Dev: Let me check who is it!
Pragya nodded her head with a faint smile.
By then Abhi came out of the wardrobe unable to bear his sorrow. He was wiping his tears by rubbing his eyes.
Dev: Who are you?
Abhi: Mr Dev! You are so great! Pragya! You are so lucky!
He said still sobbing.
Dev: He knows you?
He asked looking at Pragya and she in return nodded her head.
Abhigya at the same time in shock: No!!
Pragya:He is my best friend…Business partner too…
Dev: Well that’s great!
Abhi started to cry even heavily reminding of Dev’s words.
Pragya and Dev were clueless of his cries.
Pragya made Abhi sit on the bed. Dev was looking at both.
Pragya: Now what happened yaar?
Abhi pointed at the fish tank in Pragya’s room.
Pragya understood what he meant. Dev was saying he also used to have fish tank at home with Angelfishes but now he doesn’t have as all the fishes die one by one for some unknown reasons.
Pragya: Oh boy….
She said that and wiped his tears.
Abhi: Mr Dev is so strong and he never missed the death of the fishes…You are so lucky to get a man like him!
Dev was looking away and trying to control his laughter.
Abhi: I can’t take it Pragya…
In the next moment he hugged her and she patted his back to calm him down.
Dev was amazed to see the bond between Abhigya.
Soon Abhi became normal and broke the hug.
Abhi: Sorry Mr Dev, I was carried away…
Pragya: Mr Dev, I hope you didn’t mind. He is just a bit emotional person.
Dev: It’s alright, I can see that…
He said by raising his eyebrows.
Abhi: I shall go out first…as u all need privacy to talk na…
Dev smiled and Pragya saw him leaving.
Abhi saw Sarla ma in shock looking at him coming out of Pragya’s room.
But she never asked him as she didn’t want to grab the attention of Dev’s folks gathered there.
Sarla ma, Thank god, the room is far from the living room if not they could have seen Abhi! This Abhi! Why is he in Pragya’s room now? He seems to have cried! For what?
In the room,
Dev: How long u and he have been friends?
Pragya: Since college days….
Pragya: He is still like a small child…very innocent although he is one of the best businessman!
Dev: Well I was thinking you look very much attached to him.
He said by smiling.
Pragya smiled back too.
Dev: I come straight to the point! You see I agreed to see you as you are also in the same field as me! I want to marry someone who understands the lifestyle of a businessman. But after seeing u and Abhi, I have a doubt…
Pragya: What Mr Dev?
Dev: Why you two have not fall in love?
Pragya was taken aback by that question and chuckled.
Dev: Why are u laughing?
Pragya: Please Mr Dev..he is like my boy..He is still like a small baby…I had no feelings like that!
Dev: Yes but the way u two hugged and it showed more of care and love for each other.
Pragya stopped laughing and looked seriously at him.
Dev: I feel the way you care for him is more like a mother…You know my mother cares for my dad this way…There is a saying like to a wife, her husband is the first child! When I see the way u consoled him it makes me feel that way!
Pragya: Mr Dev, I think u are getting it wrong…we have been like this always…As friends we care for each other but love is something too far fetched.
Dev: Alright then, this is just my opinion. Why not we decide about this relation in a week’s time. I don’t want to proceed in a relation in a rush. Don’t get me wrong, it’s just like the way we decide for deals. We take sometime to finalize deals right?
Pragya: Sure! I am ok with this!
Dev: It would be better if u can clear that Abhi also have the same feelings as you…
Pragya: Okay…That shouldn’t be an issue!
Dev: Then let’s meet up a week later and decide about this!
Pragya nodded her head and both came out of the room.
Everyone was eager to know their decision when Dev said: We do like each other but we still need time to make sure we are suitable for each other.
Sarla ma: So we fix this alliance?
Dev: No Auntyji…A week later we will inform of our decision. Just to make sure we are clear of our decision. This is a lifetime commitment Auntyji. Just one day is not enough to be sure!
Pragya: He is right Ma…We can’t rush into this just because we like each other.
The rest to agree with their decision as they didn’t said No.
Soon everyone left the house and Dev and Pragya exchanged their numbers to keep in touch.
Abhi was happily chit chatting with Rockstar Dadi when Sarla ma called him personally to talk to him.
Abhi: Aunty! Why did u call me? I was talking with RD na…
Sarla: Abhi! Why were u in her room?
Abhi looked clueless.
Abhi: RD’s room? I went to take her Ipad!
Sarla: No Abhi…Pragya’s room!
Abhi looked everywhere except at Sarla ma.
Sarla: Look at me Abhi!
Abhi innocently looked at her.
Sarla: I know u two are best friends but how can u be in her room when a man is coming to see her for marriage.
Abhi: She only…
Before that Sarla ma interrupted: Even if she insisted where is your brain?
Abhi: Auntyji…I am sorry…
Sarla: I can’t blame u but why did u cried?
Abhi: How did u know Auntyji?
He asked curiously.
Sarla: Your eyes were so red Abhi when u came out of the room!
Abhi explained what happened inside the room and she shook her head at him.
Sarla : I thought something else…
Abhi: What did u think Auntyji?
Sarla: I thought u were upset of Pragya getting married.
Abhi: Why should I? Mr Dev really looks good for her!
Sarla: I also know that but you two are best friends na…
Abhi still couldn’t understand and said: Shall I leave Auntyji? I need to talk to RD something important!
Sarla: Oh Abhi! You are still like a child! I wonder how u had become so successful as businessman!
Abhi smiled widely and get back to the place where Rockstar Dadi was.
As for Pragya she was keep on looking at Abhi and smiled.
Pragya, How can Dev feel like that? Abhi is such a innocent boy…Yes he is very smart at work but coming to relations, he is still a child at heart…how can I see him as my love? How do I even see him as my love? That’s not possible.
She thought that by looking at him before closing her room’s door to get changed.
The next day,
It was a client meeting and both as usual sat beside each other.
Abhi: As you know we are impressed with this deal but it needs to have some adjustments in it!
Pragya nodded her head to his words.
Abhi: What do u think Pragya? It would be better if there is adjustments made na…
Pragya: Yes I too agree with u Abhi..and that would help our staff to kickstart this project quickly.
Client: Yes that’s fine and we will send the details to your PA about the adjustments.
Client: She is your PA right?
He asked by pointing at Pragya.
Abhi got angry and hit the table harshly with his hand.
The client and Pragya was taken aback with his behaviour.
Abhi: Who said like that? She is my business partner and most importantly my best friend!!!
He said loudly and Pragya tried to control him but he was not willing to listen.
Abhi: Get out! Manager!
He called manager loudly and ask him to cancel the deal with the client.
Pragya: Abhi! He just said it unknowingly yaar…why are u so emotional for this?
Abhi: How can he say like that? Do u look like a PA to me? YOU ARE MY BEST FRIEND! BUSINESS PARTNER and more like a PARTNER throughout my LIFE too!
Pragya was stumbled of his words especially the last part that he said.
Pragya tried to calm him down by asking him to sit down and she passed him a glass of water to cool him down. He drank that and hugged her like a child. As usual she patted his back but with mixed feelings now.
Pragya managed to convince him and she apologised on behalf of Abhi to the client and the deal was finalized.
In the car,
Abhi: You shouldn’t have said sorry to him…
Pragya was in deep thoughts and never answered.
He shouted her name making her look around.
Pragya: What happened?
She asked in a tensed tone.
Abhi: I called u!
Pragya: Should have called me softly na…
Abhi: I did! But u were lost somewhere…
Pragya: Ok tell me what is it?
Abhi: I said u shouldn’t have said sorry to that Cockroach!
Abhi: Ya the Cockroach client!
Pragya giggled and said: He never did it purposely though…u are so emotional as usual!
Abhi: I don’t care! I don’t like anyone degrading u! Even if it’s Mr Dev, I won’t leave them!
Pragya: Why is that so?
Abhi: Why is that so means? U are my best friend! U are like my guardian who takes care of my needs and how can I let my guardian be unprotected?
Pragya: Guardian? Excuse me you are not a small child and I am not so old to be your guardian!
Abhi:Don’t say like that…I never meant that way but u know u are the friend who is more like my mother! Even my Mummy was a friend to my Daddy! U know they were friends and Mummy always cared for him!
Pragya: How did u know this when your Mummy passed away long time back?
Abhi: I heard their story from my Dadi.
Abhi: So friends do care for each other like parent and child!
Abhi: Anyways I drop u at your house right?
Pragya: No…at the nearby mandir should be fine…
Abhi: Today is not Tuesday right? You still go to temple?
Pragya: No just feel like going…
Abhi: Okay! Will drop u there!
Pragya again was silent and this time it was even more confusing to her.
She sat down after praying and recollected how Abhi supported her and his words about how much she means to him.
Pragya, Why does he have to give almost the same example as Dev? Does he felt in any way that we will be like his parents? He wouldn’t have if not he wouldn’t have told it so casually. How do I even find out his feelings? Oh god! What is this? Why do I have to face this now? Is this a way for me to find who is the right match for me? Dev or Abhi?
When she thought of Abhi’s name, the bell sound in the mandir was heard as if it’s a signal that he is her right choice. Pragya was surprised to hear that.
Just then a small girl ran towards her, passed a paper and ran away.
Pragya didn’t know who she was and read the paper.
Choose someone who is always in your heart and mind….
Pragya folded the paper and kept inside her bag.
Pragya, Don’t know who has passed this to me but it’s kind of help in this moment too.
Days passed and every moment he spent with her was more and more pleasant to her. Friendship was all about caring for each other that was her thinking all this while but caring can lead to love that is what made it difficult for her to accept.
Pragya, Enough Pragya! Let me ask straightly to Abhi! I know he won’t understand all this easily but I need a clarity before telling my decision to Dev.
Pragya went to Abhi’s house and it was a Sunday and there were no servants in his house.
Pragya was relieved that even if he became emotional hearing to what she had asked there won’t be people around to eavesdrop them.
She never informed him about her arrival and went straight to his room but he was not there.
Pragya, Where is he? He even kept his phone here on the dressing table!
She went towards his conference room and opened the door.
Pragya was shocked to see the visuals on the screen that was playing from the projector.
He had fallen asleep by hugging the book that she had gifted him during college days.
The visuals were all hers in different days in college and at parties after they started working together.
She went closer to him and by seeing the trails of tears around his eyes, Pragya could easily found out that he had been crying.
Pragya, What does all this means?
She switched off the projector and looked at him quizzically.
Pragya switched on the lights and Abhi was almost awake and the first word he uttered was “Pragya!”
Pragya stood where she was and wanted to see what will he be doing.
Abhi looked at the book on his hand.
He flipped to a page and was crying as he read it.
Pragya wasn’t able to control himself and went towards him.
Abhi looked behind and saw her with shocked look.
He quickly wiped his tears and looked away.
Abhi: You are here?
Pragya: Yes boy…Why are u crying?
Abhi: Wo..nothing…something entered my eyes….
He said like a kid by looking down.
Pragya: Something entered your eyes or heart?
Abhi: Pragya…nothing yaar….
Pragya came closer to him and wiped his tears.
He was still sitting down on chair looked away.
Abhi: I will miss you…
Pragya: Why boy?
Abhi: You are going to marry na after this we cannot be friends!
Pragya: Who said so?
Abhi remained silent and again cried by hugging her.
Pragya: Oh boy…which time u are in ah? We will always meet up as usual and have fun!
Abhi: No…what if Mr Dev never allows u to come here?
Pragya: Who is he to allow me? I will come to meet my friend!
She said by ruffling his hair as usual and making him smile lightly.
Pragya: Yes boy!
Abhi: Then ok! I will tell RD that she is wrong!
Pragya: Dadi told u like that? Wait! I will call and scold her for doing like this to u! How can she disturb my boy like this?
Pragya was about to take her phone and call when he stopped her.
Abhi: It’s okay Pragya…I just got emotional thinking of not being able to see u later…
Pragya: Ok boy…have u eaten?
Abhi shook his head as no.
Pragya: What’s the time now? Now it’s 3 pm and u still haven’t eaten! Come let’s go!
Abhi: No yaar…I am not hungry…
Pragya: Just come!
She demanded and Abhi too followed her.
Pragya made a quick lunch and Abhi was waiting for her.
Pragya came back to the dining area with the food and Abhi smiled at her and winked.
Pragya: Always like a child…when will u grow up?
Abhi: I have grown up yaar…just that I look like a small boy to u!
Pragya serving the food: Acha…so no one thinks u as a small boy!
Abhi munching the food: No…wait…yes…
Pragya got surprised and wondered who else considered him as a small boy.
Abhi: She is a girl…
Pragya felt an unknown jealousy and was curious to know who is that.
Abhi: You don’t know her but she is known to me…
Pragya: Hmm…who is she?
Abhi: She is…
Pragya: She is?
Abhi: She is who she is…
Pragya: Abhi! Please just tell me who she is!
Abhi: Why? I know her and why should u know her?
Pragya trying not to lose her coolness: Just curious to know who else see u as small boy…That’s all…
Abhi paused eating and looked at her for a while.
Abhi: I know her for a long time…she is cute when she gets angry. Like she is the cute mute!
Pragya: U means she is mute?
Abhi: No! No! As in when she is angry then she will be like a mute. That makes her look cute….
Pragya: Oh…that much u observe her?
She said by rolling her eyes.
Abhi smirked and Pragya being angry remained silent.
Abhi: Then she likes me!
Pragya raised her eyebrows in shock.
Abhi: I also like her!
Pragya widened her eyes in shock.
Pragya, Like means love or what? How do i ask him that?
Pragya walked away unable to ask him directly and he called her.
Pragya: What Abhi?
Abhi: Like means just like…
She let a deep sigh of relief.
Abhi: But it can be love too…
Pragya felt her heart sank now.
Abhi: Tell me Pragya…shall I love her? She is cute to me but I feel she is not in love…
Pragya: Not in love with u?
Abhi: No…not in love with anyone…
Pragya: I don’t understand Abhi…this is your life and choose a decision what your heart and mind says…
Abhi: That means I have to propose her right now!
She asked in dismay but still not facing him.
Abhi: Yes that’s what my heart and mind says now!
Pragya trying to suppress her tears: Ok…then call her now…
Abhi grinned hearing her shaky voice and he hugged her from back.
Pragya: Abhi! What is this? Go and propose her!
Abhi: It’s u who is the girl!
Abhi: Yes! You are my cute mute!
Pragya: Don’t lie! U said I don’t know her! She is only known to u!
Abhi: Yes right? You don’t know yourself if not u would have realized how cute u are!
Pragya still couldn’t believe and he made her face him.
Abhi: Pragya…I don’t know that u would love me but I know I love you…
Pragya: You love me?
Abhi: Yes….whenever u care for me like my Mummy! I just want this care forever in my life! Whenever u call me boy, I only want to be your boy in all ways…
Pragya: But boy…are u doing this because u will miss me if I marry someone else?
Abhi: Maybe…maybe it made me understand I love u! I need u!
Pragya looked confused and looked away when he asked: You don’t like me?
Pragya: No boy…I like you but…
Abhi: Then what? Boy likes girl and girl also likes boy na…
Abhi: What ok?
Abhi started to make a sulky face and realizing that he might cry she quickly hugged him and said: I love you!
Abhi hugged her tightly and he suddenly break the hug.
Pragya: What happened boy?
Abhi: I hate you!
Pragya was taken aback and wondered why he hates her now!
Abhi moved away and stared at her.
Pragya: Why u hate me now?
Abhi: Because u never pat my back!
Pragya chuckled silently at his anger and said: Come boy! I will hug and pat your back now!
Abhi quickly came closer to her and hugged her. She too patted his back and said: Do u really love me?
Abhi was breathing heavily to break down into tears.
Pragya: No! Don’t cry…okok I believe u love me!
Abhi: Boy loves u! Ok?
Pragya nodded her head and said: So what if Mr Dev loves me?
Abhi: Mr Dev? He loves u?
Pragya became serious and was thinking to tease him for a while.
Pragya in a serious tone: Yes boy…that day we were talking for so long in the room..he told me he loves me..but wants to give me time to think about it…he also said he expects a positive answer…
Abhi panicked and was getting tensed.
Abhi: That means u want to love him?
Pragya: Not sure…but now…
Abhi: Oh No! You are not sure! That means u might love him too! What if he dies like in movies not getting a positive reply? Then he will…
Before completing the sentence, he already started to sob and Pragya seeing that laughed.
Abhi in between his sobs: You are laughing at this?
Pragya: Hello boy! You easily believe everything!
Abhi: You mean u were kidding me?
He asked like a child.
Pragya nodded her head and he started to chase her when she ended up in the sofa.
Abhi jump on top of her and made her under him.
Pragya was breathing heavily of his chase and he looked at her angrily.
Abhi: Naughty girl!
Pragya: Emotional boy!
Abhi: I am also naughty!
He said proudly and came closer to kiss her when she quickly took the cushion beside her and he ended up kissing the cushion.
Abhi: Oh man! It’s so dusty! They never cleaned it!
Pragya was keep on giggling and said: I have something to say….
Pragya: That means from business partner you want to become my life partner?
Abhi smiled widely and said: Yes MERE HUMSAFAR…..
Pragya and Abhi had an eye-lock losing in each other’s presence.
Abhi gave a pout with his eyes closed and was trying to move closer to kiss when she shouted: Boy!!! My Mummy is here!!!
Abhi: What? Auntyji is here?
He quickly moved away and Pragya standing up adjusted herself.
He was looking around and saw no one around.
Abhi: Again u fooled me?
Pragya: Yes boy! Kiss me later…You are still a small boy to me and I will teach u later…
Abhi was upset of being fooled twice and he folding his arms looked away.
Pragya: Oh boy is upset…
She said sadly.
Pragya: It’s okay it happens like this when a girl loves boy…
Abhi: You go away…
Pragya: Haan I need to go now too..
She said that and went to take her bag.
Abhi was still standing at the same position.
Pragya: Bye Boy!
Abhi remained in his anger when she quickly pulled his chubby cheeks and said: Always eat Yummy food like a Dummy!
He yelled and she suddenly kissed his cheek and made him happy.
Abhi pulled her towards him and asked pleadingly: Can I try again?
Pragya: Haan but not now as I am getting late Boy…u know I need to tell Mr Dev that I am not interested in the alliance.
Abhi: Oh ya…I will come with u too!
Pragya: Good boy! Let’s go!
They informed Dev about their decision and Abhigya also managed to convince Sarla ma and others of their love. They got married with the blessings of elders.
A few days after marriage,
Pragya: Boy! Where are u? How can u be hiding for this?
She was finding Abhi for the past one hour in the house and he was nowhere to be found. It was a Sunday and he knew she now can’t have any help to find him too.
Hours passed, Pragya was getting tensed and worried for him.
She was too tired of searching him and gave up.
Pragya, Why is he like this? He really thinks I am his Mummy or what? Going after him to feed lunch? Yes I know I said I will not feed him as he is disturbing me while feeding him. Touching my waist, hands, so many places if not tickling me! But now this boy got angry and is boycotting lunch! This is so childish!
She was sitting down on the chair with the bowl of food on the dining table.
She was too tired that she was about to close her eyes when he heard his cries.
Pragya, Huh? Why am I hearing his voice from the kitchen?
She with the bowl of food entered the kitchen and saw him sitting on the table there.
Abhi was crying heavily and as usual she had to hug him and calm him down.
Pragya: You were here all this while?
Abhi: Haan! Why u never come and see me?
Pragya: Oh god! I thought u were at our room or somewhere else!
Abhi: I thought u want me to die of hunger!
Pragya pulled his cheek and said: Do u think I want u to die when I am dying to see u with this bowl?
Abhi: Oh…I am sorry…Feed me now!
Pragya shook her head of his childishness and started to feed him when he did his usual disturbances to her.
Pragya: Abhi! When I feed u, u are not like a boy! U are like a naughty man!
Abhi seductively: Why is that so?
He asked by touching her neck in a seductive way.
Pragya closing her eyes: Leave it! I know you won’t stop it…I will try to be used to it…
She said and smiled with shyness.
Abhi: You have to… it’s part of our lifetime partnership as a deal of being MERE HUMSAFAR (My Life Partner).
Pragya smiled widely in response as she loved this deal too.
That’s how their Lifetime Partnership continued….