Introduction of characters
SWATI--the main character lost her mother during childbirth and was brought up by her grandmother ,father and an old servant who showered all their love on her.
Suvarna---Swati's late mother
Deepak---Swati's husband.---their marriage was unique by itself and has been described in my earlier post --SWATI-----
"WHAT"S the matter with you SWATI ??why are you sulking?"
"SULKING!! haven't I been asking you to take your E.L. so that we can visit Dadi---She has done so much for us --she fought society when she agreed to let you stay in our house before marriage ---and now you can't even take a weeks holiday??? "
" Ok.Ok. stop that I'll ring up the department and tell them I am going away for a week starting tomorrow---ab toh khush ?? jao go start packing " and DEEPAK reached for the phone.
Just then they heard a car screech to a halt in front of their gate.
Deepak got up to see who it was ,he didn't want any disturbance while instructing his staff about the next weeks agenda.
"Arre !!!!Swati just see who has come ??" and he rushed out to welcome Dadi who was getting down from the taxi.
Swati came down the stairs grumbling, who could it be ?--another holiday gone to the dogs.
"DA---AA---D--III" !!! and she rushed into the old woman's arms.
Deepak paid the taxi and asked the servant to keep the luggage in the guest room,He left the two women sobbing and pampering each other .
"My GOD what a pair"--- he muttered and asked the servant to get tea for all.
Swati snuggled into Dadi's lap and told her how much they were missing and were just about to leave for the village in order to visit her.
Dadi fought back her tears " I too was missing you so much I wanted to ask you over but then thought about Deepak's inconveniance if you stayed long with us ---so I decided to come down myself---I will stay with you for as long as you want me too !!"
" mmm!! dadi I love you "!!
The next few days were full of laughter and fun and love in the Khanna household.
Wafts of the aroma of lovely food from the kitchen !!! lots of spring cleaning with dadi's goodnatured bickerings and Swati acting the teeanger, which she had missed being, due to Dadi's stern discipline during her childhood days .
A week flew past and dadi now insisted on the house being distempered ---this was a bit odd and the couple protested---but she would not listen ---"NO I am becoming old now and may not come over very often I want it all done now under my supervision Swati will not be able to manage everything alone..."
They did not argue.
The colouring ,painting everything took 3 days and the trio loved the new look the house now had .
Deepak hugged dadi and gave her a peck on the cheeks "you are so sweet dadi ,why dont you stay with us forever?...."
Dadi's eyes welled up and she turned away hiding her tears.
The next morning Dadi looked a little sad and asked them to get the tickets for her journey back home.She said she was missing Tilak (swati's father her son) and Parvati their old servant.
After a lot of cajoling she agreed to wait for another 2 days and then they would all leave by car for their village ( Dadi's home.)
Meanwhile Dadi spent all her time telling swati the stories of the past , about her young days , Tilak's and suvarna's marriage ,Suvarna's death and how she(dadi) had brought up this motherless child.
Saturday evening they left around 7 pm the overnight journey would make them reach the village at around 4 am .
They stopped at a dhaba for tea at about 2 and then dadi went to sleep. Swati too dozed off .Deepak drove into the village at exactly 4.15 a.m . and was a littlee disturbed to see the lights on in the sahay houshold with a crowd standing outside. He had an eerie feeling but did not wake up the two ladies fearing some bad news about Tilak. He stopped the car and walked up to the entrance , people recognised him and made way .
As he entered he saw Tilak sitting with his head bowed and a corpse lay on the bed before him .
Deepak felt a jolt but also a slight relief as he knew the dead body that lay there was Parvati ,the old servant --and that tilak was ok.
He tiptoed back to fetch Dadi and swati.
Swati was awake and shaking with apprehensions regarding her dad.While Dadi had already left the car and was walking towards the house.
Deepak told Swati that it was Parvati whom they had lost and that her dad was alright.Swati too had felt the same reaction of sadness and relief and they both walked in.
Just as they entered the room Parvati clutched them and started crying"Oh why couldn't you come earlier?"Her sight stunned and shocked them .
The rest of the people consoled Parvati and them ,saying that it would not have been of any use as Dadi had been in a coma for the last 15 days and had passed away just then at around 2 a.m..
Swati and Deepak looked at each other, that was the time dadi went to sleep in the car!!!!--and those were the number of days Dadi was with them!!!!
The crowd and Tilak were telling them that they had been trying to contact them for the last 10 days but the telephone lines were not working and that they had at last decided to send a courier who was to leave the next morning.
Swati and Deepak stood there in a state of shock-- dazed.and glued to the ground
Was that Love ??? Did Dadi love Swati SO MUCH??