Just when Sasikant tuned into the radio, Lakshmi forgot everything and started recollecting all the songs that her grandmother had made her listen to. Not just piya banwri, which still was creating symphonies in the air, but many more.
With the very words…piya banwri…piya banwri, new depths were paving ways of her past. Lakshmi could not help but stood in retrospection while caressing her hair.
She went to the store room and started searching for her trousseau. The only thing she was left with, was this box full of gifts and memories. Her marriage had taken place all of a sudden and without further ado she had to accompany Sasikant all the way to Telangana.
She still remembered how her mother handled this box over to her and kissed her forehead while her grandmother stood beside the curtain and watched her going stealthily.
Lakshmi had always wanted a saree or a piece of jewel from her grandmother.
“Why did she never give me anything of value?” was the only thought she was living with. If it had been a saree or something, she wouldn’t have to probe into her memories and end up despairingly, rather she would have placed it in her favourite closet. She would have felt its fragrance dispersed around. She would have shown it to Sasikant with that haughty grin.
She filled up those tunes with her murmurs and sang along with it: Phuulon ki chaadar, Rangon ki jhaalar buni o
Daar-daar piya phuulon Ki chaadar buni…
And there midst those memories, Sasikant called out her name and asked for dinner. Lakshmi placed her trousseau back and made haste.
She brought the regular bowl and plate with over reaching aroma of onion uttappam. Sasikant caught his seat and found the pickle missing.
He readily asked her to bring his favourite pickle that Lakshmi’s grandmother had sent them. She opened the jar and the entire house danced in its fragrant spices.
Sasikant enjoyed every bit of it, so did lakshmi. Its taste was ever lasting. He asked for more and lakshmi put another chilli into his plate.
She hummed :
Kaale-kaale piya saawan
Ke baadal chune
Baadal chun ke aankhon
Mein kaajal ghule,
smiled and accepted the distinctive taste of pickle as her gift of marriage.