In every summer vacation they would prepare for going to nani’s home. It was their favorite place in the whole world.No one will tell them to study and no one will even think of saying no to any of their demands. Richa and her younger brother Yash spent all the time of their vacations with their nana and nani .Their parents after dropping them there would go back to their place because it was tough for their papa to ask for such long leaves from his office.
“Nani Yash has taken my paratha”
“Beta let him eat, I’ll make another one for you”
“No nani tell him to give me back mine.”
Nanaji would bring another paratha as soon as it was made. Nakul mama after coming from office brought either something delicious to eat or toys for both of them. On Saturdays and Sundays nanaji would take them to visit zoo, museum and several places where they have been before but couldn’t get over them.
“Nani tell didi to give me back my playing cards.”
“Why you both are fighting always. Come here I’ll tell you a story.”nanaji would interrupt.
For sleeping both would fight to sleep with naniji.As the stories she told were far better than nanaji’s same old king and poor cowboy’s story.
At the time of going from there both of them would cry like they are the brides who are leaving their maykas.Even after their school open, they would be missing nani’s home for some days.
Years passed by ,now Richa is in college and Yash is in high school. Things have changed a bit now.Nana and nani have come to their place this time.
“Richa naniji will sleep with you In your room and nanaji will sleep in Yash’s room.”
“But why in my room mom? Ask both of them to sleep in Yash’s room.” Richa wasn’t happy with this sleeping arrangement.
“What is this Richa? Why are you saying this?”Mom said angrily.
“Mom I have to study at night, naniji sleeps early.”
“You can manage with lamp beta.”
“No, mom I can’t manage with lamp. I just don’t know anything else.” Richa left for college saying this.
Richa when came back from college saw naniji’s luggage in her room. She went to kitchen to talk with mom but naniji was also standing there so she couldn’t say anything. She touched naniji’s feet and start searching in the fridge to eat something.
“Richa you have grown up so much.I am seeing you after two long years. See today I have made your favourite gobhi ka paratha”
“Naniji I am on diet. Mom, have you made daliya for me?” Richa wasn’t at all excited by seeing naniji this time.
Yash was super happy as Nakul mama has sent a video game DVD for him.”Nanaji come with me to my room I’ll show you my new computer.”
Naniji used to wake up early but didn’t make any noise so that Richa didn’t get disturb. She would go to bathroom take bath and then to puja room. At night also she would say,
“Richa why don’t you study in this room.I don’t have problem with lights beta.”
“Its ok naniji, I should make a habit of studying in the drawing room as guests are very frequent here.”
That day Richa came a bit a late from the college. Everyone was taking their afternoon sleep in their rooms. When Richa went inside her room, she saw naniji was’t sleeping.
“What happened dear? Today you are late.Did you take lunch at college?” Naniji had a habit of asking if anyone has taken his food or not. Richa used to get irritated by the same question again and again.
“Yes naniji I have taken my lunch at college,after all I am not a kid anymore who needs spoon-feeding.”
After that naniji never asked that same question to Richa.
“Richa why don’t you show your annual day’s performance video to nanaji and naniji?” Papa was at home that day.
“Papa,I don’t have time.I have to go to Pooja’s place for our project. Ask Yash to show them the video.”Richa was in hurry.
“Richa listen, give one of your slippers to naniji as hers has got broken.”Mom said from the back.
Richa furiously went inside her room and came up with an old slipper of hers. She put it in front of naniji and gave a blank look to mom.
Next day Richa’s college was closed due to strike. She was watching TV when somebody’s sound of falling down came. Richa and mom rushed towards Richa’s room. Naniji had fallen down. Both of them tried to pull naniji but she was unable to get up.Till then nanaji also came from garden. All three helped her to lie on the bed. Naniji was in pain. She had slipped while coming out of the bathroom. Richa’s old slippers were slippery but she didn’t think naniji would fall down. Doctor came to see naniji and advised for an X-ray as he suspected a hip bone fracture. Mom gave an intent look at Richa but didn’t say anything.
Naniji was admitted to hospital for the operation of hip bone. Mom used to stay with her at night. Richa used to sleep alone in her room.After few days naniji was discharged from hospital.But after some days it was found out that she was suffering with internal infection.Heavy dose of antibiotics were given to her but she didn’t respond.After a month or so, she passed away.
After two days Richa is going to get married.Today is Richa’s haldi ceremony.Everyone is putting haldi on her and in the background a folk song is being sung by women “…shadi ki bela aayi hai suhani,banno ko haldi lagaye pyari nani..”.A tear drop came in Richa’s eye.She thought “I wish…..