Joined: 17 May 2009
He was a man who detested casual hugs.
Formal handshakes were the way to go.
The first time she had met his family, she walked into the
house like it was hers. And her warm hugs to his mother and sister had startled
him. Who did she think she was, hugging them like that?
And before sleeping she had given him a hug! Asad Ahmed Khan did not do hugs!
She had absolutely no idea about how things were to be done, he thought.
She was really uncivilized. How was he going to live with her?
She walked in for breakfast one morning wearing a low-cut top. He nearly lost it at her, but pretended to read the paper. He didn't want her knowing that he noticed her.
Not that he realized he somehow always did.
When she saw her favorite pancakes on the dining table, she ran to his mother.
A loving kiss from a mother to a daughter, that's how anyone would have seen it.
It appalled him. No one he knew had the audacity to do such things, especially in front of him.
He would have to talk to her about this later.
He went back to his paper.
He got back from the dargah one day and saw her sitting with his family in the hall. It had been more than six months since she had been living with them. He had gotten used to her presence.
His mother and sister adored her. So much he knew.
But what about him?
He could tolerate her now, he supposed.
He noticed how her eyes lit up when she saw him. He nodded stonily and went his way.
He took a glass of water from the kitchen and tried to ignore the loud beats in his heart. He never understood why that happened when he was near her.
He heard a dispassionate cry from the hall and rushed out.
She had lost her earring. Leave it to her to make it sound like the apocalypse. His family was looking around and he joined them.
He saw something glisten on the floor and he bent down.
The jhumka glistened in the light. He walked over to her, she wasn't facing him.
He coughed softly, waiting for her to turn around. When she spotted her earring, she squealed in delight.
She quickly took it from him and grinned.
"Thanks, Asad!" She said, and ruffled his hair.
He saw how his mother and sister froze. No one had the guts touch him.
She gave him a sunny smile and then the women of the house continued their talk.
He let out the breath he was holding and stalked up to his room.
Once he shut the door, he ran his hands through his hair. Damn that spark of electricity when she touched him.
What made her think she had the right to do things like that?
He barely even knew her!
He found himself replaying the incident again and again in his head, and each time he felt even more ashamed then before.
He was losing all his self-control when he was with her. He was accepting things about her which he would have found to be appalling in the other women.
In other words, he knew he was losing himself to her.
He needed to deal with this. Before things got out of hand.
He went down for dinner a little later than usual. His mother and sister seemed nervous at his arrival; they seemed to have noticed his tension.
While eating, he carefully said, "Zoya, I need to speak to you."
She looked at him and then slowly said, "Tell me, Asad."
He sighed irritably and said, "I need to speak to you. ALONE."
She looked startled for a second and continued eating. After the meal, she rushed up to her room for some reason he couldn't comprehend.
While his family was clearing up the table, he left for her room. It was better to speak to her there, where nobody else could hear.
"Asad! Wait for a minute." His mother said.
He turned to face her and said, "Yes, Ammi? I have to go see Zoya now."
"I am well aware of that, Asad. And that's why I want to talk to you. I know you're going to talk to her about-"
"Oh!" He said, "You already know then? That I have issues with Zoya?" He felt relieved. "Good, Ammi. I didn't want to hide it from you."
His mother looked horrified and said, "In no way do I approve of any of the issues you have with Zoya! I just want to tell you to leave her to herself! Don't try to change her!"
His anger grew by the minute, "AMMI! This is my house, understood?! She has to live by my rules here!"
"NO, ASAD! This is her house as much as it is yours now! She can do what she wants!" his mother retorted.
"Are you serious, Ammi?! You're justifying her disgusting behavior.
Never before have I seen such an uncouth, unreligious, immoral person in my entire life! Her habits are just
disgusting to me. And most of all, her behavior? What is with all the kisses and the hugs and the touches, Ammi?!
Which girl with self-respect does any of that?! I bet her parents-"
"ASAD!" His mother bellowed.
He looked back at her with contempt, "Don't try to change my opinions about her. They're here to stay." He spat out.
His mother gave him one long stare.
"Never," she said coldly, "Have I ever been more disappointed in you, Asad."
"And today, I realize that it's my fault that you're' like this."
"And in trying to make you a successful person' I forgot how to teach you to be human." His mother whispered and walked away.
He stood there, not knowing what to say. His sister glared at him and went away.
He sighed and went up to Zoya's room and knocked. She didn't open the door and he couldn't see a light on.
She had slept, probably.
He decided to speak to her tomorrow. Maybe by then, his mother would see sense.
She had run up to her room halfway through the mother and son's conversation. She had come down to talk to Asad and then heard all the commotion.
She couldn't believe that Asad actually thought those things of her.
And she couldn't believe that she was somehow affected by his opinions.
She had to admit, when she came into this house, she had loathed him. And she still believed that he was a moron.
She realized with a sinking feeling that Asad had grown on her, like a moth attracted to a flame. She didn't know when and how it happened, but it did.
She didn't know why she felt so upset by these events. She didn't even know when she started feeling something for that ass of a man.
She understood his contempt for her. What was she thinking of herself? Barging in on some family's lives and expecting them to get used to her habits, when it should be the other way around.
She had to pull it together; she had to make a choice.
And most importantly, she had to teach herself how to fall out of love with Asad Ahmed Khan.
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Joined: 17 May 2009
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It was indeed a high Voltage sartorial drama at Puja Banerjee's ...
The two will be seen gracing the wedding season, Band Baajan ...
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