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Chater 38 : Click here
(Manik’s POV) Next day both of us went to meet her parents. It seemed more like she was praying nothing should happen. Nothing would happen. I am not going to stubborn like I am when it is anything concerning Nandini. I know that she loves her parents a lot. They love her too. They helped her through her tough times; I would be beyond cruel if I want to tear her away from them or them from her. I just hoped that my patience stands. Throughout the drive, I was praying in my mind. I wanted Dad to understand. I tried o make mom but she wouldn’t. When we reached, James opened the door.
(Butler) “Ms. Nandini! Welcome back!”
(Manik to the Butler) “Is Mr. Murthy home?” Manik asked, jumping straight in.
(Butler) “I will tell Sir.” He went in towards Dad’s study.
(Renuka) “Who is it, James?” Mom came asking outside. “Oh! Nandini! What a surprise!” She looked surprised but not sure if pleased.
(Manik) “Hello, mam.”
(Renuka) “Hello, Manik. Why don’t we go to living room?”
(Manik)“I was thinking of talking to Mr. Venkatesh Murthy and you first.”
(Nandini) “James has gone to check if Dad is free.”
(Renuka) “I see.”
She looked nervous. Seeing her, I became nervous. What was going to happen, I dreaded.
(Butler) “Mam, Sir said that he would see Mr. Manik.” When we all started, “Just Mr. Manik.”
(Nandini’s POV) looked at him but he just smiled gently and went behind James. I could feel butterflies in my stomach. Sometime later, Dad and Manik came out.
(VM) “Well Nandini. Why are you here?”
(Nandini) “Dad, we would like your permission to get married.”
(VM) “Ha ha ha. Have you ever heard Nandini talk so confidently about what she wanted? After her career choice, this is the first time she has said it clearly. She was not even this insistent about getting into practice. I am not going to say no when you know what you really want to do. I accept. I give you my permission with my full and satisfied heart. I will give you my wholehearted blessing. Are you happy?”
(Nandini was happy and on cloud 9, she hugged her dad and spoke) “Thank you, dad. I didn’t think you would accept it, dad. Thank you so much. I love you!”
(VM) “Yes. Yes. I love you too. Now let’s go. We need to celebrate and start wedding preparations. I will call up Rishabh and the girls. So, you are staying the night here before you go to your place, right?”
(Nandini silently) “Yes.”
(Nandini’s POV) I told him. Manik looked at me. It is going to be hard slipping away from mom and dad to his place. It felt like I was doing something wrong since I wouldn’t dismiss their problems away. When dad called up the others, all came in with their family that evening. Rishabh with Radhika and his sons, Kavita with her husband and son and daughter, Nisha with her husband. Rishabh looked grumpy in the beginning but finally came into celebration mode. It was decided that both families would meet just before my Birthday. It was very late before we went to sleep. The next day, Manik and I started after lunch.
(Renuka) “Aren’t you going back to your place?”
(Nandini) “No. I want to visit Sujatha Chachi before I go. Also, my car is at Manik’s place.”
(Nandini spoke again) “We decided to come here together. In any case, I will take my car from his place and go to Aunt Sujatha Chachi’s. Fine?”
(Renuka) “Fine. Take care. You are coming back here for the wedding preparations, right?”
(Nandini) “It’s almost Christmas. We still have to meet Manik’s parents before the date and place are decided.” (Both the familes had spoke all this yesterday as soon as Nandini’s parents gave a nod for this relationship)
(Renuka)“That doesn’t answer my question.” She almost glared at me.
(Nandini) “Of course, I will. What a silly question is that!” She hugged me before seeing me off.
(Renuka) “I just want to spend some quality time with you before you get married. I know its not like I am never going to see you but it will never be the same as now.”
(Nandini) “I got it. Bye, mom. I will call you.”
(Renuka) “Bye dear. Take good care of my daughter, Manik.”
(Manik) “I will most definitely.”
(Nandini) When we were in car, my curiosity was at my limit. “What did Dad say to yesterday? Or what did you tell him? He was so angry the previous time I talked to him.”
(Manik) “I told him that I love you.”
(Nandini)“He wouldn’t back down just with that.”
(Manik) “He asked me how I could take care of you if I am in neck with debt. I didn’t realize that he knew what position I was in. I wonder who leaked it. It was a secret only known to the top management. It is not like I am in debt. Just the companies, since I took over the loss making ones. But they have started to show recovery. Only thing I didn’t like was I had to be in various places at the same time. I told him that in five years, I would be flourishing. Things aside, I told him this was a test my dad gave me and I passed with flying colours. There is no way I will make you cry.” Hearing him, made Nandini feel happy and blessed.
(Nandini) “But it is not like I am useless. I can support you too.”
(Manik) “Who ever said no, but I don’t want you to work unless there is a need to. I just want you to stay like a queen. Can’t I have that small pride. ?”
(Nandini) “Who could ever refuse you? More like who could ever oppose you.”
(Manik) “I am not a tyrant”
(Nandini) “Tell me about it.”
(Manik) “Well, next stop?”
(Nandini) “After I finish over at Sujatha Chachi’s, we can go over to your place.”
(Manik) “My place, uh? Won’t your parents know?”
(Nandini) “I was talking about your parents’ place. We still have to tell them personally though our parents have already spoken, don’t we? I want to meet them officially as your fiancée”
(Manik’s POV) She kept talking randomly while we travelled. Not that I didn’t want to listen to her, but my mind reeled over and over again the conversation I had with Mr.VM Murthy. What I told Nandini was only half. None of us thought that when he said that he would remove Nandini from his will, that he was also disinheriting her. He made it clear to me yesterday.
(These are the talks that had happened between VM and Manik)
(VM) “Manik, I would like to make it clear before I give my approval. Nandini can under no circumstances can return here in name of fights, quarrels or even divorce. Others thought that it was not possible for me to disinherit her since she is closest to me but I don’t approve of her choice.”
(Manik) “So, all of this is because of me?”
(VM) “Yes. I wanted to make it very clear to you. I am disinheriting her. You have two choices; accept my condition that she can never come here alone, you both together can visit as business friends, if you don’t accept, I will not accept this marriage. If she is persistent that she will marry only you, then she can leave the family. Even then, I would have the same result I want with only exception, in my first choice, you can still visit here. Its your choice to make.”
(Manik) “If I accept to this, you will give your blessings?”
(Manik) “Does Nandini know about this?”
(VM) “No. I didn’t tell her yet. Knowing her and knowing myself, it would never be possible for anything to happen as she dreams it. She can’t have it all. I will tell her after her wedding about this if you accept to my conditions.”
(Manik) “Do you hate Nandini?”
(VM) “No. To be clear, I hate you. I like you as an individual, really but not when I remember what you have done to Nandini. Nandini may be forgiving but I would never forget what you did to my girl and how you took her away from her family.”
(Manik’s POV) I was shocked when he said that. I couldn’t accept that just because he hates me, he didn’t mind throwing away his daughter.
(VM) “Your reply?” He asked me.
(Manik) “I would rather be your family friend than tear Nandini away from her family.”
(VM) “Wise choice. Live with the fact that you are the reason for her not to be part of her own family.”
Manik came out of his thoughts: It could be the highest punishment I would have to live with but I cannot live without her. They don’t understand how much I am in need of her. We decided to go to Navya’s place directly. Nandini was overjoyed to tell them. I just couldn’t bring myself to smile as happily as she does. They all decided that they want to go out.
(Navya) “Cabir, why don’t you go ahead with the others? I have something related to business to talk about with Manik Bhai.”
(Cabir) “Sure.” Her husband left us. Nandini came running back to see us.
(Nandini) “Navya, you are not going to bully Manik, are you?”
(Navya) “As if I can bully him! Its just something related to business. I will come with him. You go on.”
(Nandini’s POV) Navya smiled widely at her. I knew it was Navya’s smile that avoids unnecessary problems. Nandini left, not unsure but happy.
(Navya to Manik) “Do you want to sit down?” She asked me.
(Manik) “Please Navya, I am as it is not in my best moods. I don’t want any more lecture.”
(Navya) “Shall I tell you the reason why your mood is spoilt? VM Uncle finally broke it to you, didn’t he?”
(Manik) “How do you know?”
(Navya) “To others it may not be noticeable, but I am someone who grew up with a person like him. I knew that he was serious about what he said.”
(Manik) “I see.”
(Navya) “Are you sure Manik? Even if you were to divorce…”
(Manik) “Shut up! We are not even together yet and you are already talking about something that will never happen.”
(Navya) “It is not whether it will happen or not, you have made it such a way that she will be helpless if anything were to happen.”
(Manik) “She Will Not! Is That Enough?”
(Navya) “If you are so sure, then why are you angry? I know how you look if you want to hide your anger. I haven’t simply known you for fifteen years.”
(Manik) “Yes. I am angry at myself but I don’t want to let her go. She is that important to me. Did you ever think in your life that Cabir will break you out of your shell and pull you to reality? No. Same way, she showed me a different part of me that I can be and what I really like to be.”
(Navya) “But she is not the same as Cabir and I. She was raped. No matter what her age is, that is a nightmare she can never get over. Do you understand that by taking her away from her family would mean to her? Knowing you, you will start concentrating on the company rather than her. You won’t be with her all the time. Will you know when she is feeling insecure?”
(Manik’s POV) She got up. I could not accept it but I will look after Nandini such that she doesn’t feel lonely.
(Navya) “If you are that sure about yourself, then at least believe in it. You look horribly confused. It won’t take long for her to notice. My only request, always stay by her. Don’t make me regret ever introducing her to you.”
(Manik’s POV) She smiled at me, just like that little kid who was attached to me smiled when I came back from office. Acceptance for Navya who grew up under me, who is my little sister who vehemently opposed my relationship, meant a lot. I felt grateful. At last, I got the confidence that it wouldn’t be long before others also accept us.
(Manik) “Thank you, Navya. Thank you so much.” Manik cried for the first time in front of her.
(Navya) “You look terrible.” Saying she hugged me.
(Manik) “Yes, I do.” It didn’t take long for me to get back to being myself.
(Navya) “Let’s go then?” She asked.
We started out.
When Manik and Navya were talking inside, Nandini’s thoughts were something when she was waiting outside
(Nandini’s POV) When Navya took Manik aside to talk, I thought he and Navya were going to fight but it seemed like they wanted to talk about business. I was a bit upset that even when Manik and I are announcing to people we love that we are engaged; he wanted to talk about business. Can’t he forget about that for sometime? But I smiled to myself. He can’t. That is the kind of man I love.
(Sujatha) “What are you smiling to yourself about?” Aunty asked me.
(Nandini) “Nothing. I was just thinking something.” I smiled at her.
(Sujatha) “So, finally you over came your fear and now, you are going to get married.”
(Cabir) “I know that you are sure, but I can’t help but ask this, are you sure Nandini? Manik isn’t really all what he shows himself to be.”
(Nandini) “ Few days ago, you were supporting me, I really don’t know why you have sudden doubts in your mind and how many more people I need to answer the same thing again.”
(Cabir) “It is not that we keep asking it again and again because we forget. It is because I am worried about you.”
(Nandini) “This is the last and the final time I am saying, Cabir, I won’t regret what I am doing and I don’t want to regret something by not doing it. I love him. I want to stay with him, I want him by my side, what more do you need to be told to get it into that thick head of yours?”
(Cabir) “Fine. But don’t ever come crying here.”
(Nandini) “I won’t. I won’t go crying to anyone.”
(Sujatha) “Nandini, Cabir is just anxious for you. We mean well. Isn’t that why we are going to celebrate?”
(Nandini’s POV) Aunty smiled at me. I can never be angry at her. Manik and Navya joined us shortly after we reached. We had a nice time. Before we knew it was night. Manik went back home while I stayed back at Cabir’s home. The next day he came to pick me up. Being Sunday, he fixed up to meet for lunch with his family. Though I have met them before, it was not as his fiancée but as a business associate.
(Nandini Nervously asked Manik) “Manik, do you think your family will like me? The last time I met them was when I was a business associate, I am not that different in my attitude,”
(Manik) “Stop worrying about petty stuff.”
(Nandini) “What do you mean by petty stuff? This isn’t!”
(Manik) “You have met most in my family. All like you. Only person who has to approve is Dad and he will approve as long as I get married. What is there to worry about?”
(Nandini’s POV) He made it sound so simple. I wish that it is. Somehow it turned out like he said it would. His Dad was more than happy that Manik was getting married. It was ruckus all of a sudden with the boys getting too into the party. I came out of the house and standing in the Balcony
(Raj) “What are you doing out here in the Veranda?”
(Nandini) “Mr. Raj,”
(Raj) “Call me Papa.”
(Nandini) “ Who Papa, I Just wanted some fresh air.”
(Raj) “I preferred not to have lunch outside since it was cold but it seemed like a waste. It is sunny, nice and warm.”
(Nandini) “Yes Papa.”
(Nandini’s POV) I felt a bit odd. Here was the man who was extremely rigid and now, he is quite friendly. I didn’t know how to react to him.
(Raj) “I see myself in Manik. Not trusting, didn’t like the rules and customs that bind us, world was disbelief till I met my wife. I was not that concerned about others since they took on their Mom in their attitude, I was scared for Manik. That he wouldn’t meet someone like how I met Nyonika. But I am happy now. I hope that you would stand by him no matter what happens.”
(Nandini’s POV) I could see how much his Papa cared for him. When Manik says that his Papa was hard on him because he was the heir, it felt true. If he really hated Manik, this concern wouldn’t be there.
(Nandini) “I will, Papa.”
(Raj had blushed when she again called him Papa so finally he told) “Sorry, I am just not used being called Papa still. I didn’t know dad and Papa had difference till Manik called me Papa. Come on in. We cannot have the life of the celebration outside catching a cold and without you.”
(Nandini) “I will follow you in.”
(Nandini’s POV) I replied trying hard to control my giggle. Once he turned and walked ahead of me, I softly giggled. He is so much like Manik. I remembered the look Manik had when I bought him a scarf from a bargain store. If that was millions to pay for, this is priceless. I enjoyed myself there. Manik’s mom was insistent that he should come back and stay with them after our marriage. Manik didn’t seem to like it much but I didn’t mind. I felt happy that I am going to part of this loving family. It was almost dinner time when we left.
Manik was very insistent that we leave.
Precap : Last Episode