Joined: 29 June 2009
Joined: 28 June 2010
Joined: 12 April 2011
Joined: 30 June 2005
Chapter 25 - Growing Bond
Shiv opened his eyes and looked around taking in the surroundings. Remembering that he was in haveli, he thought back to the previous night. He was pretty tired by time they reached haveli and Dadisa seeing his condition right away sent him to the guest room to get some rest. He vaguely remembered Anandi waking him up for medicines. A smile curled up on his lips as he thought about her.
Right then like on queue Anandi entered his room and caught him smiling to himself looking blankly at the wall. Smiling at him she walked in and asked, "May I know the reason for your smile?"
Snapping out of his dreamland he looked at her and blurted out panicking, "What? ..Noth... Nothing."
"Ok, don't tell me. But it feels good to see you up and smiling. You were out cold the whole night and we all were very worried. How are you feeling now?"
"I am fine, thank you. I am sorry for troubling you and everyone.", he said guiltily
"It was no trouble at all. Dadisa was very relieved that you are staying here after she saw your condition yesterday night. Now fresh up and eat the porridge."
Shiv looked at the bowl that Anandi placed on table next to the bed and looked at her expectantly. "My yesterdays bargain still stands - eat the whole porridge or get an injection.", she chuckled.
"This is so unfair, Anandiji. You can't do this. You can't force me.", Shiv protested folding his hands into his chest.
"You better listen to me. I can force you. Trust me, I can do this and much more.", she smiled.
Shiv just stared at her in amazement. It felt good, 'he' felt good that she was speaking her mind freely before him. The cherry on top to his happiness was that she was taking care of him and bossing him. Showing him the bathroom she left the room saying, "I will be back in 15 minutes. You better complete it by then."
After nearly 30 minutes Anandi walked into his room followed by Dadisa. He kept aside his laptop and got up from the chair as Dadisa walked in. She enquired him about his health, meanwhile Anandi checked the bowl. She gave a satisfied smile when she saw an empty bowl. Holding a glass of water Anandi walked to him. She passed the tablet to him along with the water. Dadisa gave a satisfactory look at her. Once he was done with medicines, Dadisa warned him not to work that day and to rest well. His protests ended when she threatened that she will take his laptop away if he doesn't listen to her. As dadisa leaves the two, Shiv complained, "Since yesterday everyone is threatening me. First it was you and now Dadisa."
Anandi calmly explained that it was for his own good and they are doing it only because they want him to get well soon. Shiv then asks her if she is leaving for school, for which she says she is staying home today. Shocked he says, "You need not stay home for my sake. I am feeling much better. I can take care of myself and it is not like I will be alone in the house. I will feel really bad if you don't go."
After a little more persuasion she agreed and left. The day passes by pretty fast with Shiv sleeping most of the time.
That evening each family member dropped by to check up on Shiv. He felt overwhelmed by the love and care they were showering on him. As he tries to follow Dadisa in to the main hall, she advises him not to step out of his room and rest till the fever is completely gone. Knowing well by now that arguments are not going to win him anything, he decided that listening is the best option he has.
Around dinner time, Anandi walked in with holding a tray followed by Makhaan. They both arranged food for him and as Makhaan left she handed him the plate and gestured to eat up. He felt relieved when he saw the plate filled with normal food instead of the porridge which he had been forcing down his throat for nearly a day. He quickly took a mouthful while Anandi looked on with satisfaction. Suddenly his hand stopped mid air as he was about to stuff another spoonful. He turned to Anandi who was looking at him confused and asked, "Did you have dinner?"
Surprised by his sudden question, she took a moment before she answered, "No, I will have later."
"Eat with me. Give me company."
"I ... I will have later with others. You please carry on.", she said suddenly feeling more cautious.
Noticing her discomfort Shiv decided not to push her. He felt guilty for asking, for expecting more from her, for wanting more from this relationship they share. Both stayed quiet for a little while submerged in their own thoughts. Coming out of her riviere she looked at Shiv who was lost in his thoughts. She noticed he didn't touch the food again. Taking in a deep breath Anandi sat on the stool next to him, took one poori into her hand, dipped a piece of it in the curry and ate.
Shiv came back to reality as Anandi dragged a stool next to him. His eyes followed every action of hers in amazement and surprise. Before he knew it his heart was racing and his throat went dry. He felt so happy that a huge smile took its place on his face and he silently whispered, "Thank you."
She was a little surprised by his words. She wanted to say something in return but she found herself at loss of words. She ended up saying nothing.
Sharing an eyelock every now and then both silently continued with the dinner. Trying to ease the tension which was unknowingly building between them he said, "Food is really tasty. I feel like eating more and more." But to his disappointment Anandi didn't say anything. She just smiled at him. He didn't say anything more. It was silent again. Once they were done with dinner she took the plate and was about to walk out when he spoke again, "Sorry for asking you that earlier. I shouldn't have. I didn't mean to make you feel bad."
This time she spoke, "No, I am not feeling bad. Infact I am happy you asked. We are friends are we not. So no need to say sorry."
Smiling broadly he said, "Thank you for giving me company. I really liked it."
"Me too" She smiled pleasantly and left.
Shiv woke up the next day and was feeling much better. He got into the shower and walked out feeling refreshed. He started to dry himself when there was a knock on the door startling him, followed by "Collector Saab." He panicked. Looking around he grabbed his pant, shirt and yelled "One minute." He rushed himself into his clothes and opened the door hurriedly.
Looking at Shiv who was out of breath and gasping heavily, she asked concerned, "Collector Saab, are you ok?" Her hand involuntarily flew up and landed on his forehead as she checked if temperature was still there.
Shiv froze the moment her cold, soft hand touched against his forehead. Before he got lost in her he pulled himself together and said "I am fine, Anandiji. I was just getting ready."
Relieved, she looked at him to say something but stopped midway. Because as she saw his face she noticed his wet dishevelled hair falling unevenly all over his face. Adding to the scene were the tiny droplets hanging at the hair tips. Before she knew it she was staring at him, studying his face and forgetting everything around her in the process.
Shiv immediately noticed Anandi staring at him. He looked at her confused. "What is wrong? Why is she looking at me like that? What is she thinking? Did I do something?", his anxiety was increasing as questions invaded his mind. Putting a stop to his chain of questions, he inhaled and exhaled heavily before he asked, "What is wrong Anandiji? Is everything ok? Did I do something?"
Joined: 12 April 2011
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