Marathi Culture and Festivals

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 Ria was bit nervous. She aimlessly walked for a while backstage. Then she went to the green room and sat on a chair.

“Hi Ria! How are you? ,”asked Allia, her friend who was getting ready for the event.

Ria glanced at her and said,” Fine dear, how are you?”

“I am fine yar. Ria, you are looking great in this red dress. I am sure you will rock the show today. Best luck. “, said Allia in excitement.

“Thanks. Well, I have prepared for the show. You too are looking very nice and eager for your performance. Best luck. “, replied Ria. Ria got up and glanced herself in the mirror and was happy to see that her new neck piece suited perfectly to her red dress. Ria patted Allia on her shoulder and left the place and came to backstage.

Mr. Menon, the Manager of her company greeted her,”Good Morning Ms. Ria. I am sure you are well prepared for comparing the Annual Day event.” “Good morning Mr. Menon! Thank you very much for your wishes. I can see the enthusiasm and excitement on the faces of everyone. I am bit scared as this is a new world for me. I am still getting to know and understand the work.”Ria said hesitantly.

“You are a smart girl. Wishing you all the success.” told Mr. Menon and left her. Ria thanked him and went towards the stage.

Lalit, who was coordinating the event greeted her with appreciating eyes and called her to start the programme. Ria went to the dias and glanced at the audiences. The hall was full and all were eager to get the show started.

Ria took a deep breath and with a confident smile said, “Good Morning everyone.......”She compared the event in her composed and poised manner. The whole event was grand success. Many people came on stage and complimented Ria for her wonderful job.

“Ria, you stole the show. You got a mesmerising style and knack of pulling the crowd. Great job.” exclaimed Lalit.

“Thanks a lot Lalit. I am happy that everyone liked it. ”answered Ria. After a while she left and went to her car. She got a call from Karan. She saw that there was a missed call of him. Ria felt little uneasy. She picked the call.

“Hi Ria! You didn't pick my call? How was your show?” enquired Karan.

“Hi Karan! Sorry, I was on stage and mobile was on silent mode. Well, people liked my work. Initially I was a bit nervous but it went well. I missed your. When are you coming back?” , asked Ria.

“I am coming on Thursday. As this urgent work came I couldn't attend your programme. We will meet on Saturday. Bye.” said Karan and cut the phone.

Karan was Ria`s fiancé. They got engaged 4 months back. There`s was an arranged marriage. Karan belonged to a wealthy family and was very ambitious. He, being in a senior position had to travel a lot. He was well mannered and a man of limited words. Ria was pretty and sensitive girl. She wanted to spend good time with Karan and share her thoughts and feelings with him so that they will understand each other well.

Next day morning Ria received a message on her mobile from an unknown no. She opened the message. It said, “Thanks for your hospitality during the Annual Day programme. Your MOC was excellent and time bonded. Keep it up. Regards.

Raj Tandon, Regional Manager (West).”

Ria was pleasantly surprised. Well, first of all she thought who he might be. Then she felt it may the custom of the co, as she was new. Then she received a call from her friend complimenting her for yesterday`s nice act. They talked for a while. In the afternoon she was checking another message and saw Raj`s message again. She replied it by saying, “Thanks a lot for your appreciation and motivation. I am honoured.” Meanwhile she checked about him in the office and comes to know about his whereabouts. People said that he was a sincere and hard working man.

Then in the evening when Ria was checking her Wtsapp, she was shocked to see Raj Saying “Hi”. She thought for a while and responded by saying “Hi”.

At night after finishing all her work she was checking her Wtsapp and there she sees Raj again saying “Hi! How was your day?” She was surprised with his query. Her eyes went to his DP. He looked cool and impressive. She hesitantly replied,” Hi! It was nice. How was yours?”

Raj, “ Oh! Mine was fine.”

Ria, “I was surprised to see your message.”

Raj, “ Well if I like someone`s work I send message. At the first sight, I was impressed with your style. You reminded me, one of my college friends. ”

Ria, “Oh really! How was she?”

Raj, “She had a cute face and beautiful smile like you.”

Ria smiled and they chatted for a while asking each other about their work and hobbies, etc. When he said, “Good Night” Ria was feeling very excited. Then she checked the time and was taken aback to realise that without seeing each other they had a nice conversation.

Next day Ria received a lovely Good morning (Gm) message on her Whatsapp from Raj. She felt really happy and a thought came to her. She used to send Gm messages to Karan which he never responded and thought it was a waste of time. Ria`s heart sank for a while. She recollected herself and sent a nice Gm message to Raj. After a while he replied, “Your Gm msg is good. Yesterday`s talks were very nice. I was wondering how I chatted with you for such a long time.”

Ria, “Oh ya! I also felt the same. Your Gm msg is wonderful.”

Raj was on line and said, “I felt you love nature so sent the picture especially for you Ria.”

Ria, “How nice. Yes, I love nature and that to I like sunrise on seashore. The colours in the skies are wonderful with red sun and cool breeze and h........”

Ria came to senses. She thought about what she was doing. She was to write holding someone`s hand and .......

But by mistake that msg went to Raj.

Raj, “Daily I go to the seashore for my morning walk.”

Ria, “How wonderful! Raj is a lucky man.”

Ria felt some mesmerising energy and her face glowed. In the afternoon, while having lunch in the office, her friends tease her about the same. Ria felt shy and just gave a broad smile. Everyone had a great laugh at it.

At night again while checking her Whatsapp msgs, Ria saw that Raj had sent her a lovely song. She heard it and was feeling very nice. Then she saw that Raj was on line.

Ria, “Raj, thanks a lot for the beautiful song. It`s really one of my favourite songs. ”

Raj, “I thought so Ria and send it to you. It`s my pleasure. I never talked to any girl like this. But I feel comfortable talking to you.”

Ria, “Raj, I was also thinking the same way.”

They talked for a while. Then it became habit for both of them. Ria deep inside was feeling very happy and was impressed with his sweet nothing talks and gestures. Ria was feeling really mesmerised.

On Sunday, Ria went for dinner with Karan, She was wearing a pink top and expected compliments from him. After initial halos, they settled in a posh restaurant. He was telling her about his new responsibility and got a call from office. After a while Ria became restless. She just clicked her selfie and put on Facebook. While checking Whatsapp msgs, she saw that Raj had sent her a nice quote. Ria liked it and sent smiles on his Whatsapp. Raj was on line and he asked, “Hi Ria! What are you doing? “

Ria, “I am having dinner with Karan.”

Raj, “Enjoying special date. I saw your pic on Facebook. Red Pari (angel), you are looking gorgeous in pink dress.”

Ria blushed and replied, “Thank your Kashmiri sab(apple).”

Ria was laughing. Suddenly she heard Karan asking her something and she came to senses. She glanced at him with lost face and a lightning current passed through her spine. Her face dropped and she tried to compose herself. Karan was telling about his work and Ria was just listening to him with lost mind.

Next day morning Ria was feeling little upset and was restless with the new changes in her. She was looking through her room`s window and saw a bright red rising sun and was remembering the words ‘Red Pari’ said by Karan. Ria had a good laugh at it. She chatted with Raj daily on Whatsapp. On that night Raj was on Whatsapp.

Raj, “Hi Red Pari! How was your date?”

Ria, “Good one. Kashmiri sab. What did you do yesterday?”

Raj, “I went for a musical night with my friends. It was nice. You would have loved it.”

Ria, “So sweet. You were remembering me?”

Raj, “I couldn’t forget your pic on Facebook in the pink dress. You looked very fabulous. Sending one song for you.”

Ria, “So sweet. The song is very nice. You made my day.”

Raj, “My pleasure. R you coming for the Regional meet on Friday? “

Ria was going to attend it but wanted to tease him. So she said, “I will see.”

Raj got upset and begged, “Please Ria, don`t say no.”

Ria, “I will come only if you send BMW car for me. Got it. You better.....”

Raj said, “I am not rich. But you please come.”

Ria was laughing non-stop. She still was in wacky mood and asked him, “Finally I am asking you, should I come?”

Raj as if scolding said, “Finally, I am telling you, come for the meet. I will be waiting to greet you. “

On Friday, Ria went to attend the meet. Many employees from different branches had come. Ria got especially ready and was wearing her favourite blue dress. She was to meet Raj for the first time and couldn't hide her excitement. She entered the hall with her friends. After a while she was standing alone. Suddenly someone came from her backside. She was surprised and stunned to see the man.

“Hi Ria ! How are you’” asked Raj with a pleasing smile. She turned pink with excitement. He looked deep in her eyes and put forward his hand for shake hand. Ria was lost in his deep brown eyes and her hand came forward like a robot. Raj softly held her hand. Ria felt his warm touch and was shaken. Time stilled for a while for them. Suddenly Ria came to senses and escaped her hand. Raj whispered, “ Pari, you are looking gorgeous, in the sea blue dress.” Ria was feeling very uneasy. But his sweet smile made her to giggle at his compliment. They both talked for a whole as if no one existed around. In the meet Raj was glancing her and Ria was trying to hide her joy. In the evening Ria was very angry on herself for being such an irresponsible girl. She left the hotel in a hurry.

After coming home late, Ria got call from her mother and it became very late, so she went directly to bed. Next morning when Ria checked Wtsapp, there was no msg from Raj. She felt sad. In office also she was feeling lost and was checking Whatsapp regularly for his msg. Even at night she checked Whatsapp, no. of times. Now she decided to go to bed and suddenly she saw a msg from Raj. He said,” Hi Pari! You made me clean bowled. I was busy with some client meet, so couldn`t talk. Sorry.”

Ria, “U ...sab. You have no right to make me sad. Now you will get a punishment for it.”

Raj,” My god. You are so angry. Anything for your smile.”

Ria,” Send me a nice message to boost my mood.”

Raj, “ Pari, Remembrance is a gift that no one can steal. So create and leave memories at every stage of your life.....!!”

Ria was happy at the same time speechless too. She just said Thanks and Good night and cut the Wtsapp. She nearly became addicted to Raj`s Wtsapp connection. Ria waited for his Gm msg and was not ok till she saw it every morning.

On Sunday Ria went for shopping with Karan. His mother had told to buy a sari of Ria`s choice. They entered a shop and Ria started seeing saris. Karan tried to be interested. After a while, he received a call. While getting up he told her to select fast. Ria chose 3 saris and waited for Karan. After few minutes, she starts checking Whatsapp. She saw Raj on line and said “Hi” to him.

Raj, “ Hi Pari! What are you doing?”

Ria, “I am with Karan for sari shopping.”

Raj, “Carry on dear.”

Ria, “Raj, I am confused. I have selected three saris. Karan is busy on a call.”

Raj, “No problem. You send me pics and I will tell.”

Ria, “Oh great...... Sending pics.”

Raj after seeing three pics selected one and sent it to Ria.

Ria, “Oh Kashmiri sab! How you knew I liked this light purple sari with red border. Do you think it will suit me? The combination is little different.”

Raj, “You will look beautiful when you wear it. Trust me. “

Ria, “Thanks a lot. Bye.”

At the same time Karan came and asked Ria that whether she did her selection. She showed the sari. He just glanced at it and said, “Oh fine! Come let`s go.”

Ria was expecting some nice praise or a compliment from Karan. She just wondered that was she right or was she expecting anything wrong. Then they took dinner and Karan went fast as he was to catch a flight next day.

For next few days Ria became busy with her new project. She went early to the office and got really engaged with it. She was feeling the pressure and at the same time Raj had not sent any msgs On Whatsapp for last 2-3 days. She was really getting irritated and lost.

On that day while taking lunch, her friends asked her about sad mood. She just made excuse of new project and covered her sorrow. Her heart was waiting eagerly to hear “Hi” from Raj. She even tried to call him. But couldn`t get connected due to signal problem. At night she saw that Raj had said “Hi” on Whatsapp.

First she got very angry and thought of blasting at him. She started writing harsh words. Then she controlled herself and didn`t reply at all. After a while she saw another msg from him. She opened it.

Raj,” Hi Pari! Sorry, I couldn`t take your call.”

Ria giggles and her mood suddenly comes to normalcy.

Ria,” Hi Kashmiri sab! Why didn’t you talk to me?”

Raj, “Ria, you are getting married. I don`t want to disturb you.”

Ria became silent and numb. She didn’t know what to say. She got up and started looking out of window. A beautiful full moon was shining in the sky. She looked at it for a while and felt soothed and calm. She saw that Raj was still on line.

Ria,” Hey, but I missed you so much and felt sad when you didn`t talk to me.”

Raj,” Me too Ria. I don`t want to get addicted to you. I was also very upset.”

Ria, “Can’t we be good friends on Whatsapp, please?”

Raj, “No dear. It will be very difficult for me if I get habituated to you. I feel let’s stop.”

Ria, “Please Raj. I beg you.”

Before Ria sent her message , he had closed. She wanted to say him that she felt very happy after talking to him and waited eagerly for his msgs. But suddenly she realised that she can`t do this. Ria felt as if her life was shattered.

Every day Ria waited for Raj`s msgs. She checked her Wtsapp n number of times and felt sad day by day. Her marriage date was coming nearer. She had to finish her project fast. So she got busy with her work and somehow kept herself occupied. But she was feeling as if she had lost her soul and strength.

Suddenly, one day early in the morning Ria received a lovely Gm msg from Raj. She knew no boundaries for her happiness. She conversed with him on and on. Raj was travelling somewhere and was also very sweet with his talks.

Raj, “Hi Pari! How are you?”

Ria,” Hi Kashmiri sab! How are you?’

Ria was laughing and her eyes sparkled with joy. Raj told many things about himself and his dream of starting a business. Ria wished him good luck wholeheartedly. They were continuously talking to each other for the whole day. Ria was totally lost in his talks. Raj also expressed that he felt very comfortable while talking to her. At night also they had good conversation. Raj, “Ria, I cannot go on like this. It is becoming uncontrollable. I am losing my patience. I cannot take it anymore. Sorry.”

Ria tried to convince him that let`s be good friends on Whatsapp. But suddenly he stopped talking. Ria felt as if the time had stopped. She kept on looking at her mobile in a lost way.

After a while she saw that, Raj`s photo disappeared from her Wtsapp, indicating that he had blocked her number on Whatsapp.

Author: Jyoti Kulkarni