She lowered her lashes in shame as her fingers tightened around the properly folded copy of “Bollywood Masala”
“When would you grow up,girl???” Pammi’s said in thundering voice pointing towards the Red stains on geet’s bed..”I have told you so many times to sleep carefully during thesedays..”
“I am sorry tai ji..you know i am a heavy sleeper..”Geet tried to save as well as explain herself..
“I know how deep your sleep is geet..But you can be careful at least when you are awake..Pammi spoke as she moved towards geet..You ran out of your room without checking your clothes even once..What if your Taya ji had noticed this???“She said further gesturing with her hand towards the back side of her Kurti..There were also some stains..
“Thank God he did not notice..“Geet exclaimed immediately taking her tongue between her teeth,”I am really very sorry Tai ji..I promise I would be careful in future..”She tried to pacify her aunt whose nostrils were flaring due to immense anger.
“That would be good for you girl..“Pammi replied leaving her room after banging the door loudly.
Geet sighed in relief as soon pammi left..”Its really hard to be a girl..“She spoke in a dejected voice glancing at the bed sheet..But all the gloominess left her system next moment as her attention went to the prized possession in her hands.Chime of the her anklets seemed louder because of her excitement when she ran towards the bathroom to get ready…
Her furrowed eyebrows and the way she was mashing the boiled potatoes clearly conveyed her anger to her husband as soon he entered the kitchen.Pammi had realized Balwinder’s presence in the kitchen but she was not in mood to initiate a conversation.
“You showed that gold necklace to Channi??“Balwinder asked opening the refrigerator.
“She liked it???”He asked again bringing out the big bowl of homemade white butter out of the fridge.
“I don’t know..She did not say anything..”
“Why do I feel she is not happy with this marriage,pammi???”He spoke quite thoughtfully keeping the bowl on kitchen counter.
“And You can’t make her happy Balwinder ji..You did what you could do for her..Despite Daarji’s protest,you let her attend her college..You have found the most educated boy in our village for her..If she can’t be happy now then its impossible to make her happy..” She ended gritting her teeth.
“I know I know pammi ji..Its just I am not satisfied with boy’s age..He is thirty and our channi is only nineteen..”
“She would be twenty next month Balwinder ji..and She has to compromise with the “age” if she wants an educated husband..“She retorted putting all the spices in the mashed potatoes.
“hmm..”Balwinder nodded his head in yes before continuing further..“I don’t understand pammi ji,why you are always harsh with both the girls???Can’t you give them a little love..They have lost their parents in accident..”
“and I lost my only son in the same accident…!!!“She said with teary eyes however her countenance showed extreme anger as she looked straight in her husband’s eyes.Her words freshened worst memories for Balwinder.
Karanveer had planned a trip to “Naina Devi temple” with his wife and daughters.His love for “Brij” as well as Brij’s own excitement for the trip did not let him deny Brij to come with them inspite of mild fever,Brij was suffering from.Pammi was strictly against her son going for the trip in such condition But neither Brij,nor Karanveer listened to her..None of them would have realized that they were heading towards their death when they left the premises of Choudhary Haveli..With God’s grace both the girls were saved however rest three members were found dead at the spot. Pammi still blamed Karanveer for all the pain she had suffered and was still suffering..Geet and Channi’s faces made her more angry at the “Injustice” God had done..Out of three Kids of the family,he snatched only her blood..
“No one can fight against time and fate ,pammi..”Balwinder said as tears made their appearance in his pained eyes.
Air in the Kitchen was suddenly heavy with grief..Pammi’s heart cringed watching teary eyes of her “otherwise strong” husband..
“And why have you brought this Butter out of fridge so soon???I have not prepared Dough for the “paranathas” yet..“Pammi spoke in an attempt to change the conversation..
“but potatoes are ready no…”
“So what???you would eat mashed potatoes with butter??? Pammi asked in surprised voice.
“NO i would keep standing here on your head to make you cook “Aaloo ke paranthey” fast. My wife is very lazy after all..“Balwinder answered with an amused smile..
Before Pammi could reply to his remark,Kitchen was filled with “cham cham” of geet’s anklets..Their chime entered the kichen before the owner of the anklets..
“Where are the scissors,Tai ji???“Geet asked as soon she came inside with the school bag on her shoulder..
“Why are you leaving for school so early today chidi???“Balwinder asked to his beloved niece.
“I am going to Rano maasi’s house first,taya ji..I would have my breakfast there..“Geet replied dipping her index finger in bowl of butter kept on the shelf.
“Before that you would help me with breakfast geet..”Pammi ordered mixing the water in wheat flour.
Geet’s eyes immediately requested to her saviour “Tayaji” as she nodded her head in “NO” with butter coated finger in her mouth.
“oh ho pammi ji..Why are you bothering chidi??She is a kid…“Balwinder tried to save geet from the task of cooking.
“She is “FOURTEEN” balwinder ji..”Pammi spoke putting much emphasis on the number..”and moreover look at her health and height..She does not look younger than Chinni..“Pammi continued.
“But It does not change the reality ..Geet is younger sister of channi…“Balwinder exclaimed..“Yo go puttar..Channi would help your tai ji..“He spoke further turning towards geet whose entire attention was on the “scissors” kept near the knives..
“Ok tayaji as you say…!!!“Geet said with a wink grabbing the scissors as she left the kitchen with hurried steps before her aunt could stop her..
“Sukkhi’s dadi ji is coming here mausa ji…“Geet yelled entering the small house of “Handas”..
Geet’s voice startled Mohinder who was enjoying Old melodies on Radio in his drawing room.
Mohinder smiled at the “tornado” which entered his house,however it had brought the soothing “cham cham” with it.Before geet could ask,mohinder answered himself…“Your maasi ji is in Bed room…” as he walked outside to receive the old lady…
“You want me to cut your hair like her???“Rano asked with wide eyes pointing towards the “Kajol’s” face in the poster of Kuch Kuch hota hai..
“Yes maasi ji..Exactly like her..”Geet replied pulling out the rubber band from her ponytail as her long silky hair covered her back completely.
“But her hair are so short chidi…”
“So what maasi ji..This hair style is in fashion these days…“Geet explained in an excited voice.
It was impossible for Rano to deny her chidi for anything but she simply did not want to chop her long and beautiful hair.
“I would surely have cut your hair chidi ..but you know I lost my scissors few days ago…“Rano tried her best to save geet’s hair.
“I knew it masi ji..“Geet said with furrowed eyebrows..“I knew you were going to make this excuse thats why i have brought the scissors with me..“She spoke further taking the scissors out of her school bag.
Rano took the scissors from geet with reluctant hands as she made her brain to act fast.She badly needed an excuse to avoid this “hair cutting” ceremony.
“You don’t want to cut my hair maasi ji???”Geet asked pouting her lips as Rano took much time in bringing scissors near her hair.
“No chidi..Its not like that..I was just thinking whether these short hair would look good with “Pink suit”,you are going to wear at Channi’s marriage..”
Geet’s thoughtful face clearly told Rano that she had hit at right place..
“Look at the other girl in the picture chidi..”Rano spoke pointing her finger at Rani’s face..“She is wearing a suit and she has long hair…”!!!
“Yes maasi ji..”Geet answered looking carefully at the picture..
“So should i cut your hair or not???“Rano asked.
“No ..no maasi ji..Not till channi di’s wedding…“Geet spoke immediately snatching the scissors from Rano’s hand..
“Thats like my intelligent chidi…!!!“Rano exclaimed caressing her head lovingly…”Common lets have breakfast now!!!“
“Whats your age mata ji???”Mohinder asked to the old lady sitting infornt of him but he did not get any reply. He was filling the “Ration Card” form for the lady whose entire attention was at Rano who was feeding Geet with her hands.
“Mata ji..I am asking about your age..”Mohider said little loudly this time..
“Sixx..sixxty master ji..“Lady replied little shocked with his loud voice..
Mohinder completed her form with in some minutes however lady’s eyes did not leave geet and Rano all while..
“Here is your form mata ji..“Mohinder said handing her the form..
“Thank you so much master ji..“Lady thanked him..”Your wife is a very good woman master ji..She is showering her love on a motherless girl…Wahe guru would bless her..”Lady spoke further as she turned around to leave the room.
“Our chidi is not “Motherless” mata ji..She has her mother with her…!!!”Mohinder exclaimed with pride looking towards the mother-daughter duo with a satisfied smile on his lips…
“He failed in five subjects Maa ji..!!!..I am tired of this boy..No one is ready to give him tuition even!!!.”
He kept his hands busy with “Rubik’s cube” as he heard his mother complaining to her grandmother about his failure.
“Why don’t you pay attention to your studies maan???” Mamta asked his son in a tired voice..
As always,”His complete silence” answered her..
“I am talking to you maan…”She said further in a tone full of anger.
Neither he talked nor he looked at his mother,however his fingers started revolving the sides of Rubik’s cube furiously now..
“I asked you something maan…Answer me right now…”Mamta almost yelled pushing his face upwards from his chin..
Rather than answering his mother,he pushed away her hand before throwing the Rubik’s cube at the floor with much force..His violent behaviour stunned his mother as she watched her son running towards the room speechlessly.
“You should not have yelled at him like this Mamta..!!!“Savitri devi exclaimed with disappointment following her grandson..
A tear escaped her eye and fell on the “Mark sheet” in her hands as she felt somone touching her shoulder from behind.
“Mamta…!!!” Savitri devi spoke in a sweet voice thus making her daughter in law turn around..
“Maan has got ninety percent in Science maa..”Mamta said wiping her eyes..
“and you know very well the reason behind it beta…“
“Yes maa ji..Its because I had helped him with this subject just a night before the examination..”
“Right Mamta..!!”Savitri sighed before continuing..“All he need is your attention beta…He deliberately did not write anything in the other subject’s answer sheets because you did not help him in those subjects..”
“I know maa ji..I wanted to help him but I could not because of official meetings…I am torn between my responsibilities as a mother and as a wife..“Mamta said as she completely broke down..
“I understand you beta..“Savitri tried to console her..“Khurana Construction is my son’s dream and after his death,you have single handedly nurtured his dream…“She spoke further taking mamta in her embrace.
“But maan does not understand this maa ji..He thinks his mother is ignorant towards him..”
“He is only twelve now mamta..He would surely understand as well as support his mother one day..He would be proud of you like me one day..You are a great entrepreneur..”
“But I am a “terrible mother” maaji..My son is “motherless” despite having a mother…!!!
Mamta spoke as she hid herself more in Savitri’s embrace…