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There was pin drop silence at the dining table

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There was pin drop silence at the dining table. The only audible noise was of the spoons clattering with the plates. Anika kept her head low scared to confront her in-laws. She could sense the increasing temper of Nirav who was sitting beside her. The Nirav whom she had known was totally different from the one she was seeing since last night. Nirav whom she had known so far was a very polite, soft spoken man who respected his parents too much to speak a word against their decision. But the scenario was totally different since last night, he not only allowed Anika to continue studying without his parent's permission but also stood up for Anika going against his them. She was in a dilemma whether she should be happy about his change or not. She was happy that Nirav finally gathered the guts to speak up against wrong. But she was sad knowing that this step of Nirav was surely going to hurt his parents a lot. She never wanted to be a reason for the conflicts between Nirav and his parents.

After the breakfast in the kitchen, Anika tried to talk to Asha apologizing for Nirav's rudeness but all she got in return was death glares and silent treatment from Asha. Anika made one last attempt to speak to her.

"Mom, I know Nirav's technique of explaining everything was wrong but trust me he respects you a lot and whatever he said was just out of anger. That's it. Please don't be mad at him. Please."

"Out of anger? Seriously? You know, what we humans have in our heart directly reflects through our speech. I think Nirav has stopped respecting us after his marriage." Asha stated plainly. Her words ached in Anika's heart. A lone tear escaped Anika's eyes. Her fear of becoming a reason for conflicts between Nirav and his parents became true. Inspite of trying hard not to cry, unknowingly the tears dripped down her eyes continuously. Whereas, Asha on the other had held an expressionless face and stared sternly at Anika.

"And I think Nirav has finally started respecting himself and his decisions.", Anika said firmly.

Saying that Anika turned away from Asha and directly made her way directly to her bedroom. She entered the room and slammed the door behind her making Nirav look up in a shock. She went and sat beside Nirav, covered her face with her hands and cried aloud. Nirav had no idea about her conversation with his mother. Not knowing what the matter was, he put his hand on her shoulder trying to console her. He let her cry her heart out and waited patiently for her to calm down. When she finally stopped crying, turning her face towards Nirav, she said, "Why Nirav, why did you do this? Why did you go against your parents for me? Why? Now they think that you have changed after getting married to me. They think that you have stopped respecting them and their decisions."

Nirav stared at the tear stained face of Anika trying to decipher her words. Taking his own time, collecting his thoughts, he finally spoke. "Anu, I knew that they might be thinking like that. But whatever I said was nothing wrong. They should try to change with changing times. And getting married to you haven't lowered my respect for my parents, rather have taught me to respect myself. If it's my responsibility to stop you if you are doing something wrong, similarly it's my responsibility to support you when you are correct."

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