Chapter 11 link :
(Manik) “Hey, Nandini!” I kept my palms on her forehead.
(Nandini) “No….. No……” and she kept murmuring it again and again.
(Manik) “Hey, Nandini, wake up! Its a dream. Wake up!”
(Nandini) “NNNNOOOOO!” She screamed and woke up abruptly, pushing me aside. She was breathing heavily, sweating immensely. She was tensed, bundled herself to a small ball, shivering like a frightened animal.
(Manik) “Are you okay?” I gave her a glass of water. She took it cautiously. She drank it slowly as if it were poisoned. She tried to compose herself.
(Nandini) “Who changed my clothes?” She asked loudly but her voice trembled.
(Manik) “Shefali did.” She looked more scared because of what I said.
(Nandini) “What did she say? Did she tell you anything?” She asked hurriedly. What she said? Why is she concerned about that? She looked anxious.
(Manik) “That you are scared of touch.”
(Nandini) “That’s all?”
(Manik) “That’s all.” Suddenly, there was a sense of relief in her face. What more is there that I shouldn’t know?
(Manik hoping that Nandini would answer asked) “But why? Why are you scared?” I sat by the side of the bed and looked at her with concern while she looked away. “Why did you
faint?” I wanted to hug her softly and calm her down but I couldn’t.
Nandini was angry by his act and she asked him to do whatever he likes and she was not a pr*stitute that he could kiss her whenever he liked.
(Manik in anger) “I Got It. I Will Do Whatever I Like! You can stay for the next two days of party if you want. Good Night.” I went out banging the door. Thank god, I realised that I like her before it was too late. I can still get out of these wretched feelings.
(Nandini’s POV) I couldn’t stop trembling. I was shivering before but seeing Manik’s face look furious, I cowered. I have never seen anyone look enraged as he was. When he banged the door and left, I jumped up. I tried to hold myself and calm down. Why was he angry? I told him clearly I was not interested in a relationship. So, why? I have never cared who knows about me, but please let Manik never know. Even though I don’t want to be involved with him, please let him never know my past. I don’t know when I fell asleep while crying, it was noon when I got up. Manik’s sister, Mukti was going out when I came out of my room.
(Mukti) “Ah! Nandini! Nice to see you again.” She beamed at me. Mukti, I met her just once before. A beautiful, vile tongued person. It was hard to think that she is married and has three children.
(Nandini) “Hello.” I answered her, guarded.
(Mukti) “You don’t have to be uptight around me.” Yeah, right! You can casually insult a person without even the other realising it.
(Nandini) “I am not really. Today’s party is for?” Its not that I couldn’t look up the itinerary.
(Mukti) “You are attending today’s party?” She looked surprised.
(Nandini) “Yes. Anything wrong?”
(Mukti) “Manik changed his partner for the evening before he went out.” Really? He changed it. Was it because of yesterday? Was he angry? Why? I couldn’t understand. Seeing me silent,“Are you still attending?” I have no choice.
(Nandini) “Yes. I am. I am representing the Murthys also.”
As we went out for shopping,
(Mukti) “What happened between you and Manik?” I knew that she couldn’t keep it in her.
(Mukti) “Nothing which is so serious, that he changed partners?”
(Nandini) “It is not serious. Its just a partner.”
(Mukti) “I know Manik. He wouldn’t mind having affairs or one night stands when single but not when engaged. He will make sure he breaks it up before he moves on.”
(Mukti) “What happened?”
(Nandini) “If you are worried about that, I already told him that I don’t mind him having affairs or scandals. Let it publish, splash all over, I don’t care.”
(Mukti) “It would affect you.”
(Nandini) “Even if it does, he is not the first one to do it and I pretty sure that he wouldn’t be the last one.”
(Mukti) “I am not sure what kind of relationships you have had, but I know that you pushed Manik to this.”
(Nandini) “I don’t care even I did.”
(Mukti) “Nandini! What are you not telling him?”
(Nandini) “I would have told him if I wanted him to know.”
(Mukti irritated) “Talking with you right now, feels like hitting the wall. If I were you, I would drag him back to the backwaters factory.” She cares a lot about Manik. I could see. But,
(Nandini) “That’s the difference. You are not me. Don’t worry, Mukti. Your brother won’t be hurt, nor would I be.” I just hope I wouldn’t be hurt.
Finally, the party that day got over. Manik didn’t even look at me. I don’t care. He didn’t look like he was close with the woman escorting him. During the middle of the party, he disappeared. It was almost at the end of the party when I realised it. He said I as his fiancée had to stay till the end and he disappeared! I decided to leave. My room was at the end of the floor where all his family had their rooms in. When I crossed Manik’s room, the woman who was escorting him came out. It is not a mystery as to what happened. I was shocked. I don’t know what to say or feel! I know I shouldn’t be but seeing him actually do it, I never expected it like Mukti.
(Woman) “Oh! Hello. You are his fiancée, aren’t you? He showed me during the party. Are you going in?” Asked the blonde girl, who looked like a model, stepping aside.
(Nandini) “No. I am going to my room.”
(Woman) “I see. No wonder he is like this.” She chuckled. “Well, see you later, Ms. Fiancée.”
(Nandini’s POV) What the hell was that! Why should I hear from her? I was beyond angry. This is humiliating. I know what I told him but I don’t have to take this. I walked away from there and packed my bags. I am not going to stay here anymore. Let him do whatever he wants and I returned back to the factory without attending the third day of the business meet of the Malhotras.
When I returned back to the factory, research work got the best of me. Even if Manik had come, I wouldn’t have known. I had been sleeping at the lab. Life is more than pressuring. I just don’t know what I am going to do! Manik is always in corner of my mind, Samuel being stubborn and getting harder to deal with. In Samuel’s case, I could ask Rishabh whom he idolizes for help. Should I ask Rishabh for help? He will help me but he would also mock at me. How am I going to deal with him? I was lying back on my chair, thinking when someone banged my table. I knew who it would be and I didn’t even care to take the book from my face.
(Nandini in utter amusement) “What, Samuel? What do you want?”
(Samuel) “This paper, look over it.” I finally sat straight and looked at it.
(Nandini) “Have you shown it to Naitik? Isn’t he also a part of this? He has to correlate with you.” I gave it back to him.
(Samuel) “That is what you are here for, aren’t you? Correlating and smooth running.” Irritating a*s. Why do I have only such people around me!
(Nandini) “Shall we go to my room to talk?” I said calmly.
(Samuel) “Why?” I looked out from my cabin and pointed him to them.
(Nandini) “I do not wish to humiliate you in front of colleagues who respect you.”
(Samuel) “They don’t anymore. Not after you arrived.” He said with contempt.
(Nandini) “What a petty man you are, Samuel! Is that how much you trust your friends? I pity you. To think they even stood up for you and asked me not to throw you off the project; and you don’t even want to talk to them after.” For the first time, he shut his mouth. He looked stunned. “So shall we go?” I got up and went ahead to my office room. Of all the times, I just had to suffer from headache now. He followed me. Glad that I can atleast sort this out now.
(Nandini) “Take a seat, Samuel.”
(Nandini) “So your complaints?” He glared at me.
(Samuel) “Didn’t you have them? To the extent you wanted me out of the project?” I hate people without an ounce of management skills in managerial positions.
(Nandini) “Let me tell you this. I am not a narrow-minded person to throw out someone with talent and skill just because they want to act on their own, ignoring superiors. I heard you
idolize my brother.” He twitched in his seat.
(Samuel) “Not really.” What a lie! I have heard endless praises of Rishabh from his colleagues.
(Nandini) “Well, if you do, let me make it clear what Rishabh would have done. He would have fired you and made sure you don’t get another job in your life. You would have died
homeless and penniless. To avoid his anger being projected, it is exactly why trouble makers are sent to me.”
(Samuel) “I wonder if your brother knows about your small talks on him.” Rishabh never cared about and never will.
(Nandini) “Infact, he does. I have no intention of hiding things from my brother. Getting back to the problem, your colleagues still trust you and your work. They want to get along with you as before but you are making it hard for them to work with you.”
(Samuel) “That wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t mope up to their boss.”
(Nandini) “Samuel, these things are getting you nowhere. I don’t know what you have against me and I do not care to know it. As far as I am concerned, I need the job to move properly without any frictions in the working environment. If you persist on creating frictions, I would have no choice by to transfer you. So, to make things easier, lets us meet in a common level. Is that fine?” He grunted and nodded his head.
(Nandini) “You have any suggestions to make our cooperation better?”
(Samuel) “You have something in mind?”
(Nandini) “Actually, plenty; but I need it out of your mouth. I am not going to change the way I administrate. You need to accept the fact that different people have different ways of
governing. So, tell me what I do would satisfy you and make you accept me to be your boss?” He looked at me with disbelief.
(Samuel) “Are you joking?”
(Nandini) “No. I am completely serious.”
(Samuel) “You would listen to a person working under you?” He must be thinking that I am an idiot to do so, but I don’t seem to have a choice except hear out what his problem is.
(Nandini) “I absolutely will.”
(Nandini) “A good question. If I don’t do this, would you ever accept me?”
(Nandini) “Nice. Samuel, you are an honest person. Now that we have reached an understanding, what should I do?”
(Samuel) “Give me time to think about it.”
(Nandini) “Yes. I won’t be returning back to the lab for today. Please inform the others. They can contact me through mail. You may go now.”
After he closed the door and left, I threw my legs on the table. Why do I feel so tired? I never felt tired even I worked in ER.I saw the gossip columns in the community site. Manik certainly has been busy. He didn’t even think about being discreet. Talks about me being uncaring about these, has created problems at home. Dad definitely didn’t like it when I told him about what I said to Manik. Sigh. Just nonsense after nonsense, I can’t take it! Just few more months. I noticed the door knock, but didn’t get up. I felt tired and exhausted; I just wanted to sleep. If they see me like this, they will go away. Someone came in. It must be one of the office admin staff, they will go away taking what they want.
Go out soon.
The door closed. They left. I feel like it has been ages since I slept. Cold cloth over my eyes and head. Ah…. It felt so nice. I didn’t feel like opening my eyes. I want to sleep. Forget everything for now. I can think all I want when I wake up again and Nandini Drifted to her beautiful and sound sleep.
Precap : Manik Worried