Two updates in a row! Happy reading!
Link to the previous update :
Vansh was continuously tossing and turning in his bed. He was trying to sleep, but thoughts about Riddhima flooded his mind.
After reaching her home, she had called him several times and had sent numerous messages to him. But he chose to ignore all of them. He placed his phone on silent mode instead, so that the continuous ringing and notifications did not disturb him.
To say that he was angry on her, would be an understatement. He was actually thoroughly disappointed with her. Why couldn’t she be more vocal about her love and feelings for him in front of others? Why did always he have to go behind her, while she kept ignoring him at the most?
He being extra sweet towards her always had perhaps gone to her head. Now, he’ll show her how surly he can get if he wanted.
He became startled when he heard a loud thud from his balcony.
Even though over these years, he had distanced himself from the underworld by minimalizing his illegal business and instead concentrating on the legal one, but he very well knew that he still had lots of enemies around him.
Taking out a revolver from the drawer, he proceeded to head towards the balcony.
He rubbed his eyes in disbelief when he saw Riddhima sitting on the ground with a grumpy face.
He mentally berated himself, “What is wrong with you Vansh Raisinghania! This girl has made you totally crazy. Even when she’s not there, you are still imagining her around. Uff!”
Dismissing it as his hallucination, Vansh turned his back and started to walk away, when Riddhima called him out from behind in an annoyed tone.
“Where do you think you are going, huh? What kind of a person you are who doesn’t want to help his fiancee to even stand up?”
Vansh was shocked to hear Riddhima’s voice. He slowly approached her and tugged a finger at her arm.
“Ouch!” she winced in pain. “Are you alright, Vansh?”
Vansh was taken aback to see that she was indeed real. He gave her hand to her and helped her to stand up.
“What on earth are you doing here? And how did you even reach here?”
Riddhima stood with her arms akimbo. “So what was I supposed to do? Usually you lift up my call within a single ring, but this time, you kept ignoring all of my calls, one after the other! You didn’t even reply to any of my messages either.”
“I was sleeping,” Vansh lied.
“No, you were not! You were just acting cranky to vent out your anger on me,” scoffed Riddhima.
“How did you manage to get past my security?” Vansh asked her suddenly.
At this, Riddhima started laughing like anything. She brushed past Vansh, and sat down on his bed comfortably.
“I called your sidekick, that Angre up. I gave him two options – either he’d have to continue to face your ire or he’d let me climb up to your balcony so that I could make your mood better. He was smart, and therefore chose the latter option.”
Even though Vansh felt flattered to see Riddhima make so much efforts only to meet him, he still decided to hide it with a stern look on. To be honest, he didn’t want to make it that easy for her.
He turned his face away, and proceeded to sit far away from her on his couch. He closed his eyes and pretended to sleep instead.
Riddhima sat beside him, looking visibly hurt.
“Come on, Vansh! Until when will you remain angry with me like this?”
She tried to caress his face, but he jerked her hands off.
“Let me sleep, will you?” he snarled.
“Okay, so you won’t agree to me so easily, huh? But I also won’t give up so easily. You should know that I’m not called Ziddhima for nothing!”
Vansh got up with a start when he heard Riddhima play an old song from the white-and-black movies on her mobile.
She started lipsyncing to it, and sat right beside him trying to pacify him.
Ye Lo Main Hari Piya, Hui Teri Jeet Re
Kahe Ka Jhagda Baalam, Nai Nai Preet Re
Ye Lo Main Hari Piya
Vansh tried to steer away, but Riddhima caught him and forcefully made him to sit down.
Naye Naye Do Nain Mile Hai
Nayi Mulakat Hai
Milte Hi Tum Ruth Gaye Ji
Ye Bhi Koi Baat Hai
She went down on her knees, keeping a sorry face on and holding her ears. She then went on to pull Vansh’s cheeks, irritating him further.
She held out a small bunch of white lilac flowers for him, but he refused to take them.
Ladte Hi Ladte Mausam
Jaye Nahi Beet Re
Kahe Ka Jhagda Baalam, Nayi Nayi Preet Re
Ye Lo Main Hari Piya
She then brought Vansh to the centre of the room and tried to twirl him around her.
But she being incredibly tiny and he being enormously tall, turned it into a disaster, and it looked nothing short of pure comedy.
Now, it was becoming increasingly difficult for Vansh to stifle his laughter, looking at her out-of-the-world antics.
Just then, the song switched to another one.
Koi Nahi Hain Kamre Mein,
Kya Haseen Mila Hai Pal
Aaj Shararat Karne Do
Kaam Baaki Karenge Kal.
Vansh arched an eyebrow at her in amusement. Riddhima realized the blunder and ran to switch it off before Vansh got any wrong ideas in his overactive mind.
She fumbled with her words,”Uhm…these stupid autoplays, I tell you.”
“Yeah, very stupid indeed,” said Vansh giving her a knowing look.
“Riddhima, you don’t need to do all this to pacify me. You just need to do one thing and I’ll forget everything….”
Saying this, Vansh started inching closer to her. Riddhima tried to retreat back, but instead stumbled and fell on top of the bed.
She tried to get up but Vansh caged her in his arms instead.
“So sweetheart, would you like to have a dance?” he asked instead, forwarding his hand.
Riddhima had not expected this.
“Dance? Of course, dance it is! What was I even thinking?” she thought to herself.
Very well understanding the confusion clearly etched over her face, Vansh’s lips curved into a smirk.
“Were you expecting something else?”
“Huh, no!” she tried to hide her embarrassment by acting casual, but she had forgotten that Vansh knew her too well for that.
He laughed, “Why does your mind always run in the wrong direction? You’ve a very vivid and wild imagination, I see.”
She lightly fisted him. “You always do this to me. Not fair!”
“Okay, I promise you that next time, I will always stand true to your expectations and imaginations,” he teased her, earning him a glare. “But for now, can we have a dance together, instead?”
Vansh switched on his music system and caught Riddhima’s hand, leading her to the centre of the room.
Itni Mohabbat Karo Na
Main Doob Na Jaoon Kahin
Wapas Kinare Pe Aana
Main Bhul Na Jaun Kahin
He spinned her around in circles. Giving a sharp tug, he pulled her close to him.
“I so badly missed this. I missed us,” he mumbled.
“I missed you too, Vansh,” she said softly, her hand resting against his shoulder.
Her expression changed when she realized something.
“In my absence, you must have danced with a lot of ‘random’ girls at those cringey parties,” remarked Riddhima.
She could not help but feel jealous at the thought that some other girl might have danced closely to her fiancee, and who knows, might have even made a pass at him.
“No, I did not,” Vansh said earnestly.
“So you want me to believe that you did not dance at all in these three months?” she said. “I hope you aren’t lying, because I am going to cross check with the recorded footages of all those parties.”
“You may do whatever you want, but you should know that I am a one-woman man. All those women may fritter around me in vain how much ever they want, but there is only one queen who has enraptured my heart, soul and my mind.”
Riddhima smiled coyly, “You are nothing less of a poet, Mr. Raisinghania.”
“Whenever I see you in front of me, poetry automatically starts coming to me,” Vansh said silkily.
Rooh Se Chahne Wale Aashiq
Baatein Jismon Ki Karte Nahin
Boldo Na Zara, Dil Mein Jo Hai Chupa
Main Kisi Se Kahunga Nahin….
They continued to waltz, their bodies clinging to each other.
Riddhima snuggled against Vansh’s chest, while he rested his chin against her shoulder. He slightly moved her top away from her shoulder, exposing a little part of her skin under it.
He placed a kiss there, causing Riddhima to tense up and clutch at his shirt even more tightly.
Riddhima could feel her heart skip a beat. Even though, they had kissed each other ample number of times, but this felt way more intimate.
And to her own surprise, she did not seem to mind at all. Five years back, when she had begun this relation with Vansh, she couldn’t even imagine to enjoy something like this. But now, it was different, she was different.
Vansh ran his hands down her arms over her dress and then abruptly stopped.
“Riddhima, what is this?” he asked.
“What?” she asked back, pulling away from him.
“Your arms have become so thin. This just….”
“So what?” Riddhima cut him off. “Isn’t that supposed to be a good thing, because most men tend to like skinny girls? Or are you one of those who has a special fetish for curvy ones?”
“What rubbish, Riddhima! Do you really think so lowly about me?” he sounded a little hurt. “My foremost concern is your health. And you losing weight over such a short span of time just proves that you hadn’t been eating properly, and neither had you been looking after your health.
Now, that you are back in Mumbai, your careless behaviour wouldn’t do. Did I make myself clear?”
Riddhima looked up at Vansh in awe. Oh, this man! He never failed to touch her heart by his sweet words and gestures.
VR Mansion’s grandfather clock’s chimes echoed into the bedroom, causing Riddhima to panic.
“Oh God! It’s already 2AM. I need to head back home ASAP.”
“Relax! I’ll drop you home,” offered Vansh.
“But, but what about the scooty I brought along?”
Vansh became irritated. “Damn the scooty! One of my men, will drop it at your house in the morning.”
He began chiding her. “Don’t you realize how unsafe it was for you to come all the way along to my house on your scooty so late at night? Next time, you want to go anywhere at night, just call my driver up. He’ll take you wherever you want. I’ll explain everything to him, and shall even forward his number to you.”
Riddhima tried to say something, but Vansh shushed her up and led her out of his room. They walked stealthily out of the house, making sure not to make even the slightest of sound that could wake even the servants up.
Soon they sat in his car after which, he turned the ignition on. Even though, the security guards found it weird to see Vansh going out somewhere so late in the night, but nonetheless they kept a stoic expression on. They opened the gates and saluted as the car drove away from their sight.
As Vansh and Riddhima drove through the empty streets, a soft music played on the radio.
With his one hand still on the steering wheel, Vansh grasped Riddhima’s hand with the other one.
Riddhima freed her hand from his, causing Vansh to feel hurt at her distantness.
But she soon surprised him by cozying upto him and placing a peck on his cheek.
Vansh happily recalled that this was the same dream he had seen five years ago.
“Yes, dreams do come true,” he thought with a smile.
“Vansh, will you stop over here, please?” Riddhima said suddenly.
“Why? What happened?”
“There’s a paani puri stall standing over here,” she said cheerfully. “And I want to have it right now.”
“A paani puri stall is open at this hour of time?” he asked amazed.
But sure enough, he saw a stall selling paani puri and one or two couples, stood around it too, relishing the snack.
“Are you sure, Riddhima? I don’t think it’s a very good idea….”
“Vansh, please! It’s been ages since I hogged some paani puri. Pretty please?” she asked with puppy eyes.
Vansh sighed. It was impossible for him to not give into Riddhima’s wishes and demand ever.
Not able to contain her excitement, she ran up to the vendor and straight away ordered two plates of paani puri.
“Two plates? What for?” Vansh enquired.
“One for each of us. Surely, you can’t be that stupid to not be able to decipher that,” she taunted him.
Vansh gulped. Paani puri was something he absolutely disliked for some reason. But he didn’t want to say this aloud in front of Riddhima, for the fear of not appearing ‘cool’ enough as compared to the other younger men comparable to her age.
Even though he knew that Riddhima absolutely loved him irrespective of anything, but lately he had started feeling insecure about the huge age gap between them. He was almost 10-11 years older than her. What if she found him boring and not as much fun as her other friends?
Vansh was brought out of his thoughts by a tap on his shoulder.
“What are you waiting for? Have these,” said Riddhima.
Vansh squirmed looking at the paani puris with disdain. He turned towards Riddhima, who unlike him, was going on gobbling one paani puri after another, without any inhibitions.
“What happened? Why aren’t you eating it yet?” she questioned, her words almost seeming inaudible owing to her mouth full of food.
“Street food is not healthy at all,” said Vansh coming up with an excuse. “Plus, God knows if the water that is being used is hygienic enough or not. I can’t allow my health to get spoiled, you see.”
“Sorry to break this to you, but street food is a hundred times healthier than alcohol and cigarettes,” Riddhima said sharply.
The vendor intervened, “Yes, and I take complete care about hygiene. See, I’m using only mineral water, and wearing gloves and head cap too. I don’t know how much more hygiene you want.”
But still Vansh stood firm on his decision.
“Will you still refuse to eat if I feed you with my own hands, instead?” Riddhima asked playfully.
“Didn’t I tell you before also that I’d be ready to even eat poison by your hands?” he grinned.
Shaking her head, she stuffed a paani puri in his mouth.
“It’s not that bad, isn’t it?”
“Perhaps, it’s your love doing it’s magic on me.” He kissed her fingers as she attempted to feed him another one.
“Vansh, not in front of everyone, please,” Riddhima blushed.
The vendor who had overheard her, said, “It is okay, Madam. All are couples only around. You’ve no idea what all worse things I’ve to witness every night.”
Vansh did not like that the vendor was comparing them with such cheap people.
“We are not like them. You might not know, but we’re soon going to get married.”
“Every other couple says the same thing only,” the vendor snickered. “And after enjoying paani puri to their stomach’s fill, these couples then head to a hotel nearby.”
He now changed his voice to a hushed one. “If you want, I can tell you the address of that hotel. Then you can also go there….”
“How dare you!” Vansh shouted ferociously, making the vendor quiver in fright
Sensing that things can get out of hand, Riddhima quickly dragged Vansh into the car.
The car halted with a screech in front of Riddhima’s house.
Turning towards Vansh, Riddhima said softly, “Good night, Vansh!”
“Good night! And thank you for this beautiful night, sweetheart” he replied.
Riddhima got down the car and started to walk towards her house. She turned back and saw Vansh sitting inside the car, waiting for her to go inside.
She threw a flying kiss in his direction. He smiled at her.
Riddhima opened the door of her house using the spare key that she always kept in her purse for any emergency situation. She quietly unlocked it and tried to tiptoe her way to her room.
She stopped dead in her tracks to hear her father’s voice coming from behind. She slowly turned around to face him, getting scared as to what would happen now.
“Where are you coming from?” Sushant asked sternly.
Riddhima stayed silent, taking some time to come up with a valid excuse.
“Did you go to VR Mansion to meet Vansh?”
“Oh no! How did he know?” she wondered in despair.
“Yes or no?”
“Yes….” she answered meekly.
“What is this, Riddhima? I’m so disappointed in you. I was always so proud of you, but today you put my head down. How could you pay a visit to Vansh so late at night, that too when you both aren’t married yet?”
Sushant’s expression changed and he started smiling. “Imagine if I was a strict father like that, then what would happen?” he winked.
Riddhima realized that her Papa was just pulling her leg and she squealed.
“You nearly gave me a heart attack, Papa,” she said heaving a sigh of relief. “For a moment or two, I almost believed that you were totally angry with me.”
Sushant patted her. “I know you and Vansh love each other, and I have no problem if you both meet each other.”
He became a little serious. “But you must understand that it’s not safe if you step out of this house all alone at night.”
“Papa, relax. You know that I know karate very well,” she assured him.
“Beta, karate will come handy only when there are two persons around. But when the number increases to more than that, then no amount of karate can save you. And you know this much better than me,” said Sushant.
“Next time, whenever you feel like meeting Vansh at night, you tell me. I’ll personally take you to his place, if he doesn’t come to pick you up.”
He said this in a teasing tone, making Riddhima feel shy.
Giving him a hug, she said, “You know what, you are the best father in the world!”
The next morning, Vansh woke up early in spite of barely getting a mere two-hour sleep the previous night. The reason – today was Nandu’s story telling competition. And he couldn’t miss it for the world.
He went to Nandu’s room, and saw her quietly sobbing to herself.
“What happened, Nandu? Why are you crying?” he asked her getting worried.
All sorts of thoughts began running in his mind. What if she got to know the truth about her biological parents?
“I’m feeling scared to talk in front of such a big crowd,” she cried.
Vansh let out an exhale, feeling extremely relieved that the matter was something else.
He knelt down in front of her to reach her level, and wiped her tears off.
“What is the thing that makes you feel scared the most?”
“That I might forget the story on the stage and everyone would start laughing at me,” replied Nandu.
Vansh could only ponder at how innocent and pure his daughter was. She had no idea that the real world would be much more cruel than this. But he of course, couldn’t tell her this and break her heart and shatter her confidence further.
Taking a deep breath, he tried to comfort her to the best of his ability.
“Nandu, I’ve taken special permission from your Principal and would be sitting in the front row itself. Don’t look anywhere else, just keep looking at me only. Even if you forget your lines, I’ll be there to give you a prompt and help you out.”
Caressing her face, he continued, “But I also know that such a thing wouldn’t happen, and you will narrate your story absolutely perfectly. And remember, Papa loves you a lot, no matter what.”
Nandu seemed to cheer at this and smiled slightly.
Just then, Vansh’s phone started buzzing.
“Hello, Riddhima!” he said.
“Hello, give the phone to Nandu.”
“What do you mean by ‘what’? Don’t be under this misunderstanding that I called to talk to you. It is Nandu whom I want to speak to,” said Riddhima.
Vansh sighed. This woman was impossible!
Nonetheless, he handed the phone over to Nandu.
“Hello, Riddhima Aunty!” The little girl’s eyes seemed to light up at the mention of her name.
“Nandu, now listen to me very carefully. Today is a very important day for you, and I know that you’re feeling very nervous to go up on stage.”
“How do you know that, Aunty?” Nandu sounded surprised.
“Because you are my little carbon copy, sweetie! When I was your age, I also used to have stage fear like you,” Riddhima explained.
“Then what did you do for that, Aunty?”
“Remember the silver amulet I had given to you long back. It not only protected me from the ghosts but also removed all fears from my heart. Do you still have it with you?” asked Riddhima.
“Yes, I still have it. I keept it close to me every night to keep the ghosts away,” said Nandu. “But now I’ll take it with me to school also!”
“Yes, and Nandu, I kmow that you will rock it! Just stay calm,” advised Riddhima.
“Okay, done. Thank you Aunty. Love you!” said Nandu happily.
“Love you, too!” Riddhima said in return.
Vansh looked on, feeling overwhelmed to see Riddhima’s bonding with Nandu. He knew that Riddhima did not like to be referred to as Nandu’s mother, and it was wrong of him to even expect something like that from her.
But if not a mother, at least she’d always remain Nandu’s best friend and guide throughout her life. And that was more than enough for him.
It was after so many months of hard work, that Riddhima had finally managed to get some free time to herself. She played her favourite movie on the TV with a bucket of popcorn in her hands.
She was so engrossed in the movie, that she did not even hear that her phone was ringing. When she finally noticed it, she quickly picked up the phone without any further delay.
It was Ashima. And she sounded out of breath.
“What happened? Is everything okay?” Riddhima enquired.
“The results….they are out.”
“What?” Riddhima gasped in disbelief.
She and her friends had appeared for the PG entrance exam just two weeks back, and the result was supposed to be coming out at least one month later.
“They released the results two weeks earlier,” Ashima said.
Riddhima started to palpitate and she could feel her stomach curl up in fright.
“D-did you check my r-results?” she stammered.
“No. I didn’t even get to check mine. I guess there’s a lot of traffic on the website and that’s why it is taking so much time to load,” Ashima said.
Riddhima ended the call and started panicking. Looking at her condition, Sushant and Ishaan began questioning her as to what the matter was all about.
“My exam’s results have come out,” she said getting a hell lot of nervous. She tried to open her laptop but in turn messed everything up.
“Let me check it for you, Dids. Just give me your hallticket number….”
“No! No one would dare check my results before me, I’m warning both of you,” said Riddhima frustratedly.
She took the laptop to her bedroom, and locked the door from inside.
After opening the concerned website, she typed in her roll number, her fingers trembling during the process.
Ashima was right, it was taking a lot of time to load.
Riddhima, like any other theist student in this situation, turned towards God for help.
“Please, please, please! I gave my best to the exam. Now everything rests only in your hands. Just give me a rank good enough to get into Masters in Paediatrics. I don’t want more than this.”
When her results finally flashed on the screen in front of her, she was shocked.
“This cannot happen!” she said, not able to believe her eyes.
“Will you marry me?”
Hello everyone! That is it for today guys. Do comment.