I am sorry for being irregular. Its just that there is so much of backlog of work because of internet server down and the like that i was not able to concentrate on uploading. I would be irregular i guess and i am again sorry for that. Hope you enjoy today’s update.
Chapter 13 link : chapter-13
(Nandini) Two days before our company’s annual party, I reported to dad. “Papa, I need to speak with you.”
(VM) “I have told you a number of times not to talk about personal things in office.”
(Nandini) “It is business.”
(VM) “So soon?” He looked stunned.
(Nandini) “Yes. Lets hold a meeting tomorrow and discuss the rest of the terms.”
(VM) “I trust you are confident.” He said doubtfully. Its just like him to have this reservation. Who wouldn’t if the job is over so soon?
(Nandini) “Never been any less.”
(VM) “Very well. I will set for meeting tomorrow. Get ready for it. Go now.”
(Nandini) “Thanks, Papa.” He just nodded and looked disappointed. It was obvious that he wanted me to stay with the company. But I didn’t want to and couldn’t now, if I have to see Manik.
(VM) “Nandini, are you alright?” as I opened the door to go out.
(Nandini) “I am fine. Why do you ask?”
(VM) “You don’t look good. Is something going on your mind?”
(Nandini) “Nothing big.” He didn’t seem convinced but he didn’t dig further.
(VM) “Sigh. Go on. Call Rishabh in.”
Christmas eve(the Annual Party of the Murthys are held nearing Christmas), I was called to the Murthy’s head quarters. What is it that they want suddenly? Do they want to change something? I was shown into a conference room where Nandini and Rishabh Murthy were sitting with their Dad Venkatesh Murthy (VM) at the centre.
(Manik) “I am sorry I am late. I was held up.” The air was tense and heavy. Is it something serious?
(VM) “Thank you for coming here. I do hope Nandini has continuously been in touch with you about the research work?” She has done an exceptional job. I cannot complain about that.
(Manik) “Yes. Also, she had the agreements for patents purchased and their usage along with the application of patents for the research product. Excellent executive. An asset to the organisation.”
(VM) -“Then, I am sure you would have noticed that only approval for patent and from the medical institute is pending. Henceforth, the work from here on is going to be taken over by Rishabh here.”
(Manik shocked) “Why? Isn’t she doing an outstanding job?” Why this sudden change in personnel?
(VM) “I never discussed this with you because it was inside our family and company nor do I have the obligation to discuss about the reason now, but you see, I promised Nandini that she can privately practice as a doctor if she completes this project for me. Like you said, she is an exceptional asset to us. She had the job that would have taken likely more than a year completed in around six months. As a part of our deal to using her in this venture, she has fulfilled her part. Now, it is my turn to fulfill my part of the agreement.” I see. It was a pact with her dad. I cannot tell anything. But not being able to see her, I suddenly felt hollow and like something sucking my energy off.
(Manik) “I see. I have no objection to this.” I got up. What am I going to do? What should I do? It is clear that she is not interested in prolonging our engagement. Do I want it? A million things passed through my mind not connecting to one.
(VM) “Also, my youngest daughter’s marriage is two weeks from now.”
(Manik) “I am aware of it. We will be attending as guests.”
(VM) “I do hope that the engagement will continue till then.” That is the least of my thoughts right now.
(Manik) “Wasn’t that the mutual understanding? If that is all, I will leave. My secretary would contact you about the next meeting to be held.”
(VM) “Thank you for being thoughtful about the personnel change. I do hope to meet you tomorrow evening.”
(Manik) “You are welcome. I will be coming.” I left. In a way, I am glad I am not going to see her but I am conflicted with uneasiness growing ever since I came to know about the feelings I have for her. I need to something about this.
(Nandini’s POV) On the day of the party, Manik was surprisingly a gentleman. He stayed with me throughout the party. Spoke courteously, treated me like a princess. It felt like all news were rumours and gossips; were all lies. He looked devoted. How nice it would be if he really treasured me! No, I shouldn’t hope for it. I am sure I will be upset since I know of the outcome. I should just leave it at that and let time do its work. But I am sure, there will be no other than Manik to make me feel miserable and happy at the same time. He took proper care of me during the party, asked me to dance towards the end of the party. While dancing, suddenly he asked,
(Manik) “You never told me about the deal with your Dad?” Why ask that suddenly?
(Nandini) “Did I have to tell it?”
(Manik) “It would have been better, maybe for both of us. Work is over then?” What did he mean? I couldn’t understand his words.
(Nandini) “Didn’t Papa say that yesterday?” He didn’t respond. Almost to the end of the dance,
(Manik) “Heard you have been chummy with Samuel Parkson? Is he your type?” It sparked anger in me. Here I am upset that I may not be able to get over you and you talk about my type! To Hell to my type!
(Nandini) “Like I told you before, I have no intention of having a physical relationship with anyone.” I am scared of it. Don’t you realise that? Now, I couldn’t even if I want. My head is filled with you.
(Manik) “So, you do have the mind of dating him.” Why does he care about that!
(Nandini) “What I Do Is None Of Your Concern! Our Engagement Is Over With Nisha’s Wedding.” He makes me crazy! I gritted my teeth in rage, trying to control myself. I would cry if I could.
(Manik) “I apologise. I stepped over my bounds. Let me get you a drink.” Saying calmly, he left. I couldn’t see the look on his face. I couldn’t make out what he wants when he speaks devoid of feelings. After sometime, he did come with a drink for me.
(Manik) “Here you go.” After a sip, I realised that it was too strong but he seemed to drink it without any problem.
(Nandini) “Isn’t it too strong?”
(Manik) “Really? I am not too sure. It seems fine.” If he can drink such strong alcohol, then so can I because I am known as a strong drinker. Within few minutes, I knew I was drunk to the extent that I couldn’t even stand properly. Manik, who had been hovering me like always in parties, caught me. I vaguely remember him talking to Papa and carry me to the lift. The next day I got up, I found myself dressed in a huge shirt and my head felt like it was banged against the wall. Where am I? Surely not in my room. Manik came out, all dressed up from the hall. He looked like he didn’t sleep too comfortably.
(Nandini) “How did I get here?” I asked politely. I couldn’t demand an answer. I clearly remember being drunk but nothing after that.
(Manik) “You were dead drunk. If you found the drink to be heavy, why drink it?” Nandini didn’t care to answer his question seeing his face show no reaction.
(Nandini) “How am I changed?”
(Manik) “You vomited. So, I had to change you. You are not the first girl I am to see naked.” Nandini blushed at his words.
(Nandini) “I am sorry to have given you trouble.” I still wanted to ask how I came here but it would be very rude, seeing that he helped me. But he answered me without asking.
(Manik) “I would have taken you to your room, but I didn’t have the card. Also, none of your family were free. Since mine is a double room, I brought you here. Anymore questions?”
(Nandini) “No. Thank you.” Somehow, he seemed distant, no, more like reserved.
(Manik) “Well, if you are well, and want to leave, you can take these pants and go to your room. You don’t have to return them. I am leaving back to my city. We will meet again at your sister’s wedding.”
He was about to leave. I really didn’t want him to leave or stop working with him. But how could I tell him that?
(Manik) “Yes?” I have to part. It would be for the best. I took a deep breath.
(Nandini) “It was a good experience working with you.”
(Manik) “I must thank you for the never before experience. Bye.” He looked like he wanted to say something but turned back and left. I heard the door close outside. I dressed
up and went back to my room. I wondered what he wanted to say. After Nisha’s wedding, I will be free of this family.
Two weeks later, Nisha’s wedding took place in a grand manner and she looked like the happiest person on earth while I was the most depressed. That was the last day I saw Manik. We parted on good terms at least. I wondered if things would have been different if I had come out to him. But I know I am coward and I would never do it.
Precap : Something really interesting coming up.. A confession may be