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Around midnight both of them are deep asleep in their own room when a strange dream disturbs Ashu. He sees BB saying, "I don't want to be a burden to you anymore beta. So I am leaving." Saying that he turns and goes away despite Ashu calling out to him to stop. Then he suddenly finds himself at Armaan's fashion show (which was held in Lucknow long ago when Armaan saw Nidhi with Ashu for the first time) and Nidhi comes and asks him, "why did you fire me Dr Ashutosh? Is it because I made mistakes or tried to help the kids or because Dr Mallika hates me, ya phir iss liye ke main aapse.." without finishing the sentence she turns and runs away. Then he sees CV telling him "main iss rishthe ko kabhi sweekar nahin kar saktha." And Nidhi standing near all the coconut trees wearing the same blue dress and telling him "I promised by Baba that I would never meet you again. I am out of your life now Dr Ashutosh." then finally Mallika's "unless, you want something to happen to that precious wife of yours, I suggest you get her to get rid of that baby, otherwise both of you will have to bear the consequences" That sentence pushes him into wakefulness and he looks around as if disoriented and shakes his head as if to clear away the disturbing images. Why today of all days, did he get this dream? Dream? This was no dream. This is a nightmare. All nightmares rolled into one. he turns towards the bed as if to assure himself that it was indeed a nightmare. That his Nidhi is there right beside him. Her arm stretched out to his side of the bed as if even in sleep she is reaching out to him. He pulls her tight against him and almost smothers her with his hug and she protests in her sleep. Ashu immediately releases her and adjusts her blanket, goes to the rest room and splashes some cold water on his face. Still the images of Nidhi turning and leaving him after hugging him for the first time keep haunting him. Of how she showed him heaven and consigned him to hell in the next minute. He puts on his shoes, takes the keys and leaves the room with only one destination in mind. He goes to the same place in the resort. The place where he finally searched and found Nidhi. The place where he had called out to her and she turned and ran towards him and hugged him. He touches the tree but keeps seeing Nidhi telling him that its all over that he should leave now that she promised her baba. He covers his ears as if to stop hearing those words and shakes his head as if to dislodge those images. Finally losing the battle he sits on the ground with his back to the coconut tree, with his knees pulled up and eyes closed, his head resting on the tree trunk. He shouldn't have come on this trip. He just wanted to remove all the bad memories and replace them with good new ones. He wanted to show himself and his fate that "see now I have a full life of my own. I am not some deprived starving kid hungry for affection and food anymore. But some things just don't go away. They stay and keep needling you at unexpected times. He is so happy in his life now. he has someone to call his own. He belonged to someone. He now has everything that he was once even afraid to even think of. Still these old hurts keep haunting him. How long? Will he ever be free of them? knowing how crazy Nidhi is about him, he is still thinking of the day she chose her father over him. What kind of a man did that make him? Then he hears a voice, "Dr Ashutosh aap mujh se door ja sakthe hain. Lekin apne aap se kaise door jaayenge? Aap jahan jaayenge mujhe payenge." He lifts his head and looks around and finds Nidhi standing a few feet away saying the same words that he said that day so long ago. Ashu stands up and leans against the tree. And just like that day, she runs towards him and hugs him. He slowly brings his arms around her and hugs her back. "I love you Dr Ashutosh. nothing and no one can part us again. Never ever again." And she gives him a kiss filled with all the love she holds in her heart. And just like that she chases away his demons and brings him back his peace. As soon as she had woken up and found him gone, Nidhi got worried for a second. Then she remembered that too tight hug and knew something had disturbed him. She knew where he would have headed. She knew coming here was affecting him too. Both of them needed new memories to erase the pain of the past. She pushes him away and starts looking around on the ground. "Nidhi, what are you searching for?" nidhi doesn't reply and continues her search. Finally, she says "Yes!" and gets hold of something. Ashu sees that it's a stone with a sharp edge. She goes to the tree where he was previously leaning against and starts inscribing their names. Ashu comes close and sees what she is doing, laughs and says "Nidhi, yahan bhi?" "why not? Ab se yeh mera tradition ban gaya. Hum log jahan bhi jayenge, wahan ke ped par main aise hi apne naam banaongi. Nature ko bhi toh pata chale ki hum ab saath saath hain." Ashu laughingly pulls her cheek and arms around each other, they make their way back to their cottage.
Next day is all rainy at the resort and by the time Ashu gets up Nidhi is almost ready to go to the convention. She is wearing a dark maroon cotton salwar with a black dupatta to go with it. She keeps the jewellery to a minimum. Just her mangalsutra which is tucked inside the high necked top and a single bangle on one hand and a wrist watch on the other and a pair of simple maroon ear rings. Nidhi – good morning Dr Ashutosh! Ashu – Good Morning Dr Nidhi! How come you are up so early? And no morning sickness today? Nidhi – "I feel a bit nauseated but otherwise fine. Bfast is at 8 and the first lecture starts soon after that. I am off now." Ashu – "ok. You go on then. I still have to finish a bit of my presentation and my lecture is tomorrow morning." Nidhi – "how are you going to present it? Got the slides and everything ready?" Ashu – "no didn't have time for preparing the slides. What with Anji's marriage and workload at KGH.." Nidhi – "then why don't you use the tab that I gave you? you can make the slides in power pt in no time." Ashu – "Nidhi, I can sure operate my laptop and check my mails but that's the extent of my knowledge and you know that. What you are telling now is greek and latin to me." Nidhi – "ok. No problem. I will come in the evening and you get everything ready by then. I will make the PP presentation for you." Ashu – "as you say doc!" Nidhi gives him a peck on the cheek, collects her writing file and pen and leaves. Ashu looks at the closed door and thinks, in that dress she doesn't even look like a married woman, never mind a pregnant one. just a very young professional intern. The day passes quickly for both of them as they lose themselves in their respective roles. That day's lectures are about the latest techniques in paediatric surgery and psychiatry. Other than sending a brief sms to Ashu reminding him to have lunch and his reply asking her to do the same, she spends the day taking down the notes of the lectures and interacting with other interns and briefly saying hello to Dr Sunil. Around 5 in the evening she returns to the room and finds Ashu scribbling down some points from one of the text books that he brought along. He looks up from the book and gives her a distracted smile and returns back to his writing. Nidhi freshens up, orders tea from room service and goes behind the chair where Ashu is sitting and starts massaging his neck and shoulders. His pen drops from his hand and he closes his eyes in relief. Nidhi – are you almost done or not?
Ashu – done. I was going through some research work online and lost track of time. So it was after lunch that I actually started my prep. So doc, how was your day?
Nidhi starts updating him and starts working on his tab in parallel.
Ashu – you sure you want to do that right away? You are not too tired?
Nidhi – no I am fine. Don't worry. But you please make some sense of what you wrote here. I can't understand a word of your handwriting.
Ashu – kyon? Kya kharabi hain mere handwriting mein? No one has complained till now.
Nidhi laughs aloud and says – that's because you mostly write only prescriptions which go to medical shops. And I think pharmacists undergo special training in order to understand this kind of handwriting.
Ashu – arre nahin yaar. Its not that bad. In fact its better than many of the doctors that I know of.
Nidhi – haan yeh toh hain. Waise ki I worked with Dr Sunil only for a few days but his is worse than yours.
And she rolls her eyes at that. Both laugh. The next hour is spent with Ashu telling Nidhi what he wanted and how and Nidhi making the PP according to that. She then saves it and makes a copy in her jump drive just in case and explains to him how to start the whole thing, connect to the projector in the hall and how to go from one slide to another. After that Ashu is like a kid with a new toy. Experimenting and learning whatelse can be done on the tab, how to connect and talk to a doc in U.S. Nidhi sits on his lap and shows him everything demanding a kiss for every new thing that she has shown. Before they know its late evening and time for another get together followed by dinner. Both of them get ready and leave. They arrive at the hall and start mingling. Nidhi goes to the interns that she met that morning, Dr Smita and Dr Aarav and they wish her and start conversing.
Smita – Dr Nidhi, you said you are from Lucknow, right? Do you by any chance know Dr Ashutosh?
Nidhi – Yes. I work in KGH as his intern and we came together. Actually you see I am…
Smita – really? You work under him? How lucky! I saw him when he was getting registered. He is so handsome. When my boss said he is a 42 yr old surgeon from Lucknow, I expected someone short with a pot belly and reading glasses.
Aarav – ha toh Dr Ashutosh ko glasses hain na.
Smrita – are you kidding me? Just look at him Aarav. He looks so dashing with the glasses and even the grey hair. Like someone from an M&B novel - tall, dark and handsome. Isn't he Dr Nidhi? Tell me honestly, didn't you ever have a crush on him?
Nidhi – actually Dr Smita i…
Aarav – stop it yaar Smita. You are doing your internship and here you are talking about M&Bs and tall dark heroes. And I am sure Dr Nidhi has better things to do than ogle her boss. And can't you see she is married?
Smita – she is married Aarav so what? Doesn't mean she can't appreciate a genuine work of art!!
Their talk is interrupted by the call for dinner. Ashu comes to Nidhi and says, "shall we go Nidhi?" all 3 look at him with varied expressions. Aarav slightly embarrassed, Smita with a besotted look and Nidhi with a mischievous smile. Now what did she do!! Whenever she got that look, Ashu quaked in his shoes.
Nidhi – Dr Ashutosh, I want to introduce you to Dr Smita and Dr Aarav. Both are interns under Dr Agarwal from Mumbai. Smita, Aarav, this is my dean and boss, Dr Ashutosh.
Ashu realises what is happening..that Nidhi has not told them. he gives her a threatening look while shaking hands with them and is about to clarify when Dr Smita intervenes.
Smita – Dr Ashutosh I saw that your lecture is going to be tomorrow. And I sure am not going to miss it you know. Dr Agarwal told us all a lot about you and the case you handled in Delhi along with him.
She is so obviously batting her eye lashes and trying to flirt with AShu that her colleague rolls his eyes dramatically and Nidhi suppresses a giggle behind a cough. Then suddenly Smita's eyes catch sight of Ashu's right hand ring finger.
Smita – sir, I am sorry for asking this personal question but you are engaged? But Dr Agarwal said…
Aarav – Smita stop it yaar
Nidhi – actually Dr Smita, Dr Ashutosh is married.
Smita looks crest fallen! – oh! Although I am not surprised. Agar main aap se pehle mili hui hoti na Dr Ashutosh, kisi aur ko chance hi nahin deti!
Ashu is embarrassed at being the main topic of conversation and the fact that this girl is flirting with him right in front of his wife and his wife seems to be enjoying the show. he gives an awkward smile to the two interns and asks Nidhi to come to the dinner. It's a buffet today so everyone is mingling and moving from group to group while eating. Ashu and Nidhi are about to leave to get their food when Smita catches hold of Nidhi's hand and asks Ashu – Dr Ashutosh, we are all planning to go shopping tomorrow evening. Can we take Dr Nidhi along with us?
Ashu – yeah sure. After the convention tomorrow afternoon, she is free and if she wants..
Smita – waise toh even you could join us. you know, you can buy something for your wife.
Aarav is a quiet kind of a guy and is almost dying of embarrassment and trying to pull her away from Ashu and Nidhi but her feet seem to be rooted to the floor and her eyes glued to Ashu.
Nidhi – ji ha Dr Ashutosh, why don't you accompany us? you can buy a nice gift to your wife. It will make her very happy na.
Ashu says, yeah, ok we'll see and moves away to get his plate. Once the other interns are out of ear shot, he turns to Nidhi and says, Nidhi, you started this again?
Nidhi – sachchi mein Ashutosh! I didn't start anything this time. Dr Smita was not listening to me. Every time I tried to tell her, she kept interrupting. Waise toh lagta hain aap par ek aur intern fida hogayi hain.
Ashu – ssshhh..Nidhi! aisa kuch nahin hain.
Nidhi – aisa hi hain Dr Ashutosh..you didn't listen to what she was saying before you came along.
Ashu – no thanks. What I heard so far is more than enough. Honestly, these days, girls have become so forward, sometimes I can't believe the things I see and hear.
Nidhi giggles some more and both spend the rest of the evening conversing with others. Ashu with his colleagues and Nidhi with other interns and juniors in the group.
The next day morning soon after the bfast session is Ashu's lecture and he is all set in his typical suit but this time with a bright coloured tie that Nidhi had given him on his bday as one of his gifts. He is standing at the mirror and he is all ready except for the tie and the coat. Nidhi comes in front of him and leans on the mirror table and takes the tie from him and starts tying it. His arms go around her and he pulls her close. She is once again wearing one of her dresses. Sometimes he felt as if he is seeing two different people. Now she looked like a typical Dr Nidhi in her full dress, dupatta and minimum jewellery. Evenings for the social gatherings, she always wore sari with all the necessary accessories and turned herself into Mrs Nidhi. He pulls her even closer. "you know I like you in a sari better. Want to know why?" Nidhi moves closer still – "why?" Ashu starts moving his hands on her waist– "coz when you wear a sari, I can touch you hear like this and like this and there won't be anything obstructing my touch." Nidhi brings her face closer – "so you don't want me to wear dresses anymore?" Ashu brings his face even closer – "I didn't say that." Nidhi brings herself even closer..so close their breaths are touching each other and a moment later their lips bridge that little distance too.
Both of them rush through the bfast and go to the conference room of the resort. Many are already seated and Nidhi wishes Ashu good luck and goes and sits in the audience along with Smita and Aarav. Smita wishes nidhi distractedly, having her attention already fixed on Ashu. The speaker starts the day 2 convention and welcomes everyone and later introduces Dr Ashutosh and gives a briefing on his topic and asks AShu to take over. Everyone claps and Ashu opens his tab and starts his topic. When its time for the slide show to begin, he has a bit of difficulty in connecting the tab to the projector and signals Nidhi. She rushes to the podium and sets up everything and stands behind Ashu and keeps changing the slides on the tab basing on his speech. Having been relieved of the device, Ashu concentrates fully on what he is saying and the speech ends on a standing ovation, Dr Smita being the hardest one to clap. Nidhi looks around all the faces from her place on the podium and feels so proud of her husband. as Ashu steps down, Dr Satyajeet comes ahead and greets him by saying, "that was a great topic Dr Ashutosh and looks like you are on the information highway." And he gestures towards Ashu's tab. Ashu gives a rueful smile and says, "arre nahin Dr Satyajeet, I am still a dinosaur where these gadgets are concerned. But Nidhi gave this and told me to better start using it or else!!" both of them laugh at that. That evening as per plan and Nidhi's insistence, Smita, Aarav and AshNi leave for shopping. Kerala is famous of the typical white/cream with gold bordered dresses and saris and all 4 go to that store. Aarav gets a dress for his sis and a sari for his mom, Smita buys a couple of dresses and tops for herself and turns towards Ashu - sir, ab aap ki baari. What do you want to buy for your wife?
Ashu looks at Nidhi and says, "what should I buy for my wife?" before Nidhi can answer, Smita says, "sir, I think you should buy a sari. You are around 40 na. toh your wife would be around 36/37?? Sari would be really wonderful for her." Nidhi is about to intervene and divert Smita when Ashu replies, "no Dr Smita. My wife is 24 yrs old. She is 18 yrs younger than me. and a dress or a sari, both would suit her very well." There is no trace of embarrassment or awkwardness in his expression or voice. It is very matter of fact, normal and confident. Aarav and Smita are both left speechless for a few seconds and Ashu looks at a particular sari and picks it out. Nidhi sees that and gets a huge smile on her face and nods her head in her typical style. Later she picks out another dress and they all come out of the shop with their purchases. Smita goes to Ashu and says "you really married someone 18 yrs younger than you sir? Oh wow! How romantic is that!! I should definitely meet her. Oh wow! How did you manage to do that? I mean did you all run away and get married without telling anyone? Oh wow! That would have been awesome! I mean oh wow!" she is almost in raptures over it and Ashu shakes his head with a laugh and moves away to join Aarav and Nidhi. All 4 have dinner together and although Ashu feels a bit awkward mixing with the other two young interns, he makes an effort and joins in their conversation and ends up having quite a bit of fun. Its quite late by the time they reach the resort and the cab driver takes the fare from Ashu and says in broken hindi "achcha hain ek bada hain inn bachcha log ke saath. Times not good at night even in kerala." Ashu looks at the driver, at the rest of the 3, clears his throat and says, "yes. you are correct." Nidhi hears this and gets riled. "oye uncleji, hum bachche nahin hain. Zimmedaar doctors hain. Aur yeh jo hain na, yeh mere husband hain." Then she turns to Ashu. "Aur aap, aap yeh correct correct kya bol rahe hain? Matlab aap bhi mujhe bachchi bol rahe hain?" She wants to say more to the driver who is busy looking weirdly at Ashu and Nidhi but Ashu pulls her hand and takes her inside. Aarav turns with a bemused look to find Smita sitting in a collapsed way on the stairs. "Dr Ashutosh aur Dr Nidhi….husband and wife hain?!!" Aarav laughs and gives her a one armed hug and says, "serves you right for flirting so shamelessly. Now you know that you flirted with him shamelessly in front of his wife." Smita groans aloud at this and covers her face.
Nidhi is still arguing with Ashu and he is trying to shush her and they are on the way to their cottage when a voice calls out to them. both turn around to find Anji and Ranganath behind them. Anji runs towards them and Nidhi automatically stretches out her arms to receive her friend's bear hug. But Anji bypasses Nidhi and goes and hugs Ashu, who laughs and twirls her a bit before putting her down. "so howz my saali sahiba doing?" Anji blushes and looks at Ranganatha and blushes some more. AshNi understand that whatever issues both of them had initially, they are over them now and have started enjoying the honeymoon stage. Ranganath also comes and shakes Ashu's and Nidhi's hand. Ashu – "how come you guys are here now? you were supposed to come tomorrow na." Ranga – "yes sir. But I cleared all the backlog at KGH so I thought may be we can get an extra day. Hope that's alright." Ashu – "of course its alright Dr Ranganath. Its quite late now so both of you go and relax now and we'll catch up again in the morning." Anji and Ranga nod and Anji hugs Nidhi and tells her she will come to her cottage tomorrow and once again hugs Ashu and says "Thank you Jeejaji" and both of leave hand in hand. All izz Well with Ranga and Anji.
Nidhi – Anji ne aap ko thank you kyon bola?
Ashu – kuch nahin Nidhi. I called and spoke to her the day before yesterday. Told her a bit about Ranga's pt of view and how she should understand the sentiments and emotions of her in-laws. That's all.
Both of them enter their cottage while talking and freshen up.
Nidhi – I don't know Ashutosh. she seemed very angry by the fact that Ranganath went along with his parents in everything and never gave her his time. Uska kehna bhi jayaz tha na. every woman dreams of those first days of marriage and spending time with her husband. and here she ended up doing bhajans and rasms.
Ashu – "aisa nahi sochte Nidhi. See, she was going to be
there only for a few days. And its her duty to make her in laws also happy na.
anyway, you won't understand. Come and lie down." Nidhi changes into her night
dress and almost collapses on the bed and turns side ways. Her legs and feet
are aching quite a bit from all the walking and sitting all through the day and
she starts rubbing her back too and glares at Ashu. "what do you mean I won't
understand? Why won't I understand? I am also a married woman now." Ashu
adjusts her position properly and sits behind her and starts rubbing her back.
She sighs in bliss. "nidhi, for you to understand adjustment with in-laws, you
have to HAVE in-laws in the first place na. you don't have a mother in law and
your father in law is your nana so that doesn't count either." Nidhi pouts a
bit and then closes her eyes and then immediately pops them open when she feels
Ashu touching her foot. She sits up and pulls her legs away saying "yeh aap kya
kar rahe hain?" Ashu – "your feet are hurting you na. they even look a bit
swollen to me. Toh dabaane jaa raha hu aur kya?" Nidhi – "you want to massage
my feet? Are you sure?" Ashu – "Nidhi, why are you thinking and talking about
this so much? Waise, you shouldn't have
walked so much today. You were standing all through my lecture and then later
this shopping trip. All in all today was too hectic for you and my daughter.
Now be a good girl and lie down properly." Nidhi has a slightly doubtful and
amazed look but does as he says. He puts her foot on his lap and starts
massaging. Its heaven for her. His hands are pure magic. Ashu starts on the topic which has been on his
mind for quite some time - "nidhi main hamesha se is barein mein baat karna
chaha par mauka nahi mila..aur mile bhi honke to sayad maine gawa diya..
Nidhi - kya baat hai??
Ashu - nidhi i guess we need to think about ur career..u shud do ur pg...entrance exam ki taiyari shuru kar do
Nidhi - ji main bhi soch rahi thi
Ashu - very good...thats like my woman...toh bolo major kisme karogi??
Nidhi - pata nahi socha nahi abhi tak..pehle exam to crack karloon phir sochungi..
Ashu- exam to tum waise hi crack kar logi i know and I am there with you na I will coach you...if u ask me main kahunga ki tumhe pedriatics mein hi specialisation karna chahiye..
Nidhi doesn't even blink before replying - then pedriatics it is...
Ashu - arre nahi nidhi its just my opinion tum khud bhi soch lo..
Nidhi - isme sochne wali kaun si baat hai??aap ne kaha hai to soch samajh hi kahe honge..and u always think about things well ahead na. Baba told me how you had decided on being a neurosurgeon even before you completed your MBBS(Ashu laughingly rolls his eyes at this)...so i don't need to think about it any more..par ek prob hai...agar meri admission Lucknow main nahi hui to??
Ashu - thats obvious hona bhi nahi chahiye...tumhe to aiims mein aapna pg karna chahiye...
Nidhi – AIIMS? You seriously think that's even possible? Ek toh I am going to be writing the exam almost at the end of my pregnancy and competition these days is so intense and then with the baby later…how will I do it?
Ashu- we'll think about all those logistics later. If it comes to that, I will take a long leave from KGH and me and baby will accompany you to wherever you get the seat. Yes, it won't be that easy, but we'll work out something. Its only for a couple of yrs na. Don't think about all that now. as soon as we get back home, your preparation starts. We'll allocate early morning or night hrs for this and I will be there with you every step of the way.
Nidhi happily nods her head at this and Ashu suddenly feels an overwhelming love towards this child woman who has so much confidence in him that basing on one word from him and she decided on the course of her whole future. He cups her face in his hands and gives a sweet kiss on her forehead. It's a simple kiss that rocks Nidhi's world.
Ashu - hum kahan se kahan aa gaye
Nidhi...i still remember those dates if u would like to call them dates..i mean
those initial ones..jisme pyaar ki aahat to thi par hichkhichahat bhi thi...i
was not the one am now...kuch bol hi nahi pa ta tha...mujhe lagta tha ki mujhe
bolna chahiye aur tum expext kar ti thi ki main kuch bolun par bol nahi pa ta
tha...soch to pa ta tha...par izhaar nahi kar pata tha...
nidhi - par main to aapki naino ki bhasha tab bhi padh pati thi aaj bhi padh leti hoon
Ashu - i know... woh delhi wala operation...tumhari pehli pyaarbhari daant...ahh i so liked it..infact i loved it...jab bhi tum mujhpar haq jata ti ho na to mujhe bahot accha lagta hai sach mein...
Nidhi - aapko meri daant aacha lagta hai...aap darte nahi hai????
Ashu - nahi nahi darta to mai bahot hoon.(ashu said in a way as if he is really afraid)
Nidhi – fir?
Ashu - accha bhi lagta hai Nidhi. Some one to demand something from me with love!! yaad hai nidhi jab wo taxi driver ne tumhe bhabhiji bulaya tha na toh mujhe bahot accha laga tha.
nidhi blushed at that
Nidhi - tab to mein use allow nahi ki thi..par ab bulata to mai to khushi khushi maan leti...
Ashu - hmm...then that accident..(Nidhi closes his mouth as if to stop his words. "plz mujhe wo sab baatein nahi sunni hai..."
Ashu - arre nidhi par that accident was a turn around for me in our relationship...hum kaise usse bhool sakte hai??
Nidhi - par mein bhool na chahati hoon..it almost snatched u away from me...this thought still scares me to the core..
Ashu - uss accident mein itna takat to nahi tha ki mujhe meri nidhi se alag kar sake...ek tum hi to thi jise yakin tha ki mai zinda hoon...baki log to mujhe upar bhej chuke the
Nidhi - shut up..aise baatein nahi karte
ashu - yeah but its a fact...uss accident ne meri jaan to mujhe lauta di nidhi par mujhse meri har ak majhburi cheen li...hospital mein jab meri aankh khuli to maine tumhe phone kiya...tumhari aawaz sunke hi mujhe laga tha ki main sach much zinda hoon.
Nidhi - aapka who "hey doc am back" toh main zindagi bhar nahi bhool paungi.
Ashu - accha??itna accha laga tha???tumne to isse pehle bataya nahi mujhe..
Nidhi - accha??sirf accha nahin...bahot hi sensuous laga tha. Saying that she starts giggling and winks at ashu. "baap re...mai aur sensuous...hey bhagwan!" Nidhi can't control her laugh and Ashu pulls her close and pushes her hair back lovingly. "tab ki meri dard ki dawa aaj mere jeene ki oxygyn ban gayi.."
Paya maine paya tumhe rab ne milaya tumhe
Hoton pe sajaya tumhe nagme sa gaya tumhe
Paya maine paya tumhe sab se chupaya tumhe
Sapna banaya tumhe neendon main bulaya tumhe
Tum jo aaye zindagi mein baat ban gayi
Ishq mazhab ishq meri zaat ban gayi
Sapne teri chahaton ke roz hoti hain nayi
Din hain sona aur chaandi raat ban gayi
Next morning nausea hit Nidhi even before she got up from the bed. She rushes into the bathroom and after her bout of sickness, washes her face, brushes her teeth and comes out to find Ashu ready with her 7Up. After gulping down a few times, she sits and takes a breather. Ashu is still looking at her with a worried look on his face. "Nidhi, may be you should stay back today and not attend the convention. Take some rest and put your feet up." Nidhi – "I think I better do that too. Feel really horrible right now. but I will attend the afternoon session. Interesting topic hain." Ashu agrees and gets ready and after calling up and telling Anji to keep Nidhi company, leaves for the convention. That set the routine for that day and the next. Nidhi and Anji spend the morning chatting about anything and everything and joined their respective partners for lunch. After lunch, Ranganath skips the lecture and goes out with Anji and Nidhi attends the convention. All 4 have dinner together and chat and retire to their respective cottages after that. Next day evening both couples along with most of the convention members leave for the airport. Smita is initially hesitant to talk to AshNi after her disaster the previous day but Nidhi smoothens the atmosphere and they exchange phone numbers and email ids with promises to stay in touch. By late evening all 4 return to Lucknow and their respective homes. Tired but their minds and hearts filled so many new sweet memories.
In the morning, after her bout of sickness and her medicine of 7Up, Nidhi is in the kitchen helping HK in making some paratas for bfast and the door bell rings. Ashu opens the door to find Rohan. "arre Rohan tum! Itni subah subah..come come come inside." And seeing that Rohan is looking around for Nidhi, Ashu points towards the kitchen.
Rohan – hi Nidhiji
Nidhi – hi Rohan! Good Morning! Kya baat hain itni subah subah?
Rohan – Nidhiji, the thing is when you were in Kerala, we approached a few schools and yesterday KGH had a tie up with 2 of them.
Ashu – tie up? Meaning?
Rohan – matlab Dr Ashutosh, if any kid in that school falls sick or meets with an accident or has any other medical related issues, the school will contact us or bring the child to KGH only. In addition to that KGH also would be providing their annual med check ups for all the kids.
Ashu – that's a nice idea Rohan. Good work!
Rohan – thank you sir. So I am going to one of the schools now. they want a standard health certificate form from KGH and have assigned one of their staff to help us make it. I thought Nidhiji should also come since she can give an input on what should go into the form from the doc's perspective.
Nidhi – cool. Ok. just give me 10 minutes and I'll come with you Rohan. Need to finish making these for Baba and Ashutosh.
Ashu comes behind Nidhi, puts his hands on her shoulders and moves her aside and takes over the cooking. "you go ahead and get ready. I will wrap this up. Rohan, you had your bfast? No? then come on join in. aaj mere haath ke parate khana." he gives a plate to Rohan and adds a parata to it and despite HK grumbling that he will manage, continues to fry the next parata. Nidhi comes and is also forced to eat by both HK and BB and then both of them leave.
Both of them reach the school and go inside and Nidhi is still busy narrating the kerala convention to Rohan and Rohan smiling and nodding but at the same time looking for someone.
Nidhi – kya hua? Kisse doond rahe ho?
Rohan – Aanchalji ko
Nidhi – Aanchal? Yeh Aanchal kaun hai?
Rohan – woh iss school mein 11 and 12 stds ko mathematics padathi hain. She did her graduation from IIT and she is currently helping us with these forms and everything.
Both start looking around and Nidhi sees a girl about 22/23 walking towards them in green salwar. That girl waves and Nidhi turns to see Rohan also waving back and realises that that's the teacher Rohan is talking about. She comes close and gives a shy and delighted smile to Rohan and Nidhi sees a slight blush staining her cheeks and looks back at Rohan with raised eye brows but Rohan is oblivious to both the blush and Nidhi's observation.
Rohan – Aanchalji, this is Dr Nidhi. She is an intern at KGH and is helping me in this project. Nidhi and Aanchal shake hands and Nidhi immediately likes her smile.
Aanchal – hello Dr Nidhi. Rohan told me that you went to a convention and are supposed to be back today.
Nidhi – hello Aanchal. Its really nice meeting you. you teach 12th std maths, is it? Wow! Maths was my weakest subject. I tried my best to avoid it.
Aanchal laughs a little and says, "I think since you are a doctor, you can be excused for that. Waise Rohan's favourite subject is Maths."
Nidhi raises one eye brow, looks at both of them and says "achcha?! Lagta hain inn do dinon mein aap dono ki kaafi jaan pehchaan hogayi."
Aanchal a bit shyly says "aisa kuch nahin hain" and Rohan in his usual blunt way says,"haan we talked quite a bit." Both say it at the same time and all 3 end up looking at each other and break into laughter. Then Aanchal takes them to the staff room and they discuss and finalize on the medical report form and Rohan tells Aanchal that he'll get back once the printer is out with the first batch of forms and Aanchal tells him to sms her if he has any issue. Nidhi hears this and thinks "achcha toh phone numbers exchange bhi kar chuke..interesting!!" and aloud she says, "Aanchal, why don't you come to KGH one of these days? You can see the hospital and meet us. aaj kal toh Rohan most of the time wahi pe rehta hain." Aanchal – "ji. I came by yesterday. Rohanji was busy in a meeting so I waited for sometime and left." Rohan – "yeah uskeliye maine aapse sorry bola na. it was a sudden meeting. Couldn't be helped. And I told you to call me "Rohan" yeh "ji" mujhe pasand nahin." Aanchal – "and if you remember correctly, I also told you to call me Aanchal. So as long as you keep calling me Aanchalji, I will keep calling you Rohanji." Rohan raises his eyes heavenward and says – "ok baba. I won't add the ji anymore. Khush?" Aanchal happily nods her head and as if suddenly remembering Nidhi's presence, looks at Nidhi and bows her head a bit in shyness. Nidhi is so delighted that she is almost ready to get on the table and dance. Pehle Nidhi, next Anji ab lagta hain Rohan ki baari. Yeh ladka toh gaya!!
Nidhi – no issues. Come again tomorrow whenever you are free. In fact why don't you come to KGH after the school? Saath baitke chai peeyenge and both of you can get to know each other more…I mean we all can get to know each other more.
Aanchal says ok and they fix on the time and say bye and leave. She comes till the gate and once again shakes Nidhi's hand and says "it was really nice meeting you." Nidhi says "same here" and Rohan gives Aanchal a wave and both turn to leave. After going a few feet, Nidhi says, "rohan, baat kya hain?"
Rohan – baat? Kaun si baat?
Nidhi – "yeh Aanchal wali baat..kya chakkar hain?" she wiggles her eyebrows.
Rohan – aap bhi kamaal karti hain Nidhiji..aisa kuch nahin hain. Aap ne dekha na. she is just helping us out with the forms.
Nidhi – Rohan maine toh bahut kuch dekha aaj. Infact maine toh woh bhi dekha jot tum dekhne se mana kar rahe ho
Rohan – matlab?
Nidhi – matlab apne Rajkapoorji se poocho pata chal jayega. And I am betting that if you look back at the gate now, you will still find her standing there looking at you.
Rohan instinctively looks back at the gate and yes, Aanchal is still there standing and looking at them. on seeing Rohan, she waves slightly and he waves back. He turns and looks at Nidhi with a question on his face and Nidhi nods his head with a slight smile. He looks lost in thought for a few seconds and looks back at the gate again and slowly starts smiling. Nidhi laughs aloud at that, loops her hand through his and pulls him towards his car. She can't wait to tell this to her husband!!
Nidhi almost flies into ashu's cabin in her enthusiasm."Ashutosh you won't believe this! Guess.." her words come to an abrupt halt when she finds Ashu in meeting with Dr Gupta, the cardiologist. She covers her mouth in embarrassment and tries backing away but the usually very serious looking Dr Gupta (he is Ashu's senior by a few yrs, previously mentioned in chapter 28), gives Nidhi a smile and gestures her inside. "we are almost done Dr Nidhi. Am off now so you can share that unbelievable thing with your husband." he pats her head affectionately and nods at Ashu and leaves. As soon as the door closes, Nidhi breaths a sigh of relief and starts almost bouncing around with excitement.
Ashu – Nidhi! Stop it yaar! Quit all that bouncing and tell me whats got you so excited. I am sure you have made my daughter giddy by now. sit first and drink some water.
He is suddenly reminded of the day she barged into his cabin in the same way to discuss her Alzheimer patient case. He didn't know it was his Baba then but she was exactly like this that day too. When she is excited about something she literally vibrated and that never fails to bring a smile on his face.
Nidhi – Guess what? You won't believe this. Rohan went and got himself a girl friend!
Ashu – what???
Nidhi giggles and says – "haan. We went to that school na. there is a teacher there. Teaches maths. Aanchal. She is total fida over Rohan. Lekin Rohan ki batti aaj hi jali..i asked her to come to KGH tomorrow. You can also meet her. she is really sweet. A little shy type. But uski smile mujhe bahut achchi lagi."
Just then Rohan knocks and walks into the cabin. AshNi look at him both with big big smiles on their faces.
Rohan – what?
Nidhi – what what?
Rohan – Nidhiji, why are you both smiling at me like that?
Ashu – that you have to tell us Rohan. You are the one with the latest news on schools and mathematics teachers.
And for the first time Ashu sees Rohan's face with a blush and feels as if a weight is off his shoulders. Rohan – "Dr Ashutosh aap bhi na. Nidhiji ne pata nahin kya kahan aap se..aisa kuch nahin hain." Ashu – "maine kab kahan ki kuch hain? You all just came back from the school so I thought I will ask how it went." He is trying to hold back his smile and Rohan tries to change the topic and suddenly remembers the reason he came here in the first place. Rohan – "Dr Ashutosh, the car dealer is here. He has the vehicle and here are the keys. He is waiting at the reception." Saying that he gives the keys to Ashu and leaves.
Nidhi – what vehicle? You bought another car?
Ashu – "no. I bought a car. For you." saying that he hands over the keys to her and gestures the door as if to preceed him. Nidhi looks at him speechless!
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