Payal comes to know truth behind Anjali’s marriage
Flash back…as Mama ji and Mami ji tell Lovely:
Young Arnav and Anjali sit at the condolences prayer for their parents. Abundance of people gathered in the hall. In a far away corner, there is some police activity going on… Arnav’s uncle talking to them… apologetically, he holds his hands in front of the inspector.. They go inside a room.. Arnav watches this from the corner of his eye, he gets up and follows them… as Anjali sees him leave, her eyes fill up with tears again…
Arnav watches from behind the decorative metalwork on the window… he cannot hear what they talk about… another guy enters the room with a small briefcase… he hands it to Arnav’s uncle… Arnav’s uncle gives it to the police inspector… he puts that on the table in front of him… opens it up.. it’s filled with cash… Police Inspector’s eyes shine.. a smile bursts outs on his face.. he closes and locks the briefcase, shakes hand with Arnav’s Uncle – who is very relieved now… police leaves..
Short while after as people leave the prayer hall.. it empties..
Just then Arnav’s uncle comes in with couple of guys who have few small bags in their hands… they throw the luggage outside as Arnav’s uncle holds him by the collar of his shirt and pushes him outside in the dark, in the dirt..
Says, “Get out of here! You have no one here now! Whatever is left here, all belongs to me! “
Anjali cries, runs to Arnav, yells back crying at her uncle, “How can you do this to us, Chachaji? Now mumma and papa are no more. How can you ask us to leave this house?”
“This is my house now! All this estate belongs to me! There is nothing left for you here anymore! I want no drama. Leave peacefully otherwise it will get ugly!” He points at two hit men standing on either side of Anjali and Arnav…
Arnav gets up, holds Anjali’s hand strong, wipes off his tears first, then her tears… says, “Di, let’s go! Come!” Anjali cries, afraid, scared she says, “But, Chhotey, where will we go?” Arnav picks up the bags, holds Anjali’s hand and says “It’s a big world out there… we will find something for the time being….” He turns to his uncle and says with fire spilling from his eyes, “Mr. Malik, one day, I will be back to claim my house! Don’t you forget! It’s my promise to you!”
Arnav’s uncle laughs as Arnav warns him.. but Arnav’s fire still runs strong, he takes long and confident strides as they leave the compounds of Sheesh Mahal in the middle of that dark night…
In real time:
In real time:
Nani sat in the temple at home, with a heart restless heart she continued to pray to Devi Maiyya, “Hey, Devi Maiyya… please, give your blessings to this house.. this family… my children… always!” As she got up with the Pooja thali in her hands, she heard,
“Nani ji, Looks like you have a direct connection with Devi Maiyya! Wow, How nice! Kya baat hai!” it was Karan, in his high spirited, jovial manner.
He extended his hand and said, “Now hurry up, please, and give me the offering,.. the prashad!” Aakash could not help but smile at Karan eagerness. Nani ji smiled affectionately and handed prashad to both of them. Aakash turned to Karan and said, “Let’s go! Your have to yet explain the plans to me!”
As they walked away.. Nani ji picked up Laxmi as she strolled by..
Back to Anjali’s past:
As Arnav and Anjali reach the gates of Sheesh Mahal that night with their bags in hand, tears in their eyes, disgust, anger and sadness in their hearts…
Two figures appear at the gate… each holds one of them by their shoulders..
It’s dark, they can barely see who that it.. then comes a voice, “Bitwa, you and Anjali bitiya, come with us..” It’s Mama ji!
Arnav immediately responds angrily, “NO! We will not go with anyone!”
Anjali says, “Why?”
Arnav answers, “Di, who knows… even they will do the same with us as Mr. Malik did! I don’t trust anyone anymore. Now we don’t even have any money or any estate left. Then why do you want to take us with you? What do we have left that you want from us now..?”
Mama ji says calmly, “Arnav bitwa, you are right! You do have something that I want to keep with me! ....”
Anjali looks at him with a shocked and sad face, Arnav’s face shows ‘I knew it” expressions. Mama ji answers in a somber tone..”You two are my sister’s kids. There is no bigger reason than this that I want to keep the two of you with me!.. “ A shock appears in Arnav’s eyes, a relief appears in Anjali’s eyes. As Mami pulls Anjali’s head to her shoulder for consolation, Mama ji says, “I want to see my sister’s kids grow up to be someone someday …” Mama ji almost chokes with emotions. Mami ji echoes his sentiment, “You are just like Aakash bitwa to us!…”
At a royal looking Lucknow house – old fashioned.. Haveli style mansion:
Nani sitting on a royal chair.. though it is older looking.. Mama ji sitting on the chair next to her… says, ”Amma, I hope that I did the right thing?” “Yes, you did, bitwa! I lost my daughter already.. these tender aged kids.. Now, I will just indulge in bringing them up! “ Nani controls her tears…
Arnav hears everything from behind the wooden partition… as they discuss futher..
Mami walks over and says, “But.. Sasuma, some worries are eating my heart away…worries you knowzzz..”
Nani looks at her with questions in her gaze..
Mami says, “Our factory is not doing good business these days... Where will we bring the money from to educate Arnav and Aakash? We also will have to see that Anjali bitiya gets married… tells me!”
Nani gets worried.. she thinks hard...
Anjali stands next to Arnav as she cries silently… Arnav holds her hand…
Then Nani says, “We have so many things that can be sold for a lot of money…when will those things be useful! At least this will clean the mansion up… If needed, we will sell this mansion too, but won’t let the education of our kids suffer...”
“And me, Sasuma, I don’t need anymore necklaces.. I have more than enough,” Mami says.
Nani for once looks appreciatively at Manorama.
Mama ji says, “There is this nice boy, I met, “Shyam Jha..” He wants to marry Anjali bitiya...”
Arnav jumps forward, with a rage he says, “Nani, Di won’t get married to anyone at this time! I don’t trust anyone! Di will stay with us.. and I will work with Mama ji in the factory!”
“Bitwa, you concentrate on your studies.. Your Mama ji can take care of the factory… When you grow up to be independent enough then don’t forget.. then take care of everyone!” Nani says as she caresses Arnav’s young face with tender love..
“And coming to Anjali’s marriage – Let us see how this boy turns out.. first let us see how he does and then we can think about marriage. Right, Chhotey?”Nani ji asks.
Arnav says, “Whatever…”
Mama ji, Mami ji and Anjali nod in agreement..
Everyone in real time…
Mami said to Lovely with a deep sigh, “And Arnav… I tell you! He studied so hard that he was alwayzzz first class first...” Mami’s eyes twinkled with pride.
Mama ji added, “Then as you know, Arnav started his first factory at the tender age of twenty one! When he went away to business school, I looked after the factory. He trusted me with it!”
Lovely said, “And I also happen to know, Mami ji, that you did not buy a single necklace when ASR was in Business School .. When we were together at Harvard, for those two years, you joked that you would get everything back with interest! So, now tell me! When ASR became so successful, did he buy you lots and lots of jewelry or not?” Mami gave Lovely a sheepish smile..
Lovely said, “Okay, now tell me how Anjali got married to Shyam? ASR was against it initially, right?”
Mamiji said, “It’s like this, Ms Lovely, Shyam babua kept circling our house.. not for one.. not for two.. but for three long years! He not only won Anjali’s heart but he became our darling as well .. he is just so affectionate and well mannered.”
Mama ji uttered with a relieved face, “As Shaym won our trust and confidence, Anjali grew fond of him. She used to be most happy in his company. He never ever asked or objected about Anjali’s not so normal leg… Never made it sound like a big deal…”
Mami added, “And you knowzzz Arnav bitwa! He would do anything for his Di! Apni Di ke liye kuchho bhi kari.. so what then.. Anjali bitiya loved Shyam so much that we got them married.”
Lovely said thinking out loud, “Hmmmmm… So, those three years you all were pretty secretive! Ah, well, it happened for the best so I am not complaining that you did not let us know. Anyway, they are about to complete four years after their marriage, right?”
“Correct, bitiya,“ Mama ji says..
“So, who else does Shyam have in his family?” Lovely asks.. “Is he really not the son of Mr. Manohar Jha?”
Mama ji said, “So, Ms. Lovely, when Shyam babua proposed to Anjali bitiya, he made one request.. that no one would ever ask him about his family… nor would anyone try to make new relations with his family....”
Mami adds, “I think, Ms Lovely, the family of Shyam babua was very upset with him. What do you call it… Yes, disowned! Yea, they disowned him saying that there was no money… and that, Anjali bitiya’s leg was a problem. And what not.. So, Shyam babua, Damad ji, just cut all the relations off for Anjali’s sake …”
Mama ji said in a confirmatory tone, “Since then no one in this family brings up Damad ji’s family. Neither does he talk about it. As Far as we know, we are the only family he has got!”
Just then the atmosphere filled with the sound of a tray falling on the ground and a sound of breaking crockery followed … Payal who had been listening to all this conversation just dropped the tray that she brought with Mami’s chai…
Mami screamed at her, “Khoon bhari taang.. I mean, Payal bitiya.. you were listening to our talks secretly..! How long have you been standing there?”
But Payal was preoccupied… her mind was busy thinking; “So Shyam ji planned his marriage with Anjali Di really precisely!”
All other sounds and questions did not even enter her ear… she held her head in both her hands and sat on the floor as she developed a dizzy feeling hearing all about Anjali’s marriage..