Joined: 24 February 2012
Joined: 28 December 2011
Joined: 03 November 2009
Chapter 12: Saiyaan
One night, he was engrossed deeply in a case file when he received a call way past midnight. He picked it up readily but his heart skipped a beat on hearing the voice at the other end. He heard a most terrified "Sir?" Dread ran across his face as he repeatedly cried, "Nidhi?..Nidhi??" back into the phone.
Never had he driven so fast in his life. Keeping an anxious check on her whereabts and her safety, he quickly reached the spot where Nidhi had last told him she was hiding. With searchlight in one hand and a big wooden rod in the other, he ran down from side of the bridge towards the dark channel below the bridge. With a pounding heart, he cried for Nidhi in a low voice. There was no answer. He searched all around to find a trace of her. There was none. He frantically ran to the other side of the bridge and cried out her name more louder this time, but it went unanswered. There was nothing there other than the silence tht followed it in tht quiet dark night. A sudden dread gripped his mind. What had happened of her? Wen he had last called her, she told her he wud find her here? Did he took her? Will calling her on cell put her at further risk? He didn't know where she was.. how she was.. he didn't know where to look now.. wat to do.. he looked at the dark night in dismay..
Her nerves were hammering wildly inside her brain as Nidhi further tightened the last knot with a little shaky hands. She cud still feel the lousy touch of the goon. She felt so disgusted.. so utterly horrified. She still trembled wildly as she got up. She was barely holding up when she heard Dr. Ashutosh's voice and she cud no longer control herself. She ran as fast as she could in the direction of the voice, clenched him tightly from behind, and rested her head on his back panting heavily. He felt a sudden jerk and then his whole body charged up instantly as his senses recognized her body on his back. "Sir," she finally cried with mixed feeling of joy and relief. "Nidhi," came a trembling reply. Oh.. he was so so relieved to see her. He shut his eyes tightly to push away the tears that had started to gather up suddenly. He gave a big sigh of relief and reassured her gently,"Its okay. I am here. I am here.. Nidhi." His tender words moved her. She didn't know why she had called him instead of police, but now it seemed it was the most right thing that she had done. Looking at his worried face, she slowly shifted to his side and grabbed his elbow. Then she tugged affectionately at his biceps. He was so strong. Nidhi instantly felt secure. He gently squeezed her grip with his remaining fingers. Feeling his warm gesture, Nidhi cudnt control her tears. All the while thru this dreadful nite she was longing for this warmth... this comfort. She became too emotional and squeezed his arms lovingly. He instinctively moved his hand, wrapped it gently around her, and pressed her close to his right chest. Nidhi clutched at his T shirt there and snuggled into him in response. He cuddled her like a baby into his arms and then into his warm chest, and enclosed her in a protective hug. How cud've he left her on her own in this bad world. I cant. I wont, he thot. Wen she tugged at him like tht, she weakened him. Yes, she was his weakness, he confessed to himself. For Nidhi, she had just rediscovered him. She knew he was there for her and will b there.. always. All her confusion.. all her uncertainty.. all her dbts that had laid in there for so many days flowed out of her in the form of tears silently. They had been away from each other for a bit too long!..."Nidhi? are you hurt?," he finally asked in a concerned voice, his eyes still all alert looking out in darkness around them. Nidhi was unable to answer but she nodded a no and came out of the hug. He took a quick look at her, assured he explained to her, "Nidhi.. v cant stay here like this. Its risky. Those goons mite come back. Lets get into the car." As they made their way up towards the car, Ashutosh enquired some more, "how many were thy?" "two," she replied. "Oh!..so thy mite b still around," he added judging. "No, the other one chased the ward boy Shankar." "wer?," enquired he. "That way,"she pointed towards the road on the other side of the bridge on the right. "and wers the other one?" asked he. "there" she turned and pointed towards something that seemed like a tree on their left. He flashed his light towards it and saw a body lying under the tree. He quickly rushed towards it instructing her to stay there, but she didnt and followed him. He pushed him with his foot but he didn't stir. "he is knocked out," replied she. "Wat?.. how?" asked he. He quickly bent over and checked him. He indeed was rendered completely unconscious and to his further amazement, his hands and feet were pulled behind his back and tied up tightly with her scarf. He got up and stared at her in bewilderment. "I.," she hesitated but then continued.."I didn't like his touch. He was so filthy.. he was smelling so awfully of alcohol...of..and..he.. he was trying to grab me all over.. I felt so frightened and disgusted...so... so I gave him 5-punch knockout blow!" Feeling all sorts of mixed emotions at once, he went up to her. He first looked at her with strange eyes, thn grabbed her shoulders gently, and finally asked in amazement, "you gave wat?" She looked down and bit her lower lip nervously. He gave a half laugh in delight and hugged her affectionately. Oh! she was such a darling. "Wat wud have happened of him if he had angered u.. real bad.. huh" he joked. She shrugged her shoulders in reply and sweetly smiled back at him. Still smiling to himself, he took her to the car. He threw his things in the back seat and thy quickly climbed into the car. "We will look around for Shankar and see if we can locate him. Police mst b already on thr way, so tht shud help," he said in a more confident voice. "Wat? You called police?, asked she. "yeah.. ur life was in danger. Why?," he was puzzled. "I don't want to get involved in this," replied she in a worried voice. "Nidhi, there is nothing to b afraid abt.. In fact u did a brave job. Really proud of u. Besides?being a gud citizen, its our duty and plus heres a chance?u mite become a real-life front page hero," he said proudly and joked again. She said reluctantly, "I don't know abt all these." "But if my dadi bua comes to know of this, she will stop my job and marry me off tomorrow itself! She is really of old thoughts," added she in a worried tone. "Really? c'mon. I will talk to her. I am sure she wud understand. Its such a proud moment. I m sure ur baba will b proud of u," he said assuringly. They went far ahead down the road looking for Shankar bt cudnt find him. Finally, they turned around towards the spot. "Nooo!," she cried a bit loudly. "Baba shudnt know abt this at all. He wud b so worried. He wudnt say so, but I know he wud stay up all night whenever I will do night shifts and then he will fall ill. He really cares abt me very much. It wud worry him immensely. I don't want to c him doing tht. Plus, he will go into his safeguard mode and put all sort of restrictions on me. I don't want tht," she replied protesting. "Oh Nidhi, U r his daughter, obviously he wud b concerned. I don't think so u shud lie to him. He has rights. I am sure whatever he will do, it will b for your good. Remember rules and discipline r good!," he tried to make her understand. "Please.. Sir.. please.. please.. I wudnt need to lie if thy didn't ask me. Please.. Please?," she kept pleading till Ashutosh gave in reluctantly. Wen they reached back the spot, the police were already there. He parked his car aside and finally consented, "Okay, u give ur statement and I will take care of that," replied he.
When they went up to them, they learnt that the police had already nabbed the other goon and Shankar was already sent for treatment. Dr. Ashutosh heaved a sigh of relief and introduced Nidhi. She narrated the whole incident. Ashutosh took care of the rest of the matter and soon they were back in his car driving towards the hospital.
"Nidhi.. u all rite?" asked he. He had observed that she had suddenly fallen quiet silent. "Yes," she replied shortly. All had happened so suddenly..this whole dreadful incident.. thn his coming over.. and thn thr apparent patch up... It had taken a toll of her emotionally. "U look okay bt still I will examine u thn will drop u home. Take an off and have some rest," he said warmly. Nidhi hesitated, "I cant go home.. if I did, they will wake up and then I will have to reveal to thm every thing tht happened,' she said concerned. "I will jst go back to the hospital," added she. "but u need rest Nidhi. U need to change. U need to freshen up,"he said affectionately." "oh.. I have spare clothes in the hospital. V girls always keep an extra pair there. I will change thr and have a coffee or something..I will b okay," replied she assuring him. "I don't want u you to change in there," he said plainly. "But v do so many a times..thrs nothing like...I mean.. its okay..really," explained she, slightly amused at his outright refusal. "I know but I don't want u to,"he said calmly. "Lets pick ur clothes up from hospital. I will quickly check you up. You can sign out and thn come home and refresh a bit," said he. "No, really.. its not necessary," she hesistated. "Thr r already a dozen missed calls from Hiraman kaka. He is too concerned. He will b so happy 2 c u after such a long time," he requested sincerely. Finally, she gave in. She was somehow reluctant to go back to his house, may b coz of the incident that had happened thr the last time thy wer in there alone. yeah.. it had been such a long time.. It actually shudnt matter after wat happened here.. but this is totally different from wat happened thn...there..in his house..She started feeling anxious. Oh.. it was going to b really awkward. Oh hell, it is getting awkward already.. she bit her lips nervously and glanced at him. He too had fallen silent. Probably, he too was thinking abt it, since it was the thing tht kept thm away from each other.. it defined the "long time" tht thy hadn't spoken to each other properly... both knew wat lied underneath their silence..but neither of thm brot it up.
Thy picked up her clothes on the way and soon reached his home. Kaka was so happy to see her safe and sound and almost wanted to hug her in joy. She beamed back at him joyously. But he was unhappy that she had forgotten him for her fight with certain someone. She blushed. Ashutosh rolled his eyes. Kaka was too much!
Kaka offered to make some delicious noodles for her along with the hot coffee. Nidhi readily agreed. She was overjoyed. Kaka was so cute. He remembered abt her midnight noodle cravings! "Totally unfair!," Ashutosh protested. "U never seemed to be much concerned abt my cravings!" he said with a fake sulk. Kaka laughed it off. A small laugh escaped Nidhi instantly. It was a long time since Ashutosh had seen her smiling like that. He stared back at her for quite some time as she resigned into his bedroom to change and get fresh.
It didn't feel that awkward, she thot. Kaka was such a gud help and with Ashutosh.. he jst seemed? well.. quite normal? It was she who was feeling a bit nervous, but he seemed at ease and unperturbed abt tht incident. Her thots wandered a bit briefly as she changed into her clothes, but his apparent calm demeanour had started to make her feel at ease. To b in there in his room, gave her a comfort. In the end, she started to feel more at home. As she came out of his rest room, she noticed something fluttering under the fan near his bed behind the side table. She approached it for a closer look. She was most astonished to find her lost scarf stuck there beneath the mattress of his bed. She tried to recall the events of that day and wondered as to how it got there. Redness crept up on her cheeks as she began to realize the significance of finding it here instead of where she had left. She remembered his awkward fumbling the next morning when she had called up. A lot had chngd betn them since then. She blushed as she remembered the incident tht had happened right here in his house tht had brot in tht chng. Did it really meant wat she thot? Was there much more to his care and concern for her? Biting her lower lip and smiling shyly, she gently picked up the scarf, folded it neatly, and placed it back on his pillow. She wud know it soon! She blushed some more.
Thr was still a blush on her face wen she joined Dr. Ashutosh on the dining table. To him, she jst looked more beautiful, totally unaware of the thing tht had actually added to her beauty. But the noodles and her hungry stomach made her forget everything. She chomped on her noodles hungrily but then suddenly felt his steady gaze on her and realized wat she was doing. He smiled at her awkwardness. She quickly corrected herself and started eating in a more lady-like manner. Oh? she was jst so irresistible wen she did tht.. chngd her gears from her child-like self to a lady-like one. He had observed this chng in her recently. Thr was certain graciousness in her manners recently that he had found compellingly attractive abt her. It added a completely different dimension to her personality. To him, both of her forms were irresistible and it affected him somewhere deep when she did tht knowingly for him. Ashutosh cudnt stare at her with the same eyes. She wud know it all if she wud luk into thm. He looked away. Kaka joined thm on the dining table with thr cup of coffees. Nidhi was grateful to him for adding the dash of vegetables in her noodles.. it made it more delicious!.. She smacked her lips inadvertently as she finished it and thn blushed in embarrassment. Oh.. there she goes again.. she was just so cute!... he cud no longer take it and he got up with his cup of coffee and stood by the window. Nidhi collected his noodle bowl and went in the kitchen to help kaka in spite of his protests. Ashutosh cud hear thr happy voices from the kitchen. A small smile crept up on his face. It jst seemed so blissful rite now. The moonlight dimly falling on the quiet garden added to the feel of romance that was lingering in the atmosphere of his home right now. Soon she joined him by the window with her cup of coffee and Kaka suggestively retired himself to his room leaving thm alone. He stirred slightly as his senses started to pick up her presence near him and the sweet memory of tht incident..of tht tight embrace came back to warm his heart and he looked away. He knew she wud b able to read it on his face. She was enjoying the view of the garden and glancing at Dr. Ashutosh from the corner of her eyes. There was something abt him right now that was making her adore him. She had a strong impulse to stand close to him and hug him lovingly, but she blushed and turned away instead, smiling to herself. He saw her turn away and gave a sigh of relief. He had to muster every ounce of his self-control to stop himself from doing wat he so wanted to do with her. Good tht she kept a safe distance betn thm. He watched her go settle on the sofa. She looked around his living room silently. She had seen it so many times and every time she looked at it, it appeared different. She had just finished her last sip of coffee when she heard him approaching her. He offered her to drop her home again, but she declined politely. It was still 3 hours to go for the morning light and if she went home this early, her baba wud definitely get suspicious and she didn't want to lie to him. He had finished his coffee so she took the cups back to the kitchen. When she returned, she found him going into his study room. She followed him but then hesitated and stood by its door. He realized it and asked her come in. "I guess I have nothing interesting for u to kill ur time except these books on medicine, so please help urself," he said and motioned her to his long bookcase standing by the study table. She smiled in reply and thn went over it to have a look as he settled himself in his chair and picked up his current book. She found nothing of much interest but her eyes fell on the fine guitar that was sitting on the corner mantelpiece. She asked interestingly, "who plays this?" "who else?," replied he. "really?," she was quite surprised and felt quite elated. Her eyes sparkled with expectation. She bit her lower lip and smiled widely, but then quickly suppressed her excitement and simply replied "I never knew. Its good," in a subdued tone. But Ashutosh didn't fail to notice her anticipated look. He got up silently and picked up his guitar. "U want to hear a little piece?," asked he luking at her affectionately. She was quite astonished .. at this hour.. here.. for her.. really?.. but smiled brightly and nodded yes. He placed the guitar on his table and closed the open windows and pulled down the curtains and thn closed the study room door silently. Then he took his position on his chair and she sat across him on the nearby settee and then he played the most sweetest tune on guitar she had ever heard. She sat engrossed in it completely. She could feel it penetrating down inside her heart etching its each and every melody deep into her mind.
(it's a link of KTLK's title song "saiyaan.." played beautifully on guitar with vocal rendered by the performer. He has a good voice but u can concentrate on the instrumental part to go on with my story)
So beautiful was the tune that it added an aura of romance to the beautiful and serene environment of the room with just two of them inside..far away from everything... everyone.. immersed in something so mesmerizing. He continued to play other beautiful tunes into the wee hours of the morning till she drifted into a peaceful sleep on his settee. He turned on the A.C in the study room and picked up a pillow and a duvet from his bedroom closet. He hesitated at bit but thn shifted her slightly to make her more comfortable on the sette. He then put the pillow under her head and covered her with duvet and switched off the lights. He glanced over her briefly in dimly lit room and then slowly closed the door behind him and retired himself to his bedroom to get some brief sleep. As he pulled up his covers, he noticed her scarf lying neatly on his pillow. Oh Nidhi, he let out a soft cry...a wave of sudden emotion overwhelmed him. He took it gently and pressed close to his heart as he settled himself cozily in the bed and smiled shyly, so she knows it! He then placed it in his private cabinet and smiled to himself.
As he slid in cozily beneath his covers, he thot abt her and their little journey. It was really "little" journey.. and here she was sleeping in his house.. jst nxt door...he sighed.. its jst over 2 months tht had actually known each other now...and yet it felt as if thy know each other for so long... he sighed and thot abt this revelation and again smiled to himself. Finally, he gave a brief sigh and thot to himself.. "Dr. Nidhi Verma.. I know that u know.. bt it wud b jst tooo soon.. knowing u, u r not going to rest it this easily.. it is going to b so much fun with u around.." he chuckled. Oh my dearest loveliest Nidhi! He smiled and drifted into happy sleep.
P.s.: For PMing next chapter, c my below comment..
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