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Chapter 1

"Wake up!" I could hear a faint voice waking me up but I want to sleep. "Wake up fast, Malika. Don't act as you are sleeping."

'Mumma? It's Mumma's voice. Mom is here to wake me up! I'm so happy that Mom is here to wake me up.' Yawning, I slowly open my eyes to see the sun shining bright and then my sweet Mom.

"Stop acting Malika. I know you are up to get up and take a bath fast. Hurry up!" Angrily shouted my Mom.

It's going to happen this way always. Those moments when early in the morning Mom is to cares my hair, sweetly, lovingly. When Mom is to say, "Beta wake up or else you will be late." And my reply to it would always be, "Please Mumma, five minutes more."

Gone are those days. Mom would not speak lovingly with me anymore. The only thing which now could be seen through those eyes are anger, sadness, disappointment, pain, and love. Love, which is still left even for an unfaithful daughter.

Yes, I am the reason behind this. Because I broke my Mom, Dad and Brother's trust in me. My Mom is to always say 'No matter what, once a trust is broken it cannot be regained.' I never thought that I would be the one to break my parent's trust. But life doesn't go how we wish to.

I saw a Salwar Kameez on the chair as I came back to my room after having a bath. Thinking of why would Mom keep my new clothes on the chair, Mom shouted "Wear these clothes and get ready and see that you look presentable. Don't make them point out at any mistakes."

'Why would Mom tell all this? What is the occasion? And who is them?' Was all going in my mind. Then it clicked me. A family is going to come to our house and the reason for so is 'to ask my hand in marriage'.

'How can I forget it! Again I have to hear those warnings from Mom to behave. Again those questions answering session. Again those attempts by me to make the boy reject me.'

'Ah!' Getting irritated, I started getting ready.

I wore my dress, dried my hair with a towel, combed my hair and plucked it with a hair clip, applied talcum powder on my face, placed a small bindi on my forehead in between my eyebrows and I'm ready.

I don't do even basic makeup like applying kajal and lipstick.

Reason? Well, there are two reasons.

First, I don't want that boy or his family to like my looks. I don't wanna look beautiful.

Second, I'm too lazy to wear makeup.

I giggled thinking about those reasons.

I left my room and helped my Mom in doing household work. I also help in making a special breakfast for the guest. The whole time my Mom kept ignoring me and my Dad kept doing his work.

Bell ranged and as per Mom's instructions, I headed to my room and came out once Mom called me to come out.

Lowering my head I reached the hall. Uncomfortable to look at any faces, I greeted them with a "Namaskar" by joining my hands.

I slowly raised my eyes to see a shocked with amusement expression of a woman and a man and an elderly woman who can be that boy's mother, father, and grandmother.

They greeted me back and smiled looking at me. My Dad did our introduction.

"Malika beta, why are you standing? Please sit down. Don't be scared." Said that boy's mother.

I served them tea and Kanda poha and sat down on the chair.

All kept talking with each other and here I am, sitting silently and waiting for what happens next.

"Nahush will be here in a few minutes. He is busy doing his work so he will be late. My son is a workaholic" said his father with an embarrassed laugh.

'Oh! So that boy's name is Nahush. Such a beautiful name he has. What will be the meaning of his name?' I thought as I was completely into his name. I didn't even notice earlier about his absence.

With a loud laughing voice, my thoughts were disturbed. Here his parents are here to see me and all I am thinking is how beautiful name my 'shall be future husband' has!

"It's okay Mr. Mhatre. It's good being dedicated towards work." Said my father.

A throat clearing voice of Nahush's grandmother was heard. "I would like to ask you some questions. Are you ready?" Asked grandmother in a serious voice.

I swallowed in nervousness. I think it's gonna be a bit difficult. Don't know what type of questions is grandmother going to ask me. It's not like I want them to like me but still. Deva help me out! "Yes."

°°°°°°°°°°

Salwar Kameez is one of the Indian types of outfit.

Dada- Elder brother called Dada.

Kanda poha- one of the Maharashtrian breakfast.

Namaskar- Hello in Marathi language.

Date of Publish: 25/05/2019

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