Manan : U and Me Make a Wonderful We (Chapter 9)

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Chapter 8 Link: Chapter 8

(Samuel – Head Researcher) “Finally that noisy woman left!” Samuel threw the sheets off.

(Luthra) “Hey, aren’t we supposed to go through them?”

(Samuel with arrogance) “Don’t tell me you seriously think that there are mistakes in our work?”

Oswald, another researcher, sighed. “You know, Samuel, you are behaving like a kid! You don’t even want to hear what she has to tell.”

(Samuel in anger) “I don’t have to hear what a girl, who has had no problems in life, tell me what I have to do!”

Naitik didn’t like the way Sam sounded. “You didn’t have any complaints about Mr. Rishabh Murthy, when he handled the Murthy Hospitals or when he supervised this work.”

(Samuel) “He is nothing like this woman. You have not worked with her. Unlike her, he is serious. He doesn’t mope about if people are senior or junior to him. But she always goes
around, smiling, reasoning it out with the older people so that they agree.”

(Edwin) “Everyone has their own method of administration. Leaving all that aside, Sam, you better seriously take a look at the sheets she gave. There are some mistakes done by us.”

Samuel looked shocked.

(Samuel) “What the hell! Impossible! Where? Wait, take out the papers. Not possible. How did I not notice?”

(Naitik) “You know, Sam, she may not be as bad as she looks.”

(Samuel) “Shut Up!”

(Samuel’s POV) He sat down looking at her remarks. He couldn’t believe it. How did it happen? Now, he has to bow down to her and accept the fault!

(Samuel again)“I can’t believe this! Why did you all make these mistakes?”

Naitik, Luthra, Kolsh and Other Researchers got irritated when Samuel had put the blame on them “Hey!” Harold stopped him. “You know Sam, the reason why I didn’t talk was because I thought maybe you were frustrated that you had to answer to a boss younger than you but to me it more clear now that you don’t want to report to HER. I don’t care what problems you have about her but I think I am going to see what she directs from now on. She must have a good amount of knowledge to know about the work. All apart, these source mistakes, though you may hate to admit, is all your work. We developed the rest on your notes. You can take your time to check if the faults are really her mistakes or yours, while we go and clear up the communication problem with the boss.”

Samuel looked furious. “You are bunch of idiots who idolize her. Go suck up to her.” Naitik was about to take a shot at him when Luthra stepped between them.

(Luthra) “Take your time to cool your head before you alienate yourself here. We are going to canteen for lunch.”

(Samuel) Seeing the researchers leave, Samuel banged the table. Why did this happen? In a spur of moment, he blamed it on them. He should have never done it. He felt bad that he blamed them at the same time his ego did not allow him to tell Sorry to his fellow researchers. He remembered what Nandini told, that he does not have the quality to be a leader. He lashed out in anger.

(Nandini’s POV) She Liked the view because it gave her direct view of the Research Lab. Thank god for that. After a few minutes of gazing into my laptop, I turned my head to see the scenery outside when I saw the people in research department come out. What happened? She read the report on every one of them that Rishabh had prepared. All intelligent and cautious men except Samuel Parkson. What in the world prompted Rishabh to choose him, she didn’t even want to think about it. Sometimes, Rishabh does ridiculous things in name of instincts. She decided that she had been very cold to her subordinates and it was time to bridge the gap. As she got out, she met Manik climbing up the stairs.

(Manik mockingly) “So you are Back to your office, but so soon? What happened with getting acquainted with the research team?”

(Nandini) “Well, I am going back right now to talk with them. Care to join me?”

(Manik) “Sure. I don’t mind. With that we can go to lunch directly. Never realised it was two already.”

(Nandini shocked) “Its two?”

(Manik) “Yes. So, what’s your plan?”

(Nandini) “Maybe, I will skip lunch with you.”

(Manik)“You are going to skip lunch? Is that what a doctor does?” He mocked at me.

(Nandini in a very notorious tone) “Who said I was going to skip? I just not going to have it with you.”

(Manik) “Oh my! You have hurt me! Your fiancé is very disappointed.” He mimicked playfully.

(Nandini) “What a thing I have done!” I acted gasped. “Instead of having a sour company, I will be with my subordinates. See you later, Manik.”I beamed at him and skipped away

(Manik in his mind) She just called me Manik and then she jumped away happily. She went off with a childish grin on her face. Suddenly, I caught myself adoring her. Why do I adore someone I don’t like? It has been days since I have been in company of a girl; I must be going mad. Two more weeks and I am back to the city again. But I must accept it, Nandini has become more than physically attractive. I love the way she tries to fight back, trying never to give in, trying to balance behaving as a child and as a mature adult the next moment. Though I was sure that I dislike her but I am not sure of that feeling anymore. There has never been a thought of not wanting her, but teasing her, playing with words seem to give me better amusement; which seemed more important in the backwaters. I could understand why Dad wanted me on this project. He wanted to take it big. I will be in on this for at least next five years. I wonder what plan he has for me. I will break through whatever he pushes me to. I have to take control of the group. I have to make it bigger than Dadaji made it.

(Nandini to her subordinates) “Hello guys, going to eat?”

(Luthra) “Ms. Murthy!”

(Nandini) “Call me Nandini, please. Can I join you for lunch?”

(Researchers in unison) “Yes.” They went to the canteen together. Nandini suddenly regretted not eating with Manik back at the rooms. Other researchers seem disturbed and hesitated to speak. She washed away all her thoughts and decided that she had some clearing up the air to do.

(Nandini) “You know, I am not going to judge your work or effort with the way Samuel spoke. You guys did a wonderful job within a short time.” She smiled at them. “You know,
truthfully, I would have made mistakes that are a hundred pages at least instead of few pages.”

(Kolsh answered with a little difficulty as he was scared of Nandu) “It is not that Samuel is bad, it is just that he has too much pride in his work. When you pointed out the mistakes,
he went berserk.”

(Naitik) “You said that right Kolsh. He seriously shouldn’t get tensed up. But Nandini Maám you did a good job with the papers.”

(Nandini happily) “Really? Thank you! It takes too much concentration for me to work and if it breaks, I would make a mistake. I am glad you didn’t take the remarks differently.”

(All the researchers in their mind) Her childish smile captivated them. They didn’t expect a heiress to be friendly with her employees. They clearly remembered Rishabh Murthy, who didn’t even look up from his laptop when they reported to him. He would dismiss them with a nod. To think that they are siblings, no one would believe. The only person who idolised
Rishabh Murthy was Samuel. But it would be a very wrong idea to talk about Rishabh Murthy to Nandini not knowing the siblings’ relationship.

(Nandini interrupted all the researchers thought) “Also, I will also be hands on the research whenever there is time. So, when will the mistakes be corrected, so I can approve it to the next stage?”

(Harold) “We will try our best to rectify the errors by day after tomorrow. Are you the only person approving?”

(Nandini) “Not really. My professor would be coming here in two months time.”

(Researchers) “Professor?”

(Nandini) “I am sure you know him, Dr. Arlton?”

(All in unison) “Really?!!! I cannot believe it!”

(Nandini’s POV) They all enjoyed their talk and lunch was over in a blink of an eye. When I left the canteen, I decided that I would go back to the room and work on the other companies. Surprisingly, Manik was waiting outside for me.

(Nandini) “What are you waiting here for?”

(Manik) “To know what type of company you had?” He is still on about it? He is definitely a bad loser.

(Nandini) “Very good. Your work over?” Seeing the bag in his hands. He slung it on his back.

(Manik) “I have others to look over and I do not really prefer to do it here. I was thinking of doing back in the room. Wanna come back with me?” I don’t understand why he wants me
to come with him back to the quarters.

(Nandini) “I see. Can you wait for me? I will go get my bags and come.” I realised how surprised I was when I heard myself say it and for a moment, I could see surprise in Manik’s
ace also. Why did I say that! I ran to the building to get my bag.

(Manik thought) For a moment, when she smiled and said it, she looked so cute, I almost hugged her and kissed her. Really, although she acts mature, sometimes, she looks so innocent. It is starting to confuse me as to what I really want. Why did I wait for her? I could have gone back and continued with my work. Something is wrong with me. After that, the two weeks I spent there before I was to head back to the city, I didn’t come across her except during meal breaks. I didn’t try for us to be together. I shouldn’t get too attached to someone who I treat as a toy. I wouldn’t say I tried to strike up conversation with her but it felt unnecessary unless I had a reason to be polite. Around two days before I left the factory for a board meeting, mother called me while I was working in my room.

(Manik) “Hi, Mom. How are you?” I have not been able to talk to her since I came here. I hope I am not in for a lecture.

(Nyonika) “Aliya is pregnant, Manik. Can you believe it? I am going to become a grandmother!” Happiness of my mother’s could be felt over phone.

(Manik) “Wow! I must congratulate Aryaman after this. When did she know?” Manik, my younger brother by three years, married Aliya, a fashion designer about two years back.

(Nyonika) “Today. She called up and told me. Though I am happy, I would have really loved to see my first grandchild who would be the child of my eldest son.” Here she goes again.
She never gets tired of this. I got out of the room to the corridor.

(Manik) “Mom! Let me have my peace. I am not interested in marriage. This bachelor life suits me fine. It gives me freedom and helps concentrate on business.”

(Nyonika) “Oh! Throw business out of your mind! Don’t be like your Dad!” I couldn’t help but laugh. Dad and I are alike in only that aspect.

(Manik) “Very well. Lets drop it at that. I will call Aryaman now. I will meet them when I come over day after tomorrow.”

(Nyonika) “Also Manik, bring Nandini Murthy with you.”

(Manik)“What? Why?” I unknowingly shouted over phone.

(Nyonika) “Wow! Manik for the first time I have heard you raise your voice. She is a good influence after all.” I mellowed down.

(Manik) “Mom………., why do I have to bring her?”

(Nyonika) “We have not even seen her.” What a wonderful reason!

(Manik) “So what? It is not even a real engagement.”

(Nyonika) “Even so, why shouldn’t I see her?”

(Manik)“Maa……..” She is not talking sense at all. Why is she being unreasonable?

(Nyonika) “Don’t talk anymore. You are bringing her. If she says no, I will talk to her.” When mom says she will talk to her, it will become somewhat a messy situation.

(Manik questioningly) “You serious?”

(Nyonika) “Dead serious.”

(Manik) “Fine. I will try talking to her.”

(Nyonika) “But Manik, I really wonder, what kind of a girl she is. Just a mention of her gets you perturbed.”

(Manik) “I am not perturbed. Its just that I have a strong urge to dislike her.”

(Nyonika) “Really? You can be such a fool sometimes.” Fool indeed.

(Manik) “I know. To you, I am always a fool. I still remember all the lectures you give about how to treat your loved one and such, all of us have had enough of it.”

(Nyonika) “Hey, don’t complain. I don’t see Aryaman complaining.”

(Manik) “Aryaman, he… Lets leave it at that. Anyway, we will be seeing each other soon. Bye. Love you, too.” Aryaman almost drove Aliya away before he realised that he loved her.
He is not exactly the best example you could give.

When I hanged up on the call and turned back, Nandini was standing behind me. For a moment, it startled me. I wonder how much she heard. She looked dead tired though.

(Nandini with tiredness in her voice) “Can you please move?”

(Manik) While talking with mom, I didn’t realise I was standing in front of her door. “Sorry.” She just came back to her room? She is working hard. Changes my opinion of her a little; just a little.

(Nandini) “Thank you.” She opened the door when,

(Manik) “Hey Nandini,”

(Nandini) “Yes?” She looked like she wanted to go and sleep but I had to ask her now. I haven’t seen her the past two days already.

(Manik) “Are you free day after tomorrow?” She lifted her brows in question. “You see my brother’s wife is pregnant.” She instantly beamed at me. It felt so genuine and natural, not like the other girls who smile politely.

(Nandini forgot all her tiredness and in her chirpy voice she said)“Congratulations, Badepapa!” Instantly, she was bursting with energy.

(Manik) “Thanks. There is a small get together in the family that day and…..” This is really awkward. “Mom wants me to bring you to it.” She looked astonished.

(Nandini) “Wait a second, you mean to your family gathering?” This so embarrassing.

(Manik) “Yes. Exactly.”

(Nandini) “This isn’t any joke, right?”

(Manik) How I wish it were one! “No. I tried giving excuses for you, but she is insistent. If you really cannot do it, I can tell her.” Giving excuses to mom is troublesome but I can manage her.

(Nandini) “What do you think?”

(Manik’s POV) What do I think? I would love not to have extra trouble. I can’t tell what is on Mom’s mind unlike anyone else. In all honesty, I don’t want Nandini to come but I am somewhat curious about Nandini and what would be her answer

(Manik) “If you can make it, do come.” She is going to reject. She has every right to, especially with the way I treat her but what am I going to tell Mom? I never cared about answering Dad but Mom is very fluctuating with her moods.

(Nandini) “I will come.”

(Manik)What did she say? “Really?” I couldn’t believe it.

(Nandini) “Usually I wouldn’t accept but I want to see the mom who can make you request to someone else.”

(Manik) “I see.” Women! “Well, we will start back in my car tomorrow evening. Is that okay?”

(Nandini) “Yes. Any specific attire I have to wear to your place?”

(Manik) “Um….. A formal evening….. No, nothing. Wear whatever you please. You are a guest. You are not to be bound by our family customs, or more like rules.”

(Nandini) “Are you sure?”

(Manik) “Yes.”

(Nandini) “Fine. I am going back to the lab again.” She closed the door and went down the stairs.

(Manik) “What? Why? Its already night.”

(Nandini) “I decided that I will finish till an extent by this weekend, but looks like I won’t be to do it. So, I will finish it now by pulling an all-nighter. See you tomorrow.” With that she
went back to the research building. I saw her again only the next day evening. She looked dead tired. We started driving.

(Manik) “Shall I ask mom to prepare a room for you?”

(Nandini) “No, Thank you. I am staying over at Cabir’s place.” She yawned.

(Manik) “I see.” Suddenly out of nowhere she asked,

(Nandini) “Is Navya also invited?” She looked with eyes full of hope.

(Manik) “No. I said it is family.”

(Nandini) “Yet, I am coming.”

(Manik) “Mom wanted to see you. Besides, there are something going on. Navya cannot come for sometime.”

(Manik’s POV) Dad and Navya are fighting right now over the budget and tax plans. Since it is between Dad and Navya, no one dared to take sides. Both of them will make up soon. This was not new.

(Nandini) “Can I know why?”

(Manik) “If you could know, wouldn’t I have told you already?”

(Nandini) “Okay.”

(Manik’s POV) There was awkward silence in the car. I couldn’t bear it after sometime. Driving alone is one thing but driving with company is a problem. “You really don’t have anything you can talk about?” I asked as calmly as I could. Getting no reply, I turned to see her, sleeping. Her hair messed up, falling over her face, no make-up, wearing a turtleneck and denims with a coat, she tried to look as normal as possible. Her personality, always switching from mature to childlike. She had many shades in her. Now, sleeping peacefully, it showed how beautiful she actually is. I pushed her hair back gently. Pale skin, long eye lashes that curled, pink lips looking full; I had this desire to kiss her. It took all my resolve to keep my eyes on the road. What makes her different from other girls I have dated? What makes me unsettled? If I ask anyone, they would answer love but love is something that can change. Love is never constant or permanent. You think that you fall in love and sometime later fall out. It is useless to have that feeling. I don’t argue with people who say they are really in love but how long they want to stay in love is their wish or to be more precise, how long they are willing to adjust. Useless! Things are easier when defined as infatuation and lust. Why can’t things be clear and easy like my work? I shouldn’t be feeling this troubled. I looked at her again. She is definitely not like other girls I have dated. She surely falls into that category, tall, gorgeous, but they enjoy being showered with gifts, never say no to anything. Though they make a fuss when dumped, they can easily be settled with parting gifts. She doesn’t care about gifts, why? Because she earns equally herself, maybe. Says no to what she doesn’t like because she is clear about what she wants and what she is. I guess that is what they call to be independent. If she were dumped,I wonder how she would take it. But then again, that manager of the store said that she was the one dumped everytime her relationship broke off. It was almost midnight when she woke up. She pestered me to stop for dinner. We had dinner in a small inn. I didn’t think that she would gladly enter and eat in such a rundown place. She didn’t seem to have any problem with it unlike me. I would literally starve to death than eat at some old shack. She ate her dinner heartily, talked irrelevant things all the way. I didn’t bother to talk much. She made sure I listened to her and if I was not listening, she stopped talking until I asked her to do so again. She didn’t pout or throw a tantrum unlike other women. We shared our differences in many things. I never expected her to be knowing of the business world. It is not that she didn’t know but I just didn’t expect it from her. I guess she is a lot of things I never expected. I dropped her at Cabir Dhawan’s place and told her that the car would pick her up at evening seven. After reaching my apartment, I laid on the bed not able to sleep thinking of this uneasy feeling crawling inside me.

Precap : Dinner with Malhotras

20 comments

  1. Anjali

    Wowwwwwww wowwwwww nd wowwwwwww….1st thing i love ur longggggg updates…gives a feelng of exoericng each tym nd momnt….second start of too many thots bdw between Manan …..reallly xcitd 4 Malhotras dinnr……too good dear…carry onn
    ..lotts of love
    T c

  2. Dorami

    Hey crystal, I’m a silent reader here. But your story changed my mind. I loved your story jeene laga hoon and this new one is just fabulous. I loved the way you portray nandini’s character who’s bold and independent, when I started reading your episodes I felt that you describe the business world so easily and effortlessly, you’re doing a fabulous job please keep writing I wouldn’t be surprised if you publish a best selling novel in the future

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