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Chapter 36 : Chapter 36
(Nandini’s POV) We arrived to Dadaji’s house, Manik opened the car gate and picked me up and took me inside the hall. Till then my room was getting ready.. Manik had informed Dadaji that he was bringing me to stay, so Dadaji was asking the maid to clean the same. When the room was clean, with the help of Crutches I was getting up and Manik came and was ready to pick me up but I said
(Nandini) “No. I can walk using the crutches.”
(Nandini’s POV) He just stood silently and walked back to his room. I couldn’t understand why he would get angry at himself. I know he feels that I fell down and got fracture because he was making me run and slipped. But doesn’t he think he has changed? It feels like we have become more distant than before. I felt depressed just thinking that.
(Nandini walking towards the room Dadaji said) “Glad you are staying here.”
(Nandini) “I am too”
(VD) “Don’t lie. I can tell you are not. But I can’t say you are wrong nor what Manik says is. Its difficult, isn’t it, maintaining that fragile balance?”
(Nandini’s POV) Its like he struck the core of our problem. Does he mean that Manik and I are not compatible? It is not like I didn’t know it but isn’t it the same for all? Two completely different, unrelated people work on a relationship?
(VD) “Before you start imagining things, isn’t that balance what makes life interesting? Trying to be sensitive in place of another person, for another person instead of being self centered is fascinating. But that balance takes time to get. I saw him going in mad. Seeing him grow up, I know he is not mad but upset about himself. Give him time to sort himself out.”
(Nandini) “But I don’t want to see him beating himself over things.”
(VD) “He has not had anyone to confide in truly. If he confides to me or his Mom, he will get help instantly. He hates that. So give him space. He will come around. Here we are. Sorry the room is to the end of the wing. I cleared up the only room available on the ground floor. Take some rest. If you feel well, we can have dinner together or I will ask the maid to bring you dinner.”
(Nandini) “Thank you.”
(VD) “You are welcome.”
(Nandini’s POV) He closed the door behind him. I could understand what he meant but I guess I am being impatient. The moment I fell on the bed, sleep took over me. By the time I got up, it was midnight one. I felt hungry but didn’t feel like eating. Manik for me they kept some milk by the food. I drank it as I looked out of the window. The curtains were not closed. The Moonlight flooded in. I could see the vast land of grassland stretching to the distant corner where the street light flickered. The rooms in ground floor faced the direction of the town while the rooms above faced the sea. I was lost in the sight of beauty when the door creaked.
(Manik) “You are up!” said the low voice. Manik came in looking worn out.
(Nandini) “Couldn’t sleep?”
(Manik) “Not really. Just finished work. I thought I would check up on you. We didn’t want to disturb you when you were sleeping so peacefully. Hungry?”
(Nandini) “Not really. I didn’t feel like eating. So had the milk.”
(Manik) “Hmmm.” He pulled up a stool and sat close to the bed.
(Nandini) “What’s wrong?” He looked into my eyes.
(Manik) “Nandini, do you love me?”
(Nandini) “I love you, what doubt in that so suddenly?” I lighted kissed him as he rested his head on my lap.
(Manik) “Even when I am cold-blooded person?”
(Nandini) “I don’t who ever told you that. I do accept that anyone who sees you for the first time would feel that but you are not an unkind man. You are arrogant, stubborn, proud but you are not heartless. If you were, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with your arrogant self.”
(Manik) “Really? I fired a man recently. The old me wouldn’t have even thought about what would happen to that man’s family. But I know that he isn’t the type I want for my company yet I am haunted with that guilty feeling. I don’t want to feel like that.”
(Nandini) I hugged him. “Even I would have done the same thing. Anyone would have the same thing. Business is different, having morals is different. That is why we try to keep our personal life and career life different.”
(Manik) “I have never felt like this. It made me think if I was cruel like this always.”
(Nandini) “Manik, please don’t torture yourself like this. Everyone is not what you think they are. Everyone is selfish including me. I could never give you up. I would forgive you for anything you do. But what I do for you, I wouldn’t do for anyone. I am selfish. Everyone is selfish. Manik, I love you for who you are, not who you would be. Please don’t torment yourself like this. I am greedily waiting for the day, you would open yourself up to me like this. Show how vulnerable you are, how necessary I am to you. I am not really the person you think I am.”
(Manik) “Silly girl, you thought I didn’t know?” He smiled at me, kissed me. His words surprised me.
(Manik) “I knew. Its not just you who thinks like that. But you are still kind. I don’t think I could ever be.”
(Manik) “Don’t worry. Its fine.” He kissed my hands. “I will think hard and well about what you said. I couldn’t understand how to be kind like Navya. I still don’t. That is what troubles me. Maybe one day I will understand things and what that kindness is will become a habit.”
(Nandini) “It is fine even if you don’t. Navya is fine the way she is. And sometimes, she is worse than you. She seems to be doing just fine.”
(Manik) “Lets not start a debate here.” He chuckled. It relieved my heart to see him back to normal.
(Nandini) “Okay. Manik, please don’t think of unnecessary things. I wouldn’t say they are unnecessary but please let me be selfish. Whenever you have time, just think of me and being with me. Finish your task and come to me soon.” I hugged him. He hugged me back gently. “Just don’t exhaust yourself Manik.”
(Manik) “I won’t. I promise. Well, I better be getting back.”
(Manik’s POV) Nandini was such a sweet heart. She understood all my problems but I was a fool not telling her. But when I tell even a small part, I felt that my heart relaxed. She is my Manik charm. My one week had passed very smoothly. I took care of Nandini and I felt nice taking care of her. Dadaji and Nandini used to have lot of fun and they used to play chess and carom. She felt that she was at home and I was happy that decision to bring her home was right.
Then when I had left back, I felt as if my heart was missing. I missed her a lot. But I had to work hard so that I could fulfill and satisfy all my lady love’s needs. Though I knew she didn’t want all luxury but my ego wanted to give her all happiness and satisfaction.
(Nandini’s POV) Even after Manik leaving, Dadaji had taken a good care of me. He was nice , he took me to checkups as instructed by doctor,. Though the doctor said I could move, I couldn’t do as I choose. I was house arrested by Dadaji. One fine day when Dadaji went to pick up a call, the bell rang. I saw this as a chance to get up and went to open the door. Before I could reach, the maid opened it. Now I am going to get scolded. Just as I was thinking about it, I saw shocked to see who was at the door.
(Renuka) “What are you doing here?”
(Nandini) “Mom, I ….” She came running worried as I moved towards her.
(Renuka) “You are on crutches! What happened?!?”
(Nandini) “I fell down from stairs and slipped badly”
(Renuka) “ What is this Nandini? How could you be so careless?”
(Nandini) “Mom, calm down”
(VD from inside) “Who is it, Amy (maid)? Ah, Mrs. Murthy. Do come in.”
(Renuka) “I am sorry, I don’t seem to remember you,”
(VD) “Sorry, I forgot that we have never met. I am Manik’s Dadaji, Veer Malhotra. Come in please. Amy, bring us some tea and snacks.”
(VD) “I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally meet you. Nandini is just such a dear.”
(Nandini’s POV) She looked at me, asking me to explain what was going on. I wish Dadaji would just leave for me to explain to her, but he didn’t move from his place. He went on talking just like that for more than an hour before he was called out for a conference call regarding work. He excused him and left Mom and me alone.
(Renuka shouted) “What the hell is going on here?”
(Nandini) “Mom, I can explain”
(Renuka) “Explain, Now!”
(Nandini’s POV) I started off from the first, as to how I fell down the stairs, how Manik insisted that I stay here.
(Renuka) “Still, you should have told me. I would have come”
(Nandini) “Mom, I couldn’t make sense with him. He insisted that I stay here”
(Renuka) “Nandini, that isn’t a reason!”
(Nandini) “You are right. I just didn’t want to talk against Manik. I couldn’t feel that what he said was wrong.”
(Renuka) “Nandini, are you in your right mind? I just dread thinking what will happen if your Dad finds out about this!”
(Nandini) “Mom, just listen. It is not like I am living in a stranger’s place”
(Renuka) “It is a stranger’s place till you get married into the family!”
(Nandini) “About that……..”
(Renuka scowled) “What?”
(Nandini) “Actually, people in the town think I am a daughter of this family”
(Renuka) “What?” She looked bewildered.
(Nandini) “It happened when Manik came to meet me when I moved here. People wanted to know who he was. I avoided it as much as I could but he answered saying that he was my husband. He said that I was angry with him, which was why I treated him like an outsider. When I denied it people wouldn’t believe it and somehow, it stuck. Even when I went to put on my cast, the doctor asked why I was staying alone when his Dadaji was here. So, if you come and stay here, it would lead to gossips.”
(Renuka) “Do you realize the effect of this? Now it may seem all gay and good but what if things go wrong? What if you both don’t get along and decide not to marry?”
(Nandini’s POV) Her fears are true. I calmly smiled. I couldn’t believe how calm I was. How many times did I ask this question to myself! How many times Manik assured me! I am going to trust him.
(Nandini) “We won’t. I am sure, even if we fight to the extent of getting a divorce, we wouldn’t. Because, we decided not to ignore anymore the fact that we can’t stay away from each other no matter how angry we are, how sad we are, no matter how we feel. We are still not so sure if we can stay together peacefully, but we will figure it out. If we don’t give it a try, I don’t think anyone in the world will get married.”
(Renuka) “I am not going to listen anymore. Do whatever you want! I am not staying here any longer. It seems that you are caught up in your dream world, decided not to make sense.”
(Nandini) “Mom!” I pleaded her.
(Renuka) “No! Not anymore! I am not going to listen to you!”
(VD came back after an hour to the living room, since he was in some business call and on coming back) “What happened? Where is your Mom?”
(Nandini) “She left, angry.”
(VD) “Why? Didn’t you explain to her?”
(VD) “Don’t worry too much. Think about getting better.”
Precap : A shocking news received by Nandini. How will Manik handle Nandini