The cold wind blew across the hills and the valley. And she shivered involuntarily when it reached her. She cursed her carelessness for forgetting to take a blanket while coming out at midnight. She was so adapt to the coldness but now even a small wind made her shiver. Not to mention the cold tears on her face.
Once again Manvi was in the Mussorie house of the Vadheras. The Choudharys were invited by Dadaji to spent few days with the Vadheras. The reason was Jeevika.
After Swamini's indirect warning, Manvi reduced her phonecalls to one per day and kept it as short as possible. It broke her heart but she had to do it for her sister's sake. She just didn't want her di to be scolded again because of her.
But the reduced calls depressed Jeevika. It was true that she had a new family and has to focus on her husband, but she couldn't bear the increasing distance from her old family and especially her 'kid' sister. It started to reflect in her actions and no matter how much he tried, Viren couldn't bring her back to her happy self. That was when he had a talk with Dadaji regarding the visit.
Thus after one month of the marriage, the Vadheras and Choudharys met again, for Jeevika's sake.
Jeevika was ecstatic when she found her family waiting for her at Mussorie. Viren had planned it as a surprise and it worked. His wife was full of life again.
Luckily for Manvi, Swamini and Dadaji were joining them only the next day. And Virat was busy helping Viren set up his study space for the week. The whole day the sisters were together and nobody interrupted them. Because all those who were with them, they knew how much the sisters loved each other. Manvi too was back to her lively self, enjoying, memorising every moment spent with her di.
Finally when night came, Beeji forced Jeevika to go to her room, saying her husband too needed her attention, especially after planning her surprise. Both the girls knew she was right and so didn't argue.
That was two hours before. And as usual, Manvi couldn't sleep. She was alone in the big room and the silence inside the house somehow frightened her. She decided to have some fresh air before trying to sleep again. Which was why she was presently shivering in the courtyard.
" Khulfi banne ka irada hai kya ?! " came an amused voice from behind, waking her from her thoughts.
Manvi groaned inwardly. ' Of all people, why him ?! Why does he always have to appear exactly when she was sad or ill ?! '
She hurriedly wiped her tears and turned around to fight. " Tumhe stalking ke alawa aur koi kaam nahi hai kya ?! "
" Pehle maine poocha." Pat came the reply with his trademark eyebrow gesture.
" Dekho abhi meri mood bilkul theek nahi hai. Kabhi toh mujhe chainse rehne do ! "
" Arre wah ! Bhalayi ka toh koi zamana hi na raha ! Tumhe thand mein pareshan hote dekha toh yeh blanket dene aaya tha. Lekin tum ho ki ! "
That was when her eyes went to his hands. He was holding a folded blanket.
" Oh ?! Itna sab suna diya aur ab sirf oh ?! "
" Umm.. Sorry." She snatched the blanket and draped around her shoulders. " And thanks."
" Wow. Aaj toh sach mein miracle ho gaya ! Sherni ne ek minute mein sorry aur thanks kaha ! "
Manvi huffed and turned back to the scenery she was supposedly watching. Virat moved forward and stood next to her trying to see what was getting her attention. Finally he gave up trying.
" Tumhe andhere mein dikhayi deti hain ? " He asked curiously.
" Chep ho kya ?! Kuch bhi bol deta hai. Main kaise dekh sakti hoon ?! "
" Toh tum yahaan itni der se kya dekh rahi thi ? "
" Kuch nahi. Bas aise hi."
" Paagal ho gayi kya ? Aadhi raat ko thand mein baahar yuhi khadi hai ?! "
Manvi just looked at him and shook her head in exasperation.
" Yaar tum sawaal bahut karte ho ! Detective kyu nahi ban jaate ?! " She said sarcastically.
" Tumhe nahi pata tha ? " Came the instant cheeky reply.
" Andaaza toh tabhi hua tha jab tum Dr.Manan ko leke meri dimaag kharaha tha ! " She was not behind either.
" Oh yes." Virat remembered the time when he was trying to find about the relation between Dr.Manan and Jeevika. Now it all looked silly. And to think that it was all because of Manvi's childish actions ! He shook his head thinking of his silliness.
Wind started gaining speed and Manvi tugged the blanket closer. Virat noticed that she was still shivering.
" Ban gayi na khulfi ! "
" Arre yaar, kyu khane ki yaad dilate ho ?! Ab dekho tumne kya kiya ! Mujhe ab khulfi khane ki bahut mann kar rahi hai ! " Manvi pouted.
" Toh kisne roka ?! Jaakar lelo kissi dukan se."
" Jaise ki koi dukan khula hai aadhi raat ko ! "
" So sad." He pitied.
Manvi glared at him and hugged her stomach complaining. " Ab tumhare vachai se mujhe bhook lagi hai. Na tum khulfi ki baat karta, na mujhe bhook lagta. Ab tumhi mujhe khulfi dilwaoge ! "
" Kya ?! "
" Kya ' kya ' ? Ek nanhi si jaan ki zindagi ka sawaal hai aur tum itna khadhor ban rahe ho ?! "
Virat blinked at her. ' Kahase kaha pahunch gayi baat ! '
Manvi stared back and thus a staring session started. None of them was willing to step down. Until the next wind blew...
Manvi shivered again and sat down on the lawn unable to bear the cold.
" Hey, are you alright ? " Virat was kneeling by her side in the next instant.
" I am fine, I am fine. Its just the cold wind."
" You are burning up. Again." Virat said seriously when he touched her hand accidently.
" Abhi chalo doctor ke paas."
" Kya doctor doctor laga rakha hai ?! Mujhe doctor ki zaroorat nahi hai."
" Yeh tum decide karungi ?! " For some weird reason, Virat felt angry.
" Meri tabiyat hai, of course main hi decide karungi."
" Bilkul nahi. Zidd mat karo aur chalo."
" Mujhe nahi jaana." She raised her voice.
" Tumhe apni khayal toh hai nahi. Kumse kum bhabhi ke baare mein toh socho."
" Mujhe nahi jaana matlab nahi jaana." Manvi was adamant.
" Kya ajeeb ladki hai ?! Jis di keliye apni jaan tak dene ki dawa karti hai, unke khatir doctor se nahi mil sakte ?! Tumhari yeh pyaar sirf dikhawa hai ! "
He said the last part purposely. And as he expected, it hit a nerve. She pushed him angrily and from the kneeling position he landed down with a small thud on the lawn.
" How dare you judge me ! How dare you judge my love for my di ! Tum kya janti ho ? Jo mann mein aaye bole ja raha hai ! Main jo kuch bhi kar rahi hoon woh di ki khushi keliye hai."
" Doctor ke paas nahi jaogi toh bhabhi khush hogi ?! " Virat couldn't understand the logic.
Manvi was so mad with anger that she couldn't control her words. " Agar main jaogi toh jo baat unhe nahi pata chalna chahiye woh unhe pata chal jayegi aur woh apne aap ko doshi maanegi." Her eyes widened in horror as she realized what she just said. ' Why why why did I say that ?! Now he won't rest until he gets the full story ! '
" Kaunsi baat ? " Virat asked suspiciously.
" Kuch nahi. Mujhe neendh aa rahi hai, main jaa rahi hoon. " Manvi stood up fast and started to move away.
But Virat stood up faster and caught her wrist. " Not so fast. Why were you crying ? "
Manvi looked at him stunned. ' How did he...? '
" You have tear stains on your cheeks." He pointed out.
Manvi sighed. This was her personal stalker she was talking about ! She shouldn't be surprised if he saw her tearstains in the moonlight.
" Its nothing. Bas khushi ki aansoon thi."
" Acha ! Toh apne aansoon mujhse kyu chupayi ? "
" Taaki tum meri khichayi karoon ?! "
" Seriously ! Tumhe theek se jhoot bolna bilkul nahi aata."
" Tum ! " Manvi couldn't control her anger. ' Why was he so persistent ?! '
" Why should I share my secrets with you when you kick me away from yours ?! "
Now that closed his mouth. He still remembered the mehendi incident where he lost his temper at her.
Manvi smirked at his speechlessness. She released her hand before he could react and ran away.
Virat just watched her disappear. He knew she was right. But he also knew somehow that something was seriously wrong with her. And he promised himself that he would find it out no matter what and won't let her suffer alone. Why he was doing this, he didn't know. The only thing he knew was that she had become a part of his dull life, bringing colours to it. And he just wanted to keep it that way.**********
Part 2/2 - http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=1956929&PID=50784989�