This short story is participating in Write Story from Picture India 2012 – Short Story Writing Competition.
Some days, some incidents last for ever in our memories, we cherish them and remember as those bring extreme happiness to our life. Here is one such picture of us in our first trip to Goa, every time I see this it unleashes innumerable happy moment I spent together with my twin sister Megha, I call it endless love… ek woh din bhi thei , ek yeh din bhi hai… as I was humming the song thoughts flow down the memory lane.
My Mom and Dad are separated since I was 2years. I stayed with Mom in Illinois, Moline, US. While Megh stayed back in India with Dad. We always maintained our secret relationships over phone and internet. Once a year we had the chance to meet, when Mom visits India to meet her parents. I get to go to Dad’s place and meet Megh. Once in the spring of 80s Mom gave the permission to Dad to take us to a trip to Goa. Here we meet and memories froze for a second when Dad took our flash picture. Thereafter for years we didn’t met. It’s because Mom’s fashion business was facing huge challenge from her competitors in New York. We had to shift to New York, new place with new dreams. For me it was- Moms dreams, Mom’s ambitions & Mom’s life that I was leaving. I had no other option but to get myself involved in something which I hated, yes I was an idiot to join Mom in her business from very early of my age when I was 15. Though I went to an evening school for study, yet I could easily pick up the entire curriculum. I got quite some acknowledgments from my teachers- “Darling your grades are high, proud of you, you‘re doomed to shine my child”- said the principal.
But time changes before you know. All my Moms ambitions fall flat in here. Mom had fallen sick out of dismay. She once called me and said- “Beta I won’t live for long, meri tabiyat jabab de chuki hay, tumhe abh Dad-ke pas jana chaihiye”. Riya- “par Mom aphko ish halat par kaise chorke jayu”. Mom- “abhi jane se teri padhai ka nuksan nehi hogi, meri baat man le”. I had no choice but to listen to her. I knew Megh would be delighted to hear the news. So I called her and she was double excited than I thought to the news.
I reached Mumbai after a long journey in the flight. Megh tried to cheer me up in the car all through- “yeh hai Mumbai nagariya tu dekh babuya”. As I reached the huge Villa in Malad, Mumbai, I saw Dad standing at the front gate with his hands stretched towards me- “Come my darling, come”. The Nanny Mahiya came running to catch hold of my luggages as she shouted- “betaji yeh mujhe dedo”.
Since Dad is a renowned businessman I got admitted to one of the biggest schools in Mumbai. It was beyond my expectations. Never ever I thought I could get to study in such a school and also with my favorite subjects i.e., Arts. First day was big day for me. I was prepared fully to impress my teachers. And also make some new friends. All was in vein when a teacher punished me as I failed able to answer a question of General Knowledge. She had asked me to go outside and kneel down. I was totally surprised, such incidents never occurred before. I followed her order and came out crying to the corridor; when a boy came forward with a hanky- “don’t cry yaar, yeh to chalta hai”. Riya- “what, you mean….” Dev- “wo wo you English mem, don’t you panic, there is more to come for you. This is just the beginning. By the way I am Dev Baksi” . I was elated to make a new friend but I was more scared by his warning words. So after the classes at the tiffin time I thought of meeting Megh in the science department. As I went there few boys circled around me, Victor- “arien yeh to nayi chiriya hai…who kale kute bali teri naam toh bata.” I challenged him- “you seem to be colour blind…this is a yellow skirt”. Victor- “oh chiriya bol bhi sakti hai, abh jara gaake sunayo toh”. Riya- “Om jai jagdish harrein, swami jai jagdish hare”. Everyone was stunned. Then Megh came forward pushing the crowd and said- “See this is my sister, never ever challenge har”. She turned to victor- “say sorry to her”. Victor- “this is normal procedure of friendship, mujhse dosti karogi”.
This chapter doesn’t ends here. This is just the beginning. In the entire session Victor asked Riya for her hand in friendship. And she kept refusing. Megh often came to convince Riya that –don’t go by his first impression, he is otherwise quite nice. But Riya is Mr. Sabysachi Dikshit’s daughter, her ego could hardly be broken. Just as her father she holds a strange attitude towards people, as they say- first impression is the last impression. So though Megh and Victor were good friends, Riya never gave him any air. Rather with time Dev became closely attached to Riya. I was certain that no one could be better friend compared to Dev. We started sharing everything- books, chocolates, music, bikes and smile. Then high school came to an end, soon we decided to get engaged before going to college. But I knew this would be difficult though because Dev came from a very middleclass family whose yearly income is 25lacs whereas Sabyasachi Dikshit spends 25lacs each day at his leisure visit to restaurants. Then I and Megh came up with a plan, we convinced nanny Mahiya to break the news in front of Dad. This is because Dad trusts nanny as his own sister, and he would never dismiss her request. Dad didn’t accept to this even though Nanny cried in front of her. Dad- “don’t be a drama queen, I will never accept to this proposal.”
“Mubaraka, mubaraka”- entered all relatives the very next day. Megh and I were confused with the turn of the events. We could easily realize something is cooking. Megh asked Dadibuya- “what’s the occasion dadiji”. Dadibuja- “arien we arrived at the short notice by your father. Tum nehi janti, aj chutki ka mangni (engagement) hai. Megh -“what? “We both were upset as the situation was totally out of control. Megh had an idea why don’t you run back to Mom, Victor will help you with all the arrangements. Riya- I don’t trust him, sorry. Megh- this is no time for this. Give me the lehenga I will wear it, while you wear my jeans and run from the backdoor with help from Nanny. Victor will be waiting for you outside with his car and take you to the airport.
The plan would have been executed properly if the traitor Victor didn’t try to mess with me. Victor- so I am your last resort, what if I take advantage of you. Riya- don’t you dare Victor. Victor- hmmm chalo yeha utar jayo, take off from my car. Riya- but this is not the airport. Victor laughed out laud- tumahari bohot gurur hai na…ushe torne ayah hu. Riya gets scarred and runs up the stairs of the Mandir. At her surprise Riya found Dev is standing there wearing a garland. Riya-tum yeha. Dev- Yes darling, come lets get married here. Riya- but Victor. Dev- he is a friend darling, abh tak ushe nehi pehchan payi. Riya comes near Victor- toh abh kya mujhse dosti karoge. Victor- with pleasure.
We performed the ceremony and left for our villa to take ashirwad from Dad. As we entered we found guests where making chaos of the whole situation. At the centrestage sat Shree Sabyasachi Dikshik and Victors Father, a dear friend of his was consoling him. I cried out Dad, Mr. Suxena, Victor’s Father slapped his son- I know you did all this. Megh came running – don’t do this uncle, all are my plans, I did is for my loving sister and her happiness. Dad spoke up- you fools I was about to get you engaged with Victor, you didn’t think of my prestige even for a second, now all is wasted. Megh too excited- nothing is wasted Dad, you can still get your daughter engaged to Victor, just that instead of Riya it will be Megh. What say? Dad laughs and comes forward to bless his both daughter. All seems to end well when Mom suddenly arrives- who is getting married without my permission. Everyone starts laughing.
Let’s just rewind to the first picture before we end. Yes it is the story of endless love between twin sisters. Come ushers your blessings to these happy couples towards a beautiful and loving life ahead.