EPISODE 22: LUCKY
“When you texted me, I was having ‘papri chat’. Since you said it was urgent, I had to leave my food for you!” I complained. Om was justly and thoroughly appalled at that and it took him a few seconds to find a fitting reply. I started fidgeting with my duppatta wearing a smug smile when he decided to just go with me instead of arguing. He opened the door of his car for me like a gentleman and I was about to step in when we heard someone call out, “Om, please wait!”
I leaned a little to my side to see who it was, my shoulder resting on his chest. Riddhima caught up with us soon enough and her jealousy on seeing us standing so close was obvious. I felt my face take on a hard cast as she watched me with venom in her eyes. Turning to Om, she pleaded, “Om, why are you doing this? I admit my mistake and I’m sorry. Won’t you give me another chance? How can you throw away three years old relationship for this girl?”
She grabbed Om’s other hand and tried persuading him. I wanted to skin that irritating girl alive when she did that. But I didn’t have to do anything as Om was there to defend me and handle the mad girl. “Riddhima, I already said that Ishu is my girlfriend. So, think twice before you say anything against her. And about our relationship, it’s over already. And as you can see, I’ve moved on. I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused you, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
His usually soft voice had hardened and frankly, it didn’t sound like Om at all. I had to peel my eyes off his suspicious ex-girlfriend and look up at him to make sure it really was Om standing next to me. The hard voice didn’t sound unfamiliar either, but I was too preoccupied to think about that. She said a few more words about how she’ll always miss him and so on and then she left. I turned to Om and saw his features soften slowly.
Impulsively, I asked him, “Om, why did you lie? You never lie about anything. So why did you lie this time?” He looked at me with conflict in his expressive eyes. He motioned for me to sit while he framed the sentences in his mind. He walked slowly to the other side and sat down with a furrow between his brows. After some deliberation, he spoke carefully, “I don’t know why I said it then. Maybe because explaining your and Ishana’s story was too much of unnecessary trouble. And I really wanted to shut her up for good. Although, now that I think of it, would you like to be my girlfriend for real?”
More than being shocked, I was amused. I wondered at his brain which went on a walkabout unlike everyone else. To not give him anymore weird ideas, I quickly replied in negative. He didn’t seem too hurt as he nonchalantly remarked, “Too bad for me. But you’ll have to be my pretend girlfriend in front of others. Okay?” I could only smile in amusement at this new and unpredictable side of Om. I nodded quietly and we drove off into the sunset.
As promised, we went to have the much beloved papri chat. The sun was glowing in bright hues of red, golden and light lavender, and I missed our balcony evenings. I pushed away the nostalgia and turned to see Om looking at me with an unfathomable expression. His eyes were more interesting than any book and I read it eagerly. Surprise, awe, appreciation, recognition, beauty, comforting warmth, a hint of fear, and yet the raw boldness that comes with enthusiasm and energy; all of these were present in those dark chocolate eyes.
A blaring horn from the heavy traffic snapped me out of my daze, throwing me back into the land of the living. Out of the blue, he asked me, “Ishu, I want to make a portrait of you. Will you pose for me?” For some strange reason, this question was more blush-inducing than the proposition to be his girlfriend. My eyes automatically lowered and blood rushed to my cheeks.
Of course, it was very flattering to be asked to model for such an esteemed artist, I reasoned with myself. But it was too close, too intimate, too personal. “Why me?” I asked at length. He had probably thought a lot about it as he quickly answered, “There’s something I see in you that I would love to capture on canvas. Your okay-ness and innocent maturity, how you take it easy, and how you think with a different view of the world, your expressions when you do stuff; it’s all worth capturing in colours. It’s kind of infectious. More than that, it’s actually addicting! I have tried painting your face, but I never can. I tried to do it with my imagination at first, and then with pictures, but I just couldn’t. So, would you allow me to try it with you actually there?”
My heart thumped louder at his words. ‘My okay-ness? That’s what he wants to paint?’ I wondered. It was a little weirdly depressing but I got over it anyway. I decided to stick to the facts for now. “Om, I have a shoot coming up and I’ll be gone for the next two days. So, I’ll let you know once I come back. Is that okay?”
“Of course, tell me when you’re ready”, the earnestness in his voice won me over. A smile made its way to my lips and it was immediately reflected on his sun kissed lips. I looked around us and concluded it was time to go home. But before I could get a word out, he said, “We should be heading home. Shivaay asked both of us to be there.” My brows pulled together in confusion and he seemingly read my mind.
“Apparently he has an announcement to make. I think Anika and Sahil would’ve returned from the hospital by now.” I had a fair guess about what he wanted to announce, but I figured I must go anyways. After all, dressing up to eat ‘papri chat’ isn’t fair to me, right? ‘Getting to ride with my pretend-boyfriend artist is just a plus!’ I thought gleefully.
This was a kind of filling in episode to explain Ishu’s point of view. I have already explained Om’s point of view as an artist when he expresses his desire to paint her portrait, but Ishu’s reaction and thoughts to this was never touched upon. So, here it is. Also, the precap I gave in last episode will probably take up two episodes. I can give you guys one hint: there’s a lot of drama coming up soon. All the good times are over, and now it’s time for our leads to decide their priorities. This entire premonition is for the upcoming five to six episodes. So, hopefully, you guys will keep me on the right track by sharing your views and suggestions. 🙂
Adiós, amigos. Cuídate. Sea feliz! 😀 😉