Manan : Jeene Laga Hoon Pehle Se Zyaada by Crystal : Chapter 25
Link to Chapter 24: Here
The comments in Chapter 24 have been answered.. thanks for your support keep supporting..i am going to continue this ff just for my fans who are actually reading……. But a request to all my silent readers…. Please comment just to boost up the writers
Recap : Manik gets to know a little more about Nandini’s past and Manik gets approval from Venkatesh ashis future son-in-law for Nandini.
Two months went by in a giffy.
(Nandini’s POV) I was fixed with work to be done from home than from clients’ place. Once the data is organised, my work time will be reduced drastically. Rishabh went to the club with his friends on Sundays. Sometimes, on request, I cooked food for Manik and sent them. I didn’t have time to go and meet Manik. With next week, Malhotra group’s contract will be over. I just need to go to the meetings, for checking how the plan is being implemented. I didn’t have the time to think about Manik and my feelings.
On Monday, when I was waiting in the conference room of Malhotra’s company, Manik came in with Mr.Roy.
(Manik) “Hi, Nandu. Today’s meeting will be with me and not Roy. Over the next two days, we will be discussing and finalising the plans and others. Mr. Roy, you can go now.”
(Roy) “Here you go sir, the files. See you later, Ms. Murthy.”
(Manik) “Get ready to answer my questions. Mr. Roy, please go and check over the reports that arrived in the morning.”
(Roy) “Sure, sir.”
(Nandini’s POV) As much as I wish for him to stay, Mr. Roy also looked like he wanted to stay, but Manik can be very obstinate at times or should I say, most of the times. Seeing Mr. Roy leave,
(Manik) “So can we start, Nandu?”
(Third Person’s POV) Nandini herself didn’t realize that she didn’t feel irritated when Manik called her Nandu. As of now she never retaliated or back answered him on being called Nandu.
(Nandu) “Ready when you are.”
(Nandini’s POV) Manik is a sure taskmaster when it comes to work. Surprisingly, he listened patiently and asked relevant questions as and when required and made sure the strategy was a solid plan with the required space for change. He is tiring and harder to deal with than Roy. Maybe, that is why he is the President when young. Roy did say that he was brought up with the sole propose of leading the Malhotra group and Manik was also dedicated since he loved his grandfather, who looked after him after his father died. But, he must really give me a break and listen to what I have to say. Once I start my sentence and he understands, before I complete it, he moves on to the next topic of discussion. He is really irritating in this aspect. I am surprised people can even work under him without throwing their papers in within a week. The meeting had got over as planned.
(Nandini in her mind) Finally I have got a break for my holidays.. Luckily all my meetings with the scheduled clients have got over and for next two weeks I am free.. I am just super happy.. it feels amazing going to my village.. My Dadaji’s home
Soon Nandini’s thoughts were disturbed by Manik.
Suddenly, Manik asked me what I was doing the next week. Nandini replied that she was going to her town along with Uncle, Aunty and Rishabh to visit her Dadaji’s grave on his death anniversary (His body wasn’t cremated unlike the Hindu customs because Nandini wanted to be close to him)
Manik asked if he could join them on. Nandini said yes but on one condition that he completes work on time and if he gets a nod from Mr. Roy because even on the day of shifting, he had skipped work and later had to pull an all-nighter.
Manik was angry as being the boss he had to take permission from Mr.Roy but nonetheless he accepted Nandu’s challenge.
Nandu’s family was very happy when they heard Manik was going to join them.
As promised he had completed his work on time by pulling all-nighters and he was able to join Nandu’s family for this nice and long trip.
During the drive, Manik was tired and hence he had slept while others preferred chit chatting.
(Manik’s POV) We reached Nandini’s dadaji’s house.. the main purpose of our visit to the Nandu’s town was because this week was marking Nandu’s dadaji’s death anniversary.
The House that Nandu’s Dadaji had was not less than a palace. I enjoyed his week’s stay in the town.
Nandini had thought about giving a chance to Manik by dating him on Shanoo Aunty’s insistence. The week had passed by very fast. Nandini and Manik had gone for Tree Climbing, they had relieved the old memories by seeing old photo albums, playing cards and board games and also visiting town. Manik had then realised that he had already known Nandini from his childhood. He saw that Nandini was very popular among the guys he did get jealous knowing the fact but he knew that they none were her boyfriend.
(Manik’s POV) One day, Nandu and i had gone and visited Mr. Veer Dhawan (best friend of Nandini’s Dadaji and the head of Dhawan Industries). He also had enlighted me about his childhood and he had equal fun at his place. Nandu told him that she is planning to date me. Though i was shocked, I understood that Nandu is very close to Mr. Dhawan. She called him Dadaji and he told me also to call him Dadaji. He also told me how much Nandu is weak though she says she is strong and told me to treat her with care. But I thought that he was just simply taking tension because from my point of view she was really strong and very tough to handle.
The day had come when they had to visit Dadaji’s grave and we all had paid him our due respect.
Even I had accompanied Nandu’s family. The grave was in middle of nowhere and it had a small temple attached to it. The place had given him peace in his heart.
While others were in the temple, Manik decided to walk around the place and there he saw Nandini talking to her Dadaji’s grave.
(Nandini) “Dadaji, I said yes to Manik with an intention to reject him within sometime, if he didn’t give up on me after seeing the person who I am, but the more he knows about me, I feel his love getting stronger. I wanted to reject him but being with him this past week confuses me. He is not like how I imagined him to be. I realise why people are attracted to him. I thought that he was arrogant, tyrannical but he is nothing like he shows himself to be. He is honest, gentle, listens to people, considers others feelings, and makes a person feel at ease. He is also selfish, possessive, and sometimes adorable. His sincerity confounds me. I don’t know when it started, but I feel comfortable to be with him like with you or
Rishabh. I feel safe. I like him. But I don’t know if it is feelings of love. I can see that Will loves me, desires me. But I am not sure of my feelings. I want to make sure of whether I feel that he is like a brother to me or I love him like a lover. I am scared to think further. I am scared if I will be like mother who found her true love later. I feel like I am doing something bad to Manik. I never felt guilty towards anyone else like this in the past. Manik is the first person to make me have these feelings. Oh! What should I do, Dadaji? I am confused. Please help me.”
(Manik) “You should have told that to me.”
(Manik’s POV) She turned around immediately. She was shocked to see me there. Her guiltiness was evident after she realised I heard her. I can’t believe I forced Nandu to this point. She hung her head down in shame. I could only think of one thing. I kneeled down and hugged her.
(Manik) “I am so sorry, Nandu. I can’t believe that I pushed you to a corner like this.” She tried to budge. She struggled with her thoughts.
(Nandini) “No, that is not it, Manik. You didn’t…”
I took her face in my hands. I looked straight into her eyes.
(Manik) “No, I did. I should have given you some more time till you were sure. I only thought about myself. I thought that I might lose you if we didn’t have a chance to meet anymore. I forced you…”
(Nandini) “No! You didn’t force me, Manik. I really like spending time with you.” Tears welling up in her eyes.
(Manik) “And yet, you didn’t know if I was a brother or a lover to you. You could have told me that sooner. You are so sweet, Nandu. Even when you were telling your Dadaji about me and your worries, you make yourself feel guilty. You could have easily said that you doubted whether I would be faithful. You are too kind, Nandu. I am so hAppy that you trust me. Similarly, I trust you, Nandu. You will remain true to what you are. You shouldn’t change because of anyone or even me. Even if you are going to hurt someone knowingly or not, I know that you would be hurt the most.”
(Manik’s thoughts) Tears were sliding down to my hands. My hands were shaking. Veer Dadaji was right. I thought she was strong, so strong not caring what the society thinks, facing everything so bravely but I was wrong to think that she didn’t have doubts or insecurities. She is so fragile and hard to hold that I fear that she might break if I hold her too tight. But I can’t let go, not now. I need to make her feel secure before I break her because of my impatience.
(Nandini) “Manik… I am sorry… sorry….”
(Manik) “Listen, Nandu. Listen to me. I am not angry. I am hAppy instead. At least now, I know what your dilemma is. You remember, once you said to Aliya that you might be a perfect match for me but I might not be a perfect match for you. I will try to change as much as I can to be the best man if not the perfect man for you. I will try whatever is possible. I am not forcing myself. If you feel I am like a brother to you, I will still cherish you. If you love me and want to be with me forever, I will stay with you forever and support you. I love you, Nandini Murthy. And I promise you, in front of your Dadaji here right now, that no matter how you feel, I will cherish you, support you, and protect you forever. I will wait, Jo, wait for you to decide, be sure of yourself.”
(Nandini) “Oh! I am sorry, Manik… so sorry.”
(Manik – all in action didn’t speak a word) I hugged her. She was crying. I never ever wanted to push her like this. I want to erase off all her insecurities and show my love for her. I want this to be the last time I make her cry.
(Manik spoke after calming her a lil) “Hey, now. Come on. Stop. You didn’t do anything wrong. Stop crying or Rishabh will kill me for making his precious sister Didi cry. Come on, smile now.”
Till she stopped crying, I hugged her. Then we joined back the family in the temple after she had calmed down
Our trip had come to an end and I was dropped by everyone at the club. On my way when I was entering the club . I told Rishabh congrats on securing the highest grades.
Listening to me Nandini asked Rishabh what was I talking about. Rishabh replied “About my marks and you already know about because I knew Mr.Anthony had informed you the day you came to pick me up from school.”
Nandini felt guilty but at the same time she was hAppy and relieved because of Manik’s talk .
Manik thought that being rejected for the second time was like hell.
After our trip the time had passed in jiffy. Manik and I were able to meet only for work and sometimes when work got extended, went out for dinner. I really wanted to spend more time with Manik to see what these feelings I have mean, but work got the best of us. Manik proved in his actions that he wanted to spend more time together. He moved next door to us from the club. He did say it was his mother’s house. He said he will be staying here from now onwards. The club was turned into an employee recreation centre. I am sure that is what it was built for. Most of the time after his move, we have dinner together. He brought the red BMW for my use and his own Porsche. After great persuasion from Rishabh and Aunty, I accepted the BMW. Rishabh’s Ferrari was in his garage. We went to work together on days I had to go to the Malhotra building.
Precap: Nandini senses some unaccounted feeling for Manik.