Joined: 01 February 2012
Joined: 27 July 2011
Joined: 04 September 2011
Shaantanu Khandelwal had spent an unusually restless night. He couldn't remember the last time he tossed and turned in bed as much as he had done that night. Finally, an hour or so after the sun had come out he decided it was pointless to lie in bed and he might as well get ready and surprise everyone at the breakfast table.
And surprised they were! Shaantanu's early morning appearance at the breakfast table astonished everyone from Madhvi to Dadi. Khanak nearly stopped in her tracks as she brought the parathas from the kitchen.
"Aap log aakhri din bhi Khanak se kaam karwa rahe hein?" Shaantanu decided to speak since no one else had uttered a word after seeing him.
"Nai. Mera hi dil tha ke jaaney se pehle mein sab ke liye naashta banao. Phir pata nai kab mauka miley." smiled Khanak.
"Maukay mil jatay hein, bas dhoondne parhte hein!" replied Shaan.
They both smiled.
"Akshay zarra tv on karna. News pe dekhein kaheen suraj maghrib se tou nai nikla aaj!" exclaimed Sunil.
Everyone at the table laughed as Shaan looked on, confused.
"What's the joke guys?" he asked, digging into the paratha Khanak had put on his plate.
"Pehle tou tum itni subha naashte pe aye ho. And then tum itne philosophical ban rahe ho! Nature ka balance upset ho gaya hai lagta hai," laughed Sunil.
"Company ka asar hai," Shaan winked at Khanak.
Though it was just a friendly wink, Khanak felt butterflies rise in her stomach. She glared at him to remind him that they were sitting amongst elders at the dining table and that he should control himself. He just grinned and winked again, loving to see her embarrassed!
Nobody noticed this covert exchange between the two.
"Itni jaldi uth gaye aur office bhi nai jana aaj? Maajra kya hai jinaab?"
Shaantanu was brought out of this thoughts by Khanak's voice. Shaantanu had been standing on the balcony outside his room and had been thinking about the very person who had interrupted his lone time.
She offered him a cup of tea and stood next to him holding her own cup.
"Coffee kyun nai banai?" he asked.
For a while none of them said anything. They stared at the noisy Mumbai traffic move on the road outside the building not noticing the cars but thinking about each other. It was amazing how they had come this far. To be standing here, at this time, without the urge to taunt each other, without frustration seething from every word they spoke to each other. To be in each other's company and not feel awkward if neither talked. The comfort, the familiarity, the warmth- neither of them had felt this before, but neither of them wanted to give this feeling a name.
Shaan raked his brain to find a suitable word for their comradeship. It wasn't just friendship, but it couldn't be love. It had to be something in between. But what?
Khanak meanwhile, tried to calm her racing heart. She reasoned with it- this wasn't love, it was just a new type of friendship. Shaan was no Sameer, and she had never had a guy friend whose company was nearly as comforting as Sameer's that is why she felt so for Shaan, she told herself. But did that explain the butterflies and the blushes? To put it plainly, it didn't. Never once had she felt like that in Sameer's company and if Shaantanu was less important than Sameer why did she feel like this for him? A little part inside her heart told her she was trying to deny the inevitable, the only real explanation for her feelings but she shut that part up. She wasn't ready to destroy her newfound friendship. She wasn't ready to get hurt. Not yet.
"Tum ne packing kar li?"
"Hmmm…" she nodded, sipping her tea.
"Sab kuch tayyar hai?"
She looked at him and smiled, "hmmm."
"Why the mysterious smile?"
"Come on Khanak."
"What? Seriously, banda waise smile nai kar sakta?"
"Nai. Har 'waise' ke peechay reason hota hai!"
"Being philosophical doesn't suit you."
"Don't try to change the subject."
"Aannnd we're back to fighting! Yup that suits you."
"Mein serious houn…"
"Oye tu office kyun nai aya?" Shaan and Khanak's banter was interrupted by Rahul.
"Eerr…waise hi." Shaan ran his fingers through his hair.
"Namaste Khanak," Rahul smiled.
"Ab you're here tou shayad mujeh bhi pata chal jae why Shaantanu didn't go to the office. I asked him but koi jawab hi nai de rahe ye."
"Very nice! Ab tum dono team up kero ge mujh pe?" Shaan complained.
"Haan as soon as I join you guys with tea. Mein abhi Hari Laal ko keh ke ata houn!" Rahul exclaimed.
"Ek minute! Chai meine banai hai so if you really want to join us give me five minutes mein abhi aati houn." Saying this, Khanak kept her cup on the ledge of the balcony and ran downstairs.
"Kya chakkar hai boss?" Rahul jumped on the balcony's ledge and patted Shaan's back.
"Dude I'm literally confused."
"Kis barey mein?"
"Khanak ke barey mein yaar!"
"Us mein confuse hone ki kya baat hai?"
"Tu rehne de. Tujhe bataya tou tu ne tou ek hi baat kehni
"Acha? Bari achi tarhaan se jaanta hai tu mujeh?"
" 'Jee haan!' Beta tabiyat tou theek hai? Itni tameez se tu kab se baat karne lag gaya? Khanak ka asar hai lagta hai," sniggered Rahul.
Shaantanu shot him an annoyed look.
"Masla kya huwa hai Shaan?" Rahul recomposed himself seriously.
"Dude, I think tu theek keh raha tha. She's different. I mean, mujeh lagta hai she's genuinely nice and caring and very principled. Mujeh nai lagta that she's faking all that being nice all the time. But then, I don't trust my judgement. I've made mistakes in the past yaar."
"So? Saaley everyone makes mistakes…doesn't mean they stop making decisions or judgements? And agar tu ne Khanak ko buri tarhaan judge karne mein time nai lagaya tou tu ussey acha samajhne mein itna hesitate kyun kar raha hai?"
"Because I don't want to be wrong yaar."
"Sissy na ban! Ullu, unless you make a choice you'll never know if you're right or wrong. And don't forget, tu ne pehle Khanak ko bura samjha tha…you're reevaluating that and saying ke she's nice tou tu bas apni judgement sahi kar raha hai. Why are you so afraid?"
"Plus, I think ke she's a gem of a person yaar. Dekh na mere liye chai bananey gai hai. I think she likes me…ab apni hone wali bhabhi ki thori si tou izzat kar kaminay!"
"Bhabhi hogi teri saaley!" Shaan lightly pushed Rahul. He quickly jumped ahead inside the balcony as a primary instinct because a harder push would have made him fall.
"Arrey! Have you lost ki? Maray ga kya?" Rahul exclaimed.
"Sorry man, awein reflex tha of course I didn't mean it."
"Bhabhi achi hai I know, jazbati kyun ho raha hai?"
"Mazak na kar Rahul, I'm warning you!"
"Mazak kahan kar raha houn. Khanak bhabhi achi hai. Mere liye perfect bhabhi dhoondi hai tu ne ab haath se mat jaane de warna…"
"Kis ko haath se mat jaaney de?" Khanak entered with a steaming cup of tea and offered it to Rahul.
The two men exchanged uneasy looks and finally Rahul came to Shaan's rescue, "ek investor ki baat kar rahey thay. Shaan is skeptical but mere khayal se he should invest more time and energy into getting the investor's attention. Ek baar us investor ki approval mil jae tou is ski life set ho jae gi, according to me."
Every word that Rahul spoke was measured carefully and didn't lose it's meaning on Shaantanu. Khanak, of course, was oblivious to the hidden meaning in these words.
"Tou aap kyun itne skeptical hein Shaantanu?" she asked innocently.
"Haan pooch iss se Khanak. Maybe you'll be able to tell him what's the more 'economical' choice for him. Itna skeptical hai that's why he didn't come to the office today." Rahul chimed.
Khanak looked towards Shaantanu for an answer.
"Err….kuch nai Khanak I'm just being careful. I don't want to get carried away. Abhi iss investor ke saath koi final deal ho bhi nai sakti tou why get involved." Shaan clarified his stance.
"Arrey but if this investor is a worthy find tou build up your relationship and confidence with him so that he'll be with you when you need him. If you give him a proposal out of the blue tou he's more likely to reject you than if he had previously known you closely." Khanak advised.
"Exactly! And a few bad investors in the past doesn't mean ke agay jitney bhi investors milein ge they'll be frauds too." Rahul continued.
"True!" agreed Khanak.
"And mere khayal mein tou you should just get over old
investors and whatever consequences they had. Start fresh here. It's not that
"Really? Ye tum keh rahey ho Rahul?" asked Shaan.
Rahul's smile faded as he understood the meaning of what Shaan meant. It officially ended the conversation though luckily for the guys, Khanak had been too busy in finishing her tea to notice the last exchange of words and glances.
"Don't worry uncle aunty, I'll drop Khanak to the airport. Flight bohat late night ki hai aap log rest karein."
Shaan had offered to see off Khanak that night at the airport. He was to drive her there and ensure she checked in. The elders had caved in to this plan in a last effort to save a dream they had seen for their children. Maybe a long drive to the airport would do the trick. They had noticed Shaan and Khanak's growing friendship but had not forgotten how clearly the two had rejected the idea of marriage. If anything could be done, the two needed more time together.
At the airport Shaan stood besides the queue as Khanak got her boarding pass. The drive to the airport had been unusually quiet and shadowed by a persistent feeling that they both had wanted to say something but ended up not saying it.
Khanak wondered if they should continue writing to each other so brought that subject up before bidding Shaan goodbye.
"We can always email each other?"
"Kyun?" he asked.
"Errr…I thought you might want to stay in touch."
"I do but emails..?"
"Tou phir? Letters? Letters take time yaar."
"Don't you like writing letters? Isi liye tou I proposed them over email." asked a confused Shaan.
He had let his guard down and Khanak had picked up on it.
"Why would you think I like letters?"
"Because they're old-fashioned?"
"You think I'm old-fashioned?" Khanak retorted.
"No. But I think you like antiquated things….don't you?"
"I do," she smiled, "but aap ko kaise pata."
Shaan smiled and moved a but closer to her. "Bas humein pata hai," he mimicked her.
"Aur aap ne letters isi liye likhe kyunke humein ache lagte hein?" Khanak continued.
Trapped. Shaantanu was trapped. He had no answer. In fact, he had never thought about it like this. True, he had chosen to write a letter but that was an impulsive decision. Back then, he reasoned it by saying he didn't know Khanak's email id and didn't want to ask about it from his dad but then he never even asked Khanak about her email id in any letter!
It had to be a co-incidence! It might have slipped his mind. Yeah. No need to panic, he told himself.
"Meine letters isi liye likhe kyunke mujeh laga ke tum itne puraney khayalaat ki ho. Shayab email use karna na ata ho tumhein!" he laughed.
She pouted and rolled her eyes.
He'd never confess, she told herself.
"Fine! Meri flight hai so I'm off…" she started.
"Oye! Yaar mind tou na kero.." Shaan held her arm to stop her from leaving.
"Why do you think mein mind karoun gi. Mind karne ke liye tou mind chahiye hota hai na. And you think I don't have it!"
"Kitni samajhdar ho tum Khanak. I am impressed!" Shaan sniggered.
"Bye!" she huffed and started moving.
"Arrey," he tugged at her arm, "sahi tarhaan mil ke jaao yaar I stayed up half the night to drop you." He made a puppy dog face.
She looked at him and wondered if she should drop her anger-act.
"Ek hug?" he winked. "To new friendships?"
She smiled a little.
"That's my girl," Shaan came forward and hugged her.
Surprisingly, Khanak found herself not feeling awkward while hugging Shaan. It didn't seem forced or wrong. It felt right. They were friends after all, and it was perfectly normal for friends to hug. They had buried their disagreements and had gotten to know each other better. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that they complimented each other. Conversation flowed freely, jokes were tossed around as much as taunts were and neither of them felt uneasy at their companionship. Perhaps their earlier fall out had been because they were forcing themselves to know each other because of others and their patch up had been because they themselves had wanted to clarify their stance in front of the other. Clearly, whether they accepted it or not, they did not like to be perceived in the wrong light by each other.
Before they broke apart, Shaantanu gave a gentle reassuring squeeze.
"Have a safe flight and let me know when you reach okay?"
Shaantanu watched Khanak retreat behind the doors of the passenger terminals and wondered why he felt heavy. It was as if a vacuum had formed inside his chest and it was sucking something in. For a few minutes after he lost sight of Khanak, he stood there realizing that they had parted again. He didn't know why, but he longed to see her soon.
Super super sorry guys! I had SO many deadlines to meet and work to get done that I didn't have a second to write an update. I really feel bad for not updating for so long. Hopefully this long update would make you guys feel better though I know it's super annoying when one doesn't get to read an update for so long. So, sorry once again!
And more importantly, thank youuu!! Seriously, you guys are amazing. Your comments, your support...everything means so much to me. I feel as if I do not do enough to get all this from you guys but seriously thanks a lot guys! Love you all! And I'll try my best to update sooner. I'm very ill these days and the cold has even led my sore throat to become mute and I have a major event to organize but I will try to update sooner.
Joined: 25 May 2011
Joined: 11 June 2011
Joined: 30 September 2010
Joined: 01 November 2012
Loved it!!! The family members able to see the changes in Shaan's behavior..Shaan definitly ve feelings for Khanak..What is his past??? Why he is still scared to take decision based on it??? Khanak too scared to accept her feelings..Rahul managed the situation well and he adviced Shaan rightly.. Khanak too joined him in giving advice to Shaan without knowing that they were actually talking about her and not investors..nice touch!!! Wish ShaNak accept their feelings and confess it soon..but before that Shaan needs to share his past to Khanak through letters at least if he is uncomfortable talking face to face..
Looking forward and thanks for writing an awesome update..
Joined: 12 March 2012
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