It's all about love

“I am going to marry him, no matter WHAT YOU SAY” screamed Priya.

Priya’s father, Mr Abhishek sharma was immune to the screams because he knew his daughter’s temper. But he was really surprised that day as Priya was yelling in front of everyone who had come to see her as a potential bride-to-be.

“You can’t just surprise me like this dad.” She said “I had no idea you were inviting guests over.”

Pradeep and Abhishek were family friends from years. Their son Sheker has just returned from US after securing a job in IBM and due to family pressure had agreed to come see Priya at her home.
The poor chap has no idea that Priya was not informed. He watched in mock horror as Priya who came in giving him a huge smile, turned into a screaming tigress within seconds when she got to know what Shekar had come in for.

Priya looking at her father continued “I have known Manish from 3 years dad. We both were friends for a long time before I said yes to his proposal.”
Everybody was staring at Priya so she continued talking further.
“Sure he doesn’t have a job now, but he will find one really soon. I wanted to tell you about this, but was waiting for a right time.”

Rekha, Riya’s mom, was staring at her daughter and had nothing to say. She could not believe Priya would talk in such a manner with friends at home.

“Just listen to me” said Abhishek.
“I don’t want to listen to anything dad. You should have told me beforehand” barked Priya
“I did tell you that Shekar and his family are coming home today” said Abhishek.
“Yeah… but not for this. You didn’t tell me they were coming to ‘see’ me” said Priya.

Without considering anyone’s emotions Priya stormed out of the room. She was so angry with her family that she went straight into her room and started packing her bags.

Riya, Priya’s twin sister, ran to Priya’s room with her.
“What are you doing di?” she asked looking at her sister pack.
“I am leaving this house once and for all” said Priya.
“No. Don’t do that. Mummy and papa will be devastated” said Riya.
“I don’t care about them, because they never thought about me” snarled Priya and with that held her suitcase and stormed out from the backdoor.

“We have to talk to her” said Abhishek to his wife after he had apologized for the 100th time with Pradeep.
“Yes” replied Rekha “We have to.” She said.

Riya came running into the hall where her parents were seated and said with impatience “Priya has left and has taken all her luggage with her.”
Stunned, both Abhishek and Rekha ran to the back of their house to stop Priya.
It was too late. She was already in a taxi and would not meet them for the next 12 years.

12 years later

Rekha was on a hospital bed when she got a call back from Priya.

Coughing she answered the phone and asked “Who is this?” as it was new number.
“It’s me ma, Priya” said Priya.
Rekha was surprised beyond belief and sat up bolt upright as she heard her daughter’s voice.

“Where are you? What happened? Why didn’t you call after that day?” Rekha started asking one question after another like a misfired machine gun.

“I’ll tell you everything ma, let me come in” she said and cut to call to enter through the enclosed doors in her hospital room.

The bulb glowing on top of Rekha’s hospital bed gave out a faint yellow glow. Rekha saw her daughter and was about to ask another question when Priya closed her mouth and said “Let me talk.”

“After I ran from home that day I went straight to Manish’s house. He was surprised to see me, but when I explained him the entire situation he understood everything and said it was ok.”
“The first thing he after I had calmed down was that I should go back home, but I said no. I was so angry with you guys that I said if I went back home now he would never see me again”

Rekha just looked at her daughter as she continued talking.

“We stayed together after that day and there isn’t a day when he hasn’t reminded me that I should call you back. But I was stupid and arrogant and I just did what I pleased.”

“Are you awake ma…..?” said Riya as she came through the door and was stunned into a shocked silence as she saw her sister.

“WHY ARE YOU HERE?” roared Riya.
Rekha held back Riya’s hand and said “Let her talk first, we’ll have time for questions later.”

Riya sat down, anger burning in her eyes. She looked like she would jump onto Priya at any second and tear her into pieces.

Priya looked at her mother and started talking again “We got to know each other pretty well after that day. Manish and I used to take walks in the park and laugh merrily and some days we used to fight like we were thieves quarrelling for stolen gold. But I always found comfort with him.”

Priya continued “We both knew we loved each other, so no matter how much we fought we knew we both would be there for each other. He understood my likes and dislikes and we used to spend hours cooking together in the kitchen and then he would feed me with his hands.”

Priya had tears in her eyes, yet she continued “Knowing him from a long time I became so comfortable with him that I forgot you guys.”
Riya let out a sharp gasp at Priya’s revelation.
“Yes” said Priya “I did forget all of you. I only talked once with dad and he said he’d be ok with Manish once he finds job. I knew it would be difficult because Manish wanted to work in an architect firm in Malaysia and they were hiring only after a year.”

“Living with less to almost no money was very difficult. Manish’s uncle Sameer came to our help and helped us out as Manish didn’t have any parents.”
“I helped Manish in any way I can and even joined an advertising firm. It got better after that and I didn’t feel bad even for a second because I was living with Manish.”
“You could have had a better life” said Riya.
“Let her finish” said Rekha.

Priya continued “We were very happy with each other and after one year Manish found the job he wanted and I never looked back. I flew to Malaysia and had been living there for the past 11 years.”

“Why are you here then?” asked Rekha.
Priya took a long time to answer the question and finally said “Because Manish is dead.”
Both Rekha and Riya huddled together and took Priya in their arms.

“You should have listened to us and married Shekar” said Rekha stroking Priya’s hair.
“and end up like Riya?” asked Priya.
Riya snapped back from the embrace and said “You don’t have to be so mean.” said Riya.

Riya said “After you left, dad was devastated as he had lost all his respect. First you ran away and then all his friends at office looked at him as he was some sort of a criminal because of the Shekar fiasco at home.”

Riya continued “One day after coming back from work he asked me would I consider marrying Shekar?”
“Seeing his sad face every day was driving me insane and I said yes, I would. I just wanted to see him happy.”

“He was very happy marrying me and Shekar, but I was wrong in my decision.” Said Riya

“I didn’t know Shekar. Growing up with an army retired grandfather Shekar was very strict about things. I could not go out with friends, listen to music loud and do many other things.”
Priya looked at her sister with sad eyes “It was good that you didn’t marry him. He never compromised on things even if I tried very hard.”
“I constantly tried doing things that would please him, but he never reciprocated. It was all about him and it was not because he couldn’t marry you, Arathi, my mother-in-law told me that he was always like this: never compromising to anything.”

“Dad was furious when I said I wanna divorce him, but one day he finally saw Shekar’s true colors when he slapped me in front of everyone for talking loudly.”

Priya got up and hugged her sister. She then turned to her mother and said “This is the exact reason why I left home ma.” She continued “For a marriage to work you first have to know a person. His good habits, bad habits everything should be out in the open, because that allows you to take a proper decision”

Rekha looked at Priya and nodded as Priya continued ahead “Even if the decision is wrong it would be our own decision. There would be no one to blame. Not knowing a person completely and committing to a big thing such as marriage can always lead to problems.”

“Even if I am not with Manish anymore I will always cherish the memories, because we made them together” said Priya “Love always kept us together and I am glad for that, while in Riya’s case things didn’t work out because she never got to know who Shekar really was.”

“I had known Shekar was like this from his X girlfriend” said Priya
“Why didn’t you tell me then?” yelled Riya.
“I was in Malaysia by then and didn’t know what was happening with you guys. If I had known I would have never agreed to it and would make you come with me” said Priya to Riya.

“I should have been there for you” said Priya and started crying.
“You will be now” said Rekha and hugged her daughter.
Riya slowly joined in and she swiped away the image of her dead father from her mobile phone.
In that moment they were a family again and would always be. Priya would make sure of it.

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2 comments: said...

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Amrutha Karagada said...

Good Work Thousif!! Keep it up :)