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It's my off today....so thought I'll give you all a long update....
plz go through this and scroll down....you will find an icon saying "post reply".....
click it and feel free to write whatever that comes to your mind....lol......
Gaurav had called his old friends in Canada to get the number and details of Bhaaskar's fiance and his friends told him that they would do their best to get the details.
That was the only thing he could think of presently.
He had also called and booked for a separate accommodation in a hotel near the resort as he didn't want to give an impression of being an univited guest to Roshani.
"I have an idea….you bump into Roshani at any public place and she will be excited to see you here. She will definitely invite you to the wedding and then you can be with us all the time." Said Abhi, clearly impressed with his own plan.
"What a stupid idea Abhi…..it's ridiculous." Gaurav frowned at him.
"Arrey kya ridiculous hai?……it's a superb idea, you know. If you stay away and don't meet her or Bhaaskar, how will you help her?"
"You will help her …..and I will help you help her."
"I don't think I understand……...you can be at the wedding, what is the problem?"Abhi insisted.
"There is no problem.…..I just feel a bit awkward…….that's it." Gaurav was firm.
"Awkwardness ki koi baat hi nahi hai yaar…..tujhe yaad nahi, Roshani tujhe kitna pasand karti thi……kitna khush ho jayegi wo tujhe dekh kar."
"Mujhe toh har ladki pasand karti hai," Gaurav said very light heartedly without actually meaning it.
Immediately, they both realised that Paridhi was sitting right behind them and they had completely neglected that fact while talking. They used to crack some jokes over a mug of beer or when in lighter mood, but the same now became embarrassing to them.
Gaurav realised this first and swallowed the last parts of his sentence but not before it was too late. He stopped speaking and looked at Abhi, who was back with his awful expressions. Slowly Gaurav turned back and looked at Paridhi, who was staring at him.
Both Abhi and Gaurav shut up completely for a while. Abhi drove quietly and Gaurav returned to the newspaper that he had bought on the way.
Finally Paridhi broke the silence after a couple of minutes.
"Kya hua? Bolo bolo………..Tumhe har ladki pasand karti hai? Accha,….mujhe toh pata hi nahin tha, kitne lucky ho tum Gaurav."
Gaurav was embarrassed no end. He had actually not meant it and the boys used to tease each other even in college days about how a girl had a crush on them and each responded by raising a collar to that, accepting what a cool dude he was. Of course, they never joked about sincere girls and never did they joke about their own friends, like Paridhi and Natasha. In fact, Natasha and Shaan had been a couple and Gaurav genuinely liked Paridhi. But there was no point explaining all that here, as he had unknowingly put his foot in a wrong place. He had, just now, given an impression that he was someone who loved female attention and was proud of getting one. In normal circumstances, he would have carried on with the issue and laughed it off in fun. But the situation presently was far from normal.
Abhi tried to defend Gaurav, "Come'on yaar Pari…dhi………….he didn't mean it.You know how boys talk. It was a very simple statement."
"You keep quiet Abhi…..I am not talking to you," said Paridhi.
"Ohhh….thanks Paridhi, finally you are talking to me." Gaurav looked at her, smiled and answered.
"I am just not talking to either of you. And Abhi….I did not expect this from you."
"But what did I do Pari…..dhi?" Abhi was miffed.
Almost simultaneously, Gaurav spoke, "You mean, you had expected this from me and not Abhi, right?"
"This was the last thing that I expected from my friends that they will make fun of women in general, especially a lady who is getting married this weekend, considers you her friend and whose wedding you both are going to attend," she replied.
Abhi felt seriously hopeless and embarrassed. He was always the first one to jump to give clarifications and justifications in issues of controversy. He was emotional and had flair to discuss things on and on, at length. It had always irritated Gaurav, who considered this as a girly attribute.
Abhi started defending their behaviour, "Paridhi…….don't misunderstand us…….."
But he was cut abruptly by Gaurav, "Can I answer?" and he looked at both Abhi and Paridhi.
Abhi felt better as he was spared of the pain to justify his behaviour. He gave a go-ahead gesture to Gaurav.
Gaurav looked at Paridhi and spoke in one breath, "The answer to all your points is – one - We were not making fun of women in general, we were simply inflating our egos……..two - the lady is not getting married this weekend, we won't let her……….three - even we consider her our friend………..four - we are not going to attend her wedding, we are going to break it………..fifth and the last point………did you call us 'friends'? Well……I am definitely thrilled, thanks."
Abhi and Paridhi were both stunned. He had answered each point in her question separately and confidently. Abhi felt proud of him at the way he spoke and gave him a wide smile of approval.
Paridhi was too shocked to speak for few seconds, as she tried to understand what he said. Gaurav had always been very witty and spoke straight. And he was very sharp and quick too. Paridhi had always loved this about him.
He still had the charm to mesmerise people.She observed.
"I never called you my friend."she could only utter this.
"Well maybe…..but I heard you saying that you don't expect this from your friends."
He replied calmly but for once had cornered Paridhi for her own words. He sure knew how to give it back. And this time he was not going to leave it here.
"Okay, maybe…….but I was referring mainly to Abhi." She said very slowly, dismissing his attempts to shush her.
"You were referring to Abhi?......for something he didn't say at all….I mean the whole thing started at my comment, isn't it?" he never gave up, especially when he knew he was winning an argument.
Paridhi was without any answer. Abhi, who initially, was scared at the start of their verbal sparring, was now enjoying it. He remembered their college days when Paridhi and Gaurav were famous for their sharp retorts, witty arguments and for embarrassing anybody who messed with them. People usually gave up discussions, when they realised that they were in front of either Gaurav or Paridhi.
But Paridhi was not someone who would accept defeat. She was quiet only for a few seconds before responding.
"Sure, it started with you Gaurav, but I was upset at Abhi being a part of your stupid jokes. He is still my friend and I really like him."
Abhi was scared once again on being dragged into this. And Pari's declaration of liking him surely cleared way for Gaurav to start hating him. He gave a desperate, helpless grin to Gaurav, who was clearly annoyed.
Abhi looked at them.They were talking directly to each other. Gaurav was turned to face the back seat and Paridhi sat almost at the edge of the rear seat. She had taken support by placing a hand at the driver's seat and the pressure made Abhi feel that she was leaning.
"Are my jokes stupid……….?" Gaurav asked calmly.
"They are, believe me, and everything you speak is non-sense," replied Paridhi, "and whoever talks to you is a fool."
"Well…..you are talking to me right now…..so what do you think about yourself?"
"I am a fool definitely………..and I was always a fool…….and anybody who talks to you, is friends with you and loves you is a big fool."She blurted.
For once she had completely forgotten that they had met just today after so many years, that they were in a car and that Abhi was present with them.
Though Abhi had known about them since college, in fact, everyone in their group knew about them but it was long back; what would he think about her after listening to this. And why was she acting desperate? She thought. Was she still carrying the grudges or the pain since then? Was she unable to get over Gaurav even though she pretended to do the opposite?
"Are you talking about yourself?" Gaurav looked straight into her eyes.
"I am…….,"she said impulsively, again she thought for a moment and said, "No, I'm not……I mean I said in general."
Gaurav sensed her uneasiness and turned back to sit straight in his seat facing the road ahead. He didn't mean to embarrass her but she always made him argue with her.
Why do I talk to her? I have to sit quiet and no more responding to her.
He forced himself to stay calm and unaffected but it seemed to take a lot of effort. He decided not to think about her but it was all a waste of energy. He was thinking only about her….. her captivating eyes……her silky hair….. her intoxicating smell….her warm presence around him.
He promised himself that he won't look back again.
Rest of the journey was relatively uneventful. Paridhi consciously spoke less, she didn't want to give an impression to Abhi and especially to Gaurav that she was a in reality, a weak person in the veil of a strong fighter, when dealing with matters of heart. And the way Gaurav spoke of female attention to him, she was pretty sure that she didn't want herself to be a victim of the same joke.
Gaurav lived upto his promise to himself and didn't look at Paridhi or talked to her. Though, not thinking about her was not in his hands.
Abhi was actually the jittery one, as he knew both of them very well. He prayed to his God for a boring journey as he did not want anymore fireworks. He knew that if things go out of hand, he will be at the receiving end from both of his friends.
Finally they reached Goa.
They turned towards the hotel where Gaurav had made his bookings. The resort arranged by Roshani for her guests was nearby. Paridhi asked them to drop her at the resort first so that the boys could go to Gaurav's hotel and spend some time there before Abhi came back to the resort. They found it a better idea.
Abhi parked the car in the parking lot. Gaurav decided to wait there till Abhi and Paridhi went inside and checked in their rooms. Abhi told Gaurav that he would keep his luggage and join him so that later they can go to his hotel.
Gaurav was taking a walk in the open area near the parking lot while waiting for Abhi to come and join him. The cool sea breeze ran through him. He had always loved beaches, sea, Sun and the sand.
He called his mother to tell her about the safe journey and reaching Goa. He deliberately avoided telling her about Paridhi.
He was still talking to her when he spotted Pari coming towards the SUV. He was nearby and could have walked away to avoid her but to his surprise he walked towards her.
He was near the rear gate when Pari came and stood right in front of him. She looked breathtakingly beautiful. He stood fascinated in front of her. She smiled at him and said, "Excuse me Gaurav." And moved past him to open the rear gate and picked up her wallet from the vehicle floor.
"It had fell down somewhere during the journey and I saw it but didn't pick up. I thought I'll pick it later and see, I just forgot." She spoke as she dusted the wallet and Gaurav stood there just watching her.
He wasn't sure if she was speaking to herself or to him. She closed the door and turned to go. She had barely walked a few steps before she heard her name.
"Paridhi……" Gaurav called her. He didn't know why he did this but something inside made him do it. One thing he knew that if he didn't call her now, he would again have to wait many years before he could talk to her.
She halted where she was. It took her few seconds to turn back as even she had not expected that he would call her name.
She turned back towards him with a questioning look on her pretty face. Her face glowed in the last rays of the setting sun, as she waited for him to speak.
He took the few steps to cover the distance between them and said, "Congratulations Paridhi."
"For what?" she started thinking of reasons of celebrations in her life.
"I heard that you are engaged to be married shortly." He said looking at her.
"Oh that…..," she opened her mouth to tell him that it was an old news and she had broken up with the NY guy, she had just let Abhi talk about it during the journey, so that they don't feel sorry for her. But she noticed his facial expressions, the twitching of eyebrows and the pouting of lips that he did alteranately to avoid demonstration of uneasiness. She knew that it troubled him and she decided to go ahead with it, saying,"Thanks a lot Gaurav."
"It gives me great pleasure to see you happy." Gaurav was obviously disturbed.
She felt like punching him in the face but gave a really wide smile showing all of her glistening white teeth. She had got a means to bother him and it gave her immense pleasure to see him frustrated.
"I know Gaurav that you are happy for me. Anyways, it was a great co-incidence to meet you."
"There is no such thing as co-incidence Paridhi…..," he started and was joined by her.
"I know…I know…..we are destined to meet those who we do and it is all planned. You always say this nah, so may be it's my destiny that you will congratulate me before I get married."
He simply smiled back.
"Ok, see you later. Hope your information about Bhaaskar is not true."
"Can I say something else too?"
"Pari…….," he hesitated before speaking, "will you be able to forgive me?"
Her smile disappeared instantly and she felt her heart beating fast with multiple beats at a time. The question he asked was not easy to answer as he had not done anything that could be termed wrong in literal sense.
"Why are you asking for forgiveness? What did you do?" she asked very softly but firmly, directly looking at him.
"I let you down…………and…….I was very insensitive."
"No Gaurav. You did not let me down. There was nothing between us. We were just friends." She controlled her words and emotions. She didn't want to break down in front of Gaurav.
"Yes……but for some time, we were together………before I behaved stupidly."
He had difficulty finding words. But right now, he wanted to speak whatever he had always wished, he should have by now. At least she owed an explanation from him. And all these years he had imagined himself talking to Pari and feeling sorry for hurting her.
"Two dates……it was exactly two dates Gaurav…..which is too less to say that we were a couple. But before that we had been friends for two years. I am more upset at the way it all broke in one go."
"It was completely my fault. I hurt you."
"No. You didn't. You had never committed to me, ever." She didn't want to allow him to clarify and move ahead. It was easier for her to pretend as if nothing had happened and he was unnecessarily worried for her.
"But I could have been more considerate……" he was frustrated at the way he was unable to express himself and she didn't help either. In fact, she behaved as if she was completely unaffected.
"You did what you thought was best at that time. Why talk about it now? You never spoke of what you felt and whether you felt something at all. Then you realised that we were not meant to be together. Maybe, it was for good. And believe me, I don't blame you for that Gaurav. It happens."
He moved closer. His eyes never left hers.
She observed pain in his eyes and a serious look on his face. As he spoke, she heard his huskiest tone ever.
"So, shall I assume that you forgave me?" He spoke looking at her intently. She felt week in her knees and the sincerity she saw on his face washed away her pain of five years.
So he was going through the same ache. She realised that she was pleased to see this.
"I told you that there is nothing to forgive. I don't hold anything against you but still if it satisfies you, then 'yes'."
There was relief on his face and a tinge of subtle smile made it's way through his lips to his eyes. He looked astoundingly handsome.
"Thanks……….as I had expected you to, I am really pleased to see that you moved on."
If only I could, though I tried, sincerely……she thought.
She simply smiled and then recollected that she had come to take her wallet.
"Yeah….." he wanted to say much more but stopped himself.
She walked a few steps and turned back to ask.
He gave a broad, proud smile.
"He has become very naughty."
She gave a thankful sigh……..
This man was a magnet, who kept with him everything that touched him, specifically everything that belonged to Paridhi…..
Trying to shun away these thoughts, she turned back to go inside the resort, while he slowly opened the front gate and sat on his seat thinking about them.
Shaan stretched his hand and extended it to feel the other side of the bed. Unable to sense Khanak's presence, he stretched his hand a little further, only to feel the softness of the bedspreads and cushions. He had been in deep sleep and his eyes were still closed. He turned to lay on his back, but felt light on his eyes and as a reflex covered his eyes with the back of his wrist. Rays of the morning sun sneaked from between the curtains.
He felt irritated at the light falling on his eyes. Usually Khanak closed these gaps whenever she saw the light disturbing Shantanu. But she didn't do it today. And he couldn't feel her on the bed either.
"Khanak….." he called her while turning sides and placing a pillow on his face.
When he didn't get a reply, he opened his eyes, got up and sat on the bed.
"Khanak……" he called again. Again, there was no reply.
He got down and moved towards the suite's washroom. The door was unlocked. He called her name again while opening the door. But she wasn't there.
"Kahan jaa sakti hai? Yahan toh uska kitchen bhi nahi hai," he got frustrated and worried at the same time, "……omg , kahin resort ke kitchen mein toh nahi shuroo ho gayi……."
He reached for his T-shirt and wore it over the vest in which he had slept. Putting on his slippers quickly, he rushed outside and locked the door.
Shaan looked around, in the corridors and came down the stairs to enter the central lobby. There was a pretty lady at the front desk. She looked at him and asked if she could help him.
"Actually…..I wanted to know whether there is a pantry or kitchen in the resort and where is it?" he felt awkward asking for it.
The lady at the reception was very co-operative and had been well trained to take care of the guests. She not only told him the way but also accompanied him to show him the way.
"Please come with me sir." She guided him through a narrow corridor lined on both sides by palm trees.
He followed silently, looking here and there for Khanak.
"Sir, what makes you go to the kitchen? Do you want something specific? Please tell us sir, we will certainly do our best to help you." The lady was very courteous, he thought. Actually, it was part of her job to make the guests comfortable and she did her job perfectly. He was listening to her with half his concentration. But realised that she had just asked a question.
"No…..it's just my wife…….I was looking for her." He was irritated as only he knew Khanak and her obsessions. Even if he tried, nobody else would understand them.
"In the kitchen, sir?" the lady was confused now. She had never seen guests venturing into the kitchen before.
She showed him the huge pantry with several people busy at different chores.
In the kitchen, the chef and the captains were also surprised to see him but they told him that Khanak wasn't there. He had secretly hoped to see her here. But not finding her made him extremely anxious.
He thanked them and the receptionist and dashed outwards. His steps were swift and he almost sprinted to look around the lobby once more, the garden area, the dining hall, the coffee shop and the recreation room. Khanak was nowhere.
He became increasingly nervous.
She is new to this place. She doesn't know any of the markets in Goa. She doesn't know anybody. Where did she go? And why would she go alone?
Thinking about her, he walked to an open area in front of the resort that connected the place with a beach. This area, in one corner, had shacks of drinks and fast food, and the central space had chairs neatly arranged around some round shaped tables. It spread into a huge space and was continued as the beach. He could see the lonely beach as there were not many tourists. The sea waves were the only source of sound all over.
He threw a quick glance at the beach and the sea.He could see till far.But couldn't see Khanak anywhere.
He became tensed but could not think of a place where Khanak could be. Worried, apprehensive and restless were words very small to describe his current state of mind.
"Did she go out somewhere? Why so early in the morning and where? Why did she not wake me up? …..Oh man…." He thought.
"Did something happen to her? Why is she always like this?" Annoyed at her and with himself for not knowing where she was, he considered informing at the reception about his missing wife.
Lost in his thoughts, he turned to move towards the front desk. Suddenly, he sensed as if Khanak was nearby. He turned around and saw her immediately behind him.
"Khanak….." he left a heavy breath of relief.
In a second, he held her wrist and dragged her to embrace her.
"Arrey…..kya hua?" she was pleasantly surprised, "ab chorhiye bhi….kya hua aapko?" she said moving him away.
"Chup raho," he curtly scolded her.
Releasing her he said, "tum paagal ho kya yaar, kitna daraa diya mujhe? Main kitni der se pareshaan ho raha tha?"
"Aap mujhe dhoondh rahe the?"
"Nahin…..yahan wahan bhatakne ka shouk hai mujhe."
He made a fist and hurled towards her slowly just to scare her, as if he was going to hit her. But smiled to see her raising both her hands in defense.
"Array baap rey……aap gussa hain?" she faked the fearful expression.
"Kahan thi tum?" he asked.
While asking this, he now paid attention to her look.
Her hair were open lying leisurely on her shoulders and caressing her back. She wore a white sleeveless cotton short top teamed with a floral-printed peacock blue and white long skirt falling till her ankles. A light blue stole adorned her neck and hung carelessly around her. She looked extremely pretty and Goan. His gaze admired her look. But she did not feel shy. Instead, she put her hands on her waist and raised her neck to exude style. Confidently, she looked at him and raised both her eyebrows as if asking how did she look.
"Awesome yaar!.....kya lag rahi ho? Yeh kahan se aaya?" he was evidently surprised and amazed to see her.
"Aaya nahi……khareeda hai…..yahin resort mein hi ek boutique hai."
"Toh Madam shopping kar rahi thi…….bataa ke nahi jaa sakti thi?"
"Aap so rahe they aur maine socha ki aapko surprise kar doon……magar aap toh itna pareshaan ho gaye jaise main ek choti bacchi hoon aur kahin kho jaoongi…" she giggled, making fun of him.
Shaan pressed his lips in embarrassment.
"Main koi pareshaan nahi hua….."
They started walking towards the beach.
"Jhooth mat boliye…..aapka chehra parh sakti hu main…" she went on laughing and teasing him.
"Accha, toh kya likha hai mere chehre par?"
"Yehi….ki aap mujhe dhoondhne ke liye kitchen tak chale gaye they……….aapko main itni badi burthal dikhti hu na." she pouted but laughed again.
"Kisne bataya tumhe? Nahin maine toh aisey he…." He laughed at his kitchen expedition, "sab tumhaari wajah se……dekho mera kitna majaak ban gaya tumhaare chakkar mein."
"Woh toh hai….." she laughed looking at his helpless face, "kisne kaha tha aapse baahar aane ke liye? Aapko kya laga ki main kho jaaungi?"
He didn't answer, but looked at her face. She had never appeared prettier than this. And he felt like this everytime he saw her.
"Aapko pata hai main poore Dhulwadi mein akele ghoomti thi aura aas paas ke gawon mein bhi jaate the hum sab bacche…..Kabhi khoi kya?"
He smiled at the word 'bacche'……
They walked on the beach facing the sea. There was only water and the sand all over till they could see. The view was extremely breathtaking. Shaan looked all around and then looked at Khanak. Her hair flew due to the cool breeze. And her skin appeared radiant.
He kept looking at her and she kept talking…….
"Aur ek baat, mujhe sirf English nahi aati….woh bhi aa jayegi….uske alawa main bahut isshmart hoon……lagti ganwaar hoon, par hoon nahin….. aur aapko meri chinta karne ki koi jaroorat nahi. Balki main aapko bhi sambhaal sakti hoon." Her tone had pride in it and he simply loved it.
"Accha baba, mujhse galti ho gayi yaar. Ab agar tum kho bhi gayi nah, toh bhi main sota rahunga..," he said in a funny tone, folding his hands for the effect, "tum toh isshmaart ho….apne aap waapas aa jaogi."
She laughed again at this.
But then, complained, "Maine itna accha programme banaya tha aapko surprise karne ka……aapne sab choupat kar diya."
"Bakwaas tha tumhaara programme……aur bekaar dress hai yeh……kisne kaha tumse ki tum acchi lag rahi ho?"
"Abhi toh aapne kaha……aur nahi bhi kahte toh aapki aankhon se pata chal jaata mujhe."
"Lekin tum shopping karne chali gayi?….itni subah subah……?"
She looked at him and his confused face and bursted into another bubbly laughter.
He was still confused but was lost in her laughter and sparkling eyes…..
Barely could she speak, "subah subah nahin burthal……..baarah baje hain….."
To be continued……..
The following 10 member(s) liked the above post:
IshBin, sampar, ktymfan, .Rupali., angel_9, m4manju, iluvmanar, Fanaah, The_May_Rose, adventure_gurl,
Joined: 01 October 2010
cute one yaar..... loved paridi gaurav and abhi.......loving the tension between them.... and shanak prt was reall cute esp when he went to search for her in the kitchen....lol....
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Joined: 12 November 2010
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Joined: 14 July 2010
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