“Swara beta, Ragini ko leke aavo” said Sharmishta sitting in front of Durga Prasad and Annapurna who had come with proposal of Laksh for Ragini. Ragini came with a tray full of tea cups and snacks bending her head along with Swara. She wore a peach color Saree and minimal make up and jewelry. But she was still looking beautiful. Laksh lost himself looking at her. Ragini served tea and snacks to everybody. Laksh was staring at her. Annapurna looked at him and kept her hand on his shoulder and asked through eyes did he liked the girl. He blinked his eyes. “Sharmishta ji if you don’t mind can we send the children to talk in privacy, they might have their doubts” said Annapurna turning to Sharmishta smiling. “Hmmm sure. What is there to mind in it.” said Sharmishta. She turned to Swara and said “Swara take both of them to terrace”. Swara nodded and assisted them to terrace. Ragini and Laksh sat on the chairs of the tea table. Both were hell nervous. Laksh initiated the talk “Hmmm hi” he said. Ragini smiled and said “Hi” “I want you to reject this proposal” Ragini got shocked and looked at him. “No don’t take me wrong. Actually I’m an army officer. I will be away from you all the time and I myself cannot assure you what is my life span. You are really good and pretty. I don’t want you to suffer all life.” he said and went from there without even letting her to talk. Ragini went down. “So Ladoo what’s your decision” asked Shekar. Everybody was curious to know what will be her reply. “I’m ready to marry him Dad. Till now I was respecting him as an army officer but now I respect him as a human being” she said and ran to her room blushing. Laksh could not believe his ears. He was dumbstruck. Annapurna caressed his hair and cheek. He smiled weakly. Sanskar hugged his elder brother and said “Congrats bhai”. Laksh hugged him back.
“Now you both are husband and wife. Please take blessings from your elders” said Pandit after giving the last offering to fire. Laksh and Ragini took all their elders blessings.
Ragini cried hugging her mom and dad and Swara during her bedai. She sat in car where Laksh was already sitting. Shekar and Ragini’s cousin pushed the car and the car left to her in law’s house. Ragini was still sobbing. Laksh gave her his hanky. She took it and wiped her tears.
“Ragini beta push this kalash and step into this kumkum thal and walk till mandir and light the diya” said Annapurna after doing the newly wed couple’s aarthi. Ragini did as instructed. After some more rituals Annapurna took Ragini to her room. Ragini was sitting in the middle of the bed decorated with flowers nervous. Laksh entered the room and looked at nervous Ragini. He goes and sits beside her and lifts her ghungat. Ragini had turned red with blush. He lifted her head holding her chin but still she did not looked up. “Ragini” called Laksh. She looked up and met his eyes. “You know due to my mom’s pressure I had to see proposals for marriage. Actually I did not wanted to marry thinking a girl’s life will be spoiled as there is no assurance my life. Everybody used to reject me as my mom never used to inform them about my job before handed. But why did you agree for this marriage even after knowing” he asked her getting up from the bed and walking to the window. Ragini got down from her bed and moved to Laksh. She hugged him from back and rested her head on his back and closed her eyes feeling his fragrance. Laksh kept his hand on her hands and leaned back touching her head with his head and closed his eyes. “I Love you” said Ragini answering all his questions. His heart was flying in air hearing it. He was the luckiest person in the world to get a woman who understands him beyond his expectations. The screen blurred.
Ragini woke up and saw Laksh sleeping holding her. She kissed his cheek and tried to get up but could not. “Laksh” she called strictly. He pointed his lips still closing his eyes. She tried hard to get free from his hold. At last she gave up and placed her lips on his lips. He loosened his grip and she walked to washroom. She came out wearing a saree and sat in front of the mirror. Laksh came and hugged her from back and placing his chin on her shoulder looked at her reflection in mirror. She blushed. He took the sindoor from her hand and put it in her maang. A small amount of it fell on her nose indicating Laksh’s love for her. Both smiled looking at it. “Whenever I will be here I will only put Sindoor and make you wear mangal sutra ok” said Laksh putting mangalsutra in her neck and kissing her forehead. She nodded with a smile. He leaned to kiss her lips. But she pushed him and dragged him to washroom. “Not fair” he said pouting sadly. Ragini blushed and went down for her Rasoi ritual.
At dining table Ragini served everyone the food she prepared. Everybody praised her food and gave her Nek. She came and sat beside Laksh. Laksh held her hand below the table. She struggled to free it but all in vain. She started eating with left hand. “Arrey Ragini why are you eating with left hand. What happened to your right hand” said Laksh teasing her. She gave him a death glare. “If you leave it then only she will eat na” said Sanskar eating and winked at Laksh. Both Ragini and Laksh got embarrassed. Everybody burst out laughing.
Ragini was unpacking her luggage in room. Laksh came and hugged her encircling her waist and kept his chin on her shoulder. She huffed with fake anger. He kissed her neck, she lost herself. “Why did you do like that. See everybody are laughing at us” she said with fake anger. He turned her and cupped her face. “That was for not letting me to kiss you in the morning” he said and kissed her forehead. He leaned to her lips. She felt his hot breath on her lips and breathed heavy. “Laksh Bhai. Post for you” both got jerked due to Sanskar’s voice. He leaned touching his head to her head and said “Everybody has the great timing here” Both laughed. He went down and Ragini followed him. He read the letter and turned to Ragini nervously. She raised her eyebrows asking what. “What is it beta” asked Durga Prasad from the sofa. “Papa I have to leave today. There is an emergency. My leaves have been cancelled.” he said folding the letter. “But beta not even one week you spent with Ragini. What she will feel” said Annapurna coming out of kitchen. “I won’t feel bad maa. I will pack your luggage” said Ragini running to her room. Laksh felt bad for her. Sanskar placed his hand on his shoulder and said “She needs you. Go” He ran behind her. Ragini was packing his luggage in haste. Laksh held her hand and twirled and hugged her. She controlled her tears. “Ohho let me pack your stuff Patidev” she said getting out of the hug. He held her cheek with his one hand with teary eyes. “Thank you” a tear dropped from his eye. “Laksh.” she said wiping his tear and nodded no. She dragged him holding his collar and placed his lips on her lips and kissed him passionately. When they felt difficult to breathe both departed. He dragged her into a bone crushing hug. “I’m proud of you” he said. She cuddled in his embrace.
Laksh was putting his uniform button. Ragini hugged him from back placing her head on his shoulder. He leaned and touched her head. He dragged her in front holding one hand. He put the sindoor in her hairline and kissed her hairline. She hugged him tight. “Laksh your military jeep has come” Durga Prasad’s voice brought them to world. He went down and Ragini went behind him. He took Annapurna and Durga Prasad’s blessing. He hugged Sanskar and said “Take care of everybody”. He nodded teary eyed. He sat in jeep and looked at Ragini who was standing near the door. She smiled and waved him bye. As soon as the jeep disappeared her emotions busted and she ran to her room. Everybody felt bad looking at her.
“Laksh you know Maa asked Swara’s hand for Sanskar. We had gone to my maika with proposal. And everything went well and marriage got fixed for next month. I’m so happy. My sister also will come to our house. This Sanky tho always irritates me. If Swara comes I will have somebody in my team.” Laksh smiled reading Ragini’s letter for the 10th time. His friend noticed him smiling and asked him “Still how many times you will read the same letter” “Until I get the next letter” he said smiling.
“Laksh I have good news for you. I’m three months pregnant. Today only I got my reports. I have sent the copy of it. “Read Laksh and looked at the reports. Touched it and a tear dropped from his eye. He wanted to hug Ragini and caress her belly but felt helpless.
“Ragu maa take care of you. And tell my princess to not to irritate you now. When I come back we both will irritate momma” Ragini smiled reading Laksh’s letter. “Oh hello it is my champ ok not your princess. I went for my first sonography. See I have attached a copy of it” Laksh saw the sonography report copy and touched the dot and felt his baby and smiled.
“Laksh you know today our champ kicked. I’m so happy. He is so naughty like you only.” Laksh imagined Ragini with her baby bump and him touching her belly. He found a photograph in which Ragini was pouting holding her baby bump and Swara was making her drink soup and Sanky on her other side imitating her with a pillow below his t-shirt. Laksh laughed looking at it.
“Maa” cried Ragini from her room. Everybody rushed to her room. Ragini was breathing heavily holding her belly. “Ji take the car out we have to rush Ragini to hospital.” panicked Annapurna. Durgaprasad ran out of the house. Sanky carried her and placed her inside the car. Swara placed her head in her lap and was rubbing her hands. Sanky sat in front seat and Anna purna sat near Ragini. They reached hospital. Sanskar carried her inside the hospital. Doctor and nurse took her inside the labor room. Everybody was standing outside tensed hearing Ragini’s screams. They heard Ragini’s final scream followed by a baby’s cry. After 5 minutes the nurse came with the baby. Sanskar took it in his hands. “It’s a boy” she said smiling. Durga Prasad took some money and twirling it around the baby he gave it to nurse and said “Mithai lelena” “How is Ragini” Sanskar asked the nurse. “She is fine, resting. We will shift the mother and baby to normal ward in half an hour. “she said taking the baby back.
After half an hour the family entered Ragini’s room and found her playing with baby. Annapurna placed her hand on her head and said “Thank you beta”
“See I told you na. It will be my champ only. His eyes and nose are just like you. And his ears are like mine. I did not say it. Swara and Sanky were fighting like who he looks. So Maa told them thus to solve the issue. Now I know you got your intelligence from Maa only. Papa ji kept dinner for whole village. Send me our champ’s name okay” Ragini finished writing the letter after two days of her discharge from hospital and told Sanskar to post it.
“Beta you wrote to Laksh na asking for the name” asked Durga Prasad. “Ha Papaji” smiled Ragini serving him. “Maa….. Baba…..” screamed Sanskar crying. All rushed outside. They saw a coffin covered with Indian flag. All got shocked. Annapurna with difficulty moved to it and looked inside. “Laksh” she screamed collapsing on the ground. Ragini’s world scattered in one second. She felt whole sky fell on her. She leaned to the door and collapsed. “Ragini beta” Durga Prasad held her. Swara hugged her crying. She screamed the hell out of her. “Laksh…” her scream pierced the sky. The letter she sent was lying on his body. Sanskar took it and found “Raksh” written in blood. He had written it when he was breathing last. Sanskar hugged it and cried.
Sanskar held the baby in his hand and fired the pyre with his small hands. The baby was crying badly. He hugged the baby tightly and cried. Ragini was sitting in front of Laksh’s photo which was covered with a garland; like a lifeless body.
“Now I request Mrs. Laksh Maheshwari on the stage to receive the Veer Chakra from President which is presented to Lt.Col. Laksh Maheshwari for his outstanding courage during the terror attack and sacrifice for the country in Siyachin” announced the M.C on the mic. Ragini came and received the award the army cadets saluted her and she stepped down. “Ragini” she heard Sanskar who was holding one year Raksh in his hands and Swara with a baby bump approaching her. She took Raksh in her hands. “So ma’am, isn’t it sad that you lost your husband at this age?” a reporter asked her. She smiled and said “No I’m proud of him. My son will also join army like his dad” All were surprised for her answer. As she headed out everybody saluted her. She walked out with Raksh smiling.
I know it’s long and with less romance. As I told before Romance is not my cup of tea I’m really very very very bad at it.. Hope you people liked it. And Anyata dear I think your complain is solved as the second shot of the last RagLak two shot was small; and this is extra-long.
Our army officers and their family sacrifice a lot to keep us safe. We can just be grateful to them and respect them. I always have immense respect to their family who are so brave to send them to army even after knowing they might not return. This is a small tribute to them, And Sindhu I was inspired from your ff “My Army Officer” to write this one shot.