Pragya stood in front of the mirror, all dressed for the evening’s Puja. She wore a red and gold lehenga, complete with matching accessories, as Dadi said it was tradition for a wife to adorn herself as a bride on this day.
She wished Abhi could see her now, all dressed up like this…but no worries, he should be home soon. She wondered what his reaction would be when he found out she had fasted for him.
Well, she would find that out in a little while.
Time to head downstairs…
She took a deep breath, smiled at her reflection in the mirror and then went for the Puja.
Abhi was swamped!
He had tried to finish early, but a problem came up at the last minute with one of the sponsors. And now, it didn’t look like he would be able to make it home in time, as Dadi wanted. He only hoped she would understand…
Well, atleast Fuggi wasn’t fasting, he thought, so there was no immediate need to rush home.
All the married ladies, which included their neighbors, friends and some relatives as well, gathered for the Puja. There was a narration of a Karwa Chauth tale by Dadi, which tells the story of Princess Veervati who was tricked by her seven brothers into breaking her fast by showing her a false moon. This treachery had dire consequences, as her husband died soon after she falsely broke her fast.
After pleading to the Goddess Parvati, her husband was restored to life, but was very ill.
It took a lot of fasting and prayer on her part to get him back to good health.
Dadi then stressed on the importance of performing this fast with the utmost care and devotion.
Pragya listened intently as Dadi called out some proper guidelines in following this fast.
As she was nearing the end of the lecture, Pragya’s eyes widened when she heard Dadi say,”…and finally, on this day, it is not good to wake someone who is sleeping.”
Oh Oh Pragya thought, remembering how she had woken Abhi up this morning for work!
She silently apologized in her mind, promising not to do it again. Then after completing some other rituals, they all went to the terrace to await the arrival of the moon…
Pragya stood in a corner on the terrace, waiting for Abhi to arrive. Maybe he got a little delayed, she thought.
“Bhabhi, what’s the matter?” asked Aliya. “Bhai is not here yet?”
“No, Alu.” Pragya replied.
“Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll be here soon.” Aliya said.
Pragya desperately hoped so…
A little while after the moon arrived.
“Finally!” Mitali Bhabhi exclaimed.
All the married ladies offered their prayers to the moon and had their fasts broken by their husbands…well, all except for Pragya. Her husband still hadn’t shown up yet.
“Pragya Beta, why don’t you break your fast by looking at his photo.” Dadi advised.
“No Dadi” Pragya replied. “I won’t break my fast until he comes home.”
“What if he decides to work all night?” Dadi said. “Will you wait that long?”
“You love him this much?” Dadi asked softly.
Pragya smiled and Dadi took that as a “Yes”. She blesses Pragya and then goes.
Everyone went downstairs after the rituals.
Dadi and Aliya had offered to wait with her on the terrace, but she sent them to have dinner with the others, saying that she would be fine. After a little while, Pragya went to their room to wait for Abhi. She carried her Puja tray with her as she didn’t want to have to run back for it when he came home. She took it out on the balcony, rested the tray on the table and went back inside the room to get her phone. She would call Abhi and find out how long he’d be.
She went over to the bedside table to grab her phone, but it slipped from her hand and fell to the floor. She bent to pick it up and something caught her eye.
Abhi’s “Abhi the Rockstar” coffee mug, which was a present from one of his fans, was under the bed. What is it doing here? she wondered.
She pulled out the mug and looked at its contents. It was still full.
Abhi didn’t drink his coffee?
He always had it before leaving home…
Why would he hide it under the bed? This doesn’t make any sense, Pragya thought. Unless…….
Purab entered Abhi’s office.
“Abhi! You are still here?” he asked.
“Yeah, still have some work left.” Abhi replied.
“Dadi just called looking for you” Purab said. “She said she was trying to reach you all evening but wasn’t getting through.” Abhi looked around for his phone.
“Where did I leave that phone?” he muttered to himself.
Then he remembered.
“I must have left it in the conference room, when we had the last meeting.” “Go home, Abhi!” Purab ordered. “You’re tired and you haven’t eaten anything all day!”
“In a while” Abhi said. “Just wanna finish up this and then I’ll go.”
“Does Di know you’ve fasted for her?” Purab asked.
“No” Abhi replied. “Since I stopped her from fasting, I thought it would only be fair if I did it instead.” “You care this much about Di?” Purab asked slyly, knowing fully well that he did.
“When she has done so many things for me, then why can’t I do this much for her?” Abhi said. “That’s great, bro!” Purab said. “I have to say, I really admire the bond you two have with each other.” “Thanks man, I am so lucky to have Fuggi in my life.” he admitted.
“Ok Abhi, I better leave you to finish your work so you can head home…” he said.
“Yeah bro, later” Abhi said.
And then Purab left. .
Abhi picked up his phone from the conference room.
He walked back to his office, checking the call log along the way.
He saw eight missed calls from Dadi and immediately dialed her number. After two rings he heard, “Hello? Abhi! Where are you? I have been trying to reach you for so long!” Dadi said. “I’m at the office Dadi.” Abhi said.
“Still? Why aren’t you home as yet?” she asked, impatiently.
“Dadi, there’s alot of work to be done.” Abhi stated.
“Can’t you put it off until tomorrow?” she asked.
“Yes, but —” he started to say, but was interrupted by Dadi.
“Ok good then, you can finish it tomorrow then. I want you to come home right away.” she ordered. ” I just have one little thing to complete and then I’ll come straight home, ok Dadi?” said Abhi.
“Ok, Beta.” she said. “Don’t be too long.”
“I won’t” he replied.
And then they both hung up.
As Abhi worked, his mind ran back to his phone conversation with Dadi.
Why was Dadi so insistent on me coming home soon? Abhi wondered.
She always let him do his work no matter what time he finished.
So why was it so urgent that he be there…it’s not like Fuggi was fasting… His eyes widened.
Unless she was….
He quickly got off his chair, grabbed his keys and phone and headed for home.
This Abhi na!
Pragya thought, as she sat in a chair on the balcony. He didn’t want me to fast, but went behind my back and did it himself?
You don’t know for sure that he’s fasting, Pragya told herself.
He has to be, she thought.
Why else would he hide a full cup of coffee under the bed?
And Dadi said he didn’t even have breakfast either…
It was the only plausible explanation she could think of… And then a big smile came over her face as she realized…
Abhi was fasting for her…
This Fuggi na!
Abhi said to himself as he drove home. He had specifically told her not to fast….even Dadi was there as a witness. But when did Fuggi ever do as she was asked? Abhi thought.
But Abhi, you don’t know for sure that she’s fasting, he said to himself.
Why else would Dadi be this anxious for him to be home on Karwa Chauth.
Fuggi had to be fasting…
And then a smile came over his face as he realized…
Fuggi had fasted for him…
Dadi sat down to dinner with the others, but she really wasn’t in the mood to eat. She wondered how long Abhi was gonna take.
Pragya had insisted on waiting for him even though she was probably very hungry.
At that moment, Abhi came rushing inside the house and saw the others at the dining table.
“Where is she?” he asked.
Dadi didn’t need to be a genius to know that he was talking about Pragya.
“She’s on the terrace.” Dadi said, remembering that’s where she left her.
“Dadi, why didn’t you tell me she was fasting.” Abhi said.
How did he know that she was fasting? Dadi wondered.
“You know?” Dadi asked.
“Yeah, it took me a while, but thanks to you, I finally figured it out.” he said.
“Ok Beta, we’ll chat later. Pragya’s waiting for you.” Dadi said. “You go freshen up and meet her on the terrace.” “Ok, Dadi” he said, and headed to his room to take a shower.
Where was she?
Abhi wondered, coming back to his room after not finding her on the terrace.
He walked towards the balcony and saw her sitting there.
He was just in here, how did he not see her? he wondered.
Probably because his mind was focused on getting to the terrace, he thought. Fuggi was lost in her own world, wearing a sad expression on her face, not even realizing he was standing right there. She was looking so beautiful, Abhi thought, as he took in her appearance.
Just like a bride…
His sad and cute little bride…
At that moment, Pragya looked up and saw him.
“You’re here” she said, getting up from her seat.
“You are one stubborn girl, you know that?” he said, looking directly at her. “You never listen to me. You always do the opposite of what I tell you. I am —”
“Me? What about you?” she accused.
“What about me?” he asked.
“First you tell me not to fast and then you go ahead and do it yourself?” “I’m not —” he started to say, but Pragya interrupted.
“I found the coffee cup.” she said.
“Coffee cup?” he said, pretending not to know what she was talking about.
“Yeah, the one you left under the bed.”
“Me?” he asked innocently.
“Oh stop pretending you don’t know what I’m talking about, Mehra.” she replied. “I know you fasted today.” Should he deny it? Abhi wondered.
Pragya looked at him, gauging his expressions and after five seconds, Abhi burst out in smiles.
“I knew it!” Pragya said. “It was just a guess before, but now I’m absolutely sure.”
“Yeah” Abhi admitted. “I did.”
“Why?” she asked.
“I thought I should do it since I stopped you…well I thought I stopped you. I only realised you were probably fasting when Daddy kept insisting that I come home soon.”
“Come on” she said. “Let’s do the rituals so we can break our fast. I’m hungry.” Abhi nodded.
Pragya looked at the moon through a sieve, after placing a lighted deya on it.
She did prayers and offerings to the moon to secure its blessings, and then turned to Abhi and viewed his face in the same manner. They made eye contact through the sieve and held each others gaze.
Suddenly, something was different….
Strong emotions that were racing through them…
They both felt it…
Perhaps, it was the Karwa Chauth magic…
Fasting all day for each other, and now, doing these rituals together somehow gave their bond a deeper meaning… It added a new dimension to their friendship…..to their relationship. Pragya was the first to move, breaking the spell that seemed to hold them both. She took the water and moved to give Abhi the first sip, but he stopped her in time and gave the water to her instead, breaking her fast. She then offered the water to him and after they both fed sweets to each other.
Pragya bent to touch his feet, but Abhi stopped her.
He shook his head, telling her no, and gave her a big hug instead. After a while, they slowly broke the hug, both of them feeling a bit emotionally overwhelmed.
Abhi and Pragya looked at each other, neither of them trusting themselves to speak. Pragya pointed her head toward the balcony door, signalling that they should go downstairs. Abhi nodded and they both went downstairs to take Dadi’s blessings… and then had dinner together.
Precap: Abhi & Pragya trade stories….
Hey everybody! How are you guys?
I know the precap sounds boring(even I think so), but you’ll find out whether its actually boring or not when you read the next epi lol.
I know many of you were waiting for this epi…hope it’s up to standard ð
Di, Priyanka, Varsha, Rithu, Lucky, Madhu, Sheerapthinisd,
Vigan, Aishwarya, Krisha, Nasima, Reshma, Maahi,
Savita, Rosy. Minu, Vanshu, Suhani, Achu, Sugan, Yogi,
Anjana, Kumkum, Ani, Saranya & Mukund.
For all your love ð
Silent Readers…Hi…hope you all are fine.
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