CHAPTER 72: Unexpressed pain
Ranbir and Prachi were only signing each other through their eyes, asking one another to start speaking, and not paying attention to the food that Pragya had served them…. Pragya was quietly observing their antics, smiling to herself, not aware of what they were thinking about….
Pragya: Agar ishaaro-ishaaro mein baat ho gayi ho toh muh se bhi bol do. (If your talks in sign language are over, you can say it)
Prachi and Ranbir looked at her surprised while Pragya chuckled seeing their faces….
Ranbir: Maa, actually Prachi wants to tell you something.
Pragya looked at Prachi while Ranbir signed her to say it….
They had decided in the morning that they would tell Pragya everything about meeting Abhi, not only the other day but also about all of Prachi’s earlier meetings….
Prachi did not know how to start…. She did not know how to tell her mother that she had been lying to her all these years…. Meeting her father may not have been wrong, but keeping it from her mother was definitely wrong…. And when Ranbir had made her realize how much Pragya could be hurt knowing that she was kept in the dark, Prachi wished that her mother could forgive her….
Pragya could sense something wrong in Prachi’s voice…. She grew worried now….
Pragya: Prachi, what has happened? Did you both have another fight now?
Ranbir: No Maa, we did not fight. It is about someone else, and I think let Prachi tell you everything, then you react, please don’t misunderstand her.
Pragya: I am not understanding anything, what are you both trying to say? Prachi, what is the matter, tell me now.
Prachi told Pragya everything from the beginning…. It was Prachi’s last year in school when she had met her father for the first time in years…. Abhi had come there as the chief guest, and it did not take him much time to recognize his daughter…. Prachi was initially upset about meeting him but when he apologized and made her understood his reasons for not stopping her mother and her, Prachi understood…. And with that one meeting, it soon became their routine…. Abhi and Prachi started meeting hiding it from their families…. Over the years, their bond grew strong again and now Prachi could not even think her life without her Papa….
Prachi: And then, we met him near my office that day. It was not planned, Papa came there suddenly, and I did not know it would happen. That day I told Ranbir everything and we decided to tell you everything. Maa, I did not want to hide it but I was afraid, that if you find out you may….
Pragya: You thought I would take you away from him, well you thought right if I had known earlier, I would have kept you away from him.
Pragya stood up from the dining table and stormed towards her room…. Prachi and Ranbir looked at each other shocked hearing the anger filled in Pragya’s voice….
Prachi and Ranbir stood up from their places and followed Pragya….
Pragya: I don’t want to talk to any of you right now, so you both just leave from here.
Prachi: No Maa, I won’t leave today, not until and unless you tell me why are you so angry with Papa, why are you keeping me away from him, why don’t you want me to meet him…. Tell me Maa, today you have to tell me….
Pragya: Shut up Prachi, and go from here, I don’t have to answer any of your questions.
Prachi: No Maa, today you have to tell me, all these years I kept quiet and never questioned any of your decisions, but not today, tell me….
Pragya: What do you want to know, ha tell me, what do you want to know? Why I separated from your Papa, why we left his house, why didn’t I let you meet him all these years? You want to know all these naa, and then listen…. Today I’ll tell you everything….
Ranbir did not say anything and just looked on…. Pragya began narrating and Prachi listened to her shocked….
Abhi was going through a file when there was a knock on the door…. He looked up and was surprised seeing Gauri, she never needed to knock to enter his room…. She entered the room wondering how she would ask about Prachi….
Abhi: You don’t have to knock; you know that you can come here anytime.
Gauri: Nahi Bade papa, I thought you must be busy, that is why.
Abhi: Well, I am never busy when it is about you.
Saying so Abhi made Gauri sit beside him…. He had sensed something was bothering her and that is why she had come to him….
Abhi: Now, you tell me, what is bothering you so much?
Gauri looked at him surprised….
Gauri: How do you always know that something is bothering me?
Abhi smiled hearing her….
Abhi: A father knows what is going on in their children’s minds. Now tell me, what is the matter?
Gauri: Bade papa, I wanted to talk about Prachi….
Abhi looked at her surprised hearing Prachi’s name from Gauri after so many years…. After the initial years of their separation, Gauri had stopped asking about Pragya and Prachi…. And now today, she had asked about her made Abhi wonder what had happened….
Gauri: Ha Bade papa, I wanted to ask you about Prachi, have you met her ever after Badi maa and your separation?
Abhi did not know what to say…. He remembered all the times he had met Prachi over the several years…. Gauri seeing him lost in thoughts understood that he had definitely met Prachi and what Adhvik had told her was true…. She searched Prachi’s social media profile and showed the screen to Abhi…. He looked at the screen….
Gauri: Bade papa, is this Prachi, is she our Prachi, my Prachi? Tell me Bade papa, is she our Prachi?
Abhi did not say anything and just nodded his head….
Gauri looked at the screen as tears collected in her eyes…. Her sister…. Her best friend…. Her partner in crime…. Her supporter…. Her motivator…. Her Prachi had been in front of her for the past months and she could not recognize her…. She caressed Prachi’s photo on the screen and smiled…. Indeed over the years, her chudail had turned into a beautiful young lady…. She smiled remembering her times with her sister, times they had spent teasing each other, laughing with each other, helping each other, and being there for each other….
Abhi: How did you find out about Prachi?
Gauri: Bade papa, actually I saw you both together outside her office and that’s why I had a doubt but now everything is clear.
Gauri did not understand why she lied about seeing Abhi and Prachi together, but somehow she did not want to talk about Adhvik….
Gauri: Bade papa, when you know where Prachi and Badi maa are, why don’t you bring them back, why are we all not together?
Abhi: Maybe we were not meant to be together.
Gauri: Why Bade papa, today you have to tell me, what had happened years ago that separated you from Badi maa and Prachi from her father?
Abhi: Gauri, it’s been years now, there is no use talking about all that happened in the past.
Gauri: No Bade papa, today you have to tell me, you all did not tell me then, but now, now I want to know and you have to tell me.
Abhi sighed as he knew Gauri would not give up without knowing what she wanted to know….
Abhi: Okay, I’ll tell you….
Gauri became attentive as Abhi began narrating what had happened years ago that made Pragya and him away….
Abhi and Pragya had met in college when they fell in love and soon after their graduation; they got married to each other…. Like every married couple, they were enjoying their life happily…. After two years of their marriage, Pragya wished to start a wedding planning company, but at that time Prachi was born and Pragya decided to give up on her dream as she wished to be there for her daughter in the initial years of her growth…. No one had forced Pragya to quit working, it was indeed her decision and she was happy with it…. Abhi however thought that maybe Pragya was compromising…. After some years when Prachi grew up, Abhi asked Pragya to start working again, Pragya also thought about it and decided to continue working…. Prachi and Gauri were there with each other and both Pragya and Disha along with their husbands used to look after their daughters…. After a year Pragya was pregnant again, and she was extremely happy to experience the joy of being a mother again…. Abhi however felt that the second child would again make Pragya away from her career, her dream…. This became a topic for their initial arguments, however, soon Abhi gave up as he was concerned for his wife and his baby…. However, a belief had made its home in Pragya’s mind that Abhi was unhappy with their second child…. After some months, Ahana was born but Abhi and Pragya’s relation had changed over time…. The initial banter changed into serious arguments and distance had made its place in their relation….
It was Gauri’s seventh birthday, the day that changed their lives forever….
Gauri had gone to her Nani’s house and Prachi was missing her badly, as she wished to celebrate her sister’s birthday with her…. Prachi repeatedly requested Abhi to take Ahana and her to meet Gauri, and after several persuasions, Abhi agreed…. Pragya however was unconvinced seeing the bad weather that the city was showing…. Abhi however convinced her and she agreed half-heartedly…. Abhi, Prachi, and Ahana were going to Disha’s mother’s house when due to the bad weather and the storm Abhi’s car met with an accident and they lost their Ahana forever….
*Flashback to twenty years ago*
“You have killed my daughter, only because of you she is away from me”
Saying this Pragya pushed Abhi, who was trying to calm her down, away from her…. More than pain and grief, Pragya’s eyes reflected anger and hatred…. Abhi could not react for a few moments hearing her words…. Prachi was terrified of seeing her mother’s anger and clutched onto Disha’s dupatta…. Purab signed Disha to take Prachi away from there…. He knew a storm was about to hit their family and it would have devastating effects on their lives….
Pragya: Chup, bilkul chup, mujhe naa kuch sunana hai aur nahi kuch samjhana hai. (Quiet, keep quiet, I don’t want to hear anything nor do I want to understand anything)
Purab moved back hearing Pragya’s voice, which only had anger overpowering her grief…. Abhi signed Purab to leave them alone, and Purab nodded quietly, he closed the door as he left the room….
Pragya: Why, why did you do this, why did you snatch my daughter from me? Why Mr. Abhishek Mehra, why did you kill my daughter?
Abhi’s heart was bleeding hearing Pragya’s words, but he knew it was all because of her mental state in that situation…. He could not blame her; it was mother’s pain that was making her say such things….
Abhi: Pragya, it was an accident….
Pragya: Accident, it was not an accident, it was your carelessness, your mistake, and you did everything. I had told you don’t take Prachi and Ahana with you, I had told you the weather is not good, I had told you to take me along, but no, you never listened to me, and now because of you, my Ahana….
She fell down on the floor with a thud, as tears flowed from her eyes….
Pragya: Ahana, my baby, I lost her…. All because of you and your habit of not listening to me….
Abhi: Ahana was my daughter also, I too loved her and I also feel the pain of losing her.
Pragya: Really, no, you never loved her, in fact, you did not even want her, and now you did this….
Pragya looked at him shocked for a moment hearing his loud voice…. But the next moment, even her anger increased….
Abhi: How dare you say that, you are saying I did all this to kill my own daughter?
Pragya: Yes, I am saying this, because it is true. You never considered her as your daughter; you always wished if she was not there, you blamed her….
Abhi: Shut up, just shut up, don’t you dare speak any nonsense anymore.
Pragya: Why truth is pinching you, why should I stop when I am saying the truth?
Abhi: You know what, there is no use talking to you.
Pragya: Then don’t ever talk to me.
Abhi: I’ll never talk to you.
Saying so Abhi stormed out of the room slamming the door loudly…. Pragya did not look at him and only cried putting her head of the bed….
Abhi: And that day changed everything in our lives, that day not only killed our Ahana but also killed Pragya and my relation.
Tears flowed from Gauri’s eyes as she listened to Abhi narrated…. She remembered the time when she had gone to her Nani’s house and when she had returned, both Pragya and Prachi had left the house…. Gauri questioned everyone about them, but no one told her anything…. She learned about Ahana’s death but the little Gauri could only understand that her little sister was with God, and her other sister, Prachi, her best friend, had left the house with her Badi maa…. Over the years, she stopped questioning her family about both Prachi and Pragya, as she knew they would never tell her anything…. Also, she tried finding them, but could never find anything….
Gauri: Bade papa, don’t worry I am sure one day Badi maa and Prachi will be with us, and our family will be complete again.
Abhi: Twenty years, if it could not happen in twenty years, I don’t think it will ever happen.
Abhi smiled sadly at Gauri and left the room…. Gauri looked at him going away, never had she seen her Bade papa lose hope like this…. She promised herself that she would get her Badi maa back to the house no matter what she had to do….
Pragya: That one day, snatched away so much from my daughter and me….
Pragya finished narrating what had happened on that unfortunate day, the day that changed her life completely…. Tears were flowing from her eyes as she sat down on the sofa….
Ranbir and Prachi too had tears listening to the events of that unfaithful day….
Pragya: It was not easy for me also, I loved him a lot but I couldn’t, I couldn’t forget my baby girl, I couldn’t stay there, the place had already snatched enough from me, I did not want to lose more….
Tears flowed from her eyes…. Prachi could not say anything….
Sometimes, wounds hurt even after years…. Time heals the wounds but the pain is never forgotten…. It always hurts….
Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing well.
Here is the next chapter of the story, do share your views on the same.
What will Prachi and Gauri do to unite their broken family, will Abhi and Pragya come together after years of separation? Pragya had taken a decision in anger and it changed their lives forever, will she ever reflect upon the decision? Will Abhi try and bring Pragya back into his life?
Next will be a Mishbir chapter and will have some revelations about the past that made Kunal make Mishti away from his brother’s life.