The Abyss- Ishqbaaz Fanfic by Aashi
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Priyanka rubbed her eyes and turned, snuggling her face into blanket a little more but the delicious aroma kept filling her senses and forced her to awaken. Rubbing her eyes she sat up, trying to register the unusual surroundings. “Good morning, beautiful miss railing. Had enough sleep?” the voice behind her made her jump. She relaxed a little finding it was just Ranveer.
“Good morning” she wished back, “yeah, nice sleep it was.” Her eyes raked over his perfectly dressed presence as if he had been styled out of salon; not a hair out of place. She looked at the tray in his hand holding some coffee, delicious looking scrambled eggs and aromatic poha in two plates each. “Wow! Did you cook all these? They look delicious.”
She tried to grab a plate of scrambled eggs but Ranveer was quick enough to withdraw the tray. “First you go brush your teeth, only then you can have the breakfast.” Prinku whined a little but seeing Ranveer wouldn’t budge, went to freshen up. After eating, Ranveer went to drop Priyanka to the Oberoi Mansion.
Gauri fumed looking at the text. “With all nerve…” she thought and hastily freshened up. She was sure she would go to the office alone; she wouldn’t trust his message again. She cleaned the counter, switched off all the lights, locked the back door and was locking the front door when a honk behind her made her jump. Her eyes narrowed when she saw Om behind the wheel. He honked again, making a sorry face which resulted in making Gauri more annoyed. Her lips tightened when she heard another honk behind her.
Gauri was furious but she managed to keep composed and sat in the passenger side. “Drive” she ordered in a hard voice. Om steered the car on the street, then paused expectantly. She snapped “Oberoi Industries” and kept glaring straight. Om widened his eyes at the revelation but kept his face somehow impassive. Driving for sometime he gazed at his passenger who seemed to be the idol of silence before storm. “Gauri, listen…” “What! You expect me to listen? You…you were the one who wanted to accompany me to meet my kids and wanted to talk ‘something’ with me and ditched. Went missing for a whole week and half without a single text, single call. And I freaking waited for you.” Gauri heaved a breath after her long speech and gulped down some water from her bottle.
“I’m sorry”, Om apologized humbly. “No, don’t you dare make me the bad guy now,” Gauri was ready to explode again but Om gently placed his index finger on her lips, making her stiffen and silent. “I’m sorry, I really am”, he declared persuasively, “My sister in law fell ill all of a sudden and it was chaotic at home. I really am sorry to disappear like that but please don’t take me wrong.” Gauri knew she couldn’t win against him. There was something about this person which wanted her to trust him.
But losing trust comes with a heavy price, she knew. “I forgive you” she declared, after some time, inexpressively, “I know how stressful it can be if someone dear to us falls sick all of a sudden.” “You do?” Om sounded excited, removing his finger off her face which had lingered there while she spoke. “You forgave me?” “Only if you promise not to repeat this again. Just give me a call if you are held up or busy, alright?”
“Promise” he answered back earnestly, shifting more of his focus towards the job he was doing- driving. “So,” he continued, after a moment of silence, “Did you meet them?” “Couldn’t. My boss fell ill all of a sudden and I had to drop the plan.” “Umm, who’s your boss?” he peeked at her before turning on the AC. “SSO” she said with a half smirk-smile; Om found her cuter than ever. “Mr. Shivaay Singh Oberoi, the apparent next CEO of the Oberoi Industries” she explained.
“I think you deserve to take a break and visit the kids this week” Om replied. “I’ll try, but keep your weekend free, just in case.” “Sure,” he said, parking in front of the building. He got down to open the door for her only to find Gauri getting down the car by herself. He had thought to hold her hand but instead, he bend down and pressed his lips to her cheek, lingering and seductive; so passionate that made Gauri close her eyes for some minutes. But as unexpectedly he had kissed, he straightened as much abruptly. Her eyes flew open only to see the teasing look on his face. “See you soon”, he grinned, mischievous and devilish, as if challenging her to fall in his charms. But Gauri was no woman to be infatuated by male charisma. “See you”, she offered a professional smile as he pulled out of the driveway and headed inside the building.
She felt the air inside the elevator thick with judgment. Gauri never had heeded the society but she could feel the glares of the advertising head and the marketing head, both of them, two very pretty women. Their titters and whispers began to get on her nerves and she whipped her head to look at them. “Did any of you say anything about me?” she said with a polite smile, barely hiding the fury behind her façade, hostility clear in her posture. “N..No” they could mumble before hastily exiting the lift.
“Shivaay…” “Mom please, it’s important for me to be at the meeting. I really have to go”. “Billu, I think you should take a rest for today”, Daadi said. “Daadi, I promise to be back after this meeting”, Shivaay said, kissing Daadi’s cheek and waving bye to his mother. Pinky stared forlornly at his back. She wanted to talk to Shivaay since the couple had recovered. She wanted to tell Shivaay about Ranveer and Priyanka, but as usual, Shivaay, her heera beta, had time for everything and everyone, all except for her. Pinky trudged back to her room heavy at heart. She saw Shakti praying before Mata Rani and knew there was no way he would talk to her. Seeing no other option, she went to Prinku’s room to wake her up, but, to her awe, Prinku was already getting ready.
“Prinku?” she called in surprise and amazement. “Maa!” Priyanka’s voice a happy note, “I was waiting for you so long; kaha thi aap? Today I’m going to college, alone. Isn’t it nice? I feel very confident”, she said it all with a cheerful smile on her face. Pinky’s heart sank. She knew all these positive changes had blossomed due to Ranveer. She knew her baby girl was taking charge of her life; something she, herself, was very pleased of due to Ranveer and Ranveer wasn’t the man for her. He was not someone their family would approve of and she feared that her daughter will have to meet the same fate as Roop, her sister in law, who had to choose between her family and love and be out-casted from the family.
“Prinku,” she called, her voice heavy with suppressed emotions, “Ranveer and you aren’t meant to be together”. “Offo maa, we aren’t in love”. “Yes you are! Maybe you can’t see it or denying it, but I can see you are in love. You care about him, is worried about his well-being, feel safe and comfortable with him and share almost all your thoughts and ideas with him, and for god’s sake, don’t deny that you wish he is beside you forever; that you want him to be your family.” Priyanka was aghast. Every syllable spoken by her maa was accurate.
But she needed the answer to the most important question. “Why?” Pinky stifled a sob that arose in her throat. “We need to have a serious talk, baccha, after you are back from the college, okay?” “Sure”, Priyanka replied coolly, only because she was too numb to feel anything else. The rest of the day her thoughts were surrounded entirely by the discussion with her Maa.
Shivaay faced Gauri with a serious look in his eyes. “Miss Sharma, I understand the week’s been very hectic on you…” “And stressful” she interrupted. “Sorry? Yeah, hectic and stressful on you but I can’t give you three days off.” “Why can you not, sir?” Gauri asked assertively. “Because there is much work to be completed and clients to handle and…” “I have already taken care of all that; all the presentations had been shown in the last week, at the determined timings and we have got the deals; all except one. I took the authority to decline it since it would have harmed the company’s reputation and I have these deal papers here, thoroughly checked and calculated; we just need your signatures on them and as for work for those two days, my part can be divided among the other three of your secretaries, Mr. Mishra, Mr. Harsha and Mr. Sehgal since I worked on both, the last Saturday and Sunday while they enjoyed a weekend off.”
Shivaay wordlessly pushed a glass of water towards her which she accepted immediately and rang up for the rest of his secretaries who reluctantly admitted their neglect of duties. Shivaay acknowledged their apologies and dismissed them from his cabin and signed his approval on Gauri’s application of leave. She thanked him and got back to work while Shivaay immersed himself in reading the files and signing them.
“… According to the statistics, the sale of the product has speared up by 50% making it 90% in just two months with this campaign but since, the Government of Maharastra and also other companies are also launching campaigns about going plastic free, we can use another idea of campaign allowing br*ast feeding mothers to speak up and we can also allow the newly turned model-mothers on a ramp walk. Our designs for these new mothers developed by eco friendly methods, stylish and also easy on pocket, in ethnic, in classy wears, casuals and work clothes can be huge turn in the taboo of clothing regarding these young moms. Since it is an issue of woman empowerment, and an important topic among young women nowadays, we can certainly use it. Anyone having any questions?”
The conference room burst in thunderous applause as everyone approved the idea. Jhanvi’s eyes searched for the man’s appreciation who considered most important as everyone came up to her and congratulated her and she kept smiling and greeting back. As the room emptied, the only man who stayed behind was Jai. “Congratulations Jhalli,” he cheered as they headed out together. “Gee, man thanks. I still can’t believe it’s been about six months already since I am giving presentations. I am still so nervous that my heart is racing; as if in a marathon” she exclaimed, as they put the files and locked the cabin.
They walked of the building together, a custom they followed every day and signed themselves out while greeting the night watchman as they departed. Jai walked Jhanvi to her car (it was her own belonging which she had bought with her hard earned money, two months prior; arrogance there) and would race their cars till they joined the busy roads. Jai had found himself smiling in solitude, more often each day, as he thought of Jhanvi. He was sure there was some connection between them; something more than friends, but she was married and they were friends and boss-employee which kept him off limits.
Sure, they flirted a bit and both teased the other at some occasion or other but were both strict about not crossing any lines that would make them question their relationship or their morality. Never had it been possible that he had been lesser in love with his Jhalli, not as a kid when they had first met at school, or when she got engaged under family pressure to Vikram Rana or when she ended up marrying Tej.
He always had loved her and so he had went away as her marriage was a low and hard blow for him, expecting to forget her but once he met her again, all the suppressed feelings, rushed back to him and messed up his heart and mind, in the best way possible. He smiled and stopped at the signal, even though this annoyed most people, he was appreciative of the stillness and calmness. Probably it was not that was outside that made him enjoy the stagnancy, but the quiet love in his heart.
Anika was walking slowly, practicing to walk again after being in coma for a week. Her muscles were sore and stiff at the same time and stumbled around a bit before she caught up with walking. Since her walking around could have caused an uproar in the Oberoi household, she paced around in their room, much slower than usual. She happened to glance out of the dining room when she saw Pinky aunty sitting sadly at the poolside.
She hesitated at the thought of going out or not to the lady, who hadn’t been too kind to her in the past, but since it was so un-Anika to leave someone to their misery, she went out and sat beside her. Pinky looked up; her eyes agonized and saw Anika. “What are you doing here?” she asked in surprise and concern as Anika sat down beside her. “Auntyji, ye baat to mein bhi pooch sakti hu naa? Kya hua hai? Aap itni pareshaan quin hai? Aap mujhse kahiye, mai sab theek kar dungi.” Pinky’s eyes welled up in tears of gratitude and guilt. This girl was the one she had hated, insulted and been harsh with for long, long time and yet she had the heart to come and talk to her, trying to reduce her worries and pains without a second thought. Her heart felt overwhelmed and she couldn’t control her tears that flowed down her cheeks.
She clasped Anika’s palms into her own and cried. After sometime Pinky was able to control herself, she gestured Anika to come closer to her. With her hands trembling, she caressed her face. This vulnerable Pinky was not the one Anika had ever met and her misery seemed to pass on to her as she also began to cry. Pinky drew Anika closer to her and began to talk.
“Pata hai Anika, when Shivaay was in my womb, I prayed for a girl, every day-each night”, Pinky said, a quaint forlorn look in her eyes and continued in a quiet voice, “Then, Shivaay opened his eyes, those beautiful kanji aakhein, and I fell in love with him but forgot the main fact- that he was a boy. I craved his attention and companionship since his childhood as he would run to Daadi to hear stories, learn mathematics and English from his Bade Papa go on car rides with Bari Maa and go to school with his Papa. In midst of all this, I was just… lost.”
She took a poignant pause as Anika listened with bated breath, “He never learnt Punjabi; he thought it didn’t match his standards. He never played gilli-danda, or ate paraathein and butter chicken. He visited his naani’s home just once after he was five and left two days later because it was ‘disgusting’. He refused to go to farms or eat sitting on the floor with others; all the things I loved as a child was thrown away. He never even heard a single Lori from me as they were in my native tongue. He would be ashamed to make me meet his friends or take me to his school because I couldn’t speak English. So, when it was time for him to get married, I chose a hi-fi bahu, whose son wouldn’t be ashamed of her and who would not have to bear all these pains,” it seemed to pain Pinky to continue, but Anika kept silent.
“And that is why, when I saw you getting attached to Shivaay, before the wedding, I kept insulting you to keep you away from him. In my strange way, I wanted to protect both of you. I’m so sorry Anika”, Pinky cried. Her grief was seemed to transport to Anika as well and she began to cry as well. Every step Pinky had taken was a result of bottomless despair. Anika began to realize how much necessary it is to know the real truth behind every action and incident.
“I’m sorry Pinky Aunty. I always considered you so wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me”, Anika’s grief and regret flowed out in form of tears as she at last knew all the reason behind Pinky’s disapproval.
“Bas, bas… ab chup ho jaa. Tum ab theek ho gayi ho naa, to mein apne haathon se bani aaloo-puri kilaaungi tumhe. Aur hum mehandi bhi lagaayenge aur chaat-jalebiyan bhi saath milkar khaayenge”, Pinky said in a pathetic try to make herself and Anika feel better. “Haan, aur gol-gappe aur ganne ki juice bhi piyenge”, Anika played along as she hugged Pinky more tightly and buried her face in her lap. They sat in silence for some time; a silence of comfort and peace. After a while, Anika lifted her head off Pinky’s lap and thanked her through her eyes before she went into her room. Pinky left the pool-side as well to wait for Prinku in the latter’s room.
Hello everyone. Did anyone miss the story? So sorry for taking so long but my college started the last week and I was quite busy. I’m sorry for not replying to the messages, so here are my replies:
To, Fenil: Thank you for your comment. Hope you enjoy this chapter as well. Please comment me the feedbacks, if you like or dislike anything in this chapter.
To, Nikita_jai29 Di: Thank you for your wishes and you comment. Hope you continue reading and commenting.
To, Niriha Di: Thank you, Di. Keep reading and commenting.
To, Florte Sms Sons: As you read in this chapter, Shivaay refuses to express or share his feelings with his mother. So, […] The Abyss- Ishqbaaz Fanfic By Aashi ( chapter 30) – Pinky could only look from far, and cry, as her son refused to share any sorrow with her. […] .
I hope I have cleared your confusion now. Do keep reading and commenting. If you approve or disapprove of anything in the story, please let me know.
To, ItsMe Prabha: No need to apologize for commenting late, I reply very much later as you can see .Thank you for your appreciation. Hope you like this chapter as well. Do comment your feedbacks. And it’s noted- I’ll call you Prabha.