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Chapter 41: Nidhi's Denial!
Next day, Ashutosh woke up to a very pleasant morning! No it hadn't been dawn as of yet as he gazed into the vast dark sky above tht was slowly turning blue! He glanced at his watch illuminating the numbers. No it wasnt 5:00 a.m. as of yet either. Bt thn he didn't know y his sleep had left him this early! At 5:00 a.m., he knew pretty well tht their sleep wasn't going to b enuf, bt from the data tht he had obtained, he knew tht dawn wasn't going to b till 5:15 a.m., so 5 he thot was appropriate! Thy surely wudnt want to miss the beautiful dawn in need of a sleep! Afterall, all this slogging and hard trekking in the middle of the nite in this dense monsoon jungle had been to witness it in nature's lap! Tho it had been a pleasant surprise, tht thr wasn't any rains to hinder thr trek! For once the weather department of India had been perfectly right in their rain predictions! He joked to himself. His hand wriggled out of his sleeping bag and reached wer Nidhi was sleeping. He laid a loving hand on her head and thn retreated it with a soft sigh!
He breathed in the fresh morning air deeply and laid thr in silence. His mind wandered to one thing tht it luved most to do in such situation..to mull'with silence being the cherry on topping for his brain which seemed to be very eager to talk to him! Since Nidhi had pointed out tht he remained lost in his thots most of the time, he had made an conscious effort to not lose himself around her and with tht effort becoming a habit, his brain had been deprived of much needed food for thot! With Nidhi, he had learnt to live his life as it came and had stopped dwelling in thots of his past at least. But thy say old habits die hard and tht was the exact case with him.. preplanning must have been imprinted into the sequence of his genes, he joked! He chuckled to himself. It was a good habit to crack joke at one's own self! Bt was he imposing his preplanning compulsions on Nidhi too! With tht thot his attention turned back to Nidhi!
Like a lovestruck boy, he glanced at her quietly for a while. And thn chuckling at himself he outstretched his arms and breathed in deeply Yeah..some lovestruck boy deprived of his early morning sleep! After stretching himself a bit, he glanced back at Nidhi. His Nidhi had been sleeping pretty soundly, he observed. Indeed waking her up at 5 a.m. was a bad idea. She was so much in need of this sleep and yet it had been so difficult to make her go to sleep last nite! He nodded his head and chuckled as he remembered his trick tht he had tried to deploy on her! She was so cute and so easy to manipulate! Every time he looked at her, a protective feeling rose in him. Bt was it always like tht with her, he wondered. Was it always going to b this difficult to make her go to sleep' every nite' for the rest of his life.. oooh! Tht sounded pretty tuff price for desiring Nidhi beside him on his lonely bed in his lonely arms! He joked with himself. Bt on a serious note, this little romantic notion had tugged at the strings of his heart! Oh.. how wud it feel to wake up every morning with Nidhi lying by his side and in his arms preferably! He chuckled. And how exactly wud it feel to cuddle her up close to himself..bt of course without any of these distances or the layers of seperations of these sleeping bags or protective suits lying betn thm! he chuckled. Thn she wud b all to himself and laying quite close to him! Even closer thn he wud ever want! His heart craved for tht day badly. With a yearning sigh, his hands reached out for her lovely cheeks and she stirred instantly at his touch. He smiled at her reaction. Surely the feeling was going to b grt! And with his aspiring heart wanting to take a plunge at the naughty thots tht his brain was churning up to lure her, tht wait was going to b difficult! Col. Verma had asked for a couple of months.. bt even 2 seconds seemed like eons betn thm tht just weren't passing! How was he going to lull his impatient heart! Oh! How his heart ached at this mere thot! He gave a yearning helpless sigh and eased out of his sleeping bag!
Bt he cudnt help his lonely heart to stretch towards her. He bent down on her face. He had a strong urge to grab her, and peck her, and wake her up to a beautiful morning kiss! Bt the way she was sleeping, for now he wud do with a little soft peck on her cheeks! As he pecked, she stirred adorably yet again! Her sensitivity to his touch had surely increased, he observed! He chuckled at his naughty thot and forced himself to get up before he was tempted for tht morning kiss! Stretching out his hands fully once again and breathing in deeply the fresh morning air, he gave himself a few stretches of exercise..swaddling in a sleeping bag at age of 42 gave stiff bones rather thn straight ones! Chuckling, he went over to the cliff to have a view. It was a bit chilling thr as the wind blew past over him thru tht open way bt he luved it! And it was still pretty dark bt the clear sky infront of him promised tht the dawn break was going to b an experience of the lifetime! He stared at the dark sky for a while and thn went back to lay beside Nidhi. Propped up on his elbow and gazing at her face, his thots drifted over to the nite's conversation and the way she had crushed him in the warmth of her arms and drenched him lovingly with all those lovely kisses and one, the special one tht she had given very cutely near his eyes. His fingers went to touch the spot tht had received it. So lucky it was, surely his lips were feeling jealous! He laughed at himself again and he inched closer to her and gently snuggled his head into hers. It felt so comfortable and listening silently to her rhythmic breathsounds, before he knew, he had dozed off for a quick nap.
When he woke up again at the noise of his alarm, he saw Nidhi lying in his arms! He rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn't dreaming! Bt the alarm rang annoyingly and he quickly put it off! He gazed at her lying figure and chuckled. Indeed he wasn't dreaming! bt How in the world she got in his arms! He wondered. Wasn't he lying beside her and wasn't she in the sleeping bag! How and wen did she ever get out of it! And more importantly y and how in the world his ever alert brain failed to register it! Eh! Surely it thot it was better not to alarm him out of his sleep as his wish was jst being fulfilled! He laughed at himself again! He looked at her. Her head was resting on his shoulder. Her one hand was placed over his chest and yes the feeling did give him a certain amount of goosebumps! It wasn't only Nidhi who was reacting to his touches! He smiled to himself! Her knees were curled up in a very cute baby position towards him and her other hand lay beside her face very cutely. With her hair running wild over her face, he cudnt help himself drawing her closer to him. She responded and cuddled into him very cozily! He gently removed the caressing strands of her hair from her face and she stirred again at his touch as usual! He smiled. As much as he loved this moment to never end, bt thy needed to get up if thy didn't want to miss the dawn break plus the morning in tht open jungle had been chilling and she wasn't even wearing her protective suit and instead was snuggling into him to seek the warmth..and tht he had to confess was pretty tempting! He was a human after all in all flesh and blood and a very lonely man for tht matter! She probably didn't knew how hard she made it for him! With her such willingness, God she was giving his heart a romantic fodder for his romantic wishes! Can he blame his heart if it turns naughty! Nay!
Resisting his temptation, he patted her cheeks to wake her up, but she jst stirred and adjusted herself more comfortably against him giving his heart a sweet kick. "sweetheart..wake up.. its gonna b dawn break soon" He cried softly over her hair and picked at her cute cheeks..inspite of his heart yelling at him to do something else! She moaned and shrugged. He chuckled. So she was very much awake and very knowingly lying in his arms..and torturing his poor little heart! Very unfair! "sweetheart u want me to wake u up.. my way?" he teased. She opened her droopy eyes briefly and nodded a No very cutely and drifted back to her sleep in his arms! "well.. I don't think so..!" he cried,"with u treating me like a sleeping bag and snuggling so cozily into me.. tut tut..not done..this sleeping bag wants its dues!" He cried naughtily and suddenly rolled her over from him to lay her on his other side beneath his propped up elbows! She shrieked opened her eyes at the sudden jostling around! His eyes smiled with a naughty twinkle! She pushed at his chest and gave a shy smile and lowered down her very droopy eyelids! It evoked a very strange feeling in him! Her heavy eyes cud've easily told a different tale of their last nite..bt thy had refrained themselves yet again and tht yearning feeling came back to hassle him once again. He was abt to bend down over her face, grab it and give her a beautiful morning kiss when his eyes fell on a more appealing sight as his eyes inadvertently roved over her very shy figure underneath him!
Her T-shirt had ridden up from her waist due to her jostling around revealing a cuvacious part of her waist, he noticed. He didn't knew how many beats his heart skipped at tht sight bt his eyes weren't acting any decent! His hand went over her waist to adjust her T-shirt when she shrieked with a sudden shudder as if she had jst had a 1000 V shock! "Wat r u doing!" she cried fidgeting with her T-shirt at the part wer he had touched! Her reaction told him it mite have been rather a 5000 V shock! "And wat did u think I was doing?" he counter questioned. Some quick redness spread on Nidhi's cheeks. "while my intentions wer innocent, u seemed to b expecting something quite different from me!"He teased. "Nooo!" she cried back instantly.. proving from his looks tht her very denial of it was taken as an affirmation rather! She blushed profusely! She didn't quite knew exactly wat she was feeling "really.. thn either u really have no faith in me.. or u seriously wanted something else!" She blushed. "U know how blunt and shameless u r getting on this trip!" she cried in a soft voice. "And u have a complaint against tht?" He asked and took her hand from her stomach wher she had placed and pinned it to her side giving himself an overpowering position over her torso! She blushed with shyness at the close position he had acquired. Jst like last nite! Her heart hammered with a wild beat as he lay jst a few decent inches apart over her! Never had she realized his such manly form! She struggled instinctively beneath him and she realized the way his eyes stared back at her tht it was a lot more provocative thing! With sudden goosebumps appearing on her skin, she stopped at once and he chuckled at her captivating her heart very strangely. "U r so..soo.. mean!" she cried with a heavy blush! "I am..thank u!" he said shamelessly and started to cover the distance betn thr faces. As he inched closer, his eyes grew with more passion! And she knew this kiss was going to b so different! She lowered her eyes in shyness. After the amount of kisses thy had shared, she didn't know y she was still feeling this shy! She let him cover the distance slowly bt his lips turned desperate as thy reached hers. Suddenly, she brushed past his lips turning away from him and leaving a yearning tingle on his lips! A short half-fullfilled gasp escaped his lips!
"its such a torture sweetheart!" he cried gruffly over her cheeks as he cudnt help but squeeze her palm tht lay in his hand. "Bt I haven't even brushed!" she cried innocently! He gave a sweet groan. "wat did u say?" he whisphered chuckling into her ears. She repeated his sentence again with equal amount of innocence. He chuckled at her cuteness. She was so adorable tht he cudnt help take her cheek in his lips for a kiss instead signaling to her tht he wasn't going to stop at anything! Nidhi was feeling helpless.. it wasn't as if his tantalizing kiss on her cheeks hadn't affected her.. it had affected her very much indeed.. in fact it was such tht she wasn't going to forget ever! Such delicious was his kiss at her cheek' but she was hesitant.. truly and really very hesistant at the awkwardness of the situation! She really didn't even know if she shud give her such self to him! She feared and her fear was reasonable!
She pushed him away gently. "God No!" he cried in desperation sending a quick wave of spreading goosebumps thru her body. His desperation yielded a strange yearning from her! Bt she struggled at him with her innocent eyes! "Nidhi please!"he urged her "No.. please!"she cried back instantly. And her cry made him release her instantly. He finally gave in to her reluctance and removed himself away from her as he sat facing in the direction of her gaze blocking her view from himself to hide his disappointment from her. Nidhi really felt guilty. He wasn't showing but she knew he was very disappointed! She gave a helpless sigh! She wanted to reach out to him, but he snapped up quickly on his feet to grab his backpack.
He rummaged thru it aimlessly in the dark while his heart still felt shattered and agitated. The truth was tht he had been so used to her giving in with these things tht this actually came as a shock. "I think u will need this" she quietly came behind him and offered him the flash light! "No.. I don't think so!" he cried curtly and pushed at her flashlight before he cud even stop himself. The flashlight fell from her hand with a light thud! A small tear crept up in Nidhi's eyes! Y it felt as if her heart was crushed beneath it! She let her tear trickle down. He regretted the very nxt moment. "Nidhi'" he started to apologize.. bt for some reason he cudnt make himself say sorry to her.. it was strange.. how many times he had said it so easily and wen it mattered the most his heart was betraying him.. y was it glaring angrily at Nidhi instead! He sighed and ran a quivering hand thru his hair. Nidhi quietly picked up the flashlight and placed it beside him where he had stooped. He took it and checked it randomly as if it was going to give him some time out! Bt Nidhi didn't wait for him. She simply left him thr and went over to the cliff!
Ashutosh sighed and looked at her! He was cursing himself. Wat was so wrong if she had denied it! Wasn't he even a man to acknowledge her wishes! He stood up on his feet and was still disturbed by his thots wen she suddenly came running to him with an excited grin and sparkling eyes! "Oh.. Look.. Look.. it's a dawn break!" She cried enthusiastically and pointed to the horizon excitedly over the cliff wer a slow dim light had started to appear. The golden lights slowly took away darkness from her face and he gazed at the most beautiful pair of excited eyes looking at the new lights of the morning with an awe!
Ashutosh forced himself to look at the direction she was pointing! And his mouth too fell open in an awe. A faint line of orange hue had slowly broke into the distant horizon beyond the valley! The sky had slowly turned blue and the dawn break was spreading across the sky with a deep reddish-orange tint in the background of an extremely fascinating sky blue color! It gradually delineating the fine silhouettes of the faraway mountains. Nidhi didn't have enuf words to express how beautiful it looked! The whole process of first lights shedding and slaining away the darkness slowly was so mesmerizingly beautiful'as if a new picture was being painted across the sky by those light brushing strokes.. as if a new chapter of the morning was being written! The birds chirped and flew from their nests to welcome the first lights on the earth! The sun had still been hiding but set against tht background, the flying birds made the perfect picture in tht vast blue-orange sky! Nidhi danced with joy!
Ashutosh smiled at her effusively and showed her the pics he had taken. "oh Wow!" she cried. He had captured those beautiful moments on camera pretty brilliantly and she cudnt help admire thm! Ashutosh had enclosed her in his arms from behind as he showed her the pictures. Her cheeks had effused with sudden rosiness and her lips had curled up into a bright smile in true praise of him and he jst wanted to kiss and make up bt as soon as he got closer to her cheeks, she moved away breaking free from his enclosure! Ashutosh bit his lips and looked away from her. He breathed in deeply to control his suddenly rising anger!
But before he cud say anything to Nidhi, he heard someone cry! "Oh My GoD!".. he turned in the direction of the voice and saw a group climbing up thru the other end of tht cliff! Thy had apparently taken a rocky route, he observed. He looked at the voice again. It had been emanating from an excited Angie who had been running towards Nidhi and staring at beautiful sky behind her! Nidhi cried back delightfully. Thy giggled and hugged and swirled with joy. Angie took out her camera and together thy took some beautiful pics of the breaking dawn, the slowly rising sun, and themselves! Not to mention, whose thy took the most! Themselves of course! Thy both giggled as thy sat and went thru thm. Ashutosh watched over thm silently. The sun had arisen by now bt he was left with no interest in taking its pics! Not once had Nidhi looked at him! He bit his cheeks and turned away from thm and greeted the oncoming crowd who went and settled comfortably around in tht open area and some of thm staring at their sleeping bags whilst passing by!
"Wow! it seems like u had a lot of fun!" Asked Rohan. "Yeah!" he replied shortly. Suddenly, Rohan had an idea and he asked if he cud borrow his sleeping bags. Ashutosh allowed him and soon Rohan placed the sleeping bags down under a low spreading tree. He went and dragged a reluctant Nidhi and Angie thr! It seemed thy had not been talking to him, Ashutosh noted. But Rohan explained his idea and thr face lit up instantly! And to his utter surprise, Rohan climbed up the tree quickly and soon Angie and Nidhi were lying in the sleeping bags and giving different poses to Rohan! Soon others followed and he stood thr by side watching over thm. Angie was helping Rohan out in getting thm into more photogenic poses. An excited Nidhi was watching over her and Rohan. Soon Rohan wanted to climb down and have pics of him taken as well. He suggested someone else climbed up instead. Nidhi promptly offered to volunteer and without even waiting for anyone's response, she started to climb the tree! Ashutosh ran behind her quickly and grabbed her back! "No u r not going to do tht!" he said sternly! Nidhi struggled to break free! "Its nothing really!"she cried "No!"he said sharply. Nidhi looked at her onlooking friends and quietly walked out of the crowd to stand behind thm. Ashutosh joined her shortly! "wat if something had happened to u?" Ashutosh tried to explain her tho he knew he didn't have to! She kept mum! Ashutosh didn't attempt at another conversation and thy silently watched everyone take their pics one by one. Finally, Angie noticed tht only thy were left and hence she dragged an unwilling Ashutosh and Nidhi to the bags! Soon their pictures were taken, but it had been a tough task for Angie as apparently it looked as if thy wer frowning at each other rather thn smiling! Angie scratched her head and the boy who had climbed up the tree took their pics nevertheless!
"So u don't even want to talk to me?" Ashutosh was asking Nidhi later on wen thy didn't speak a word to each other for nxt 15 minutes! "I didn't say tht!" she said. "Thts the problem.. u don't want to say anything!" he said feeling irritated! "I can say the same for u as well!" "I had tried to explain to u y I had stopped u!" "wasn't it obvious for u.. it felt as if u didn't even needed to explain ur reason!" she cried. "yeah.. thts true.. bt still I tried to talk to u.." "Wats the use wen the intention to talk abt it wasn't even thr!" "Nidhi'.. " bt before he cud finish Rohan excused himself in and grabbed Nidhi away to lite the fire for thr tea pot! Ashutosh cudnt say how much he hated Rohan wen he pulled Nidhi away from him like tht! He pinned it conveniently on his ill-manners! He went up to thm as the three of thm Angie, Rohan and Nidhi tried to light the fire giggling and failing with a match box! Apparently, the task to light the fire had been allotted to thm. He took out his igniter and offered thm! "Oh Wow! Thts smart!" cried Angie. "Oh it's a modern tool.. v need to use the scouts method!"Cried Rohan "V r not living in a prehistoric world anymore! Bt I guess the tools r made for the geniuses to use!" Ashutosh remarked. Rohan glared at him!"I hadnt meant to rub rocks!"he replied. "bt of course the ones who want to save their special little time out here in jungle to put it to some better use, for eg, like saving their lives instead, wud go for an igniter and not some match box in such a damp weather!" Ashutosh was having a go at Rohan for some unknown reason. Angie looked at thm quizzically as she ignited the fire and thn arched her brows at Nidhi! Nidhi chose to ignore it! As Nidhi went to sit on the laid mat, Ashutosh followed her! He was sure Nidhi wud talk to him abt Rohan, bt strangely she didn't! Soon the others joined thm and Ashutosh busied himself in conversation with thm as thy sipped over the tea!
The agenda for him tht morning had been to understand her friends better. To his surprise, the same sloshed group from the other nite had been pretty enthusiastic tht morning. Thy had climbed up with a big kettle and had lighted a fire to have their morning teas on tht hill! Ashutosh was impressed with their energy. As he dug deep into a conversation with thm, he learnt a lot deal which he wud've missed out otherwise! Thy had been excited abt everything from the gadgets and the stuff tht he had rented for thm for the trekking, to the telescope he had used, to the stuff he did in the hospital! Surprisingly, it seemed altogether a new group! With their knowledge seeking attitude, thy discussed on everything under the roof and their knowledge in general abt variety of fields was noteworthy, especially in the field of technology in which he was still pretty novice! He felt his vast knowledge was merely limited to the medical field! On the other hand, this group of diverse ppl and profession shared knowledge abt hell lot of wide variety of things. Infact the more he interacted with thm, the more he felt tht he had a more narrow outlook and approach towards life thn thy had! And he had not been shy tht morning to express wat he felt for thm with his words. As affluent he was with words and as charming he was with his manners, he proved why he easily influenced the ppl around him once he started speaking his heart out! He was able to mingle with thm and even though he was still placed at a place higher above thm, thy had reached on a plane of mutual admiration! Frankly, he had to humbly step down and offer a hand of f'ship and he did jst tht!
Wen thy travelled back to their camp site, both Ashutosh and Nidhi again remained silent. Thy hadn't left each other's side, bt thy weren talking! "U know I m the one who is used to silence!" he remarked to her as he saw tht Nidhi was quite impressed with his efforts to know her friends! "Well.. I will learn!"she replied. He chuckled. She was one stubborn girl! He sighed and grabbed her to stop as the group went ahead. "U know I m on a certain campaign here" he murmured to her! She chuckled and had a hard time keeping her blush down as the event wer he had declared his campaign flashed across her mind. "I saw tht!" bt she replied. "U think our not talking to each other is going to help the matters?"he asked. She smiled "so u r asking for a patch up?"she asked. "No!" came an instant reply from him and both chuckled! "well.. I m in no mood for it either!"she said. "well.. I was hoping u wud help me to out to impress the girls.. bt I guess I have to think on my own!" he shrugged and went away! She gaped after him! did she jst hear rite? Was he planning to impress the girls! A shocked Nidhi stood thr rooted on the spot. He came back and grabbed her hand to drag her along with him to catch on with their group. "u r not serious!" she cried to him! "very much!" Her worried expressions amused him! Again she pulled him back and let others pass on! "wats the need!"she asked him!! "Oh u r feeling jealous!"he cried. "No I m not!"she cried. He chuckled. "so wat r u exactly planning?" she asked! "u will c.." he replied shortly! Nidhi saw a naughty twinkle in his eyes! So a plan was already in his mind and he wasnt sharing with her! Huh!
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Joined: 03 November 2009
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