“No ma , I am coming . Just got stuck up with the traffic . Its 8 hours more for the marriage. Please don’t cry now , I am hanging now , got a cab and will be in 45 min.” ------------------*******-------------Thoughts spread out of their way leaving me dumb. “kaha jana hei sab ?” cabdriver asked me.(Where to go ,sir ?) Quickly coming back, told the driver address and sat in the cab. Laughing to myself and remembering the dreadful day where hot chimneys pouncing smoke into you , people howling down the streets-- really had a horrible journey and silently thought this could be my life from the next second. Paid the cab and answered one of the most silly question by the driver. “Whose marriage was it, sir ?” “Mine”, I told and ran in before my relatives turned in groups and interrogate. I think the driver would have thought me as a 10 year old school boy late to his class. Somehow the deadliness changed a lot with the scent filled atmosphere all around my function hall. The fragrance made myself relived from the drowsiness by a large extent. As being rich both in money and traditions our communities do well at marriages. Dum Dum – sounds from the drums made me feel it was a musical night where I and my gonna be wife would dance on the stage for the visitors. But quickly told myself ‘to shut up’ as I was any how gotta be pissed away and there was nothing to bother than enjoy my own slaughter -----------------*************-----------------The girl arrived and I had to accept my parent’s choice wasn’t that bad . Saying this, I chuckled within me . The atmosphere was truly rocking and my younger cousins thoroughly adjusted and started playing with their new friends. The same age group one’s always met and shared their views. One thing to tell is the most boring part in a marriage would definitely be for the groom because he would be left alone in the mandap (stage for marriage) along with some old baldie pujari(Priests) performing some rituals and expresses displeasure against the groom for not co-operating ,etc. Along with this , he need to wait a long time for the bride and she, an angel would just turn up before the actual wedding. Disgusting was the feeling. The girl sat beside me pretty thin , pretty shy and pretty….ohh what is much pretty about her , my insider kept poking me .She really was though, long straight hair neatly decorated with flowers and her ornaments , though made her less appear . She was thoroughly good..rather great.

The hours were melting and finally ,the man had arranged the death bed for me ready to hang me. But the knot which wasn’t to my head but to the girl, where I tie her and commit suicide. I had to stand with the Thali and bent to my knees to reach the lady and tied the first knot and every one were thoroughly enjoying the scene, next comes the second and next..Oh what’s it two shining drops on my foot ..Shining because of the extensive lighting. I was truly puzzled, whether to tie the third knot or not. But – committed suicide. Was that a suicide or a murder. Why was she in tears, though I was not a Sharukh khan sought of a thing but was the smartest among most in the marriage. “Keep away these…” I told to myself. “Might be she didn’t like marrying me? Or marring itself? Or this was wrong time. What not ?” I was thinking a lot and finally came to a conclusion even she didn’t like this arranged stuff. After the muddle within me, I wanted to see her and started thinking “can I directly see her? parallel or perpendicularly? Stop being stupid and look her at the corner of your eye “ told my insider, rather poking hard this time. “Nothing much to notice. She was normal now, was that a happy drop? Not able to get this girl’s feelings “ I said to myself and one thing to admit, she was awesome. -----------------*************----------------Swapna , the girl’s name nice. Think ,she was dreaming right from the time of the marriage and hasn’t come back from the dreams because she didn’t utter a single word to me. Three horrible days passed away in her home itself. Actually it ought to be new to me , but I got quickly adjusted there but she wasn’t . And was in dreadful pain. I felt somehow. These feelings about her really disturbed me a lot and said to her within me “Don’t worry . You will not be killed.” -----------------*************----------------------She burst into tears when she finally waved her hand , to her members and silently sat beside me in the car.

“I was thoroughly not going to kill her,” I thought to say to her mom and my dearest mother- in -law , when she came to my door and told me,” To take good care of her.” We are on our ride to new home, for her. She hadn’t stopped her flow. So, I decided to console her, “Don’t worry .It happen to everyone…,” I was just going to complete. But got “SHUT UP” from her ,as reply. I was slightly hurt. But the shocking utter from her covered me. We rode back to our home and the scene was no different here. Her dad was in our home telling more about the flat newly purchased for us to my parents and these were ultra happy. He handed over me the keys and my parents [Dad] literally pushed me away from home and all giggled. “Was that so funny ,” thought to myself? Then the savior, my dearest Mom [could not imagine how I survived in life with out her interference] came to me and told me some extra measures to be taken to deal with her daughter- in-law. Forgetting , she was once the same. She told me, “ to command her right away and should maintain the family’s prestige and also shouldn’t help her in the works, Blah ,…,Blah..” My insider kicked me again and told , “ How about her complaints , of helping in home?” I told, “ shut up”, to myself . But my mom had an ear to that. “Oh, I doubt you now . What magic had she done on you , just after 3 days itself you started scolding your mom. I’ll, once come to your new home and check.” I said, “ not required.” Because she would surely be dealt as per the instructions. Cousins could truly be a mess dude. They actually dragged Swapna to a side by room and the mother son conversation was heard by her. I hope the last words of mine would have severely hurt the young lady. We had our dinner in my home itself . My relatives kept on being kidding , both of us. I sincerely felt the marriage was a mere act, where the couple would be fooled before their relations itself. Anyhow , thanks to my youngest cousin, she actually gave Swapna a sweet and pressurized her to feed me [such things really work out well and I was actually thumping with enthusiasm]. I drove her back to the new home, actually yesterday was the Grihaprevesha(House welcoming party) some other function which kept both of us busy. Thought it would be nice to relax and I had a nap forgetting about my girl. ------

1st Day of Newly wedded couple in new home. The first morning was to be most pleasant to any couple in their new home. But it wasn’t at all for god’s sake. Both of us were getting up as if we were out of the night’s hangover. I thought, “ might be she slept late.” And cursed myself not to bid, ‘Good night.’ [And the other side in me told she could have cursed me.] The fresh up part was done ,as it was a double bedroom with two bathrooms. I was feeling did my in laws already knew we would live separate in the home the arrangements surely guided me in that way. Anyhow none of us were in mood to either prepare some coffee. Forget about Tiffin. The silence filled the room heavily and I was almost couldn’t led myself. It was about 12 in the afternoon and I was breaker i.e., silence breaker “Hi, was the home convenient?” She sat back on the sofa (actually she was about to make a move for something and I have interrupted) “Yes Rahul. It was ok.” I jumped in my heart, “Hey, buddy. she knew your name”. Somewhat soothing to me because of last night’s experience. “What’s the matter ? Haven’t you got accustomed to the environment?” I asked her. “That’s not the case,” came back with an answer. “What a questionnaire dude,” I thought to myself and finally asked, “ what else Swapna?” “Nothing great,” she replied. [We both married to each and other . “What’s great in that ,” I felt] And I was again brooding in the paper as if I was to prepare for IAS exams. She waited for a while and went back to her room. It was 5 in the evening and she didn’t return back . I was feeling hungry to the most terrible side and went to bring some snacks and dropped few even for her. “Didn’t know, what you like and thought of not disturbing .Please, have these.” Saying this , I went back to my room (“not even thanks, what happened to her” I felt). That day hopefully was enough for me not more with sappy [thought to call her like this if our relation continued]

I went to bed early though not to sleep , but to not disturb her and was solely thinking about the girl, “she was more discomforted marrying me than me to her. It was an utter force on her might be. Thoughts danced in my mind and I could not answer to most. (Again the thought of his mom carrying, a stick in her hand and making him kneel down like a school teacher , came to his mind. “Don’t let her go on upper side, hold her in control trash. Why should I ?” Rahul said to himself.) She was so sweet and I could have done anything. What have I told just now? I was not at all ready for the marriage and I hate that particular junk. And now what’s happening to me? Insider knocked once again, “you are in love stupid,” he told. “No, not now and not with her. She hates me , god damn it-- she hates me,” I said. “You show compassion and love, stupid. Don’t let her go away,” he said. In a prick , I got up from my bed and paid a visit to her room. I made it a point to not make a sound. And I could still see her light glittering in the room. But I haven’t made any bold sigh of disturbing her. “Poor chap. let her rest,” told my guy. Quickly back to my room and slept thinking of a girl first time in my life during sleep. Swapna was running away from me and I was jolted in my surprise and shaking my head not to leave and she was not at all seeing me. “Please, come back,” I was begging her but she kicked me on my head and went away. “Nooooooooooooooooooooo ,,,,,,,” Woke up in the bed and yawned heavily this time and got up to drink water. “What a dream was that early in the morning? Is she there ? Is she there ,” my insider was probing. I went and saw through the window pane keeping my decency aside. She was sleeping man, so cutely with her hands below her head. She was breathing hard might be, because the tiny hair on her head were raising high in air every time she breath. I could have waited long enough for her to accept me [this time was confirmed in my heart]. Wanted to see her more but was on a move for further plans to fondle her. “Your princess was coming ,” my insider told and I just peeked into the hall from kitchen. “Good morning, sweet heart (sounded strange to even me).” How the night? Slept well? Any problem [don’t gush upon her you stupid let her answer]?”

“That was good .Thank you,” she said. (Why does she speak so less?) “First have this coffee and then fresh up and have the breakfast,” I quickly told her without giving her any chance to retort. She didn’t even tell the coffee was good . “Dear, don’t right away depress” once again my insider showed his optimism. “Now she was actually coming fool, just look at the beauty running down to have your hand made breakfast” said the guy once again. She was truly charming. Her yellow color sari with a green border marks attention of every one . So, I was actually in dreams thinking her coming and hugging me and .. (“come back,” he told). “Was I late?” she asked me. “How could I tell that darling ,” I was telling to myself. “No, not at all. The breakfast was in the Owen . And I’ll get that. Do you like bread omelet? I actually made that today.” I said. “No, I’ll adjust (that means she don’t like),” she said. “What a sad morning dude ,” my insider told (this time barely gripping down his optimism). We had our breakfast . I rather was eating her than the omelet. She was smiling actually seeing her plate and was about to see me when I buried into mine. “This was not going to work,” I said to myself and took a paper . So, I could peek on her with ease. She concentrated on her food and didn’t even bother to look at me from then. She completed the thing quickly and ran back to her room. “What a moron? she is not even sighing. Thanks,” I thought [“Give her time dude” my insider told] just picking on pace with that smile. It was about 11 in the morning and I went to her room and found her writing or something. She quickly came to the door and asked me, “what’s the matter?” “What a girl. Shouldn’t I come to my wife without any reason?” said to myself. I told her, “I would be back within 2 hours and better not to prepare any lunch as I would get a parcel.” “Why would she do that?” thought to myself. “Ok. Bye,” then she said to me (Think, she wanted to bang the door on me and asked permission like waving good bye). I was enough for this peck to survive (my insider was dreaming with the thing).

I just made my work outside and came back at 1:10 pm with a family pack from the hotel. Though we weren’t a family, I couldn’t ask for her anything less to the waiter. It had all the Veg and Non-Veg items in it, neatly and carefully packed. Had our lunch in dead silence and I was pondering in my thoughts about the girl itself. “I think she doesn’t speak when she was feeding herself (or) might be it was their family ritual” said to myself. We finished the lunch and much of that , a mere waste as truly we weren’t a family. There was a bang of phones from our friends and colleagues which kept both of us busy the rest of the day. (Swapna was vigorously speaking over her cell- phone when Rahul made a call to his office. Holding back her phone for the first time ,Swapna gave a place to Rahul in her head, “what a man ? Is he doesn’t even tell his wife about his work?” were her first thoughts. “May there wasn’t anything about his job? How could my parents choose such a moron to me?” Thoughts swiveled around her head. But there is some part in this guy I could admire, he was so cute not listening to his mom,” she giggled.) Suddenly it was evening and I really meant it because I wanted to confirm whether she would actually cook or no. With this point in mind I ran to her room and finding pace in my footsteps she was geared up to receive me at the door itself. My fervor got zeroed with her fragrance at the door and I asked, what her favorite dish was so that I would cook for the dinner. My mother actually slapped (banged) me in my thoughts. She said that’s nothing like that and came with me to cook and I enjoyed this to the most. We together made chapattis and had a wonderful dinner [wonderful because most of the times our breathes and eyes met with each other during the preparation and the dining time]. During the dinner I mentioned a point to her to continue the job if she liked to as she might feel bored all alone in the room [I actually was over reacting with expecting her to say ‘not when you are in home darling’].She almost hugged me (in her eyes I could feel that ) quickly accepted the deal and said would go for her job. I said , “yes”. I could only say that because the glow in her face could not be missed with more words. First time we waved good night and slept in our respective rooms. Strangely, I just have dreams with romancing her from the day of our marriage. I slept quickly.

The next morning , the room was intoxicated [ I think she sprayed some room freshener or something]. To my surprise she woke up and said me, “Good morning, Rahul.” And I was amazed and told, “Good morning, sappy.” “What ?” she looked perplexed. “Sorry. Good morning, Swapna,” I told again (hanging my head down). “Fresh up and come, the breakfast is ready,” she told. I came back and was excited to have the variety of dishes before me, “ Idlies, Dosas ,all were rocking,” I commented and she chuckled within her, but I always had an eye on her. She told, “ the lunch was in the Owen and have it.” Saying this quickly ran to her office. “When would you actually come back?” I was thinking to ask. “I will be back at 5 in the evening,” shouted Swapna. “Boy, could she sneak what was in the heart also,” I thought. (Mean while Swapna got a grand welcome in the office. She felt all the guys were over enthusiastic about her hubby and thought would flush her out with questions. As thought she was being gushed with questions. “How your in-laws are?” asked a 30 year old Radha her closest colleague. “How your guy is?” asked the naughty Vandana and asked his photo as she could not attend the marriage. Swapna had a blank face because Rahul’s photo was of no use to her till then, “C’mon Swapna. Newly married and don’t even have the poor guy’s pic with you . Bad,” laughed the shrewd Mohit. She had very few answers for the question and at last the big guy, the manager Malhotra turned up to her and asked about the new relation and about the boy and she was too nervous to reply him. Telling, “ he was lucky” Malhotra left. “Lucky?” “Was he really lucky to marry me, poor guy was not able to express his feelings right into me because I’m too moron for him. How nice was he to not to pay a note to his mom? How smart was he, cool, handsome….” She actually started thinking about him. “Can I find a better guy than Rahul, I was not at all good to him but he was actually nurturing me well. Should reach home early and surprise him” but was aghast when she noticed the file named ‘GIRL WITHIN ME’ a long lasted novel penned by Swapna in her computer. Seeing it, her feelings changed for Rahul and thought , “he was not at all suitable for her creative attitude, could never be a counterpart, was stupid for flattering her, he was ever in home and does not work etc .” Thinking all such stuff she went into her week pending files on the desk, late to lunch and all her mates were giggling around her for party and she had to give. Radha observed her and asked her, “ if everything was all right,” but Swapna smiled in return [she actually felt, “ no nothing was fine”].

She left her office at 5 pm and was merely thinking about Rahul through the way. “How was he going to react for being late? Would he straight away object on the door Bla Bla.?” To her surprise Rahul was waiting for her darling all the way at the door step.) “Sappy, late you are. And not up to the promised time ,” I straight away told her. Her response swash buckled me, “ I told I would start at 5 and was right away by 7.” “Couldn’t speak more buddy ,” thought in my mind. “Have a quick bath and we would dine together,” saying this I switched on the TV, thought she actually listened to me.(because she ran away to her kingdom) (Swapna was removing her bag , in her room and thought giving him the surprise. she actually bought him [a watch] and thought of telling it was the true reason for being late. But somehow skipped it into the bag again. “All set for the dinner. come on ,buddy,” called Rahul from downstairs and Swapna now felt to jump down to see her hubby because he was too sweet now. (actually she didn’t except him to sound so good though being late) To her surprise the downstairs was totally dark without any lights and in a flash when she stepped down totally onto the ground she observed the twinkling of lights all around the walls. Those small lights like the Jugnus on the rainy day. The arrangement for the candle light dinner and the pleasant music all around the hall made her spellbound. “Splendid,” thought Swapna, Rahul asked her, “How that was?” in some childish excitement. She was much waiting for the question and turned towards him and answering but kept her mouth shut. On more and more insist she straight away questioned , “what actually you are doing for livelihood , an interior designer?” Rahul smirked to that and Swapna understood she hurt him. “There was nothing,” Rahul could answer and the void was becoming more now.) We had our much awaited dinner as in my thoughts simply and in dead silence. I was really stupid in being so kind to her though she was neglecting me. I was just thinking the thing when I was eating. Actually a lump of food stuck in my throat and I was unable to eat [it was actually emotion in throat, I thought of telling how much I love her]. But half filled went away from the hall. I think she would have some concern but I didn’t care and just went away into my room. It was down pouring outside and I could see my eyes too drenched, couldn’t explain if it was the tears in mine or the world outside. It was like a hell, the entire thing looked deep disgusting and blurred. Almost with pain I had a disturbed sleep.

(“What the mess have I done, why I was I so mean, why have I hurt him so much when he was so caring. Why was I so stupid? I actually loved the entire arrangement, but why couldn’t I accept him?” Tears rolled down Swapna’s eyes without her concern. She simply wiped them and turned on to write her long lasting desire. Before going to sleep she made a point to set an alarm and wake up for her hubby. The next day morning , Swapna woke up early . But to her surprise found Rahul in the kitchen making some coffee. Swapna splinted into the kitchen and began to wash utensils. Rahul shivered with the sudden movement and embarrassingly wished her GM again. She told him, “a very good morning.” There was a cool breeze outside and Swapna was quite shivering, observing her to shiver, Rahul reached to close the window over her. Swapna could feel his presence at her back and immediately turned to him to know what he was doing? Rahul was actually trying to close the window and in the quick jolt Swapna’s lips touched his and both were numb a second or two. Readjusted, Rahul told that “ I was thinking to close the window as you were shivering”, saying this he left the kitchen thinking odd. He was actually moved with the contact and was cherishing it and wanted to know the feelings of his sweet heart. But was aghast with the night’s effect. They had their Tiffin. This time in small talk and Swapna waved as usual a routine good bye and left in hurry.) “Bye” I told her. This time not in great mood. I knew she loves me but wasn’t able to express it properly, I surely feel some binding factor is probing her about me. Let’s check in her room about it. No how could I do that when she is not at all concerning me, go and see god dam said my insider. “Ah this was the thing Swapna. Oh , k lets deal it.” Swapna thought of completing the entire week’s work that day without any feelings for Rahul. She paced down so well that she even forgot having the lunch and did not even mind to wave good bye to her mates in the office. To her shock all the people were nowhere in the room, along with the call boy and she was alone probing about some stupid account in the room. The lonely room was like a dungeon for her and was shocked , “how could all leave her without saying their departure” but thought if she truly heard them. With panic striking her head, she left the room jolting towards the entrance. The security waved her good bye and she began rushing to the bus stop. It was

already 11:30 and no bus was actually turning up. “To what hell has I come” was what she was thinking. Adding to her present situation, there were two drunkards musing over a bottle and coming close to her. She quickly understood the situation and began to run towards the other end. But was dumbstruck when noticed they were actually running towards her. This made her splint and to her relief heard a police siren sounding towards her, the drunkards also noticed and began to run in the opposite direction. Tired in this chase Swapna couldn’t feel anything except the terrible pain in her legs. Her sight was blurred and could not notice any one and was about to fall when a big hand caught hold of her. “Thank you,” she said and almost fainted in those arms. The guy ran towards his car and brought a water bottle, and sprinkled some on her face. “Swapna, Swapna” was what he was calling, Rahul called Swapna in shock and confusion. It was Rahul who saved her girl. He carefully drove back to the home and made her relax in her room. Swapna with still tears in her eyes and yet dumb couldn’t respond to him. Rahul waved “good night” and went back to his room. That night was doomed for not only Swapna but also Rahul, he couldn’t understand why she was so disturbed with him and wanted to confirm it on the next day. Thinking this he went towards her room in dead silence, the lights were turned off (poor girl was too weak to handle this) he thought about her. He couldn’t sleep that night and was all the way thinking about her, felt was she not sleeping and many. To confirm went again to her. These confirmation processes were done multiple times and merely he forgot to sleep, trying to make his girl sleep. Early in the morning Rahul once again sneaked through the window and she was sleeping like a doll. To his surprise the sun was bright enough and was hinting him to capture a pic of her in that pose. He held his camera in proper position and captured the natural river like body of her in it. With the flash she felt disturbed and moved, this made him jump to the downstairs. Rahul kept on seeing the picture of her number of times; “she was good…. damn beautiful” he thought. “Really she was awesome” said the insider. The next morning was so important to Swapna, found Rahul on his daily chore of reading newspaper she straight away went towards him. She was breathing hard and couldn’t speak anything to him. Actually was cursing herself to be such a kind of fool. She quickly went to the kitchen and bought some coffee both for Rahul and herself , so that they could make a talk.) I happened to wait thinking what actually my lady love was doing in the kitchen, seeing her getting the coffee I quickly re-assumed my position of reading the

paper. She laid a mug towards me and said, “Good Morning” and I nodded, interested in paper more than her. She had her’s and waited for mine. I placed the mug aside and she grabbed it in anger and left the room. I was kinda enjoying the game. She was terribly cursing [surely this time it was me]. She called me to the kitchen and asked, “What could be done for the Tiffin” and I nodded showing her the flour. Her temper was at its peak and she looked choo chweet [ thought of grabbing her in my arms and kiss her]. Her tiny nose actually would catch any one’s sight, it was so red that “..sshh .Silence,” told the insider. I was really finding the stuff good because she was the one making all the talk and I hadn’t replied for once. I was actually waiting her to speak directly to me. She too was stubborn enough and was not letting her out, but I felt my game was working and she was more and more beautiful being angry. (“Why is he so different and quirk today?” She kept thinking the same in her mind and thinking this cut her little finger mashing potato. This chirp was enough for Rahul’s attention and he almost trembled down looking at the hurt finger. She giggled in herself and enjoying him band aiding her. The girl in her broke into tears knowing about her husband and was feeling elated with his love. She also noticed her heart pouncing to grab him and hug. Finally she came into real world where Rahul was grumbling at her for not taking care. He turned to keep the first aid kit back and Swapna hugged him tightly from the back. Rahul was immensely happy for that and turned to her. Her face was bent down and she was apologizing for all she has done. Her voice was shaking and he could feel the shiver. He raised her head and kissed softly on her fore head. She was about to wipe the tears rolling down her cute cheeks when he interfered and smoothed them down. Both of them were happy, Swapna once again said thanks to him and he queried the reason. She told about the night’s incident and he too in return told the same. She looked puzzled for longer time and asked the reason, he continued telling about the novel. She was surprised about his knowledge about her novel. “How could you notice I was writing a novel?” she asked him. “Calm down damsel,” said Rahul. “He knows the way to deal girls,” thought Swapna. Continuing his words he told, “I apologize for not seeking your permission to run into your room when you were absent (she closed his mouth with her hand to avoid him saying that, this feel immensely moved him). I actually was worried about you for being so disturbed and sad and wanted to enquire about the reason but found no answer from your side.” “I’m so sorry , I..I actually, please don’t mind actually,” she was trembling. “Stop dear,” said Rahul.

“So, I had no other option but to run into your room and found out this wonderful piece which could not long stand away out of my sight. It was so lovely and great and I really am happy to find a partner like you. Thanks, mom and dad,” Rahul shouted (even Swapna in her heart). After having such a conversation, both lied in the sofa, Swapna still in tears and her first novel in hand, turned to her husband and enquired how the publishing actually happened. “This really hurts, Sappi. How come you were ready to the marriage without knowing the job of your husband. So, you were ready to marry any dumb dead man ?” Rahul asked. Now she is in so much love with him, she cannot stand even a harsh word from him. She almost was in tears, hugged him tightly. “Sorry,” she said. “ Eh. Don’t be so silly darling. Let me explain about me. I am Rahul, Rahul Banerjee, a publisher running the Manocharitra Books.” Swapna couldn’t believe her ears it was actually one of the best publishing houses in entire Delhi and was amazed to find her husband the tasteful editor of that.) With this she was in his arms and both went to her room. …………………**********…………………….. Rahul published her first book. It sold immensely, with positive critics. From that day , they had their relationship improved gradually. They became close and gap between them was reduced. This doesn’t mean , they had their life without any repent and quarrel, they had experienced ,every part of their life with all emotions. They fought with each other and were happy, troubled with sadness, passed hurdles with care ,accidents with love and finally death with faith upon each other. ………………**************…………………

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