Joined: 17 January 2011
hey buddies, thanks a lot for the awesome replies. this ff ends in two updates. thanks for your support till now. oh yes, do read anjali's reply in the previous page.
Leaving her staring after him in frustration and teary eyes, he headed purposefully towards the track the wild mad horse who was kicking very badly that made her blood cold. She wanted to run away and hide, but she had to know what was happening, so she stood at the edge of the ring behind the crowd and watched helplessly as Prithvi leapt onto the horse's back, tried to hold of its mane and the gate was track opened and Damini's hands crept unconsciously to her throat to control. The crowd had fallen silent, and even those who had drifted over for the stupid challange and hadn't heard the altercation sensed that this was no ordinary, light-hearted contest .
Damini was terrified. She had never seen a horse' as wild as this one. It seemed to fill the ring, its eyes rolling, hooves lashing, foaming with fury and frustration. If Prithvi fell, he wouldn't stand a chance under the maddened creature. It would trample him to death.
She prayed more desperately than she had ever prayed in her life for Prithvi not to fall..Rigid with fear, Damini waited every second for Prithvi to crash to the ground. There was no way he could stay on, she thought desperately, dreading the moment when he would be thrown, but unable to look. She never knew how long she stood there, watching as he clung to the back of that mean horse, riding, dominating the animal, but after what seemed tike a lifetime the horse, incredibly, began to slow down, under control and Prithvi took 5 rounds of the track..the fight gone out of it.
Damini didn't wait to see how the crowd would react. There was utter silence round the ring earlier, suddenly the sound of clapping took over the silence.
She was too angry with him, when she was sure that he wasn't hurt, she pushed the crowd, not caring where she went so long as it was as far away from Prithvi as possible. She didn't even notice the man heading towards her until she had literally bumped into him.
'Whoah! Where are you off to in such a hurry?' he asked in amusement.
'Oh...Inder!' She recognised her oldest friend and x-fiance. I'm sorry, I just... Why are men so stupid?' she burst out, unable to finish her sentence.
Wisely, Inder didn't try to answer this. He led her to a quiet corner, sat her down and brought her water instead. 'Now, tell me what the matter is,' he said. l He listened without comment as Damini told every little detail about the stupid challange put by mindless, men but Damini suddenly found that she had talked too much about herself and Prithvi and stopped.
She looked at Inder, who was calmly waiting for her to carry on, and she laughed a little shakily. 'Thanks, Inder. I needed that.Now I am feeling better'.She hugged him gratefully as a friend. 'Now, I'm not going to chat any more. I want to hear about your life instead. How's your girl friend, and whats is your wedding.?'
Inder gave her a rather searching look, but he let her change the subject, and by the time he had told her about his life, and the wedding they were expecting, Damini was feeling much calmer. They were still sitting there talking when Prithvi found them some time later.
'What are you doing hiding over here?' he said irritably to Damini, and turned to stare on Inder, who was not easily intimidated and merely looked back at him without expression.
'I'm not hiding,'I just didn't feel like watching any more stupid stunts!' Damini answered standing up immediately. The calming effect of Inder's presence counted for nothing when a few words from Prithvi were enough to set her on edge again. '
'It wasn't a stunt,' said Prithvi coldly. 'It was the only way I was ever going to prove them wrong. and see I got my respect, everyone clapped for me..'
You told me naa that I had to get their respect first'.
'Oh, respect Of course, that's a very good idea, to risk your life just to impress a few people who wouldn't care about you!'
Prithvi :'It worked, didn't it? I've got six women ready and willing to date me.'
For some reason this news only hurt her.
Damini : 'Oh, well, that's all right then!'
Prithvi's mouth tightened. 'What's bothering you?'
Damini, who wasn't even sure herself why she was so upset said:'Nothing, I just thought that it was a stupid risk to take!'
Inder smiled slightly and intrupt : 'I'd give up if I were you, he said to Prithvi. 'She'll never understand.' He turned back to Damini.
I"d better go. Riya will be waiting for me.
'Say hi to her .' Damini gave him a big hug to bid goodbye and added thanks slowly.
'Any time.' Inder returned her hug, and nodded pleasantly to Prithvi. 'Wish to see you again,' he said and walked away.
Damini looked after Inder affectionately and Prithvi's eyes narrowed. 'Who was that?' he demanded in a rough voice.
Damini was going to reply but Prithvi turned to her saying : Some Mr. sharma, right ?? I noticed him in a group,,
Damini turn to face him : Yes, he is...If you hadn't been looking so harsh, I would have introduced you, but I didn't see why I should
give you the chance to be rude to him. He's one of my oldest friends.' (She wanted to say x-fiance but ...)
'Old friend, I noticed that too,' said Prithvi, his mouth tighten. 'I didn't realise that I was paying you to spend your time with old friends, though! You were supposed to have been working.'
Damini with anger : 'I was, and it worked right?? Thanks to my "spend time", as you call it, you're invited as well.'
Prithvi : ' wooo ...How did you manage that?'
Damini :'I did not take any stupid challange for that. 'I took the easy option, simply talked to few girls who showed their interest in you..
Prithvi while taking a drink: "with help of your so called so good "Old friend"..
Damini : 'ohh yess,,He's soo helpful to people. He's a decent man.' Damini tried to think of a way to describe
Inder in the kind of words that Prithvi would understand, 'He's wonderful,' was all she said in the end.
Prithvi's expression hardened. 'He's wonderful!' he mimicked nastily. 'Just your type! Why don't you line him up as Mr Right?' he sneered, and
Damini's eyes flashed dangerously.
She wished she could control herself but could not.. 'I thought he was once,' 'We were engaged.'
Prithvi throwing the glass away : 'Engaged?' 'I thought it was Inder you were engaged to?'
She wanted to clear the misunderstanding that Inder and Mr. Sharma was one..not two different . She wanted to say that She never felt anything for anyone but for him, not allow to touch anyone but him only him..but why??? but she stopped herfelf..
When he noticed her silence..he continue...: Wonderfull, Manali seems to be full with your ex-fiance's!' His lip curled into smile.
'Are there any more I should know about?'
Damini put up her chin. 'None of your business!'
Prithvi : I'm beginning to wonder if you're the best person to find me wife, You obviously know a lot about the business of getting engaged, but you don't have a good track, do you? Did you not feel love for him too.., Ms. Romantic?'
She almost cried, She should never have told Prithvi about her engagement! '' 'No, I did not love him !!
Prithvi taunted her :'Woow...one more who didn't live up to your exacting standards of romance!' but there are a lot of us around, aren't there?, I m sure you will get one..'
Damini cast him a look of dislike : 'I wouldn't say that.'. 'he's was romantic kind of men, he was not for me..He's got a girl friend now he adores her, and who adores him, and if you saw them together maybe you'd begin to understand what love is really all about!'
'I don't need to understand love or anyone,' said Prithvi harshly as he turned away. 'I just need a wife.'
Fortunatly, Unfotunatly, Somehow, party was a good hit for Prithvi's image. People started liking him. Prithvi got cook, stable man and helper for mansion too..
Next few days,,Damini got busy in planning of party at mansion..She planned to called every single person from Manali..But Prithvi was in filthy mood.
What did he have to be so angry about? Damini wondered. He wasn't the one who had spent all day trying to make friends for him, and getting absolutely no thanks for it! He was rude and unreasonable and stuborrn,and it would have served him right if he had fallen off that stupid horse!
Damini hated every moment of Party day, but at least it had taught her one thing, she reassured herself. She had made absolutely the right decision in not marrying Prithvi.
Prithvi was up early the next morning and went out of station for a meeting. Although, he asked her formally but she refused to join him.., but it was painfull to discover that she still missed him when he wasn't there.
She didn't know what to do with herself now. Her mind kept thinking off him where he would be working..
Wondering if he was missing her, too.
Damini asked her mirror reflection : What's wrong with me? I should be thinking about his dates..his would be wife not about him!
Eventually she remembered the party she had been going to organise. Prithvi might not have shown much enthusiasm for the party, but she might as well do something.
Her only alternative was to spend the day trying not to think about him but she was already tired of trying—and failing—to do that.
No, organising a big party, was a much better idea. Prithvi's birthday was less than 2 months away, and time was running out. She could get on with things and keep her mind occupied at the same time. Digging out her personal organiser, Damini settled down behind the desk in his office, where the only phone was installed. She would start by making some calls. Straightening her shoulders, she punched out the first number. when Prithvi appeared without warning in the doorway. 'What are you doing in here?' he demanded.
Damini gazed at him, her heart stopped for a whle at the unexpected sight of him. 'Doing my job,' she said, irritated as much by her own hopeless reaction as by the set expression on Prithvi's face. 'We agreed to have a party here the weekend after the races, if you remember. That's only 2 weeks away. If I don't get something arranged soon, it will be too late. I presume you do still want a party?' she added when Prithvi only looked down at his watch.
Prithvi : 'You might as well go ahead,'I just hope it's a better than the last party, we attended (in few days, Prithvi got few invitations and he joined the party alongwith Damini), That was a complete waste of time!'
Damini : 'Whose fault was that?' 'It would have been fine if you'd made the slightest effort! I introduced you to loads of suitable girls !'
Prithvi while sitting in a big leather sofa : 'I wouldn't have called any of them suitable,'
Damini : 'They were all single, and Manali based,'"There must have been one you liked?'
Prithvi's jaw set stubbornly. "There wasn't.'
Damini : 'What about Sanya?'
Prithvi : 'Especially not her.'
Damini couldn't help feeling secretly pleased. She didn't like sanya either. 'OK, what about Pooja?'
Prithvi :'Did you see her wild hair?'
Damini sighed. 'You're very fussy all of sudden! I thought you didn't care what your wife looked like as long as you got this Mansion?'
Prithvi : 'If I'm going to spend the rest of my life with her, I might as well find her attractive,' said Prithvi, sounding defensive. Restlessly, he picked up his laptop to check mails.
Hearing a sigh from her side, he turned on Damini. 'I know you're thinking of your salary and job,' he said nastily, 'and there's no need to panic!
I'll find someone,and I'll marry her before my birthday. That's something you can bet on!'
She ought to be pleased, Damini thought dully. Unable to meet his eyes, she looked into her notebook. 'What are you doing here, anyway?' she asked tiredly. 'I thought you would be coming late.'
Prithvi : 'I' was not feeling well, so planned to hv meeting online here.,' but I need a coffee..'
Damini looked at him : " I will ask cook for that..wait few minutes...
Prithvi : "She left"...(paused a moment..)actually I asked her to leave..I did not like her cooking..
'oh...Dn't worry..I'll ask around for a new one, 'In the meantime, I may as well do the cooking myself.'' offered Damini, even though part of her was wondering why on earth she should put herself out for Prithvi when he was being so unpleasant.
He looked at her quickly, his expression lightening. 'Would you really?, you don't mind..'but he added.."Don't worry I will not disturb or interfare you there as I hv lots of wrk now a days.."
For some reason, Damini couldn't quite meet his eyes. 'It'll give me something to do, except party prepration of course".
As the days passed, the terrible tension between them settled into a careful politeness. She saw him every day, of course, but hardly ever on his own. The staff, he had hired worked well in Mansion under her supervision. Prithvi spent the day outside, might be dating, and after the meals he would closet himself with his laptop in his office.
Nothing was the same any more, Damini thought miserably. There were no more coffees, no more talks over the dining table. It was only by asking about party preparations or work..Eventually she managed to track down a cook. Once Maid had arrived Damini had nothing to do again but carry on with the arrangements for the party. She threw herself into the organisation, telling herself that it was the kind of job she loved to do, and much more suited to her talents than household workds. It was good experience too.
She should be thinking about the future, Damini reasoned, not the days when she and Prithvi had been alone. There was no point in wishing that Prithvi would involve her more. He would be 30 soon. He would find himself a wife, just as he had planned to do, and she would have no reason to stay.
She might as well get used to not being with him now.
She invited everyone..Decorated the Mansion very beautifully with the help of staff..Two days ramining of the big day as per planning, He might get her wife on that day..or he might have get one because he was dating since last few days...
Wondering about her future with him, she was working in kitchen and her phone rang. She picked up and got information about her mommaa's heartattack.
She ran towards Prithvi's office where he was attending online meeting. She hit the door and cry out his name...
He was wearing headphone but still he felt something inside and looked up straight at her..by next moment, without signing out from meeint, he throw his headphone and came near her and asked her the matter..
Unable to utter a word, she hugged him and started crying loudly. He took few moments to hold her and than console her. He made her sit but she refused and told him the news. Without wasting time, he drove to the hospital along with her and let her meet her momma and family. Meanwhile, he talked to Dr. who informed if it would be better to contact a specialist from Mumbai.Prithvi knew that Damini's family would be unable to afford the specialised treatment so he asked Dr. to do the needful for better treatment and he went to arranged Sepcialist from Mumbai. He did not informed her anything about this and tried to avoid her whole day in hospital but she was very well aware of his every little presence.
He refused to go back to mansion at night as well. Next morning, Dr. informed them that her momma was out of danger and way to recover. Damini talked to Roshini to take care of her momma as she needed to wrk for Prithvi's party. Although, Prithvi asked her to stay in hospital but she refused.
On the way of to Mansion, Damini broke the silence.
Damini : Thanks, Prithvi for everything you did in hospital.."and I am sorry, bcz I know it must be waste of time for you...(she regretted after saying this words as she noticed his tightened on staring wheel and changing the gear but she continue after a pause.)
Prithvi : "Welcome, but I was just saving time by helping you there otherwise you might be distracted emotinally..n that would cost my ...
Damini : "party and your dream,, of course..& "Dn't worry you can deduct the salary to cover the cost..."
Prithvi : " ohh yes, right.., Dn't bother about the cost..take it as a +bonus...but further 'I don't want to waste any more time,' I've got to meet someone tomorrow, or it will be too late.'
Damini with forcibly smile : I know..
It was the party time, The mansion was looking beautifull after complete decoration..Prithvi asked Damini to call her frnds and family too..including Mr. Sharma or Inder...
She wore pink saree and attending the guest.He also welcomed everyone with warm heart. She should have been enjoying herself, Damini thought as she introduced Prithvi to yet another single woman. Normally she loved partying, talking to frnds but this time she did not.. and she couldn't even complain that Prithvi was not making an effort this time...He was talking with keen interest to every single girl with extraordinary smile..
Attitudes towards him seemed to have softened considerably since the stupid challage. It might have been the way he had won the wild horse, or the way he handled his staff with special care, gud salary...or maybe even her own efforts in the small get togethers in last few days to persuade people that he was not the terrorist his father had made him out to be...Whatever the reason, Prithvi was greeted, if not with the same warmth as Damini, then at least this time he was doing his best as a host. Girls who had impressed by his persoanlity since challaged day or by his money and would have nothing to do with him, were now smiling, blushing like schoolgirls to attract him.. Prithvi was enjoying his own charm working all around..it was working.
But, She had been so sure that she was only one who understood him, Damini thought with an edge of bitterness. Prithvi had made her feel special. Why had she never noticed before how skilful he was at manipulating conversation? She watched him as if from a great distance. It was like watching a tiger looking for his shoot. Prithvi was totally focused on what he was doing. Somehow he managed to isolate a single woman in conversation until he had found out what he wanted to know, and then he moved on, without anyone in the group being aware of what he had done. He would nod farewell and leave them to agree that rumour had lied and he wasn't nearly as bad as he had been pictured.
Damini felt completely unwanted,, but Prithvi insisted on her staying close by his side. It was almost as if he wanted to prove to her how little he needed her. Few girls were falling over themselves to talk to him. Every time Damini saw his head bend to any girl or every time his smile flashed, it was like a knife turning in her heart. She had thought he only smiled like that for her.
Now he was showing interest to Shreya, 28, round face, big eyes and was plainly flatted by Prithvi. Damini saw him touch Shreya's hand lightly, and she felt jealousy boiling inside her heart and veins. She wanted to leap between them, to slap Prithvi's hand down, to push the girl away from him, to shout at them both to stop smiling and looking and touching like that. She might even have started forward, for at that moment Prithvi turned his head, as if to check her reaction. He looked full into her eyes, and then deliberately away, and Damini's heart cut into pieces...
She prayed...No, no, no...He should reject that girl,,please ..
Around her, people were talking and laughing, but Damini couldn't hear anything, like she was watching a mute movie... Damini was separated from it all by an invisible barrier that cut her off from the world and left her alone with the realisation of how much she loved him. Love isn't meant to be like this, she wanted to cry. Her destiny was supposed to burst gloriously into her life, instant and unmistakable, not creep up on her when she least wanted it.
She didn't want to be in love with Prithvi! She wanted someone who would recognise her as his soul mate, someone who would know as soon as he looked at her that they had to be together. She wanted it to be perfect.
And instead it was Prithvi. Prithvi, who didn't believe in love. Prithvi, who didn't need anyone. Prithvi, who was standing beside her, cold-bloodedly intent on marriage with anyone who would fall for his calculating charm, a wife for sake of his stupid asset.
Damini felt sick, slightly dizziness. She felt, people were beginning to look at her in concern, and she managed to force a smile, but it was a relief when
Prithvi took her arm and moved them away. '
He looked down at her, raising eye brows, in unpleasant voice : 'What's the matter with you?' You look like you've seen a ghost!'
'I'm perfectly all right.' Damini pulled her arm away, terrified that he would be able to see how she loved him. She didn't think that she could bear that.
Prithvi's eyes narrowed, but to her relief he didn't pursue it but instead he continue : "plan worked,'I think Shreya might make a good Mrs. don't you?'
'No,' she said flatly. 'She's too elder for you...I mean not 26 as you want'
Prithvi : Its Ok i will manage,,but She's very pretty,'
Damini wondered if he could hear heart cracking. Her throat felt tight and she was unable to speak, she continue : 'I thought you didn't like a girl with short har or black eyes...?' she managed, remembering how he had murmured in her ear while kissing her passionatly .
Prithvi: 'Hmm, perhaps you're right,'We'd better look for someone else,.'
His cool gaze swept the crowd and asked pointing out a girl in one corner :'Who's that girl over there?'
Was he deliberately trying to hurt her? Damini dully replied : Rachna Sharma
Prithvi:'Is she single?'
Damini :'No...I mean yes,,I mean..She is Divorced.'
Prithvi:'Excellent, "There was nothing in the will about my wife not being married before. A divorcee would be ideal. She's certainly unlikely to have as many romantic illusions about marriage as some people,'
Damini didn't reply.
'She's very attractive, too.' He looked down at Damini with a taunting gleam in his eyes. 'Don't you agree?'
'If you like too long hair,' said Damini bitting her lips.
'I'm not fussy.' He replied while looking at Rachna. 'I don't think you'd be able to say that she anything as I like her hair, blue eyes..i guess she would be appx 26 too...
Have you got any other objections?'
Damini's was digging her nails into her palms. 'It's not up to me,' she pointed out through with dead heart, convinced that he was deliberately punishing her.
'You're the one that's thinking about marrying her.'
'I think I'd better meet her before I go that far,' said Prithvi. 'Why don't you introduce us?'
Damini had suddenly had enough. 'Introduce yourself,' she said, her voice cracking dangerously. I'm going to get a drink.'
Unable to face to him anymore or the crowd, she went out in garden area, She chose a corner where the light were least sitting down, running her fingers through her hair to ease the pressure from her heart. she was staring at the horses in the stable in the dark light... while thinking about her last 1.5 month appx..in her own town..no in his town ...in saxena Mansion, and Prithvi, remember each moment, second spent with him in stable, in kithcen or each corner of the mansion... working together..smiling...kissing..
Marry me, he had asked her twice...
And she had said no.
It had been her own choice & the right choice. She couldn't complain now that he was looking for a wife elsewhere, but it didn't stop the her heart cutting down into pieces when she imagined Prithvi smiling down at Rachna or Shreya, kissing her, asking her to marry him..
Absorbed in her miserable thoughts, Damini wasn't aware of Inder's approach until he came near and stand beside her. 'Is everything OK,
Damini?' he asked. 'It's not like you to hang around in the dark garden. You're usually the life, soul of a party!'
Damini took a breath and willed her trembling mouth to steady. 'Oh, I'm just...'
Just trying not to cry. Just wondering if she had thrown away her only chance at happiness with Prithvi.Just wishing things could be different.
'I'm just trying to relax for a moment,' she said slowly.
Inder glanced at her quitly. Her face was dull,,sad. 'Is it Prithvi?' he asked gently.
She closed her eyes, trying to stop crying and replied : 'Sort of,'
Inder was a very comfortable friend. He didn't ask or insist that she went into details. He simply put his arm round her and offered her the calm comfort of his presence. Damini leant gratefully against him, unable to talk even if she had wanted to, and fought down the tight knot of tears in her throat.
After a few minutes she let out a long, felt better and straightened herself and told him. 'Riya is a very, very lucky girl,'
He smiled and flicked her gently on the cheek. 'Yes, we love eachother..thanks..he paused and turned to her adding (to make her calm or laugh) : You let me know if you ever want me to punch Prithvi Saxena for hurting you in anyway,' and Damini managed a shaky laugh.
Damini : 'I know..I will surely!'
Inder : 'Would you want to go inn..in party..?'
Damini : 'Yes, of course,' but would love to sit her for a while..alone..(while making a dull smile.. although all she wanted was to hide somewhere and cry.
Inder while getting up to go inn : 'I'll see you later, then.'
Left alone once more, Damini took a few deep breaths before standing. She couldn't cry, and she couldn't stay here either. She was going to have to face Prithvi some time, so it might as well be now.
Unwillingly she turned, to find herself looking straight into same grey eyes, and her heart sqeezed with pain. 'I was just coming to look for you,' she added with forced smile...
'Oh, so you remembered me!' His words were a seriely rough... 'I guess I should feel flattered that you even gave me a thought.
I'm only the guy who's paying you a big, fat salary, and you've obviously got much more important things to do, like entertaining your very good friend!'
So this was enoug, Damini thought. She couldn't even convince herself to face him more. She had fallen in love with a bad-tempered, proudy man, and she still loved him even when he was being disgusting, unfair, like now.
Welcome to true love..true love world Damini..that is really totally opposite of her dream..full of pain..hurt...no peace..tears...
It wasn't what she had thought it would be, that was for sure.
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