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Link to Prologue
Om tried to understand why he was getting this uncanny feeling as he heard about and saw Aishani. “She is extremely odd” he thought. But she also was a guest whose clothes were wet, he reminded himself.
” I am very sorry Aishani. When I said I didn’t see you, I meant I was in a hurry, I was preoccupied, and I wasn’t paying attention. You are a guest at my brother’s reception. I will figure out a way to rectify this…umm accident.” said Om. “Please come with me.”
“Where?” she asked coldly.
Om controlled his irritation. “What the hell does she think of herself!” he thought. “I’ll take you to one of my sisters who might be able to help you.” he said aloud.
Shikhar looked on quietly. Aishani gave Shikhar a quick undefined look. Then she went and stood next to Om, and took a deep breath. He was perplexed for a second. “Does that mean OK?” he thought but unwilling to engage in any further conversation with this nightmare he started to walk. She followed him quietly looking straight ahead.
Om couldn’t find Priyanka so he went to Soumya. He introduced Aishani to Soumya, explained what had happened and asked Soumya to help her out. “You are in good hands. Sorry again.” he said curtly but courteously and started to leave.
“I am sorry too. I overreacted. It was just an accident.” she said in an equally curt and courteous tone. Then, she turned to Soumya, and stretched out her hand for a handshake. “Hi Soumya. Nice to meet you. Thanks for helping me.” she said in an unsmiling, businesslike tone.
Soumya nervously looked at Om, then smiled feebly at Aishani and shook hands with her. “Nice to meet you too Aishani. Let’s go.”
Om stared at them leave. As she started to leave, she again ran her right hand through the front of her hairline to the back adjusting her hair. It gave Om chills. He shook his head and tried to shake off the odd feeling. Then he left to entertain some guests.
Soumya took Aishani to her room. “You can change into my clothes while I take your wet clothes to get them dried. It will take hardly 15-20 minutes.”
Aishani looked at Soumya quietly and nodded.
Soumya walked to her closet feeling uncomfortable and found a salwar-kameez set that was a little tight for her. The kurta was dark- bright pink with orange churidaar and dupatta. She handed it to Aishani.
Aishani looked at the salwar suit horrified.
Soumya felt embarrassed. ” You are almost as tall as me but much thinner. I know this won’t fit you well but it is my tightest suit. That is why…”
Aishani looked mortified and all her haughtiness disappeared for a moment, ” No no…That’s not why I looked…I mean I really like loose clothes. They are so comfortable. And you are just perfect and absolutely beautiful. It’s just that this color…Umm…How do I put this…I don’t have the personality for such vibrant colors. I’ll look ridiculous while you must look stunning in them…”
All of a sudden, Soumya’s discomfort melted away. She got a glimpse of the soft person under that hard exterior this girl maintained for some reason.
” No! You will also look beautiful in such colors. It has nothing to do with personality but even if it did, you have such a strong one. If anyone could carry off this color, you could. Especially with that long, dark-chocolate hair, and that lovely olive complexion.” Soumya smiled her most radiant smile.
Aishani felt her heart warming up and she looked fondly at Soumya. “You are beautiful inside out Soumya. I’ll go change and will give you my wet clothes. But I will stay in this room until I get my clothes back. I can’t go out in this. I will feel too concious for comfort.”
Soumya looked at this strange but lovely person walking to the bathroom. “God knows why she hides herself like this.” she wondered. Within five minutes, Aishani came out looking very embarrassed and absolutely stunning in the pink suit. She quietly handed her wet clothes to Soumya.
Soumya looked at her with wide eyes and said, “Wow!” and left with the wet stuff.
Aishani heaved a sigh of exhaustion and sat on the bed.She closed her eyes and gently pressed both her palms over them breathing deeply. Suddenly an image of a tall man with longish hair, dark eyes, and wearing a dark mandrin collar jacket, flashed before her eyes. She felt her heart beating very fast. In her mind, she heard him say, “I met she-devil incarnate here.” and she felt a stinging sensation in her eyes. She breathed deeply again and worked on neutralizing her emotions as her therapist had taught her.
Om walked towards his room. Tej had asked him to bring a specific notebook. Om hated it when Tej discussed business at such parties but he had learned to accept his father’s flaws. As he walked towards his room, he passed by Rudra’s room which was Soumya’s room currently. The door was open. He involuntarily glanced inside, saw a flash of bright pink, and kept walking. Then he stopped in his tracks all of a sudden, and quietly walked back.
She sat there with her palms covering her eyes, her long brown hair hanging forward as she bent at the waist with her elbows on her knees. She was breathing deeply. Om felt uneasy looking at her like this.
” Are you ok?” He asked
Completely startled she slid her palms down and looked up at him in utter disbelief. Om saw her thinly kohled almond eyes that were slightly red and her long curled eyelashes a little damp. Her flawless, beige skin was glowing pink either by itself or due to the color of her kurta; he wasn’t sure. He felt compelled by her eyes to repeat his question in a much softer tone, “Is everything OK?”
Aishani felt helpless and vulnerable being seen in this state in such clothes. She almost felt naked in front of a stranger who obviously thought the worst of her and whose personality intimidated her. But she had taken therapy to deal with feeling intimidated. She had been told that most of the time it was all in her own mind.
She took a deep breath, mentally counted till five, then said, “Yes, I am OK. I have a headache so I was trying to soothe my head and eyes. Bright lights make it worse.”
Om was surprised to realize that he knew she was lying. She was not OK and there probably was no headache. She was just distressed about something.
He found himself sitting next to her on the bed.
She jumped in the opposite direction creating distance between them.
” What are you doing?” For some reason, this time Om was not annoyed.He stayed where he was and said softly, ” I’ll sit here with you until Soumya comes back. She went to get your clothes dried right?”
“Yeah, but I don’t need anyone else’s company. I am perfectly happy on my own.”
“I am sure you are” said Om avoiding strong expression in his voice. ” But you are my guest and this is my duty…”
She did not respond. Just sat quiet and still looking ahead, blinking back tears every few seconds. Om looked at her frequently and noticed the tension on her face. He sighed as he thought to himself, “OK , I admit. She is odd but I can’t ignore her. There’s something about her that’s very familiar but I can’t place my finger on it. In addition to that hair gesture and height sensitivity.” Om laughed lightly, thinking about Shivaay.
Aishani noticed and felt mortified. “What’s so funny?”
Om was startled, ” Nothing. OK , some things about you remind me of my brother. That’s why I was smiling.”
Aishani was a little relieved. ” Oh! He is also devil incarnate?”
Om’s heart skipped a beat. He looked at her and was surprised when her crimson stained lips curved up in a full smile. He was taken aback at the effect.
Her slim oval face lit up and looked enchanting.
At a loss for words he just mumbled, ” I was angry at that time. I didn’t mean that. Sorry.”
“Eh…I have been called worse!” she said carelessly.
“You said that just like Shikhar.” said Om smiling
Aishani’s expression froze up. She looked ahead expressionlessly and got back into her invisible box.
Just then Soumya arrived with her clothes, dried and pressed. “Here you go Aishani. All good now.” then seeing Om there she asked, “What are you doing here bhaiya?”
“I came to get something for Papa, saw her sitting alone, so wanted to give her company even though against her wishes. Now that you are here, I’ll get going. I’ll see you guys outside.”
He gave one last look to Aishani and walked out of the room. She looked after him with a hint of longing in her eyes for a second.Then she took her clothes, thanked Soumya, and went to change.
Hi Everyone. Thanks for reading. The characters of Aishani and Shikhar are purely my imagination. This story is about accepting ones feelings, letting go of past grudges, and welcoming love when you find it. It will be mainly about Om with Rudra’s story developing on the side. SivIka will also appear constantly as I cannot imagine the three stories not intertwined with each other.
In my story Om is an intense artist, in touch with his feelings, and unafraid to express himself. He is also sensitive and caring as in the show. The goal was to explore a love story minus negativity and aggression, one’s own fear the biggest villain.
I hope at least a few of you will find this interesting. Please do comment. I will really appreciate it.?