Aren't we a Family? - contd
by Srijaya Char
Back to Page 1 of the story
Sarita and Veda decided to meet at a particular restaurant on one of the Sundays. “Mom, I am visiting Veda today.” – Said Sarita the next Sunday. “That is your decision. Veda is very important to you isn’t it? Do what you like.” – Laxmi said without any emotion.
While lunching with Veda in a posh restaurant, Sarita felt even more close to her. She liked to order the food that she liked and Veda said she would like to order the same. Both of them spoke of many things and when suddenly Veda dropped a question out of the blue which made Sarita tizzy!
“There is a proposal of marriage for you.” - Veda said without any emotion.
Sarita was taken aback.
“Whose proposal is this?” she made bold to ask.
“Ranjan’s. He has come back from USA only because he has found a good job in Bombay. Are you prepared to leave your mom here in Banglore and settle down in Bombay? He made arrangements for purchasing a flat in Bombay even while he was in USA. Now, the flat is ready and his parents are prodding him to get married. His parents do not want him to live alone in Bombay and they are not prepared to give up their own house in their own town in Tumkur. He has suggested your name and his parents have told me let you know. You are free to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Let me know when we meet again. We are anxious about your reaction.
It took sometime for Sarita to get over this sudden blow. There was no doubt that she liked Ranjan and he had been a good friend to her when he was in India. But this proposal came as a surprise! “Veda, give me sometime to think about it. I have to get back to mother and give you an answer.” – She said.
“I wonder whether your mother will like this idea. She has never liked to associate herself with any of our relatives.”- Said Veda.
“Forget it for now, Veda. I’ll get back to you.” – Sarita said in a firm voice.
“It took a long time for Sarita to take a decision. Before telling her mother, she had to decide for herself whether she would want to marry Ranjan. She was thinking about him for the whole night; but slept well.
Next morning while having coffee with her mother, she casually told her that she was ready for marriage and wanted to know whether Laxmi had any boy in mind for her.
“Me? Who am I to decide Sarita? You have made your life yourself and you have moved well with society. You have to decide whom you want to marry. How can I find anyone for you. All our community people know that you are an adopted daughter. People also know that you had a father who had a affair with another woman. It is very difficult for me to find a groom for you.” she said in a rather disappointing tone.
“Good. Will you accept the boy I choose for myself?” Sarita asked in a rather happy tone.
“Have you already chosen?” Lakxmi asked in surprise.
”Yes mom, Ranjan has proposed to me through Veda. I like Ranjan and you also know him. Should I accept it? If I do, I will not be in Bangalore. I will have to move to Bombay. Is that okay with you? She put in a complex question.
Laxmi seemed happy. The thought of finding a groom for Sarita had been troubling her for some time. The news of Sarita deciding her own future gladdened her heart. She did not say a word. “She is now a grown up girl on her own. I
should not be interfering with her plans.” – She thought
“Okay dear Sarita, I am glad you have found a partner. I don’t mind living alone. I am used to it now as you are always away from home.” – She said laughing.
The next day Ranjan called up Sarita and said that he would visit her and her mother the coming Sunday with his parents at her house.
When Laxmi came to know of Saruta’s guests’ program, she was secretly elated as she had been worried of the status of the daughter and the affair of her husband would be humiliating to her if she went about looking for a boy for her daughter.
Though she never said a word, she made preparations for welcoming them with hidden excitement.
Ranjan and his parents arrived as scheduled the next day evening along with Veda.
It was Ranjan who started the conversation. He addressed Sarita and said. “Sarita, this is just a proposal. I am proposing to you and I would like to get married to you provided you also have the inclination. The decision is left to you. I am not forcing it on you. The suggestion was made by Veda in USA and when I thought about all the nice days we spent in college, I felt that you had taken a liking for me. I may be wrong. I am saying all this in the presence of everyone here it will not embarrass you. I’ll give you some time to think about it. You can consult your mother. Think about it and then let me know when you really want to say “Yes” or “No”. The choice is yours. I have taken a liking to you and I have a good job and a nice future in India itself. I will not be going back to USA. if If you feel it is okay with you, you could let me know. I am prepared to take ‘No” for an answer.” – Ranjan finished.
Sarita did not know where to look. She looked at her mother, his parents, Veda and then at Ranjan and put her head down for a while. Her mind was in turmoil. She was in fact elated at the proposal which she did not want to show.
After a while Sarita put up her head and said, “Ranjan, shall we meet at some place tomorrow? I will be ready with an answer. It should be after office hours. I cannot take another day off.”
“That’s perfectly alright. Why some plae? WE will meet here at your house, not any other place at 6.30 PM. Is that okay with Laxmi aunty, is that alright?” – He asked anxiously.
“Perfect, Ranjan.” – said Laxmi with tears in her eyes. She hugged Veda and apologized for her indifference towards her.
‘Aren’t we all one family now?” – asked Ranjan.
“Yes Ranjan I now have an extended family”. Said Laxmi as she served them some sweets, snacks and coffee and spoke to Ranjan’s parents politely and said that she was very happy with this proposal.
Ranjan Looked at Sarita.
”Sure, I’ll be here.” – Sarita smiled. It was a real happy smile. They all shook hands with each other. All of them got back to the car. Ranjan dropped Veda at her house and took his parents back to Tumkur where they lived.
Ranjan and Sarita got married after 15 days in Bangalore with the consent of Laxmi and Ranjan’s parents of course all them felt like a family. It was a simple registered marriage. The best part of the whole thing was that Laxmi was the happiest of the lot. The family got together for a photograph and their relationship became more close and strong after this wedding. Laxmi, Veda, Sarita and Ranjan were very in happy terms with each other and soon Sarita gave a resignation and joined Ranjan in Bombay. Laxmi hugged both Ranjan and Sarita and bade them farewell at the airport. The End