Hello everyone 🙂
This is in no way qualified to be called the Valentine’s Day Special. But still, here it is! 😀
EPISODE 29: LUCKY
Today had been just another day with more inexplicable strange things happening in my strange life. As I drove Anika home, I let my mind go over the positive turn for my family.
Om and Ishu’s growing closeness was probably one of the best things that had happened in a long time. Om had always been the sensitive kind, resorting to drugs whenever it became too much for him. But knowing what he did, he had turned to Ishu this time, rather than those damned injections. My chest puffed up in pride and happiness just by thinking about my brother.
Bade Papa was also changing for the better ever since Swetlana had moved out of our lives. Seeing Badi Maa’s more frequent smiles and her increasing distance from alcohol was so relaxing. What left to be seen was how soon his past deeds will catch up to him. After today, I fervently hope that never happens.
I noticed Anika sitting too still, looking out of the window at the dark night and bright lights passing by us in a blur. I wondered what had her worried this time, but decided to give her some space. I sighed at the tiring day, already dreaming of my fluffy bed. She turned to me with a frown, but I decided to let it pass. I knew she’ll tell me anyways. And she did.
“Shivaay, what do people do on Valentine’s Day?” she asked in a quiet voice that contradicted with her expression. “Umm… I don’t really know. Couples go out, exchange silly heart shaped balloons, roses and other such gifts, candlelight dinners, dancing under the stars, get cozy, stuff like that. Why do you ask?” My careless answer disappointed her. She huffed slightly and a light went off in the back of my head. Oh, she was asking about our plans tomorrow!
Unfortunately I had already scheduled a meeting at lunch tomorrow. I guiltily sneaked glances at her pouty face, trying to think of ideas for tomorrow. She was furious, and I didn’t have an escape. “How about we go out for dinner tomorrow?” I suggested the traditional date.
And got the silent treatment in return!
When we were about to reach her place, she asked me, “You know, in movies and all, the heroes promise to get the moon and stars for the heroines. You never even say stuff like that!”
I was absolutely incredulous at this. For as smart a girl as her, this was the kind of adorable naiveté that usually backfired on me! I decided to go with brutal honesty and then make it up to her tomorrow by surprising her. So I said, “Nope. I can’t do that. It’s practically impossible to bring stars or the moon to you. So, I won’t promise you things that I can’t do. Besides, these are just filmy dialogues that I don’t really care for.”
Uh-oh. Maybe I had gone too far. And my time was up. I could literally hear the buzzer for ‘Wrong answer’ blowing away in the background while she trudged out of the car. Leaning in for a last warning, she pointed one long index finger at me and said, “You destroyed my dreams for my perfect first Valentine’s Day. And I’ll make sure you don’t get an ounce of peace tomorrow.”
Without giving me time for a comeback or to even open my mouth, she marched away. I could only stare at her retreating figure, wondering what awaited me the next day. I returned home to find a suspiciously cheery Rudra and a more than usual quiet Om in my room. Skipping the talking, I hurriedly changed and dumped myself on the bed. I grew suspicious when Rudra actually walked out of the room to let me sleep alone. When I asked, he almost slipped up and said, “Bhaiya, I want to sleep at night.”
Om came to his rescue and twisted his words around, “Shivaay, he means he wants to let ‘you’ sleep at night. Don’t worry; I’ll take him with me. Good night Shivaay.” I was too tired to think about it and fell asleep soon enough.
It felt as if I had only blinked my eyes once when hundreds of alarms went off at once, shocking me awake. I had to hunt down each one of those small watches and clocks hidden carefully in each nook and corner of my room. Who wakes up someone else at 03:30 in the morning with so many alarms? Did we even have so many clocks? I went back to sleep shuffling my feet like a zombie.
And then one more alarm went off five or ten minutes later. I groaned in annoyance and found the last one hidden right between my pillows. It was the only one specifically set to 03:40 am and it suddenly struck me: this was Anika’s doing. And OmRu were in on it with her. Angry with their betrayal, I swore I would snatch away their ten nights’ sleep.
I woke up a little later than usual, owing to my crazy brothers and fiancé’s prank. Rubbing my eyes, I went in to the bathroom and searched for my toothbrush, which wasn’t in its original place. I couldn’t imagine where it could have gone before I spotted its end sticking out of a cup. Without thinking I pulled it out, only to see the brush inside an ice cage. It would take forever to get my brush out of the ice, by melting it or otherwise.
I growled my irritation and turned to see a bright Anika knocking at the now open bathroom door. She looked positively innocent and glowing in her pink flared maxi dress, except for her cute devil’s smile. I narrowed my eyes at her, biting back enraged phrases. She waved at me and closed the door behind her so quickly that I wondered if it was a figment of my imagination.
I somehow managed to get ready in time and prepared a little gift for my devil. Hopping downstairs, I saw the two traitors giggling with her. They took a step back when I reached them, but I scared away them with ‘the Look’. Turning on my most charming smile, I handed her the envelope and whispered into her ear to only open it after I had left. She was dazed with my proximity but succeeded in holding up her head and nodding at me with pure love overflowing from her dark eyes.
Knowing her as well as I did, I hid behind a pillar and saw her struggle against the superglue I used to stick the envelope. And just as I had hoped, she suddenly tore it open from the edge. The confetti and the glitter flew into the air and stuck in her hair and hands, making her messier when she shook it off. I couldn’t hold back my laughter at her image, covered from head to toe in irritating, little pieces of shiny flecks. OmRu materialized at the other end of the stairs, shocked at my evil side exulting in her suffering.
I clutched my stomach as I made my way to Dadi’s room, leaving her seething in rage more than ever. On my way, I saw Bade Papa and Badi Maa bashfully smiling at each other like teenagers in love. Further down the corridor, I peeked into my parents’ room and saw Mom fixing Dad’s coat cutely. They shared a gazing romantic moment through the mirror and I left to give them some privacy. Dadi was evidently happy with the recent changes in our family’s dynamics and I wished for it to continue uphill.
Before leaving for my meeting, I went into the kitchen to prepare a snack, but there were no knives, forks or spoons in sight. I saw OmRu walking away from the kitchen and understood that this was a revenge for the revenge.
I called Sahil who was playing with Prinku and Saumya, and asked for his help in troubling his sister. Surprisingly, he acceded to teaming up with me really easily.
I pretended to look for a file while he persuaded Anika to use a new deodorant. She caught my sight for a second and I burst into snickers as she sprayed herself with snow spray. Sahil giggled happily as I gave him a piggyback ride around the house. From the corner of my eye, I noticed Saumya giving Anika an apologetic look, but she followed us out anyways.
I left for my meeting ASAP and found myself wondering what else she might be planning.
What a day! I had never imagined my first Valentine’s Day would be spent in revenge pranks! He had left for his meeting and we, the youngsters’ gang, spent the major part of afternoon in planning the perfect evening for everyone in the family as well as some more wedding discussions. Rudra had even cancelled his date for spending more quality time with family and telling them how much he loved them all. He was so cute when he said and did something adorable like that.
Ishu had also been persuaded to come and help us, and I again noticed the peaceful expression she wore around Om. She hadn’t got into much trouble lately either, and I had a good feeling about them. When all the preparations were done, I sat down on the pool’s edge with my feet in the water. I watched the sunset glow filter through the painted windows in various hues like my Shivaay’s eyes. It was so peaceful that I wanted time to freeze right here. But that was not to be as I was joined by Shivaay who quietly placed a hand around my shoulders while I rested my head between his chest and shoulder, listening to his heartbeat.
“Don’t you think you’re forgetting something?” he asked in his unique deep but gentle voice, with a slight hint of amusement. I understood what he was trying to coax me into saying, but it wasn’t going to happen. I shook my head and nuzzled into the hollow under his jaw. He shook with suppressed laughter as he admitted, “You know, I’m not going to apologize first.”
I replied, “You know, neither am I.” He softly kissed my hair and produced a small, black box from his side. I jumped up at the sight of my first gift. ‘Will I have to get his brooch now?’ I wondered before deciding to stay. I reached out for it with a big smile. But he put it away and said, “Not now. I want the first jewelry that I give to you to be my name’s mangalsutra.”
I was so overwhelmed by his words that butterflies flooded my stomach, but just to tease him a little, I raised my eyebrow a little and held up my ring finger with the ‘S’ on it shining brightly, even in the dimming light. He gave me an impossible look and complained, “That doesn’t count!”
I grinned at him while he stroked my jaw lightly. Like a magnet, I gravitated towards him, leaning in for my second give-able gift. His soft whisper grazed against my lips, “I’m kinda waiting for my apology.” Smiling and blushing and not thinking, all at the same time, I whispered back, “So am I.”
Family time on Valentine’s Day was a first for me. This day had never held much of an interest for me, except when I had been in college. But that was like another lifetime ago, and now, I never thought I would be actually celebrating this day for real. But here I was at my fake-boyfriend’s place, enjoying myself with everyone else and being pretty much normal.
I had even dressed up for the occasion, ditching my usual shirts and T-shirts for a downy magenta silk top with fluffy layers for the short sleeves. It looked super cute on, and I couldn’t help but accept Saumya’s request to apply her new fuscia lipstick too. I had to admit, I looked like an entirely different person with my hair clipped back at the top and left open behind me. My eyes were also highlighted with a little kohl and the image staring back at me from the mirror was beautiful to say the least. Also, Om’s frequent awed glances were compliment enough for me to go floating to the ninth sky. Anika also complimented my looks and complained that I always kept them hidden under those drab shirts I wore.
In the evening, Rudra and Saumya sang her favorite song: “Piya Piya Piya, mora jiya pukare…” [sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle] and then, Om, Prinku and Rudy sang a kind of mashup of few of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara songs. Shivaay only cheered them on and I assumed he wasn’t great with singing, just like I couldn’t dance. When Om looked directly at me during the “Toh zinda ho tum…” poetry, I felt a lump in my throat. But like all other times, it passed.
Dinner at the Oberoi Mansion today was fun, probably for the first time in ages, from the looks of it. Everyone was relaxed, the elders and younger ones alike. It might just be my imagination, but Tej Uncle shot me wary looks once or twice during the evening. I wryly wondered whose cat had I killed but OmRu distracted me with more details about Shivika’s revenge V-Day. I laughed, I blushed, I made fun of others, I was made fun of by others and I had a really good time in like, forever!
Once more, as it so often happened, I looked at Om and thought, “This guy really turned my life around! Is he even real?” He caught me staring and I looked away immediately, coloring a little. I wondered had I made any impact in his life too?
SNEAK PEEK: Ishu drops a bomb at the Oberois; not in the literal sense though. 😀 Om in a dilemma.
Okay, so this was longer, right? 😀 I know it was more focused on Shivika, and that’s because I love them. In the last episode, Shivaay was so cute. Trying to bring back her memories with a buffalo and recreating all those major events of their lives was so sweet. His hopeful expression when he asks if she remembers get me right in the heart.
Also, since we are already speculating on the episodes, I wonder how many of you guys liked DBO. I, for one, didn’t. So many expectations with Om’s story and they all went down the drain with the first episode itself! There was a constant sense of déjà vu with Om behaving more like Shivaay and Gauri not coming across as anything more than a bubbly girl who is strong in the face of societal injustice while crying silently and not really doing much to change it. Not to make comparisons, but Anika is much better than her. Plus, that’s getting old fast. I would still like to give it a few more episodes before deciding whether to continue watching it or not. What is your opinion on it guys?
Also, this episode today is really just another experiment by me. So guys, care to weigh in? 🙂