The week passed and the weekend, Saturday dawned. Kamaal and Ibna came to the residence of Veena at early hours; it was kamaal's big Volkswagen. Kamaal asks Ibna, if she wants to drive as he was wanting to relax for a while. Ibna looks to Veena and suggests that Veena can also drive this vehicle as she has learned to drive and also has a permit for that, looking to her, she asks and Veena refuses saying, it is better that Kamaal drive for the time. The three young people then were sitting on the front seat, Veena preferred to get the window and Ibna next to her brother Kamaal who was in driver's seat. Yamuna preferred to sit on the back seat and being spacious she became pleased with it. And they began their travel towards Ghatla. Those were days of winter and so the atmosphere was pleasant. During the travel they did not talk much since, both Veena and Ibna appeared to be in pensive mood. Kamaal was driving. Yamuna in her own mood appeared least bothered about the matter of Ibna and Shree. After some travel they reached a place where they usually stop and take the breakfast. All were moving like machines; it so appeared that all of them were under some pressure. Yamuna as usual prepared the tables of the stools, they were carrying, and while they were busy doing that Kamaal was silently watching how his sister was helping the two ladies. Ibna whispered to Veena in low tone and asked,
“Does Shree Nathji know that we are coming to them?”
On hearing that, Veena and Yamuna looked to each other with surprise on their face. It was for the first time that Ibna had called Shree in honorable manner the way a girl would call her husband.
“Yes, I have told him about our coming to the village and he seems to be happy about it.” Veena exclaimed unintentionally.
That comment appeared to have made Ibna pleased. That became apparent from the way her face reddened. Occasionally Veena would look to Kamaal just to know what may be going on in his mind but his face gave no indication of any adverse reaction so that she should feel uncomfortable. They finished the breakfast and at that Kamaal showed appreciation for the culinary skills of Yamuna and at that he called her Aatyaa the way Veena and Ibna would call her. That was a very pleasant surprise to them. Everything was going on reasonably and they reached the borders of the Ghatla village in time. It was still an early morning and the village appeared to have been in sleep to them as they moved the big car in those narrow gullies of Ghatla. The growling sound of the big engine of the car made some villagers come out of their houses but no body was particularly attentive to them. Soon they reached the small house of Veena and there they saw Veena's mother watering the plants in the courtyard.
Volkswagen stopped at the entrance of the courtyard and then she looked up to see them. There was pleasant exchange of gestures. They got down and Kamaal while looking to that humble abode slowly got out of the driver's seat and for a while stood there quietly. He was curiously watching how his sister was being received by the people of that house. That gave him a pleasant surprise and it was evident on his face. After initial exchange of greetings the girls looked back to Kamaal and beckoned him to come in the house. He obliged, moving slowly while Veena's mother watching him with anxious anxiety. Kamaal a handsome young man reasonably tall, almost of the height of her son Shreenath. As he approached her he gave a very gracious salaam in the typical Arab manners and then holding his palms together gave a namaskar in the typical Hindu manners to her. All along that Veena's mother was looking to him with curiosity, as if she was trying to understand this foreigner. All the while Ibna was moving around with such ease, as if, she was at home and that Kamaal did not miss to observe. Kamaal realized that his sister was definitely in the safest company by being here. That understanding gave him great relief as he was always worried of his sister's safety. Whole this brief ritual of introducing to each other was on some body informed the inmates of the house and Veena's father came out to receive them. Kamaal looks to him and again holds his namaskar to him to that Ramachandra greets him with a big smile. Veena' curiously asks mutely to her mother by hand gestures, “where is Shree?” on that she tells her something in the whisper, they both smile.
They all gradually move to the inside of the house, Ibna leading them. That gave Kamaal one more surprise. He fully realized that his sister was very comfortable in that house and these feelings were very important to him.
This Story continues in the next posting.
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