note: i've written some stuff for the first time in my life in this OS. The things that VirMan is making me do!
---------------------------Kuch Hua Maanvi?
Maanvi sat by her sister's side, her mind already miles away from the monotonous mantras that the panditji was chanting to conclude the wedding. For her all the saat phere, even a marriage registration certificate, everything, was just a formality. Maanvi was not a romantic person, but she knew that her Jeevika di and Viren jiju were perfect for each other. In the books she had read about orphans as a child, they'd always seemed to have terrible luck, but it was not the case for her and her di.
Or perhaps it was, if Virat Vadhera was anything to go by.
He grinned at her from his position by his brother's place. What a chep! On one hand he was impressing Dadaji by acting like he was Viren's bodyguard. On the other hand he was cunningly guarding a pair of finely crafted shoes that were, judging by their location in his lap, impossible to steal. So Maanvi would go home empty-handed. Arggh! The perfect husband for her di was all she had wanted, what was the need to add the stupid devar! If it had been anyone else but her Viren jiju's brother, Maanvi would have taught Virat a lesson that she would tell the whole of Rishikesh for aeons to remember.
Finally, the marriage got over, and Maanvi felt an inevitable sense of doom hanging over her head. Brushing it away, she immediately squeezed her di's hand and Jeevika smiled back at her. As the couple got up to seek their elders' blessings, Virat was momentarily distracted by a security guard.
This is the moment, Maanvi. Beeji and Buaji were too busy paying attention to her Di and jiju to say anything. She immediately lunged forward and grabbed the shoes, before a surprised Virat could react. Feeling like she was participating in the Rishikesh High School Sports Day, she made a beeline for the food counter, where all the guests were milling around. She had a faint idea that she had knocked over someone's paneer tikka before she finally found a hiding place. 'Arggh!' she heard Virat scream behind her. She flashed him a triumphant smile and walked back.
It was too late. By the time Virat's eyes had found Maanvi, the shoes had vanished.
'My shoes?' asked Viren, with that adorable confused look on his face.
'Gone,' said Maanvi simply. 'Of course, for a small fee, I can find it for you.'
'Virat,' said Viren accusingly looking at his younger brother.
'Sorry bhai..lekin your saali sahiba wins. Oye bandariya, get the shoes.'
Maanvi got back the shoes, while Viren fished in his pocket and came out with a crumpled five-hundred rupee note.
'Five hundred!' gaped Pinky chachi, her eyes shimmering. Beeji looked hesitantly at Dadaji, who smiled, while Soumini Bua remained tight-lipped. If only Jeevika had not insisted, then perhaps there would have been no need for that childish Maanvi and her nonsense.
'You know what,' whispered Viren conspiratorially while handing over the note, 'I'd already kept the money ready for you...I just didn't want to let down Virat, that's why I pretended to support him.' Maanvi giggled. Of course, even her Jeeju knew how useless his younger brother was!
Virat scowled. Lawyers. He should have known that after marriage, his brother would only take his bhabhi's side-not that he minded-but then that stupid bandariya came into the picture too.
After both the families had dinner, the Vadheras had already organized a mini-reception to entertain the guests, which was a kind of anti-climax to the bidaai that Maanvi was dreading. Still, Maanvi and Daboo had already rehearsed an act for the wedding-this time with no imitation of the dreaded Buaji. Instead they did a harmless dance on 'Waah waah Raamji', and much to her relief, everyone, including Buaji, clapped in the end. Maanvi and Daboo stepped off the stage, when suddenly Virat got up.
'Ahem, ahem,' he said, 'If my brother's saaliji can perform something to congratulate her sister, then I think I should also do something to entertain you all, shouldn't I?' Everyone gasped in shock as Virat got out his old guitar, which he had brought to the wedding and specifically kept away from the mandap so that no one would notice it.
'Virat..tum gaa rahe ho?' asked Vanshika, unable to believe her eyes. 'Haan maa. After all, I can't be upstaged by someone else at my own brother's wedding.'
Maanvi only stared as Virat came nearer. 'Shocked, mere brother ki saali? You will see. This is only a badla for what you made me do at the mehendi. '
Maanvi exchanged a 'look' with a befuddled Daboo. Revenge? What kind of revenge?
Virat got up to the mike and announced grandly, 'Dedicated to my dearest bhabhi's not-so-dear sister, Maanvi.'
Everyone's eyes swiveled to Maanvi, who stood awkwardly in the glare of the wedding lights, trying to figure out why on earth was Virat Vadhera dedicating a song to her.
Virat strummed the guitar, closing his eyes in concentration. Maanvi felt embarassment burn in her cheeks. She wasn't a connoisseur on Bollywood movies, but she had heard that song on the radio once, and recognized the tune very well.
Tum jo ho to gaa raha hai yeh hawa...
Tum jo ho to reshami si hai fiza...
Jao na...jao na...
Maanvi tried her best to convince herself that what he was singing was just a lame practical joke, and that everyone would laugh, but much to her horror everyone was mesmerized, including herself. There was something magical in Virat's voice, something that seemed to rekindle the part of Maanvi that considered itself unromantic.
Hoo phir naa yeh raat aayegi,
Phir naa yeh rutt chahyegi,
Phir naa yu milna hoga,
Phir naa jaane kya hoga?
Jao na...jaoo na..
Everyone stared, both stunned by the magic and emotion in Virat's voice as well as
confused as to why was he singing it for Maanvi. Maanvi gulped. It would be a miracle if the Vadheras allowed her to ever see their faces again. She ran away, unable to face the stares any longer.
She jogged and jogged till she thought she would faint due to the exhaustion. She was in the farthest corner of the wedding ground now, away from the lights and the music. There was nothing but cold wintry air and spooky trees all around.
'Hey, you did not let me complete my song.'
Maanvi began to walk in the opposite direction, desperate to get away from Virat, as well as get rid of the new emotions that were suddenly rising up within her.
'Okay..I guess you didn't like that song. Nevermind. I'll sing another one for you.'
Maanvi wished she had some kind of cloak that she could pull around her, both to protect herself from the wind, as well as hide herself from him.
Yeh ladki to mujhko lagti hai badi sirphiri...
Maanvi stopped, deciding that she would hear his song and then go back and explain to both the Vadheras and her furious Beeji that all this was just a stupid trick on Virat's part and that she had nothing to do with it. As he sang the lilting tunes of the song, for some inexplicable reason his voice not only grew softer, but she could also feel his presence come nearer.
Hua, kya hua, kuch hua...he sang into her ear. She suddenly realised that he wasn't just close to her, he was putting his arms around her from behind, his lips pressing moving down from her ear to her shoulders. Attributing her body's involuntary shiver to the weather she stepped away and said, 'Virat, what are you doing?'
'What do you think I'm doing?' he asked mischievously, looking into her eyes. For the first time she realised why her Jeevika di always had that dreamy look on her face when she happened to glance at Viren.
'Virat..just stop it. If this is a joke, you're going too far.'
'I'd basically intended all of this,' he said, lazily twirling a piece of her hair around his finger, 'to be exactly what you're saying-a joke. But then, my revenge fell apart, and I fell in love. I fell in love with you Maanvi.'
Maanvi could feel her eyes rolling in the back of her head. ??!!! He couldn't be in love with her! He really was a big chep. 'Virat dekho...what you're doing is just paagalpan okay!'
'So when I come close to you,' he said, tracing another finger up her waist, 'tumhe kuch nahi hota?'
'Of course not,' she spluttered.
She gasped as he pulled her back by his finger, using the piece of her hair he had been twirling. His lips connected with her neck, and Maanvi thought she was going to die.
'Kuch hua Maanvi?' he murmured.
Maanvi closed her eyes, trying to think whether all this was a dream and she would wake up any moment in Rishikesh. She suddenly found it impossible to believe that a man called Virat Vadhera existed in her life.
'Maanvi? Maanvi tu kahaan hai?' she could hear Jeevika screaming. 'Do you want them to see this?' he asked. 'No,' she whispered. 'Okay then, bandariya. Perhaps sometime...later.' He walked back into the darkness as the Choudharys and Vadheras came into view, and Maanvi suddenly knew that what was happening to her right now was both real and magical at the same time.
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