Chapter 55

The wedding ceremonies began one by one and each was to be according to the time honored traditions and customs.

Khushi was of course very excited about the Sangeet ceremony and tried to rope in Arnav to perform with her.

Arnav put up his hands in horror, “No way Khushi, are you crazy? Me perform at the Sangeet! Just forget it and mind you no ‘ramanchi,’ no tricks to ‘make’ me dance to your tunes, I am serious Khushi. If you try any of your underhanded tactics, which by the way I can already see you are planning, I will veto the whole Sangeet ceremony.”

He looked so fierce that Khushi agreed without much of a fuss, “But you will help me choose the songs I should perform on?” she urged.

Arnav disclaimed all knowledge of any song that could be done for the ceremony. Khushi offered to demonstrate. After a bit of cajoling, a relieved Arnav having got away with his demand for exemption from the Sangeet business, agreed to offer his opinion on the available choices.

Khushi enthusiastically shimmied to a range of songs, Munni badnam hui, Sheila ki jawani, Chikni chameli, Halkat jawani, Fevicol etc etc. With each song, Arnav’s expression became blacker and blacker; finally he could no longer take it. “That’s it, there isn’t going to be ANY Sangeet ceremony! You are so not dancing like that to those songs in front of anybody!”

Khushi sashayed to him in an exaggerated sway and said sultrily in a husky voice, “Not even you?”

Arnav looked ruefully at her and pulled her to him, “Pulling my leg were you?”

“You asked for it by refusing to perform,” she pouted.

“Well, in that case, I shall refuse again and again, hoping to be subjected to repeat ‘punishments’ he murmured, “This time I shall be able to enjoy the show better,” he grinned.

“Hmmph, you got a hope,” Khushi punched him, “Your loss, I shall perform with Nanheji,” she needled him.

“Khushi,” said Arnav warningly, “Be careful of the song choice, I am serious you, kuch bhi galat laga toh I won’t think twice about creating a scene.”

Khushi looked at him speculatively, torn between irritating him and telling him about the unfolding love story, she settled for the latter, “Aapko pata bhi hai kya khichdi pak rahi hai?” she said excitedly.

“What kichdi?” Arnav was totally confused at this apparently sudden change in topic.

“Uffo, aapko toh kuch bhi pata nahi,” Khushi smacked her head at his ignorance, “pata hai, Nanheji and Lavanyaji main…kuch kuch ho raha hai,” she fluttered her lashes demurely.

“NK and Lavanya! kuch kuch! Are you kidding me Khushi?” Arnav was incredulous.

Pleased with his reaction, she said confidently, “Lagi shart?”

“Shart? no way Khushi, in fact I hope you are right, it will stop that NK from hovering over you like a love sick boy,” he snorted.

“No Arnav, you are mistaken, he is a ‘Lav’ sick boy,” Khushi chortled at her own wittiness, while Arnav rolled his eyes.

At the Sangeet, Khushi, performed on a medley of Madhuri Dixit’s songs most notably Chane ke kheth main and Ankhiya milaaon kabhi ankhiya churaaon, kya tune kiya hai jaadoo and was much enjoyed all, except a couple of exceptions.

Di blushed and murmured to Kshitij, “Sach main ‘jadoo kiya hai’. Kshitij basked in the warm glow of the love shining in her eyes.

Arnav looked on unsmilingly. Di threw him an exasperated glance and requested a repeat performance of Jiji tere jethji diwane – she was not only successful in bringing a smile to the Laad Governor’s face, but the warmth of his gaze left her very flustered and shaky.

The other exception was Lavanya. As NK shook a leg with Khushi, the green eyed monster raised its ugly head and poked and prodded La. No matter how much she convinced herself that nothing could come out of it, Chamkili was very much married and devoted to ASR, etc etc but…but that NK clearly clearly had a soft corner for her. How dare he, she fumed, has he no sense of decorum? It was up to her to teach him a lesson… to set the record straight.

So it was with an extra zing that Lavanya shimmied to her choice of song for the evening to another of Mads popular number [though initially she had thought of choli ke peeche but remembering the character dheela fiasco she settled for the less (ok not much) risqué number] Dhak dhak karne laga.

(Side note: Since Lavanya was no longer an eligible bahu for her grandson, Naniji could bear this performance with great fortitude and perhaps even regret that she wasn’t a couple of years younger because she was sure she could give Lavanya a run for her money.)

Contrary to the lyrics, NK’s heart stopped beating completely, he was totally totally smitten and even though he was not supposed to be dancing with her on this song he couldn’t stop himself from joining her on stage. Lavanya welcomed him with a smug knowing smile.

Emboldened and encouraged, NK whispered his choice of song to the DJ, which as good as declared his true feelings:

Dekha tumko jab se, bas dekha tumko yaara
Yea, dekha tumko jab se, bas dekha tumko yaara
Tumse koi achha hai na tumse koi pyaara
Yun nazre na phero tum, mere ho mere tum
Keh do na, keh do na, you are my soniya
Keh do na, keh do na, you are my soniya

Lavanya looked at him challengingly and then enthusiastically joined in. Khushi and Anjali looked at each other and giggled, so did Payal and Nani. ASR’s dimaag ki batti finally flickered and he glanced keenly at the pair. He shook his head, thank God, koi bet nahi hai, and otherwise he would have been sure to have lost this one too. NK and Lavanya! Unbelievable, who could have thought of it but his paagal wife; clearly interesting times were ahead.

NK was over the moon he couldn’t stop smiling, that is until, Lavanya jolted him out of his dream world, “Relax, it was just a dance,” and she sashayed off.

NK clutched his heart, “Keh do na keh do na you are my Lavanya”.

Lavanya blushed but refused to turn around!

The final dance performance was by the entire Raizada family (yes even ASR though he just stood and shuffled his feet) led by Khushi and Nani was Gulzar sahab’s poignant lyrics from the film Saathiya:

Chhalka chhalka re kalasee kaa panee

Chhalka chhalka re o aankh naa manee

Maiya bole jaana nahee,

Bhaiya ko bhee maana nahee

Baabul bole bas ek din kal kaa chhalka

Gudda bole jaana nahee,

Guddee bole jaana nahee

Sakhee bole bas ek din kal kaa

Chalka

Everyone was emotional by the end of it and Anjali specially was in tears. To change the mood of the gathered crowd, Khushi pulled her brother on to the stage and both of them danced to a playful naughty song from Aradhana of a lover’s determination to make her admit her love for him while she refused:

He: Bago main bahar hai,

She: Haan hai

He: kya kaliyo pe nikhar hai

She: Hai

He: toh tumko mujhse pyaar hai,

She: na na na

As every time Kshitij asked ‘the’ question to Anjali, she blushed prettily each time and slowly her tears dried. Nearing the end of the song, he walked off the stage and knelt beside her held out his hand and asked in sync with the song:

Kshitij: bolo kya dil beqaraar hai

Anjali: hai

Kshitij : mujhape aitbaar hai

Anjali: hai

Kshitij: jeena dushavaar hai

Anjali: hai, hai

Kshitij: aaj somavaar hai

Anjali: are baba, hai

Kshitij: tumko mujhase pyaar hai

Anjali: hai —na na na na na

Everyone clapped and laughed.

Garima said, “Kishu bitwa you should sing for Anjali bitiya, you used to sing so well.”

He demurred a bit but then agreed. His heartfelt rendition of Rafi sahab’s romantic number of yesteryears:

Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par,

Dil chahta hai woh kehne do,

Mujhe tumse mohabbat ho gayi hai,

Mujhe palko ke chaaon main rehne do

brought goose bumps not only to Anjali but also her loved ones. Her tears forgotten, Anjali blushed a beetroot red and smiled mistily. ASR thought grudgingly well may be he does care for her.

However, the grand finale of evening was yet to come. Kshitij looked at his daughter and held out his hand. She gracefully picked up her lehnga and confidently stepped up on to the stage. She also took a mike and looked at Anjali and began singing in her accented childish treble, supported by her father’s deep baritone:

Tera Mujhse Hai Pehle Ka Naata Koi
Yoonhi Nahi Dil Lubhata Koi
Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
Maane Tu Ya Maane Na

Dekho Abhi Khona Nahi
Kabhi Juda Hona Nahin
Ab Ke Yuhi Mil Rahenge Dono
Waada Raha Ye Is Shaam Ka
Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
Maane Tu Ya Maane Na
Tera Mujhse Hai Pehle Ka Naata Koi
Yoonhi Nahi Dil Lubhata Koi

Unable to resist, Anjali walked up to the stage, tears streaming down her cheeks to join her waiting family.

There was not a dry eye in the hall; but these were tears of joy, heralding a happier and fulfilling future.

***

Click here for Chapter 56

The weekend is coming and if you are at a loose end, I know where you could go in this stifling weather without moving from your chair 😀

4 thoughts on “Chapter 55”

  1. Aaj mausam suhana bhi hai, kuch gaane ka bahana bhi hai
    Di ki sagai jo hai, La – NK ke paas aane ki sarsarhat bhi hai
    Chalakti hai iss chapter mein khushi hi khushi
    Dil karein ki mil ke kuch gaa loon main bhi
    Thoda sa pair hila loon main bhi…
    Ye kya kar diya tumne mere saath Dahlia?! 😉 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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