They reached home and saw Shramishtha and Shekhar waiting for them. Ragini went and sat beside Shekhar while Vidyut stood beside Shramishtha.
“Oh, look Shekhar, Ragini got a stranger with her today” Shramishtha said looking at Vidyut who stood there with his head down and an innocent expression on his face.
Ragini and Shekhar started laughing at Vidyut while Shramishtha glared at him.
“I know I know, you’re upset with me and no amount of sorry is going to work on you now” he said while keeping his hand around her
“Don’t try this reverse psychology with me” Shramishtha said while pulling his ear “Do you know how long has it been since you last came home”
“Ah, aunty, I’m really very sorry. I promise never to do anything of this sort again” he said while trying to pry himself away from Shramishtha’s hand
“Sumi, let the poor boy be. He said he’s sorry, look at that guilt ridden face of his” Shekhar said while laughing
“Don’t try to defend him Shekhar, this is not the first time I’m dealing with him” Sumi said with mock anger while Shekhar and Ragini continued to laugh at the scene that was unfolding.
“Ragini you traitor” Vidyut narrowed his eyes at her
“Ma, it’s okay, let him eat first” Ragini said
Shramishtha let him go, smiled at him and said “I’ve made all you favourite dishes today. Freshen up and come to dining table”
“You know I love you, right” Vidyut said while giving her a small hug
“Ragini beta, look at your mother. Before he came, she said she’ll not talk to him, and here she’s made his favourite dishes” “Shekhar said in a mocking tone
They all sat to have dinner and were chit chatting about random things. After dinner they all sat in the hall talking for some more time.
“Alright guys, I am off to sleep, have an early morning meeting tomorrow. Vidyut pick me in the evening from office tomorrow, I have to go to Ritika for dress trials” Ragini said
“Aye please, don’t torture me like this. I’m not going for any trials with you”
“Did any part of my sentence suggest that I am asking you? You’re taking me and that’s final, Goodnight” she said while kissing Shekhar and Sumi, stuck her tongue out at Vidyut and left
“Goodnight, beta” Both Sumi and Shekhar said
“One spoilt brat your daughter is” Vidyut said while looking at both of them.
“Shekhar, I am worried for her.” Shramishtha said “She’s going for Laksh’s engagement. I don’t know how she’ll handle herself”
“Vidyut beta, will you go with her? I tried to talk her out of going but in vain” Shekhar said “I know it’s too much to ask for. But there is no one else I can trust, if we try to accompany her, she won’t agree to it, but she’ll never say no to you”
“She’s a strong girl uncle. Don’t worry about her. Anyway I have to go to Canada next month for a case, I haven’t told her yet” he said looking at them “I will take care of her. I promise”
“Why don’t you tell her that you love her?” Sumi asked him
Vidyut smiled and said “She knows that I love her, but not in a way you’re thinking. We’re friends aunty, but there’s nothing more to it. You know the grey area between love and friendship, that’s where we are. And I’m okay with that”
“For how long will you stay in that grey area? At some point you both will need someone. Then how will you manage your relationship” Shekhar asked him
“I have everyone I need, there is no place for anyone else uncle” he smiled at Shekhar “Anyway, I should also leave. It’s getting late” Vidyut said as he got up and moved towards the door
Shekhar hugged him and Sumi escorted him out. “Vidyut, we all need someone beta. If not Ragini then you might meet someone else, but you will meet that’s for sure. Don’t close yourself so much” Sumi said
“I will think about it” he said with a smile he hugged her and kissed her goodbye.
ONE MONTH LATER
“Ma, I have to leave for airport now and I am not going to carry any food” Ragini said as she finished packing up her suitcase.
Sumi rushed inside her room with a small bag and said “This is not food. These are just light snacks”
“Ma, please, just look at the size of that bag, I will get food in the flight and I’m sure people in Canada eat food too” she said as she rushed out of the rom “Baba, please tell Ma. I am not going to carry food”
“Calm down, has your cab arrived? Your number had international roaming right? Call us as soon as you land, whatever the time is” Shekhar asked her
“You’re going for 3 weeks. You’ll miss all this food I am telling you” Sumi said
“Ma, baba please calm down” Ragini said “International roaming on my phone is on, I will call you as soon as I land. Ma, its good that I’ll miss this food, which means I will value them more when I come back” she hugged both of them
“Take care of yourself beta, we’ll miss you a lot” they said while hugging her
“I will and you both just because I am not here does not mean, you’ll stop taking your medicines. I’ve instructed Riya everything. Call her for anything that you will need. I will be in touch. You can call me whenever you want”
“Oh and baba, please tell Vidyut that I’ll kill him when I come back. He was supposed to see me off” she said with a frown
“I shall pass on your message” Shekhar said with a laugh
“My cab is here. I love you guys. Take care” she said as she hugged them on last time before leaving
Laksh Maheshwari was eagerly waiting to receive his best friend. The only person who trusted in him and the only person who managed to stop him from making rash decisions. Not just in his personal issues but she helped him take the most difficult decisions professionally, today he was the owner of a successful international chain of restaurants, all because she pushed him to leave his dead end job and follow his passion. They were going to meet today after six years. Sure, they had phone calls and video calls, but all these could not replace the feeling to meeting face to face.
Laksh always felt responsible towards her, he felt that it was his duty to always protect her, of course staying in different countries made that a little difficult. But he was always aware of what is going on in her life, and he always wished the best for her. A familiar face emerging from the arrival gate broke his chain of thoughts; she looked at him and gave a big smile. As she walked towards him he saw how much she had changed over time, he could see a confidence in her personality that was missing the last time he met her. Her smile was so infectious; he could not take his eyes off of her. When she came to him, he pulled her into a bone crushing bear hug.
“I cannot express how happy I am today” he said
“Laksh, if you don’t let go off me, I will die with lack of oxygen. I can literally feel how happy you are” she said with a small laugh “I’m happy too. I’ve missed you”
He let her off, looked at her and said “C’mon let’s go home. Mom and Dad are eagerly waiting for you”. He took her suitcase and they walked towards his car.
“I hope the flight was comfortable” he said
“Yes, it was very comfortable, but because of a long journey, I’m very tired” she said while struggling with her phone
“Here take my phone, call uncle and aunty” he said while giving his phone to her.
“Thanks” She took his phone and called her parents
“Hello? Baba?…..Baba I have reached safely, and I’m going with Laksh to his house now”…… “No don’t wake her up, I will talk you both at night”…. “Okay baba, bye”
“Here” she said by handing his phone back to him.
“How is everyone at home?” he asked as they sat in the car
“Everyone is fine” she replied while typing into her phone
“Ragini, all okay? You seem hassled” he asked
“Sorry, yes, I mean no problem; I was just…leave that. How are the preparations going on?” She asked “excited about your engagement?”
“Of course” he said with a smile “all the preparations are going on in full swing. Mom and dad are pretty upset that uncle and aunty did not come”
He pulled up in their driveway “So, here we are. Let’s go”
“Marc” he called out as they got down from the car “Please get the luggage inside”
“Mom, dad. Look who’s here” Laksh announced as they got inside the house
Annapurna Maheshwari was in the living room instructing the servants when she saw Laksh and Ragini come inside
“Ragini” she went to her and hugged her. Tears welled up in both their eyes “Look at you, I don’t believe this is the same Ragini I saw a few years ago”
Ragini gave a little laugh “That’s the whole point of a personality transformation aunty”
“Ragini beta” Durgaprasad Maheshwari called her name
“Uncle” she went to him and hugged him
“The smile on my face does not change the fact that I’m still upset with Sumi and Shekhar for not coming” he said while kissing on top of her head
“Hey, you guys are upset with mom and dad you deal with them. Don’t drag me in between” she said with a laugh
“Sure Sure, we’ll deal with your parents” Annapurna said “Now go freshen up a bit, you’ve been through a long journey. Sleep for a while”
“I’m not really sleepy, but I’ll just change my clothes and come.” She said
“Come I’ll show you your room” Laksh said as he moved to escort her “This is your room, change quickly and come out”
She nodded and he left
After a while Ragini went and sat on the couch in the living room. She and Annapurna were talking when they heard a voice “Ma”
They turned around to see a girl walking inside the house, Annapurna smiled at her “Sahaj, come, I want you to meet someone”
“Sahaj, this is Ragini” then she turned to Ragini and said “Ragini, this is Sahaj”
They both smiled at each other.
“It’s nice to finally get to meet you” Sahaj said “Everyone speaks so highly of you”
Ragini smiled and said “It’s nice to meet you too. Laksh has told me so much about you.”
“So, Ragini what do you think of my fiancé” Laksh came and hugged Sahaj from behind
Ragini smiled looking at them and said “You both look really good together”
Hey guys, thank you so much for an amazing response. I am not that good a writer, i hope i do justice to RagLak, and please comment whether good or bad your comments will help me write better and will give me an idea if i go wrong somewhere
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Lots of Love