Shabd entered into the bed room at 10. He is in his white khadi cotton pajama-kurta suit. He just got married in the morning. And he came into the room to see his bride. It's their first night. He saw the whole room is decorated with flower garlands. The bed is cleanly tuck with nice sky blue with white shade printed bed sheet with matching pillows. The whole room is filled with fragrance from incense.
His heart is pounding to meet his beloved wife. His bride is standing at window watching seriously outside darkness. After all he loved her at first sight and made things possible to marry her within a week. She wore dark pink and blue gagra with matching jewelry and hair tied into long braid filled with flowers.
He walked slowly to her and checked if anything interesting outside the window. He could see a clear sky with stars and trees in the backyard under bright moonlight. Everyone in neighourhood is sleeping and no see of any movement around there. He wondered and whispered in her ear "Kya dek rahi hai Mahi? Anything interesting that I can't see with my eyes?"
The bride turned with a jerk and stepped back and leaned to the wall. He surprised and walked to her "Kya hua? Are you alright?"
She pulled a knife up with her hand and showed at him with fearful eyes "Kareeb mat aana, maardaloongi"
"Ow ow Ow!!!! Cool down Mahi!! Yeh kya hai? What's all this? Knife in new bride's hand? Iska matlab kya hua? Dint you like this marriage? Don't you like me? Did you have anyone else in your life. Kuch baata saktey ho? May I ask the reason behind this?" Shabd shocked at her reaction and asked worriedly standing far from her putting his hands up.
Mahi filled her eyes with tears and chewing her lower lip without answering him. She doesn't look like taking any efforts to answer him either.
Shabd is still under shock for her behavior and thinking possible reasons behind her behavior. He took a step towards her putting his hands down "Mahi! Aaj humara naya life shuru honey wala hai and this is our first night. We should share our hobbies, likes, and dislikes, everything between us along with our lives. Mujhey batao aakhir baat kya hai? Why are you behaving so strange?"
Mahi dint answer him and still holding the knife up to her chest as ready to attack him when he reaches her. Shabd stood thinking how to get her out of the situation but couldn't find anything as she couldn't speak to her. She turned her face away from him. Shabd tried to console her again "Mahi! Kuch toh baat karo. Akhir Hua kya hai?"
Mahi turned to him "Yahan se chaley jaayiye. I don't want to talk to you. Leave me alone. Don't dare to touch me. If you try to reach me either I kill you or I kill myself." She is trembling with fear and tear filled eyes.
Shabd put his hands on his waist and sighed heavily. He couldn't figure out the reason behind her anguish. She looks like "Maa Kali" in the get up olding a kife in one hand and red eyes. He slowly walked towards bed and sat on it with head in his hands.
He is remembering his first meeting with Mahi and the events led to his marriage.
Brij Malhotra and Mohini had three daughters and one son.
First daughter, Raaji happily married with Veer Khurana, amateur business man in the town and eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Khurana.
Soni, the second daughter married a year ago to Jeet, second son of Khurana couple.
Third daughter Mahi is still in her higher secondary when Soni came for godh bharai rasam in her maayka.
Fourth is son, Prince who is still in his ninth grade.
Khurana family has two more daughters Veena and Jyoti who are happily married with a daughter each. Durga Khurana started liking her first daughter-in-law, Raaji for her smooth and polite nature. She gets annoyed several times with her second daughter-in-law for her innocence and confused nature. Jeet loved her in his older brother Veer's marriage and got approval for his love soon after Raaji's delivery of her first boy.
Shabd and his father Mr.Sareen are related to Durga as Sareen's mother is Durga's older sister. They are invited for Soni's godh bharai rasam as Veena came to know about Shabd's liking towards Mahi. Shabd went to Khurana's house for some business talks on his father request and met Mahi when Malhotra family came to invite Khurana's for godh bharai rasam.
Shabd got a cheer on his face when he is remembering the first meeting in detail.
At the same time Mahi is remembering the most 'ill fateful' event in her life as per her concern.
Mahi accompanied her parents while Mohini decided the date for Soni's function. After lunch, everyone settled in living room and relaxing with some chit-chat.
"Mohini jee! Aap ki Raaji toh lakhon mein ek hai. Uski haton sey bani huvi khana itna swadisth hota hai ki hum Latturam(cook) ko rasoi ghar mein aaney hi nahin detey. Khaash aap Soni ko bhi itna kaam sikha deti." Durga praised Raaji and expressed her dissatisfaction on Soni.
"Soni bachpan se hi bahar ki kaam mein expert rahi. Kahin pe bhi negotitations achisi karleti hai. Raaji samajhdar aur pura ghar akeli sambhal sakti hai. Aur raha Mahi, bus padhayi aur chatting ki alawa kuch nahin jaanti." Mohini proudly explained about her three daughters.
"Aur mein kahan raha?" one 14year old boy jumped into them all of sudden.
"Tumto humara prince hai, kuldeepak" Brij Malhotra dropped his hand on his head.
"Haan Prince!!! Kuldeepak!!!! Khaney ki alawa kuch jaanta hi nahin," Mahi knuckled on his head. Prince rubbed his head and walked away from there with grinned face.
"Tum kyon humesha uske peechey padhi rehti ho?" Raaji hugged Prince who went to her for support.
"Wo mujhsey jalti hai. Pappa ji humesha kehta hai na ki main ek big aadmi banjaaoon!!" Prince revealed the truth behind her fights with him.
"Nahin toh kya humesha uska hi tareef karta hai sab log. Meri padhayi ki aur meri wishes ki importance kissi ko bhi nahin hai." Mahi pouted her lips.
Jeet smiled "Arey Mahi! I forgot to ask you. How are your studies? Are you going to take fashion designing as your main in further studies?"
Mahi still frowned and angrily looked at Jeet "Aap mujhse baat nahin karey toh acha hoga Jeejoo! Yeh sab aapki wajah se hua hai. Na aap Soni se shadi karti na aaj humey humari gharwalon ko itna mananey ki jaroorat nahin padti."
Soni interfered "Yeh kyon bhala? Jeet ne kya kiya?"
Mahi turned angrily to Soni "Fitteh muh tera!! Tum chup kar. Mumy papa ko mera padhai aur meri kwaaishon ki khayal nahin hai. Aaj Jeet Jijoo ney tumse shadi nahin karliya hota mein ussey shadi karkey meri mann ki kwaaish poori kii hoti."
Veer laughed "Koyi baat nahin Mahi! We bring a guy just like Jeet and get married to you. He will take care of you whatever you wanna be"
Mahi got annoyed "humari apni maa baap ko meri fikar nahin hai toh bahar waley kya karengey? Jeet toh meri tarah fashion desiging mein aur sangeet mein apna dil lagata hai. Har aadmi uski tarah sweet nahin hota."
Jeet laughed loudly and approached Mahi "Chalo, abb bhi maan leta hoon, 'haan' kardo abhi issi waqt tumsey bhi shadi kardoonga."
"Soni di ko kya karengey?" Mahi asked as if she is ready to marry Jeet now.
"What do you mean Mahi? Tum Jeet sey doosra shadi ke liye taiyyar ho?" Raaji asked surprisingly.
Jeet laughed "Kyon nahin Bhabhi? Soni ko bedroom par rakhoonga aur Mahi ko apney saat poora din."
Soni sighed "Shukre hai tum mujhey bedroom par rakhna chahta hai. I was worrying if you ask me to work with you and in the kitchen" Sheexpressed that doesn't know cooking.
Mahi hit her head "Fitteh mooh tera, tujhey yeh fikar hai ki tujhey kitchen pe kaam karna padega? Magar tujhey yeh worry nahin hai ki Jeet doosra shadi karega!!"
Soni confused for what wrong she said and shook head innocently "Haan! Who toh tumse hi shadi karega na? Tumtoh humara Mahi ho toh why should I worry?"
Everyone laughed for her innocence and Jeet lovingly pressed her to his chest with one hand.
While everyone is busy in talking and fooling among them, Sareen family entered. Durga is pleased to see them and warmly welcomed inside.
"Aayiyeh Jeejiya ji!" she introduced him and his son Shabd to everyone. "Yeh Shabd hai apna akela aulaad hai, aur uski apni cloth business hai"
Shabd's eyes locked at Mahi who is non-stop talking and teasing her two brothers-in-law. Veena's experienced eyes caught Shabd and took him to a corner while everyone busy in chatting.
"Kyon Shabd! Lagta hai ki apna dil kahin kho diya hai?" Shabd blushed and enquired about Mahi. "Veena Di! Agar humara shadi karwadiya toh I give you a great gift. Please, help me"
Veena agreed and made Mohini invite them too for Soni's godh bharai celebration at Malhotra house.
Mahi is shocked and fumed to know about the arrangements of her engagement after Soni's function.
"Mahi! Shabd bahut acha ladka hai. I know him for three years and he has good business and mujhey yakeen hai wo tumhey palkon par bithakar raaj karwayega."
"Fitteh mooh tera!! Tumhey kya ? Khud MS karkey achasa pati paakar sukh ho. What's the guarantee he allows me to study. Aur shadi sab ki barbaadi hai. I lose everything, my identity, my happiness, my likes and dislikes. I have to live for pati aur uski gharwaley. Mujhey yeh rista bilkul manjoor nahin hai. I'm not ready for marriage. Aur mera umar bhi kya hai? 18 years." Mahi filled her eyes with tears.
Raaji wiped her tears "Pagli! Ek na ek din har ladki apni identity pati ki identity se judwana padta hai. Usmein hi shuk hai aur satisfaction bhi. Tum ab samjhogi nahin. Shadi honey do kud samajh jaaogi. Har insaan ek jaisa nahin hota. But I know Shabd loves you and he makes you happy."
Mahi didn't agree with Raaji but she lost all options to escape from the circumstances. Brij and Mohini also pleased with Shabd and his personality. They fixed the marriage within one week on Shabd's insistence.
Mahi is still upset with everything as her studies stopped in the middle and she felt all her dreams crashed down to drain. She started hating Shabd as she firmly believes him the cause for the ruin of her dreams about life..
Shabd and Mahi both sighed and came out of their past.
Shabd looked at Mahi who is still standing by scribbling on the floor with her right big toe. Mahi realized Shabd looking at her and frowned. She became stiff when he approached her and tighten her grip on the knife.
Shabd noticed it and smiled in his mind "Lagta hai issey baad mein accha sa deal karna hai". "Mahi! Go and sleep. I go out of the room and you can relax on the bed. Hum baad mein leisurely baat karengey."
He didn't wait for her response and walked into adjacent room closing door behind him. Mahi locked the door after confirming he really left her alone and cuddled herself on the bed cursing for her ill fate. Shabd sighed heavily hearing Mahi locking the door and rubbed his forehead for the disappointment in the precious night.