Joined: 20 March 2012
Joined: 29 September 2008
Joined: 05 September 2006
Looking out the car window I see the fast paced city and the fast paced life style of everyone around me. Regardless of class, income or persona, it seems like this city is always on the move. Forever trying to keep up, and if you can't move fast around Mumbai, you'd best get out of the way, or you'll get run over- figuratively or literally.
I haven't seen Manyata for a couple of days. Not that I want to; but because she's busy. Catching up with 16 years' worth of education is extremely time consuming. It leaves little room for anything else, and I don't want to distract her. I know she's mine, in almost every sense of the word. Courting isn't necessary anymore'but I still find myself want to step outside of the office and meet her. To pick up the phone and call her; It makes no sense, and is outside of my area of expertise. I've never been this hung up or admired someone like this; I've always been the object of other's admiration. I shake my head and continue to drive to the office. Regardless of what other's may think or believe, I actually do have to work- on occasion. I drop off the Audi at the valet, and walk into the hotel. I look more like a guest, then the owner. Grey hoodie, black sweat pants and running shoes can do that. But, even this faade doesn't fool anyone. They know who I am, and regardless of the clothing, I still command their attention.
Me: Vera, I need the reports on my desk in 15 minutes, I need to review and sign them. Have the conference call from London ready, and the builders report for the Malaysian Hotel needs to be here before noon.
My assistant nods and writes down the directions I spewed to her as I walked towards my office. I walk towards the elevators, and attempt to evade the woman who is walking towards me, her attention diverted because of texting. I say the word attempt, because even when I move, she still manages to collide with me. Ah, the good old bump and hi. Oldest female trick in the book. Let's see who this one is. Ahh, I know. Big blue eyes, straight black hair, and fringed front bangs. She knows how to dress. The strapless dark blue dress hugs her curves and it cut right above the knee. High black pumps and an expensive black clutch. I'd recognize her in my sleep. Mina Randhawa was gorgeous, and she knew it. Her accent was crisp, British, and refined, and I can still recall her voice from our teen years. It's still just as soft, lovely and angelic. Don't let that fool you.
Mina: UV, what a surprise. What brings you here?
She smiles innocently and looks up at me. Long mascara covered lashes, discrete pink lip gloss, and subtle expensive jewelry. Typical Heiress.
Me: Mina, considering I own the hotel, I should say the surprise is all mine.
She grins and runs a finger down my chest.
Mina: You always were a smart one; but forgive me love, you don't look like a hotelier during the day.
She winks and slides her arm into mine. And starts walking in the direction I had been heading initially. She is good. Very good.
Me:You know me; dress for comfort not pretenses.
Mina: Exactly UV, you'd be a prince in rags love. Once a prince, always a prince. So tell me, what are you up to these days
Lies. She knows, everyone knows. Fishing for news? I think so. The rich are just as gossipy as the old ladies at the vegetable stands. They're just more devious about it.
Me: Same old, same old. What brings you to Mumbai? You're dad's companies are there.
She grins and continues walking.
Mina: Well, I like to visit the mother land once and a while. Plus, I've been dying to meet the future Queen of Jaigard.
I can't say I'm not surprised. Mina comes from family that has money, but no title. Has everything a princess does, except for the crown. Girls like Mina don't like that very much.
I discreetly un-do my arm from hers and put my hands in my pockets, and smile.
Me: Of course, you'll meet Manyata soon enough. She's just busy catching up with her duties.
Mina: Do bring her to the Oxford Ball UV, you must. All your school yard friends are waiting to meet the princess you had hiding, and in whose absence you broke thousands of hearts. Remember those days?
My eyes harden at her sneer...she should know better. I don't react well to condescension.
Me: Minners, you should know better. I was always engaged, and all of those girls fully well knew that. I can't help it if they set their hopes to high.
Mina: Still the same old UV. Good to see some things never change. So dinner tonight?
Me: No not tonight, maybe some other time. Enjoy your stay.
Before I turn away and head in the other direction, she still calls out.
Mina: So are you coming to the Ball UV?
The ball. I remember seeing the invite. Should I go? It's almost like a challenge right now. Its two months away, and I have to RSVP. And pay for the 10,000 Dollar tickets. Fine. Whatever. To the Ball we go.
Me: Of course, Oxford's finest have been waiting a while to see Jaighard's future queen.
Mina: Yes we have UV, and she'd better not disappoint.
She walked out towards the door, typing away on her phone, as she pulled out some sunglasses.
Is it just me, or am I meeting more people from Oxford now a days? Odd. First Olivia'and now Mina.
Very, very odd.
Uday age 22
The music was loud, fast and the beats were hard and strong. The lights in the club dominated the darkness, their bright hues of pink, blue, and green slashed across the elite crowd and bathed them in the moving light. Each beam of light hit a different person each time..the movement was constant and steady like the beat. Body against body Uday danced up against London's finest 21 year old. Mina Randhawa.
Born and raised in England, her father was an industrialist who had travelled abroad with no money and big ideas: his ideas had made him money. She was gorgeous by all accounts, natural pin straight hair, black as night, with large blue eyes which were a genetic throwback from god knows when. Her skin was rosey and complexion flawless. Mina Randhawa knew she was gorgeous. Gorgeous young adults often knew of their beauty, and she was no exception. Neither was Uday. At 21 he had filled into his frame a while back, his dark hair was disheveled from her hands which had run through them. The black t-shirt and dark jeans didn't do much to keep him in the back ground. In the overcrowded night club, he stood out. His aura and royal demenour was breed into him. His stance, confidence and persona was beyond those of his male peers. Every girl in the club knew who he was, and was enthralled by his presence. Envy ran strong through their veins as they watched the couple dance close together. Her back flush against his chest, his hands on her hips and their movement in sync, all eyes were on them: the rich, the young, the fabulous and the one Royal.
The two had been dating for over 2 months now. That alone was a record for Uday: and everyone knew that. Everyone. Even Mina- that alone had intrigued everyone's curiosity. After all'Prince Udayveer was engaged. But his Fiance was still missing. Had he finally gotten the permission to officially move on? Find a new queen for the Jaigard Empire? That was obviously the speculation, as Mina Randhawa was an ideal choice. If you couldn't find Royalty, the Randhawa's were a close second. Royal in every sense of the word, save the title. But even that wouldn't be too far off.
The tempo of the music changed and the beats died down, Uday turned her around and she hung her arms around his shoulders smiling. They moved side to side slowly, and would lean into each other every so often for a kiss in the dark. She laughed as he kissed her neck and ran a hand down his face, he smiled, but discreetly pulled her hand away and rested it on his hip. She didn't notice the look she was giving him. At 20, she had broken plenty of hearts'but never given her own away. She knew she had money, power and looks- hence why she was always guarded. There had been ample opportunity, but never had she crossed the line. Except with Uday. She had heard about him before going to Oxford University, Yuvraj Udayveer was infamous. She had heard about his looks, charms and finesse, and even seen his picture. Yes, she had admired, and appreciated the physicality of the young Prince, but she hadn't been enthralled. Until she had met him. She had finally understood what made anyone with two X chromosomes feel so much around him: everything about him was captivating. She was still surprised that he had held an interest in her for this long. But she knew why. He felt the same way she did. Everyone knew Uday. He didn't have much interest in a female more than 2 weeks. And here she had been with him for over 2 months. Some may have judged her for her actions, but she didn't care. Uday was the one; hence why she hadn't thought twice while giving herself to him: mind, soul and body.
As he leaned down and whispered in her ear, she could sense the eyes of the people- or rather girls around her narrow with envy- she couldn't blame them.
Uday: You ready to go babe?
She smiled helplessly and kissed him as a reply, they walked hand in hand out of the club. As expected cameras clicked and flash bulbs went off as they stepped out. Even in the UK the media was adamant: especially with any Royal Connection.
Media: Reportedly you've been dating Mina Randhawa for over 2 months now Prince Udayveer: does that mean the Devgard and Jaigard alliance is null?
Uday simply rolled his eyes at the question and made his way with Mina to his black Benz, and drove away leaving the reporters and their numerous questions in the dark. He had been asked the same thing for a while now. And he simply ignored it. He knew what everyone thought. Two months- meaning he had moved on. But he hadn't. He still knew his duty to his empire- and although Mina came with a fortune beyond belief, she didn't come with Devgard. Manyata did. Not only that, but on occasion, he caught himself thinking about Manyata. What she would look like, where she was, what she did'who she was with. He always caught himself looking and Jainandini and wondering if he would find Manyata by looking for a familiar face such as Jai's. It didn't matter where he was or with whom'Manyata always managed to find a way into his thoughts. Such was the bane of having a best friend missing for two almost two decades.
He broke his train of thought and decided to concentrate on the now instead of the past.
Uday: Your place or the Hotel?
Mina leaned back into the seat and pulled off the 3 inch heels and rubbed her feet.
She wanted to say yours but bit her tongue. He never took her to his place. Never.
Mina: Mine I guess, I need to change my cloths.
He grinned ear to ear like and raised his eyebrows.
Uday: You don't need any cloths.
She blushed. He always seemed to do that. Make her blush, over everything...and here she had thought no one could ever make her feel flustered. But he always did. Always.
They made it to the antique apartments that were near the Oxford Campus a few miles away: isolated and expensive, only a few were available, and Mina's father had ensured she had gotten the best suite. He opened the door for her and lead her in, and they seeped into each other's arms. Like a moth to a flame, she went to him. Willingly, and knowingly. Mina Randhawa had given up on saving herself; because Udayveer was worth being destroyed for.
Her head was resting on his shoulder, and she ran her hand down his chest and rested it on his stomach. He was looking intently at the ceiling. He didn't talk to her much, most of the time they spent together...was occupied by other endevours. But she couldn't help but attempt to read him. His thoughts, were always only his thoughts. And every word he said was cherished by her. There was something about. He wasn't just a prince: he was a mystery. A few minutes passed, and he got up to get dressed; like every other night, he would dress, and leave. Whenever he did that she wondered if he would come and see her the next day, and the day after that. She always wanted to stop him, and ask him to stay the night with her. But she couldn't. She didn't know how. But then, she recalled the thoughts so many others had spoken...especially her friends He's never been with anyone as long Mina- it means something.
He was buttoning up his jeans and slipped on his t-shirt. He kissed her one last time, because grabbing his keys and heading out of her room. This had been done on numerous occasions. So many times. But for some reason, she wanted to stop him. Just this one time. She grabbed her robe and slid it on tied the knot loosely and ran out towards her hallway, where he was heading for the door.
Mina: Stay the night Uday.
She tried not to sound anxious...or needy. She really did. But the look in his eyes scared her: It was surprise..then anger, and then-irritation-or something along those lines. But he didn't come off of that way. Instead he walked up to her, and kissed her one last time, before smiling.
Uday: I'll see you tomorrow Mina.
She understood the reassurance...that he'd be here tomorrow. That tonight wasn't their last. But still. She wanted to let him know. He needed to know.
Mina: Uday...stay the night. Please? For once?
He smiled, and shook his head like an adult pacifying a need child. Leaning against the doorway he slipped on his shoes.
Uday: Mina, I don't stay the night.
As if that was the end of the discussion, he started to turn and leave. But she had already put one foot into the water...why not the other? She reached for his hand, and held on. She needed to hold onto something.
Mina: But why Uday?
He looked at her like she was stupid, and couldn't take a hint. His annoyance at her was coming to the surface.
Uday: Mina, seriously? You're doing this right now?
Mina: Doing what Uday?
She was genuinely confused, apprehension dawning her face..but she had already landed in the water...now she needed to sink or swim.
He gestured around the hallway at some unknown entity, expecting her to understand the error in her ways.
Mina: No. I don't see. Just stay the night Uday, please?
She felt her desperation clogging her throat...and she felt so ashamed. How could she need someone so much?
He sighed and walked up to her, and held her shoulders..not her face like she had hoped. Every touch from Uday set her on fire...but it wasn't the way she wanted it to be sometimes..there wasn't any affection. And at times, when she gave some sense of affection towards him..it was always snubbed. Always.
Uday: Mina. What we have is nice: don't turn it into more than what it is.
Uday: Yes, it's nice. You're a smart girl. You should know. I have fiance; I'm already committed. I've never hid that from you. You know that.
She felt like she'd been slapped.
The air had been sucked out of her lungs and her legs cut off at the knees. How could he say that to her? How?
She didn't want herself to be so vulnerable...but she was, and as a last attempt to catch her breath before going under, she said words she would forever regret.
Mina: But...I...Uday. I love you.
He laughed at her. It wasn't malicious or vicious, but sincere humor. He was amused at her proclamation.
Uday: Oh Mina. Everyone loves me. You're no different.
The water was seeping into her lungs now-suffocating her. Drowning her hopes and dreams.
Uday: I mean seriously Meeners. What have I done to make you think that this is going somewhere.
She managed to speak out some words...hoping to salvage something...make him feel something.
Mina: We've been together for almost three months Uday-that's...that's more then you've been with anyone else.
He grew anger and ran his hand through his hair, shaking his head.
Uday: Oh god. Not you too Mina. Seriously. Just because we've gone out for almost three months does not mean I've pledged undying love and devotion. It just means we're good together.
That helped. It helped her salvage some pride, and cling onto some hope.
Mina: We are good together Uday...and you know that. Then why can't we tell people we're seeing each other? Why Can't I say I'm dating Yuvraj Udayveer Singh. Why is everything so nonchalant with you Uday?
He snorted at her innocence, and scoffed at her lack of perspective.
Uday: Mina, we're just sleeping together. Why are you getting so high strung.
She visibly shrinked back...her hand reached for her neck and she held it there, hoping to alleviate the pressure building inside of her. This man had seen every inch of her body...he had been the only one she had been willing to bare everything for, both physically and emotionally. She felt so much for him all at once...and he was throwing it back in her face making her feel so cheap and insignificant.
Mina : How can you say that Uday. You were my first. My-
She had wanted to say only but he cut her off.
Uday: Yes; but do you know how many girl's first I've been? It really doesn't mean squat. I didn't make any promise, or commitment. If you think me sleeping with you bonds me to you on some unprecedented level, then you're sadly mistaken. It doesn't.
Mina : It doesn't mean anything then? All of this?
He looked at her and shook his head...he always knew this might happen someday. For the most part many girls understood this. He had always wondered if someone would want more. This was the first time the issue had arose; there was obviously a first time for everything.
Uday: No. It doesn't mean anything Mina. It's just sex. Only sex. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Mina : the past few months...every kiss, every touch. It doesn't mean ANYTHING to you Uday? Nothing? Not one bit? You can screw around with me, but you can't date me? You can't give me more? Why?
Uday: Because I'm engaged Mina: You know that, it isn't a secret. I've never hidden that from you!
He hadn't expected Mina to react the way she did, but he understood an extent of her anger. Her hand flew across his face, and the sound resonated in the hall way.
She was shaking with anger, her tiny body was literally shaking, tears flowed silently down her rosy cheeks, her blue eyes marred with red stress lines.
Mina : Engaged? To Who? Do I see her? You can screw around with a million girls, string me along for a few months, get hopes high and then cut me off and play your Fiance card? Is that how it works?
Uday: No that's not.
Mina : That's exactly how it works. And it's disgusting. If your fiance, where ever she is, is doing what you're doing to me right now...what would you call her Uday?
Uday: Mina, you're taking this..
She stuck out her finger in his face.
Mina : No. I'm taking this literally. Do you know what you would call her Uday?
His jaw tensed, because he knew where she was going.
Mina : You'd call her a wh**e.
He pinned her back against the wall, the blood rushing to his head, and anger making him red. He would have killed a man for less, but he wouldn't raise a hand on a woman. But he was tempted for Manyata.
Uday: I'll say this once and only once Mina. You're angry, fine. You're upset, fine. You've slapped me, that's also f*ucking fine. But you leave Manyata out of this.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned because that is exactly what Mina was: she was no pacified.
Mina: Why Uday? Why should she be left out! You use her existence- or lack therefore of- to do this to me. And God knows how many others. You play us all.
Uday: I don't play games Mina. Its written clearly. It's known that whatever we have is always temporary. At the end of the day, I will marry the Princess of Devgard. And that's it.
This princess he spoke of...this girl who was meant to be his wife one day. She wasn't there. But she always stood between them. Between whoever Uday was with. They didn't know what she looked like'or anymore then her title and name. But she was a hindrance- even in her absence.
Mina : What Princess Uday! Look around you! This girl has been missing for over a decade! How can you caste happiness aside for someone you don't know. How can you caste love aside for someone who isn't here!
He grabbed her waist and kissed her as he carried her back to the bedroom. It was angry, pent up energy which need to be released, it wasn't a soft lovers caress, or soothing notion. It was meant to use and abuse.
When He let her go, the tears had dried on her face...her lips were swollen and eyes sedated. She looked contempt for a moment, but then he rolled away and zipped up his jeans. Surprise dawned on her face. And then humiliation.
Uday: It's just sex Mina. It's just sex.
He walked out of the room, and out of the apartment. He didn't feel guilt or remorse, but he felt freedom. After that night, Mina didn't call him; but he had been more careful- he made sure each night was one night. Each night was a different girl. She had taken three months to seriously. He had enjoyed her' but he had let that enjoyment cloud her emotions and he couldn't risk that again. He might have considered that emancipation for her: to not let her emotions get the best of her next time. But he had broken girl's heart. Shattered it into a million pieces, beyond repair; and she'd do everything in her power to break his: and he had underestimated her, she was after all, Mina Randhawa and she would shatter it.
I wake up and feel goose bumps along my skin and a sick feeling in my gut. I hadn't thought about Mina in such a long time, but I guess her appearance today was forcing me to remember the past.
I'm not proud of my actions in the past...I'm seriously not. But what can I do? I had done what I had done, slept with who I had slept with, and there wasn't much I could do to reverse it at all. For the most part every girl in my past understood that there was no future for us- I had never actively perused a relationship. My only fault with Mina was that I should have cut her off sooner, two months had obviously been too many.
I understood her distain, and her heart break...but not like I do now. It was a fleeting understanding or a sense of remorse, or pity. Pity for her because I could see the desperation in her eyes and her heart stuck in her throat. Not empathy. But now...standing where I am I can see clearly what she felt. The pain, the wonder, the lack of power. Manyata makes me feel like that. I can't even begin to fathom what my reaction would be that after being with Manyata...if she didn't want me anymore.
I look around the office in anger. Why the hell am I feeling so responsible? I stand up and walk around, glance at the files on my desk and ignore them. This has got to stop. This thinking about things I've done. It's unnerving and I don't like to feel at odds with myself. I look back at my laptop and open it up. Unable to stop myself I Google her. I hadn't thought about Mina in years; but I do it. I type in her name and press enter.
Pictures pop up, she looks young, rich and gorgeous. Some with Actors, some with Friends, many with her father. It seems like she's taking over the company from her old man when she's done. She isn't married- which is odd, because I remember he being anxious for a wedding- and she's single. But there are various rumors of her being linked to various tycoons and celebrities. What the hell is she doing here? Could it just be a coincidence...could I be reading far too much into this all? Or does it mean something?
My phone distracts me as it starts to ring, I pick it up.
Brijraj: Uday beta, how are you?
Me : Uncle Brij! I'm good how are you doing?
Brijraj : Not too, bad, just curious as to what you've been up to. We haven't seen you for the past few days.
Me: Just catching up with some projects uncle Brij.
Brijraj : Well, dinner tonight Uday. You have to come over.
Me: Of course. I'll be there.
Brijraj : See you then son.
Throughout our entire conversation it had felt as if he had been attempting not to laugh. I did my best and did not feel self-conscious but I know what he's laughing about. My apparent love life amuses everyone. Even my future father-in-law.
Oddly enough, this is litterally the half point of the origional post :')
So, enjoy, and I'll post Part 18, which was actually the other part of this
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Joined: 05 September 2006
RECAP: Mina, Mina
The guards open the palace gates and I park my car into the driveway, letting the valet receive it and put it in its place. The foyer is quite, I guess everyone is still making their way to the table. Walking down the stairs in her signature black dress is Jai. She doesn't smile or grin when she looks at me now; I would say I'm a little taken a back, but I'm more confused. She has no bold gesture or proclamation of possession. But she has a hollow look in her eyes. Anger and resentment are fading- still present- but some other emotion is clouding her judgment. What do I say to her? Hello? Hi? I can't find myself irritating her like I had in the past. But I can't just ignore her. Can I? I take a step and plaster on what I'm sure is a sincere smile, and start to make my way towards her. But I stop. Because I have to stop. Every time I see her I can't help myself, to stop and stare.
Can someone look different after four days? Do you fall more in love if you haven't seen their face, or heard their voice in four days? I think so. I really do think so.
Her hair is open and it flies behind her along with the yellow dupatta, the yellow Anarkali suit doesn't do her much justice, it's simple and falls short in front of her presence. There's this grin on her face that I've come to love in an unimaginable way. And her eyes, are locked onto mine. She rushes past Jai who was almost at the foot of the stairs and rushes towards me. What do I do? Pull out my arms for her? Nah, too filmy. But, I still can't help but grin at Manyata and her expression: The excitement, the wonder and the jubilation. She comes to an abrupt halt in front of me, and finally after exactly 83 hours, I hear her voice.
Manyata: Halkat! Varde! Kasmanhu khanaya!
Her expressions are animated and all over the place: hands flying, hair a settling, and body shaking.
I would say that I was surprised by her language, but I had missed it. I hope this part of her never changed: her sincerity- because when she swears at me, I know she means it in the best way possible.
I chuckle and take my hand to fix that pesky fly away hair, but she strikes my hand down.
Manyata: Haath nechay rhak tu!
Ok. Now I'm surprised. I cross my arms across my chest, and raise an eyebrow. Someone is obviously not too pleased.
Me: Kya hua Princess?
Manyata: Princess -vincess chord, aur phelay yeh batha ki tu kaha tha?
Her perfectly manicured finger is poking into my chest, and her response is lovely. Her cheeks are flushed with anger, she looks genuinely mad, and...irritated?
Me: Manyata, kya hua?
She looks up at me, with her big brown eyes, and they are not pleased. She narrows them and rests her hands on her hips and shakes her head animatedly. Holy Crap. She's acting more like Moniya then Manyata right now. Oh boy.
Manyata: Hain Hain! Tujhey Kya! Char din bahar jhoomo, phiro, nacho, gaho, mujhe kya lena dena right?
I hear a loud click and break my gaze breaks away from hers for a moment. Jai had taken the last step off the stair case and was walking towards her room without looking back. A moment passed as I tried to decipher what this meant, but before I could bring my eyes back to Manyata's DS, Uncle Brij and Aunty Komal made their way down the stair case.
Brijraj: Uday Beta! You're here. Finally, good to see you son!
I step away from Manyata and greet them all, Dadi Sab rests her hand on my shoulder and smiles.
Me: It's good to see you Uday beta, let's sit in the parlor while dinner gets ready. I think we have a few minutes. It's been a while, we need to catch up.
As soon as Dadi Sab said that, Manyata stepped closer, and plastered a smile on her face and her voice turned back into Manyata. Gone was the abusive Moniya Hindi, and back was the sweet Princess Manyata dialect. Damn, she is good.
Manyata: Dadi Sab, agar app ki ejazat ho, tho kya Uday aur hum bahar garden main walk kai liya ja saktha hain?
And of course, DS smiles and nods yes. The Adults walk towards the parlor, and as soon as they've gone, she grabs my hand and marches towards the garden, her hair flying angrily behind her.
She's muttering something that I can't be bothered to decipher. Heck, even if she's angry with me- for whatever the reason- I'm just happy to see her.
The two walked or rather- Manyata marched and Uday tried to keep up with her- to the Garden the sky was turning pink as the sun was deciding to settle down for the night, the light hit Manyata's hair and hues of browns shone through. Looking at her now it was undisputable that this girl was a princess: she looked every inch of the Royal she was, but as soon as she opened her mouth...that went out the door.
Manyata: Kasamanu Khanaya! Kahan tha itney din thak thu!
She was poking her finger into his chest, shaking with anger.
He was doing a poor job of controlling his laughter.
Her tried to calm her down up caressing her face, but she simply smacked his hand away, sucked in a deep breath and started all over again.
Manyata: Tu bahar masti kar, aur main yaha band rahau. Yeh kasi dosti hai!
As she marched away Uday walked up behind her and grabbed her left hand. His motion disrupted the silver bangles which adorned her writs, he turned her around, her hands caught between their chests, and her hair coming into her eyes. For once she had quieted down, but her breathing was a prominent sound. He smiled at her, and finally moved away that pesky piece of hair from her face.
Uday: Baas, Hogaya Princess?
She didn't appreciate his condescending tone and made a "humph" sound, and attempted to maneuver out of his hold. It was a vain attempt. He held her still and smiled at her feeble attempt.
Uday: Now...what were you saying? Kasamanu Khanaya. You know that has a really nice ring to it.
He was sure she mad another irritated sound, which only made his grin grow.
Uday: But, the best part of the sentence was your worry over my absence. Now, that was really heart-warming.
Manyata:What worry! Thu jaha bhi ho, mujhe kya? Hain Nahi Tho!
Uday: Kyun? Abhi Abhi tho ethni chintha hori thi.
Uday: Chintha! Chintha karagi meri Joothi! Main yaha per board hori thi pard pard kay. Aur ek thu hai jo bahar apne aap mai he busy tha.
Uday: Hmmm...you're saying something and it's coming off as something completely else Princess.
Manyata: Chup kar! Barda aya mujhe psychoanalyze kar na wala.
Uday: Ooo..Psychoanalyze. Yeh kab seekha Princess?
Manyata: Dur Fitay muh tere Udayveer. Ja kay dub maar!
He laughed at her anger, and decided that that was enough rattling her for one day.
Pulling her close, he embraced her gently, and ran his hand down her back. He reached down and spoke into her delicate ear.
Uday: Sorry, princess. Hum Kaam mai busy hogaya thay. Aur, Humne socha, ki app ko apne lessons ki liya koi distractions ki zaroorat nahi thi.
She raises an eyebrow at him and grabs his hands, carefully examines them.
Manyata: Udayveer...are your hands hurt?
Uday: Ahh..no. Not at all. Why?
She drops his hands and smacks his bicep.
Manyata: Then you could have picked up and called you idiot!
He playfully soothed his arm and grinned at her, but let her continue.
Manyata: I mean you have a cell phone! I have a cell phone! You could have called just to say hi! But nooo. You practically ignored me for 4 days! Ridiculous.
She looked up at him only to see him grinning, and she wanted to get that self-righteous grin off of his face.
Manyata: Thu hastha rah pagalon ki thara! Main Chali andar!
Uday: Oh fo Princess! I'm just kidding! Acha, next time I'll call you. Promise. Lekin. Aggar tume ethni chintha hori thi, tho thumaray paas bhi phone hai nah? You could have just called me.
She stared at him and realized he had a point...but she didn't want to call him.
Manyata: I could, but my lessons dictate that that isn't the princess like thing to do.
Uday: Acha? Aur Punjabi mein gaaliyan is the princess like thing to do?
Manyata: Of course it is!
She was laughing at his expression, and finally relaxed. It didn't seem to matter what they spoke about or argued about...it somehow brought her back down to earth. It eased tension, soothed wounds and made her feel so utterly complete.
He gently took her hand and guided her to the gazebo, and they sat down. The sun was setting and the palace was settling in for the evening. They just had a few moments...and then dinner would be served.
Silence was the best type of communication sometimes. If you're in tune with a person enough...you can hear their heart beat. You can hear the sound of their breath, and the shuffling of their feet. If you're close enough...you can feel the warmth of their body seeping into your own. It's a feeling unlike another, and it leaves you breathless.
Uday: So tell me princess...how was your week?
She turned away from the skyline, and folded her hands on the top of the bench, shifting her body to face him. Resting her chin on her hands, she looked up at him with her big brown eyes.
Manyata: Studied, studied and studied some more. Did some shopping and that's about it. I was board out of my mind. And Vijay Bhai isn't even here to make the classes a little entertaining with his theatrics.
Uday: Oh. Where is he?
Manyata : He's gone with his mom to greet his Grandparents: they're coming into town for a little while I think they're staying at a farmhouse somewhere for a week.
Uday chuckled as he ran a finger down her bangles.
Uday: Poor J, she must be lost without her sidekick.
At the sound of J's name Manyata tensed a little, which didn't go unnoticed by Uday. He took his finger and lifted her chin up, forcing her eyes to meet his.
Uday: What did that bitch say to you Manyata?
There wasn't fear in Manyata's eyes... she didn't fear J. But there was some pity. A lot of pity.
Manyata : Nothing really Udayveer. It's what she doesn't say that's getting to me. She...she...just looks so lonely.
He scoffed in disbelief, and shook his head.
Uday: J is lonely because that's what she chooses Manyata. She has family around her...but she doesn't give to craps about them. She's lost in her own world, doing her own thing.
Manyata : No, you're wrong Udayveer. She's like a wounded tiger...and she'd rather lash out then let anyone know that she's hurting.
Uday: You're too nice. Your sister is a cold hearted Diva. It's all about her Manyata. No one else.
Manyata : How are you any different then?
He felt like he had been punched in the gut for a moment...or as if cold water had been dumped on him.
Manyata : You heard me. How are you any different Uday. You've only cared about yourself for a very long time'that and Jaigard.
He got up and paced around the gazebo, his hands in his pockets and pondered at her words. He had for the longest time only thought about himself...and what that would mean for Jaigard. For a very, very, very long time. But now...even those moments seemed so far away. Everything was about Manyata. How could she ignore that. He loved her...he had said that, hadn't he? What more did she want, blood?!
Uday: Manyata, I'm not a saint, I'm probably not even a nice person...but. I've changed. Not all of me, but the most important part of me is different. Can't you see that?
Manyata : I can Udayveer. And that's what my point is. J is more than what she shows on the surface. And...I for some reason think she's really hurt.
Uday: She's just jealous Manyata. Don't believe the things she says. I love you.
Manyata : But that's not the issue Udayveer. She doesn't say anything anymore. She's just cutting herself off from everyone.
Uday: I don't see what the problem is. She's not doing anything then it's not a big deal. Let her be.
Manyata : No Udayveer. I don't know why...but it's not right. Each passing day she looks more lost then the last.
Uday: Why so much apathy for her all of a sudden? She doesn't give a damn about you Manyata. She could care less if you're happy, sad, healthy or hurt. If push came to shove, she'd get rid of you in a heartbeat.
Manyata : I think you're right..or at least at one point in time you were right. She would have done so. But not anymore. She's beyond that Udayveer. What did you do to her?
Uday: What did I do to her? Are you Kidding ME?
Manyata : No, I'm asking. I know she was obsessed with you...and had a possessive streak. I get that. She grew up with you and wanted to have more of a relation then what was given to her. She was supposed to Marry you if I was never found. Right?
Uday: Yes but Manyata..that doesn't mean anything.
Manyata : I guess...but It must have meant something to her.
Uday: I don't care for J Manyata. I only agreed because that was what was expected of me.
Manyata : I'm not blaming you Udayveer...I understand. I'm just trying to get a little more perspective: That's all.
Uday: Fine, but let's get one thing clear. I don't care about J Manyata. She doesn't mean anything to me. So whatever she may say or imply otherwise, it's just bull.
Manyata : Uday. I know. But I'm trying to figure out why she's so wounded.
Uday: She thinks she loves me. That's probably it! She's had a needy complex since childhood Manyata, quit being such a shrink!
Manyata : She's my sister Udayveer, I'm just trying to figure her out.
Uday: Well, you're her sister too Manyata, and she doesn't give two craps about you.
Manyata : I think she does. Or..at least she's indifferent now.
Uday: Why the hell are you so concerned about her all of a sudden Manyata?! She was just "Jaighamandini" the other day!
Manyata : She's family Udayveer.
He was so irritated that J had managed to seep into their relationship somehow, he felt like finding her and whipping of that smirk on her face. That brat had most likely planned this somehow.
Uday: Manyata, what are you getting at.
Manyata : I think. I think we need to help J, Uday.
Manyata : You heard me. We need to make her happy.
Uday: And how do you suggest we do that? Leave me naked in her room?
She rolled her eyes, and stood up.
Manyata : No. Tell her your sorry.
Uday: What. The. F*ck.
Manyata : You heard me.
Uday: No, forget it. Why should I be sorry? What the hell did I do to her?
Manyata : You left her.
Uday: I WAS NEVER WITH HER TO BEGIN WITH MANYATA.
Manyata : Uday. I read things. She was left on the day of her Rhoka. Dressed up, just waiting for the ring.
Uday: I left to bring you home Manyata!
Manyata : And I wouldn't have it any other way Udayveer. But do you get it now? Do you get why she's so bitter?
Manyata : How on earth can you be so dense?
Uday: I'm not dense Manyata, stop playing word games and just tell me what you're thinking.
Manyata : She feels abandoned. By you: by our parents, by Dadi Shab. She feels ...like the spare.
Uday smirked and ran his hand through his hair.
Uday: She is the spare Manyata. It's simply how it works.
Manyata : I know how it works. But that doesn't mean she needs to feel that way.
Uday: Then how are we- or rather, how am I ...supposed to change that?
Manyata : Let her know you're sorry. That you didn't mean to hurt her.
Uday: ARE YOU CRAZY? As soon as I do that she's going to glue herself next to me.
Manyata : But are you sorry?
Manyata : Do you feel bad about it all Uday...even a little bit?
Uday: Why on earth should I feel bad Manyata? What did I do?
Manyata: Did you ever make her feel loved?
Manyata : I'm not accusing you Uday. I simply know your type.
Uday: My type?
Manyata: Yes. Don't deny it. I'm not judging you for it either; it simply is what it is. You're a ladies man. You have the ability to charm and invoke feelings. Did you ever make her feel loved? Whether you loved her or not is completely different...but did you let her fall?
He felt this lump in his throat and understood what she was getting at. He had made J feel...he remembered those moments where he pulled her away from Jagath...to make her want him. It was a trait he had perfected at a young age. But he never let himself fall. Until Manyata.
Uday: I... guess.
Manyata : I know. I'm sure you did Uday. And I understand why. It's what was expected of you. But...you need to understand...that J isn't just some girl you courted and can simply overlook. She's my sister. She's a part of our lives. She's a part of my life.
Uday: Manyata. I get what you're saying. But I can't apologize for something...when all it's going to do is get her hopes up.
Manyata : You'll figure something out, I trust you.
And just like that she smiled, and proclaimed her faith in him. It was both frightening and encouraging at the same time. She turned to walk back to the palace, but he grabbed her and pulled her close. He held her for a moment...eyes closed, and breathed in her scent. He knew he had never been a saint...but he had never expected her to see so clearly through him.
Uday: Manyata. I'm not a terrible person.
She looked up at him and smiled reassuringly, tentatively touching his face.
Manyata: I know Udayveer...you're not, at least not anymore.
We make our way back into the palace walking side by side. I'm trying to digest our conversation. She's serious about this. She wants J in her life'but she wants her happy. And I'm supposed to fix this somehow? I think back to how I courted her,toyed with her in a way. Said and did all of the right things. I've never hated J,but I've understood her. I've she and I have a lot in common. Or,at least we did at one point in time. The partying, the arrogance,the entitlement...we've shared many of the same traits. The strive for power: wanting the best. But somewhere along travelling the same path-I found another. And, I guess in some metaphorical way: I did leave her behind. But what can I do? I'm not going to apologize for something which I am not responsible for. Her downfall is more to do with her parents ignoring her then me. I can only take so much of the onus for this situation.
We walk back into the palace and I see Unnati has joined us, she smiles at me and give Manyata a hug, complimenting on her outfit and hair. Maybe Unnati can talk to J?
Forget it, J will eat her alive. She's never liked Unnati. Perhaps that one of the reasons why I never particularly liked J... Oh well.
We make our way to the dining table: DS at the helm, Uncle Brij opposite to her; Komal Aunty at his side, and J at the other. Manyata was at one side of DS, I across her, and Unnati between Komal Aunty and I. Obviously, Vijay Banna and Mainka Aunty were out of town for the week. Thank god. One can only handle so much drama during Dinner.
Brijraj: Uday beta, how is your Dad? Giri should have come over as well. We haven't seen him in a while.
Me: He's just wrapping up a project uncle Brij, he'll be in on the weekend.
We made some small talk, Unnati and Komal Aunty spoke and conversations circulated between the table: even Manyata was able to chip in periodically. Smiling and finally being a part of the family. J, on the other hand...looked solemnly at her plate. I...guess I can see what Manyata is saying. She doesn't look happy. I guess I'm so busy being happy I fail to notice that someone like J isn't. Uncle Brij Distracts me.
Brijraj: Uday, did you get the Oxford Ball invite?
Me: Yes, I did just earlier this week.
Brijraj: So son, are you going?
Me: Of course, and I'm taking Manyata with me.
She looks up quizzically at me and raises her eyebrows. Dadi Shab, sensing her confusion explains it all to Manyata.
Dadi Shab: Manyata beta, the Oxford ball is held each year for Oxford University Alumni, each year, thousands are invited to the charity event where all of the proceeds go to Children's hospitals around the world.
Manyata: That's a great cause.
Dadi Shab: Yes, and that's why your father goes every year: Uday does sometimes, other times he doesn't. But this year, why the change of heart?
Unnati: Yes, Dada, why the change of heart?
Unnati smiles mischievously and Komal smiles at the exchange between us. Oh god. I really can't be this pathetic can I?
Me: I don't know it is what it is. Why, do you want to go Choti, I can take you instead.
Unnati: No, no. Of course not Dada, you should take Manyata.
At her name I look back at her...and she's turning red as a beat.. She obviously doesn't like the conversation about us. Oh well, at least I'm not alone in the torture.
Me: Well, that's mighty courteous of you. But I have to figure out if Manyata wants to come with me. You know, they don't play Bollywood music, and there won't be any chatpata food.
She wants to stab me with her fork. I can see it in her eyes.
But, instead she kicks me. Good reach too, because she missed DS by a long shot. No worries. Two can play it that way.
I was wearing my slip on Puma sandals, so I took them off, and gently ran the ends of my foot across her leg. Up and down, nice and slowly. Her jaw is clenched and she's doing her best not to squirm. You weep what you sow Princess. Instead of drawing attention to herself, she continuous to eat as if nothing is happening, and I do the same. I cut, bite, chew and swallow, all the while engaging in a secret under the table battle of footsie.
Unati: Dada, you have to take Manyata gown shopping for sure.
Me: Oh yeah, probably. Well, I think...
I was about to say Unnati's name...that she could help Manyata with that...but all of a sudden, Manyata kicked me and discreetly pointed her fork towards J. Wow. She is good.
Me: J, you would know, wouldn't you?
Unnati looked a little surprised, I think she too had thought I would suggest her and Manyata go for a day of shopping.
At the same time, It's as if my voice has snapped J out of her own thoughts, and she looks a little startled; she obviously had not been following the conversations around the table.
J: Pardon, know what?
Me:Where Manyata can find a ball gown- the ball coming up in 3 months for Oxford Alumni.
She looks a little dazed and is surprised at the subject of the conversation, but nonetheless, she answers without a snide remark. Well, that's something new.
J: Not here, you'd have to fly out for the best selection.
What surprises me next is that Manyata smiles over at J and throws a freaking bomb.
Manyata Thank you J, perhaps you and I could go together.
I almost choke on the piece of meat that I was swallowing. IS SHE OUT OF HER EFFING MIND?
What's even more ridiculous is that J looks like she's trying oh so hard to punch her! I feel myself getting up to intervene, but Dadi Shab holds my hand has if to stop me and calm me down. Her eyes are knowing, calm, decisive and proud. She watches on as a spectator, just like the rest of us.
I was surprised when J didn't throw a hissy fit, instead she breathed in and calmly smiled: albeit it was fake as hell, but it was still a smile.
And with that one word, it seemed that the pressure in the room had suddenly disappeared. My shoulders relax, Manyata smiles at her sister, and Uncle Brij, Aunty Komal and Dadi Shab look on proudly at the two princesses. Unnati looks slightly confused, but she'll figure things out eventually, I guess.
I pass a grin to Manyata, and continue harassing her with my feet.
I don't know why I'm doing this'or what on earth it would accomplish, but it's what she wants. And if her happiness is somewhere rooted in her sister's happiness, then I'll right the few wrongs I've done with J. She may not deserve them, but I'd do it for Manyata anyway.
After dinner, coffee, and some good byes I left in my car and Unnati in hers, to drive back home. I don't know how I went from humming along to cold play to thinking. All in a moment I'm putting pieces together. Olivia'Mina'J. God Knows how many others.
I had broken so many hearts before. Courted, used and left. And yes, so many of them had known the rules of the game'but that didn't mean that there weren't wounds. I drive home and park the car, and stare out into the night.
I guess these were the nightmares I'd just have to live with.
What's done is done, and I have no regrets.
None now, and none never.
I, just hope I'm not wrong.
Ok! So I'm sorry about that! I had edited it all, and then I pressed "Update post" and it wouldn't let me put it! Gaaah! Anyways, not the way I planned, but this is 18. It's all good, so technically it's two updates instead of one MEGA one Hope that works .
Now, as much as you guys have missed the UVCS, I've missed your comments. So please, after all the effort I've put in just drop a line or press like. I know tones of you are silent readers, and thats cool, but tell me what you like, didn't like, loved, are confused about, if you have some predictions or suggestions!
AND...On another note:
WE HIT OVER 50,000 VIEWS!!!!
Wow! I am flabergasted! Thank you! thank you! Thank you!
Loads of Love,
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