Part 9

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Manik's grandmother was showing the photo albums to Nandini. When she saw her son's photo, she turned sad and there were tears in her eyes.

Nandini : "What is the matter, Grandma? Why do you have tears in your eyes? Who is he?"

Grandmother : "He is my son, but he has broken all ties with us. He fell in love with a girl from a different caste and wanted to marry her. Grandpa objected to it. Grandpa told him that if he marries her, then there won't be any place for him in this house. So he left the house and married her."

Grandmother : "I and Nyonika tried to convince both Grandpa and him so that he can come back and stay with us, but both didn't budge from their decision. After trying a lot, we gave up. Probably he won't come and meet me even once before I die."

Nandini : "Where is he now?"

Grandmother : "He is here, in this town. Though we stay in the same town, he has distanced himself from us."

Nandini felt sorry for her. Nandini didn't know if she would ever come back there again. So she immediately got more information about her son. She went to his house to meet him the next day. 

Nandini: "Namaste Uncle! I am Nandini, your sister's daughter-in-law. I wanted to talk to you about your mom."

Manik's uncle : "I have broken all ties with that family long back. Why are you here now? Did Nyonika send you?"

Nandini : "No Uncle, no one sent me. I came here on my own."

Uncle : "Don't call me Uncle and I don't want to talk to you. You can leave now."

Nandini : "Sorry sir... but please listen to me. I will just take a few minutes."

Manik's uncle didn't respond.

Nandini : "Grandma told me the reason you left them. She is very sick now and yearning to meet you. Can't you forget your indifference and meet her once?"

Uncle : "That's not my concern."

Nandini : "What is grandma's mistake in it, why is she being punished? Please think sir, you have grown up kids too. What would you do if your kids leave you for some reason and don't want to meet you? How would you feel if you were in your mom's place?"

Uncle didn't respond. Nandini didn't know how else to convince him, so she left. But Nandini's words had hit the right spot, he began to think about what she said. The timing was just right.

There was a difference of opinion between him and his son. If they continued like that, they would have headed towards a similar situation. He went and met his mom. After seeing her health condition, he assured her that he will meet her more often.

Flashback ends.....

Manik heard the entire conversation because it was related to his grandmother. He didn't know how Nandini had managed to meet his uncle and convince him to meet his grandmother. She herself was hurt but still she thought about his grandmother.

It was the first time Nandini had met grandmother. They had already applied for divorce and so probably Nandini wouldn't meet her ever again. It wouldn't have mattered even if she wouldn't have done that. But still she took the effort and had become the reason for his grandmother's happiness. He was impressed.

Manik started observing Nandini and figured out that she was very friendly and caring by nature. He figured out that she wasn't pretending or trying to impress anyone. His care was limited only to his close family and friends, but she cared for everyone around her irrespective of who it was. Manik's perception about Nandini had begun to change.

One day, Manik didn't see Nandini at breakfast. He came to know from his mom that she was fasting because it was karva chauth. He knew how his mom was particular about traditions.

Manik's thoughts : "I can't manage even if the breakfast or lunch is delayed a little. How is she going to manage without eating or drinking for the whole day?"

Nandini was in the room. She started feeling dizzy and was about to fall. Nandini wasn't used to fasting. Manik had just walked into the room and saw her. He held her from falling and made her sit on the couch.

Manik : "Why don't you eat something? Just don't tell mom that you did. You don't have to fast for real."

Nandini : "But that's not right."

Manik : "Aren't we pretending that everything is fine between us when it is not? Similarly you can pretend in this case too."

Nandini : "We are pretending for our parents happiness. We don't have any other option. Moreover, I only need to fast for a day. I just felt dizzy. I am not going to die if I don't eat for a day."

Nandini had other much bigger issues which she was concerned about. One day of fasting didn't seem big to her. In the past, Nandini's existence didn't matter to Manik, but now, he felt bad hearing such words from the girl who cared for everyone.

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