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Hello everyone!! Thank you so much for your encouragement and support for my work. You guys always manage to make my day! Happy reading!
Twinj: My Lifeline: Episode 19
A quick recap: Usha assigns Twinkle the job of being Kunj’s manager. Twinkle ends up with a sprained ankle after Kunj’s little prank goes wrong, he tends to her foot, making sure she’s alright. Twinkle finds Kunj’s picture with Alisha, and their conversation leads him to asking her if she is in love with someone.
Twinkle simply blinked at Kunj for a couple of minutes, not able to decide whether she should lie or smartly dodge the question. He had begun to regret asking that question, wondering if marrying him had caused her to part ways with her love, when he heard her say, “Very brave of you to assume I would have married you if I was in love with someone else, Kunj!” He looked up at her to see her smirking at him. “Ouch!” He said, holding his hands over his heart, making her burst out laughing. She realised that he hadn’t analysed her statement much, lest he should have at least got a little doubt about her being in love with him. She watched him in a daze as he burst out laughing too, hoping he would never bring that up again. “I’ve brought lunch for both of you!” Usha announced as she walked in with a maid holding two plates. “You didn’t have to take the trouble, Mrs. Sarna!” Twinkle said, Kunj quickly glancing at her in surprise, but Usha nodded at her, insisting that she needed to rest her foot. “Meanwhile, I could also explain your duties to you!” She added cheerfully, pulling up a chair for herself beside the bed. “You should eat first, Ma!” Kunj told her, asking her to come back once she had eaten. “Work can wait!” He assured.
“Did Ma say something to you?” Kunj asked Twinkle a few minutes into being left alone. She looked at him suspiciously, fearing the worst. He wouldn’t tell her what this was about so she asked him herself. “How come you went back to calling her Mrs. Sarna?” He enquired, and saw Twinkle sigh. “She is really fond of you, Twinkle! Even if she might have said something that would have sounded rude, I’m sure she didn’t intend to hurt you!” He spoke as he put his plate away and looked right at her. Twinkle nodded at him, knowing that he definitely wouldn’t be saying that had he known about Usha’s planning and plotting. “Good! Should we go and visit Leela Ma today?” He said, trying to lighten the mood. “Could we do that? You’ll come too?” She asked excitedly, and he nodded gladly watching her eyes brighten at the idea. “Now what?” He asked as he saw her smile fade away as quickly as it had appeared. “But Mrs. Sarna, Ma I mean, said we are having guests today!” She exclaimed disappointedly, reminding him of the relatives whose arrival Usha had mentioned that morning. “Tomorrow then. Once we are done with work, we’ll straight away go there.” He said, hoping to see her smile again, and she did, although it wasn’t the same as before.
“You do realise that you too are Mrs. Sarna now, don’t you?” Kunj asked Twinkle, teasing her as she referred to Usha as Mrs. Sarna absentmindedly again. Her eyes widened at that, and she murmured something that sounded like a ‘Yes’ before going back to read the files that Usha had brought in. Kunj giggled at her, snatching the file from her to be able to see her expression again. “Give that back!” She warned him, for unknown to himself he had turned her Sherni mode on. He shrugged his shoulders, accepting her challenge and holding the file high above her reach. As she stretched her hand towards it, he lowered it and then right before she could grab it pulled it away, laughing at her. “Not fair! I was so close!” She protested pouting, as he laughed and returned the file to her. He then began to explain his work and her role in it as he had told Usha that he would handle it and she didn’t have to spend time on that when she was expecting guests and had lots of other work to do. Kunj observed that Twinkle was a very good learner and paid attention to the finer details, impressing him. He found her inputs valuable too, as they laughed and chatted, both of them enjoying themselves thoroughly.
“Ma told me to inform you that..” Kunj spoke as he hurried into the room that evening, his words trailing off as he spotted her step out of the closet in a Saree, looking breathtaking. She sighted him staring at her, her cheeks turning crimson under his gaze as she headed towards the dressing table to wear her jewellery. She watched his reflection in the mirror as he realised that he was staring , smacked his forehead and looked around confusedly, evidently having forgotten what he had come in for. She giggled to herself, adding the final touches to her look before turning back to him. “You were saying something?” She asked, stepping towards him slowly, not sure if she should have actually chosen the pair of high heeled sandals that she had been wearing. “Nothing important!” He muttered, even as he tried to recall what it was. “You could kill with those looks” He whispered as they walked down the stairs together, leaving her looking like a teenager in love, while Usha smiled at the perfect couple they looked like. “Ma didn’t tell me these were the relatives coming over!” Kunj complained when they saw an elderly couple and a young man, probably their son, get off their car at the entrance. “What’s wrong with them?” Twinkle asked curiously as the she watched the lady greet Usha with air kisses, wondering if it was alright to think she was weird. “They think I’m still 8 year old Kunj to whom they can say, ‘Kunj dear, why don’t you sing a song for us?’ It’s my profession now, and I’m not a baby! What if I told their son, who thinks he is a brilliant volleyball player, ‘Ryan dear, why don’t you play volleyball and show us?’ I don’t like them!” Kunj said, keeping his voice low as he smiled at the visitors as if he was really fond of them, and Twinkle followed suit, having a hard time holding back her laughter.
“This is your daughter in law?” The lady asked, not even attempting to hide her disapproval of Twinkle when Usha introduced her to them. “Do you have no knowledge of class and status, Usha? Our Kunj is a celebrity; he could have married anyone he wished to! I don’t understand why you had to force him into marrying her!” She continued her taunts, as everyone else watched in a shock. “Could you not find anyone better than her?” She began again, only to be cut short by Kunj, who felt horrible as he saw Twinkle’s eyes well up. “That’s enough! I will not tolerate such crap about my wife!” He thundered, all the surprised eyes now turning to him, including Twinkle, who couldn’t believe he was taking her side over his family. “All I am saying, Kunj dear, is that you would have been happier..” The lady began to speak again, but he wouldn’t let her finish. He held Twinkle’s hand firmly and spoke, “I am happy with Twinkle! In fact I am way happier than I had ever imagined! I don’t see the point of trying to explain this to you anyway!” He then pulled Twinkle along with him, leading her to their room. He was just about to close the door when they heard Usha tell the lady, pride evident in her voice, “Twinkle is our daughter in law, and nobody in this house will tolerate anything said or done against her. I hope you’ve realised that we firmly believe that no person can be judged by these things that you, unfortunately, find important!” Twinkle smiled at Kunj gratefully, for not even in her best dreams had she imagined that her new family would take such a strong stand for her.
“I’m fine!” Twinkle assured Kunj as he stepped towards her with the intention of consoling her. “They or their silly comments don’t define our…” Kunj tried to put in a closing statement anyway, stopping abruptly as he tried to find the right word. “Friendship!” Twinkle completed for him, wiping away her tears and smiling brightly at him. He nodded, thankful that she had handled the situation. “I know!” She said as she turned and headed to change her clothes. “Wait!” He called out, making her turn around confusedly. “Can we take a few pictures together?” He asked hesitantly and added, “To mark the first time we said ‘To hell with you!’ to the world!” She nodded gladly and was sure she heard him whisper, “Also so that I can show the world how pretty my wife is!” but he pretended he hadn’t said that and she played along, not wanting to ruin their picture perfect moment.
“Do you think that is what the whole world thinks about me? Could that be why people are so unreceptive of our marriage?” Twinkle asked Kunj as he turned out the lights that night. She couldn’t find it in herself to ask him that when he was looking at her, she was afraid she would burst out crying. He supported his head on his hand with his elbow on her ‘wall’. She quickly batted her eyelids to prevent tears flowing down her cheeks and turned to face him. “I don’t know!” He answered honestly, thinking of it for the first time. “I know you are going to tell me that I shouldn’t be thinking about all that at all, but..” Twinkle whispered, hoping he understood. “You know what?” He said, sitting up and turning on the bed lamp. She sat up too, looking at him. “Ma has always told me that people will always have something to say about every step we take in life, especially if we’re doing something right. Of course it’s not humanly possible to ignore everything, so it’s alright to be affected by it a little at times, but never let that take up any place in your mind or your heart. They’re just not worth it! We’ll have to face a lot more of this in the coming days, I can’t deny that, but always remember that it is our battle. You’re not alone!” He spoke warmly, and she smiled at him, realising that this was the treasure that nobody could take away from her. Regardless of what might happen in the future, she knew, somehow, that their friendship was forever. “Is that okay?” He asked her, breaking her train of thoughts. “I think so!” She said, sighing deeply. “Should I sing a lullaby for you, now?” He asked, chuckling at her. She gave him an uninterested look and lay down with her back to him, smiling to herself as she heard him laugh while turning out the light.
That’s it for now, guys. Lots of love!