It had been a whole day, since I had last seen Nandini. Spoken to her, heard from her or felt her. I was missing her too bad. Some part of me hated her for being so immature. But the other part of me, which was dominant, urged me to forgive her. I loved her, after all. How was I supposed to let go?
But was forgiving and forgetting going to help? I asked myself. I got only one answer – no. It wasn’t gonna help. She was stubborn. She wasn’t going to stay, no matter what I did.
I had spent my whole day, playing Xbox and eating junk. The only time I stepped out of my room, was when Aarav had a fall while playing in the backyard. I had to take him to the doctor. Nothing seemed to distract me from Nandini’s thoughts that day. To double up my frustration, was the headache I had caused myself due to the lack of sleep.
I tossed and turned in the huge bean bag in my room. Nothing seemed to calm down the throbbing pain in my head. I had to do something. I looked for some painkillers in my room, but could find none. I was barely at home. What was the need to keep medicines? I had once thought. I truly regretted that now.
Asking mom for them, was another option. But waking up at nearly midnight was not right. On top of that, her overprotective motherly nature was gonna earn me a long lecture of how I should not torture myself and what not. It was then, when I finally decided to head out to the pharmacy myself.
Groaning and cursing, I drove my car to the nearby pharmacist (which was around 9 km away from my house). Many of them, were closed shut even with a board hanging on the top which said – Open 24 hrs. . .
“Thank God.” I mumbled, spotting a pharmacy along the main road. It was more of a general store, with one compartment full of medicines. I walked in, and was about to ask for what I wanted, when I lady caught my eye.
Straight long hair. Tall and lean figure. Wearing a tunic and jeans. Covered with a shawl. I was too close to recognizing her, when a thick voice interrupted my thoughts.
“Oh bhai. Kya chahiye jaldee bolo yaar. ” The shopkeeper snapped in a really bored tone. He eyed me like I was a guilty criminal out of jail. Just when I thought, he would recognize me, he looked away. Thank God.
“Yeah. . .I need a Crocine. For headache.” I said, still focusing on the woman, who was now behind the rack.
“Twenty bucks.” The shopkeeper announced, sounding least interested. I checked my wallet and damn. . . There were no notes of ten or twenty. All I had, was five hundred bucks. I handed it to the shopkeeper.
“Don’t fool around, man. I don’t have change for this.” He said. I guess, I knew it. I sighed, not knowing what to do. I had to head back home or buy something worth 500 bucks. Shit. Who was gonna do that?
Just as I was about to turn back to leave, someone stepped in and placed a twenty rupees note on the counter. I looked back to see the same woman, whom I was noticing earlier. Well, it wasn’t some woman. It was Nandini’s mother – Neelam.
“Aunty, I – Why did you pay?” I asked, astounded to see her there at such an odd timing. Her lips curved into a polite smile which instantly reminded me of Nandini. She was an exact replica of her mother.
“Its okay, beta. Anyway, what are you doing here? Its been so long since we’ve met!” She exclaimed, pulling me into an unexpected embrace.
“I know. Years, I think. Anyway, what are you doing here this late? All okay?” I asked.
“Yeah, yeah. Just Nandini’s a little sick since morning.” She said. Suddenly, I could feel a knot in my stomach. I wondered what must’ve happened.
“What happened to her? Is she okay?” I asked, my overprotective side showing up. Aunty shook her head in denial.
“No. She has been living on chocolates and candies and all the junk since yesterday. Now, she’s not able to digest all that. That’s what has caused the pains. And you know this city sleeps by ten. No doctors are available at the time.” She said.
It struck me then, that Nandini was stressed out. She had this bad habit of eating anything anytime whenever she was tensed or stressed out about something. I just hoped she was okay. “Stress. She still hasn’t gotten rid of that habit.” I sighed.
“No.” Her mother smiled weakly.
“Just um. . . put her to sleep. If she doesn’t, show her some chick flicks. She likes Mean Girls. Also, please try to ease her out. Tell her, there is no need to stress out about anything. Why am I telling this to you? You’re her mother. You know the best. . . What am I even saying?” I rambled nervously, while she just smiled at me.
“Manik, hey, its okay, son. I know my daughter the best. But you know who’s the closest to her after me? Its you. She loves you like anything.” She said. I nodded. But I couldn’t even deny the fact, that her love for me was only separating us in the worst way.
“Look, Manik. I know, its wrong of me to interfere between the two of you. But you both are my babies. I want the best for you both. I’m not saying you should forgive her. That’s your choice, and you are one hundred per cent correct on your part. But as a mother, I cannot see my daughter suffering so much. Neither can I see you like this.” She said.
“I’m fine, aunty. Really. I’ll be okay.” I assured, even though I was myself not sure of it. I knew, I would never be the same person without Nandini.
“You might have forgotten, but I know you since you were in grade 3. We may have met after a long time, but I can easily make out when you lie.” She stated, with a slight smile. I nervously rubbed the back of my head.
“See Manik. You and I, both know that Nandini is stubborn. She’s a little immature sometimes, and makes the wrong choices. She has already made one. As far as I can see, she is regretting it. But she won’t change her mind. I’m tired of convincing her now. You are the only one who can break the chains. She listens to you. I’m asking you to help me here, because I want my daughter back. And I think, you’re the only one who can help me with that.” She said.
I did not know what to say. How was I supposed to help? Hadn’t I tried too much already?
“I don’t think I can. Since the day we’ve met again, I’ve done every possible thing to convince her to stay back. Now, when I know the reason behind her leaving, I feel it was all very immature of her. Honestly, aunty, I’m trying to accept the fact that I’ve lost her already. Because that’s what she wants.” I said.
She laughed inwardly. “No.” She said. “Nandini wants you. Nandini wants her family, her friends. But she is not able to see anything in front of the vow she had taken two years ago. As a mother, I can only do so much. But as a best friend and as a man who has loved her always, you can cross all the limits to make her realize that the path she’s walking is wrong. Please don’t turn your face from her, Manik. Do it. Change her mind. . .”
A few tears rolled down her face as she tried to hold them back. I couldn’t see her crying. I couldn’t see my life falling apart. I couldn’t see my love go away from me. I had to do something. . .
I wiped her tears gently. “Okay.” I said. She smiled at me, a lot of hope in her eyes.
“Okay. I’ll do everything I can to change her mind. I promise you aunty, that you’ll get the old Nandini back.” I said.
“Thank you, Manik. Thanks a lot for doing this. I know, its hard for you.” She sniffed.
“You don’t have to thank me. We’re a family, right? Besides, you call me your son. A mother cannot thank her son and be so formal with him.” I smiled. She nodded.
“Alright then! I’ll take your leave now. Nandini must be waiting.” She said. I nodded and gave her a hug before she hopped in her car and drove away.
Now all I had to do, was to stay strong. This was it. I had to do everything I could to make Nandini realize that what she was doing was wrong. I had to win her back. For myself, for her mother and most importantly, for us. . .
Mission #Manan was now the only thing running in my head. . .
Hey guys! A bonus for y’all. I know you missed Manan? So don’t worry cause we’ve Manan in next. And what do you think is Manik gonna do to make Nandini realize their Inexplicable Love? Its the season finale coming. Its probably more seven chapters long.:)
But I’m planning a season 2 though. Lets see what happens. I’m not sure about that. I think you had enough of my bad writing xx
Credit to: Nish