Manik’s P.O.V ~
Flight number E261 flying from Mumbai to Delhi will be taking off in an hour. Passengers traveling by this flight are requested to start boarding now. I repeat, flight number E261…
The announcements were been made. It was time. Time to go home. Time to relax for a while, and be with my family. Of course I was excited, but what multiplied that excitement was the thought of Nandini being there too. I couldn’t wait for her to meet my family. On the other hand, Nandini was making excuses to stay back.
“Do I have to come this time? Nothing is fine with me right now. I don’t think this is the right time for all this.” She said, picking up her bag as we stood in the queue to board the plane.
“Trust me, it is. Everything is going to be fine.” I replied. We did the final security check and went ahead.
“How do you know? Okay, let’s just assume that your family will be okay with it. But what about the others? Sooner or later, the whole world will come to know. Have you thought about what everyone else is going to say?” She asked. By now, we were seated. I was making myself comfortable, while Nandini kept on babbling. How do I calm her down? I wondered.
“Nandini, baby, you have to know that no matter what, I’m going to love you forever. I don’t care what the world thinks or says. For me, your opinion matters. I’m not afraid to tell it to the world that you are the girl I love.” I said, taking her cold hand in mine.
She sighed, and after what seemed like a long time, flashed a smile. Only I knew how relieved I was after seeing that smile. “You know exactly how to make me feel good, don’t you?” She asked.
“What can I say? I’m a genius.” I replied, leaning back on the seat. She laughed.
“Yes, you’re a genius. My genius.” She said, planting a kiss on my cheeks. All the chattering and laughter lasted till we landed in Delhi. It was like we had completely forgotten all our worries for those few hours. It felt good.
After the plane landed in Delhi, we took our bags and headed out. Just as I had expected, there were flashlights and cameras all around. People were shouting, pushing each other.
I knew what all of this did to Nandini. She stood beside me, clutching her bag tightly and looking around like the place was completely foreign to her. Before the crowd could get to any of us, I took a hold of her hand.
“Listen, they’re not gonna follow us home, okay? Just stay close, and don’t answer to anything.” I ordered over the noise. She nodded.
I stood on my toes to spot someone familiar in the crowd. He stood in between the crowd, trying to make his way in. Somehow, after a lot of hustling, he made it up to us.
“Where were you? It’s getting crazy over here.” I said to him.
“Sorry, sir. They wouldn’t let me pass. We have to leave now, before they get in.” He said to me and looked over at Nandini.
“Oh, this is Nandini. Nandu, this is Trilok, the bodyguard.” I introduced them.
“Hello, ma’am.” He said in his husky voice. Nandini smiled weakly, and looked back at the crowd who had almost got in. “Sir, we’ve to leave now.” Trilok added.
I nodded, as he walked in the front, followed by Nandini and then me. These paparazzi were really annoying. I could hear all kinds of unwanted and stupid questions coming from the crowd. I just held on to Nandini and hopped into the car.
A huge sigh of relief escaped my mouth as I shook my head trying to block out all the noise. I then looked at Nandini, who was looking out of the window. I didn’t even realize that the paps had stopped following us, and we were on the beautiful roads of Delhi.
“You okay?” I asked.
“Yeah, I guess I’m just nervous.” She replied. I put my arm around her shoulder and pulled her close.
“There’s nothing to be nervous about. You remember what I said back when the plane took off, right?” She nodded.
After about half an hour, we had finally reached home. My home.
Trilok dropped us off at the door, and went in the garage to park. I stood outside the house with Nandini, waiting for somebody to open up. Nandini was biting her nails due to extreme nervousness. This girl I tell you…
Just as I was about to ask her to stop, the door opened. Nandini lowered her hand automatically. My mom stood in front of us, wearing the biggest smile ever. No words were needed to express how much I had missed her. She engulfed me in a hug. I was more than happy to have this feeling back. The feeling of coming home after months of hard work.
She gasped, eyeing me up and down. “Kuch khata nahi hai tu? Look how pale you look!” She exclaimed. I rolled my eyes at that remark. If she could, she would stuff aloo paranthas in my mouth day and night.
“Maa, forget that. Meet Nandini.” I said. Nandini was already smiling nervously.
“Namaste aunty.” She greeted. Just with a look at her, my mom was flattered. I could easily make it out from her expression.
“Namaste beta, how are you? How was the journey?” She asked.
“Good,” Nandini replied. Both of them were being too formal with one another.
“Maa, bahar hi khada karoge kya?” I asked. Mom snapped out of her thoughts as Trilok popped behind us with our bags.
We went inside and I plopped down on the sofa. My mom, who was too excited to have Nandini, started showing her around. Nandini glanced at me a couple of times, as we just smiled at each other.
Finally, it was happening. Nandini and I…
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Credit to: Nisha