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RECAP: You can't feel for me, but I feel for you
It was odd holding her hand and that too without resistance. It felt different. It wasn't soft like so many others I had held in the past: it was rough, callused and dry; reflecting the work she had had to do in her life, herself, without any help or assistance. A Princesses hands, but felt like a commoners. Her nails were bitten down, possibly a habbit or from nerves; I didn't know her well enough to know which. It was odd holding a hand which had no nail polish, nor were adorned by any rings and bracelets. It felt so contradictory: small dainty hands, which in theory should be utterly feminine, but were not. Holding her hand felt odd: not wrong, and not disgusting, more like a sensation I had never felt before. I've held so many hands, and broken so many hearts in the process, and never have I noticed anything about them: but Manyata, I notice everything, absorb everything and feel everything.
Frankly, I'm sort of surprised she hasn't snatched it back, well it's only been a few moments so there is plenty of time for that as well...Oh I spoke to soon.
She jerked her hand back, and to be honest, quite roughly. It hurt. No, seriously, it did. Well, my ego at least.
Manyata: Eh! Haath Chor mera! Jaab be dehko kuch na kuch pakar tha rahtha hai! Agar ethna shock hai chezo ko chunay ka, tho vo Madame's ki thara ek chota sa janver le lay, aur pakar ke rahk!
Uday: Aray Princess, tum humare paas ho na, tho hum kyu kisi aur janver ko pakar ke rahke?
Once the words were out of my mouth, I wished I could have taken them back: But I never take anything back: even if it needs to be taken back. Although those words were meant to wound, Manyata is stronger then people give her credit for, and to be frank I don't believe I've completely tested her patience. Yet. Instead of retorting, she narrowed her eyes and stuck out her tougne, making a silly face at me. Some Juvinile part of me wants to do the same: Stick out my tougne and make a silly face right back, but I don't. I just star at her with condescending eyes, and give her a mocking grin.
Uday: Challo Princess, change of plans!
This time when I take her hand, I make sure she can't let go. She resists, as expected; but to be frank I could care less at this point in time: she's coming with me, she can walk or I can drag her. But It's happening nonetheless.
Manyata: "Hum Rajwarde hain Manyata" Rajwarde kya asai karthe hain?
Uday: Princess, jis then hum puri thara Rajwarde ki thara vartho karne lage, tumhe koi schuck naih hoga; Shahid, thab thuk tum Rajkumari ban be jao.
That leaves her something to ponder on, and her resistence levels down a bit. We're passing the great hall where Jai is standing by the door texting. She looks up, her eyes go from my face, to Manyata's to our joint hands. Her face looks condescendingly towards us.
Jai: Wow, Manyata Jeeji, and Uday Jeeju. How sweet.
Manyata throws Jai a look of disgust; she's obviously angry at her sister for the scene in the room, and chooses not to bite the bait: Very mature of her. Now me, I'm not that saintly, I like to bite the bait, and swim away unscaved as well.
Uday: Exactly, we need to spend some quality time with each other before the big day, don't you think Manyata?
I pull her closer, and place my hand on her waist and walk pass Jai. I'm sure Manyata is boiling red with anger right now, but it's happened to fast for her to attempt to kill me. I didn't have to look back at Jai to know she was fuming; and usually that would please the hell out of me. But for some reason, I could have cared less; I just wanted her to know if she would resort to mocking Manyata, I'd be there to show her what Manyata is to me.
I let of Manyata, better to let her go, then have her freak out: I want this day to be little less dramatic and a lot more fun: We haven't had fun together yet (Well, I won't lie, I have fun whenever she's around, but I doubt she feels the same way)
As we sit inside the Audi, she stares at the car intently, then back at me. I'm quite surprised she hasn't said anything yet: It's a little unsettling, and unusual.
Uday: Hey Princess, something on your mind?
Manyata: Kuch Nahin, bas soch rahi thi, kyi agar ethni sundar gadri meh tumara khoon kardo, tho kithna nuksaan hoga!
I couldn't help myself, I genuenly laughed. This girl matches me punch for punch and line for line. She may not have joined me in the best boarding schools in the world; but she was sharp as a knife.
Uday: Humne suna hai, ki Khoon karne ke liya barde chahat ki zarurat hoti hai; Kya hume etna Jahne ne Lagi ho Princess?
I put on my sunglasses and drove out of the palace; the rest of the way to our destination I heard a series of colourful swear words- possibly a couple of invented ones, and I'm sure I heard a hybrid one in there two- I'd say I liked them, but I'd be lying: I loved them. Plus it kept her busy, and trust me that is not an easy thing to do.
There drive was obviously uneventful, and after her mlange of multi-coloured words, Manyata gave up and stared intently out the window as Uday drove. She didn't mind him that much: when he shut his mouth and kept his hands to himself- which was never. The drive to wherever they were headed was uneventful, Uday had some English song playing in the car, which she didn't understood, but appreciated the soothing sound. She felt like closing her eyes and going to sleep, but the car finally came to a stop just when she decided to act on her desire.
Uday: Challo Princess.
Manyata: Kaha Lekey aya hai?
He hated the tone she was using, not that she was questioning him, but rather that she always spoke to him as if he was about to hurt her.
Uday: Zuban se tho bardi hurshyar lagti Ho, hume bathado, ki hum kaha lekay iyeh hain tumhe?
She looked around as they walked into the shop, it was a pretty space, with plush chairs, sinks and mirrors.
Manyata: Salon? Yahan per kyun?
Uday took her by the shoulders, and sat her gently down in one of the over sized chairs, and kneeled infront of her, and held her hands in his. Holding them up, he opened her palms and touched them softly.
Uday: This is why.
He smiled, got up and spoke to a lady which had just appeared out of no where. Manyata sat down and looked at her hands, confused and a little worried. Was there something wrong with her hands? What would they do to her, and why was he worried about her hands?
Meanwhile Uday was busy speaking with the Manager of the Spa.
Uday: You do understand don't you? I want no one other then us, and your staff here: no other customers, and defiantly no cameras. I've had enough camera's for a while.
The Manager gushed: Yes of course! We're so happy to have you'both.
Uday: It's only the princess that's being worked on Today sweetheart, maybe next time.
He winked and walked towards Manyata to take her into a different chair.
Manyata: Mere Hatho ko Kya hua hai?
Uday: Kuch nahi, aur vo hi to problem hai princess. Tumare Hatho ko khabi kuch nahi hua hai.
She felt a little nervous sitting down in this oversized chair, this new girl came and placed her hands in the warm water and bubbly foam: it felt weird and unusual. Her shoulders were taunt with a stranger touching her, and unsure of her surroundings. Uday noticed immediately, but thought she would relax eventually. A few moments passed, and Uday noticed she wasn't getting any more lax, if fact she looked even more wound up, he took his gaze away from Manyata and looked at her hands: they were red, and it looked as if the attendant was applying too much force. Immediately he glanced up and saw the attendant staring intently at him.
Uday: Oh shit. What's she doing here. What's her name? Club? Hotel? Car? Can't remember. Nice legs though. Damn, they're everywhere.
Attendent: Uday, how nice of you to finally notice.
Manyata: Nice, yeh bilkul nice nahi hai.
Uday laughed at Manyata's line and looked over at the girl, and glared, his words were icy and hard,
Uday: Let go of her hands babe and leave; don't for a second think I don't get what you're doing here.
The girl gave Uday an icy glare and walked off; Manyata quickly took out here hands and tried to rub some of the ache off. Uday sat down in the Manicurists chair, and gently held Manyata's hands. They were warm, and rubbed raw. Red blotches were appearing on her white hands, she winced as he held them.
Uday: Why didn't you tell me she was hurting you?
Manyata: Well'I've never had anyone do this before: I didn't know how it was supposed to feel duffer.
Uday shook his head and sighed: Well Princess, it's supposed to be relaxing, like this...
He placed he hands back into the water, and poured in some oils and started massaging her hands. He was careful to be extra vigilant due to their already fragile state. He thought he heard her whimper in relief, but he could have been imagining that. Calmly for the next fifteen minutes they sat in silence. Manyata had her eyes closed, occasionally letting out a sigh of content, while Uday looked intently at her face while massaging her raw hands. It was almost like a cleansing process; he was gently washing away her past: gone were the hands of regular old Moniya, instead there would be the soft, yet equally strong hands of Rajkumari Manyata. But more than that, he felt as if he were giving Manyata some joy, and some peace in what was becoming a stressful transition. Who knew that something so simple and benign could give someone such pleasure? Both in giving, and receiving?
He glanced down and carefully took out her freshly scrubbed hands, ever so carefully he gently massaged in some hand oil; carefully Uday examined her small, delicate hands, and her proportioned fingers. He felt her gaze, looked up and smiled. For a moment, and just for a moment, she looked at him with a sense of calm, peace, and hopefully...some affection? The moment didn't last long. She narrowed her eyes and stared at him suspiciously.
Manyata: Don't for a second think this means you and I are friends. You have something up your sleave, and don't think I failed to notice! Hain Nai Tho!
Uday smiled, and continued massaging her hands, making them soft and smooth. Sighing he found a nail file, stared at it intently, shrugged and started onward. Manyata looked at the file suspiciously, and pulled her hand out of his reach.
Manyata: What are you doing with that!? Marna Chahta Hai Mujhee? Vo bhi ethni choti churii se?
Uday was surprised by her honest, and innocent assumption, and laughed. Not mockingly or condescendingly, but in earnest. She never failed to bring a smile to his face.
Uday: Nahi Princess, ye nail file hai. Aur issay hum apke nails ko even karne valle hain.
Uday gently took her stiff left hand, and started filing.
Uday: Because I want too.
Manyata: Humph! And do you always do as you want!?
Uday winked: Ofcourse Princess. Ofcourse.
Shaking her head Manyata gave in and watched as he filed her nailes, into even and equal curves, gentlyt whipping away at the nail dust and pushing away at the nail bed. For a moment she was lost in the process, and then it dawned on her,
Manyata: Oye! Rajkumar ke Bache! Yeh thumne Kaha se seeka! Tum tho bar bar bolthe rahthe hoi ke, "Hum tho Rajwarde hain!" Rajwarde ye be karthe hain? "Nail Filing"? hmmm???
He was about to give her a saucy answer, and start this battle of wits, but then he thought back, and realized he had had actual experiences which had made him do this in the past. Not once but twice.
Uday Age 5.
It was a hot summer day, the sun was relentless in shining, all the clouds had seemed to run away from the sky; leaving it a miraculous shade of blue, with only a bright, blinding globe in the centre. The air was thick and the humidity was unbearable. And Prince Udayveer, at the tender age of five was board senseless. He wanted to go outside, and play, run around and do something. Instead he was forced to stay inside, because it was too hot. "In the afternoon Yuvraj" they all kept saying to him, well he wanted to play now! Not in the afternoon. He heard the great hall door open and his father walk in with someone, laughing . Carefully the young prince made his way out of his room, and found his father. He was pleased as to who had come and visited. It was Uncle Brijraj. Smiling, he sprinted down the stairs to great them.
Uday: Good Morning Uncle!
Brijraj: Well good Morning Uday beta!
Having done his obligatory greeting, he quickly peered around the King's legs, to search for what- or whom rather- he was estatic to see. But to his dismay, there was no one behind Uncle Brijraj. No Dadi Shab, no Komal Aunty'and no Manyata. Giriraj being intuned with his young son's mind, was quick to answer the unasked question:
Giriraj: Manyata is not here Uday.
Uday shuffled his blue sneakers on the marble tile and stared intently at his father.
Uday: But why?
Brijraj took a moment to come down to Uday's level: She has the chicken pox beta; I would have brought her, but she's contagious, and at the farmhouse.
Uday: Sick? Manyata is sick? Papa, we should go and see her!
The prince quickly ran upstairs, and changed from his sweat pants and t-shirt, to a Spiderman t-shirt and cream coloured short. Toping it off with a Marvel Comics ball cap he ran to his bedside drawer and pulled out his blue aviator sunglasses. Still he was missing something, and quickly he realised what it was.
A woman in a blue saree, the Palace's official uniform came, she bowed infront of the young prince and asked,
Mena: Ji Yuvraj?
Uday: Sunscreen! I need it now, and...and bring Manyata a present! Something she can use in bed! She's sick you know, I have to go see her.
Mena: What does the Princess have Yuvraj?
Uday: Chicken...Pox? I think a chicken bit her, but it's ok, I'll make sure she gets better in no time! Hurry!
Mena bowed and left, leaving a Giriraj and Brijraj with amused expressions at the threshold.
Brijraj: Aap Kaha janee ki thayari main lagay ho Uday beta?
Uday: To meet Manyata Uncle! She needs a friend.
Giriraj smiled and shook his head at his son's simple, nave desire.
Giriraj: You can't see her Udayveer, she has the Chicken Pox, and is still contagious.
Uday: It doesn't matter. I'm not afraid of any Chickens!
Brijraj smiled at the boy's confidence: It isn't that simple Uday beta, what Manyata has, you could still get. Wait a few days and I'll take you to meet her myself.
Uday, who was mature for his age, felt as if he were losing his patience, and for any other child his age it would have been expected, but not for Uday. As a prince he was to maintain composure. He nodded, and looked his father in the eye..
Uday: Papa, I am going to see Manyata. If I get sick, it doesn't matter. I am Yuvraj Udayveer Sigh, and no chicken can keep me down!
He marched with purpose down the stairs, and his father was both proud, and amused. Proud, because his son showed the distinct mind set which he was both born with and expected of, but also because he still didn't understand what Chicken Pox was.
The drive to Manyata's family's farm house was short, and easy in the air conditioned car, as soon as the car stopped Uday opened the door before the driver could, he jumped and grabbed the bag, which Mena had packed and quickly ran through the front door, he was faster than Rajmata and Komal who were making their way down the stair case to greet the young prince. He ran frantically to the end of the hall, and opened the white door. Inside in the centre of the room was the plush princess bed. Pink, white, with whimsical curtins. The cream room was covered with Disney Princess posters, and held multiple toys. A Room fit for a princess at the age of 4. She was laying on her bed, in a Princess Jasmine Nightshirt, frantically itching her left leg. Her mother had French braided her long hair, and given her a colouring book and crayons to keep her distracted; it hadn't worked. Uday smiled and walked in casually, took of his hat, and came to her bedside. She was so lost in scratching her leg, she failed to notice her friend till he made his presence known.
Manyata looked up, startled, and was about to scream till she saw who it was, Uday and his laughter made her stop. She was so restless being cooped up in this room, and so tired of being itchy. She saw her friend and jumped in joy towards him.
Manyata: Uday! Finally someone to play with!
Uday hugged her back, his bony arms around her little frame. Pulling back he stared intently at his friend. She looked funny, little dots all over her face and body, and red blotches covering those. It seemed as if lotion was starting to come off and was not suiting its purpose. He looked at the dots and thought, does that mean chickens bit her? Ewww. Oh wait, that's not very dignified and princely, Disgusting.
Uday: How did so many chickens bite you Manyata?
She looked around and burst into giggles, affectionately she swatted his arm.
Manyata: Silly, chickens didn't bite me! It's a v...vi...virus! It's just itchy, and I'm Contag...Contagious! I can't play with Jainandini either, why are you here?
Uday looked at her triumphantly, and jumped up onto her bed, pulling the bag with him as well, he smirked devilishly at his friend and crossed his arms across his skinny chest.
Uday: Because I can! And no one can stop Super Uday from meeting his best friend Manyata!
She smiled and looked expectantly at the bag, and stared at him. Uday followed her gaze and laughed, he pulled out a big box of chocolate, and another wrapped gift, which she quickly pounced on, tearing the paper apart, she gasped in glee. Uday peered around to see what it was, a Manicure set, with various pink nail polishes and sparkles. He felt the indifference only a little boy could feel towards the utterly feminine gift, but he could appreciate the joy it was giving to his sick friend. Quickly Manyata opened the package, and attempted to start doing her nails, but she would stop every so often to itch, and then drop something. Uday could see the frustration mounting on her face, and disappointment in her shoulders.
Uday: I'll do it.
Manyata looked at him in surprise, and with a degree of skepticism.
Manyata: Do you even know how?
Uday, looked offended by the mere suggestion that he could not accomplish something
Uday: Of course I Can! Here give it to me.
So there sat a prince, in an utterly feminine room, on an utterly girly bed. Clad in his Spiderman shirt sitting cross legged facing his best friend. His left hand held her left, and he was intently following the pictured diagram and rubbing the lotion onto her small hands. He hand squeezed on too much, and was forced to whip it onto his clean shorts. Carefully he continued. Manyata wanted to itch, but Uday decided talking to her would be the best. He spoke to her about the Tom and Jerry episode he had watched this morning, and they both discussed it in detail. Uday studiously worked on her hands, being sure to cover all the finder, and nails as Manyata looked animatedly as she spoke to him.
Looking at the picture directions he picked up the file and gently attempted to do as suggested. He was clumsy, and in fact ruined her already even nails. Manyata didn't care. She was too busy telling him about the theme park they were supposed to visit; where all the Disney Princess were.
She choose light pick with sparkles, and Uday obliged her. He was meticulous, and yet half of the polish was on his fingers, and the rest on Manyata's nails sliding onto her fingers. Once he was finished, he gave her a joyful smile.
Uday: See! Look! Look at what a great job I did!
Manyata looked down at her fingers, she saw the smears, and the uneven nails, but failed to notice them. She looked up at her best friend and was content. This was so much better than just sitting there and itching herself. At the thought of itching she lifted her still wet hand to scratch her leg. Uday swiftly grabbed her wrist and gave her an authoritative look.
Uday: Now Manyata, don't go ruining my hard work. How about this, Let's eat some of your chocolates, and watch some cartoons? Ok?
She nodded and scooted over to make some room for her friend beside her.
They sat there the two off them, eating Cadbury chocolates, colouring in a colouring book and watching cartoons in the pink room. Falling asleep Manyata forgot about her Chicken Pox, and Uday was glad he had gotten to play with someone, especially Manyata.
Even when he got the Chicken Pox a week later; it had been worth it.
All Right! First off, I hope everyone had a Very Merry Christmas! I know I did, which is basically why I failed to update . I hope this lengthy (alibet, not as Lengthy as I would have liked it) update makes up for the drought . As always, please do comment and tell me what you liked, loved or hated!-Reeha
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