Joined: 25 May 2011
Joined: 04 September 2011
Joined: 04 September 2011
The day started off like any normal day. Khanak woke up at 6 am and check the mailbox. No luck.
She then returned to her bed for a little while before going to shower, after which she did her pooja. By the time she got free it was nearly 8 am, so as usual, she went downstairs to help her mother with the breakfast preparations.
As she lay down the breakfast table, her father approached the table.
"Nasmaste Ada!" exclaimed Khanak
"Nasmaste beta. Kaisi ho?"
"Achi houn Ada. Aye baithiye. Naashta tayyar hai bas Bai laati hi hogi. Mein Mannu aur Harsh ko utha ke aati houn."
Five minutes after the breakfast was served two teenagers were seen entering the dining room in their pjs and cotton tops.
"Mornin' Mom Dad!" the two chanted together, as if it was as rehearsed tradition.
"Subh bakhair beta" replied Alpana, as the two sleepy eyed teens took their places at the table.
"Apni Di ko dekho tum dono, kitnay achay sanskaar hein. Nasmaste karti hai, Ma ki madad karti hai, traditional libaas pehanti hai. Aur tum dono pakkay angraiz lagtay ho. Kapray seedhay karna tou door ki baat tum log Namaste keh do tou bohat bari baat hai." Chitresh started with his sermon, one that wasn't frequent but repetitive nonetheless.
"Dad, ab humari ghalti tou nai hai na ke aap aur Ma ne Di ko traditional tarbiyat di hai aur humein modern," exclaimed Manya.
"Hum ne koi difference nai rakha, tumhari Di ne hi apne roots se relation rakha hai. And she takes pride in the fact ke she's from India," Alpana was quick to join in the conversation again.
"Sub-continent Ma. India tou mein kabhi gai bhi nai," Khanak reminded everyone on the table.
"Koi nai ab Jeeju aap ko India bhi le jaein ge, fikar not!" teased Manya.
Though Khanak had made her stance clear to Manya a day before, Manya was still teasing her. This irked Khanak but she gave no reply. She simply did not feel like replying. Shaantanu Khandelwal had took her world by storm and just last night she had concluded that the less she thought of him the better. The man was confused and devoting time to him would simply confuse her too. Her stance was clear: she'd give him a chance because her parents wanted her to.
Khanak's trail of thoughts was disturbed by her father.
"Chup kyun ho beta?"
"Er..kuch nai Ada. Ye choti tou lagti rahay gi. Meray kuch kehnay na kehnay se kya farq parhta hai." Replied Khanak.
Chitresh laughed, "Haan ye tou hai. Par phir bhi beta. Tum ne kuch socha hai Shaan betay ke baray mein."
Had Chitresh been superficial about his concern regarding Khanak's opinion of Shaan, he wouldn't have noticed the light blush that had crept up her face. But Chitresh was one of those fathers who deeply loved his children and left no stone unturned in showing his affection and regard for their views and feelings. So when Khanak said, "Pata nai Ada" he was more than convinced that the first seeds of attraction had been sown. And for this very reason, he kept mum about a surprise that he so ached to tell Khanak about.
A romanticist at heart, no glare from his wife nor any eye signal from his youngest children, would allow Chitresh to divulge this secret. After all, good things come to those who wait, no?
Shaantanu reached Heathrow late at night so it was only logical that he reached the Jadeja penthouse at a time when Khanak was deep in slumber. Chitresh had come to receive him at the airport and he met Alpana when he reached home.
Their home, his mind corrected him.
His eyes spanned the place as if by some magic his gaze would usher Khanak to the living room. Of course, he was wrong.
"Beta kya lo ge? Chai, coffee ya koi soft drink?" Alpana asked.
"Nai nai aunty. Umm...kuch nai. I'm good thanks." replied Shaan.
"Jee aunty, 100% sure."
Shaan smiled his trademark smile and Alpana couldn't thank her stars enough for they had given him such a nice boy as a potential son-in-law. If only Khanak would make up her mind!
"Waise raat kaafi ho gai hai beta. If you don't want to do anything else tou shall I show you your room?" asked Chitresh.
"Jee uncle sure. Waise bhi meine aap sab ko itni raat gae itna tang kiya hai. Aap logoun ko bhi aaraam karna chahiye"
"Haan ye tou hai bhai. Tang tou tum humein bohat kar rahay ho...haha" joked Chitresh.
"Good night Aunty," said Shaan before following Chitresh.
Though he was tired and half-asleep, had missed noticing most of the things about the house, Shaan registered that his room was on the second floor along a corridor with many doors. Bedroom doors, perhaps.
Kya Khanak bhi yaheen hogi?
Will I be able to meet her tonight?
Shaantanu was restless to see her. And he didn't know why.
Of course silly! You have to see ke wo kitni badli hogi. If she's faking the innocence, how long can she keep it up?
But I don't think she's faking it. She seems so much at ease being nice and good-mannered.
True, but phir bhi you can never be sure until you've tested her.
"Ye lo beta, your room is here." Chitresh interrupted Shaantanu's own battle with his mind.
"Jee thanks uncle. Good night."
"Good night beta."
They hugged and Shaan entered his room.
He locked the door and looked around his room. It was fairly spacious, about the same size as his Mumbai room. However, this room had it's own dressing room where the full-length mirror and cupboards were placed and which led to the equally luxurious bathroom.
He took a long warm shower and took his time deciding what to wear for bed. By the time he was ready for bed the clock showed 1 am. Still, sleep evaded him. His mind wandered to Khanak and when he brought it back to the business project and the things he had to get done, it wandered away to Khanak again. And again. And again. Until the clock showed 2:30 am.
Still no sleep.
To keep his mind off the vixen who was no doubt sleeping soundlessly a few bedrooms away, Shaan decided he would unpack his clothes and other belongings and put them away in the cupboards. He delayed the task, did it at a slower pace than a tortoise would have done it at. The clock displayed 3:30 and still his sleep was far far away.
Aur ye Khanak. Araam se soi huwi hai.
Haan dekho tou issay!
Arey honay wala patti ghar aya hai. Us ka swagat karney ke liye kuch ghantay bhi nai jaag sakti?
Exactly!- Err...wait a minute. Kya kaha tu ne? 'Honay wala patti'? Pagal hai kya?
Kya yaar! Mera matlab. Ho sakta hai honay wala patti ho jo ghar aya hai. I mean, nonetheless mehman tou houn na. She should've stayed up.
You've lost your mind dude. Chal so ja. Bed pe letay ga tou neend aye gi na.
Not a bad idea. Aur kuch karnay ko bhi tou nai hai.
But as Shaan went to lay down to sleep another thought occured in this already confused mind. This time round, however, Shaan paid heed to the though before his mind could argue.
He unlocked his bedroom door and tiptoed outside. Throught the bright moonlight that came from the huge glass window at the end of the corridor he observed and adjusted his eyesight to the corridor. Just opposite his bedroom door was the store; he had opened the door and checked. The door second nearest to his bedroom was opposite his door and had a caution sign posted on it. "Caution! Unrestricted Intelligence Alert! Enter at your own risk" it read. Probably Harshit's room, concluded Shaan, faintly remembering his own teenage years. The next door, was decorated with hanging bead-strings and had a little plate saying "Minnie" on it. Manya's room, concluded Shaan.
That left the door opposite Manya's the only one Shaan hadn't made a decision about. It was bare except for a wooden carving which hung in the middle on the upper side of the door. It seemed like an African carving- deeply meaningful yet simple.
It has to be Khanak's room!
The question now remained: should Shaan take his chance? What if it wasn't Khanak's room?
He closed his eyes for a minute and the answer was crystal clear: he'd take his chances. So, he went back to his room, fetched the familiar beige envelope from his dressing table and slipped it under the room he believed was Khanak's.
Joined: 01 January 2011
Joined: 01 September 2010
Joined: 01 February 2012
Joined: 01 January 2011
Joined: 01 January 2011
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