Marriage Is A Sweet Affair
She entered the mansion with a big smile on her face. It was Priya’s birthday; the first one after marriage; and as per rules, everyone took a day off from their works to celebrate.
“Happy birthdayyy..” she squealed hugging Priya tight.
The two women had found friends in each other and much to Priya’s relief; Geet was there to help her out with the ways things worked in her new house. Naina was busy with college and field trips while Maan was away in the US, wrapping up work. Someone was still needed to be there to look after the branch there.
The two close knit families had breakfast together and decided to watch movies together the whole day. The evening was to see a small family function where Priya’s family and cousins would also arrive. Dev was busy in the preparation for the function while the two friends stood by the kitchen counter, preparing lunch and gossiping.
“So, out with the details!” Geet teased.
Priya stopped working on the carrots and blushed deep red.
“wh…what details?” she stammered!
“The birthday gift details, lady!” Geet stressed on each word loving the way the newly wedded woman blushed.
“There nothing to be told details about!” Priya flustered, trying to concentrate on the food.
“Ohh come on bhabhi… don’t shy away from us!” Naina jumped in between, munching a carrot, “tell us…what did Dev Bhai gift you?”
Priya wanted to run away and hide herself from the scorching gaze of the two sisters. How on earth should she explain what gift her darling husband presented her?
She heard his voice, wishing his sister in-law and she bloomed. He was back! She had been busy attending the guests, completely forgetting about his arrival. And with his voice, came life back to her. she forgot her guests, Priya’s parents she was attending to, and she looked towards the door, where he stood along with his brother and Priya. His smile was so so beautiful and she felt so happy to see him as “himself” after so long. Dressed in formals, he had just landed home and still
managed to take her breath away.
His eyes caught hers and held her firm. He was seeing her after a whole month and all he wanted was to hold her tight in his arms. The remorse still remained in his heart and all she did was make him see everything in a new light now.
Knowing he still harboured nightmares, she chose to stick by him. Knowing how much he was broken, she still chose to stay by him. And that is exactly why he fell in love with her all over again. She owned him, like a goddess in all her glory. He took steps closer to her and the world was forgotten. He just took her by her hand and led her towards the stairs, leaving the guests shocked and embarrassed. Like the jasmine flowers swept with the wind, she swept with him too.
He led her to his room and closed the door. He turned back and pressed his mouth on hers without warning. She gasped in surprise and then melted in his embrace. Breaths mingled and bodies entwined with each other, they kissed like they were dying. Lips and fingers played on the bare skin and she moaned in his mouth, making him smile. His hands now roamed under her shirt, daring to climb forward and press her soft mounds. She let out a mewling sound, clutching his shoulder tightly in her hands and her teeth nipped his lips in reaction. He pressed her against the wall behind and trapped her effectively between the wall and himself. She tore him apart from her lips and looked deep into his eyes, drowned in the heat of their love.
“I have missed you.” He leaned and pressed a kiss on her forehead.
“And so have I.” She spoke breathlessly and pressed herself in his arms. He held her to himself; both remaining still for a few quiet moments.
“Change and come down. Everyone must be waiting for you.” She spoke after sometime, pulling herself away from him. he nodded and pressed another kiss on her lips before letting her go.
The dinner was served in the backyard, by the pool and it was delightful for Priya. Geet stood with Priya’s mother and dadima, talking and caught his eyes, looking at her. she bushed with that gaze and looked away. But along with his, she also found some other eyes staring at her unpleasantly.
“So, Geet beta, when are you getting married?” Priya’s mother asked.
She looked at the elderly woman who seemed genuinely curious.
“We saw today how close you two are and Priya has told me that you both have been engaged for over a year now.”
She got the hint of the subtle taunt hidden beneath her soft words.
“He just got back home aunty ji…” she braved a smile.
“Its been so long and what happened this evening is not hidden from anyone’s eyes Geet.”
Dadima was furious for some reason hearing something like this and worried if it hurt Geet. But she was shocked to see Geet smiling and not a tinge of hurt crossed her face. She raised her head and looked at Maan who was talking to someone,
“things will happen when they have to.”
The party ended almost around midnight and Dadima and Rano surrounded her.
“What is going on with you two Geet?”
“what happened mamma? Dadima?”
“Are you two even planning to get married? It was just Priya’s mother today. It will be everyone tomorrow.” Rano scolded.
“Mamma.. please. I really don’t care about what others say..”
“Rano leave it. I will have to talk to Maan. He has to make a decision now. If not for himself, he must then think about Geet now.”
She turned to call Maan but Geet held back.
“Stop Dadima. Please. Don’t burden him with this.”
“But why Geet? Why would people hurt you when the fault is completely his?“
“I am not hurt dadima. Don’t think like that. Marriage can wait. He is finally coming back to us, don’t you see him happy these days? Just let him be.”
“But what about you?”
She just smiled, “I trust Maan.”
She couldn’t sleep that night. Things kept popping in her head for no reasons and a certain restlessness filled her mind. She was not worried over whatever dadima or her mother told her but they, nevertheless, had disturbed her. she trusted Maan and she trusted their relationship. She was happy with the things as they were but her mind had lost the peace in the disturbance of the elders. Sighing, she walked to the balcony and pulled away the curtains. He stood there, in his own, as if waiting for her. she felt nice and gave him a weak smile. She couldn’t see his face in the dark but she just wanted to assure herself. And then he gestured her something with his hands and went inside. Rushing inside, her heart thudding in anticipation, she pulled the shrug over herself and ran to her backyard, on her tiptoes.
She found him standing under the moonlight, with his hands crossed over his chest. But alas, the scene behind him held no bakula tree. It had been uprooted. There was no fragrance of its children and the ground did not gleam in the carpet of the fallen flowers. She felt emotional and she just stood in front of him, not moving a bit.
His voice echoed in the silent night and she ran to him, seeking solace in his arms. Flinging herself into his arms, she buried her face into his chest and breathed in his scent. His hands went around her, pressing her close to him and his lips found her skin on her head.
“Is something wrong?” he worried, seeing her so.
“No. I… I…” she tried giving words to her thoughts but couldn’t.
“tell me, Jasmine.”
“It… It just feels so nice to be like this.” she breathed out.
“then remain so… forever!” he tipped her chin and looked into her eyes. She blinked a couple of times and then looked into his dark orbs, which revealed nothing. She couldn’t read them.
“then remain like this forever Geet…” he whispered.
“Huhhh?” she let out a dragged breath. Her heartbeats echoed in her ears.
The hairs on her skin stood to their tips and she stood frozen in his arms. She even forgot to blink and her eyes watered. Was she hearing right?
“Be mine Geet. Marry me and end this separation for both of us.”
And he found her breaking down in his arms that night. Her lashes dropped and she cried, hiding in his embrace. All the restlessness now found a channel perhaps… all the thoughts that disturbed her found their release. She cried and he held her close, thinking she was overwhelmed perhaps. But then, he knew she wasn’t crying because she was happy. She was crying because she was hurt by something. the difference in her cries, he knew so well.
“hey…hey.. what happened Geet? Why are you crying?” he patted her back gently to calm her down. Her fingers curled and fisted his shirt and her tears wet his chest.
“jasmine, tell me.” he commanded, albeit softly.
She now left his shirt and hid her face in her palms, trying hard to stop herself but couldn’t. He held her palms and parted them to see her face.
“pl…please do..don’t do this Maan” she could hardly speak.
“Don’t do what Love? Tell me what bothers you.”
“Do…Don’t do this because of wh…what happened in the party.” She said it, finally.
“the party? What happened in the party?” he was totally clueless.
“please don’t do this because of what dadima told you or what they told…don’t do this.. don’t do this…” she kept crying, leaving him confused. But he was sure someone had told her something that had disturbed her. He cupped her face and made her look at him.
“listen Geet. Stop Crying. And tell me the whole thing. And what dadima told.”
He didn’t know whether to feel angry at others after hearing her or love her even more for the trust she had shown in him and settled for the latter.
“Geet, first and foremost, I had no idea what happened in the party until now. Second, no one at home as confronted me about this. Not even dadima, all thanks to you.”
Her eyes widened in surprise, “you… you…then…” she couldn’t even speak.
He wiped her tears with his thumb pads and smiled at her.
“No my silly jasmine. If I had any idea about what was going on in the party, do you think I could have stood there and done nothing?? I am sorry Love, for what you had to go through tonight.”
She was still sobbing when his apology caught her attention.
“Why are you saying sorry?”
“Its all my fault. I know I am very late and that’s why you had to go through this. but trust me, I had wanted to get over with everything before I made you mine. I had planned this for tonight; party or not I would have still come to you and told you to marry me the moment I landed in India. I am so sorry that they hurt you…“he hung his head in front of her.
She now smiled faintly, suddenly feeling so relieved! She wiped her tears and hugged him tightly.
“You don’t have to be sorry. I was not hurt.”
“Liar…” he pulled her in his arms and kissed her thoroughly.
Adorned in red and pink, she blushed crimson, as his bride and stepped in to her new home with red feet. Dadima’s happiness knew no bounds as the couple touched her feet and she showered blessings on them. His mother was brought on a wheelchair and she just looked on, without a reaction. But even that was enough for the newly wedded. Once done with the rituals, they looked at each other, smiling, blushing, the building anxiety of a new life together and a promise to remain with each other forever.
“Yes Mr. Khurana, whenever you are ready, we can go for the surgery. She is healing faster than we expected.”
He sighed in relief and felt her hand press his, by his side. He had brought her to her doctor for the eye surgery. He had been working on it for the past one month and since her vision loss was gradual, post the accident, she had to wait till she healed from the previous surgeries. After getting all the details, he held her hand and escorted her to the car. She was fidgety the whole time, nervous and cranky. They stopped in front of the house and he dragged her in to their room. He made her sit and knelt beside her.
“tell me now, what bothers you?”
She opened her mouth to say something but then couldn’t form words and looked away. He pulled her by her chin to face him.
“Are you scared about this?”
She looked down and nodded softly. Her hands found his shoulder and clutched him tight.
He held her hands that rested on his shoulder and waited for her to speak.
“I … I know this is for my own good…but this surgery.. did you hear what the doctor said? Even if I go through this, there…there is no 100% guarantee that I will heal. There are risks and if it fails…”
“Shh. Shut up.” He placed a finger on her lips, commanding her to silence.
“You think a lot. You don’t think I don’t know whats at stake here? I haven’t been researching on this and talking to other doctors overseas for nothing, you see? There is always risk with every choice we make but does that mean we stop choosing?”
“No.. its not…”
“Listen to me. We delayed your surgery because your body needed to heal. And now I want you to keep faith in me. Do you understand?”
Looking at her blank face, he asked again, “Do you understand, Geet?”
“Ummm.” She replied meekly. She was not scared of the surgery but she of the uncertainty. But then she knew the person beside her was there to take care of everything and she trusted him. she had to. She had no other choice.
A week later, if she thought she had been scared about the surgery, she was utterly wrong. Maan was more scared now than she had been. Every night he sat down and read to her, the process of her surgery and the dos and don’ts and with a few days remaining for the d-day, she was completely cool about it. Maan, on the other hand, remained up on his toes. She giggled.
“…we will be going through the Pneumatic Retinopexy process where… wait, why are you giggling?”
The two love birds were sprawled on the bed, post a heavy dinner while he read out the procedure from the laptop and she slept beside him, her head resting against the soft plush pillows, lost in her own thoughts.
“ahh.. nothing nothing” she tried to hide her smile.
He kept the laptop on the side table and turned to her, “you, were laughing at me right?”
She bit her lips and shook her head, “no Maan. I was just listening to you…”
He propped himself up on of his elbows, “Accha..then tell me what is the name of the process we’d be going through?”
She made a face twisting her lips, “am sleeping. Good night.”
He prevented her from turning away, “you were not listening to anything!!”
She could sense irritation in his voice and laughed, “I was listening.”
“Lying doesn’t suit you Geet! So, out with it. what were you thinking about?”
“I was thinking if you are the same person who told me a few days back not to worry. Look at you…”
“Shut up woman! We are discussing something important and you are not paying attention!”
“Ohh I was paying attention Mr. Khurana. Don’t blame me. Its you who isn’t paying attention.”
“And what was I not paying attention to? Please elaborate!” he bit back.
She ran her hand over his chest and finding her anchor on his shoulder, she pulled him down on her.
“You, Maan Singh Khurana , are not paying attention to your wife!”
She twisted her lips and he swore he could eat her alive.
“Ohh, so the wife complains now, is it?” he smirked. Running a hand down her
cheeks to her neck and sliding down her bosom till her stomach, he let out a deep sigh, “I don’t mind eating the ice-cream like the last time.”
She blushed crimson recalling the ice-cream incident, only that by the time they had finished, the ice-cream had melted into water. Gathering up all her courage, she pushed at his chest, “go to sleep shameless man. We have to go to the doctor tomorrow again for tests.”
He pressed a longing kiss on her lips and took her in his arms, pulling the duvet on her.
“Next time Geet, All my attention will be on you. Remember that!”
“keep your hands off me mister and think about your Pneumatic Retinopaxy.”
“the doctors are there to think about it.” he whispered into her ears.
“I thought a certain Maan Khurana thought himself to be a doctor a few minutes back. Doesn’t he has to worry?” she smirked.
“Ohh no, he has come to know that his wife complains a lot some, so keeping all the doctor things aside, he is paying a good attention to his woman!“he dipped his head in the crook of her neck and pressed a kiss there, tickling her.
“I see. But the wife needs sleep. So good night.” She pushed him away.
“owww the wife is mean!” he faked a cry.
“She intends to. She has a lot on her plate to worry about. So, let her sleep.”
keep guessing the next…