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Scene: Asha's marriage celebration.
Asha is Niharika’s close friend. How Niharika, our heroine, wished to enjoy her wedding! She would be with her friend throughout. However, the gossipping gangs made it impossible for her to stay there..
“Isn't she a divorcee? Then why is she here attending a noble occasion?
Girls like her don't respect marriage! They take it for granted..”
“She must have an affair as is common these days!”
The white haired group thought that it would bring bad omen for the would be bride.
“Oh! You won't understand!”
“You are a today’s girl, always whining! Lack of adjustment and compromise!”
“Always trying to be at par with your husband!”
“Look child, you better leave..”,
“Hmm… Niharika you see..”
Niharika chose not to verbally slay them. She left and deep in her heart she knew she had lost her friend..
The scene moves to another celebration.. Here life is being celebrated.
As Niharika enters her house a 3-year old girl rushes to greet her with a big smile and warm hug..
“Mamma, you returned so early? You were supposed to return 2 days later..!”
Getting no reply, neither is she interested to get any, the girl is happily pouring out herself..
“Grandma told me the story of Beauty and the Beast..”
“I made two new friends..”
“I… … …”
The words fall into deaf ears..
The grandma sensing something wrong with Niharika asks her granddaughter to allow her mother to take some rest..
“She will soon join you.. Let her get refreshed first.”
The scene shifts to Niharika’s bedroom. On entering she breaks down. She starts crying desperately seeking something.. somebody! After almost half an hour the fog begins to give way for some clear reasoning..
“Yes, I am a divorcee but that doesn't mean people have got license to speak anything about and against me!
What if I told those wrinkled faces that it was the husband who went for a divorce and not me?
What if I said I was being cheated?
They wouldn't have believed me for there are lots of stereotyped guesses against a divorced girl..”
Like a good girl by the society's standards, Niharika had got married to a well-settled, young man with Indian values. He had chosen to go to office instead of joining the family business. Niharika found him to be of good personality, extremely sober, down to earth guy enjoying and investing in the small joys of life. Even her in-laws, contrary to the saas-bahu fights we come across in TV, are very very nice. It appeared like a dream to her.
Everything was moving smoothly until ‘that’ day..
The doctor confirmed her pregnancy. She was very happy and eagerly waiting to inform Adarsh, her husband (the Beast?!) directly..
Unfortunately, before she could tell him he informed her that he had to go abroad for his office project for 12 months..
“What!.. You know you would be missing something really very special!”
“Special? Couldn't get you?”
“I am 10weeks pregnant..”
“Wow! Oh no! I won't be able to welcome my new love!”
Like a soothsayer Adarsh assured Niharika that he would try to return fast. He couldn't stay away from them for so long..
How Niharika hated the news of her pregnancy.. Hadn't t she be pregnant she could have gone with Adarsh.. But now she has realised how she had been blessed.
For the first 6-8months after his departure there were regular phone calls, lovey-dovey talks, promises of a bright future… Then gradually they receded. Strange!
Niharika was surprised that even on the day of delivery he didn't call.. Still the heart continued to believe that he would return and take the baby in his arms..
Then suddenly one day came the divorce note.. Adarsh was interested to settle in the foreign country and he needed a divorce. Shocked and speechless, Niharika felt she had been standing on quicksand.
When she was thus bewildered it was her parents-in-law who took her side. Her parents lacked the guts to face the truth. Moreover, they had another daughter to marry off. The doors to her 'mayka’ were thus shut upon her.
It was from then onwards Niharika’s life changed. The rise of a self confident working mother from the ashes of a meek, casual and carefree woman was not a child’s play. Her in-laws stood like a rock to aid her in every possible way. They forced her to come out of the drudgery and live life. The innocence growing up in front of her became her greatest motivator. Her father-in-law made her join as well as manage the family business. He taught her business strategies, driving and everything that could shape her life. Her Sasuma started taking care of the entire family so that Niharika became successful.
Things were not so easy for the family went through various ups, like
Birthday and anniversary celebrations, outings, slow but steady rise of a successful businesswoman..
And downs, such as,
The kid suffering from severe cough and cold, the mother’s fractures and even some losses in business, not to forget the 'hush-hush’ people surrounding them. In fact they still ensure that the family remains picture perfect!
Gradually, however, with constant love, support and adjustment from both sides, the 'sasural’ became the perfect home of Niharika. She feels blessed, satisfied and happy to be alive, to be with such wonderful people around her.
Then on one fine day like a sudden storm entered Adarsh. He merely wanted to finish the divorce proceedings. Niharika or the baby had little significance. However, still like an 'adarsh’ beta, he expressed his concern for his parents.
He even wanted his parents to accompany him abroad.
“How shameless u have become! We haven't taught you all these! What a devoted son!
We don't require any explanation for your sudden disappearance from our lives. We have learnt to live without you.
Listen! We are doing really well here. We are not going anywhere.
It's better you leave as fast as you can..”
“But papa.. I am your only son.. I am your ultimate hope..
This woman has brainwashed you two.. Don't listen to her..”
Niharika couldn't bear anymore. It's high time that she vented her wrath.
“The tables are turned Mr. Adarsh. It's me who has become the real Son of the family from the time you left all of us. I will be there for your, oh sorry, my parents forever.
YoU are a coward and a spineless person who is enjoying living a slave’s life out there.
Also shameless since you want your parents to suffer the same plight at this age!
We dont require you. We are doing better without you. You can leave right now!
When we go for a world tour, may be next year, we will definitely pay you a visit.. Till then, BYE..”
The 'bye’ came with such a force that Adarsh was taken aback. He had known Niharika to be coy and homely but this sudden transformation left him thunderstruck.
The doors were permanently shut on the face of the failed son, husband and father.
Niharika stops her crying. Looking back to her past she realises she cannot prevent the dogs barking.. She has taken a decision a long time back and she should live it. No matter what and at all costs!
She straightens her collar and shrugs off the daily bugging termites! After a warm shower she comes back and embraces life like never before.
Back to the living room: Her parents and her daughter are eagerly waiting for her with bated breath.
Niharika comes fully energized, looks at the three pairs of anxious eyes, and starts playing with her daughter.
The celebration of life begins.