Here is the last part:
He turned the steering wheel at the turn. “Where are we going Mr. Dumbledore?” he turned to Ragini and flashed her a smile. “Oh please I know your tooth paste has salt, charcoal and all those crazy things so no need to flash that tubelight colored teeth” she turned her head to the window.
Hearing her he let out a chuckle and looked at her. “Have patience Ms. Dumbo” said he and continued driving. “Which is the thing I have least don’t tell me to show that talent” said she resting her chin over her hand.
“From where have you learned this sarcasm. I really want to meet your teacher” he smirked.
“Again? Like seriously girl what’s your problem with time? Always late. Everyone has watch to see the time but for you it more useful as an ornament right? Do one thing take that dollar of it and hang it across your neck” he crossed his arms.
“Ragini” she heard Sanskar’s voice and opened her eyes. “Hun?” she was still lost in that dream. “Where are you lost?” asked he.
“N….. nowhere” she said hesitant. “Are you okay?” he asked worried when he found her sweating. “I feel suffocated” she said holding her neck.
He stopped the car with a jerk and released his seat belt and walked out of the car and reached her. She stepped out and hugged him tightly.
“What happened? You are scaring me now” said he and she shut her eyes tight not willing to look at anything but just feel his presence. She nodded her head vigorously. She did not wanted to share what she saw. It was the same person she saw in hospital that day.
She did not knew why she loved this life that she did not wanted to return to her past which was still not clear. She doesn’t know if it was better than this but this was what made her content. No more expectations from life but just appreciation for what it has given her.
But life had stored different things for her. Only if it could act the way we wish; it will never get tangled itself in messes utterly complicated.
“I… just” she was not understanding what to say. “Okay okay relax now” said he and she dragged him more close to herself.
“I love you” she said not finding better words and he smiled at her childish behavior. He dragged her out of the hug and made her sit on her seat and fastened the seat belt. He leaned to her forehead and kissed it. She closed her eyes and that smile spread over her lips.
He sat back in his seat and ignited the engine. She sighed and relaxed on the seat and closed her eyes. He patted her hand and she felt that comfort and relaxed more.
It had been half an hour that Sanskar was driving and Ragini was still with closed eyes when he stopped the car and she woke up feeling the non movement.
“Here we are” said Sanskar flashing her a smile. “Where is this here?” asked she loosening the seat belt. “You will know it soon” said he and got out of the car.
“What’s it….?” she paused when the enormous mansion in front of her dried her throat. Still her mouth was open and she was gaping at it without blinking her eyes. “Where are we?” she turned to Sanskar who had a wide smile on his face.
“Come” he held her hand and dragged her behind him. She just followed him blankly. As he pushed the big wooden door her eyes scanned each corner of the mansion which was decorated with balloons and the foam and soap bubbles flew across as though she was in some heaven.
“Hey champ. Look who’s here?” he spoke and she tilted her head behind him. Ansh turned and his face beamed with happiness and the smile on his face spread from one ear to another.
He moved past all those expensive gifts across him to pounce on the most priced gift of his birthday – Ragini who was all smiles finding him. She knelt and he jumped up to grab her neck and she was taken back a bit due to his weight but maintained the balance.
“Ansh” she uttered and he dragged himself out of the hug and looked at her with those shiny orbs of his. “Chachu you brought me the best gift for my birthday” he looked at Sanskar. “It’s your birthday?” Ragini’s eyes had the obvious question.
“No we are mock practicing the college fest here” Sahil nodded his head mocking at her. “Sahil” Sanskar interrupted. “Fine” he raised his hands in mock surrender and Ragini’s gaze shifted back to Ansh who was standing still with that toothy grin.
“Happy Birthday Ansh. May you get all you wish in your life” said she hugging him again. “I’m sorry your dumbledore chachu just didn’t had the courtesy to inform me that I’m going to attend the birthday party of my little life” she held his cheek and pouted sadly.
“Nevermind” Sanskar knelt beside her. “I give. You give all the same right?” she lost in his eyes and those twinkling eyes spoke those unspoken words which awoke all her desires. “So champ what do you want?” asked Sanskar turning his face to Ansh and Ragini moved her eyes and finally in took the breath she held.
“Say na dumbledore you also forgot his gift and now buttering him” she shot at him and he sighed but still looked at Ansh. “That’s what Sanskar does every year. Instead of gifting Ansh he makes a promise to him and then fulfills it like last time he said he will build a fountain in his office on Ansh’s insisting and he fulfilled his promise” Sahil gave her a formal smile and Ragini smiled at him sheepishly.
“Oh” she just could utter that due to the embarrassment her earlier sentence brought with it. “Exactly” said Sanskar and placed his hand on Ansh’s chest.
“Um” Ansh placed his finger on his chin and looked up to think of something yet crazier than last time and Sanskar smiled looking at him. Sanskar’s phone buzzed interrupting Ansh’s thought. Giving a regretful look Sanskar excused himself and walked out to answer his call.
Ragini nodded her head forming a thin line on her lips. She turned Ansh towards her and cupped his face. “So let me also make a promise to Ansh this birthday. Will you accept my gift?” asked she and he nodded vigorously.
She pulled his nose and kissed his cheek. “No matter what you will be the first person my mind will think of when I think of innocence. You will be the person I will give my preference to first” she ruffled his hair and he dangled his little hands across her neck and she smiled widely patting his back.
“Now can we cut the cake please I’m starving” Yohan yelled and everyone glared him. “Okay I know I’m bad” said he and looked down. “You are not just bad Chimpanzee you are the worst” Ragini walked to him holding Ansh’s hand.
“And you the queen of Sarcasm land?” he crossed his arms annoyed. “She is one” Harish looked at Yohan with a bent head and mocking. “Mom see na” he complained to Avantika who was lost somewhere.
“Yohan grow up. You have signed your marriage certificate and by all means you have rights to cry Kavi’s name so please spare my ears” said she rolling her eyes.
“And she is Mallika of Sarcasm” Harish burst into fits of laughter and everyone controlled their laugh guess what will come in next.
He looked at everyone’s normal expressions and his laugh died down. As his eyes moved to Avantika he found her giving him death glares already and swallowed hard.
“And this is how the cool dad becomes the tandoori only with mom’s stare” said Yohan and Kavya hit him on his shoulder complaining.
“Don’t you worry chote nawab. You are also going to have this phase of life soon” said Sahil and Avantik gave him a winning smile “And that’s the Badshah of Sarcasm” she nuzzled her nose at Harish.
Sanskar walked in and found all giggling. No matter what he always admired Raheja family for their lively nature. He always wished his family was lot simple like them instead of pretense. Then it was not Avantika the coolest among the three siblings handled the family it was Annapurna the pride lover and tradition freak who handles his family.
That was the main reason for his family to fall apart. Kishan and Anjali lived a lie as husband and wife when they could have got rid off each other long back. Kishan and Adarsh’s fights which brought the family business crashing to the ground and few other things were just some countable things Annapurna’s handling of the family brought with it.
But Avantika managed her small family yet elegantly. If it wasn’t for her right decisions at right time her family wouldn’t have been able to pull this far.
Sanskar just snapped himself out of the imaginary world and looked at all who were happy. “Um. Pari Bhabi apologized for not attending the party as her due date is near doctor has strictly told her to avoid stepping out of her room too” said Sanskar as he placed the phone back.
“So what Mr. Dumbledore you could have made Ansh speak to her through the video call” said Ragini and Sanskar hit his forehead. “How stupid of me?” he said. “Finally you realized it. Happy realization” Sahil and Ragini spoke and were ready for a high five but stopped in midway.
“I mean I don’t understand she assisted you hardly for a day that you still finding it hard to get along with her big bro. See she is even mingled with our dracula dad” said Yohan. “Oye” Harish yelled at him.
“I meant no harm dad I was just trying to patch them up. They are neither friends nor foes and that’s dangerous kind of relationship you know” said Yohan. “And we are happy with that no interaction than some funny retorts relationship thank you” said Sahil and Yohan frowned.
“Whatever” Yohan rolled his eyes. “Guys relax” said Sanskar like always making peace between the two hot head brothers. He has been used to it as he does the same when it comes about Kishan and Adarsh.
“Let me make a video call to Pari Bhabi” said he and opened the app and dialed her number. Pari came online and Ansh smiled with twinkling eyes. “Pari Maa” said he and Avantika looked at him emotionally. Though Pari’s pregnancy had kept her away from Ansh she still had the same place in Ansh’s heart.
She was the one who took care of him when his mother left him all alone in this world. She smiled waving at him. “Ansh. Happy Birthday” she screeched happy. “Ohho mumma dad told no screaming” Ani walked into the frame and Ragini’s eyes glowed. Sanskar smiled looking at her.
They talked to each other for almost ten minutes.
“Love you too Pari maa” Ansh disconnected the call after Pari wished him and sent him lot of love. “Now can we cut the cake. It is starving” said Yohan. “You are such a …” “Pain” Harish completed Ragini’s sentence and both gave high five to each other.
Everyone giggled and finally Ansh walked to the cake. It was a Doremon cake which was Ansh’s favorite cartoon. He blew the candles after making a wish and all smiled finding him happy.
“And now dance” Ansh screeched happy running to the music system and turned his favorite Gangnam style and started dancing on that and all enjoyed his innocent antics.
Ragini slipped her hand behind Sanskar’s palms. His eyebrows knitted in confusion. She filled those gaps between his fingers so perfectly. Sanskar cocked his head at her and she bit her cheeks inside mischievously. “Ragini…” “Only you have the rights in the world to flirt Mr. Rawat?” she looked straight in his eyes and the moment seemed stopped there for him.
She turned her gaze to Ansh and placed her head over his shoulder when nobody was noticing them. Nodding his head he smiled.
“Now couple dance” Yohan screeched happy. “It’s Ansh’s birthday so keep your pervert type ideas inside that hard skull” said Sanskar. “Yeah couple dance” Ansh jumped happy. “But champ” Sanskar looked at him.
“Please na chachu” said Ansh pleading. “Like there are only two couples” said Sahil. “And three” Yohan whispered in Sanskar’s ear pointing to him and Ragini.
Sanskar shot him a death glare and Yohan bit his tongue apologizing. “And three” Ansh brought Ragini beside Sanskar. Sanskar looked at him and then at Ragini.
When he waited Ansh to join Ragini’s hand to him Ansh took him with surprise when he joined her hand with Sahil and smiled looking at them.
“Are you kidding me? I will dance with this chalti firti afat. She collides every second even with those almond shaped eyes and I don’t want to fracture my leg sorry” said Sahil and dragged his hand away and walked away. “Tell your beloved Chachu anyways she is his assistant him not me” said he waving his hands in air.
“That’s not fair Dad” Ansh cried fake. “And you are as dramebazz as your mom. Sorry I will not fall for all this” said he raising his hands. “Sahil” Sanskar shot him an angry glare for hurting Ansh. “I’m sorry sorry champ” said Sahil walking to Ansh.
“And compensate for it” said Sanskar placing Ragini’s hand in Sahil’s hand and walking from there lifting Ansh in his arms.
Ragini stared at her hand and then at Sahil for a moment before the music hit her ear drums. The moment the music started Sahil pulled her towards him and she looked at him horrified. As his hand rested on her back and other hand holding her palm she felt uneasy. An urge to flee from there arouse in her heart.
As the light music hit them all moved with it. Ragini was too lost and missed her steps and stamped on Sahil’s foot hard. “Oh..I… I’m sorry” she apologized him when he winced in pain holding his leg.
“See I told you. Now you understood when I say we can’t be in sync I mean it. She is disastrous” he walked from there. Sanskar walked to Ragini who was disturbed and stood in front of her. “I…I did not mean to harm” she had tears in her eyes which were swollen instantly.
“Can I have the pleasure to dance with you Ms. Asthana?” Sanskar forwarded his hand to her and she placed her hand on his hand without even blinking and staring into his calm eyes.
Dil charkhe ki ek tu dori
Sufi iska rang haye. Isme jo tera khwab piroya
Ninde bani patang
Dil bharta nahi aankhe rajti nahi
Chahe kitna bhi dekhi jaavu
Wakht Jaye phir bhi roka na pavu
Tu thodi der aur tehr jaaa
Tu thodi der aur tehr jaaa zalima
She did not drift her eyes from his and they moved with the music drown in some magical moment which was theirs and only theirs.
Tu thodi der aur tehra Jaa
“I’m sorry I’m a complete mess” she whispered painfully looking at him. “You are just perfect the way you are” he whispered and she without hesitation placed her head on his chest hearing that soothing lullaby of his thumping heart whose each corner said that even if the world was threatening her he will be beside her holding her hand tight assuring her that everything will be fine. He closed his eyes lost in her presence.
Sahil walked in after attending a call after the music stopped and all drifted away from each other.
“Let me drop you home” said Sanskar after the dinner. “Sanky you came here after a long time stay for little more time” Avantika insisted.
“And you don’t know her predator brother. He will eat Sanky bro raw if she doesn’t reach on time” Yohan said with wide eyes. “Ha ha very funny. I will make sure you will be his first victim” Ragini glared him and he stuck his tongue.
“Sahil will drop her” said Harish. “No that’s fine. I will drop her and come back” said Sanskar not wanting his brother to face Kumud’s memories again.
“Oh I’ll make your work easy. Let me drop her” said Yohan and Sanskar agreed to it reluctantly. He wanted to spend little more time with her. But all his plans went in vain.
He glanced a look at Ragini who assured him that she is fine with it. He smiled at her weakly and she followed Yohan to the car. He waved at her reluctantly and she signed him to text her and he nodded his head.
Sanskar had a hearty laughter after ages with rest of the Raheja family who always considered him as their son. “Chachu please stay for tonight” Ansh insisted and Sanskar could not deny it. He walked to Ansh’s room to spend time with him.
His room was decorated with those stars and it gave a feel that he was sleeping under stars. He had developed liking towards sleeping under the celestial lights like Kumud.
Sanskar smiled at him when Ansh lied beside him placing his little head on his broad shoulder.
“Chachu my present” he pouted cutely. “Arrey haa. It totally went off my mind” said he and tilted his head at Ansh.
“This time I want” again he placed his hand on his chin and stared the ceiling. “Dadi says the people who die will become stars and will be watching us” said he as the lights glittered in his eyes.
“Um hm” said Sanskar and ruffled his hair. “I wish I could see mumma through these stars” said he sad. Sanskar felt the pain shifting to his heart.
“Champ” Sanskar dragged him for a warm hug. “Trust me wherever she is. She is looking at you” said he and kissed Ansh’s hair.
“I want to see her” he said with a bright smile on his face. “It is impossible champ” said Sanskar staring him pained.
“If Ragini aunty becomes my mumma I can see my mom’s face right?” his innocent question crashed his world and his heart just sank to a depth from where raising was almost impossible.
“Tell her to become my mumma na chachu please” he looked at his chachu as he could not understand what was he asking his Chachu – his life and his heart. His Ragini.
Sanskar’s phone buzzed beside him and he blankly opened the message.
“I love you sweet dreams” a tear escaped his eye reading Ragini’s text as his heart just went on to break into pieces which he knew he could never recollect.
“TU THODI DER AUR TEHER JAA. (STAY A LITTLE LONGER WITH ME)”
Don’t blame me now. It was always intended.
This was at least expected. Wasn’t it?
Anyways do let me know how was the chappy.
Lots of love