Posting a small part today… I will update more tomorrow as it is Sunday and I am free ALL day after soooooo longggg!!!
Anyway – Shorter and quicker updates suit me more…Let me know what suits you… I always ask this and always get different replies so I ask every time. These days, I am in a better space.
I have LOTS to tell you, guys… Can’t wait to make a post tomorrow – About Me… about new additions on this blog… and my book… and a new update of T & T… So tomorrow is the day dedicated to ALL OF YOU!!!!
Stay happy always… stay blessed…lots of love
Manik was staring at Nandini – dumbfounded and baffled – for what she had just said appeared like a joke. However, it was not. It didn’t look like a joke as she was saying it with the most serious look in her eyes and on her face.
“What are you talking about? Are you nuts?”
Nandini nodded and puffed a small bout of air, stressing on her point, “Manik, I mean it. She needs medical attention.”
He nodded as if explaining to a small baby, holding her arms just below her shoulders, “Listen… I agree that she is being very harsh and mean. The way she talked to you was unacceptable. I supported you there and she has no right to hurt you. But that doesn’t mean that you will brand her as mentally unstable.”
Nandini sighed, and defended herself in calm words, “I’m not angry Manik. This is not my frustration or need for revenge speaking. Don’t you know… that I am not like that?”
He refuted it immediately, “Then, you also need to know how responsible you are supposed to be when you talk such things about someone…especially when you are a doctor…”
“Manik…listen to me… I’m not being irresponsible or hasty in saying this…I’ve been observing her since she has come here…”
As if she was speaking nonsense, Manik carelessly interrupted her, brushing it away with a wave of his hand, “Hey! Shut up…yaar!”
Not interested in taking the discussion ahead, he started going out of the room when she held his hand, “Manik, this is nothing to be embarrassed about. These days psychological issues and mental health is discussed as normally as any other disease. They are treated efficiently.”
He stopped, gave her a tired look but couldn’t be angry at her. Her concern, her worry for his mom was evident on her face. She was not even thinking about how she was berated a while ago by a woman in front of the entire family. She was not bothered about her insult or her prestige. She was worried that his mom should get proper treatment. He wished he could ever become a soul, as pure as Nandu. She was kindness personified.
Manik twisted his lips and uncurled her fingers from his arm, and with deep gravity, stressing on each word, he said, “Nandu, I repeat what I have been telling you all the time – you don’t know my mother… I do! You have been observing her since…what?… 2 days?? But I have lived with her for years. I know her inside out… trust me… she is not bipolar.”
She could speak no more. He removed her hand from his arm and walked out of the room. Latika was in Gaurvi’s room, telling her what to wear and Manoj was playing cards with Trisha when Manik came out and sat with them, picking up the remote and changing channels with a straight face, as if nothing happened some time back. Nandini was still inside the room.
Manoj and Trisha looked at Manik first, then at each other and then again at him. Manoj said, “Is she fine?”
“Hmm…yeah!” Manik said.
“Did you tell her that we can’t say anything to Latika?” Manoj expressed his concern, “She is too sensitive. Last time, when I tried to tell her that she was being harsh with Meera, she ended up in the hospital with high blood pressure. She is unable to accept her flaws. It’s not like she is always mean… she is nice too… but it is hard to tell her that she is wrong as she gets depressed.”
Manik grimaced and decided that he didn’t want to discuss his mom. Not with his dad. He was okay being distant. Nandini came out by this time and stood beside him. Manik threw a glance at her, nodded casually and said, “Dad, it’s okay. Nandini is not upset. She is worried about mom, instead.”
“God bless you, dear.”Manoj smiled apologetically, “I’m really sorry for the way Latika behaved. She becomes so difficult at times. I was just telling Manik, how it is difficult to check her…”
“Actually… papa… I wanted to say…” Nandini started speaking before Manik stood up with a jerk and became a wall between Manoj and Nandini. Treating her to the deadliest stare, he could manage, he chewed each word before spitting it, “Nandini… Shut…up!!!”
“Manik… you don’t live with your mom… your dad does. You might not even know things, that he does. Let me talk…”
Trisha and Manoj were witnessing the scene before them with a confused look on their faces. Nandini wanted to say something and Manik was stopping her.
“What does she want to speak?” Manoj asked while Trisha observed keenly.
“Nothing, dad!” Manik turned to him and dismissed every possibility of further discussion and then turned to Nandini with a reprimanding look in his eyes, and a very serious look, as he whispered, “Nothing!”
Nandini pressed her lips inside and nodded to agree. By this time, Latika came out with Gaurvi holding a dress for Trisha. She saw a weird scene in the living room but didn’t understand even a word. She shrugged, “What’s going on?”
“Nothing!” Manik murmured and went out of the house, saying, “I’m going to Cabir’s home.”
Nandini went back to her room to get ready for lunch. She was trying her level best to make Manik understand that his mom needs help. But he didn’t want to listen. He was the only person who could make his family understand. If he was not willing to understand, then there was no point dragging the issue.
Maybe, he was right? Maybe, she was being too impulsive and judgemental?
She wore a pale yellow Anarkali suit, with the kurta reaching up to her ankle. The sheer, lace dupatta hung loosely on one of her shoulders was embroidered in yellow and gold. She wore long danglers wondering whether Manik would be back from Cabir’s house for lunch or not. If she knew him well, she was already sure that he would prefer to avoid the drama and stay at Cabir’s place watching the news or playing carrom.
She felt bad for upsetting him. She was just being genuine. The doctor inside her was concerned for the patient and wanted to ensure that she got proper help. Maybe, she didn’t realise how difficult it must be for Manik to accept that about his mother.
Half-heartedly, she walked out of their room and went to the kitchen to take out the cutlery for the guests. By the time, Latika and others got ready and came out, it was about time the guests said they would come.
The guests arrived on time. They were greeted and treated well by Latika and Gaurvi. Trisha gave them company and Manoj stayed as silent support. Latika proudly introduced Nandini to everyone as she was the first doctor in the family. She openly said how fortunate Manik and their family was that they had a doctor as a daughter-in-law. She was not only a talented doctor but very caring and respectful. Nandini smiled, unable to believe the lavish shower of praises for her. Her mother-in-law was indeed an enigma.
Now, she realised that getting to know your husband and adjusting with him after an arranged marriage was an easier job than trying to adjust with in-laws.
The chatterbox inside her was dying to talk to the girls in the family of the guests, but she stopped herself. She had no clue how close they were to Malhotras and when her mather-in-law would get upset at her actions. She stayed quiet.
The lunch was laid. Suddenly, Latika turned to Nandini and said in a really sweet, loving voice, “Arrey beta, you didn’t make chutney??”
Nandini was speechless, left gaping at her with no words. She couldn’t say before everyone that her mother-in-law never asked her to make any chutney. Nandini stayed quiet wondering if it was okay to stay quiet and let others degrade her or speak up before everyone else, including the guests and show the mirror to her mother-in-law that she was unnecessarily showing her as irresponsible and careless. In any case, she was going to be termed mannerless,
She took a deep breath and sighed. Latika smiled adoringly and said, “No problem. You might have forgotten.”
Nandini wished she could say that she didn’t forget anything. She had a sharp memory. But there was no use fighting before strangers and outsiders. Since she realised that Latika was using her to hide her flaws, she stayed quiet.
The older lady, Akhil’s masi was particularly impressed by Nandini. The fact that Nandini was a doctor gave her a leeway into discussing medical issues at the dining table. The lady kept asking Nandini about certain diseases that her sons and daughters had.
Nandini was irked. She didn’t appreciate casual discussions about medicine. She preferred people taking an appointment to visit a specialist in the clinic, discuss the concerned details and proper examination before people were seeking serious advice so that they don’t take it lightly.
Still, she kept replying patiently. Manik was back and he picked up a plate to serve food to him. Nandini was so relieved to see him that an inadvertent smile spread on her lips. Manik could sense her small smile, and smiled back. Nandini got up to serve him.
The older lady in awe of Nandini, beaming with ecstasy, asked Latika, “You are so lucky to have her. She is a gynaecologist too. Now Gaurvi has nothing to worry about her pregnancy and delivery. Nandini will take care of her. Right?”
“Wrong! Nandini is NOT Gaurvi’s doctor,” Manik replied to her in strong words, before anyone else could speak a word. And added –
“She is not THAT experienced!”
*Thanks for reading!*
Next update – tomorrow morning