Priya sat wrapped in the duvet feeling trapped in a familiar surrounding. Thoughts of her past gushed every corner of her mind desperately aiming for recognition. Her subconscious screaming, “forgive him”, a request that she consciously repressed. To savour sweet moments in the realm of pain is the key to moving on but to forget the painful moments of the past is plain foolishness with the potential to serve as a reckless reminder in the future. Her body was the battlegrounds between her love and her anger, which essentially were two in the same. However in this battle, her broken heart found solace in anger, while her mind put together pieces of her past trying to strengthen the standing of love.
Ram (walks in with a plate of food, looks at Priya who is sitting up against the headboard staring blanking into space completely lost in her thoughts): Priya?
Seems like her mind was in the lead seducing her ears and her eyes her heartbeat outrageously sensing defeat. His face occupied her vision, his voice echoing in her ears. The way the air passes up his larynx vibrating his vocal cords prior to being propelled by his tongue to his lips; and the way his lips then touch and separate in a flash as he says, “Priya” is harmonious to her beating eardrums. Scrunching her forehead and shutting her eyes tightly to erase his image from her mind she said,
Priya: god why won’t it stop… I am Priya Sharma I want my heart to win and if my heart says that this is wrong than I believe my heart but what is this doubt in my mind and why is it so strong?
Ram (he places the plate of food on the night stand and sits by her knees on the bed, he was about to grab her hands but immediately pulls back): Priya are you okay? Is your head hurting?
The cold reality of the situation splashed in Priya’s face with the realization that Ram’s voice was not a fiction of her mind. Than why was her heart beating outrageously was it because of defeat or… “No, no, no”, she thought dismissing the possibility before it developed and conceived in her mind.
Priya: what is it?
Ram: are you okay?
Priya: I am perfectly fine… In fact I am fully capable of taking care of myself so…
Ram: nice try Priya… (he hid his agony behind a smile) But you are staying right here. It has not even been a day since you came home from the hospital and you want to leave, this is not fair. I did as you asked; I am not touching you or forcing myself on you…
Priya: it was just a thought… What? Is thinking not allowed in this room?
Ram: no! (She looked at him puzzled)… I mean yes you can think but atleast get your facts straight.
Priya: excuse me?
Ram (notices that her mood is not good and her anger has not subsided the slightest bit since she is trying to turn everything into a fight): Well for one thing, you are no longer Priya Sharma; you are Priya Ram Kapoor.
Priya: sorry I forgot, I was trying to think about my happy days.
Ram (hurt by Priya’s words but ignores it because he does not want to carry on this fight. Instead he smiles and says): Well Ms. Priya Ram Kapoor what is this I hear that you did not eat anything? Looks like you don’t want to get better because you don’t want to leave this room. It’s okay Priya, even when you get better I will be more than happy if you stay with me in our room…
Priya: Whatever Ram, if only you could see how badly I want to be away from this room. But anyways, I am not a child that you can say these things to trick me into eating. I said I am not hungry, so that means that I am not hungry. Now just please leave me alone and take this food with you (she points to the plate on the night table and Ram picks it up but instead of leaving as she had asked, he takes a piece of roti, dips it in channa masala)
Ram: Eat Priya, please… (He asks sincerely)
Priya: Have you lost your mind? I said NO… now just le…
Pihu (says angrily with her arms crossed across her chest): MUMMA!! Itne baari ho gaye ho but still you are acting stubborn like a child.
She walks up to Priya who is looking at Ram and than at Pihu scared. Ram thinking, “Wow sherni vs. choti sherni. Ab aayaga maaza!”
Priya: pihu my darling you are back.
Pihu: Mumma don’t change the topic. Papa is trying to feed you so nicely and you are in turn getting mad at him? Papa told me that you are sick and if you don’t eat than how will you get better? Mumma you need to get better, I need you, and papa needs you too.
The thought of losing her Mumma brings tears to Pihu’s eyes as she leaps into her mom’s arms taking shelter in her warm embrace.
Pihu: mumma please don’t leave us. We love you Mumma.
Priya (breaks the hug and wipes Pihu’s tears): Mumma is not going anywhere.
Pihu: than why arent you eating mumma?
Priya (smiles at her daughters concern, she cups pihus face and kisses her softly on the forehead): because i was missing you. How can i eat without you?
Ram (smiles proudly at his happy family): well Priya, now pihu is here so please eat. (His request is met with her cold stare. He decides to leave it and looks at Pihu) listen Pihu i know that you did not eat yet and neither has mumma so why doesnt papa feed both of you? hay na great idea?
Pihu: Papa you are very smart. (she looks at her mumma) but not smarter than Mumma.
Papa: woh toh hain no one is smarter than or (his voice softens as he looks Priya in the eyes) more beautiful than your mumma. (He picks up a bite and moves it towards Priya's mouth, which remained sealed. He signaled Priya to look at Pihu who was watching her intently. Her throat moved up and down as she swallowed and opened her mouth. Ram feeds her and thinks, "Cady you are a genius". He picks up a second bite and moves it close to Pihu's mouth) and now for my princess... (She opens her mouth and takes the bite)
Rams’ queen and princess finished all their food in this loving manner. He sensed the hesitation in Priya’s acceptance of each bite that he fed her and in his heart he repeatedly commended Pihu’s presence and influence. Rishab enters Raya’s room with Dadi and Soumaya. Priya holds Ram’s gaze captive as she tries to convey anger and awkwardness, which is met with open arms by his love and desire…
Soumaya (clears her throat, ending their staring contest): Wow Ram Bhappa kya baat hain. How did you manage to do what we all failed to do in the last couple of hours (she points to the empty plate in his hand)?
Rishab: Soumaya, yeh bhi koi puchaanay wala baat hain! (He laughs and winks at Ram who gives him the “shut-up” look). Priya bhabhi only likes the taste of that food that has Ram bhaiya’s pyaar… hay na bhabhi?
Ram: oye chup kaar.
Dadi (grabs Rishab’s ears): Why are you bugging my golu and bahu?
Rishab (with painful expression, his palms folded): oww dadi, please that hurts. Okay I am sorry… please Dadi
She lets go, Ram gets up and she goes and sits next to Priya and Pihu… Pihu leaps forwards and gives her pardadi a hug before she run to her chacha and chachi…
Priya: Pairi Pauna Dadi!!!
Dadi (she strokes Priya’s head): god bless you Priya putar. How are you feeling now? Is golu taking good care of you or do I have to yell at him? (ram makes a scared expression)
Priya (looks at Ram, remembering that she had promised to act like everything was fine between them): Nahi Dadiji apki golu putar is taking real good care of me. I am feeling much better.
Dadi: good!! Priya I came here to tell you that tomorrow morning I have arranged a pooja to thank Vahiguru for returning you to us and to pray for your speedy recovery.
Ram (interrupts dadi): Dadi Priya is not well. How will she sit through the pooja? Is this pooja really necessary?
Dadi (gets angry): oye tu chup kaar!! Now you will tell what to do and when to do it? You are really big now and I have no say in this house?
Ram: Nahi dadi that’s not what I meant to say.. It’s just that Priya just came back from the hospital..
Priya: Ram I am totally okay to sit through the Pooja. Dadi don’t worry, this pooja will happen and that too tomorrow. I will be ready…
Dadi: Dekha Ram meri Priya Putar kitne respect karthi hain meri. She never turns me down.
Ram (Irritated and murmuring): how will she turn you down, her quota for turning down people starts and finishes with me.
Dadi: did you say something?
Ram (scared): nahi nahi toh. Main baas woh.. I just wanted to say sorry if I hurt you Dadi…
Dadi: oye golu I was just joking you don't have to apologize, I know how much you love Priya and that you are only trying to protect her.
Priya looks at Dadi and than at Ram. He looks at her while saying to Dadi.
Ram: Haan Dadi you are right! If only she knew how much I love her…