are trying to intimidate me”

“no sir, I am trying to explain the need of this leave”

“Do you think, You will say that Natasha is your friend and we will believe it” Sahil could not believe that Natasha is best friend of Madhumita.

“Sir, this is not a joke. She is my best friend, we were room mates. Ok… how will you believe that we are friends”

“in that case.. Ask her to come here”

“what!”

“yaa.. if she want you to be there in her wedding, she has to come in this office”

“Ohh…”

“Actually I have an idea. It will help to get you leave”

“hmm”

“ask your friend to come to Mumbai this Friday. Let her be our motivational speaker. We are also in need of such program this year”

“Ok… What if she really comes.. I mean.. who will arrange for her interaction”

“I am serious Madhu. I was planning to arrange an interactive session for our team. Every year we arrange such activities. If your friend can come as guest speaker…. I mean, we will arrange her tickets and stay”

“Hmm… Ok. She will come. Arrange her tickets, no need for arranging stay” Madhu was confident about Natasha. “you start preparation”

“you are giving confirmation…. Don’t you want to ask her? ” Sahil asked.

“Sir, I told you, we are best friends. She will come… Friday evening” Madhu flashed a smile “and thank you for my leaves. I will leave Friday night with her. I will be working from home next week”

Madhu got up and shook hand with Sahil. He asked once again “Don’t you want to confirm?”

“Its confirm sir. Rest assured” Madhu left the cabin in joy as she got her leaves to attend the marriage of her best friend.

Madhu texted Natasha while going to her cabin ‘ leaves done. But only one trouble. you have to come to Mumbai as motivational speaker this Friday. ‘

After few minutes Madhu received a notification and it was Natasha’s message ‘OK . Send me the details. Lets meet this Friday’

Why is Natasha worried about her marriage? What’s the reason that a girl like Natasha, who is a fighter, achiever and a star, is under stress? Will Madhu be able to extend her support to alleviate Natasha’s worries

Now Madhu has transformed into a different personality who is confident, independent and responsible too. She knows her responsibility that’s why she herself was ready to work from home during leave. She took all her experiences in a positive way to reform herself. Lets look into our lives.. Do we accept our failures? do we accept the challenges? If yes, did they transform you… How?.. Keep thinking…..Till next chapter lots of love to my readers 💞

#9 MADHUMITA : Be The One That You Are

While Aarav got the opportunity to prove himself in Mumbai, Madhumita continued her struggle in Delhi. She followed her daily routine religiously. Workout in mornings, study and coaching during day and tuition classes in the evening. Her parents wanted her to return after her graduation and get married, as she is now 21. But she managed to borrow time for herself and her dreams. She was not prepared to marry so early without establishing her career. In fact marriage was nowhere on her TO DO lists as of now.

She loved her solidarity in paying guest accommodation. Her mind was occupied by the future goals. Months passed and she appeared for her CAT. She was happy and very confident about her selection. Her mother called her

“hello Madhu”

“yes mummy”

“how was your exam”

“it was wonderful mummy, I think result will be positive”

“when are you coming back”

“why mummy”

“your graduation is complete and your father is now looking for a suitable match”

“mummy please…….. I am sure that I will clear this entrance and I want to study further. You know this”

“But beta, your uncle came yesterday and suggested a very good match”

“mummy, I don’t want to marry….”

“what do you mean you don’t want to marry ?”

“Ohh.. I mean, not now. I am only 21”

“yaa, you are now 21, I got married when I was 18”

“mummy please…. Not now. I am sure about my result and moreover I am earning here too by tuitions”

“what are you earning. Tuitions are not permanent jobs. What if you don’t clear your entrance and after few years lose these tuitions as well. No one will marry you at that time”

“mummy…..”

“yes, its true. You will get a nice match now, you are young, beautiful, educated… After few years, no one will be ready to marry you. This is the right time to get married ”

“what if I get selected and after my MBA I get a highly paid job?”

“that will be different issue, but shadi to tab bhi karogi hi”

“ok, lets wait till result, please mummy…..”

“ok”

“give my regards to papa”

Madhu disconnected the call. She felt grilled after talking to her mother. ‘why is this marriage so important? …..Why are all worried about a girls marriage?…… Whatever you achieve, marriage is a priority for all’ she asked herself and texted Natasha ‘hi…How are you’ Madhu was feeling screwed up because of the tremendous pressure built around her- CAT result and marriage proposals. She wanted to talk to Natasha as she is her stress buster. Talking to her relieves all her stress. After an hour , Natasha replied ‘Hi…Me fine, you tell’

‘me not fine…hahaha, as usual….my mom called up and asked to return back and get married as soon as possible’

‘Hmm…what next? How was your exam?’

‘It was nice. lets wait for result. If its negative , I will have to move back’

‘Hmmm…. It will be positive. Just relax’

‘Thanks dear, but if its not, then I will be forced to marry. I never felt this much insecure in my life’

‘Don’t think much. There is a solution to every problem. When you come across the problem in real, then only you can find the solution ‘

‘True, thanks dear. You are such a darling’

Madhumita felt relieved and relaxed.

Days passed and the D day of her life was there. She was anxious since the morning. She did not go even for her morning ritual. She did not follow the daily routine. Out of stress, she turned off her mobile and got disconnected from the rest of the world. As her response to her stress, she confined herself to her bed, covered in a top sheet. The whole day seemed like a century to her. In the evening, there was a knock at the door “Madhu, open the door”

It was Natasha outside. Madhu got up quick on her sound and ran towards door and opened it. “Where are you since morning?” Natasha banged her

“Here only” Madhu replied

“Arey, where is your mobile, I tried calling you a hundred times since morning” Natasha was furious. She took Madhu’s mobile “Its off, are you mad?”

“yaa, I put it off. I wanted to be cut from the rest of the world”

“You did not clear?” Natasha seemed worried now.

“I do not know” Madhu replied

“What? You did not check you result?”

“I had no courage…. so, I thought to avoid checking”

Natasha laughed “You are the same as before. What if its positive, all your efforts of grief will be wasted”

“shut up….My heart beat shoots when I go on the site”

“ok, let me check, give me your details” Madhu handed over her details. Natasha checked it online. “Baby….. you are now fu#ked up” Natasha looked at Madhu.

“oh no!!!… I dont want to go back and get married. I never wished this for me. ” and Madhu started crying.

Natasha laughed on Madhu’s reaction.

“Is it a joke for you? ….. Now, I will be married to someone, whom. I do not know and the rest of my life will depend on someone else. I will have to live my life…. my life according to that someone else.” Madhu tried to explain reason about her distress. “Natasha, I never expected my life will come at this stage. Where did I lose. What did i miss. I always dreamt of being independent. Marriage is not a problem. I too want to marry, but not like this. I am not a burden on anyone. Neither my parents, nor my husband. I wanted to be independent before i get marry. All my dreams are like…..” Natasha interrupted Madhu with a smile “All your dreams have come true dear…. You cracked it. Stop being a sad soul and give me a hug, fod dala sali tune exam ko bhi

“What!!!” Madhu was shocked to hear this. “Check it again” she wanted to confirm. Natasha showed her the screen of her mobile. Madhu could not control her ecstasy and started crying again, but this time out of joy.

Madhu called her mother. “Mummy..”

“Hello Madhu, how are you”

“I got selected…… ”

“Is result out?”

“Yes mummy. I did it”

“But Madhu….. kya karogi itna padh ke….tumhare liye ladka bhi dhundna mushkil ho jayega…”

“Mummy, what are you saying?….. I will be doing MBA from IIM…. very few gets this opportunity…. ”

“It will need money, you know our situation…..”

“Arey, mummy, you are unnecessary getting worried, I will arrange for education loan”

“See, first we will spend on your education, then it will be hard to find good match….”

“Mummy, are you serious….I mean I am the first from our town who will be doing MBA from IIM…..instead of feeling proud, you are feeling burdened”

“You will never understand… Your father will not agree for your higher education”

“But you told me, you yourself gave me this chance ”

“Earlier I thought you won’t t be selected…so I just said try once”

“What!!…Now I got selected, so you are not happy….”

“Yaa…I mean I am happy but our circumstances do not allow us…. To find a good match we will be forced to spend money that we can not afford”

“What if you do not need to spend money on my wedding”

“You want to say you will go for love marriage?”

“May be…”

“Your father will not like you marrying outside community”

“Whatever….Mummy I will earn more than 2 lakhs per month once I passout from IIM….I will earn and save ….then you can spend on my marriage….ok”

“It will hurt your father’s ego..to spend daughters money on her own wedding”

“Mummy, I will marry where ever you say….Just let me do this…please”

“You will not listen…even if we say no… you will join it…”

“Mummy… if you want to know the truth… yes, I will do it even if you say no”

“Then what’s the point in saying no… go ahead…. jo hoga dekha jayega”

Madhu was disturbed by her parents reaction but she was sure that time will change their way of thinking too. Her focus was to be independent and this was the last step in her struggle. She can not give it a miss because her parents are not in agreement with her way of thinking. She was confident that her achievement will make them proud one day. All their concerns about her marriage are in vain as it will be of no matter after she finishes with her postgraduation and placed respectfully.

Few days passed and Madhu called Natasha a evening before leaving for Bengaluru. “Hi Natasha”

” Hi Madhu. When are you leaving dear”

“Tomorrow morning dear 11.45 am flight”

“great dear. Time just flies. Now you will be going so far”

“yaa. It was my best time with you in hostel. You are my best buddy always”

“destiny is taking us apart”

“arey, Natasha itni senti” Madhu laughed. She continued “drop me tomorrow at airport”

“yaa, sure I will come at 8 am”

Madhu packed her luggage and was ready by 7.30 am. Eagerly waiting for her bestest friend. Natasha arrived and now both were on their way to airport.

“your party is due” Natasha reminded Madhu

“yes… Of course. Whenever you say”

“Now?”

“Great idea. Lets have breakfast together” Madhu was super excited.

“Lets go to Sagar Ratna. South Indian”

“Hmm… I should start eating South Indian today onwards” Madhu laughed and Natasha diverted towards Sagar Ratna in Defence Colony.

Natasha ordered Onion Rawa Masala Dosa and Madhu did order Onion Uttapam. As they were waiting for their orders, Madhu initiated “you would not believe, my parents were not allowing me to pursue MBA”

“what?” Natasha was shocked “why?” she completed.

“yes. They are worried that no one will marry me, or they will have to spend much more than thier savings to get a good match for their extraordinary educated daughter ”

“ohh!!! Actually this is a real concern in our society” Natasha replied

“moreover they were worried that after being independent, I may marry someone outside our community” Madhu added further.

“you did not tell them that you are already done with post marriage experiences” Natasha winked at Madhu and both of them laughed with a high five.

Natasha continued “This is the reality of our society. Parents fear that if their daughter is too educated or achieve something extraordinary, she won’t get a easy match for marriage”

“yes. I arranged for my education loan. I promised them that I will never let them down” Madhu replied.

They started with their breakfast and also ordered two masala tea. Natasha asked “you will miss Delhi? ”

After thinking for a while, Madhu replied “No, I will not miss Delhi…… I will only miss you. And that’s also not a problem, we will be in touch due to WhatsApp, thanks to technology ” Madhu flashed a smile.

“what about Aarav?” Natasha asked. Madhu stopped chewing her bite, and looked at Natasha for few seconds and after a while replied “He is past with some good memories but with unpleasant end” she looked towards her plate and again looked towards Natasha, but this time her eyes filled with tears. She continued “there’s no place of him now in my life. He alleged me a slutty woman. I tried to contact him a number of times for months together, but he did not even reply once. He did not even tellme what’s the reason behind this sudden change. May be he was done with me, bored of me. May be I was his physical need only. He himself was bored of me and just imagine he insulted me in front of Rohit. He said go and get fu#ked by Rohit, same Rohit who took my undue advantage. Just imagine my condition, how I would have felt when a man whom I love, I was devoted towards, is saying me ‘go get nailed by another man’ in front of the same person who deliberately cheated me once. Who took all fake efforts to just fu#k me once. I was fooled by Rohit once, but Aarav alleged me a loose character girl, ready to be fu#ked in front of the very same person. Still I did not say a word. I contacted him again, thinking that may be he was not in good mood or out of rage he did say all this. But he did not want to even talk to me. Misunderstandings does not last so long. Anger is not forever. If its forever, its not anger. ” completed Madhu followed by deep sigh.

Natasha realised that how much pain Madhu have undergone as she noticed tears in her beautiful eyes when she was recalling those moments. She said “atleast you did tell me something. I really wondered what would have happened between the two of you. Leave it, now you are out of agony and heading towards new achievement. Keep your options open there” and both of them laughed.

“This time, I will be more careful, infact I will kepp myself away from all these hookups and all. I just want to study and get the best of opportunity during placements ” smiled Madhu. “you tell, how’s your life. Any boyfriend?”

“Dear, what you faced, I am facing too. The only thing that has occupied my parents discussions these days is my marriage. They want me to marry IAS, IPS, Judge etc. According to them, now I am a celebrity, DySP too, so I should get a respectable match, that too in same community. They are not comfortable even with the commercials I shoot. They think I may lose my virginity to the models, I work with” finished Natasha with deep exhalation.

“ohh! You are still a virgin?” asked Madhu out of surprise

“only for my parents” giggled Natasha

“Oooooo…. Natasha ka bhi affair hai…chupi rustum” Madhu reacted.

“Which model?” asked Madhu being curious

“Naah…. He is not model” Natasha was shy. “you will get to know soon”

“Ok . Its a secret… Right?” asked Madhu. Natasha just smiled and did not say a word. Madhu said “let me guess. You just say yes or no.” Madhu could not control “Is he Vishal sir? ”

Natasha just smiled and did not say a word or gesture indicating yes or no. She replied “only time will tell”

Their masala tea arrived. They both enjoyed sips of it. Madhu paid the bill. And they headed towards airport.

In Mumbai, Aarav did get opportunity to exhibit his talent in glamour world which was without any efforts. Moreover his work was being appreciated and recognised by fashion houses and Varun was also proud of him.

Varun got a call from editor in chief of the magazine that they were shooting for “Hi Varun, your work is amazing bro”

Varun replied “Thanks for appreciation and liking it”

“I called because I could see some difference in it from your earlier shoots”

“really, thats great. Actually I have a new assistant Aarav. He did this shoot independently. He is a real good photographer”

“wow, that sounds amazing. You are promoting your assistant. No one ever does that in our industry”

“Hmm. Thanks again”

Varun called Aarav “editor just called me and he is really impressed by your work”

“thanks Varun. It’s all because of you”

“no no…… Don’t be modest” Varun went close to Aarav. I have a offer for you.

Aarav looked at Varun. Varun continued “I am very much occupied by international offers. I think I should try to grow in international market. I didn’t want to lose my established work here in India. But now I am sure that you will manage here and I can focus on my work abroad”

“Varun, I need some time to think as I was upto other plan. I wanted to get a professional degree in photography”

“Ok. Do let me know”

But Aarav did not feel contentment in his work and life. He felt something is being missed. Why is his success so easy coming. If it is so, why his dad was always against him. If its so easy, why his mother’s soul had to depart so soon. Why he can never enjoy the appreciation and success that he is getting. But he could not make out what is that thing which is being missed.

Aarav decided to move to London University to pursue postgraduate course in Photography. He did receive 2 crore rupees as he was the nominee in her mother’s term insurance plan. He thought what’s better than having a specialised degree in photography that too from London University. This will be the best tribute to his mother, who always believed in him. He will be able to establish as independent fashion photographer after this. Its a 15 month course.

In Delhi, Madhu boarded the flight to Benguluru. And in Mumbai, Aarav did board for London Heathrow.

There are diversions in the life of Madhu as well as Aarav. Whats waiting for both of them in their destiny. Will they be always on a separate path towards their success or their path will ever cross. Is Professional success enough for eternal happiness or they will keep missing something. Will they really move on in their life?

Who is the person in Natasha’s life. Will Natasha be able to get her love.

We will see in next chapter. Till then, let’s think about what did we lose in our path of success. Do we miss something. If yes, do give it a thought that did it made any difference in our lives?

Till then, lots of love to all my readers 💕💕

#8 MADHUMITA: Ways Apart

Natasha accompanied Madhumita to her new accommodation, a paying guest in Model Town. It was a single sharing room. They both moved the luggage into the room on first floor. The room was painted light pink in colour with a cot lying in center under the fan and a study table near the window. It had an attached washroom too. Mess was on ground floor. Natasha said “nice room Madhu” .

“Yaa, I liked it too at first glance” Madhu replied.

“Whats the rent of it” Natasha inquired further.

” 12000 per month including meals” Madhu did reply.

“Good yaar, its really nice. Shall I come as room mate again” Natasha flashed a smile.

“Yaa, we will create some more good memories here, nice idea” Madhu reciprocated.

“That room memories are with Rohit’s discussion, this room memories will be with Aarav’s” Natasha tried to get some information from Madhu, regarding what did happen between the two.

“no…no…. not at all…. Now I don’t care about anyone, I have to prepare for my CAT and nothing else is on my mind. Neither Rohit nor Aarav…. no one…its now only about me and myself” Madhu replied.

“Will you let me know what did happen between the two of you…..please” Natasha wanted to help.

“It’s not about what did happen…… what matters is that now nothing is left and Natasha I don’t want to go through all that pain again. Even if I tell you what did happen, will it change anything?….Infact, it will bring to my mind all those awful moments that I am trying to overcome”

“Atleast tell me what did happen. As far as I can feel you both were physically involved , weren’t you. You both were doing good. When I left for Asian Games you were together. What did happen among you that none of you are ready to even talk about each other. “

“Nothing did happen. I was a dumb to fell in love him, as I was dumb with Rohit. He insulted me , not only once but a number of times. He did humiliate me in front of others too. May be I was only for meeting his physical needs only. I can’t understand why it happens only with me….or may be boys need that only Natasha….. we girls are too fussy about emotions and love and bla bla. Boys love means only fu#k and their emotions flow out through their di#k only. They just can’t think beyond sex ..I guess. There was no respect, so better to be away from such person. You saw it by your own, how he reacted in canteen. I was there to be with him in time of grief. At such critical time , his ego was ruling his head. cant you see that. Why do suffer because of him. You only said once, Life goes on….. It was really difficult to come out of Rohit’s betrayal…. Then I got close to him… But now it’s over and it won’t be difficult for me to get out of it… You know i am now experienced…….” Madhu tried to conceal her pain of being separated from Aarav.

“Hmm, actually he was stressed at that time. Please understand him. Do you know what did happen to his mom…..” Natasha tried to tell her but Madhu interrupted ” No, I do not want to know anything about him” Madhumita was very stern in her voice . But in her mind she was ‘ go on…… please tell me what did happen……… Is he alright now…………when is he leaving…………..I want to be with him……. Please tell me everything about him……..’ But she was not courageous enough to accept in front of anyone that she still cares for Aarav. She knew that it will bring only grief to her life and now she and Aarav can never be together. Pretending that she is emotionally strong will help her in long run because her mind will react the same way. She is confident enough that with time she will overcome her feelings and weakness too.

Natasha stopped talking about Aarav as she understood that it will cause discomfort to Madhu. Moreover Madhu is now upto CAT. She needs to concentrate on it rather than Aarav. Aarav will leave for Mumbai tomorrow morning, so no point in discussing past, specially if it brings unpleasant memories.

They both arranged the room. Natasha and Madhu did dinner together and Natasha left for her home. She will be joining as DySP in Haryana Police. Although Natasha is a star now, but she is still the same for her friends, a support system on call available whenever you need her. Madhumita hugged Natasha while she was about to sit in the car. Madhu’s eyes were filled with tears. She managed to wipe them off before making eye contact with Natasha . “You are a brave girl Madhu….. Give your best now….. Be in touch…. ye sale sare launde ek jaise hote hai…sabko bas ek hi chez chahiye…ladki ke dil ko koi na dekhta…

Madhu smiled “baja do in sab ki jab mauka lage….CAT nikalke bajaungi mei inki” both of them laughed and Natasha left Madhu in her new place to discover her share of peace and enjoy solidarity leaving all memories behind.

While on her way to home, Natasha called Aarav “Hi Aarav”

“Hello Natasha”

“How are you now”

“same”

“when is your flight tomorrow”

“9.30 am”

“ok , I will come to pick you up at 6 in the morning”

“why are you taking pain Natasha, I will book a cab”

“I did not call to seek permission, I am telling you, be ready by 6 in the morning” Natasha disconnected the call.

She reached by 5.45 am at Aarav’s room. Aarav was ready with all his packing. They left for the airport. On the way, Aarav was looking outside the window, away from Natasha. Natasha initiated “So, you are a man now Aarav”

“hmm”

“Where will you stay there?”

“will see….”

“What will you do?”

“Don’t know…”

“Any plans?”

“Will meet Varun Mehta today afternoon. He contacted me 2 days back, when I revealed my identity. Earlier too, he used to like my pics. He sent a message to meet him. He even sent me his contact number to call. Yesterday I talked to him. He told me to meet today afternoon at his studio”

“Great….. By the way who is this Varun Mehta?” Natasha asked.

“He is among the top 10 fashion photographers of India. He is also recipient of Fashion photographer of the year award. He is youngest to receive this award. He is also acknowledged in international fashion world. He is the only Indian to receive the International award for fashion photography this year. You know, he is only 30. Every fashion magazine wants to work with him. He has worked with international models as well. In a nutshell, he is an icon in himself, and I am honored to even receive messages and likes from him”

“Hmm” Natasha replied

“You know Natasha, I talked to him yesterday. When I introduced myself, he was like so polite and asked me when I am coming to see him. I told tomorrow I am coming to Mumbai. He said come to my studio at 3 pm and don’t worry about the stay. He is such a gentleman” Aarav was excited to tell.

“Hmm, will you stay with him? I mean be a little careful, why is he so much interested in you” Natasha tried to caution Aarav.

“No, I will not stay with him. I don’t want to take any favors from anyone now onwards. I will behave in a professional way now. I did some mistakes in past. Will try not to repeat them. I will take a hotel”

“Hmm …good. If you please don’t mind, may I ask you something”

“Yaa of course, you can ask me anything except that Madhu…please”

Now Natasha was mum because she wanted to talk about his relation with Madhu only. Aarav already showed his displeasure in the topic. “I wanted to talk about you and her only”

“No please… Natasha … She is past. She was my biggest mistake. Now I am trying to prove myself. You know, I am left with nothing now. I don’t want any slutty distractions. I am starting my new life….please don’t talk about her. You know i lost my mother because she was supporting and encouraging my passion. Will any one believe that she was killed by her own husband. He is such an influential person, he proved it a heart attack. I have a great responsibility now that I will prove my father wrong. This is the only thing I am upto now and it will be my tribute towards my mom”

Natasha was anguished by the statement of Aarav. But as he was now determined to chase his dreams and make himself recognised, she did not say a word to correct him. Moreover he needed a support and not an instructor at this point of time. He needs to make his own decisions and beliefs and such cant be imposed. Natasha was now confirmed that none of them is interested to be in a relationship.

Aarav took a cab directly from airport and reached the studio. At the reception he informed about his arrival and appointment with Varun Mehta. He waited for around 90 minutes and the most awaited moment came. Varun Mehta walked towards him and shook hands. Varun Mehta who is a brand in himself is iconic in looks as well. He is around 5 feet and 11 inches in height. Thin to moderate built with broad shoulders. Fair complexion with black hairs and black eyes. Hairs little receding at temporal area to make him even more attractive. He has beard and mustaches trimmed to give him a look which is magnetic. He was wearing blue and white check shirt with sleeves folded till mid forearm paired with blue denims. He is hairy which is visible on his forearms covered in black dense hairs and chest hairs also visible near neck. His look was completed by blue sneakers. He is such a personality that no one can overlook. On professional front, he is a big name in himself. Very professional in attitude. Although worked with amny models and actresses , bollywood and hollywood both, but he is never linked with anyone.

“Aarav…. How are you”

“Fine sir”

“ohh… Call me Varun” said Varun keeping his left hand on Aarav’s shoulder. He took him inside his cabin. Aarav was astonished to receive such warm welcome. “Sit” Varun indicated on the sofa in his cabin. They both took the seats. Aarav flashed smile towards Varun.

“How did you reach here” asked Varun

“I took a cab from airport” Aarav replied

“ohh.. You had your lunch?” Varun enquired further

“no… Not yet” Aarav was in state of euphoria so he did not feel hungry.

“I too did not take” Varun ordered the girl on reception to order pizzas for the duo. “It was very hectic since morning. Let’s have lunch together” Varun raised his eyebrows in anticipation and Aarav was indeed delighted by Varun.

“I am also from Delhi” Varun said

“yes sir” Aarav replied

“again sir. Do I look so old” Varun raised his eyebrows

“no… No” Aarav was quick

“call me Varun… Only Varun. I was following your account since last year. Your pics are amazing. You have a great potential” Varun praised

“Thanks sir…. Ohh sorry Varun” Aarav smiled

The receptionist brought the Pizza and they continued to talk. While having the bite of his favourite veggie lovers pizza Varun asked “Photography is your hobby only or you have some plans too”

“Sir….Varun, its my hobby, my passion and I want to make it my profession too. I want to have a life where I work for my passion.”

“Thats great. So, have you done any course or diploma in photography?”

“No, I just finished with my graduation from DU”

“Thats amazing, I mean your skills are self developed. What are you upto”

“I just moved to Mumbai today. Lets see …..”

“Where does your parents live”

“They are no more in this world’

“ohh!! I am sorry”

“Its ok sir “

“Again Sir…My anme is Varun”

“Yaa,… sorry”

“I think I have something for you” Aarav was looking at Varun with anticipation. Varun continued “Join me”

Aarav was awstruk to hear this ” Really!!!”

“Don’t you want to work with me”

“It will be a great honour to work with you. Its like a dream come true”

“Oh come on… you have talent and I need an assistant. You deserve it”

“Thanks sir…I mean Thanks Varun”

Aarav was ecstatic to even think about the opportunity. He thanked God and also his mother in prayers. Varun interuppted his thoughts ” when will you join “.

Aarav could not resist his excitement “Now only “

“Thats like a professional and a true passionate. I like your attitude. I knew you have it in you ” Varun was impressed by Aarav “Where are you staying?”

“I came directly from airport. So will take a hotel today and will search for an accomodation soon”

“ok. My best wishes with you and welcome to my team” By this time they both were done with their pizza and Varun got up from his chair. so does Aarav. Varun shook hand and also hugged Aarav. “Come let me introduce you to my team” Aarav followed Varun.

At the reception , “this is Aarti, receptionist and my personal secretary as well as HR head. She will explain you about your job profile and the remuneration”. Varun introduced Aarav to Aarti ” Aarti , this is Aarav. I told you about yesterday. He joined as my assisstant today onwards ”

“Ok Varun ” Aarti smiled back to both and shook hands with Aarav “welcome to our team Aarav” Aarav smiled back.

“She will give you all details and you may take her help to find accomodation as well” Varun told to Aarav.

“Ok Varun ”

“Aarti, he is from Delhi. New in Mumbai. Please make sure that he adjusts here soon. Its your responsibility” Varun instructed to Aarti “

“Sure Varun. Leave everything on me. He is my responsibility” Aarti convinced Varun. “Aarav when you are free , come and meet me here. I am here till 8 ” Aarti told Aarav.

“Sure ma’am”

Aarti is charming lady in her late 30s. But looks like in her late 20s. She is well maintained. Dark complexion skin tone. shoulder length brown curls. Although her features are not sharp enough, but her smile and well maintained figure makes her attractive and her presence pleasant. Aarti work for Varun Mehta since he was not even recognised. She is the first person who started working with Varun. She takes care of all his appointments, meetings, account related work , his diet and also responsible as HR head of Varun’s team.

Varun headed towards the studio. Aarav followed him. “I have 3 assistants and 2 make up artists and 2 hair dressers. You will be my 4th assistant”

“Hmm”

There was a shoot going on in the studio. Varun called Abhinav, one of his assistants. ” Abhinav , this is Aarav, my 4th assistant. He joined us now” .

“Hi Aarav, welcome bro”

“He is from Delhi. Just finished with his graduation”

“ohh cool, I am from Chandigarh” Abhinav was cheerful

“Abhinav , I am giving you his responsibility. Take care of him, he is new to Mumbai”

“Sure Varun. You leave everything on me”

Aarav was ecstatic to be there. But he was not feeling comfortable. ‘how’s it possible?………… I mean is it so easy to work with Varun Mehta?……….. I never thought that I will get work the same day I come to Mumbai?………….Is it really happeneing or its a dream?’ His mind had too many questions which were making him anxious.

Abhinav interrupted his thought process “Aarav, work here is almost done. The other two will handle. Lets go to Aarti ”

“Yaa sure”

Abhinav is around 25 years old and he was working since past 3 years with Varun Mehta. He hails from Chandigarh. Average looks but smart body language and confident enough to leave an impression. Aarav was very dull , his shoulders drooping down with anxious eyes. “You seems to be tensed Aarav?” Abhinav asked him when they reached Aarti’s desk.

“Yaa, little bit…..Actually very much…”

“Ohh!! why? what happened?” Aarti asked

“Actually, I am not able to make out , its dream or reality…. I just landed in Mumbai few hours back to prove myself…and..now, I will be working with Varun Mehta… Top most fashion photographer of India”

“Ohh!.. don’t worry. He is a cool guy”

“Yaa, but i am concerned weather I will be able to meet his expectations. It all happened so fast”

Abhinav and Aarti laughed “You are taking too much tension. He is the coolest guy. He can make anyone take best of pictures. Just enjoy working with him and try to learn as many things as possible. You will never fel like AT WORK with Varun” Abhinav tried to relieve his worries.

Aarti explained him about his work in brief and also about the payment part….”These are the forms you need to sign at these places where I have marked” said Aarti ” Go through them and then sign” she completed with a smile. “Abhinav , he is the same guy Varun used to talk about his instagram pics @passionatefotografer

oooooo teri…..really… wow” Abhinav reacted

“Where are you staying” Abhinav asked

“Will take some hotel nearby”

“ohh! you can stay with me. My flat mate moved with his girlfriend last week. I am looking for a new partner. why dont you move in?…. its not too far” Abhinav offered him.

“Wow!. That will be fine I suppose” Aarti reacted to the idea “I will be relieved as well. Otherwise I have to contact the dealer to find some other accomodation for you”

“Ok” Aarav replied.

“Hey Aarti , lets go out tonight to celebrate Aarav’s entry” Abhinav proposed

“I have a meeting scheduled tonight , you people go on” Aarti showed her inability to join.

“Ok, Aarav we are going out tonight. First we will go to my flat…i mean our flat…. and then I will take you out. Party is on me” Abhinav was excited to have a new entry in the team.

Aarav was happy to find a path to reach his goals. All this happened so fast that it all seemed unbelievable.

#7 MADHUMITA: Truth Hurts

Madhumita left the canteen in a state of being robbed, shattered and feeling defeated in her one sided love. She was distressed by Aarav’s behaviour. She questioned her dignity as a woman. Why did she allow Aarav to demean her?….. Why did Aarav do all this?…. Why she allowed emotions to take over her mind?….. Aarav and Rohit both are same. How can Aarav not trust her. He knows her since so long?…. She had a cluster of questions in which she found herself trapped.

The only answer she had was ‘I cannot control what others think about me. I have to make my own decisions and have to face the consequences by myself. No one will be along, its my journey, my decisions, my life. I, only I will stand by me. I took decision to have a non committed relationship with Aarav. It was me who allowed him get close to me. Its OK if he now wants to quit out of this. ‘ She promised herself not to look back in her life. The things happen for a reason and this also did happen for a good reason, time will tell.

In the canteen, Natasha asked Aarav “What did happen between you and Madhu?…. Why you behaving like this? “

“She is a bitch. She only uses people for her gain. Noone can rely on her. She used me as well for her benefit… ” Aarav poured his heart out.

“No, i guess there’s some misunderstanding…. She is a trustworthy person… Believe me…” Natasha tried to explain

“If you want to talk about that bitch, I will leave right now. I know her better than you….” Aarav stood up getting irritated.

Natasha realised that it’s not the reason that they are here for. She knew how much stress Aarv is going through. Immediately she held the left hand of Aarav by her right “I am sorry. You please sit down…. Please”

Aarav took his seat again. “Do you want something to eat” Natasha asked

“Yaa, I want water” Aarav replied with a tense face.

Natasha brought water and also sandwich to eat. She did order for coffee and requested to deliver it on the table.

Aarav took few sips of water and tears filled his eyes. “Natasha, why all this happened” Natasha was supportive enough not to interrupt him and was there to give her ear to Aarav.

“I want my mother back. How did this happen. I killed my mother…. It was all because of me…..” Aarav was filled with guilt.

“No Aarav,….. please don’t cry,…… please don’t blame yourself. What did happen to her. Please tell me” Natasha held his hand tightly to ease the situation. She handed over a hankerchief to him. He took it and wiped off the tears and again burst into tears. Natasha realised that its not the right place to talk about as everyone present around are noticing what is happening at their table. “Lets go out Aarav at a comfortable place” she said holding his hand.

“Hmm” replied Aarav with sobs.

They moved out of canteen with Natasha supporting Aarav at his back and Aarav busy in wiping his tears with his T-shirt sleeves and sometimes handkerchief. Natasha noticed that everyone is looking upto them. They went out and Natasha thought that her car is the best place to be in. It will provide them the privacy, and comfort to Aarav to share whatever he want. She took him towards her new car, Mahindra XUV W7 AT. White in colour and fully loaded features, which was parked around 500 metres away from canteen. She opened the front door and helped Aarav to take his seat. Then she went on other side and took her driving seat. She put the ignition on and soon the car was cool inside as the AC did work. By now, Aarav was also a little calmer.

“Come on , tell me Aarav” Natasha initiated.

“Natasha, I lost my mother. It all happened because of me. I killed my mom. She loved me so much and what I did to her……..” Aarav was again into tears. Natasha was trying to go deep into what did happen. So she looked at Aarav and wiped his tears off with her right hand. “Calm down Aarav, you did nothing wrong. Believe me , just calm down first. Everything will be alright” she managed to boost Aarav’s morale.

“How Natasha? …..She can never be back….. How will I survive without her? …..How will I face my dad?…..” sobbing Aarav replied.

“Hmm…” Natasha wanted Aarav to express his state of mind.

“Why I wanted to be a photographer? …… Why was I so passionate for it?….. I could have done what my papa wanted. Why did I try to go against him?…… I was fully aware how he is….. still I dared to follow my dreams…….Its all because of me….” Aarav was trying to put his feelings into some words. Natasha, now, could understand that something grave did happen. Now what is that is to be known. She just kept silent with her gaze on Aarav and her hands holding his, to build the confidence in him.

“Yesterday morning I called my mom” Aarav started narrating

ONE DAY BEFORE

Aarav: Hi mom, how are you?

Mom: Good morning Aarav. So tomorrow is your last exam beta.

Aarav: Yes mom. I called you because I can not handle it any more. Yesterday Dad’s message came . He has talked to the coaching classes and confirmed my seat. He texted, he did pay the fees as well.

Mom: Ok…..

Aarav: What OK mom ?….. Its not ok. Why is he pushing me so much. I do not want to aspire in civil services. I don’t want to be an IPS like him or IAS. You know mummy, what I want to be.

Mom: I know dear. you dont worry. I will talk to your dad. Lets see. sab thik hoga bete.

Aarav: Mom I am really scared how he will react. He is too difficult to handle when he looses his temper. Shall I come , if you say.

Mom: No beta. Yaa…. he is too short tempered, but he loves you a lot. Let me talk to him. I will try to convince him. Actually he is too obsessed with the idea that you too be an IPS like him.

Aarav: I wonder mummy, how you managed to be with him all these years. He is so unpredictable and he abuses you physically as well. I want to be there with you mummy while revealing my ambitions.

Mom: You are unnecessarily worried and he is your dad dear. He really loves you and ofcourse me as well. Yaa… he did hit me a number of times but now he has changed since long and I am confident that he will understand you. When he will see the real talent of yours, he will accept your idea as well.

Aarav: But I am pretty sure , he will never accept that.

Mom: Darling, he has never seen your clicks. I am sure when he will see your photos , he will feel proud to be your dad. He will appreciate your talent and will support you. You have a God’s gift my boy. No one can ignore your talent and work. You have more than 30 k followers. Its not a joke, that too, when you are only a photographer without knowing the real person.

Aarav: Thanks mummy, but he will never feel proud of me. For him, I am a boy who has to follow only his orders. The moment I have my own opinion, that will be a moment of revolt from me, according to him.

Mom: You do one thing. You reveal your identity today on instagram.

Aarav: What?…. He will come here and kill me.

Mom: Just do what I say. Reveal your identity and leave everything on me. I will talk to him. Do it right now.

Aarav: OK mom, as you say. I love you a lot. I have no idea how i would have survived without you.

Aarav disconnected the call and did what was told by his mother. He opened his instagram account and went into edit profile. He changed is name from passionatefotografer to Aarav. He did change his profile photo as well. He did upload a selfie with caption ‘ This is me…Aarav… @passionatefotografer. Glad to introduce myself to you all ‘. He uploaded it as his story as well.

Aarav ordered his favourite pizza for home delivery. He finished it and was euphoric as he was now open to all. His real talent will now be appreciated. Now he can prove that he is indeed a photographer who has more than 30 k followers on instagram. Definitly he is not GOOD FOR NOTHING guy. He was getting continuos notifications on instagram about likes and comments. He was getting direct messages too. He was getting offers to make portfolios. Also he was getting advice and offers from various established photographers to join them as assistant. His eyes were full of sparkle to see the DM from the verified account of Varun Mehta. His message was ‘ Do come and meet me over coffee’ . Varun Mehta is a brand in himself in the field of photography. He is ranked among the top 10 fashion photographers of India. He was the receipient of Fashion Photographer Of The Year award. Aarav was overwhelmed by the response he was getting. The response was far superior than he expected. He was feeling like at the top of the world. Now he realised that why his mother was so much confident over him. Why did she had so much trust. Why she always say it a God’s Gift. Why she always encouraged him to follow his passion.

He wanted to share his joy with his mother. He called on her mobile. She did not receive the call. He dropped a message on whatssapp ‘Mom, you cannot even imagine about the response after revealing my identity’

The message was delivered. After 5 minutes it did show the blue ticks. Aarav noted that mom did read the message. He again called her mobile, but again there was no response. He did send the message again ‘Mom, why you not taking call. Its a huge response . I did what you say and see I am getting response from big photographers as well’ message was delievered. It again turned to blue ticks. He called again on her mobile, but no response. He again did text on whatsapp ‘mummy is papa around, thats why you are not taking my calls?’ . Instantly the ticks turned blue indicating that the message is seen. Few minutes passed, there was no response from his mother. He called on mobile again and send more messages but got no response from his mother. Now Aarav was little concerned as it never happened that her mother did not call him or even replied his text messages.

He called on the landline number. No one picked the phone. He tried again, but still no response. Now, Aarav could not resist. He booked a taxi on call up to his hometown. Within 15 minutes driver called him that taxi has arrived. He left his room. While on his way towards his home he continuously tried calling his mom and left messages. He did notice that messages were received and being read but there is not a single response. He was restless. On his way he prayed that everything turns to be OK. After 2 hours of road journey he reached his house. There were police van , ambulance parked outside his house. He was distressed to see them. One constable was waiting near the police van. He went to him and asked “What happened, why so much police and ambulance” . The constable did recognise the son of IPS . He stumbled ” Nothing…..” .Aarav was restless. “Then why so much police and ambulance is here”. The constable replied “some one expired” . Hearing this Aarav was like feeling his feet freezed on ground. He was not able to move them to enter the house. “Who did expire…. ” he asked again to the constable. “Sir, you first come inside” constable tried to console Aarav and held his right hand with his right and held Aarav’s left shoulder with his left hand and tried to move him towards the house. Aarav was not able to gather courage to enter the house “Please tell me who did expire here” he pleaded to the constable with tears in his eyes. “Please get into the home sir” the constable took him inside.

As he entered the room, he saw that the room was packed by many police personnel. He was having blurred vision because of tears in his eyes. He looked carefully around after wiping his tears off. His dad was sitting on the sofa, face away from him. His gaze fised on the mobile in his hands. Aarav could see that the glass on center table was broken. One sofa was upturned. His eyes were searching his mother. He did see a body covered in white sheet , tied at each end. His body felt like a huge stone. He was unable to move towards the body. Tears flowing through his eyes. He did see Dhani uncle standing in the corner. Dhani uncle is their full time domestic help. He went close to him and asked ” Where is mummy” . Dhani uncle stood still and did not reply. Aarav asked again ” Where is my mom” .. Dhani uncle looked towards the body wrapped in white sheet. Aarav was now shocked. He tried to move towards it. He stood near the body. A constable came and opened the head end. He was shattered to see his mom lying lifeless in a white sheet. He sat beside her and grabbed her and cried all his heart out. He shouted ” No, mummy…No.. please dont go.. please come back….” He kissed his mom’s face “Mummy please , how will I survive without you” he kept crying for almost 15 minutes holding his mothers body.

A constable came and put his hand on his right shoulder “Sir, please control yourself, it was an accident” . He looked at his father after wiping his tears with his T-shirt. He noted that one mobile is also kept beside his dad and one mobile he is continuosly looking into. His father has only one mobile. He realised that his father is holding the mobile of his mom. His eyes again filled with tears. He managed to wipe them off. For the last time , he took a glance of his mothers face. He did note a injury on her right forehead. He again looked at the centre table, the glass was broken, some furniutre upturned. His dad was sitting blank and was lost into his mothers mobile. Aarav went near to his dad. It was his instagram account that was on the screen. His dad was scrolling the images sometimes up and sometimes down.

Aarav now could make out what would have happened here. It was not an accident. His father killed his mom. He went again to Dhani uncle “uncle what happened here” holding him at his shoulders. Dhani Uncle did not reply and his eyes were fixed at his feet. “Uncle, please tell me, what the fu#k did happen here?” Now Aarav was loosing his temper. He went again to his dad “You killed her” His dad did not respond even in gestures. His eye were glued on the mobile screen and thumb busy in scrolling its screen. “Yes, now I can relate. Mummy must have told you that I don’t want to appear for civil services. She must have shown you my instagram account. She must have told you about my ambition, my aspirations . But you, your ego could not withstand it. You would have hit her, like you always do. You killed my mother. Why did you do this “

Aarav’s father did not say a word. He even did not look at him. Aarav continued with his allegations “you know what, although she was married to you, but she never loved you. She always felt scared of you. It was only because of nanaji that she continued to live with you. You proved her fears right. You can never love anyone. You do not want a family, you only need people to oblige you always. You need people whom you can give orders. For you she was not a wife, a life partner. She was just a woman who did give birth to your child. A woman who is readily available to be abused by you, whenever you are distressed. For you, I was never a son. I am a boy, who will just do what you say and I should not have opinion or aspirations of my own. You think you are God for us”

He was now able to put his real feelings out for his father “you are a looser. You feel proud of being an IPS. But you could never keep your family happy. She was the only connecting member between you and me. She believed in me, my passion. She promoted my passion by boosting my confidence since early life. She could make out what I am. It was she who wanted me to be a professional photographer, she believed in me as an individual. For you I am your bonded son, like I was born to just follow your orders. My mummy always raised me as an individual who has its own existence. She taught me to think, dream and most important follow my dreams. “

Aarav was for the first time feeling uninhibited in front of his dad “you are an IPS. You will manage to prove this as an accident. But I know you killed my mother. You did not kill only my mom, but you killed your son as well. I do not want to be with you. I will never see you…. . You are not my father, you killed my mom…… . I will never come to you…… I have to achieve what my mother always encouraged me to. I will make her proud by making my dreams come true. “

Aarav went to his mother’s body. Touched her feet with his forehead. He got up and left the house. His father was mum. Everyone in the house were aware about what did happen but they could not say a word. Dhani uncle also did not try to stop him.

On his way back, Aarav was feeling lost in this world alone. He did loose his only support system, his mother. He promised himself not to come back to his father, whatever the situation be. He even promised himself that now he will prove his mother’s faith true.

TODAY

Aarav was all in tears while telling and holding Natasha’s hands. Natasha had no words to say. She just put her right hand on his left cheek and tried to wipe his tears with her thumb. It was also shocking for her to know all this. “Aarav, you are a brave man. Try to make your mother proud” Natasha said.

Aarav replied “I am going to Mumbai tomorrow. I will meet Varun Mehta. He is the best fashion photographer. He called me and asked to meet him personally. I have my savings from my work that I did recently”. He looked out for a while. “I am left with nothing but my dream and passion and my mother’s blessings. I will be a tribute to my mother, to be a successful photographer” His eyes were all in tears.

Natasha tried to encourage him “Go ahead Aarav. You can do it. I am with you now and always” Natasha hugged him. She dropped him at his room. She saw her mobile. There were notifications about missed calls from Madhu. She even dropped messages ‘what happened, is he alright?’… ‘please tell me how is he’….. ‘what did happen to his mom’… And many more like this.

She went back to her hostel. Madhumita was ready with her packing to leave the room. She was moving out to a PG accommodation to prepare for her CAT examination. She was waiting only for Natasha. As soon as Natasha entered the room “Hi, hows he now”

“shattered and leaving for Mumbai tomorrow morning” replied Naya. Madhu’s eyes filled with tears and body cold. She was struck with the idea of loosing Aarav forever. He is going so far. Not only away from this city but also away from her life. Earlier she can have his glance now n then, but now, he will be totally out of her sight. But she managed to control her self. “OK, may he get what he wants” Madhu promised herself not to contact him again. ‘May be we had this much time together for us. Now, he is upto his dreams and I have to work hard to achieve my goals’

She showed confidence on her face. Hugged Natasha and left the hostel. ‘please be in touch’ Natasha said.

Will Aarav be able to prove himself?…. Will Madhu be able to get her dreams come true?…. What will happen to their relationship?….How will they fight for their goals and will they try to fight for their love as well?

We will come across in next part, whats their struggle and journey. Till then lets have a look in our lives, are we allowing ourselves to follow our passion. Do we bother to fight for our goals and love…… Till then love to my readers 💕💕💕