Milan (A Wedding Story) Chap1A: Mili

Milan-001

Milan pronounced [Mil-un] मिलन <- Hindi. Origin: Sanskrit : A coming together.

sneha3 731The Nilgiris or Blue Mountains are a part of the Western Ghats located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Coonoor is a town known for it’s production of tea.

Chap 1a: Mili

—o—

It was an early Spring morning in the valley. A thick blanket of soft dense fluffy white covered the verdant hills of the Nilgiris (Blue Mountains,) forming an illusion which slowly dissipated as the Sun came up; just like a pleasant dream that dissolves and fades despite desperate attempts to latch on.

A cool breeze pregnant with moisture blew in through the wide open windows of the large villa with the whitewashed stucco walls and the red tile rooftops.

Mili stretched in her bed–long, lazy and limber. It was nice to be home at last and out of the hot and humid climes of Chennai. And this time she was back for good. At least till she could figure out what she was going to do next with her life. For now, she was going to relax, take it easy and get reacquainted with her past.

She got out of bed, ambled over to the window and gazed out at what remained of the beautiful vista that had greeted her for as long as she could remember.

The Serenity tea estate was among the oldest and largest in Coonoor. It had been a part of Mili’s family, the Bharawaj’s, for several decades. From what she had been told, in order to escape the furor and violence that had erupted in the northern territories during the country’s partition in 1947, her grandfather had relocated to the south where the situation was much calmer. After procuring the tea plantation, he had  invested his entire wealth in it and then nurtured it with great love. It had prospered since, producing some of the finest tea in the land and provided livelihood to several families who worked on it.

But times were changing. The nouveau riche, that the country was breeding in plenty, wanted to buy up everything in sight and convert it into residential and commercial real estate. Many of their neighbors had succumbed to temptation, sold their properties for premium prices and moved away, leading to the profusion of brand new construction that blocked Mili’s view.

Mili’s father, Jai Bharadwaj, was among the few remaining proud and stubborn plantation owners who had resisted. But the pressure was mounting. Production was down. Many workers had quit for greener pastures. The house and land was mortgaged up to the hilt, forcing him last year to sell a few hectares in order to break even. Mili knew that it was just a matter of time before their home wouldn’t be theirs anymore. She wished she could help but had no clue how.

She sighed, turning away from the window, “I’ll worry about it later. Right now I need some garama garam (piping hot) chai!”

Wrapping her shawl snugly around her shoulders, she raced through a long open corridor and burst into a large living area startling her mother Kiran, who happened to be deeply immersed in the painstaking task of shelling peas.

“Mili!” She exclaimed dropping a steel bowl on the floor with a loud clatter. Fortunately it was empty.

“Sorry ma! I just couldn’t wait to wish you a very good morning!” Her daughter said, throwing her arms around her mother’s shoulders.

“It’s alright beta(child)” Kiran smiled indulgently at her daughter. They had been playing this game ever since Mili had been in elementary school. Now she was a young woman of twenty four. Habits die hard. She smacked away her daughter’s hand as it sneaked towards the peas.

“Aww!”

“Seems like affection continues to flourish between mother and child. How about me? I feel left out.”

Mili looked up and saw her father standing near the main door, ready to leave for work, as usual, sharp at eight.

Papaji (father)!” She shouted, running to embrace his hefty frame which remained straight and strong despite the years that had passed. Only his face showed signs of wear and tear.

Kissing the top of her forehead, he gently stroked her cheek, “You have grown so big, so fast. Time just seems to have melted away. I wish I could ask it to stop, but I can’t.” He said while exchanging a knowing glance with his wife. “I must go now. Have lot of work to do.” He abruptly turned and strode out of the doorway.

“What happened to Papaji, ma? Something I should know about?” Mili said, looking at her mother whose eyes had lost their earlier sparkle.

Kiran avoided her gaze, “Nothing much. First go and get your chai. We need to talk.”

tbc

Note: Most of the words in Italics are from the Hindi language.

34 thoughts on “Milan (A Wedding Story) Chap1A: Mili

  1. Heer Kats

    awesome description of weather n surrounding di 🙂 yes time slipped and girls seen grown fast more than we thought for boys may be because parents think girls age to get marriage is on due heheh!!! love the name Mili and last part was very nice to see mother n daughter bonding
    interesting di
    awaiting part for next soon

    Reply
    1. Simi K. Rao

      You are right Heer. Parents worry more about their daughters and perhaps also because they leave after getting married. I like the name Mili too. It’s part of Milan.:)

      Reply
  2. chandanah

    wowie 😀
    lovely di:))
    A new story, well i loved the pic of Nilgiris :)))))
    female lead’s name is mili, waiting for the entry of hero 😉
    i loved everything you’ve written, seriously habits are really die hard LOL!!
    already waiting for next update…
    Update soon di..:)

    Reply
  3. ramzzb

    Lovely start.. The scenic beauty is awesome.. I can see it as I read..
    Mili looks to be full of energy as of now..
    So wat is bothering her parents??
    R they thinking abt her marriage??
    Awaiting the next part..

    Reply
  4. madhuar

    Hi sim sim nice start. loved your description about the place. i felt as if even i was in hill station.i think her mom wants to discuss regarding her marriage.looking forward to next update.love you always.

    Reply
  5. priyasree121

    WOW!!!! very nice start.. i like the name Mili.
    I always love the way u describe the ambiance….its amazing.
    love Mili and her family….they are so sweet and simple.
    why r her parents so worried???
    seems they r planning for her marriage…

    and I like the pic… Beautiful!!!!

    Reply
  6. jalis

    omg omg i love it
    the environment the surroundings u described were soooooo soothing
    mili i love the name very good choice simi its part of milan? so ‘an’ ladke ka hoga hain na? WOW i love it
    very new and refreshing
    ohhh poor bharadwaj’s these heartless business ppl’s arrghhh i hate them
    love the father mother daughter’s sweet relation
    oh parents worry about their children ofcourse aur woh bhi ek lauti beti ho toh pucho mat she is the only daughter right?
    amazing simi
    do continue it as much as u can :)))

    Reply
  7. Tina

    Nice start! Loving the relationship between mother-daughter-father! love how u have described a parents love for their kids and the fear and sadness of letting them go. looking forwards to the next part 🙂

    Reply
  8. Ona

    Its a nice start simi 🙂
    N for the 1st time ever i start to reading a non Shanak story 🙂
    But its really nice simi 🙂
    Ok ‘ll comment in detail after finishing all parts 🙂

    Reply
  9. theexpatdsouza

    This is very interesting 🙂 I’m going to follow it to its end! I’ve been living outside India for over 6 years now and I’m missing India more and more as the days go by. Things like these help me remember what life was like before I turned 16. Kudos and good luck with the rest of the story 🙂

    Reply
    1. Simi K. Rao

      Thank You! 🙂
      Life has changed a lot back home but I’m trying to bring in a flavor of the past which may still be evident in small towns and districts. Hope that you’ll enjoy the rest of it too.

      Reply
  10. Mimibm

    So I have started reading Milan….thank you so much Simi….how would I survive in this lonely place without your magical words!!

    Reply

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