Madhumita called her mother ‘ hi mummy’
‘hi Madhu, how are the preparations going on’
‘fine. Mummy when are you people going to panditji’
‘mummy what if kundli doesn’t match’
‘we will search for another one’
‘what if it matches’
‘your father will go and meet his parents for further decision. Why are you asking all this?’
‘Mummy what if I want to marry him irrespective of all odds’
‘your father will go with your decision’
‘Mummy what if I want to marry a man of another community but earning more than me? ‘
‘Do you love someone?…. You should have told us before’
‘no, just asking’
‘Earlier it would have been a problem, but now, your father will stand with you in all your decisions’
‘are you sure mummy?’
‘yes… He will not be that happy, but he will allow you for your happiness’
‘ok mummy. Bye’
‘atleast tell me what happened’
‘nothing’ Madhu disconnected the call.
After disconnecting the call, her argument with self started. ‘so you are thinking about marrying Mohit?’
‘I just asked mummy… Nothing else’
‘you even giving thought to Aarav’s proposal’
‘what’s wrong in thinking about all possibilities’
‘Are you mad?… Aarav was never an option’
‘I am just thinking about everything…..Actually I am really confused… I mean never felt this much screwed before…. What do I want…. Even I don’t know…. And please let me think and don’t disturb me….’
Madhumita got ready for work from home. She kept herself locked in the room during day while working.
After having evening tea, she went with Natasha to give measurements for stitching her blouses. On the way, Natasha asked “you could not sleep the whole night”
“No… Nothing such” replied Madhu
“your eyes are telling”
“ohh… Actually yes… I was restless and my mind was wandering…” She replied with a smile and covered her eyes with shades from her bag.
“Why are you so confused?”
“Even I don’t know” smiled back Madhu. She continued “Natasha, what is love actually?”
“I just know that love is an attraction which is stronger that your ego and compells you for commitment”
“Stronger than ego…. Hmm” Madhu was impressed by Natasha’s reply that made her think again.
Natasha entered room and Madhu was busy again on mobile, but this time she was on video call. She introduced Natasha and Mohit over call. Then she disconnected the call.
Aarav tried to come closer to Madhu during following days. Madhu was behaving as if there is nothing wrong between she and Aarav. She was friendly in her attitude and many times all of three used to have quality time together discussing their college days, their struggle and success stories as well.
Aarav was becoming very apprehensive as he wanted to know what’s in the mind of Madhumita. Did she forgive him? Will she be back in his life? Will Madhumita accept his love and marry him? But Madhumita was in no mood to talk about these issues. Neither with Aarav, nor with Natasha.
It was Saturday, sangeet ceremony. Everyone was busy for the celebrations. Natasha and Madhumita went to parlour for getting ready. When they were leaving back from parlour, a cab arrived for Madhu.
“Why did you call cab Madhu?” asked Natasha.
“Actually I have some important work, I will leave now and will be there in 2 hours” replied Madhu.
“What?.. Where are you going?” Natasha asked looking and pointing at her “You are dressed in lehanga and all your makeup will be disturbed” she looked worried.
“Don’t worry. I will be there soon. Its really important. Please understand. I can’t tell you now. It will be a surprise for you also” Madhu got seated in cab and left. Natasha kept looking at her for some time and then she also left for the venue.
When Natasha reached the venue alone, Aarav asked “Where is Madhu”
“I don’t know” replied Natasha.
“what, you both went together” asked puzzled Aarav.
“I don’t know. She left from parlour. She said she will come soon” replied Natasha and went inside.
The program started as scheduled. All guests of both sides did arrive. Aarav was trying Madhumita’s mobile, but she was not responding. Aarav was restless amid the fabulous surroundings. Everyone was seen in laughing and enjoying mood except Aarav. He went to Natasha and Vishal and said “she is not responding to my calls, please try her number from your mobile”.
Natasha replied “I am not carrying my mobile and she must be fine, you just calm down.”
Meanwhile Madhu entered the hall, smile prevailed on Aarav’s face but it was only momentary. She was followed by a tall, handsome man wearing white kurta with lucknowi embroidary work and pajama. She moved directly towards stage where Natasha and Vishal were seated. While on her way through the hall, she did hold the hand of that man with her lips taken to corners out of joy.
Madhumita introduced the man to Natasha and Vishal. “Natasha , Vishal…he is Mohit… my friend from Mumbai. He is leaving for Singapore tomorrow midnight. It was a very warm greeting and Madhumita’s face was glowing out of joy. The cheerful Madhumita made Aarav envy. He was looking from other end of hall. As soon as Madhumita left Natasha and Vishal, Aarav came to them. He asked with anger on his face “Who was he?”
“Who?” asked Vishal.
“He is asking about Mohit” interrupted Natasha as she understood Aarav’s interest.
“ohh!!.. Mohit…friend of Madhumita” replied Vishal with smile on his face.
“What friend of Madhu ? ..I mean Boy friend?” Aarav stunned both of them with another question.
“No… She said friend” Vishal replied looking towards Natasha.
“If he is only friend, Why is he here then? ” Aarav was furious.
“She invited him in my wedding” replied Natasha.
“Why did she invite him in your wedding? Ask him to leave immediately” Aarav was now behaving kiddish.
“Are you mad? Why will I ask him to leave. He is my guest as well if he is Madhu’s guest”
“But you dont know who he is? This is a closed family and friends gathering…Ask him to leave immediately” Aarav kept his point.
“No…I know him. I talked to him on video call earlier. He is a reputed doctor, Madhu’s friend. She wanted to give me a surprise thats why she did not tell me earlier that she went to pick him up from airport. In no case I am asking him to leave.” Natasha made herself clear to Aarav.
“Then I will leave your party now..” Aarav was furious.
“Its your wish. I cannot force you to be here. You are mature enough to take your own decisions. ” Natasha now showed her anger and continued “Please do not ruin my mood today. Its a very special occasion of my lifetime… may be it has no significance to you.. but to me and Vishal, its a day to cheer…. Do what ever you want, You are not a kid anymore.”
“Hold on Natasha.. calm down darling..” Vishal held Natasha’s hands and looked in her eyes “You just calm down..let me handle this” . Vishal then looked towards Aarav and put his hand on his left shoulder “Look bro… We will talk about it later. You just enjoy the sangeet ceremony. You have prepared a wonderful dance for us. I will talk to Madhu later…” Aarav realised that he is spoiling the event and nodded and left them saying “sorry Natasha”
“hmm” replied Natasha and after he left the couple , Natsaha said to Vishal “When will he grow up?…. Why he is so impulsive?… Madhu will never say yes to him…” she completed with a sigh.
Vishal said “Leave everything on time”.
Aarav did not leave the function but he remained present halfheartedly . He looked devastated. Aarav did not even perform his dance which he did prepare. He remained seated in a corner and consumed repeated rounds of 100 Pipers. Soon, he was drowsy and Vishal noticed. He made arrangements to shift him to a room in the hotel.
Madhu arranged room in hotel for Mohit. After seeing him off, she left for Natasha’s home. Next day morning , Madhu’s parents reached Natasha’s home. Madhu introduced them to Natasha’s parents. They had breakfast together. Mohit too joined them. Madhu’s parents were happy to meet Mohit, as it was their first meeting. Her mother understood that Madhu has something in her mind, which she wants to tell and thats why she called them and Mohit here. She felt delighted for her daughter because she felt that Mohit is perfect match for her daughter.
At around 11 am Madhu had to leave for some urgent work regarding dress alteration along with Natasha. Soon after they left, Aarav reached home with hangover. In hall, Natasha’s mother introduced him to Madhumita’s parents. Mohit was also sitting there. Aarav went near to Madhu’s parents and touched their feet saying “Aashirwad dijiye mummy and papa“. Madhu’s parents felt awkward hearing mummy and papa from Aarav. Mohit also felt strange. Aarav could recognise their feeling by seeing their faces. He continued “Ohh, you seem surprised. Madhu did not tell you about me?” . Hearing this, Madhu’s mother looked at her father and then towards Mohit. All three were having a big question in their eyes. Aarav continued ” I am Madhu’s boyfriend….since we were in college. We were not just emotionally attached but physically too… I mean we were like two bodies and one soul. I thought that Madhu must have told you about me.” Aarav looked at Mohit after saying all this. But Mohit was now looking in the news paper as is he is very indifferent towards what Aarav is saying.
Madhu’s mother reacted “No beta…. She did never tell us about you, what is your name?”
“Mummy, I am Aarav…. Actually, we had some misunderstanding, but now everything is solved. I am a fashion photographer…. I am among top Indian fashion photographers of India. May be she called you here to tell about me. ” Aarav went to his room upstairs after meeting every one in hall. Everyone dispersed after such a bold revelation by Aarav regarding his and Madhu’s intimate relations.
Madhu came around 2 pm with Natasha. She went to her parents room. Madhu’s father was fiery over her. He said “tell her to leave the room. Why did she call us here? Why she asked to get her horroscope match with Mohit? We always asked her whether she has any boyfriend or not… She called us here and Mohit only to be insulted in front of all”
Madhu could not understand the reason behind her father’s reaction. She looked at her mother… but her eyes were filled with tears and she was not in a state to speak. Madhu again went towards her father and said “baba, please tell me what happened”
“Why did you call Mohit here?” asked her father.
“He is leaving for his further studies tonight and I wanted him to meet you”
“What he will do meeting us? How we will face his parents now? Why you did all this Madhu… Why?”
“baba, what I did? Atleast let me now” Madhu folded her hands in front of him.
“Aarav told us everything”
“What everything?…. What did he say?” asked Madhu
“That he is your boy friend, that too since your graduation days” told her father.
“He is not my boyfriend and he never was. He was only my friend. ” replied Madhu.
“You slept with him Madhu. Now you saying he was only your friend.” Madhumita’s mother did speak with tears in her eyes flowing down her cheeks.
“what? Who told you this?” Now Madhu was loosing control.
“Aarav himself told us. Mohit was also there. Why he will lie to us? ” asked her father.
Madhu was mad out of anger and went directly to Aarav’s room. He was sitting in the chair with laptop. “How dare you?” shouted Madhu while entering the room.
“Hi baby… Come sit” Aarav made arrangements to make her sit and he was very calm.
“just tell me why did you tell my parents that you are my boyfriend” Madhumita’s face was red. “you even told them that we slept together”
“what’s false in it baby” Aarav took her hands in his.
Madhu slapped him. Now her anger crossed the limits. “Do you think I will marry you… Never”
Aarav now was annoyed by listening no from Madhumita’s mouth. He tried to overpower her and grabbed her face and locked his lips on Madhumita’s lips. Madhu pushed him and tried to move towards door. But Aarav came in front of her “If you will not marry me… No worries.. as Mohit will also not marry you after knowing about your past”
Madhu again slapped him. Now, Aarav slapped her back and took her to the bed. She was screaming. Aarav was out of control and was trying to undress her. She was resisting but Aarav was violent and took control over her. He removed her top and started kissing at her neck. Madhu was in tears. Soon Mohit opened the door and came to rescue her.
“Aarav leave her” shouted Mohit.
“You leave from here. She is my girlfriend” replied Aarav.
“No she is not” Mohit replied. Madhu escaped from Aarav and wore her top and went behind Mohit.
“She is mine” Aarav shouted out of rage.
“No. Look at her. She is not a thing which can belong to you. She is a human being. She has her emotions, choices and desires like you have or I have. No one can own her except one. That one person is neither you nor anyone else but she herself. ” replied Mohit.
“Ohh… So you are her latest target” laughed Aarav. Mohit looked with question on his face towards Aarav.
“Yes, her latest target. You don’t know? She is a slut. Do you think I am her only past?” Aarav laughed out of jealousy.
“No I don’t know. I don’t even have a desire to know such things” replied Mohit.
“Before me, Rohit was her target. Then me. When she was fed up with me, she broke up. She only want fu#k. For that she traps different boys. Just ask her what is your number in her queue. She had 2 in college. Do you have any idea, how many in MBA” Aarav looked at Madhu with his red fiery eyes. Madhu had no words to say. She was shaking with fear and her tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Your nonsense talk is not making me angry. In fact I pity on you.” Mohit held Madhumita’s shoulders and left the room. He took her to Natasha’s room. Natasha was unaware about all these. Mohit told her everything that happened in morning uptill now. “Madhu you please don’t cry” Mohit looked into her eyes and held her hands and continued “What others say does not matter to me. What matters to me is you. I trust you. Will always trust you. Everyone have past. But the most important thing in life is that you do not have to live in past. You live in present and move towards your future. I still love you. “
Madhu comforted by Mohit’s words. She felt better. She hugged him tight. Natasha was happy to see both of them together. Natasha interrupted them “Madhu we have to go to parlor in an hour.”
“hmm” replied Madhu. She continued “Mohit’s flight is at 1 am. I have some important work. One hour is sufficient for that. All three went to Madhumita’s parents room. Natasha tried to relieve their anger. Mohit helped Natasha. Madhu brought the kurta and pyjama sent that she bought earlier and gave it to her mother “Mummy please Mohit ko Shagun do“
Madhu’s mother was confused. Madhu now handed a platinum ring to her father “papa sagai ki anguthi… Mohit ke liye”
Her parents could not understand what’s happening. Madhu said “I want to marry Mohit. We both love each other”
Madhu’s parents looked at Mohit. He smiled “yes, we both love each other and want to be together for the entire life. I have talked to my parents and they are with my decision”.
Mohit and Madhu exchanged the rings. Madhu’s parents talked to Mohit’s parents and extended warm greetings from either side for this new couple. Then Natasha and Madhumita left for parlour.
On her way to parlour, Madhumita was thinking that she is lucky to have Mohit in her life. She thought that whatever happens, happen for good only. There was a broad smile on her face and she was looking forward towards life…