Belated New Year Wishes.. Hope it brings a lot of success and happpiness in all your life….. Thanks for ur continuous support and goood wishes…
Next Day :
(Nandini) “More Irritants!” She scowled at me as she left to open the door.
(Nandini again) “Kavita! What a sweet surprise!”
Any girl would have hugged the other for the excitement in her voice but Nandini didn’t. She crossed her fingers as the other woman lightly hugged Nandini without touching much.
(Kavita) “I could finally abandon Naksh and Naira. They were pestering me to bring them to see you.”
(Kavita’s eyes suddenly fell on Manik and she said) “And what is Mr. Malhotra doing here?”
(Nandini) “Forget him. Just treat it like he is not here.”
(Kavita) “You cannot possibly ignore such a huge presence, can you?”
(Nandini) “Then, treat him like furniture. Invading my home every weekend, destroying my peace”
(Kavita) “I see”
(Manik seeing Nandini glare at him decided to leave the sisters alone) “I will go out for some time.”
(Manik’s POV) I walked out to town. Had a light lunch and when I returned it was late afternoon. I had my doubts as to whether I should go in. I sat down at the edges of the start of the meadows. Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulders.
(Kavita) “Mr. Manik Malhotra.”
(Kavita again spoke) “I am Kavita Kumar. Nandini’s elder sister. Nice to meet you and also yes I hope you remember me.” She extended her hands and gave me a tight slap abruptly. What the! I just let my guard down around her.
(Kavita) “That is for what you did to my sister.” Kavita looked serious and continued “Before you think of me as Nandini’s confessor, Dad told me what you did to her. I came here with the sole purpose of meeting you and telling you exactly what you did to her. Shall we have a quiet walk? And the slap was something i do not regret. Since i am being sane i gave you just a slap else i would have showered you with slaps for what you have done with my Nandu”
(Kavita asked) “Do you know what I do?”
(Manik) “You are also part of the Murthy group top and your husband’s, aren’t you?”
(Kavita) “Yes. But like Nandini, I am also a doctor, except I am a psychologist while she is a cardiologist. Now whatever I say to you, do not ask Nandini. Do you know that she is scared of touch or any physical contact?”
(Kavita) “It was not a natural problem to her. She was a normal girl like anyone else.” She took a deep breath and slowly, cautiously uttered her words. “When she was fifteen……., she was kidnapped……… and gang raped.”
(Manik’s POV) It was like thunder fell on my head! She was gang raped? He felt like whole world turned around him.. He didn’t know how to react. He was shocked and was in utter disbelief. Anger flew over me. I couldn’t contain it. I wanted to butcher those who did it to her.His trance of thoughts was broken when Kavita continued
(Kavita) “As you know, kidnapping is normal. They do it for the money. But Nandini was unfortunate. They didn’t stop with just ransom.”
Looking at me, flushed,
(Kavita) “How does it feel to know you did the same thing as they did?”
(Manik’s POV) The calmness with which she asked me just felt like another slap on my face and it hurt as if my body was ripped apart. I didn’t have anything to retort with. It never struck me before but I finally realised the severity of my actions.
(Kavita) “At least, you drugged her. They initially kidnapped her for money but they found her beautiful and therefore they raped her over and over before we found her. The time from when she was kidnapped to when she was found, it was just twenty hours. Just twenty, in our daily life, twenty hours run without notice but to Nandini those twenty hours were pure hell. None of us knows what happened then. She wouldn’t tell. We couldn’t even take her to the hospital in the ambulance. She screamed and fought back with all her might even being as weak she was before we could sedate her. Let alone women, she wouldn’t even let mom touch her. She screamed through the nights, never slept, never let anyone near her. If mom even tried to hug her, she would faint. She went through therapy for a few years before she could tolerate even a handshake. But bad luck found her again. When Rishabh was about to get married both Nandini and Nisha were engaged. On the day of the reception, we found Nandini rattled and her fiancé lying unconscious, bleeding in one of the spare rooms. The same nightmare repeated. It was hell for each and every one of us to see our very lovely Nandini like that again. The one who took it bad was Dad. He tried so hard to protect her and make her happy. He always wanted her to take over Murthys though he never told it out loud. But seeing what it has done to her, he let her do what she wanted. This time, I saw to it that she would be able to get over it. But I couldn’t do everything. She could touch people, social limit but I don’t know how it got into her head, she started dating. I was strongly against it, but she didn’t care. She broke up everytime things got serious. Not all the men were bastards like her fiancé. Then again, she can’t even accept a hug, let alone a kiss. How could she think she can start dating? None of those things lasted more than a month. Finally, when I pushed her to answer me, she said this way, no one would bring up the past and she could learn to endure contact. I tried so many ways to prove her wrong but she was just too stubborn and before she knew it, she earned herself a name of seductress who can’t be satisfied. She didn’t even have time for these things when she was studying so hard. She never did have time till she ran off to Sujatha Chachi’s place last year. She was doing her internship and worked in ER whenever time permitted her, she barely had time to sleep. She, under that stupid name, tried to hide who she was.”
(Manik’s thoughts on hearing Kavita.. He just kept quiet and analyzed everything in his brains) I would disfigure myself, if I could. I was angry with myself. What I did to her brought back her terrors. I ruined her life again and made things harder for everyone around her. Made life difficult for her.
(Kavita seeing Manik’s expressions) “Feeling horrible?”
(Manik) “I cannot start to describe how I feel.”
(Kavita) “Because of what you did, she is back to the starting point. I literally wanted to kill you.”
(Manik) “I realise no matter how much I apologise, it isn’t going to help her in any method………. What have I done?”
(Manik again with all his guts he managed to ask a question) What happened to the guys who did this to her?”
(Kavita) “Other than you, all are suffering, making sure that death is better than living, no doubt. Dad saw to it. Consider yourself very Manik.”
(Manik’s POV) I couldn’t. I am worse than those bastards. I scarred her (this happened because of the miscarriage that Nandini had faced). I keep hanging around her and destroying her.
(Manik with difficulty spoke) “I know I should let go of her but I still can’t. I cannot think of my life without her.”
Kavita looked at me with disbelief and shock and then spoke. “I have come to love her so much, I just don’t want to see her unhappy.”
(Manik’s POV) She kept silent for sometime. I didn’t say anything. I don’t care what she thought. What I have done to Nandini is unforgivable! I always thought I didn’t know what to do, but now, I really don’t know what to do. What should I do so that Nandini would forgive me? So that she would be with me forever? I could only curse myself and my stupid ego that ruined everything for me.
(Kavita) “I think now I understand why dad accepted you being around her. Whatever, just make sure she doesn’t do something stupid. We will talk later.”
(Kavita gave a bidding speech and told him) “You may think I am overbearing but just understand; what would you do if it was your younger sister, the same way I just love her. Take care.”
(Manik’s POV) I didn’t know how to react. I didn’t know how I would face Nandini. She had to bear the same pain that she had undergone twice. I just feel like I am a dog. As I was walking towards house, Nandini was already waiting for me and she started screaming after pulling me inside the house and closing the main door
(Nandini) “What is the meaning of keeping the groceries outside? Why didn’t you keep it in?”
(Manik’s POV) She behaved like always. I just couldn’t bring myself to understand what she has been through. Without thinking, I hugged her firmly. When I placed my head on her shoulders, I could feel her stiffen but she relaxed. She pushed me back.
(Nandini) “Why are you crying, Manik?” I could feel the tears fall down. “Are you alright? You seem to be trembling! Manik!”
(Manik) “I am sorry, Nandini. I am really sorry. I can’t believe what I have done to you.” Manik slumped down “I couldn’t believe what a criminal guy I have become.”
(Nandini understood the situation and spoke) “Kavita told you, didn’t she? Kavita told you about it.” She looked pained, hurt. She struggled with her tears.
(Manik) “I am sorry. I never meant to hurt the way I did.”
(Nandini controlling her tears and spoke) “So, now you are disgusted with me. You hate me now, Manik?”
(Manik) “I could never hate you. I love you. I hate myself, I am disgusted with myself. What I did to you is worse than the others who scarred you. Nandini, please forgive me.”
Manik pulled her and held her close. “Please find a heart to forgive me.”
Manik then suddenly felt that his chest was getting wet. He pulled up Nandini’s head and they had a eye contact. He saw tears in her eyes and he questioned himself What have I done to the person I want to cherish? No one would wish to hurt the one they love the way I did. I hugged her close to me. Please forgive me, Nandini. Please. I cannot live without you. But I don’t want to hurt you anymore than I already have. I don’t know how much time we were like that, but finally, Nandini split away.
(Nandini) “I am going to scold that Kavita! What is she telling to people?” She sniffed.
(Manik) “Nandini. Before I said, I don’t regret what I did to you but what I did to you is unforgiveable. Tell me now, if you say never to show my face, I won’t come in front of you ever again.”
(Nandini’s POV) When he hugged me, I was about to push him off but I felt him cry. Suddenly, to see the high and mighty Manik cry, concern took over me. When he apologised, I knew. Idiot Kavita told Manik about how I was raped. I just didn’t want him to hate me. When he said that he loves me, I just couldn’t hold it in. Even after knowing how damaged I was, he still says that he loves me. Does he really love me? He doesn’t pity me? Tears flowed. Does he really care about me? How I wish I could just accept it! Being in his embrace, I felt safe. He holds me tight, so scared that he may lose me. How I wish I could stay in his arms forever, without worrying about anything. If only it were so easy. I forced myself away from him.
(Nandini) “Really, that mean sister of mine, telling unwanted things.” I said trying to hold back my tears. Manik looked sad.
(Manik) “Nandini, if you don’t want to see, I will never come in front of you ever again.”
(Nandini’s POV) He said it with such sincerity, I felt that he wouldn’t really show up. Do I not want to see him ever? No, I just couldn’t imagine that I won’t see Manik at all. The reason why I didn’t bother before was I had his child, the child of the man I love. After, I knew he would come for sure. I didn’t doubt that for one second. I do want him in my life, but I am just not ready to accept him. I just can’t tell it upfront yet.
(Nandini to control her feelings said) “Just do whatever you want.” When I said, he looked hurt. Did he misunderstand? I hurried to explain as vaguely as possible. “I meant,”
(Manik) “I understand, Nandini. You don’t have to worry.” He got up and went in and worked on his laptop. Did he really understand what I meant? Will he really give me time to know what I want? He didn’t speak much after that.
The following weekend, I waited for him to turn up. I waited by the door like an idiot. He didn’t come. Did he really misunderstand what I said? After that, anxiety took over me. I just couldn’t be home the next Friday after. I went out for a drink. The bar master knew me and gave me exactly what I wanted.
Precap : Will Manik comeback??