The room is decorated with flowers and there is a natural smell coming from the flower garlands and the rose petals spread on the floor and the bed.
He suddenly remembered this is his first night after marriage. He smacked himself for being so ignorant. How could he forget such a thing and wandered around until so late? Guests might have thought he did not care. Is that why his grandpa and grandma advised him about honor and respect in the lobby?
He felt embarrassed when it dawned on him. It means Varsha is in the room but where is she. Akash looked around and saw one shadow on the glass door to balcony. Varsha is standing in the balcony. He felt conscious about how to talk with his this unwanted wife and how to pass this embarrassing night.
He walked and slid the sliding door of the balcony slowly. He saw her standing and looking outside toward the moon in the sky. He noticed today is the day of full moon and moon looks especially big and bright tonight. Varsha either did not hear him or knowingly ignored him. He did not say anything, just kept thinking about what to say.
Varsha is in the room from 9 PM. She came here just after dinner was done. She has been waiting for Akash. She heard he has been out with his friends and cousins and will be having dinner outside. She felt confused about why he did not come early. She remembered what he said before marriage that he is only doing marriage due to the promise of his grandparents and he only came to know about this marriage arrangement a few weeks before that.
She waited in the balcony thinking all the positive and negative outcomes of this marriage. The moon which looked so beautiful when she arrived at the balcony is making her too envious now. It has turned 10 PM and he has not come yet. She thought he really does not care about this marriage. She felt like a shadow invading her heart. This feeling is so stiffing that she is feeling an urge to cry loudly.
Then she heard the door opening and his footsteps. She heard the door of balcony sliding and waited for him to call her. Her tears fell from her eyes. At least he has come. She has thought of the worst already. After balcony door slid open, she waited for him to speak for few minutes until her tears dried up.
"Do you have something to ask me?" She turned toward him and asked. There is no shyness, just those red eyes, and gentle sound.
Akash looked at her. She is still wearing her red blouse and saree. Her hair is still braided in a tail. She is still wearing her ornaments in earrings, nose ring, necklace, bangles and also her anklets. She is still in her dress.
Akash looked in her eyes which are red like she has cried recently. Her gaze made him hesitant and unnerved. He hesitated and then said "Yes"
Varsha took a deep breath and knew that the time to hear those heartbreaking words have come. She can not resign herself to fate. She has to at least try. She made her resolve and said in a pleading voice "Can I guess what it is? Just tell me in Yes or No. Can you let me do it?"
Seeing her pleading gaze, he said "Okay"
"I will ask the most important question. After a few years when you have the rights and decision-making power in your family, are you thinking of divorcing me at that time?" She looked at him showing her firm resolve.
Akash looked at her surprised and answered in a startled way "Heck No. Why would you think like that?"
Varsha suddenly felt like a huge burden has lifted from her heart. She looked at his bewildered expression and felt a joy arising in the heart and then said in a meek voice "Because you did not want this marriage. And also marriage and divorce are common things among city people."
Akash told her in scolding tone "Don't think of me like that. If I would have thought like that, I would not have married you. I married because my late father liked this marriage and my grandparents and my mother also agreed for this. I did not think of any other reason but these reasons are enough for my agreement."
"So you feel responsible to fulfill the wish of your father and uphold the promises made by your grandparents. Is it right?" She asked.
"Yes," He answered.
"What about the girl who married you? Don't you feel any responsibility toward her? She will be all alone in a new place dependent only on you." She asked looking at him expectantly.
He looked at her expression and red rims of her eyes. Did she cry before thinking of these things? But he can not put down his pride and accept everything just like that. He has to tell everyone that not considering his feelings was a bad decision.
"She entered in this arrangement knowing everything. My grandparents, my mother and sister, and other family members are there also to help her blend in" He said calmly.
She felt sad hearing his response and asked again "What about you?"
"I will not allow any outside to disrespect her. Her honor and respect is my respect and honor. I will be responsible for that." He answered.
She looked at him with her gentle gaze and asked: "Do you have someone you love?"
He looked at her, thought for a second and said "No. There is no issue like that for you."
"What about the future? What if you want to have your own children?" She asked.
He felt startled on her directness. He never considered this point yet. Varsha is so direct but he can not blame her because he can understand her insecurities. Will he look for some other women? No, he can never do such immoral thing. He looked at her and said "For now, I have not thought about that. In the future, if need be it can only be you."
Listening to his response, her eyes turned misty and she asked "Can you at least give me that promise for my marriage gift? I promise I will never blame you or complain about anything."
Akash looked at her and suddenly felt pity for her. He thought for a few seconds and then looked at her and said "I promise. I will not divorce you ever. If I needed children in future, you will be the mother."
Varsha suddenly felt shy listening to his declaration. She can not wish for anything more tonight. She decided to hide her own feelings for now. She did not wish to confess and make the situation worse than it already is. At least he is not going to leave her. With time things might change.
She moved and entered the room brushing past him and whispered "Let us go in. Others might see or hear us outside." He closed the balcony door and stood to face her again.
They stood at their place facing each other, each of them having their own thoughts. After sometime Akash said "Let us go to sleep. You take the bed, I will sleep on the sofa"
Varsha woke up in the morning and found Akash sleeping on the couch and felt sad. But this could not dampen her mood when she remembered their conversation from the night.
In the morning around 8 AM, All family members gathered at the breakfast table in the lounge. On the breakfast table, grandma asked Varsha "So, dear Varsha! Did you adjust well? Is my grandson treating you well?"
Varsha felt shy thinking of the underlying the meaning behind old women and she kept nibbling on a bread piece while keeping her head lowered. Grandma laughed seeing her flushed expression. Akash looked annoyingly toward his grandma.
Grandma looked toward Akash and said "What is wrong with it? I like to see the shy and happy expression of my granddaughter-in-law."
Akash said discontentedly "What is wrong with it? I ask you what is wrong with your head. Is this something you need to inquire?"
Everyone laughed on the breakfast table and Varsha lowered her head and then said shyly "Good enough." Yes, his promise was good enough to calm her heart for now.
No one expected her response. For few second no one understood and when grandpa remembered the question of grandma, he laughed heartily.
Akash felt flustered and thought while looking at Varsha frustrated "This girl. Why did she answer this way which can give whatever meaning? Good enough? What is this response? I tried so hard to argue with grandma and distract them from the point."
Everyone laughed and Akash knew one more quality of his wife 'Shameless'.