'Damn, is it hot in here or is it just
me?' Aaliya suddenly said fanning herself with her hand.
The spell broke and Kripa took a step
backward. What was wrong with her? Why was she behaving like this? She looked
at Aaliya, 'I know right? It's so hot here! I don't know what's wrong with the
Everyone laughed at her statement. Angad
looked at Kripa's friends and felt a strange fondness for all of them. He felt
like he was finally home.
'Since nobody's going to support me
here, I'll have to go along with the plan unless someone else comes up with a
better one. But we'll have to wait for a few months before putting the
operation into action,' he said.
Kripa looked at him quizzically.
'I didn't look like this, three years
ago,' he said pointing at his thin frame. 'No way on earth am I going out
looking like this!'
Kripa gave a shriek of laughter, 'Who
would have thought? Mr. Angad Zaib Khanna is vain! Oh Angad, I really don't
know you after all!'
Angad laughed with her, 'It's not
vanity! Anyways, isn't it you who used to keep calling me hot when I was
asleep?' he teased her.
Kripa stuck her tongue out, 'You were
hot when you didn't talk, now you're not!' They all laughed at their bickering.
'So if it isn't vanity, why do you want to get 'in shape'?' she asked quoting
'in shape' with her hands.
Angad sighed, 'Kripa, for our plan to
work, I should look exactly like I did three years ago, right?'
'I know, I know, I was just teasing you.
So we won't be able to put our plan into action for a while,' Kripa frowned.
She wanted justice to be served as quickly as possible. Her blood boiled at the
thought of the injustices Angad had been through. She was ready for action. She
was ready for Sonia to be taken into custody. She cracked her knuckles and had an
evil smile on her face.
Then, Mishti's phone rang. 'That was the
babysitter. Karan's fine,' she told Prithvi who looked tense as soon as his
son's name was mentioned. 'We just ran out of some baby food, I'll go get
The rest of the gang also made excuses
'So Angad, we probably should go
shopping and get clothes for you.'
'Yeah, we'll just get a few things now
and some more before the plan's put in action.'
He moved closer to Kripa and put his
hand on hers. 'Thanks Kripa. I'll pay you back for everything as soon as I
can,' he said earnestly.
Kripa understood that Angad had a lot of
pride. The fact that he had to accept all that Kripa had done for him hurt his
ego. No wonder she liked him so much!
She smiled. 'Don't worry, Angad. You do what
you feel necessary. But I better let you know that the money really doesn't make
a difference to me. You inspired me to write my first book, and look what I've
achieved. Nothing at all can repay that. Consider us at equal footing if you can.'
'I know, Kripa. That's why you're so special.'
'Ok, now let's not get all mushy, OK? Let's
go to the mall,' Kripa said with a grin.
They reached the mall and Angad stared around.
'It's been a while, hasn't it?' she asked
with a perceptive smile.
He nodded, unable to speak. A lump had formed
in his throat. It had been a while since he'd actually walked outside instead
of Kripa wheeling him around. It felt amazing to be back.
They walked around until they reached the
men's shopping department. 'Kripa, I was wondering. You're a famous writer and
nobody seems to recognize you here. What's with that?'
Kripa laughed, 'Are you checking to make
sure that what I had said all these years is actually true? Just kidding, don't
get all huffy on me!' Kripa laughed again at his enraged expression. 'I didn't print
a photograph in the book and I gave no face-to-face interviews. Apparently, the
air of mystery delighted the readers as much as the story I had spun. So that
worked for me. I didn't want to be famous and have my privacy breached as well.
I guess in that aspect, we're totally the same. I also used an alias; 'Nisha Chaudhary'.
I know, I stole the name from Hum Aapke Hai Kaun but I had to get an inspiration
from somewhere,' she said with a wink.
Angad laughed with her. It just dawned on
him that he hadn't laughed this much and this often in years; not even Sonia had
made him laugh this much. Kripa was… fun. There was no other word to describe it.
She was considerate, bubbly, charming and a lot of fun. She was beautiful, both
inside and out. And she made the world a joy to be in.
He shook himself out of his reverie and
tried on a few clothes. He went outside to get her approval. Another first, he decided.
Angad Khanna never took somebody else's opinion into consideration for his life;
any aspect of his life. But he just wanted to be a different person with her; a
less aloof person. He liked that person. He liked the Zaib he became with her.
He thought of the Angad Khanna he was before
he met Kripa. He had been boring, focused and serious. Sonia had been able to make
him laugh, but she had never touched his heart. She had never made him feel like
a kid with the world at his feet. He could now dream of anything. He could reach
for the stars and fulfill any wishes.
Once again, opening the doors of his heart,
he gave life a chance.