"Kya huwa hai Khanak?" asked a concerned Sameer. "Why do you look so upset all of a sudden?"
"Shaantanu kya sochein ge Sam?"
"Oh God Khanak! Goli maro Shaantanu ko. Why are you letting him rule your actions indirectly?"
"I am not."
"Yes you are. To hell with Shaantanu kya sochay ga. You're out with me and kisi ko koi problem nai honi chahiye!"
"Ghussa honey ki zaroorat nai hai," Khanak reminded Sameer.
Sameer took a deep breath and looked at Khanak. He held her petite shoulders in his handsm forcing her to look him in the eye.
"Khanak, I know you like this guy but we know nothing about him. Even you are unsure ke asal zindagi mein ye kaisa hai. He seems cynical about women but you don't know why. He has given your relationship a chance but you don't know why. And your fears about all that has gone between you guys are justified."
"Listen to me Khanak. You like him. That's great. But do you love him?"
"Nai Khanak, don't even try to answer that question. You possibly can't. You barely know him. And yes, people fall in love with people they hardly know but you're better than that Khanak."
"Yes, you're right. Tou ab?"
"Tou ab ye ke stick to the plan Khanak. We've gone over this. Caution is the best policy. Let's judge Shaantanu's feelings about you before we open your heart to him."
They started leaving the bar and walking towards the restaurant.
"Trust me Khanak. I am guy AND I am your friend." Sameer reassured her again.
"I do trust you silly why do you think you need to reassure me?"
"Nai I know you're worried. Kaha tha date ker lo us James Clarke ko tum."
"Chup kero Sam!" said Khanak, lightheartedly punching Sameer's arm.
"Nai seriously babe at least tumhein idea tou ho jata iss sab ka," laughed Sameer.
"Acha nai actually mein ye iss liye keh raha tha because Khanak there is risk in totally putting yourself out there. Especially since you're a girl, and a very tradition-oriented one too. Plus, you're someone who is very pure and sincere at heart. I mean, from what you've told me, Shaantanu looks like a nice guy but then there is always a limit to his openess. I'm sure he thinks you're simple and straightforward. Then why keep things from you? And puhleez, itna tou janna tumhara haq hai ke ussey auratein itni buri kyun lagti hein. He should know that. Plus, jitna tum ne ussey apne baray mein bataya hai uss ne tumhein 30% bhi nai bataya hoga apne baray mein. So take it easy yaar."
"Fine. Easy hi tou le rahi houn. It's just that deep down I think he's a great person. And what if he's taking time to open up because he is unsure of my reaction? What if he wants to please me and not upset me?"
"Ho sakta hai Khanak but dekho he should know ke to take this thing further he has to let you in. Plus, you hate liars. So what's there in his life is there. He can't change that. Why not tell? I am sure tum logoun ki itni understanding tou ho hi gai hai. And warna tou he seems to be so much at ease with you from what you've told me. Phir kyun nai bata sakta wo tumhein apne baray mein?"
"Hmmm...you're right. But I just want to make him feel comfortable around me. Make him feel ke he can say anything to me without being afraid of what I'd think."
"Agar aysa time ana hoga Khanak, tou aye ga. Moreover, if you're too overt about your feelings tou he might get scared away or commitment phobic if he feels his feelings don't match yours when in truth he might just be needing a bit more time to realize his feelings. I am a guy Khanak so I know. Lay low for a while. He like to be in control and you need to set the record straight ke you're your own person. Theek hai ke you've gotten into this because of your parents and you've found him likeable but are you willing to compromise your independence?"
"No I don't want to compromise my independence but how do you know he likes to be in control?"
Sameer laughed again at the confused yet concerned expression on Khanak's face. This is how he had imagined it would be when she fell for someone. He had always believed that someone would be either an Indian or an arranged marriage proposal to say the least. Shaantanu was both! No wonder Khanak was so anxious.
"The way he strode to the dance floor, that said it all," he winked.
"Sameer tum bhi na," Khanak pushed him away while his laughter only got more infectious, causing Khanak to smile.
"Kero lo blush beta but please, restaurant anay wala hai get into character!"
"Who were these two Shaan?" asked Natasha as they were walking to the restaurant.
"Oh..how do you know them?"
"Doesn't matter Natasha. Can we just walk and enjoy the weather?" replied a sulky Shaan.
His mind was still on the dance floor and Sameer leading Khanak. First on the dance floor, then off the dance floor. The two seemed so much at ease with each other. There seemed to have been no discomfort until Shaan had stepped ahead and his bothered him to no end.
It had been ten minutes since they were waiting for Khanak and Sameer in the restaurant.
Ten minutes! Kar kya rahe hein ye dono. Tujhe Khanak ko us stupid aadmi ke saath akele chro ke nai ana chahiye tha Shaan!
Kyun? Meri kya lagti hai Khanak jo mein ussey rokta. Plus wo us Sameer ko jaanti hai. She could've asked me to stop. We could all have gone together but nai.
Yes, my dear friends it is often when one feels insecure that one questions the motives of those they know are sincere. For when one isn't sure of oneself, one thinks it is illogical to believe others.
So caught up with his anger at himself and Khanak was Shaan, that he didn't notice that the woman had arrived with the man he so despised at his moment. They were seated at a square table. Khanak sat between Sameer and Shaan, opposite Natasha.
"Chalo bhai, let's order! Bohat bhook lagi hai" said Sameer.
"Yeah. Shaan and I have decided our orders tum log dekh lo." replied Natasha as she successfully signalled a waiter to come to their table.
"The usual, Sunshine?" asked Sameer.
"Yup!" said Khanak, smiling a radiant smile.
"We'll have two twin chicken breast steaks with mushroom sauce." Sameer told the waiter.
Excuse me, Sunshine!!!
What the hell was going on here!
If Shaantanu could curse out loud, beat up Sameer and still stay in Khanak's good books- he's have done it!
Does this man even know who he is talking to?
She's exclusive to me!
We haven't really finalized things but hello Khanak? he felt like snapping his fingers in front of Khanak's eyes to make her realize he was still there. He, the person she was getting to know because they were probably going to get married! Unbelievable!
As they waited for their food to come, the four started talking.
"You two looked fab on the dance floor by the way," said Natasha to Sameer and Khanak, frustrating Shaan even more.
"Yeah, you two looked as if the world didn't exist for you guys," laughed Shaan.
To an ordinary observer, the comment would've seemed like a compliment or a tease. And that's why the underlining meaning went unnoticed by Natasha. Sameer and Khanak, however, were startled by Shaan's response. Nonetheless, they kept themselves composed.
"Yeah, well Khanak and I had decided we'd go out and spend some "us time" together tonight. It's been a while ke we've hung out for long together. I've been away on a conference and you know, phone calls and skype apni jaga and in person baat cheet apni jaga," replied Sameer, smoothly.
Natasha agree, but Shaantanu had more to add.
"Tou why didn't you take Khanak with you?"
Prickly comment number two- noted Sameer and Khanak. What was up with Shaantanu? Where Khanak was baffled, Sameer was excited.
"Yeah Khanak had to sort a few things out in London and I didn't want Alpana Aunty to worry unnecessarily. Aur phir meine kahan jana hai. Conference or no conference, it doesn't really matter to me and Khanak." answered Sameer.
"Wah yaar. So are you guys dating?" asked Natasha.
Second update for the week. Sorry for keeping you guys waiting. I've written a longer update to make up for it. Was planning to make it longer but my sister needs to work on the laptop I'm using and I couldn't risk not updating today. Hope you like the update!
Edited by ABlank90 - 22 July 2012 at 3:36am