Monthly Archives: January 2018

Part 33

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“Vennela.. ready?”

Vennela pinned her saree and checked her braid.

“Ready bava”

Saying she came down and saw Jai waiting near the stairs. She looked around the place and called for one of her assistants.

“RADHA!”

A pretty looking young girl came to her.

“Enti madam?”

Vennela scrunched her face at the girl.

“Madam enti? Who madam?”

Instead of getting scared Radha chuckled.

“Sorry vadina!”

Vennela smiled and Jai shook his head. Radha was an orphan from Hyderabad whom Jai and Latha helped to study. And Vennela took to her immediately. They became thick as thieves. Jai just liked how they bonded until they did not conspire against him.

“Radha.. Get all the decor ready. Its just 4 days to the wedding.”

“I know Vadina. Today is Kuladevatha Puja and pongali. Tomorrow is pelli kuthu pelli koduku cheyadam. Then we have Nishchaya Janavasam. Then wedding.”

“Thelava bhaaga.”

Vennela praised.

“Yes. Now I think you should be going to your first monthly check up.”

“Now you are talking.”

Jai said.

“Shut up both of you.”

Vennela said and pulled Jai out.

“Bava bava. Bike lo veldam.”

“NO!”

Both turned to see the source of chorus and found Deva, Srinivasalu and Arjun.

“All men against me?”

Vennela glared at them.

“No bike rides for sometime!”

Deva said sternly.

“Car unte car lo vellaka ee bike gola ente?”

Vennela’s father admonished.

“Vennu! It is not good! Get inside the car”

Arjun said. Vennela turned to Jai.

“You heard them.”

Jai shrugged. Vennela grunted.

“I AM NOT SPEAKING TO YOU”

And Arjun laughed followed by Deva who tried stifling his chuckle. Srinivasalu just looked around, glared at Vennela and left the place hitting his head. Vennela bit her tongue.

“Vennu.. Bava doesnt know right?”

“No”

She said feebly and went to sit inside the car followed by a very confused Jai who ignited it and gassed it out. After going a little far, he turned and saw that she was drinking water.

“Vennela?”

“Hmm?”

She said trying to gulp the water down.

“What is in the SPEAKING?”

And Vennela went on coughing spree as water went down her throat the wrong way. Jai stopped the car and tapped her head and caressed her back trying to calm her. Vennela took deep breaths as Jai wiped her face with his hanky.

“Are you okay?”

Vennela turned to him narrowing her eyes. He frowned. And

SMACK

“Osi nee! Why smack me now? I asked if you were fine”

“Why ask that question now? When I was drinking water?”

“Sorry. I did not know it was offensive”

“Offensive ah aavakaya? Start the car and take me to Seetha pinni without asking stupid questions”

Seeing her red face, Jai understood that he has tickled a sleeping dragon. So silently navigated the car in the direction of the clinic.

Seetha smiled at Jai as she came out of examination room as Vennela followed adjusting her saree distracting him to the core.

“JAI!”

It took a strong call to get him out of the trance.

“Ahh.. Doctor!”

“Enti Jai.. Still in dreamworld?”

“No no doctor. How is she?”

“She is good. So is your baby. Scan reports will come in an hour. I will send it to home. Or Arjun will come here. I will send through him.”

“Arjun is very serious about the hospital”

“So is your father. Arjun is just bringing your family’s dream true. This clinic is being shifted soon to Arjun’s mother’s home that is being renovated.”

“I know and his father’s place is becoming a school in Iragavaram.”

“Yeah. Anyways. Vennela is fine. The baby looks healthy. But she needs to eat healthy food to gain strength. I already told you that her uterus needs the extra strength.”

Jai took a deep breath as he felt Vennela’s hand holding his tightly.

“Any complications?”

Seetha smiled.

“Ledu Jai. Its perfectly normal. She just needs to get strong. No complications.”

Jai smiled as he held Vennela’s hand back.

“I am giving her vitamins. Her mother knows the diet. And we need to look into her cravings also. Sour things are okay. But not too much. Jaggery eating should be under control and you can eat them after 2 months. Vennela cheptunnadi neeke”

Seetha said sternly  at a sadly pouting Vennela making Jai chuckle.

“Jai, You should be careful around this goofball.”

“I will.”

They were about to get up when Jai saw Seetha looking around. He frowned as she looked at Vennela.

“Next month nunchi, controlled speaking allowed. Not too much. Understand?”

Vennela’s cheeks took to a heavy shade of red as she nodded and pulled Jai out who came out with prescription in his hand. Near the car, he stood scratching his head.

“Vennela!”

“NOT HERE. GET IN THE CAR”

And the dragon again. So Jai silently started the car. Once they were near the rocks, Vennela asked him to stop the car.

“Vennela.. This breeze is not good for you.”

“Its okay. I am going to stand here for sometime.”

Without a choice.. He followed her. After few moments of silence.

“Why were you scratching your head there in the clinic Bava?”

Jai looked at her frowning.

“Speaking speaking enti?”

He asked the one question that kept bugging him for quite some time now. Biting her lips she tried stifling her smile.

“Speaking ante.. Come here..”

Jai gave a confused look.

“Come here ah?”

Vennela smacked on his head.

“Come here. Gimme your ear.”

“Oho”

Jai went with his ear close to her mouth.

“Speaking ante.. Ahem.. Manam kalavadam.. You know.. Night lo..”

“What the”

He yelled

“SHH”

Vennela scowled and looked around. Jai looked around too.

“Seriously?”

He asked widening his eyes. Vennela nodded her head and looked down. Jai chuckled as he saw how red her face was. His ears weren’t any better either.

“So, no speaking ante?”

“Night time adventure bhandh”

“HEY”

“That is what doctor says.”

Smirking, Jai went close to her.

“What do you say maradalu?”

“I say, our adventure is ours Bava.”

Jai laughed as she his her face in his shirt. He pulled her more into him. Life was good.

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Part 32

“Amma! Where are the gobbari kaayalu?”

Vennela asked as she came to the hall with a tray of flowers. Lakshmi came there and placed a plate full of coconuts that were dipped in turmeric.

“They are here now Vennu”

“Good. Where are the Thamboolam plate?”

“That is in Deva Annaiya’s room. He will bring it.”

“Ahh seri.. I will go and see the decor outside.”

Saying Vennela turned fast and felt giddy and stopped on her tracks. Next moment she was held by her mother and from where she did not know, Arjun and Jai were by her side.

“Vennu, you are not supposed to turn suddenly like that nanna.. First 3 months will be giddy, queasy and irritating. Here.. sit down and drink this water.”

Lakshmi said handing her the glass of water Jai brought for her. As Vennela drank from the glass, Lakshmi wiped her forehead with her saree pallu. Vennela looked up at her mother with tears in her eyes.

“Amma”

“Ente.. Kaneerlu enti asaiyanga? Why are you crying?”

“Did you ever do like this to me before?”

Vennela said wiping her tears away. Lakshmi looked at Jai sighing. Jai smiled and signalled her to move out and he will take care.

“Vennu.. Did you take your vitamins?”

“Rei po ra! Go and get ready. I don’t want you coming down with your shorts forgetting your Panche. Got it?”

She said between her cries. Jai chuckled.

“Vella ra! Go and get ready.”

Arjun went from there glaring at his bava but went to his room chuckled as he saw the panche and kurta Vennela got for him. She remembered that he liked to get married in traditional wear than any white pants in modern ways.

“Vennela..”

Jai called her as she was about to move out wiping her tears. Jai understood that her emotions were bonkers. He moved out along with her to the backyard of the house and saw her standing near the haystack with her back to him.

“Vennela?”

“Enti?”

“Yenduku ippudu aa yedupu? Why crying now?”

“See bava, everyone are at my beck and call now only because I am..”

Jai held her and turned her to face him. He smiled raising her face with his finger under her chin.

“Vennela.. You are the one who was always a part of this family. Not me. So you know them better. You were the string that held this family together Vennela from whatever little I saw. You took care of everyone. When Mavaiyya came home after going to other villages about the inspection, you were there to welcome him and give him food however late he came home. Nana ki choosi choosi mari anni chesav. You took care of him. Your mother could relax only because she knew you were there to take care. But now its the other way round. Its your turn to be pampered by them. Sometimes we don’t even know what responsibility we are shouldering until we fall short. Enjoy this pampering Vennela.”

Vennela looked at him with her eyes wide. And seeing that he has finished she took a deep breath.

“Bava.. has anyone told you that you talk too much?”

Jai looked taken aback.

“What?”

“Entha pedda monologue! Wasted my time. I should be arranging for Manasa’s arrival.”

“Seriously Vennela?”

“Enti?”

“You were crying saying no one loved you before and now..”

“Oh please! Go and do your work I gave. Welcome Manasa’s family. Its their Nishchayam today.”

“Oh yeah.. I thought it was Gandhi jayanti”

Vennela gave him a hard smack on his head.

“Vellu!”

Laughing Jai went to bring his father down as he saw Naagireddy’s cars coming. Deva happily welcomed them. Jai smiled at Uma who returned the smile. Then Jai saw Shiva Reddy and Shanti, Manasa’s parents.

“Bagunnara sir?”

Shiva reddy smiled at Jai.

“Bagunnam Magada.”

“You got him going again Jai..”

Shanti said smiling at him.

“Pedda matalu vaddandi.”

Jai said.

“We wanted a boy like you for Manasa so that she will be away from all the chaos Jai.”

“Arjun is even better than me Pinni garu. Randi”

Jai said and moved inside.

“Pratap garu”

He chuckled looking at the short man standing with all the other henchmen. Poorna chuckled.

“He is not leaving this place Jai.”

“I will if you let me”

“I will also come with you Annaiya garu. So that you can get your Maradalu Moulika engaged to me.”

“Nee… thagaleya”

Pratap gritted his teeth. Jai and Poorna laughed.

“Once Manasa is married. Next we will get you married Poorna. There is no hurry.”

“I know. Padha jai. Lets go inside.”

“Randi Pratap garu.”
Everyone entered the house that was decorated grandly. Jai saw Vennela standing with Manasa smiling and laughing. Jai went to Vennela and stood beside her. Vennela narrowed her eyes.

“Juice?”

Jai asked.

“No”

“Milk?”

“Yewww.. NO!”

“Ginger ale?”

“NO! GO AWAY”

Vennela said to Jai who chuckled. Manasa laughed.

“Mood swings already?”

“Whatever.. I am going to see if that thindi ramudu is ready?”

“You are going nowhere Vennela. Stay here. I will bring him down”

“Bring his Panche and shirt too.. We have to give them to Manasa parents which they will return to Arjun.”

“You know I understand nothing right?”

“I know. Just keep doing what I say.”

“I am doing that always.”

“Stop irritating me and get Arjun, Panthulu is going to write the Lagna pathrika.”

Pulling her cheeks once, making Manasa laugh, Jai went up to Arjun’s room. There Arjun was being pampered by Lalli.

“Arjun! Coffee?”

“Vaddu athaiyya.”

“Edayina thinu ra. Eat something.”

“ I will eat Athaiyya.. After the Nischayam I will..”

“Pinni! Seriously? This thindi Ramudu is not eating?”

“Shut up ra Bava!”

“Coming ra.. Athaiyya.. Where is mavaiyya?”

“He is down, glamouring himself up.. After all he is going to be in law now.”

Jai and Arjun laughed along with Lalli.

Down, with the acceptance of both families, it was decided that Arjun Manasa wedding will take place in a month time. The plates were exchanged between Deva and Naagireddy.

“Manasa! A MONTH?”

“Stop being a dramaqueen.”

“After his return, Bava got married in a week”

“You are not Jai and I am not vennela either. So wait for a month!”

Manasa said sternly making everyone laugh.

“Arjun! Tough ra!”

Jai said chuckling. Arjun scowled.

“Bava! Don’t irritate my brother.”

“Ala cheppu Vennu.”

“Manasa will take care of that Bava”

Vennela finished making Arjun growl and others laugh. Soon everyone were up for lunch which was a noisy affair with youngsters pulling each others legs and elders enjoying the laughs after years of crying.

“Vennela. Go, change and rest for sometime. Me and Lalli will finish up.”

Vennela was thanks as she moved to her room and pulled down her pallu. At that moment Jai came from the Balcony and stood transfixed looking at the reflection of his wife in the mirror. She was the same. But she looked different. Jai slowly walked to her. Holding her from behind, he looked at the picture they made in the mirror.

“Vennela..”

“Enti Bava?”

“Do you know, after langa oni, Sarees are something that always irritated me”

Vennela scowled.

“Control thapputundi Vennela. Can’t keep my hands to myself you know?”

He said as his hands travelled to her exposed waist. Vennela chuckled.

“I will wear capris and shirts..”

“Still I will be uncontrollable.”

“Then the dress isn’t the problem. You are..”

Jai smiled resting his hands on her tummy.

“No.. YOU are. Because you see.. You make my control go out the window.”

Vennela giggled and pushed him turning.

“I know where you are heading to. But NO SPEAKING.. Sorry bava.”

She laughed at his clueless expression.

“I am going to rest.. I am tired.”

“Wait.. I am coming tooo”

Saying Jai followed Vennela to the bed and both fell on the bed chuckling.

“Tired for engagement. What about wedding.”

“We will see it later. For now.. I am tired. You are tired. So..”

He pulled her on him and she rested her head on his heart smiling as his heartbeat lulled her to slumber. Jai smiled closing his eyes thinking about his wife, who was sleeping with her head on his heart.