Today again a fight with sister in law has perplexed piyal. The day went with excitement as Jatin hinted that piyal will get hike and change of grade this time.
She just had shared news at home. Everyone reacted in their most predictable own ways.Father in law still thinks getting bonus still not enough a reason to justify coming home late, Mother in law wants to support but doesn't have courage to say openly. She changes to casuals and goes straight into kitchen to cook for all.
"so bhabhi has come in time today ?" voice comes from verandah .."
seems reetu is at home thinks piyal..
"yes, it was a hike day, we left early.." replied piyal trying to be as short as possible in her reply.
"we, bhabhi, who all are with you ..when you leave early ?" said reetu coming out of verandah and looking towards mother while taking petties from fridge.
Reetu has this remarkable habit picking out some element of interest from any mundane sentence, she hears and here she noticed an innocent "we" .
"no one, we in our team , all left early today.." ..said piyal , taking out chapati box from upper shelf in kitchen, while standing on stool and it slipped from her hand..
"oh , carefully bhabhi, you have to go to office tomorrow. People coming occasionally to kitchen have this trouble ..isnt it bhabhi .." ritu said.
"hmm.." piyal overlooked the most apparent sarcasm and continues kneading the dough, seeing at clock in between, as ajeet will come by 9 and she wants to be free of all chores by then.
"so bhabhi, how is it you get special bonus every year ?" asks reetu ..poking piyal.
Its not rewarding as per reetu's standards that she sent "a poisoned arrow" and opponent just had his protection foam to absorb it, and not replyig back ..she threws another ..
Reetu, once saw piyal with her boss Jatin, at CCD, that fact is not digested by reetu till date. Reetu talked to Ajeet about it , but Ajeet got convinced by piyal's
reason, overlooked the matter that day and there the story remained unconcluded for reetu.
"its, work reetu, those who sit idle and just talk are not the ones who get bonus." taunts piyal in high voice, irritated of reetu's indirect comments, gives back a straight hit.
"Then, do you mean, me ajeet , reetu are the ones who sit idle ? " says father while coming out of balcony as if waiting for chance to contribute, jumps into as he finds chance..
"see papa,How bhabhi is taunting us, when i know the truth behind her all monthly /weekly bonuses, let me not open it up .. " says reetu while sobbing in between.
Reetu is trying hard to get a job after diploma.No one has ever taunted her on face, like piyal did now.
"ask her papa, why she comes so late , None of my friends come that late from their offices.." shouts reetu asking an explanation .
"who of her friends work at MNC, How could she compare culture of her friends, who are just teacher/assistant with my work culture.?" piyal hits back stopping gas and comes out of kitchen.
"Piyal, you and your MNC, this disgusting work culture is not sought in our home , stop taunting !!" shouts father at top of his voice.
"Please stop crying reetu, what has happened in just 2 minutes.. " mother runs towards her from other room.
phone rings "bhaiya will come late today , He is stuck in some meeting " says raju a helper who attended ajeet's call.
Piyal suddenly feels alone, ajeet wont be coming in time and reetu will create best scene she can.
She gets out of kitchen goes straight to door and goes out of house. She is not sure about what she will be doing next. The only thing she knows is she can not stay here. She presses lift's button and while its coming to her floor, she presses it repeatedly. Reetu is still sobbing, seeing her going, mother asks father to go and bring her back but father moves on his sofa and looks other side, ignoring , as his arrogance has made his feet heavy.
Lift comes, piyal enters , doesnt look back , presses G ground floor is there.
"where to go.." unable to think of anything Piyal keeps walking on adjacent road.
Its raining heavily , she has not carried umbrella even and going back for taking umbrella doesnt match with unplanned exit of hers.
Wearing night translucent kurti of white color & green flowery pyjama and chappal makes her a sight worth to be stared at in rain.
Some time gents don't mind staring at women even if it means getting hit at road, missing signal going from red to green or slowing down to an extent that there remains no difference in cyclist and motorist.
"Should she have left like that ?" she thinks "should i call him and tell , he will ask me to go back..no use", thinks piyal while crossing road to the other side of road for shed.
"He will come late only, i will go back by then" she waits there under a shed ..looks around .
Its around 9 pm
"do you want something madam ?" shopkeeper behind him asks while closing shutters.
"no its okay, nothing " saying that piyal gets aside ..the last shed she was getting is also closed.
piyal keeps waiting for rain to stop, she can not go anywhere ...
Its raining she checks mobile , fumbles but soon realizes it got wet in rain and is not working. She is in known area but not being able to contact ajeet is not good at this situation.
"bheegi bheegi raato mein...la la la"..a voice comes from behind ..a mid aged man with tightly oiled hair, round face wearing white kurta pyajama and big jumbo black umbrealla crosses piyal from behind "aisa lagta hai , tum banke saawan.. "sings man while looking at piyal from up to down. Piyal comes down from pedestrian and walks on road. She looks down at road while rain water dripping from her hair over her cheeks, her eye lashes after being wet seems to define her bold big eyes more prominently, her pink supple cheeks seems to match with pink embridered rose on her white night suit kurti. She is deep in her thoughts, forgets about rain, this incident has triggered all what was plugged inside. Deep in remembering one event after other she turns left.
'piyal...' Suddenly a voice comes from white car she just crossed.
She turns back, not expecting to find anyone known on the road now. She doesnt want to give explanation behind her roaming like that at nigh to anyone.
'piyal wait ..' a man comes out of car towards her.
'piyal where are you going, do you need lift, its raining heavily..' says jatin
'No, its okay, i came to walk after dinner and it started raining' piyal thinks quickly of something.
'Its okay , come i will leave at home' says Jatin, while going to throw his bowl of 'aloochat' in dustbin.
"Its okay, i am fine " piyal refuses flatly, taking lift from Jatin at this point will aggravate matter at home.
"mera piya ghar aaya oh raam ji ...ting ting ting ", Jatin's phone rings.
"hello, yeah its Jatin, whos this .. "Jatin speaks on phone, while asking piyal to wait for a minute.
"Yes she is here, she.. " he looks at piyal ..then says something ..
Jatin comes back to piyal.
"who was this" piyal asked instantly as he comes back after call.
"its ajeet, he tells he is trying to reach you, but your phone is not reachable,
i confirmed him you are safe and i have assured him i will leave you at home ....." that is last favor which piyal was seeking from Jatin.
Sometimes its so confusing and surprising to know that a man doesn't understand anything or he understands everything still behaves so childishly.
"How will a husband like her wife to be with jatin at this time in this rain " asks piyal to himself afraid of ajeet's reaction.
"has he reached home? If he has reached home, then reetu has all his ears thats the worst that can happen to me. It will be almost impossible to convince him now, when he has found me with jatin now."
Last time he trusted piyal as she made him believe that Jatin & her at CCD was just a coincidence. How could she say its actually a coincidence now. Piyal thinks all in one moment. Her head seems heavy, she starts crying out of fear. Tears starts rolling out of her eyes instantly.
"What happened, dont worry i will leave you safely at home, is there anything to worry about , why are you crying? " asks Jatin puzzled holds her arm and wipes one tear of her face.
"Jatin.."piyal takes his hand away and sees around, a woman looking at piyal while having her golgappa in big opened mouth. Staring at a crying wet beauty has become more essential than gulping big golgappa going inside the mouth.
"Piyal, is it related to us ?"asks Jatin suspecting her continuous unexpected tears after phone call.
"Jatin you remember CCD? " asks piyal looking at blue grey strips of his shirt.
"Yes..i remember " Jatin says sadly again wiping her cheek and then placing a hair
back behind her ear.
"Its not right Jatin.."says piyal and bursts into crying. Her nose has gone red with rain and tears. She searches a tissue in pockets and Jatin offers her his handkerchief.