Shiv and Maya had one week to leave for New York. Shiv had been working the entire week on Maya’s visa and Maya had been waiting for Ganesh to send her the next task. In the meanwhile, Maya was busy writing for her blog.
It was a Tuesday morning and Shiv asked, “Are you packed for New York?” She said, “It takes me 2 hours to pack for anywhere.” Shiv stood in front of her and asked, “What are you wearing for the wedding?” Maya replied while editing her personal blog, “Is it Indian or American? The wedding?” Shiv replied, “Sameer is a Punjabi and Ana is an American. So they have a multi-cultured wedding.” Maya got up and went to her closet and took out a maxi dress in blue and asked him, “How about this?” Shiv smiled and said, “You’re my fiancée, I need you to be the center of attraction.” Maya turned towards the closet murmuring to herself, “And I thought it is Sameer’s and Ana’s wedding.” Shiv groped her buttocks from behind when she made a sarcastic comment. Maya turned and asked him, “What do you want me to wear?” Shiv whispered in her ear, “Right now? Nothing…” Maya pushed him away and said, “Oh No, Mister! Wait for 4 days…” Shiv smiled and said, “Oh so we are not pregnant!?” Maya punched him in the tummy and said, “No that won’t happen!” and showed him the contraceptive pills she has been taking.
Shiv pulled her in and kissed her on the forehead and said, “You don’t have to take medicines, you know?” Maya nodded and said, “I know you are using protection but I need to be safe too. Like the other day, Mr. Condom was missing and Miss Pills became the savior.” Shiv kissed her on the lips, a sweet but passionate kiss and said, “We need to go somewhere, royal.” Maya broke the embrace and walked towards the kitchen to heat some tea and said, “You need to be somewhere, royal. For me, since the time I have started dating you, I have been living in this kingdom that has everything. I am starting to forget that I am middle class and that I have to pay my credit card bills and pay the house rent.” Maya ran towards the living room and grabbed her phone and said, “Shit! Today is the 7th!” Shiv replied, “Yes and I have taken care of your rent. I have asked one of my guys from the Pune branch to pay your rent.” Maya opened her banking app and transferred the rent in his account and said, “Transferred peanuts in your account.” Shiv laughed and said, “You didn’t have to.” Maya said, “I had to. Please let me take care of myself. Don’t spoil me so much.” She went to the kitchen and poured tea in two mugs and handed one to him. Shiv took a sip and asked, “What were you saying about the Credit Card? Are you in debts?” Maya walked past him and sat on the balcony and said, “I will take care of it. I have my income coming in every month.” Shiv said, “Having a bad credit is not a good thing.” Maya snapped and said, “I’m not drowning in debts. I am just a little back; they won’t report me to CIBIL.” Shiv sat on the balcony and told her, “I’m not saying you are going to be reported to CIBIL, but you know how…” He stopped and took a sip of the tea and continued, “Fine. Take care of your own credit, I won’t tell you a word.” Maya questioned, “Why are you not completing your statement?” Shiv didn’t say a word and left the house. Maya sat on the balcony and wondered what Shiv was going to say.
It had been two hours since Shiv had left the house and he didn’t call her once. She knew he was angry but so was she. She never took money from anyone, not even from her parents.
She hadn’t spoken to her mom for a very long time. She missed her. She called her mom and said, “Maa..?” It was her dad who received the call. He didn’t say a word and gave the phone to her mother and said in Bengali, “It’s your daughter…” Her mother hurriedly came near the phone and said, “She is not only mine.” Maya repeated, “Maa…? Are you there?” her mom replied, “Haan! I am here. What is wrong with you? How can you not call me and tell me that you and Shiv are getting married?” Maya choked, she completely forgot to inform her mom, because of the entire Vishal fiasco right after her engagement. Maya replied, “No ma, it is not like that.” Her mother continued to yell at her and said, “I hope you know that this engagement what you’ll had is not official, it can’t be official unless we and his parents are there.” Maya smiled and said, “Yes Maa, I am aware of it. As it is we are not getting married now. How is papa?” Her mother sighed, “He is better now. He is angry…” Maya interrupted her mother, “Better now? Was he unwell?” Maya’s mother said, “Shiv didn’t tell you, maybe he wanted you to be away of the tension. Your papa’s Blood pressure went too high a month ago and we thought he will get a heart attack. He had taken money to start a business for his old age and he had kept the house as a mortgage.” Maya was stunned, she wondered how did she didn’t know about all of this. Maya questioned her mom, “Ma, why didn’t you call me once?” Her mother replied, “I wanted to tell you but I thought Shiv took care of all of this, so he must have told you. Don’t worry now, everything is okay. Shiv helped us with the mortgage. It wasn’t a big amount, but he took care of it.” Maya asked, “How much was it Ma?” She replied, “Around 2 Lakhs. Leave all that will you speak to your papa?” Maya said no and told her mother she would visit them soon and disconnected the call.
Maya was furious; she wondered how Shiv hid such a big thing from her. He helped her family, he took care of her dad and he didn’t say anything. She was very angry. Maya had around 4 Lakhs in her other savings account and she had kept it as savings. Maya took a decision of getting rid of all her debts. She had to pay around 60 thousand to her credit card company and 2 Lakhs to Shiv. She hurriedly wore her blue jeans and white t-shirt, searched for her passbook and cheque book and hurriedly went to the bank. She deposited one cheque in Shiv’s account and took out cash for her credit card payment. She paid her credit card and got the card deactivated.
While walking towards the home, she wondered about Shiv’s statement from the morning, where he left it incomplete, he wanted to say, “You know how your father got into debts and was sick…” Maya had the tears of anger flowing through her eyes. She couldn’t believe that Shiv hid something so important from her. She was angry and wanted to go back home, to Pune.
Should Maya go back to Pune and break up with Shiv, she wondered.