Barkha had left messages on Samay’s phone and had been anxiously waiting for his call. He called her around late evening, and upon hearing his voice, she couldn’t hold back her tears. Samay was shocked on the revelations and knew that this was exactly what was the meaning of his mother’s abrupt affirmation to their marriage.
Kalpana Razdaan had agreed to the matrimony because she wanted her son to go ahead with the course. For her, money, financial abundance, status, her prominence in the society owing to Samay’s success was all that mattered. And she knew her son’s rigid nature well, hence chose to agree to the ceremony.
Samay understood every bit of it, but didn’t speak a word about it to Barkha, so as to save his mother’s dignity in front of his lady love.
Samay : Barkha, please stop crying, do you have faith in my devotion towards you?
Barkha : Of course I do. But all this is too scary!
Samay : I will cancel my course and come back right away.
Barkha : Are you mad? Don’t do that! Next course is after 24 months and this will hamper your promotion prospects.
Samay : No, I have made up my mind.
Barkha knew Samay’s inflexible decisions, convincing him was not possible, not at least in this scenario, when his own family had befooled him. She could barely imagine the mental tumult he must have gone through after knowing everything. It was her inability to be with him at this moment, that was bothering her even more.
Three months passed and both families kept away from any social contacts. Barkha was impatiently looking forward to Samay’s arrival on the coming Sunday. But she knew that he will not be able to come to see her directly, since his flight was scheduled for a late night arrival. Besides, he didn’t want to face Mr. and Mrs. Gautam, without any concrete replies about his parents’ aggressive act.
Barkha was on the second floor of her house and was trying hard to keep herself distracted with a fiction work by her favorite novelist Mary Higgins Clark. It was the gripping crime suspense stories alone which were capable of keeping her pre-occupied at that moment. An hour ago she had spoken to Samay, which was around 1 a.m. after his flight had landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. He had not informed his parents about his return.
Barkha was sound asleep, the book still in her hand, she was awakened by what seemed to be the pelting of stones at her bedroom’s window. She got up and slowly walked towards the window, and to her surprise, Samay was trying to wake her up by throwing pebbles at it. She ran downstairs, careful enough, even a cat wouldn’t have walked as swiftly as she did at that moment!
Quietly, she opened the door and hugged Samay. No place seemed as calm and assuring as his embrace at that moment. Their tears were eloquent enough and no words were the need of the moment. He then kissed her and left for his home.
Kalpana was awakened by continuous ringing of the doorbell. It was an awkward time for anyone to visit. And all hell broke loose when she saw Samay standing at the door. At one point her anger was beyond control, at another moment, she knew, she’s the accused in this scenario and thus answerable. Her son was after all her own reflection in many ways, rigidity being one of those.
For almost an hour Samay did not speak a word. Kalpana knew that he would burst like a thunder. Finally, when she could not take it anymore, she spoke,
“I have decided, you will marry my friend Rohini Haskar’s daughter Aarohi, and that is final.”
Samay : And that is what you have to say! Do you have any idea of your actions? Do you know what you are doing and what you have done? Which part of my decision didn’t seem clear when I said that I want to marry Barkha? And what made you think that I will marry anyone else? Ma, I will not marry without your affirmation and I will not marry anyone except Barkha. So please take whatever time you want to.
Kalpana : Your job Samay, do you at all understand how this all will……..
Samay : (Interrupting Kalpana) Yes ma, I know it all and you must not worry, I am on a long paid leave. You have all the time of the world.
Kalpana stood baffled. Samay walked towards his room and saw his father standing at the door. He touched his feet and went inside.
The struggle of persuasion went on for six months and then Kalpana finally called Samay for discussion one day.
Kalpana : As I can see that you will not change your decisions, I have three conditions, if Barkha agrees to those, I will agree to the marriage and you can wed her by next month.
Samay’s happiness was so out of bounds that any conditions seemed simply agreeable.
Kalpana : Firstly, she will never be allowed to wear any western outfits. Secondly, she will not be allowed to pursue a career post marriage. Thirdly, she must know all the household chores.
Somewhere Kalpana thought that these conditions would not be agreeable to Barkha, as she had lived like a tomboy all her life, was career oriented and ambitious and never seemed like the kind who can do household chores.
Tomorrow was going to be Barkha’s call. Her one decision was going to write her entire fate.