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The feeling of driving on the quite streets, just as the sun is rising is astounding. The silence, the small hums and sounds that you would never notice while in a car, are suddenly amplified when you're on a motorcycle. The air seems much more brisk, and the slight heat is gone as wind rushes past you as you move forward against it. The engine roars beneath me, it's sound letting the world know that this stallion is speeding off on a mission. A secret one. Vendors are getting ready for the day, and the traffic is light due to it being Saturday. Most people are snug in their homes, waiting to get up late and enjoy the weekend with their families. I'm going to enjoy it with Manyata.
When I had looked outside my window this morning, there had been a TV van, waiting for a move...odd. It was as if they knew I would want to be with her today as well. Was I that obvious nowadays? Seeing them stalking the gates, I couldn't help but feel even more determined.
After I had freshened up- I had decided to not shave the nights stubble- I walked into my closet, and picked out some dark wash tattered jeans, and a white V-neck t-shirt. Finally, in the back hidden beneath some random things, I find my leather jacket; I had purchased it on impulse, and only wore it when riding my bike. Slipping on the cloths, I open my door only to bump into Unnati, who was about to enter.
She looks up at me, still clad in her PJ's and without a lick of make up on, and just like that Choti looks like she's 15 again.
Unnati: Dada, where are you going so early, and why are you making so much noise?
I should have realized she would have heard me: the girl has ears like a bat. I give her my typical loving look and smile.
Me: I'm going out Choti.
Unnati: Dressed like a thug?
I can't help but laugh, she's so astute, and knows I wouldn't dress as such, unless there was a reason.
Me: Yes, dressed like a thug, after all who would expect Yuvraj Udayveer Sigh to be in this attire.
She looked at me and pondered for a moment and suddenly got a look of happiness in her eyes.
Unnati: I see Dada. Have fun.
And with that, she pats my cheek and walks away to her room. I shut the door behind me and walk to the opposite direction into the office and grab the keys to my white BMW K1600GT. I haven't even touched the thing since I bought it this summer. Mainly because there was no time, and no place. Until now. I sit on the bike, and feel like a teen again. I remember going through a phase where all I wanted was to ride around the globe on my bike, in the rain, in the sun...on the road, in the brush...in the city and in the country. I could have ridden my bike for hours upon hours...being as free as a bird. But after I had gotten into the accident with Unnati... I stopped. Not completely- I occasionally get the urge to hop on and I can't resist the temptation. But It isn't as frequent...because riding a motorcycle just isn't princely enough. My father had encouraged me to fulfill my need for speed through racing horses and expensive sports cars...but a motorcycle as he stated, is for the everyday average Joe. I don't agree with him, but I see where he's coming from. After all, didn't Majnu just pop up on his metal stallion to warn me off. Yupp. Defiantly was the average Joe's trade. But who said a Prince couldn't use it once and a while? No one.
She had had a tough time sleeping. The new room, as much as it was beautiful, was unfamiliar. Sadly enough she had gotten used to J's attitude, jibs and the back and forth between the two. It felt odd not sleeping next to J and irritating her. Part of her wanted to put J in her place, after all the younger princess was so full of herself...but another part of her enjoyed this banter, exchange of words, wills and attitude. It almost felt as if she were making up for lost time with her sister. Almost. Tonight J had trampled on the budding empathy and emotions Manyata had started to feel for her sister. Now, there was more pity and disgust.
She sat up on the bed and turned on the lamp to the right of her on the night stable. And looked around the room. It was gorgeous. She didn't know if purple had been a childhood favorite, but the room was dominated by the shade- a royal purple. Cream walls, black furniture, and purple linens. The bed she sat on was gorgeous, an intricate black iron headboard, with four posts winding up on the sides, a flimsy purple net wrapped around the polls and fell to the sides in a sweeping gesture. At the foot of the bed, there was a backless chase, cream in color but held numerous pillows in various shades of purple. Further straight ahead there was a fire place- black marble stood out against the crisp cream walls. On top of the mantel there were photographs hanging, various black and white snapshots in different sized black frames. Apparently, if she didn't like them, they're could be a TV there. But she didn't mind. Unable to resist herself she stood up and walked towards the Fire place. There were two plush chairs in white, which held cushions , and a white marble table in the center holding a vase of white daisies and violets. Each item in the room looked right out of the page of a magazine. Beautiful...yet impersonal. Except for those photographs. There must have been over a dozen of them. All memories so long forgotten, or at least hidden away. There was one of her as a new born, being held by Komal ...who surprisingly looked like she'd come back from a photo shoot, not giving birth- beside a proud Brijraj and an emotional Rajmata. There was one of her on Brijraj's shoulders, pointing at something and smiling, and in that moment Brijraj had been laughing his heart felt laugh...she couldn't help but smile at the snapshot, because it felt as if she could hear his laugh...almost as if she could remember it. Further below there was one of her...perhaps four years old, holding a small Jai in her arms. Manyata let out a laugh at the comical image...where her face held enough surprise to almost transcend into disgust.
Manyata: Guess I never liked the cow.
Then ofcourse, there were numerous shots of her and Udayveer, in formal and informal attire, at parties, playing, and laughing. She gasped when she saw the last one. Was that? Why yes it was... There was a picture in the corner of this mirage of memories which caught her eye. It was Udayveer of course, but no one could tell that this cute little boy with shaggy hair and mischievous eyes would grow up to be so full of himself. He was clad in Spiderman Pjs, grinning into the lens, as if he were full aware of how charming he looked. His right arm was wrapped around a young Manyata's shoulder, who was dressed in a princess Jasmine night shirt. What caught her eye was not that their heads were near each other, or the smiles they shared...but the toys they held. She recognized Tom in her small little hands...and there in Uday's was the Mouse. Jerry. Jerry the mouse. Unable to look at the image without feeling a gnawing sensation of curiosity, guilt, surprise...and a small amount of pleasure, she turned.
The sun was making it's presence known through the opened windows, and a cool breeze came in with it. She walked towards the window, and stopped at the gorgeous vanity. It was designed to entice. The surface was crowded with Perfumes From DNKY, Vera Wang, Channel, Armani, and god knows what else. It was all designed to transform...For whenever you feel like being different. You can't change who you are, but you can change your scent is what DS had said to her. The drawers held various lips sticks, glosses, shadows, blushes and bronzers from MAC, Clique and Chanel. Not that she knew how to use any of it, but Komal had quickly rectified that, I missed out on teaching you the little things that make memories...first day of school, your first date with Uday, and teaching you how to go from being a girl to a woman, Well, who says we can't do that now. Manyata beta, make- up is a very artful tool woman can use, I hope you'll let me teach you. Manyata had nodded externally and internally cringed at the thought of attempting to do this simple yet complicated task.
Sighing she shook her head and looked up into the clean mirror. She saw herself, and the double closet doors behind her -which went into a walk in closet- which was mainly empty save for the items she had gotten with Udayveer yesterday. She took her hand and smacked it on her forehead, a punishment for thinking about him again. She looked up and stared at her reflection. Her hair fell in waves down her back, and instead of the comfortable Kurtha's she had brought with her from the chawl, she was clad in a white lace night shirt...well that was how DS had described it.
Uday: Good Morning Princess, sleep well?
She had wanted to yell No! and it was your fault smart ass! but bit her tongue.
Manyata: Yes, very well Udayveer.
Uday:So, Kya hua? Miss me so much you just had to call?
Manyata:Miss karagi meri jothi!
He let out a hearty laugh at her response, she was about to retort that as well, but the sound of a stone hitting her window brought her back to reality.
Manyata: Chup Udayveer! Do you want to listen to me or not!?
Uday:I love listening to you princess, so what's up?
Sighing she looked towards the window where another pebble hit once again on time
Manyata: Udayveer...there's...someone outside. This man. He's outside my window throwing rocks.
Uday:Hmmm, really? How is that possible? Are you sure you aren't dreaming Princess?
Manyata: Of course I'm sure you duffer! I know when there is a dangerous looking person outside my window! And he's throwing rocks!
Uday: Dangerous? Really, what does he look like? Do you want me to do something?
He sounded so...outraged. She couldn't help but egg him on. At least a little bit.
Manyata: Yes, he looks like a rebel. Very handsome though.
Uday: Handsome? Really?
Manyata: Yes, handsome. He has some scruff going on, and mysterious shades. Messy bed-head hair and torn up jeans. And the leather jacket adds an entire new dimension of personality. Rebellious, but has presence.
She listened to the dead silence on the line, and heard another rock hit her window, smiling she decided this rescue mission had just gotten a whole lot more fun.
Manyata:Did you hear that Udayveer? He's still throwing rocks. Should I go outside? And see what he wants?
Uday: I don't know Manyata, I think you should wait, and I'll be there in a few moments.
She slapped a hand over her mouth to suppress the laughter which was bubbling in her stomach.
Manyata: why? What's the harm, he's only dressed like a hooligan, but I'm sure it's part of a filmy persona. Maybe he wants me to be his leading lady? You know, like in a movie.
Uday: Manyata, stay Inside. I'm coming. I'll be there in a few minutes.
Behind her the rocks were getting steadier, and she was surprised the window had not given in and chipped at the constant beating.
She felt confident with him on the phone with her, and decided to test some waters- theoretically of course.
Manyata:I'm going to see what he wants, the windows going to break if he keeps this up.
As if he had heard what she had said, 3 small rocks hit her window at once.
Manyata: That Idiot! Did you hear that Udayveer! Iski tho main..
She clutched the phone and walked behind her bed, where the French doors opened and lead onto the small balcony. She stood out and stared at the man who held a cell phone in his hand, and poised to throw another rock.
Manyata: Aray Oh Idiot! Yeh kya tamasha horaha hai!
The man just smiled...an eerily familiar smile, and threw a small pebble to the right of her which hit perfectly on the right window, even though she was far from the intended target, she was outraged.
Manyata: WHAT! Are you trying to kill me idiot? Tu Dhek, just watch what's going to happen to you. Abhi aray hai ek hero teri jaan laynay. Pachthayga tu! Dhekna!
She expected some reply, a plead or maybe even anger. But what she didn't expect was straight out laughter. When he laughed, she didn't need see behind the oversized sunglasses, or underneath the scruffy face and shaggy hair: It was Udayveer, and she knew this simply by the sound of his deep laugh; she would have recognized that sound anywhere.
For a moment she was relieved, then irritated as she was still clutching the phone in her hands. Letting out something that sounded close to a growl she bent down and slipped of her slippers, taking aim she threw. She only missed by an inch- otherwise she would have hit Uday who was almost in tears from laughing. He noticed her almost shoe attack and was better prepared for the second, and moved out of the way.
Uday: Aray oh Princess! I'm your filmy Hero- app kaisa hum pe var kar sakthi hain?
Manyata: Filmy hero? Meet Filmy Villan.
She threw the last item in her hands, which was the cell phone, and like a true hero, he caught it in style. Smiling and shaking his head.
Uday: Come on Manyata, Hum tho aap se milnay aya hain. Aur ek app hain ki hume maar ne ki koshish meh lagi hain.
He took of the large sun glasses and stared up at her from down below. The sun had come out now, and as the light hit his dark hair, it highlighted hints of hidden browns, his eyes were scrunched up as he looked at her through the sunlight, a smile still on his face. In that pristine moment, she forgot about being angry at him, and simply soaked in his sight. This man- who she apparently knew since he had been a boy- looked like an everyday person in this moment. Well sort of. You could see his pedigree, persona and aura. He was royal in every little detail. The way he stood- confident, so sure and as if he had every right to walk on this earth. His head held high, not bowing in the sun light, even without the shield of the sun glasses. Yes he looked scruffy and like a hooligan in this moment- but he was every inch the Yuvraj he was otherwise, regardless of the clothing- what disturbed her more was the fact that he looked amazing in both demensions: the Royal prince, and the regular Joe. It was so unfair. She was having a hard time adjusting to him, and this just added another layer of confusion.
Crossing her arms she looked down at him in distain. He'd made a fool out of her, yes, but she was curious enough to know what he was doing her so early in the morning, and that too looking like a raga muffin.
Manyata: What brings you here Udayveer? I know you like hanging around here and all, but you're never here this early, and breakfast isn't for a few more hours.
He laughed at her sharp response, sensing the irritation in her voice, he decided to be reasonable, for once.
Uday: I'm here to take you out Princess, freshen up and come on down. Quickly! There's no time to waste!
Manyata: What! Where are we going so early? And I can't just leave I have to tell someone.
Uday: I've already asked Uncle Brij Manyata- I wouldn't just take out like that. It wouldn't be proper.
Manyata:Proper! And throwing rocks on my window is proper!?
Uday:err...well I thought it was supposed to be endearing- It's not my fault you're a chicken.
Manayta: Chicken! Am not! I came out here to tell you a screw off!
Uday:Uh Huh. Right after you called me and freaked out.
Manyata:Freaked out! No! I was just...
Giving with the pointless argument She shook her head, walked back into her room, and marched into the washroom, slamming the door shut behind her. The black marble washroom was accented with ivory and purple. Walking up to the iron framed mirror she washed her face, brushed her teeth and combed her hair. Swiftly she made her way to the walk in closet, through entrance in the washroom and looked at the clothing hanging in the large space. Everything was so opulent, and bright. She felt as if she'd be over dressed in anyone of these outfits- beautiful, yes, but not something that would suit whatever Udayveer had in mind for today. She stared into the large mirror in the corner of the closet. Her current outfit had been bought for sleeping- but it was anything of the sort.
The expensive white lace created a lovely, and elegant pattern, and the cut was exquisite. It was a suite more or less, without the dupatta. Which she would need, especially since the back of the suit was lower then she'd have liked, almost mid back. She looked at the Dupattas which came with her outfits, all embroidered, or made of net, which wouldn't look good with the suit. Finally her eyes fell on the deep red one which was a spare on for a black suit. She snapped it up; the soft material was a mix of silk and something else. Shaking her head for even thinking about something as vain as a complementary Dupatta she walked out of the closet and looked around her room. Deciding to forgo any make up, but self-conscious because she hadn't taken the time to shower, she grabbed a bottle of perfume and sprayed some the way DS had shown her; a little at her wrists and some at her neck, and with that she made her way of her room.
Without even realizing it she started quickly down the stairs, curious as to what he was doing here so early, and why he looked like a thug. She should have been paying more attention, because she collided with Brijraj, once again. Her father dropped his phone, on which he had been busy sending emails with, otherwise he would have seen his daughter coming as he was been making his way up the stairs, instead he decided to dropped his phone, and steady his little girl, before they both went down the stairs in a tumble.
Laughing as he steadied Manyata, he pushed back the hair which was falling into her face, and looked down at her flushed cheeks.
Brijraj: Manyata beta, I know you're excited! But Careful, I'm old now, and can't afford to get injured like this. Just imagine the headlines "Devghard's Mahraj injured in freak stair collision: Princess Manyata the culprit".
She couldn't help but laugh at the humor. And he laughed with her, Brijraj patted her cheek, and smiled.
Brijraj: Have fun beta, I don't know exactly where Uday is taking you, but I'm sure it will be something else.
Manyata: So he did ask you then?
Brijraj: Of course he did! Just this morning...maybe at 4AM.
Manyata: What were you doing up at 4 Mahraj ji?!
Brijraj: I had to conference with some associates in America, and this was the best time to catch them, and other business matters: the hotel and things like that. After all Manyata beta, we are royal by blood, but even we have to earn money now. It doesn't just come to us, like people think.
That sobered her up for a moment. She had forgotten that yes, they were royal by blood but India did not have an official royal monarch like Britain did. All the Kings and Queens here held titles, but still had to earn the money which they had.
As she pondered that thought she had been staring out past Brijraj's shoulder, and the King mistook that lost look as urgency. Laughing her stepped out of her way, and gestured towards the doors.
Brijraj: Go beta, your prince is waiting.
When she stepped out of the back door, I couldn't help but grin. Her look said so many things I'm going to kill you- what are you doing here? and I'm guessing ...What is he dressed like? She meets me under the balcony, her arms crossed, and brow lifted. I'm assuming she picked that up from me, because I seriously can't remember her ever doing that. Odd. I drop the few pebbles in my hands, whip them clean on my jeans. I look down at her and see her bare feet.
Me: Were you in such a hurry you forgot your shoes Princess? I'm flattered.
She looked down at her feet then back at me, and finally snorted.
Manyata: You wish Princey. You wish. As I recall you were the recent recipient of my shoes.
I look down to the right where her eyes were pointing, and there they are: white slip on flats. For a normal person they are gorgeous plush leather flats that go with multiple outfits, but in the Rajmahal they were simply inside shoes.
Sighing I pick up the white shoe and get down on one knee gesturing her to put on the flat. She looks at me like I'm crazy.
Manyata:What the hell did you drink last night?
Me: ...errr..nothing out of the usual. Why?
Manyata:Why?! Well, you're helping me put on a shoe, which I really don't need help with, but still this is just too weird Udayveer.
Me:I'm just being a gentleman. Come on Cinderalla, the day is young. I have to have you home at a reasonable time, considering I'm abducting you this early.
She looked at me critically and slipped on the right shoe, and then the left
Manyata: You're up to something. This is just too weird.
I was appalled at her accusation. Well, she's right- but who said I can't do something nice?
Me: I'm offended at your lack of faith Manyata- whoever said two friends can't go out together?
Manyata: We aren't friends Udayveer. We are not friends.
Me: Well, Don't worry, I don't want to be your friend either. I was about to say lovers, but we'll get their eventually.
She punched my bicep, and I think that hurt her more than it hurt me, as she winced. Silently I take the same hand and start walking towards the beginning to our day together. I rub her knuckles gently, and notice the difference in this moment compared to the rest. She's holding my hand as well for once. Really holding it. Finally. I can't describe the feeling, because I've never felt anything like it, it is simply put, just wonderful.
We make our way out to the front where my bike is parked, oddly enough she doesn't notice it, and starts looking around.
Me: Manyata, what the hell are you looking at? You look like an owl moving your head back and forth.
Manyata: What on earth Udayveer! You don't sound anything like you do otherwise. What did you eat?
Me: Nothing yet, now come on we have to go.
Manyata: Where's your car? And how are we getting there.
I laugh and point towards the motorcycle a few feet away.
Me: There's our stallion Princess. Ready to go for a ride?
She looks at me with big eyes, and shock. Almost as if she didn't believe me.
Manyata: YOU. You know how to drive one of these?
Me: Of course princess, there isn't something out there that I can't drive.
She looks at me skeptically, as if I'm bluffing. I pull her towards the bike and give her my helmet. Oddly enough, it's white like the bike and matches her suit. She slips it on and I fasten the strap under her chip, she looks at me as I tighten it.
Manyata: How about a little more tighter Udayveer? Then you can kill via suffocation.
Me: Safety first princess, safety first.
I hop onto the bike, and she finally takes a seat behind me. I do think she did her best to sit as far away as possible, and not hold on, but it's a small sports bike, and she won't have much of a choice once I start driving. I start the engine, but before we take off, she sternly lectures me in my ear.
Manyata: Where is your helmet Udayveer!
Me: It's Uday today Manyata, and I don't need it.
She's about to lecture me further, but I start the bike and drive off, and as I had predicted she holds on- tight. Her chest is flush up against my back- even through the layers of clothing I can feel the heat from her body seeping into mine. Her hands are wrapped around my torso, and I can feel her nibble fingers through the plain white t-shirt. She's muttering something, I'm sure it's a swear word of some colourful variety. I look down the road, and seeing the endless streets in front of me, I speed up. Today Yuvraj Udayveer and Rajkumari Manyata are getting away. Today I'm just Uday, and she's just Manyata. Two friends, getting to know each other and flying away for now, after all our wings are always clipped.
They made quite a sight flying down the open road. The ends of her hair were flying behind them, along with her red dupatta. His shaggy hair was flying backwards and the bright sunlight bounced off of his black aviators. There was just the sound of the bike and occasional putter of cars- street vendors were setting up for the morning, and the weekend crowd of people coming out to play on the beach and shop on the streets. Both were lost in thought, and in eachother's pressence. Uday had not been the only one aware of their near proximity. Manyata could feel his abdominal muscles through the basic shirt, and the warmth from his stomach. His back felt comfortable with the soft leather jacket and the warm sun heating it. She felt so comfortable and nervous at the same time- it was an odd feeling both at once. On one hand she felt as if she could doze off, on the other she felt an odd sense of electricity running through the parts of her that touched him.
She attempted to shake the feeling off by looking around. She remembered the moments she had shared with Akash on his bike, and for some reason they seemed so long ago...in fact she hadn't even spoken to Akash in so long, nor had he called her. For some reason though, it didn't bother her as she thought it might have. Even when she had been on his bike, she could not recall this level of intimacy or these sensations she felt with Udayveer.
An odd sensation snapped her out of her train of thought. She thought she had been mistaken, but the second time it happened she knew what it was. Laughing she spoke into his ear, over the noise.
Manyata: Sounds like you're hungry Udayveer! Or rather it feels like you are.
He laughed at her correct analysis
Uday: You felt that Manayta?
Manyata: Of course I did! I can feel everything.
They both failed to catch the meaning behind those four simple words. It was true- they both could feel everything.
Uday:Well Manyata, you're in luck. We're just about to catch some breakfast.
She nodded in agreement, even she was getting hungry. They drove for a little while longer, and she was surprised that he had not parked in front of an expensive restaurant or his hotel. She thought she was mistaken at first. Getting off the bike she took a look around. The first thing one noticed was the scent. The scent of flour, butter, and then the sounds; the sizzle of the cooking, the sloshing of the fresh chai, and the chatter among the patrons, finally there was the sight. It was lively, a little early before the real breakfast rush, and it was a simple, down to earth, run of the mill Dhaba.
She looked at him critically and her questions were asked via her eyes what the hell are we doing here? and of course, being as intuitive as he was Uday answered.
Uday: We're here for the fabulous Paranthas Manyata. We're here for breakfast. Want some?
She looked at him as if he had sprouted another head, and if she hadn't been as hungry as she was, she might have stopped and argued some sense into him. He could tell she was skeptical, sighing he held her hand and gently pulled a chair out for her to sit on. The table and chairs were made out of plastic, but when he held the chair to help her sit, she honestly felt as if they were sitting in the Mahal, getting ready for the meal: You could take the Prince out of the Princely garb, but you couldn't take the Prince out of him. He was still the same.
Smiling in relief, she sat down and looked at him expectantly: she just knew he would ask for a menu, but alas he was born to surprise. He yelled out to one of the young boys running around sending out food.
Uday: Chotay, 2 Aloo, 2 Gobi, 2 Muli, aur 2 chai. Manyata do you want chai? Or do you want some Lassi, they make some killer lassi here.
She couldn't help herself, her jaw dropped open he knows what lassi is?. Unable to resist, Uday gently pushed up her chin to shut her mouth.
Uday: If you open that wide Manyata, flies will pop in.
And he winked, Manyata couldn't figure out what to do, so she did the next best thing: Grill him.
Manyata: There's something wrong with this picture Udayve-
Manyata: Yes, Uday, there is something wrong with this picture. How on earth do you even know what a Dhaba is, let alone how to order here?
Uday: Look Manyata, just because I know how to eat with a knife and fork, doesn't mean I don't know how to eat without out them.
She looked at him critically, still unsure how to react to this UV...he was the same. He really was, but something about him was off...as if he were trying to show her something. And part of her still didn't understand what it was she was supposed to see.
Shaking his head, he reached across the table and took her hands in his.
Uday: Look Manyata, I just want to spend the day with you without drawing attention to ourselves. We deserve that much don't you think? How about it Manyata? Today you aren't a princess, and I'm not a Prince.
She was busy absorbing this information when their steaming hot parantha's arrived. The smell of the spicy aloos woke her right up. Unable to resist, she dug right in. for a moment she was so lost in the delicious food, that she failed to notice Uday. She had always had a stuck up image of the royals and their western dishes, that she didn't realize that Uday too loved Paranthas. She could tell by the way he carefully spread the butter all over it, and scooped up some cold yogurt. When he placed the first bite in his mouth, she swore she saw a smile of pure joy and reminiscence take over.
Uday: I love Paranthas.
She smiled at his statement and nodded in agreement, finishing chewing before replying.
Manayta: Me too! Love them. I make really good ones too. The best Gobi Parantha's you'll ever have.
Uday: You shouldn't have said that Manyata, I'm going to hold you to it.
They continued to eat their meal and fresh paranthas made their way one by one to their plates, Uday gave Manyata the two Muli ones.
Manyata: Why, are you full?
Uday: No, I just hate muli ones, they're gross. I know you like them though.
Manyata had a look of pure outrage on her face as she looked at him in disbelief
Manyata:You don't like Muli parathas!? What is wrong with you Udayve---Uday! They're awesome
Uday: Meh, could care less, had them as a kid once, the smell just turned me off. Gross actually. I don't even like muli otherwise though.
He shrugged his shoulders and dug into the Gobi one that was sitting on his plate in a pool of butter. Manyata laughed at the sight
Uday: What's so amusing?
Manyata: You- what would Dadi Sab say if she saw you drowning your food in whipped butter Uday?
Uday: What Dadi Sab doesn't know, won't hurt her.
She started eating her muli paranta, but decided someone shouldn't stop themselves from trying something, even if they didn't like it once.
He looked up from his plate and looked at her, and to his surprise she was holding a piece of the much acclaimed muli parantha with a little yogurt on it. He gave her a hell no look, but that was soon defeated by the charming smile she poised in front of him. When the food touched his tongue he automatically knew he didn't like it- it was a mental thing for sure. But he didn't particularly care. The moment her soft fingers touched his mouth, he froze. He forgot he didn't care for the food, nor could he contemplate the flavor and texture of this particular one. All he could feel were he warm hands and how they gently brushed of some crumbs from the corner of his mouth. He didn't even realize he had chewed and swallowed- he couldn't even recall the flavor. All he could remember was the way she looked at him, and smiled, the way her hand had felt on his face, and how he would eat a couple dozen more if she fed them to her.
Manyata: So, how was it Uday?
He knew what she was asking, but his response was for something else completely
For some reason, without even realizing it, that one word prompted Manyata to feed him the next few bites, and he happily did. Not for the taste- which he couldn't recall- but for the feeling he had when she touched him, and looked at him. That alone was filling. *
Once we had finished our meal- I had paid & left a comfortable tip-I led Manyata back to the bike. Honestly I feel as if I'm going to break the damned thing under my weight- I ate way too many of those things. I miss Parantha's to be honest. They were my mother's favorite, and we used to have them every morning for breakfast. Oddly enough, once she was gone, I had lost my appetite for them. I remembered not wanting to eat the meal which held too many memories with her. My father and I had both given up the treat which we had enjoyed together
As I drive off to our next planned event I look at the time: It's 10. We spent 3 hours at breakfast. Just eating, talking and drinking tea. It had been well worth it. I feel her lax body tight against me, and I realize she's given into the temptation and has rested her head on my back- not that I blame her. The bags under her eyes tell me she was up most of the night like I was- most likely for a different reason, but I'd like to think it was due to me, just like she was the cause for my restless night. I turn into our next destination and stop the bike gently, Manyata slowly lets go and hops of the bike and looks towards our next item.
Manyata: We're watching a Movie?
Me:Why yes we are. Don't you like movies?
I know she's giving me a You've got to be kidding me look, because we both full well know that she loves movies. Like a kid in a candy store she jumps up and claps a little. And for once, grabs my hand and drags me towards somewhere. We make our way towards the lineup...the place is getting packed as its Sunday and almost matinee time. We become a part of the crowd...couples, families, and kids. She's still holding my hand and looking excitedly at the top where the movies are listed, I can tell she's trying to make up her mind as to what we need to watch. It feels odd being a part of a crowd and not standing out: not terrible- frankly it's quite refreshing, but it feels unreal, that at any moment someone can come up and ruin this. She's so busy looking around and getting excited I don't think she notices when the teens a few meters in front of us turn around and give her appreciatory glances- not that I blame them of course; they know they don't have a chance, but they're just admiring from afar. I'm lying of course, because if I really didn't mind, I wouldn't have let go of her hand, and wrapped my arm around her waist and pulled her close, the signal clearer then if I had said it: MINE. I would have expected her to tense up, and get angry, but oddly enough, her body went lax, and she started suggesting movies she wanted to see: Agneepath, or Don 2 being at the top of the list.
We made our way to the front of the line, and as luck would have it, those two movies were full. Manyata held a look of disappointment for a moment, which was too short as I was still trying to think of a way to ensure she got to see the film she wanted. But instead she looked up and smiled at the ticket vendor.
Manyata: DDLJ ki ticket hai?
The vendor replied there was and happily sold us two. She practically skipped into the theater, and I had to pick up my pace otherwise I would have been left behind. I know we had just eaten, but I knew a movie required some type of food. We settled on fountain soda, and a bunch of candy. I feel like a little kid right now, and for some reason I remember moments where we did go to the cinema- well back then our parents would book the theater and it would be just us and our nannies watching some childish film in the empty hall. And I can even remember the first time I had taken a girl on a date- that had also been to a cinema. For some reason those moments were fading away and this moment right now became so much more important than any other experience I had had...with any other girl. She's let go of my hand as I've been designated to hold the bounty of junk food we accumulated, and rushes towards the top of the theater. It's mainly empty and those who are here have decided to seat themselves in the middle or below us. We take center seats right at the top I take off my leather jacket, just to get comfortable and sit down, we both place our drinks in the cup holders and get comfortable. I've watched this movie a few times- mainly with Unnati, and I know how it goes. I've seen my sisters looks of wishful thinking and sighs of awe and wonder at SRK and Kajol's epic love story- opps I mean Simran and Raj. For the first time, I see Manyata's expressions while watching.
She's a loud movie goer. Whistles and claps at the scenes and gets excited. I can't help but feel it's the first time she's watched it- she's acting like she has: eyes full of wonder, and happiness bursting out of her. The theater isn't packed, and there's no one around us, but still I whisper.
Me: Is this the first time you've watched DDLJ Manyata?
She looks at me like I'm crazy and whispers back,
Manyata: Of course not! Which girl hasn't watched DDLJ- this must be the millionth time actually.
I smile and throw some random gummy candy in my mouth- I'm surprised I haven't killed myself with all of this food to be quite honest.
I would like to think I didn't do it intentionally...perhaps even call it a reflex. But somehow my right arm made its way behind Manyata's seat. I'd even like to call it love. Love which made her head rest on my arm, and eventually lean onto my chest. For a moment I even thought it was too good to be true. And yes it was. I guess the Paranthas and her restless night were catching up to her, halfway through Simran and Raj's epic love story she fell asleep in my arms, and I don't know how or why...but I fell asleep with her.
The movie was coming to a close, Simran running towards Raj, the train departing, and the audience bursting into applause forced Manyata to wake up. Her head had been resting on his chest, brown waves shielding her face, her right hand rested against his heart, and his right arm was wrapped around her shoulders holding her close. His cheek rested against the top of her head'and oddly enough the exiting audience did not have the heart to wake the angelic looking lovers. It seemed too private. At first Manyata was confused. Her neck was stiff from being in the awkward position, and something was scratching her forehead. Sighing, she slowly opened her eyes to see what it was.
From this close proximity she could see his face, and if she didn't know better she would say he look absolutely angelic. Long lashes creating shadows down his high cheek bones, his jaw relaxed and a slight smile in his sleep; the scratching she had felt on her forehead had been from his beard, or at least the stubble which was making its presence known on his face. Unable to help herself, she ran a finger gently down his face, feeling the texture and exploring the plains of his sculpted face. She knew she could do it now without the critical glare of his deep brown eyes...without worrying how he would interpret it. This man looked like Udayveer- for the most part-, acted like Udayveer, and yet...he didn't seem like the Udayveer she had come to despise and bring her guard up in front of. On the contrary she could feel her guard slipping away...bit by bit. And every time she attempted to pick up on of the crumbling bricks and mortar it back together...he'd do something that would obliterate the bricks into dust, making them go away forever, and leaving her defenseless. The movement of her leaving his arms must have registered with him, as his face twitched and his eyes slowly opened. For the first time he woke up and saw her face...and oddly enough felt as if he could do the same for every morning the rest of his life. Smiling, he attempted to straighten the crease which had formed on her rosy cheek. The theater was quiet, the lights on, and the people gone, part of him felt like leaning in and just kissing her. Letting her know what he wanted, so she wouldn't look at him with confused eyes, or an expectant frown. He wanted to- but part of him was curious. Had she kissed someone before? Would she compare him to someone? Who would that asshole be, and where was he so he could punch him senseless? Had it been Akash? He didn't want to know, yet part of him was asking over and over again. Letting out a deep breath, he leaned in and whispered in her ear, for only her to hear in the empty theater.
Uday: "mujhe chahiye ek aisi ladki , jisse dekhte hi dil ki har aarzoo, saare khwaab , saare rang zinda ho jaaye, abhi aisa hua nahi, lekin ab lagta hai jaise
koi andekha anjaana chehra baadalon mein se pukaar raha hain pata nahi ye
baadal kab hattenge, aur kab woh pukaarnewaali saamne aayegi. kya tumhare saath aisa kabhi nahi hua sangrita?"
She looked at him with wide eyes, and part of her wanted to reply with Kajol's sharp retort meri zindagi me andekhe anjane ke liye koi jagah nahi hai but she couldn't. Her breath was stuck and her brain froze, but her lips managed to utter words she thought were not possible.
Manyata: Abhi horaha hai.
I had felt like I was flying...not on the bike...but from the high her response had given me. She felt different all of a sudden: More mine, and me more of a part of her. She didn't need to love me before. It hadn't mattered. I had always seen Manyata has mine, without ever wanting me back. But now, I so desperately wanted her to want me every ounce as much as I needed her. When we had left the theater, hand in hand eyes speaking what words really couldn't, and faces looking rumpled and sleepy I hadn't cared about who would see is, and what people would say. It really hadn't mattered. Before she had gotten on the bike, I had adjusted the strap once again, and unable to help myself, I ran my hands down her face. It was soft, warm and flushed. When she met my eyes, there was more than just the confusion I was so used to seeing: there was a want, a demand...perhaps even a request. She smiled and placed her hands over mine.
Manyata:Where to next Uday?
Me: Where ever you want to go Manyata, wherever you want to go.
Fewweeff. Well I hope that was a good make up installment for waiting! I actually had more to type, but I need to go eat now, and we'll just have to save it for 13. There are a few things that should be noted please.
* This idea or that sequence was inspired my good friend Mais. She's a fabulous writer, and if you havent, please do check out her short Manveer Scenes when you get a chance- they are truely awesome and leave me wanting more each time: HERE
As I had promised, the news Articles with Brij, UV and Akash were reading in Part 10 is complete (I know its late! Don't hurt me!) Instead of posting it with the UV Cs I've decided to place them in a seperate them into a different Topic, called "The Royal Chronicles" It's essectially a colum about our Favourite Royals which coincides the UV Cs for the most part: HERE
Next, please, please, please, please: BUDDY ME. My fingers are so tired of pming you all individually, I'd love to be able to get them done in a round or two.
Last, as always tell me what you like, loved or hated. And if you have a second, please leave your thoughts, because it only helps me make things better.
Finally (seriously, it's the last one I promise) There is not image for Manyata's outfit, simply because I couldnt find one that I thought suited the dress- if someone finds one please post it.
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