Hellow lovely people hope you are fit and fine. Had a rollercoaster week but all is well that ends well. So here is the next chap hope u enjoy this and pls pls do give your views and suggestions. I love u all ???
Chapter 3 – Chashni
Neil quickly picked his bags from the luggage caraosel and rushed out of the airport. He was excited to meet Arjun, he was nervous to see Sam, he was overwhelmed with emotions. Pushing his trolley his eyes were searching for Arjun. The best friends smiled broadly when they spotted each other. After moments of hugs and brief greetings and teasing they headed towards the parking lot.
Once in the car Arjun noticed that Neil was awfully quite,it was a long flight and he must be tired but Neil was never this quite he thought of teasing him “so… who’s the lucky girl?”
Neil:”Sam….. I mean….. I feel awkward to stay at Sam’s place …..Am used to your place not hers…… Besides she is your friend not mine”
Arjun:”well after Jai’s murder Aditya suggested that Nandu and I move in with the Khannas……. He believes that since we are close to them and almost like family we might also be targeted…….. and you are also my family so you staying with us.
Neil:”let’s hope whoever that is, is caught soon…….. I don’t wanna stay in that house for long”
Arjun smiles ” if u want you can share my room…… I don’t mind”
Neil:”so u can attempt to rape me again….. No way dude. ”
Arjun laughed “for how long are you gonna keep with that man……. I already told u….. It was dark……. And I thought you were Celine”
Neil with fake anger “don’t lie I was not as petite as that size zero chick of yours……. You wanted to rape me…. admit it. ”
Arjun:”who BTW asked you to sleep on my bed and cover yourself from head to toe? ”
Neil:”I already told you there was a cockroach in my room……. I was scared”
They both looked at each other before bursting into laughter.
Mishra Garments Store – Rishikesh
The Mishras were among the most respected families in Hrishikesh. People loved them and would always name them in example. But that was all in the past, now they feared them. All credits went to one man Suraj Mishra. He loved to be feared, it made him feel powerful and power was something he wouldn’t let go. Sitting in the store for hours and earn little but respective living wasn’t his cup of tea, he was not a patient man. During his years in the police force he met many criminals and now with the help of one of them he was smuggling weapons under the cover of a garment store.Suraj was in his office feet on the table both hands on the back of his head while his men beat the life out of a guy who had disobeyed him. The poor guy pleaded for his life but he was laughing at that.The poor guy thanked his stars when Saral entered and Suraj had to dismiss them to talk to his son in private.
Saral entered his dad’s office and smiled at the scene. He knew someday his dad will leave everything to him and he wanted to prove himself worthy of the throne. He sat opposite to him and spoke “dad….. I need some men to go find Radhu….. Last time i spoke to her….. She was staying in a hotel….. but now isn’t”
Suraj stood up and came to saral’s side he sat on the table crossing his arms over his chest “and i guess u are too dumb to call and ask her where she is staying now,right”
Saral:”if i call her…. she would want to speak to Mala aunty….. and she’s in no condition to talk…. she has a fever for a week now and….
Before he could finish Saral was holding his left cheek, his was slapped so hard that it stang. Suraj now anger visible in his eyes “she is sick for a week and u did nothing…. do u want to kill her…..i gave u one job…. one job…. and u can’t even do that….and u claim to be my heir?”
He clutched Saral’s collar in his hands and pulled him to his eye level clenching his jaw ” listen to me u imbecile….. If anything happens to Mala or Dad… And I mean anything….. Even a single scratch…….. Consider yourself as good as dead……. Do u hear me….. DEAD”
He pushed him down and saral almost fell off the chair ” now get your useless butt off the chair and fix this?” Saral quickly got out of the office wiping off the sweat on his forehead and thought ”This is all because of you Radhu,and I will make u pay for this”
Neil was in the garden trying to calm his nerves staying under one roof with Sam was proving to be a difficult challenge. When he got here this morning she welcomed him in jeans shorts and a tank top and he had to do the impossible to not stare at her. This was just the first day NO just hours and its already a task to compose himself around her how was he gonna get through the entire vacation.
Sam saw Neil going to the garden and thought to join him. Since they first met 4yrs ago she never got the chance to be his friend. He always avoided and behaved weirdly with her. But this time she was determined to get to the bottom of his aloof behaviour and make friends with him. She took two mugs filled with coffee and went to the garden. Neil was sitting with both his palms on his face, she smiled and approached him. She put the coffee on the table, took a mug ” you look like u need this….. Here….. I’ve made it just the way u like it.”
Neil sighed and took the offered mug “since when do u care about others likes and dislikes.
Sam smiled ” I may not care about others likes and dislikes….. But I care about yours” Neil did not expect that answer, he kept staring at her wide eyed trying to figure out if she is speaking the truth or not ” You better drink it before it gets cold…… Or is it that u prefer cold coffee now”
Neil sipped the coffee and praised her coffee making skills he tried to make excuses and leave but Sam was in no mood to leave him alone. He sighed defeated and enjoyed her company, they talked the entire evening but most of the time it was Sam talking and Neil staring. They didn’t realise when night falled or when Arjun n Radhika returned.
Arjun had asked Radhika to come meet his bestfriend, the servent had told them about Neil n Sam’s whereabouts so they went straight to the garden. Arjun greeted and upon seeing Radhika Neil was astonished.
“CHASHNI!?,” Exclaimed Neil “is it really u…… Its me….. Neil. ” Before anyone could react Neil took Radhika into a bone crushing hug “God… I’ve missed u chashni” And Radhika hugged him back.
Sam and Arjun looked at each other perplexed and then back at Radhika and Neil who were still in each others arms. Sam breaking the silence ” do u two know each other?
Neil broke the hug “isn’t that obvious Sammy…… Bro do u remember I once went to rishikesh….. and a girl saved my life” Giving Radhika a side hug and shaking her “This is that girl……. Chashni….. My chashni”
2.5 Yrs Ago – Hrishikesh
Neil was visiting Arjun, it was a month long vacation. Arjun had to travel for some work and not wanting to sit home alone Neil took a short trip to Rishikesh. He enjoyed everythig about the place,sports scenery, culture and so on. On his last day he was roaming around taking pics, he saw a few kids playing in a temple and desired to take their pics also. And the kids readily became models for him striking different poses. In the effort to get a better angle he tripped and fell off the stairs. It was a good ten stairs down.
Radhika was also at the same temple and had witnessed the accident. She rushed to an unconsious Neil and took him to a hospital. He had various wounds but nothing serious. When he gained consciousness he asked for the person who saved him and the nurse called in Radhika.
Radhika:”how are u feeling now,any pain?”
Neil:”am good and thank u for saving my life”
Radhika:”don’t thank me…… thank God who didn’t break a single bone of yours even after that nasty fall….. and the doctor for attending to your wounds”
Neil was amazed at her words “its clear u are not going to take credit for what u did” Forwading his hand to her “well if can’t take my thanks…… take my hand instead….. For friendship….. Am Neil”
Radhika shook his hand ” Radhika”
She took out laddoos from her bag and fed Neil in the name of their new found friendship and he nicknamed her chashni in honour of her sweet nature. She stayed with him chatting until visiting hours were over. The doctor advised Neil to rest for a few days and Radhika visited him everyday till he was discharged. They exchanged contacts and promised to keep in touch and they did over emails until six months ago.
*******End of Flashback********
Sam:”wow Radhika….. U are quite the hero”
Neil:”but am angry at u….. why did u stop answeing my emails….. and all of the sudden….. you broke my heart chashni ”
Radhika: “and I can see u are still your melodramatic self” They both laughed at that and promised to catch up for old times sake.
It was Sunday and the four decided to treat themselves a lavish lunch at home since Sam was a bit frightened to go out after her almost kidnap experience. Radhika and Neil voluntered to make lunch and Sam assisted them. Arjun was getting some work done in the home office.
Neil and Sam were fighting over the menu Neil wanted to make chocolate pudding for dessert while Sam wanted to bake a cake. When Radhika adviced them to make both they started arguing on whose dessert will taste better. They turned the kitchen into a master chef’s ground. Sam trying to do things in a hurry opened a bag of flour with so much force that the flour went flying and landed on her face.
Neil laughed at her “wow Sammy……this ghostly attire suits you well….. U should keep it”
Sam irritated took a handful of flour and smeared it all on his face “now we are both ghosts……. Laugh on that”
But Neil was not going to back out he also took some flour and threw it at Sam and in turn she put flour in his t-shirt. Desserts now forgotten what mattered was who could make the other a look like a ghost faster. Radhika was taking out tomatoes from the fridge, she turned and saw the two playing flour holi,looking like they were coming from a ghost movie set.
Radhika: “what are u two doing?” Shaking her head in disappointment “clean this mess, NOW”
NeSam in unison “Yes Mam”
They went on cleaning silently while Radhika gave them an earful of scoldings and banished them both from the kitchen to go clean themselves up.
Arjun had come to the kitchen for some water, he saw Radhika busy making rotis humming to herself. He quitely went behind her and screamed loudly in her ear. Radhika jumped and Arjun laughed at her scared face.
Radhika: “why are u here?”
Arjun:”I came to check if everything is in order.”
Radhika:”why…..are u a kitchen police?”
Arjun smirked “Yes” pointing at the rolled out roti “this roti is not perfectly round” He was going to pick the roti when Radhika smacked his hand with the roller. He immediately withdrew his and screamed in pain.
Arjun:”Oouch!!!…… Why did u do that….. initially i only had a doubt….. but now am sure u are crazy…… crazy girl”
Radhika now fuming “and i knew from the first meeting itself that u are super crazy …… you are president of crazies….. Infact if there was a country for crazy people it will be called Arjun Mehra….. and your face will be on its national flag” She said it all in one breath.
Radhika realised what she had said and regretted it, he was her boss still and she went too far. But Arjun didn’t look angry, he looked as if he was enjoying her outburst. Some of her hair strands had found their way to her face from her messy bun and Arjun tucked them behind her ear.He did it ever so slowly and gently rubbed her cheek with his thumb. Noticing her calm demenor he moved close to her. Radhika knew she should step back but for some unknown reason her feet were glued to the ground. He was about to say something when the smoke alarm went on due to the excess smoke coming from a burnt roti. He quickly turned it off and Radhika resumed cooking.
Piyali and Nandini had returned from their trip and were happy to see Neil. Piyali thanked Radhika for saving Sam and asked her to move into the big house but she refused, she didn’t want it to look like she was taking advantage of their kindness.
Radhika couldnt be happier she got to talk to her mother and she assured her that both grandpa and her were fine. Radhika told her about Neil and her mother advised her to take it as a sign that her fate isnt all that bad. Even life wants her to smile and she did just that. She was happy that she could be chashni again. She loved that she could forget everything and talk about random things with him. In these dreadful six months she was once again happy, genuinely happy and it was because of Neil. He was like breath of relief that she had taken after a long while.
Neil thanked God to have found chashni again,she was the much needed distraction from Sam.Everytime that Sam would come infront of him dressed all girly, smiling all wide at him, making him coffee and acting all caring towards him, his heart would do a somersault He was finding it very tough to not embrace her and pour his heart out to her.So whenever he needed to distract himself from his wild thoughts,he would go to his chashni not to mention that he enjoyed her company immensly.
Precap:Neil comforts Sam, Aditya apologises to Radhika.