Joined: 04 September 2011
Joined: 04 September 2011
Joined: 04 September 2011
Joined: 04 September 2011
Joined: 01 February 2012
Joined: 04 September 2011
Everyone called it a night as soon as they reached Khandelwal house. Everyone except Khanak and Shaantanu. While Shaantanu stopped to lock the main door before going to bed, Khanak took the opportunity to get a glass of water from the kitchen. As she came out of the kitchen, she saw Shaantanu moving towards the staircase.
"Hmm?" he turned around.
She walked up to him, clutching her hands in nervousness.
"Woh'ummm'thanks," she finished awkwardly.
"Thanks?" he raised his eyebrows.
"Ermm'I mean'I know you felt awkward about it but phir bhi you made it clear to Sunil uncle that the elders are betting on the something that won't ever happen. So, thanks."
Shaan inched closer as if to whisper in her ear.
"Ever happen is too big a statement. Doesn't seem likely abhi, that's what I'd say," he said, winking.
Khanak rolled her eyes and started climbing the stairs. Shaan held her arm.
"Arrey..aren't we cool now?"
"Tou thora mazak tou banta hai na?" he smiled.
Why did Shaantanu seem to be in such a good mood all of a sudden, she thought.
"Mazak aur flirting mein farak hota hai," she said and turned around to go upstairs.
"Itna tou chalta hai yaar," Shaan pulled at her arm to turn her around. She did turn around, but in the process lost her balance and stumbled. Shaan held on to her as she leaned on him. Thankfully, the railing caught Shaan's back and they both didn't fall down.
Shaan kept on holding her for a few more seconds when Khanak realized they were staring into each others eyes while their bodies were quite awkwardly close to each other. She looked down, "Itna bhi nai chalta ab."
"Huh?" Shaan failed to understand what Khanak meant. It took him a few more seconds to realize that he was holding her against himself in a rather awkward position. He gently let go and Khanak straightened herself.
To remove the awkwardness of the moment, Shaan lightly said "Kya yaar. Tum hamesha girti kyun rehti ho?"
"Kyunke mujeh pata hai ke aap mujeh pakar lein ge," she pretended to blush, leaving Shaan awkstruck. Her smile was contagious, and never did Shaan realize he was smiling until Khanak snapped her fingers in front of his eyes.
"Kitni filmi ho tum," Shaan tried to save himself.
"Kyun? Flirting sirf aap ke dialogues ko kaha ja sakta hai?" she was quick to reply.
They both smiled.
"Acha ek request hai. Since I did what you wanted me to do," Shaan said.
"Please. And I mean please mujeh 'aap' kehna band kero."
"Kyun?" Khanak was genuinely surprised at this request. Shaantanu was definitely weird!
"Kyun it looks formal yaar!"
"I knew you would but please." Shaan insisted.
"Why don't you confess ke it makes you feel old?" laughed Khanak and Shaantanu laughed with her.
"I'm serious Khanak."
She paused to think.
"I'll try. Actually mujeh aadat hai 'aap' kehne ki to everyone," she justified. He nodded and they moved upstairs and when to their respective bedrooms.
"Chal na Shaan. Let's go out tonight. We'll call Ducks over too," Rahul tried again.
"Nai yaar aaj mood nai hai," Shaan replied, packing his laptop for the day.
"Pichle teen din se 'tera mood nai hai'. C'mon yaar itna kaam karey ga tou you'll go mad,"
"Arrey yaar tang mat kar na. Aglay week chalein ge. We'll have a boys night out," Shaan promised.
"Aglay week kyun? Tu Khanak ko bhi bula le na aaj," Rahul suggested cleverly.
"Arrey what will she do with us yaar. Who awein bore ho-" Shaan stopped mid-sentence "Khanak? Khanak kahan se aa gai?"
"Tou tu aur kyun nai aa raha?"
"Mood nai hai yaar bata tou raha houn," whined Shaan.
"Tera mood ghar pe hai beta iss liye," winked Rahul.
Shaan paused for a second and then boxed Rahul's arm.
"Kyun saaley? Tera mood kya hai?" Shaan exclaimed, though in a friendly way.
Rahul smiled, suppressing a laugh "Jazbati kyun ho raha hai. I caught you. Why don't you admit that?"
Shaan went to sit on the sofa nearest to his office table's chair and Rahul joined him. Shaan held his forehead with his hands and sighed. "I don't know what's happening to me yaar."
We all know one annoyingly indecisive person in our lives, don't we? One who is as annoying as he is endearing. And while we wish we were somewhere else while they deliberated their decision, we also want to help them get to one. Such was the situation Rahul found himself in. So he patiently listened to Shaan ramble on about this feelings. After all, his friend too was human. How long could his ego hold all those sentiments in?
Shaan narrated the whole story with Khanak from the start. From their first meeting in London when he had found her to be someone sincere, someone genuine, someone who was very clear about what she wanted in her life. Yet, what intrigued him was her compassion for her parents. Despite the fact that she was a modern woman, her parents' opinions and happiness meant so much to her. He had never seen someone take such a big decision to agree to get to know someone for marriage just because her parents wanted her to marry him, especially since she was an independent thinker.
"But you did say she was conservative?" Rahul asked in confusion.
"Yes, she's conservative. But not in the sense that she'll mindlessly agree to whatever elders are saying. Or follow rituals because that's tradition. She's conservative because she finds meaning in all these traditions and rituals. She's mindful of her parents' happiness because she respects their opinion. Even I love my parents Rahul, but you know ke mein kabhi ye na karta."
"But tu ne agree tou kiya. You agreed to get to know Khanak. Why?"
Here Shaantanu took the first pause. "Pata nai." He rubbed his forehead. "I just could not say no. And then I thought ke there is nothing to lose so why not try it out? Plus, at least this way mom dad ko mein ye tou keh sakta houn that when I don't get married it's not that I didn't try. I just didn't find the right girl," shrugged Shaantanu.
Rahul simply nodded and Shaan continued to tell him more. He recounted how Khanak was always formal with her replies to her letter and how she didn't mind being sarcastic every now and then, prompting him to be sarcastic too. And then how she kept on asking him to open up, leading up to their fight at the caf in London.
"And agay ka tou tujeh sara pata hi hai yaar," finished Shaan.
Rahul had been listening quietly without interrupting Shaan for a while now.
"Kuch boley ga bhi tu ke nai?" Shaan poked Rahul.
"Kya boloun yaar?"
"Haan bol na!"
"Tu sunay ga?" Rahul asked, seriously.
"Dekh Shaan. I get it ke tu Khanak se irritate kyun huwa. I get it. But that's because mein tujeh jaanta houn. And even though I know your reasons, I won't say your reasons were right."
Shaantanu tried to interrupt but Rahul held up a hand to silence him.
"Khud hi soch Shaan. You say Khanak was formal with her
replies but have you thought ke tere letters khud kitne formal thay. To be
honest if I was in place of Khanak tou mein bhi aysi hi replied likhta. Plus,
dude she's a girl. And, going by what you say, a very morally conscious girl.
Tujeh lagta hai ke woh ek hi letter mein tere se frank ho jae gi? Woh bhi tab
when you two are secretly writing to each other?"
Shaantanu was thinking, Rahul gladly noticed.
"Tujeh ye nazar aya ke she was formal. Ye nazar nai aya ke at least she's writing to you. Idiot, that's probably her way of showing interest. Had she only been doing all this for her parents tou she could easily have told you that this is unacceptable and she will only talk to you through her parents or when both your parents know. But she didn't do that. Did she?"
"So you mean to say she liked me?" Shaan involuntarily smiled when he asked this.
"Tu train patri se agay na chala. Listen first," Rahul
reprimanded Shaan. "Phir aati hai baat sarcasm ki. Mujeh tou Khanak, frankly
speaking, bohat achi larki lagti hai. Plus, as far as I've seen tu hi ussey
taunts marta hai. Obviously she'll retort back."
"She started it," Shaan cut in.
"I'm not taking sides on this one Shaan. But tu ne ye socha hai ke even if she initiated the sarcastic humour maybe she did it because she didn't want to seem too frank with you. Or too eager? Because let's face it tum dono ki pehli meeting se itna tou pata lag hi jata hai that you weren't very interested while she was, even if it was because of her parents but fact tou yahi hai na that she seemed more interested. Plus, she agreed to correspond with you via mail. A bold step on her part, I'm sure. Tou obviously she wouldn't want to portray herself in a way that would hurt her self-respect."
Shaan drank in everything Rahul was saying.
"And Shaan, saaley tu goodlooking bhi hai unfortunately. That would've made her more cautious too," Rahul lightly poked Shaan's head.
Shaan smiled weakly. His mind was processing all that Rahul had said. Had he truly been so selfish? He had been looking at the whole scenario just from his own point of view. Would Khanak actually have gone through all that and all the while he had not known about it? It was certainly possible.
"Aur lastly idiot," Rahul's voice caught Shaan's attention again, "woh agar tujeh apni zindagi ke barey mein bata hi rahi hai tou tu kyun nai apna mou khol sakta bhai?" Frustration rang in every word that Rahul spoke, making Shaan feel more of an idiot with every passing word spoken.
"I needed time yaar! I barely knew her," Shaan defended himself.
"Khottay! Tou woh kya tujeh bachpan se jaanti hai? Start
out by telling her little everyday stuff about you yaar. Build up the
friendship. Teri baatoun se tou yahi lagta hai ke she was the only one talking
about stuff which would actually help you two get to know each other. Plus, she
asked you twice and gave you time to open up'"
"And then accused me of being a playboy, courtesy the newspapers!" Shaan added in frustration. Why the hell was Rahul taking Khanak's side?!
"Maybe that was her way of showing you she'll be okay with whatever you have to say. Depsite the fact that she's righteous and traditional and all, knowing that you've gotten a 'party boy' reputation back home because of your looks and status, she is still sitting with you and giving you guys a chance. So, in fact, it was her way of encouraging you to open up idiot!"
Though Shaan didn't want to admit it, Rahul's explanation made sense. Khanak had never really said she believed in all that and she was smiling when she taunted him about his reputation. Maybe she really did mean no harm and wasn't being judgemental?
"Doosri baat," Rahul continued, "you need not have immediately told her about why you're skeptical of women. You could've saved that for later but at least tu ussey apne barey mein kuch tou personal batata to assure her that you're serious about things. Ho sakta hai that you would've found out ke she was trustworthy. Honestly, Shaan I think teri obsession with your theory has made you insecure." Rahul concluded.
"Insecure? Pagal ho gaya hai?"
"Aur kya yaar'. I mean itni bari koi baat bhi nai hai jis pe tu ne ye theory banai hai. And even if it means so much to you tu handful of people ke liye baqi sab larkiyoun ko bhi burra assume kar raha hai. That's unfair man."
"Don't go there Rahul" warned Shaan.
"Yahi tou masla hai na. 'Don't go there'. Jab tu baat nai karey ga aur khud hi cheezein assume karey ga tou phir frustrate tou hoga hi na. Khair frankly speaking, acha hai that you let it all out. We've analysed the situation and Khanak aur uncle ko tu pehle hi bata chukka hai that there's no potential in this match. That's what Khanak said she wanted and that's what you wanted too. So kissa khatam. Ab kuch dinoun mein she'll be back in London and you'll be at peace in Mumbai." Rahul patted Shaan's leave and left his office.
When Shaantanu reached home from office, he declined his mother's offer for tea and went straight to his bedroom. As he came out from the bathroom, he saw a cup of tea lying on his writing table. His mind instantly went back a few days to when Khanak had brought the same cup for him and had spilled it's contents on his hand. She had then held on to it firmly as she blew on his hand to soothe the burning feeling. Her forehead frowned slightly as she perhaps internally scolded herself for being careless. A few strands of hair escaped from behind her ears and caressed his wrist. Khanak concentrated on his hands, blissfully unaware of the ticklish feeling on his wrist. Then, almost as suddenly as she had held his hand she left it as a blush crept up her cheeks. Embarrassed, she literally ran out of his room. The flashback made him chuckle.
Joined: 01 January 2011
Joined: 30 September 2010
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