Komal's eyes flickered open into the blackness of the bedroom she shared with her husband, Adarsh, and she began to frown, not knowing, at first, why she had woken from sleep. A few moments passed before she was awake enough to realise that it had been her husband who had woken her, and that he must have been dreaming, and having a bad dream. He was talking in his sleep and she did not like the sound, at all. She could not make out exactly what he was saying, but she didn't care what it was, she knew she either had to wake him up to pull him from the terrible nightmare he was having, or find some way to comfort him so that he might dream about something else.

She remembered how he had told her that he had once loved one of his sister's friends, a young woman named Roli, but then how he had come to love her, even though he had decided to marry her to safeguard his sister's future and safety in her marriage to her brother, Krishna. She had been upset to learn that he had only married her because he wanted to keep his sister safe, who hadn't even had to marry her brother in the first place, but a small part of her had also been impressed and had wondered if any of her brothers would have done the same for her, whether they would have cared enough for their little sister.

It was only after Adarsh had explained how he'd fallen in love with her, but how after they'd gotten married she'd drifted into the territory of familiar, predictable, safe and stable, and his mind had started to dwell on matters of his own family – of his sister and this trouble with Angad – rather than on his wife, that she had decided that she would give him a second chance. If he said he loved her, then she would give him one chance to prove it to her.

And then all of the business with Angad's murder and Adarsh's father's confession and arrest had come up, and his attention had been stolen from her grips again. A small part of her (that was growing daily) felt cheated. Just when she had thought she was going to finally have her husband back, when she thought she was finally going to have her husband (for the first time, almost, really), she found out that she was wrong.

She had wanted to cry.

Now, she was woken again by another of her husband's bad dreams. He had been having them a lot of late, and she supposed they would not stop until his father was released from prison, or served out his time and came home.

She looked at the window and saw just how dark it was still outside – it was indeed the middle of the night – and suppressed a small yawn; she was already tired even though she'd just woken up and had only been awake for a matter of mere seconds.

If she did not do something, she thought, neither Adarsh nor she would be getting any good, restful sleep that night.

Turning to her husband, she wondered how she might comfort him without startling him or waking him up, and slowly brought her hand up to rest on his forehead. It was warm but not hot, so she decided that he must not have been sick or have had a fever.

Feeling how warm he was, she wanted him to wake up and put his arms around her and hug her; she wanted him to tell her again how he really did love her.

Digging back years into her memory, she finally found the little tune she had been looking for, and began to hum softly, stroking her husband's forehead with gentle motions. Almost a minute later, to her joy and delight, Adarsh's mumbling stopped and he seemed to be able to settle down and breathe more steadily.

Komal smiled happily and thought that maybe one day she would make a good mother; but first she would have to get some sleep, she reminded herself. Finally, she lay back down beside her husband and stopped humming, resting her head close to her husband's on the pillow. She was very tired and her eyes were getting so hard to keep open.

She reached her hand down for her husband's and, when she found it, she wrapped her own smaller hand around his, then she closed her eyes. Maybe they would dream the same thing, she thought; maybe they would meet in their dreams and they would both have good dreams. She hoped so.

She fell asleep with a smile on her face, feeling happy and warm, with high hopes for a brighter and more beautiful future to come.


Mann Kee Awaaz Pratigya © Pearl Grey; Spellbound Productions and STAR Plus.