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Bringing up your child after marriage is a daunting task!!

It had been six years after the Malhotras had become proud parents of a lovely, cute and adorable daughter. They named her Pankhuri, nicknamed Pinky. She loved the latter name more. They call her Pankhuri; she would give a bland response. But had she been called Pinky, she would even jump out from the laziest moment dancing to its tune.

When Pinky was six year old, she didn't have friends in school as well as in neighborhood except for Sonu. He was seven when his family shifted their house from Mumbai to Delhi because of his father's transfer. As every child plays with other kids in the surroundings, Pinky was a bit different. She didn't step out of her home sweet home except for going to school, and then back home. Her parents feared of any mis-happening as she was their only child, over-protection was obvious. Obsession for her was natural.

Sonu was lively kid. His father who had traveled almost half of India as a result of his regular transfers was not sure when they would have to leave Delhi. The two families were similar a lot in many aspects. It seemed like they were mirror reflection of each other.  But Sonu was a complete opposite to Pinky. She would not step out of her home, Sonu would not step in his home.

He would encourage Pinky to play with him outside but reluctantly he had to play in her house only. They shared some bond that held them together. As kids they didn't understand the meaning of friendship. They were just inseparable. When Sonu would leave her house for going back home, Pinky would cry for hours incessantly. The two families were in a fix about the issue. Megha, who was very possessive about Pinky, had tried to divert her mind from Sonu a lot many times but in vain.

All was not going fine. A lot of approaches to keep them in limits were tried and tested but of no avail. Raj was completely fine with it but Megha was worried about it.

'You don't know, Raj. She had become uncontrollable.' she said resolutely.

'They are kids, Megha. It happens. It’s just like you are snatching a chocolate from her.' he insisted.

'You don't understand. You are busy in the outside world. I am the one who looks after all things here.' she was belligerent.

Megha made several implausible attempts to make him understand about the enormity of the situation. The talks became a daily issue. The relationship between the couple had become futile. Every time they started talking, the topic always came out of nowhere and clouded the main issue.
Every occasion or festival whatever it may be, Megha was against Raj inviting Sonu's family.

This had led to squabble between them many times. Raj felt that Megha had become quite unmanageable in all these thoughts. He called his travel agent for booking a holiday for the family. He wanted to revive the relationship. He knew giving it a break would be the best option possible. Megha's concern was that she didn't like Pinky to play with Sonu.
Whenever she did, she gave a ticking off to her. The holiday would make them relive the happy times again. Raj was framing a movie, picture by picture of the wonderful, marvelous time they had had in his mind. He informed Megha about the vacation. She sarcastically packed the bags with a lame expression on her face.

But secretly from inside, she was happy as she was going away from the biggest problem of her life, Sonu.  All were happy except Pinky. She was a kid, nobody would listen to her, and everybody forced themselves on her. Reluctantly after lot of crying, she went along with them for the vacation. 

Raj had booked a suite in a beautiful resort in Mussorie. Everything seemed to be back to normal as they stayed there. Raj could see Megha's anger towards him was gradually improving.  Only one who suffered was Pinky. Raj, in improving the situation of Megha, forgot about how devastating the trip could be for Pinky.

They tried everything, ice creams, chocolates, games, did everything which she liked. She would smile for some time but at the end of the day during the dusk time, she would seem lost in her own thoughts. Seeing this Raj and Megha got tensed again. The time passed on like that.  They packed the bags to return home. Pinky remained quiet almost for the entire vacation.

Somewhere she missed Sonu. Even on returning trip when she should be happy, she seemed to be lost. Megha anticipated this but Raj was singing his old tune.

'This Sonu has made our Pinky's life miserable!' she blurted out.

'Cut the crap, will you please? This all is gibberish, Megha!' he remained adamant to her sayings.

'Everything will be alright, dear!' he muffled.

Megha was not satisfied. She protested about them being together but Raj was least interested. The trip went like this only. Finally, they reached home. Pinky sprinted upstairs in her room without looking at anybody.  That day, Sonu didn't come to play with her. She sat in her room playing with her cute little Barbie. Everybody else had slept. Megha went in Pinky's room ensuring that she had slept. Seeing her still awake, Megha was wrought up. She usually slept at ten but it was around twelve that night. She quickly switched off the lights and made her sleep immediately.  

It was about five thirty in the morning; everybody was enjoying the sound sleep in the comfort of their cozy beds. But there was someone, who was wide awake in the rose-pink light of the dawn in the wee hours. May be she had a premonition of some terrifying scene. Her breathing was heavy, as if she had run a long distance. The doorbell rang. Megha with her heavy eyes, walked downstairs to open the door. She was surprised to see Sonu standing outside.

'Aunty, Is Pinky at home?' he asked meekly.

'Sonu, why so early? Is everything alright?'  She asked him. She rubbed her eyes to look outside. She saw his parents keeping some luggage into the car trunk. Then her eyes went down to see Sonu gazing at Pinky. She crouched holding Sonu, imposed him to look at her.

'Sonu, what's wrong?' she said as she saw tears in his eyes. Her eyes turned now to pinky. To her utter astonishment, she was also crying. Bewildered, she stood up calling Raj at the top of her voice. Raj came sprinting downstairs.

'What happened?' he said as he set his spectacles.

His eyes browsed the whole scenario. While they were looking at them, Raj overheard someone calling out Sonu's name from outside. It was his father. Raj rushed to the door. He wanted to enquire about the problem. The fact that they are leaving the town came into light. 

'I have been transferred to Hyderabad. We could have left two days ago, but it was Sonu's obstinacy. He wanted to meet Pinky.' he said. 'We came here twice, but found the door locked.' he said moving inside.

'Sonu, come beta. Time to go now. We are getting late for the flight!' he budged. After about fifteen minutes of prodding, he reluctantly agreed. They were gone. The day was not going to be easy for Malhotras. Pinky sat in her room crying incessantly. Megha was as usual tired of all this stuff but Raj decided to handle the matter with softness. He shifted her attention to several other things. He found out her likes, pushed her to do the things which she admired. 

Pinky would sometimes cry secretly in silence of the night after seeing Sonu's photograph. Raj made it sure that his absence would not keep her away from happiness she deserved in life. Megha promised Raj that she would never scold Pinky for her wrongs but instead will deal with her with patience. She started to live her life bringing home trophies, prizes which she won in various competitions. In return she would get whatever she wanted. She had limited friends, mostly of which were girls. 

Raj and Megha were happy, in fact very happy that she had understood the meaning of her life. They had a feeling of equanimity in them. Bad times were over for Pinky now. She was content with her life. She had completed her Graduation with distinction. Megha wanted her to get married and settled in life but Raj wanted her to live her life according to her own terms. He didn't want to impose himself to her. Also he wouldn't let Megha to do so. 

One thing which they were left unaware was that Pankhuri (Pinky) still secretly loved Sonu. Every prize which she would win, she would share it with him. That was the only reason she didn't made any friends who were boys in particular. She had faith somewhere in her heart that she will surely meet him someday. One night, when she was talking to Sonu, looking at his photograph smilingly sharing her thoughts with him, a knock at the door distracted her. She got up, turned on the main tube light, and opened the door. 

'Happy Birthday to our lovely daughter!'  Raj & Megha were standing holding a large black forest cake for her. 

'Thank you Papa!' she hugged him tightly. 

'You forgot about your Mumma!' Megha bantered. 

'Aww! Thank you Mumma!' she hugged her also. 

'You have turned 21 today!' Raj said.

'Where's my gift?' Pankhuri said teasingly. 

Raj nodded to Megha for passing on the gift to her. Megha pushed an envelope towards her. She hesitantly opened the seal to find a ticket to Australia. 

'I am going to Australia, alone? You are kidding me Dad!'  Baffled, she pondered on it for a while. Raj and Megha tried to explain her hard that they had made arrangements for her admission in a renowned university there. She didn't want to leave them alone. They tried hard to convince her that it would be better for her future. Moreover it was only a matter of two years only. Megha was first hysterical about the timidity of the situation but Raj had convinced her. Now all they wanted was to get the approval of Pankhuri.

Finally, Pinky aka Pankhuri was off to Australia after two weeks.

This is my fourth official entry for the contest 'Love Marriage Ya Arrange Marriage' hosted by Indiblogger and sponsored by Sony Entertainment Television. Tune into Sony, Monday to Thursday, 8:30 PM.

Do not forget to check out the link by clicking here
You can read the first part of the story here and second part here

The first entry for the contest can be found here.

Image courtesy: Google Images!

P.S.  Marriage is a compromise, trust between two partners which is built over time. Whether love or arrange, it doesn't matter, the perseverance is all that matters. Nobody on this planet is perfect. You have to accept your partner's strengths and weaknesses with patience. Life is an errand with lot of uncertainties. It would be wise to deal with them with persistence and proper judgment.


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