CHAPTER-6

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Singhania Haveli

Devnagar

Rajasthan

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Sanjana's POV:

It was 6 in the morning. All the ladies of the house were up by the time, Ma has informed us that Dadi Ji will arrive around 8 and by that time every morning household work has to be finished.

I was wearing a red and white full sleeved salwar suit. My chooda was perfectly matching with it. I had not covered my head as almost everyone else beside Milapriya bhabhi, Geetanjali bhabhi and Ma were sleeping.

All other three were in backyard making dal-bati. I did not know how to cook on traditional chula, so I was making tea for everyone and coffee for myself and Akshay.

As soon as I finished it, door bell rang. Who might it be, I thought to myself. Maybe milkman or someone I thought to myself and left to open the door.

An old lady of around 70 was standing at door.

"Namaste, Who are you and how come you are here?" I greeted her and ask her.

"Namaste, I live in the neighbouring house, I had heard that Akshay is here, thought to meet him."

"Yes, he is here but you did not exactly tell me who are you?."

"I am grandmother of his childhood friend, by the where is he?"

"Dadi, He is sleeping, I will wake him up, till then you can sit here and what would you like to have?"

"I will have ginger-tea."

"Sure, I will bring it for you, make yourself comfortable."

I served her tea and sat beside her.

"Have not seen you earlier, who are you?" She asked me.

"Yeah, I am Sanjana- Akshay's wife, just got married recently and are here for Kuldevi pooja."

"You are newly married, did not Neelanjla make you aware of rituals you are supposed to follow?"

I understand that she is elder but who is she to question Ma?

"Ma along with making me familiar with rituals has also thought me how to remove unwanted pebbels of your way."

"You talk too much and have not any respect for elders. Is this what your mother has taught you?"

"I voice my opinion where it is needed and when it comes to respecting elders then my mother has taught me fairly well and she had also taught me when to take stand for yourself and when to keep quiet."

Our argunment was interrupted by Akshay.

"Sanjana, coffee and what's going on here?"

"Will bring for you give me a minute, nothing much was just showing someone her place, next time will think twice before insulting Ma."

"What, who the hell are you talking about?"

"Her, she is someone from the opposite house and says is grandmother of your childhood friend."

Akshay turned towards her and by the time he had to say something almost all the members of the house were in living room. I covered my head.

"She?" Questioned Akshay.

"Yeah her, was saying that ma had not made me aware of the rituals and traditions and I don't know how to differentiate between elders. So, I told her to keep her opinions to herself and that ma had taught me whatever is necessary."

"Sanjana, say sorry to her, this is not way to talk to elders, do you even realize with whom you are talking?" Ma tried to reprimand me.

"I know Ma, she is your mother-in-law but this does not give her right to insult you I am not gonna say sorry to her, anyway excuse me I need to give Akshay his coffee." With that I turned to left but her bitter talks made me stop.

"This is whom you have chosen Neelanjna, so shameless girl as daughter-in-law of this house, my Avantika is so respectful towards elder."

"Dadi, how innocent you are, l whatever that Avantika does is flattery and as far as Ma's selection is concerned you have no right to object it, she can chose whoever she wants as bride for her son."

I noticed that Akshay was watching all the drama unfolding with a smirk on his lips.

"Mrs. Singhania, I am impressed and by the way Mom you had chosen perfect girl as my wife, Baby, I am waiting for the coffee and yeah put one teaspoonful of sugar, so much bitterness in the morning is not good for health."

I was flattered by his response but I know it was just to spite his grandmother some more. I know that there is some bitter history between these two.

"Sure, Akshay."

Ma accompanied me to kitchen and everyone else setteled themselves.

"Sanjana, it was not right to fight over such petty issue."

"Ma, it was not petty and she has no right to voice out her spiteness." I fumed

"Its her habit and she is not able to tolerate Akshay's success."

"But why, he is her grandson only?"

"That's because her daughter is not so well settled economically and she spites her."

"Good, let them burn and you are not gonna work. If you do not listen to me then I will inform Akshay."

"Ok, I will rest and you take care."

"Sure."

I served tea to everyone and coffee to Akshay. After drinking coffee Akshay left to do his pending work.

I was arranging the breakfast when Dadi asked Ma to massage her head.

"Neelanjla, my head is paining, massage it."

I know that she is doing the drama of her head paining.

"Ma, Akshay is calling you- he needs your signature for the registration of new property he had bought."

Listening to this, Dadi and Kishori bua (father's sister) both fumed.

Ma left from there and I took the oil.

"Dadi, your head is paining. I will massage it for you. How innocent daughter-in-law you have got otherwise modern and educated ones does not massage head but press throat." I said to her. Listening to this she said that she had some important work and left from there with Kishori bua in tow.

"Sanjana, good job, she always tortures everyone wih unnecessary work and taunts."

"Don't worry bhabhi, we will answer her in her language, we all are modern educated woman, we know our rights and responsibilities and this is something which is not to be ignored."

"Yeah, you are right, don't worry from now on we will take stand for ourselves, Akshay always opposes her, when he is here she is the ultra-modern and playful mother-in-law and when he is gone she becames the evil bitch." Said Geetanjali bhabhi.

"Ok, from now on take stand for yourself and we are not her servants to do whatever she says, what we do is out of love and I will make sure to make her understand this before leaving."

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