Hey, you all! My apologies for having had disappeared, I’d something else come up. However, I’d really want all of you to tell what you think of the story, the response isn’t the most convincing. Thank you to everyone who’s been supporting and expressing their views, though, I’m really grateful. Happy Reading!
PREVIOUSLY, Kunj and Twinkle talk to each other; Twinkle decides to invite Yuvraj for dinner the next day.
EK TUKDA PYAAR – EPISODE 5
Twinkle sat down in the drawing room and placed a pile of files in front of her. She had gone through the files, thoroughly, and had firmly decided it wasn’t a case she was willing to work on. Regardless of her failure in balancing between her professional and personal lives, she would never want to tangle her personal life with her professional life. She was thankful, she didn’t receive such cases very frequently, but on the rare occasions she did, she usually refused to fight the cases.
But this case had a strong potential, she knew, and that was why she did not reject the case. Instead, she thought of another of her fellow advocate who would want to sign up the case. Her fingers skimmed through the files and she checked if she had missed any of the required files, hoping she did not posses any later. When her phone rang abruptly, she jumped – almost shaking herself out of a reverie – and swiped up on the phone display without sparing a glance.
Twinkle: Hello, Saanjh?
Kunj: Hello, Twinkle?
Twinkle pulled the phone away from her ear and stared at the screen. It was one of her recently saved contacts and she slapped her forehead.
Twinkle: Sorry, I was expecting someone else’s call. Hello, Kunj!
Kunj (smiling): It’s good to know that my contact is now saved. Hello!
Twinkle (smiling): Hello. How are you?
Kunj: I’m fine. How are you?
Twinkle: I’m fine, too.
Twinkle heard a small silence prevail as the two of them finished exchanging their formalities. She couldn’t even think of a better response at his question, and cursed herself under the breath.
Kunj: Getting rid of the formalities, though, I was just calling because you asked me if I was free sometime in the upcoming week, so we could meet.
Twinkle (relaxing her sitting posture): Yes, I remember. So, would you be free anytime soon?
Kunj: I’ll be free during the afternoon on Tuesday. If you’re available, we could definitely catch up then.
Twinkle (in a dejected voice): I’m not sure, Mr. – Kunj. I may have to assist someone in one of their proceedings, so I can’t guarantee, yet. Is there any other day you’d be available? I can manage sometime in the latter half of the week.
Kunj (hesitantly): That’s usually when the restaurants begin getting crowded, so I won’t really be able to spare time.
Twinkle (inhaling a long breath): Alright. (pausing for a brief minute) But if I can manage on Tuesday – or say, you’re able to manage during the other days – where do you want to meet? We could decide that beforehand, just in case.
Kunj: Yes, that’d be helpful. We have one restaurant which shouldn’t be that far away from your place. We could meet there, if you want.
Twinkle (in a concerned voice): And would it be far away for you?
Kunj: It isn’t, but you needn’t worry of that. It is usually in the afternoons that I drop-by to check everything in the different branches.
Twinkle (surprised): You’ve to check through each of your restaurants every day?
Kunj: I wouldn’t say every day, but alternate days, or once in three days. So, I try shuffling between all the branches, depending on my schedule.
Twinkle (hearing the doorbell): One second, Kunj. I’ve to see someone at the door, just give me a minute.
Twinkle collected the files from the table and headed towards the door. She opened the wooden door and Saanjh greeted her from the doorstep, with a smile across her lips – wearing the regular monochrome outfit.
Saanjh: Good evening, Ma’am!
Twinkle: Good evening, Saanjh! (handing over the files) You’d work in the office today, too?
Saanjh (balancing the files between both her hands): No, No. I had to meet a client, and your house was on the way of my return, so I thought I’ll pick these up and return home. (her vision darted towards the files momentarily, before looking up) I’ll leave now, it’s getting late. My mother must be worrying.
Twinkle (smiling): Alright. Come, I’ll walk you to your car.
Saanjh: That won’t be necessary, Ma’am. Anyway, I’ve already been keeping you away, someone’s waiting for you at the other end of the line. (smiling) I’ll take your leave, and I’ll talk to you about the paperwork and whatever’s required, if necessary.
Twinkle nodded her head and looked at Saanjh’s retreating figure. When she disappeared out of her peripheral vision, she closed the door and walked back inside the house, lifting the phone to her ear.
Twinkle (settling down on the sofa): Yes, Kunj. I’m sorry for the interruption. So, you were telling?
Kunj: It’s fine, Twinkle, don’t worry about it. Was that someone from work?
Twinkle: Oh yes, that was one of my colleagues. I had to hand her a few files of a case that I’m transferring to her.
Kunj: Oh. (pausing briefly) Why transfer the case?
Twinkle: It was a case that dealt with Yuvraj’s business, so I didn’t want to take it. I thought, Saanjh would be the best to do it.
Kunj (in a confused voice): Yuvraj?
Twinkle (realisation suddenly settling in): I’m sorry, I never mentioned the name. Yuvraj IS my ex-husband.
Kunj (worriedly): Oh, I see. I hope everything is alright.
Twinkle: Yes, yes. It’s just some paperwork and some other things that need to be done. Don’t worry about it. (pausing for a long minute) What have you been doing?
Kunj: Nothing, as such. I’d some free time, so I thought, I’d call you and let you know of my schedule.
The knots in her stomach clenched realising how Kunj was attempting to prioritise her. She hadn’t felt like this in a long time, and a small smile pulled up at the corner of her lips. Her mother was definitely right. It was always the small things that counted – that held importance.
Kunj (worriedly): Twinkle, are you there?
Twinkle (shaking her head): Yes, I’m there. Sorry, I just got distracted. But that was very kind of you.
Kunj (smiling): It’s alright, it wasn’t a big deal. (pausing) But I’ve to go now, I’ll talk to you later?
Twinkle: Sure, Sure.
Kunj: And… (Twinkle held the phone closer to her ear, letting his voice unravel the usual warmth for another minute) Thank you for not calling me Mr. Sarna. Kunj sounds much better.
Twinkle smiled and waited for him to disconnect the call. She was clueless about how Kunj pointed such small details in their conversations. It made her feel much calmer, and retained within her an acquainted warmth. She inhaled a deep breath, steadied her soul and emotions, and walked over to the kitchen to help her mother. She could foresee a long night ahead.
Twinkle stirred the coffee in the mugs later that night and beckoned for strength. She wasn’t sure how Yuvraj would react to her decision, and if she was carrying out the conversation too early. She knew she could’ve had pushed it for later – convincing herself she could do it in the future – but it felt wrong. Where he still saw hopes of the two of them settling together, she needed to clarify his thoughts. And it felt wrong for several other reasons. She felt she was leading Kunj onto nothingness. While her decision wasn’t dependent on Yuvraj’s say, she still wanted to have his consent and support.
When she stepped outside onto the patio, balancing the mugs in both of her hands, she saw Aarohi sitting next to Yuvraj and blabbering happily. Yuvraj listened to her intently, brushing away the loose strands of hair from her face and slowly patting her back. The corners of her lips stretched into a small smile and she looked down. Her daughter yearned for her parents’ togetherness, and while the knowledge of its impossibility resided within Twinkle, she hoped she was approaching for the right path this way – even if it was slightly twisted.
Twinkle handed one of the mugs to Yuvraj and sat down next to her daughter, gently caressing her head. Her mother walked in few moments later and looked at Aarohi, after assessing the look on Twinkle’s face.
Leela: I’ll tuck you to bed today? We’ll let your parents talk.
Aarohi (excitedly refusing): Can I sit with them for some more time, Nani?
Leela: Sure, you can. But the question is; Can Nani sit with you alone and narrate you a bedtime story?
Aarohi (eyes beaming): Yes! I want to hear a story. Which story will you tell me?
Leela (entwining her fingers with Aarohi’s): We’ll decide that on our way, Come.
Aarohi jumped from the swing and murmured her goodbyes to her parents. Twinkle kissed her forehead and stared at the retreating figure of Aarohi, happily weaving her way inside. Her insides filled with contentment. She was almost certain she couldn’t have asked for anything more. But she did. She wanted to ask for a plethora of other blessings, and while she was sure she didn’t deserve them, she didn’t want to refuse trying.
Yuvraj (sipping the coffee): Hm, your coffee still tastes the same.
Twinkle (surprised): It does? I haven’t made it in a long, long time. It is usually Maa who prepares it.
Yuvraj (nodding his head): I know. Aarohi tells me how you’ve forced someone else to stay up at nights with you, now.
Twinkle: I never forced. In fact, I didn’t even force you. You were the one who used to stay up, saying you want to spend time with me…
Twinkle looked up abruptly and her eyes widened. She didn’t want to discuss her past, and it had just slipped past her lips while trying to defend herself. She stared down then, and sipped at the coffee in her mug and let the silence prevail over them.
Yuvraj: Did you go through the files I gave you?
Twinkle (hesitantly): I did. They look fine to me; I don’t think you’ll have any trouble with the paperwork.
Yuvraj: So, when will you be coming to my office? I could schedule the meeting accordingly, then.
Twinkle (sipping her coffee and shaking her head): I won’t. I handed the files to a junior colleague. She should be able to handle it well. She’d let me know if she requires anything, though. It should be fine, I think!
Yuvraj (in an unbelievable tone): You handed the case to someone else without informing me? You didn’t even bother consulting me? I wanted you to work on it.
Twinkle (looking up at him): But deep down, Yuvraj, you knew I wouldn’t work on it. You know, I don’t like meddling my professional life with my personal relations.
Yuvraj (frustrated): This is just paperwork, Twinkle. I’m not asking you to work on any court-case.
Twinkle (calmly): It still falls under my work.
Yuvraj (in a high-pitched voice): I can’t believe you, Twinkle. You can’t help me with some paperwork, how do I expect us to be together?
Twinkle (inhaling deeply): I never asked you to expect. I told you, nothing of that sort would happen. You just seem to be stuck there, and you don’t care to understand what I think, or feel.
Yuvraj (standing up with a rising temper): Right. Because this whole thing is just about US, and not about our daughter. I keep forgetting that.
Twinkle (losing her calm; in a frustrated voice): What’s with you always trying to imply I’m a bad mother, Yuvraj? If Aarohi’s happiness is our priority, there are other ways to do it, too. The two of us needn’t be together for that, and you know that very well.
Yuvraj (raking a hand through his hair frustratedly): Why do you keep thinking I’m blaming you? I’m not. I’m just trying to make you understand. And what other ways are you talking of? Moving on and troubling her with some newfound identity?
Twinkle (in a frustrated voice): You’re blaming me, Yuvraj. Just because I’ve questioned you, stop trying to defend yourself. (pausing shortly) And there’s nothing wrong in wanting to settle down again. Considering the relation between the two of us, I think, we should rather try moving on with different people than with each other.
Yuvraj (mock-laughing): Is that what you want to do now? Settle down with someone else, and prioritise everything besides your daughter?
Twinkle (standing up and facing Yuvraj): Stop going into that territory. I’m constantly guilty of not being able to provide Aarohi the time she wants. Stop injuring me in a place I’m constantly pained.
Yuvraj (holding her shoulders tightly): If it is really that bothering, let the two of us stay together; So, the two of us will be able to give her time she needs.
Twinkle (stepping out of his grasp; losing her patience): Why don’t you understand we don’t have a future together? Just accept the truth. I’m moving on and I’m seeing someone.
Yuvraj (scrunching his face): You’re seeing someone?
Twinkle (inhaling deeply): I am.
Yuvraj (mock-laughing): And you never told me? Did you tell Maa? Wait, let me guess. You wouldn’t have had. As usual, you would’ve had done what you thought was better, isn’t it?
Twinkle (clenching her teeth): Maa asked me to meet him. (pausing for a long second) But this is not about that, we need to talk about the things we would have to deal with, with me moving on. I don’t want Aarohi to land in a puddle of problems.
Yuvraj: Discuss about you having a potential future with someone and let Aarohi suffer? No. I’ve no discussions to be done on that. She isn’t going to be torn apart in a situation like that, and that is final.
Twinkle (in an angry voice): I’m doing this FOR Aarohi. She yearns for a house with parents, and I want to be able to give her that.
Yuvraj: She yearns for a house with her OWN parents. Not with some random stranger.
Twinkle (continuing in the same angry voice): Stop it, Yuvraj. You haven’t even met him. He’s going to be a good guardian.
Yuvraj: I don’t want to meet him. I don’t care what the h*ll you want to do with your life, but spare my daughter out of it. Don’t drag her into this mess.
Twinkle (eyes burning with rage): I am doing this for Aarohi. I’m her mother and I care for her. (screaming with anger) Stop blaming me all the damn time; I will do what’s right for her. And if this is what she needs, I Will settle down. Again.
Leela (from behind, in a stern, loud voice): STOP IT, the two of you. Behave cordially, or don’t talk. The quarrel between the two of you can be distinctly heard inside, and I don’t want Aarohi to be questioning about it later.
Yuvraj (inhaling deeply): That won’t be required. I’m leaving.
He spared one last look at Twinkle, his eyes burning with rage, but Twinkle did not shudder. She was furious at him. In all these years, she had done nothing besides attempting to balance her life to give her daughter the time and love she required and wanted. Yet, each time, she met Yuvraj, he wanted to accuse her of not being a mother Aarohi yearned for.
She knew her inabilities very well, and she did not require reminders time and again. Twinkle stared at his retreating stature and her temper rose with each passing second. She wanted it to be a cordial conversation, after they spent an excellent time over dinner, but it was far away from cordialness. It only involved the two of them losing their tempers and arguing with each other. She settled down on the swing and massaged her temples; She didn’t know how to convince Yuvraj.
Leela: Did you tell him about Kunj?
Twinkle (angrily): No. He just began shouting at the thought.
Leela: But you approached the topic the correct way? It is a very delicate topic to be touched, Twinkle. (she massaged Twinkle’s head)
And suddenly, Twinkle wasn’t sure anymore. She sat back in the swing, leaning into her mother’s comfortable massage, and her mind reeled back to the conversation.
Leela: I don’t know whose fault it was, but I’m sure neither of you were correct. Give him some time to think on it; I hope you’ll have a positive outcome. But try and assess yourself, too, in the meantime.
Twinkle nodded, because as her mother talked, her mind reeled back to the conversation. She had promised herself she wouldn’t lose her temper, yet here she was: Angry, Frustrated, and Pained. She tried convincing herself that, deep down, she did expect this. Yet, when the supposed unravelled in front of her, she was clueless and furious. She wasn’t furious at Yuvraj, only. She was furious at herself, too. She had promised herself she wouldn’t lose her temper easily, but she did. And that was why, when she fell onto her bed later that night, her conscience constantly reminded her of her own guilt, and she found her sleep dissipate into thin air.
That’d be all for this episode, I’d love to know your thoughts. Just a confirmation; Yuvraj isn’t an antagonist or a grey-shaded character – he’d be good. Thank you!