Hey ya! My cousin is getting married Si I am quite busy with co-organizing and enjoying ask the functions but still I am ready with the updates but before that I wanted to post this OS. This OS is inspired from one of my favourite novella of which I actually forgot the name ? but hey its been long time I last read that ? Following’s the OS, hope you’ll like it.
Ragini craned her neck towards the man, her best friend Amber was pointing at. She spied the man, did a sharp double take that would surely leave her with a crick in her neck.
Blinking, Ragini adjusted to the sight as the sounds of Nikita’s engagement party faded. It felt as if she’s a part of a movie and just now somebody pressed the pause button. Sanskar Maheshwari, her childhood crush, we-e-ll the love of her life to be precise, was sitting, right in front of her but thankfully at bar stool while she sat at a table with her another friend Amber, luckily at a distance from the bar.
Apparently Nikita her best friend hadn’t informed her about her half brother Sanskar’s acceptance to the wedding invitation. There he was the one and only Sanskar Maheshwari, sipping his drink, and that cocky grin on his face, directed at girls often enough, that knowing twinkle in his eye communicating that females liked what they saw, and he knew it. He hasn’t changed much, the same black hair that she wanted to run her fingers through, the twinkling chocolate brown eyes that held mischief.
His masculine features were better defined; cheekbones and jaw now sharp enough to cut cold butter. Yet he straddled youth and maturity with an ease to be envied, that cocky teen housed in the bad-boy adult making a killer combination. But she knew that she, Ragini Malhotra is the one and only person that could scare the cocky Maheshwari.
She turned her head and sight away from him and glanced at the food in her plate. Silently laughing as she thought about their childhood, about how she used to follow him like an adoring puppy. She’d loved him, still do, but she knew that he can never be hers. For him, she’ll always remain, that love struck puppy, who used to follow him everywhere, the annoying girl.
The chain of her thoughts was broken by a deep sigh coming out of Amber who had the same look on her face that Ragini used to sport earlier.
“What?” Ragini narrowed her eyes at Amber.
“What? He’s so s*xy and yummy!” exclaimed Amber, moaning.
Ragini threw her head back and laughed, drawing everybody’s attention. Quickly she sobered up, but still grinned and said, “You called Sanskar, yummy?”
“You know him” Ragini couldn’t figure out, if that was a statement or a question.
“I do.” She replied. Sipping water, she continued, “He’s Sanskar Maheshwari, Nikki’s half brother. We grew up together.” She shrugged.
“Seriously! Please introduce me to him. Please..pretty please! Kya pata, hum friends ban jayen, then boyfriend girlfriend and shaadi bhi ho jaye!” squealed Amber.
Ragini shook her head at her friend, and replied, “You go, I am not coming. Mujhe dekh kar bhaag jayega woh. Phhir no friendship, no relationship and shaadi ki baat toh chod hi do!” grinned Ragini.
Amber eyed her as if asking, “Are you serious?”, so she voiced out, “Really? Would you explain it to me, that why would he run away, seeing a bombshell like you?”
Ragini raised her perfectly threaded thin brows at being termed as a bombshell. “You don’t believe me, do you?” she asked.
“No” came the instant reply.
“Come..I’ll show you!” smirked Ragini.
Sanskar twirled around the bar stool, now facing the crowd present at her half-sister’s engagement party. He never wanted to come, but didn’t had the courage to deny his sister, the only member of his so called family, he cared about. He was quietly sipping his drink, when he heard musical laugh. What the..? Musical laugh? He looked around, searching for the source and there, his eyes landed on the girl, dressed in an off shoulder, knee length, beige colored dress, her brownish black hair, flowing down her shoulder in curls, diamond studs and a bracelet adorning her wrist. She looked beautifully s*xy.
Aware of the stares she was getting, she quickly sobered up, biting her lower lip, that caused some fluttery moment inside his chest. “Who is she?” thought Sanskar. He was about to go and talk to her but was interrupted by a hand on his shoulder, the hand of his business associate and future brother-in-law, Abhimaan Singhania.
“Hey man! What’s up?”
Sanskar greeted him and they both started a little chat. Discreetly glancing at the whole crowd again, he searched for his pretty lady that had captured his attention but wasn’t able to find her. A little disappointed he got involved in the chat with Anhimaan one again, when he heard…
“Saaaannnkkyyyy darlinggggg…” someone drawled.
His eyes widened, a lump formed in his throat, he knew that only one person used to drawl his name like this, a particular irritating creation of the almighty, Ragini Malhotra. “Oh crap! Ragini Malhotra, mere liye khatra…!!” he thought.
Jerking off the stool, he stumbled away from the bar, not even once looking behind him. He didn’t want to face that infuriating girl again, his sister’s best friend and his worst fan. Taking long strides, he literally ran away from that place, unaware of the laughing that he had just termed musical.
Ragini laughed out loud, not caring about the stares she got, once again, even Abhimaan found the situation amusing, while Amber sported a confused looked, similar to the most of the guests. Nikita chose that moment to enter and a look at Ragini, she asked, “Kya hua? Something funny?”
“I don’t know!” shrugged Amber and pointed her index finger at Ragini and said, “She just drawled your brother, Sanskar’s name and he..well he just ran away!”
It took ten seconds for Nikita to grasp the situation and when she realized what had happened she too started laughing out loud, giving Ragini a hi-five.
“Ladies..ladies, sober up! Care to explain, why Sanskar ran away like a deer runs away from the lion? With his tail between his legs?” asked Abhimaan.
“We-e-ll” Nikita sobered up, drawling, “Actually, this lady over here” she pointed at Ragini, whose cheeks flushed red cause of laughing and embarrassment, “used to be Sanskar’s fan-girl, I mean, she used to follow him everywhere, claiming to love him, and he obviously found that irritating. She used to drawl his name, and he always got scared. Bohot pareshaan kiya hai Ragini ne Sanskar ko. Mujhe nahi pata thha, ki woh aaj bhi tumse itna darta hai!” laughed Nikita.
Ragini was embarrassed of course, but she couldn’t help, but feel the pang of hurt she used to feel everytime Sanskar rejected her. She still fantasizes about him, and love him of course but like they say, “Sometimes love is never enough!”
“Please Sanskar, mere liye..please!” pleaded Nikita.
“No..no..no..main yeh dress..what you call it as sherwaani, kurta, salwaar..whatever.. nahi pehnne waala. When I say No, I mean No!” declared Sanskar.
“Sanskar..it’s my wedding bro, can’t you wear this for me? Please!”
“I said No! And waise bhi, I’ll look like an idiot, wearing this dress!” Sanskar shook his head.
“Lucknow ka kurta pathani salwar, tab lage mard varna lage bekaar…!!!” came a voice. Turning around Sanskar spotted his pretty lady, dressed in denim capris paired with a halter neck, pink colored top. She looked casual, yet more beautiful than before. Her coal black eyes, that silver nose ring, and those damn kissable lips, which now formed a teasing smirk.
While Sanskar looked enthralled, Nikita couldn’t help but grin at her brother’s face. Something was cooking and if that something was what she thought, than she would become the happiest woman alive on the earth.
“Kajol ka dialogue hai, from movie kabhi khushi kabhi gam, but tumhe suit karta hai..situation ki demand, you see. And by the way, this dress is one of my creations, so you better not insult it calling it a whatever!” pouted Ragini.
Sanskar snapped his eyes away from his pretty lady, and cleared his throat and said, “Uummm..I..Fine! I’ll wear this, just for you Nikki!”
“Oh, I know..” teased Nikita and went away leaving Sanskar and Ragini alone, while Ragini smiled, a smile, that make something flutter inside Sanskar’s chest, once again.
“You a friend of Nikki’s?” he asked. Ragini was proud she didn’t laugh out loud. Amazing. Ironic that the guy she’d spent her childhood with from the ages of seven to twelve, the guy she’d loved from the ages of twelve and still in love with him didn’t even remember her. Though, in his defence, she’d been in the tenth grade, almost 14 and half years old, the last time he saw her.
“Are you Nikita’s friend?” he repeated.
“Yes, I’ve known Nikki a long time.” Replied Ragini.
“Do I know you?” he asked, “I feel like I know you.” He added, and Ragini’s heart skipped a beat.
“A name would be helpful” he said. Ragini let out an overly thoughtful hmm, as if she were seriously considering giving him the information. But suddenly, the moment she’d been dreading, her first meeting with Sanskar, was more about fun than fear. “That would be too easy” she said.
“Maybe we attended the same school?” She shook her head. “Did we meet at a party once?” he asked. Enjoying his frustrated curiosity, she shook her head again and said, “Try again.”
“I can’t remember who you are.” Simmering gaze on hers, he said, “How about throwing a poor guy a hint?”
Ragini laughed lightly, and started walking away, when Sanskar called, “At-least give me a hint! I want to know you!”
Ragini turned, facing Sanskar, and looked at his frustrated face, with mischief in her eyes and once again, scared the daylights out of him by drawling, “Byyyee…Sssaaannnkkyy..” she waved.
Sanskar went numb and uttered something inaudible. He stared at Ragini as if she had two heads, and mumbled, ducking his head lightly, “It’s you… Ragini..”
Ragini laughed again and went away waving at Sanskar, while Nikita came out of her hiding place. She had been listening to the whole ping-pong ball conversation secretly and was enjoying. She came and hooked her arm with Sanskar’s and teased, “Happy realization day bro!”
“You knew it was her?”
“Is that even a question?”
“She changed so much..she’s not that much annoying now, but she definitely knows to scare the life out of me! Gosh..I can’t believe it’s her. Ragini Malhotra, the khatra!” exclaimed Sanskar.
Nikita grinned at her brother’s state and replied, “Yup..she’s Ragini! She hasn’t changed a bit, it’s just that she acts maturely now!” and smiled, “You’re enthralled by her, aren’t you?”
“Is that even a question?” muttered r Sanskar, making Nikki smile more widely.
“I knew it! It’s going to be real fun! Tables are turned bro, it would be fun to watch you following Ragini around! Kya pata Ragini ki baat sach ho jaye, tumhe usse pyaar ho jaye and shaadi vaadi bhi ho jaye!”
“What..? Be serious Nikki! I am just amazed and don’t you start with your cupid business, you know I am not the one who gets involved in such crappy things like love and marriage! Main yahan aaya hoon, sirf tumhaare liye and I definitely don’t want to face Mom and her husband once again. So please! Main jaisa hoon, waise hi theek hoon!” spat Sanskar and walked away.
Sanskar sat at the seashore, silent as ever, remembering his past. Discovering his pretty lady’s identity had been like a cattle-prod shock to his nervous system, his mind reeling with the memories of his youth. He struggled to ignore the beautiful woman who’d trailed after him as a kid, hanging on his every word. His every move. The one who’d witnessed his most humiliating moment.
“You were a mistake.”
“Marrying your father was a mistake.”
Ragini came and sat beside him, and Sanskar wiped his tears. For a while they sat quietly and then Ragini chuckled.
“I am amazed you aren’t running away!”
That brought a smile on Sanskar’s face and he replied, “You aren’t scaring me away!”
“Nikki talked to me, about..uumm..about your Mom.”
“You were following me that day,” he said. “You heard what she said.” Ragini didn’t pretend she had no idea what he was talking about. Her gaze warm on his, she said, “I heard some of what your mother said, yes.”
Unsure of which parts she’d missed, he gave her the full version. “Marrying my father was a mistake.” His next words came out louder than he’d intended. “I was a mistake.” Letting the words echo, he forgot to breathe for a moment. “I was just a symbol of everything my mother had done wrong,” he said. “Of everything she regretted.”
“She hated my father, she hated what he did for a living. She hated Dad, cause he wasn’t able to fulfil her dreams and wishes. She wanted more money. After Dad died, it was all money, she cared about.” Cried Sanskar.
Ragini shifted closer, “I know”
“She didn’t gave second thoughts before marrying Nikki’s father, after Dad died, reason..money! I tried so hard..” he trailed off, and Ragini crawled more closer to him. She put a comforting arm around Sanskar’s shoulder, who leaned closer to her.
“You never left me even after hearing those words, and I felt humiliated. I tried so hard to earn her love and care but she never cared about me. It was always Nikki, who cared and you of course. Your drawling, the adoration for me was irritating but I admit I missed it all, after I left.” Sanskar placed his head on Ragini’s shoulder.
“Ssshh..” shushed Ragini, wiping Sanskar’s tears.
“Your father loved you very much Sanskar, and so does Nikki.” She cradled Sanskar’s face in her hands, and said, “You have to face you Mom, Sanskar. I know it will be difficult, but ab jab tum Nikki ki shaadi ke liye yahaan aa hi gaye ho, then you know unwillingly you have to face your Mom, right?”
“I don’t want to. Forget the marriage, I am not coming.” Declared Sanskar.
“You should Sanskar.”
“Because you sister loves you! And if you can’t do it for her..” she sighed, “then do it for the annoying girl, who used to follow you like an adoring love sick puppy, do it for the woman, who still loves you, do it for me!”
Looking directly into his eyes, she said, “I do love you Sanskar. I’ve loved you since I was twelve, and you do deserve love!”
Sanskar look across the mandap, and found Ragini, sitting on a chair in the front row, looking beautiful as ever. Her words rang in his mind again and again..
“I do love you Sanskar. I’ve loved you since I was twelve, and you do deserve love!”
He won’t deny the attraction he feels for her, but love, that’s the question. He stared at Ragini who returned the stare back, and saw, compassion, trust, and love in her eyes. She loves him, check, but he isn’t in love with her, at-least not now, check, but he want to give it a try, want to fell in love with her, double check.
He gestured, using his eyes, asking her to follow him, and she did as he wanted.
“About”about what you said,” he said. He shrugged awkwardly. “Before.” The lag time from one heartbeat to the next seemed to lengthen to uncomfortable levels. So much so Ragini was amazed she didn’t pass out.
“You know everything I don’t want anyone to know.” He paused, “After our moment at the seashore, I was wondering, why not give us a try, I mean you and I, as in together-together.”
“You want to be in a relationship with me?” she asked, wanting to be sure, and Sanskar just nodded in positive.
“I see! Aren’t you scared of me anymore?” she teased and Sanskar just rolled his eyes before pulling her close by her waist.
“I am intrigued more!”
“Do you think it will work?”
“Maybe..or maybe not. But I don’t see any harm in trying, do you?”
“So we are in a relationship!”
“So, I am free to do, what I wanted to do, from the past week.” Said Sanskar.
“What?” asked Ragini.
“This…” and by that, he kissed Ragini, taking the kiss slow at start but soon he couldn’t keep himself in control. He threaded his fingers in her hair and tilted her head at an angle that gave him easy and full access of her sweet mouth. Ragini ran her fingers over his chest, finally wrapping her arms around his neck. Pulling each other more closer, both of them cherished the moment. Sealed by their first kiss, started a new journey…
After 6 months
“I told you!” Nikki whispered into Sanskar’s ear, while tying the gathbandhan knot. Sanskar glared at his sister while his bride, the love of his life smiled, somewhat teasingly.
“What?” asked Ragini, sporting an innocent smile.
“I love you!” replied Sanskar, shrugging lightly, not caring about his little loud tone, that made everybody laugh and Ragini blush.
After some more mantras and rituals, Sanskar and Ragini were finally married. After a while, when the guests left, Sanskar, Ragini, Nikita, Abhimaan and Amber were having dinner privately.
“Finally..! Aakhir Ragini ki baat sach ho hi gayi. Sanskar, you lost it! Just like Ragini used to say.. Sanskar fell in love with her and now look at you, you both got married!” chuckled Nikita.
“Well, abhi ek cheez baaki hai!” smirked Sanskar.
“What?” asked Ragini and Nikita and Abhimaan and not to forget Amber.
“Don’t you remember Ragini..?” asked Sanskar.
Ragini shook her head in negative, and Sanskar moved a bit, cradled his face in his hand, and sporting a dreamy look on his face, he said, “Sanskaaaaarrr…humaari shaadi ke baad na, I want to have three kids with you. Ek mere jaisa, ek tumhaare jaisa, and ek hum dono jaisa. Haina Sanskkkaaaar..” he imitated as Ragini used to do, when they were kids.
Everybody laughed around the table, except Ragini whose face turned red with anger, embarrassment and blush as well. She elbowed Sanskar in his stomach, before covering her face with her palms, as Sanskar drew her close to his chest, hugging her.