Joined: 17 September 2010
Joined: 17 September 2010
"Great ! Let's see how we can find a common peaceful zone and stay here without talking to each other."
"What !!!!! No………..No way !!! You are not staying in my house……"
"I have paid 3 crores for it………so technically speaking half of the bungalow is mine….."
She stared at him….. Zapped and Flustered !!
No, this can't be true. He had actually proved his 'dhamki' to be true and did what she had never expected him to do. Moreover, he was so cool to blame it on her as in – "Feel free to take the pressure coz the onus lies on you…' As if it was she who had made him leave his house and come there to stay in the bungalow for which he had paid half the amount till now.
'Ufff…..now I have to convince him to go back to his house ! He just keeps increasing my work……' She twitched her lips and looked at him as if he was a strange lab specimen, freshly out of captivity.
"What do you mean by – 'half the bungalow is mine'…..?" She asked raising her eyebrows.
"Don't you remember that I have paid you 3 crores just today morning. What an arrangement mannn !! This is the only place that belongs to both of us equally. So none can say 'get out' to the other..….." He chuckled while moving around the place and observing the interiors of the bungalow.
"Do you find it funny ?" She asked in a frustrated tone.
"Don't you ??" He was almost on a mission to annoy her……and he succeeded !!! She was super annoyed with him and marched towards him with swift steps, while he observed the painting on a wall and turned him towards her with a tap of her hand on his shoulder at his back. He turned towards her and saw her irritated, angry face.
"You left your house ??? Why ???"
"I told you……I was thrown out !!"
"I don't believe it…..I guess you did something that uncle got more annoyed at you and you got a chance to walk out….."
"Well, I have no control over your thoughts…….you are free to think whatever you want. Suit yourself !!!" He was as nonchalant as before. She was more than sure that he had done this to be with her and keep her safe and once again, somewhere she was responsible for this, but it was too much of a burden to take the guilt that he left his house for her. She was almost in tears and her eyes brimmed with shining droplets but she carefully hid them by shrugging and maintaining a tough look on her face. It wasn't a sham. She was really feeling bad about it. And was annoyed at him for making life miserable for her.
"Shaan, you can't stay with me….." She declared in a stern tone.
"I am not staying with you. You are staying with me !!"
She answered maintaining the tough tone, "We…..are…..not…..staying…..together ……Period !!"
He sported a rare sly smile on his face and turned away to sit on the plush couch in the living room and slumped himself comfortably on it, raising his leg to place one knee over the other and then he gave her a suggestion, "Fine ! If you don't want to live with me, you have an option of going back to Rahul's apartment."
"I don't want to use someone's unused property that he is intending to sell, and spoil it just for my benefit, knowing very well that I am not going to buy it. It's unfair to Rahul."
She spoke very clearly and before he could speak, she added, "And………you are not going to pay for it………... I won't let you buy it."
He stood up, left a huge breath of frustration and nodded to say, "In that case, you have to live here…..with me !!! Anyway, for now, I don't have a place to live and I've decided that I'm living here. You decide where you want to go if you don't like my presence here……" He turned away to open his bag and took out his laptop and some files and spread them on the dining table, fixing the laptop near a power plug where he could insert the charger and sat on the chair facing the dining table. She was taken aback by how coolly he behaved and was left with no option but to stare at him with an open mouth and wide open eyes. She had no words to express how she felt and so she stayed quiet, wondering what she should do now. He looked up from his laptop and said, "Do you want to say something ? Something like – 'you hate me' or something…..??"
She marched upto him, near the dining table just facing him and opened her mouth to say something, when he said, "Shoot – Point 1."
"What point 1…..??"
"I assume that you have come here to give me reasons why we can't live together in this house……so start with first point….."
"How do you know ?" She was surprised.
He smiled knowingly and shrugged as an answer without saying anything and went back to focusing on his laptop screen.
"Shaan, we can't live together ,……"
"Because ?" His lips spoke carelessly, while his eyes were focused on the laptop with his hands typing constantly. She wasn't sure if he was even listening to her or just pretending to listen…..whether he listened or registered in his mind or was not bothered at all…... but she had to speak nevertheless.
"Because that is not right……" She spoke in one breath.
He turned his eyes towards her and stopped typing to raise a hand and explain to her patiently, "Hey !! hello…..we are sharing this bungalow as a living accommodation. We are not changing our status to 'live-in'…..we are not doing anything that is 'not right'…..okay….??" He used his hands to signify 'not right' in a way that she now felt like a complete fool……she wondered if she was an old-fashioned person to not understand such a simple thing. He continued in a mocking tone, "By the way, as per your decision, we have broken up……no…no…..we have 'kind-of' broken up…..what does that mean…..I am yet to find out……I guess, staying committed and not talking ?? Is that what you meant ??"
Angrily, she replied, "Stop making fun of me !! And stop making so light of the issue !! As if, all of it is a joke for you …….do you even know how hurt uncle – aunty and dadi will be ??"
"They are 'my' family……..I'll handle them……any other reason you can think of ??"
She knew that there was no point fighting with him and arguing on this issue when even she didn't know whether she really wanted him to go or yearned for him to stay there with her. Her anger and ego overshadowed her love and understanding momentarily but slowly she realized that she had loved it that he had come there, just for her…… she felt special…..she felt 'cared for'………she felt a sense of 'belonging'…….to him !!!
She let go of her anger to think for a moment and added slowly, "What will people say ?"
He was back to his laptop with a slow, dragging and disinterested, "Which people ?"
"Good question !!" She shrugged slowly and sat on a chair facing him, slowly taking both her legs up and holding them for support so that she could hug her legs beyond her knees and bury her chin on her knees thinking about the issue seriously and contemplating if she could do anything about it.
He glanced at her doing this and found the act utterly cute but then he turned away to do the work again. He was sure that he had been defeating her at arguments and didn't want to make her go back in the rebound mode if she saw him admiring her with all lovey-dovey looks.
"I know that you have come here for me……." She spoke slowly, looking down at her feet.
"Wow !! How intelligent of you…..I thought you will never be able to guess that !!"
She ignored his light remarks and added, "Shaan, I don't want you to leave your house….."
"Chill !! I needed this break, to think rationally. Away from dad, bhaiya and Ritesh. Now, that dad is not supporting me……..I really think it is a good opportunity to stay away and prove myself….."
"Whatever reasoning you give……won't be sufficient……." She murmured without looking at him, sitting across the table, and was ignored this time.
"How many bedroom does this bungalow has…..??"
"Four I guess……I saw 2 at the ground floor. Donno……..I think same should be there on first floor too….." She answered in a disinterested tone, while he observed the beautiful stairs that lead to the first floor from the central living room hall.
"Wow ! Which floor you are planning to take ?" He asked generally.
She raised her eyes to stare at him with a petrified look on her face, "Are we taking separate floors ?"
"No ???...Then ??... What do you want ?"
"Can you…………I mean……….leave it………" She didn't know what she exactly wanted.
He chuckled in a naughty tease and asked,"I'm waiting ……what did you want to say ?? Can you…….what ??"
"Can you take the room next to me ?" She blurted as she requested him without any pretence, without forming any prologue or introduction to her words.
He grinned mischievously, "Hmm ? And someone wanted me to go away ?? Admit it Khanak, you want me to stay here…….."
"I never wanted that ! But now that you have come, as a bodyguard to me…..so I want you to do the job perfectly…….stay 'near' my room…. !!" She teased him, making a face.
"I can be more perfect……….If I shift 'into' your room……" he chuckled to tease her back.
She narrowed her eyes at him and he raised his hands in defence, "Kidding !!"
"I prefer ground floor." She told him, getting up from the chair and reached for the water bottle.
The doorbell rang and both of them raised their eyes to look at the gate. She was confused while Shaan behaved as if he was expecting someone. He stood up to answer the bell. Khanak's eyes followed him to see who had turned up at the door. Harilal had come with 2 bags, one on his shoulder and one in his hand which Shantanu took at the door and placed in one corner of the living room. He was carrying a jute basket in his other hand which he handed over to Shantanu, along with the bags. He was followed by the driver who was carrying 2 packets. Once again Shantanu took them in his hands and shut the door, locking it from inside !! He placed the packets on the dining table and turned to Khanak and gave the jute basket to her. She opened it and saw a small, furry, white cuddly bundle of cuteness – Bliss !!
Immediately, the gloom was replaced by a wide smile sparkling her eyes, as she whispered, "Oh……My……Godd !!! My baby……she is so so so cute……" She cuddled the pup and kissed him, as she sat with it on the couch.
Shantanu observed her doing this and wondered if he could ever get enough of her cuteness. She held the pup in her arms as if it was a human baby and played with it.
Shaan opened one of the packets and lay disposable plates and spoons on the dining table and opened the containers of food, supposed to be the dinner.
"You ordered food ?" She asked him, impressed at his thoughtfulness.
"Yes, coz I survive on substance, not empty talks….."
"Not funny !!"
"I know it is not !! Madam, you shifted here without any planning or preparation, just out of your impulse !!" He reached near her and took Bliss in his hands while she looked at him, spellbound, as he spoke, "What were you planning to eat ?? What were you planning to take to wrap over you if you felt cold ?"
"I didn't even think……." She whispered, accepting the mistake.
"Very bad !! I didn't expect this from you !" He carefully placed Bliss in it's basket and washed his hands at the sink after taking out a new hand wash from the packets that Harilal had brought.
"I know !!" She raised her hands in air, "I know that I am stubborn and impulsive…..but I swear, I usually think and act and prefer to act responsible…….but I don't know what happened to me today, to take such a careless decision." She followed him to wash her hands at the sink.
"I wish I could drill some sense into you !!" He chided her while they sat on the dining table and he served a portion of Chinese dinner in each plate.
She opened her mouth in surprise, "Look at you !! You ……of all people 'you' will drill sense into 'me'……joke of the millennium !! What were you thinking while giving me the money ??"
"Let's not talk about that !"
"Let's not talk at all !!"
"As you wish !!" he shrugged and concentrated on stuffing a spoonful of chilli garlic noodles in his mouth. She stayed quiet too, wondering what was the eventual outcome of this fight.
It was a strange irony of fate. The more they fought, the more destiny brought them closer. The more they used to hate each other, the more they felt attracted and pulled towards the other, landing up into an inevitable relationship that was always meant to be. And now when they had a major issue with no visible solution for now, they had ended up living together. It was ridiculously obvious that they were inseparable, no matter how hard they argued, fought or clashed !!
His phone beeped while she was toying with these thoughts and playing with the noodles in her plate, rotating them after they got entangled in the fork. Listening to his talks made it clear that the call was from Madhavi.
"Yes mom !! I was having my dinner …..arrey, why will I lie ?? I swear, I was eating. Don't worry, I'm fine."
She could only hear one side of the conversation and assumed the full meaning of it.
"Mom, I told you that one of my friends is living alone in a bungalow and because the shifting is recent, I decided to stay here so that I can be of some help and at the same time I get some peace of mind." he deliberately avoided using him / her with the friend's identity to keep Madhavi confused without having to lie. Whatever he told her was true. Khanak was surprised at the ease with which he talked to her about not staying in the house for next month and wondered how Madhavi allowed him.
"Do you want daily showdowns if I stay there ? Anyway, dad is not supporting me so I don't think I can hear further interference in my decisions until I prove myself now, that I didn't waste years in studying business abroad and didn't blew away your money in fooling around."
Khanak was not eating and instead, stared at him in a complete shocked look. He continued, "Don't worry now !! I'll take care of myself. Do get ready for the factory inauguration on Sunday. Ask dad and others too……I'll see you all there !!"
When he disconnected the call, she asked him, "Factory inauguration ??? …..Sunday !!!"
He smirked to answer, "Someone has given me an ultimatum that if the factory doesn't start on Sunday, it will be seriously over between us. Now, what does a helpless man do ? Try to meet the deadline……" He tried to make it appear very light. But she was not in a mood to joke, "This is not funny Shaan. Do you know only 3 days are left ?"
"I know it as seriously as you do !! And when I say that I am trying hard, I mean it !"
She was frustrated and put the spoon back in her plate, to ask, "What is the problem in taking money from me ?? It is your own money !!"
He smiled and stared into her eyes intensely, for a moment, before answering in a husky voice, "Won't do it for anything now ! That money entitles me a stay in this house with you…. as a 50% partner……without getting worried about being thrown out !!"
She gritted her teeth and added bitterly in frustration, "I was right about breaking up with you !!"
He shrugged casually,"Your theory of 'not talking' is seriously not working coz we are constantly talking….."
"I have a better solution !! Ignore each other……assume that I don't exist !! I am going to do the same……."
He smirked, "Don't blame me then if I keep bumping into you, assuming no one is there….."
"Aaargghhh !!... I hate you…..you crushed my self esteem by giving money without asking for it……you cheated me by lying to me and now you don't care about my wishes and feelings……….I should think twice if I want a boyfriend who doesn't even listen to me and doesn't care about what I want……" She stood up after finishing the portion from her plate and stomped her feet to go away, while he sniggered at her loving anger, mainly because he had no answer to it. She was most adorable when she fought fiercely with him ……..for him !!
He was looking into the laptop screen while taking the last bite when she returned back to take his plate. As she turned to go, she realized that she couldn't move away as her wrist was in his hand and his fingers curled around her delicate wrist to wrap it in a soft but firm grip. His touch created a flurry of sensations and she couldn't decide if she wanted to pull away her hand or wanted him to pull her towards him. Her mind was locked with his hair which waited to be ruffled by her fine fingers and the smell of the cologne that he might have applied hours back. She stopped with her heart beating fast, wondering what he was about to say or do.
"I am on facebook….. updating info…. What should I write in 'relationship status'…..?" He asked with an innocent look…..with a completely serious and sober look on his face defying the tease by the sparkle in his eyes.
"Write - Complicated !!"
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