She looked toward him shyly from the corner of her eyes and found him looking at herself with a thoughtful expression and lowered her eyes and asked nervously "What is it? Did I say something wrong?" She felt afraid that she talked too much again. Everyone in the family says that she talks too much. She scolded herself silently for being such a blabbermouth.
After a few seconds, he said calmly "I was told about this arranged marriage just two weeks back. I did not even know before that there was some girl who is set to be my wife. I am not sure if there will be love in this marriage because we don't even know each other properly? Don't you think this is absurd? I find it difficult to accept." He looked toward her trying to read her thoughts while keeping his own expression indifferent.
Her heart pained listening to his words. Can he not see her feelings in her words? Can he not see her nervousness and excitement? Is he so unfeeling towards others? She understood his meaning but still asked courageously "Then why did you not tell your grandfather to say 'NO' to this relationship?" Her eyes turned misty and voice a bit hoarse.
He said while looking ahead "My grandparents liked you and this promise was made and maintained for ten years. And also my late father has chosen you. I have no way to say NO. You are the only person who can decide on this." He turned his head looked at her with a calm gaze and said "A loveless marriage or no marriage? It is up to you now."
She looked ahead and was lost in her thoughts and then asked: "Do you have someone already you love and have decided to marry and which no one in your family know yet?"
"No" His reply came spontaneously.
She asks again "You can not say 'No' to your family members due to your love toward them and do not wish to hurt their pride. Now you wish for me to think and ask my grandfather not to send me in this loveless marriage. Right?"
"That is correct." He replied indifferently. he felt amused thinking this girl is not so dumb after all.
She wished to break down there and then but she did not wish to cry in front of him. She was afraid that he will not be in love with her and it was true. Still, she hoped she will show her expertise in cooking and housework and with her sincerity win his heart. She remembers what her grandfather said, "To win a man you need to be a good cook". She made a resolve that she will completely devote herself and put extra effort for everyone in her matrimonial home to like her, especially her husband.
Although she found it painful to bear unfeeling him it still brought a bit of hope in her heart that he does not have anyone else he wants to marry and he loves his family too much and is a prideful person. It means she still has some hope in future when he starts thinking of her as his family.
She felt determination rising in her heart to make him see her love toward him and then said "It is not like I asked my family to set up this marriage. It is my grandfather and grandmother who are too happy about this relationship and for their happiness, I have accepted it without any question. I love them too much and can do anything for them just like you." She felt her eyes turned misty and her voice became like a whisper in the end.
He looked at her lowered head and then asked feeling a bit disappointed in her "What should we do about this marriage then?"
"Loveless marriage? No big deal about it then." She mumbled and then could not stop her tears from falling. She ran away to change the water flow in the channel. This was also her chance to hide her tears from him. Akash shook his head and knew that it was her indication for him to go back. He felt annoyed and frustrated same time and only could walk back the way he came leaving Varsha in the garden.
He thought she must at least be a bit smart enough but she is a total village girl, unrefined and naive. Even if he says he does not wish to marry and can't possibly love her, she still did not back out and not even try to convince her grandparents. What a dumb girl with no self-respect?
He asks his own grandfather in the evening if they can cancel the marriage or make his younger brother or other cousin marry her. He has found such a time to do personal talk with great difficulty when no one was around. But Grandfather tells him lovingly making him speechless "I have selected the best girl for my favorite grandson. Do not be stupid. You will thank me after a few years if not today."