Thank you ALL so much for your wonderful amazing comments!! Means so much to me! I'm sorry I'm not able to reply but trust me I read each comment at least three times
Glad you are enjoying the story and that so many of you appreciated the Aaliya-Pragya dynamic! Here is part 2. Apologies in advance that this story is moving so damn slowly. More on the way but I can't quite say how soon
Any mistakes in Hindi are my own and I'm happy to accept corrections! Continuing non-thanks to she who does not think she needs to be thanked for invaluable services rendered
Happy holidays and thanks for reading!!
The Black Anarkali
an AbhiGya SS by -mina-Index
| PART TWOPLEASE NOTE: THIS CHAPTER HAS BEEN REVISED AS OF APRIL 2/2015
the change? replacing Leena-Tanu with Madhu-Tanu
"Wait, is that your husband? Who is that hanging off his arm?" Raghav asked, and already Pragya could read unwelcome suspicion in his eyes.
Considering that all four of them would be stuck at the party for the next few hours, Pragya decided there was no point trying to cover the truth from Raghav. So she told him simply, "That's Tanu, she's...his girlfriend."
"His what?" Raghav's voice was loud enough to make heads turn, and Pragya cringed in embarrassment.
She grabbed his arm and started leading him to their table again. "Shh! Just, just try to ignore them, ok? It's not a big deal -"
Raghav kept walking and he lowered his voice to an undertone, but he was not ready to let the point go. "You've not even been married a year and he's cheating on you? Publicly?" he demanded fiercely.
Pragya huffed in agitation. "It's not like that Raghav, he was with her before - I can't explain this to you now, ok. Just follow my lead, please?"
"You mean you accept it? He's having an affair -"
"Raghav, please! We can talk about this later. We're here for you to cultivate your industry contacts, right? Let's just focus on that, and leave my personal life out of it!" Pragya insisted.
Raghav went quiet, but anger had hardened his expression, and Pragya could see that he was just waiting for them to be more private.
Finally they reached their table. Raghav pulled out Pragya's chair and waited for her to sit before taking his own. Just as he was about to continue their argument, Anushka hurried up to them.
"Pragya, I am so sorry," she said, and Pragya heard genuine regret in her voice. "I couldn't change the seating arrangements at the last minute. Unfortunately Abhi and Tanu are assigned to this table too."
"That's alright," Pragya said, forcing brightness to her voice and giving Anushka a tight smile. "We're all friends, it's not a problem," she added.
Pragya knew that Anushka had seen how Abhi had rejected her and tried to claim Tanu as his lucky charm at the card party. She probably had a very good idea of what Abhi's and Tanu's relationship status was. But at least for the sake of appearances tonight, Anushka accepted Pragya's excuses, and went away with another quick apology and a sympathetic smile.
After Anushka left, Raghav leaned close to Pragya and whispered, "We're all friends?' You enjoy hanging out with your husband's mistress?"
"Raghav!" Pragya frowned at him, annoyed at his tone. "Don't be like that, ok? It is what it is. My husband and I have an understanding, and I can't get into this with you here. Just be nice and keep the talk about business and we'll all be fine."
"An understanding?" Raghav persisted. "Like what, an open marriage? I didn't think you'd go for that kind of thing Phataka, but if you're happy, I guess that's alright. Tell me you have a hot boyfriend hiding somewhere too?" he teased.
Pragya wrinkled her nose in distaste, and Raghav laughed. "No need to look so scandalized. You're the one who's ok with her husband flaunting another woman at a public party," he said. Then he tapped her nose with his fingertip to dispel her scowl.
Abhi and Tanu reached the table just at that moment, and Abhi's face darkened at the sight that met his eyes. Raghav noticed that, and a wicked grin started to quirk the corners of his mouth.
He stood and held his hand out to Abhi, and Pragya hurriedly stood too. She set a restraining hand on Raghav's shoulder, but he ignored it.
"Hello!" he said cheerfully. "So you're my Phataka's beloved hubby, it's great to finally meet you. I love your music, by the way."
"Right, and you are?" Abhi said at the same time as Tanu said interestedly, "Phataka?"
"Oh, I'm Raghav. We dated in college but Pragya over here didn't think I was husband material." He returned to his seat and gave Pragya a flirtatious wink, angling his head so that Abhi could see it too.
"Raghav!" Pragya objected, appalled at the blatant lie. They had most definitely not dated in college, and she had a strong urge to slap him for digging her into a fresh pit of lies with Abhi.
"What?" Raghav raised his eyebrows, making himself look innocently surprised. "I thought you said you and your husband had an open marriage?"
"Excuse me?" Abhi snapped. He sat down without bothering to draw out Tanu's chair, and the model gave an annoyed huff as she seated herself.
"Sorry, that came out wrong," Raghav said, flashing Abhi a quick smile. "I meant, it's great that you two are so open with each other. It's really important to know about each other's past in a marriage. That's the only way to clear the way for the future, right sweetheart?"
He turned his most dazzling smile on Pragya, and she could see that he fully intended to play up his dramatic instinct for the rest of the night. How was it that all the important men in her life were so fond of unnecessary nautanki?
Too exasperated to contain her sarcasm, she shot back, "Right, because you're such an expert on marriage."
Raghav laughed and turned back to Abhi. "I really have to thank you for loaning me your wife tonight, Abhi. It's a life-saver to have Phataka with me at the last minute, and I promise she'll have a good time tonight.
"Loaning?" Abhi said, sounding annoyed, but before he could continue, he was interrupted by Tanu.
"Sorry, what do you keep calling Pragya?" Tanu asked, surveying Raghav with an assessing half-smile.
Raghav glanced at her, and then turned to properly face her. He smiled widely and offered his hand, saying, "Sorry, I guess we haven't been introduced. I'm Raghav Chopra."
Tanu shook his hand and fully smiled back at him. "Tanu Mehta. And how do you know our Pragya?"
Pragya stared at Tanu in surprise, and noticed that Abhi too was looking confused at the other woman's use of "our."
"Oh, we've known each other for more than two decades now, right?" Raghav looked at Pragya over his shoulder for confirmation. She stared back at him with a quirked eyebrow, asking what he was doing without using words. He inclined his head fleetingly, indicating that she should go along. He had his old "I've got a plan" face on, and Pragya started to worry that she might have a new reason to feel nervous about the the rest of the night would go.
"Really, that long?" Tanu drawled, looking between Raghav and Pragya with growing satisfaction on her face.
"Yes, I even knew her before she wore glasses."
Pragya saw that Abhi's face drew into a frown at that, which she couldn't understand. Why should he care if Raghav had known her from childhood?
"Oh? Didn't she always have glasses? She's never told us," Tanu said sweetly, sounding for all the world as if she considered Pragya a close friend.
"Mm, no. She didn't need them until half way through uni, when she started burying herself in books in her determination to be the next Arundhati Roy." Raghav was answering Tanu's question, but he looked at Abhi as he spoke.
"Really!" Tanu said, as if Raghav had just revealed a state secret. "And the nickname, Phataka? It means firework, right?"
"Well...why don't you explain?" Raghav suggested to Pragya, turning back to her as he straightened in his seat. He offered a grin and his eyes said "be a sport."
Pragya met his eyes and glared in return for his grin. "Oh, no. I'll leave it to you."
"Fine, I'll tell them!" Raghav inclined his head to Abhi. "Well since you've been living with her for six months, I'm sure you know our Pragya has a bit of a temper?"
Abhi gave no reaction, and Pragya felt her heart sink as she realized that she would have to explain to Raghav that since marrying Abhi, she had nearly forgotten what it was like to be free to express her temper. Raghav would not be happy about what that meant, and she found that in a surprising way, she was even disappointed in herself.
She had taught herself to be silent, thinking that making compromise after compromise for her loved ones was the wisest course. But being with Raghav again was showing her that somehow she had lost touch with the essence of her personality. It was an unpleasant realization.
Raghav continued his explanation, not bothered by Abhi's lack of feedback. "We went to the same school in Chembur, and growing up we always used to get into fights. I started calling her Phataka in seventh standard, when she gave me a lecture in front of the whole class about how firecrackers are a waste of money."
Pragya saw that Abhi's eyebrows rose then, and he was probably remembering when she'd made the same argument to him a few months earlier at Diwali. Their eyes met briefly, but Pragya had to look away from the intense questions gathering in his gaze.
"I told her she was right, we didn't need firecrackers when we had her around - and then she threw an unlit rocket at me and we both got our first and only detentions. She spent the next two days telling me off for getting her in trouble, but after that we sorted things out. And we've been friends ever since." Raghav flashed Pragya a quick smile and a wink over his shoulder, and for a moment they connected over their shared memories.
She felt a surge of happiness at the reminder of happy times, and was suddenly fiercely glad that she had decided to come with Raghav tonight. Whatever price she might have to pay with Abhi later, it was worth it to have this sorely missed feeling of friendship and warmth back in her life.
"But I thought you were afraid of fireworks?" Abhi said, and Pragya looked across at him and saw that he was staring at her and Raghav. The corners of Abhi's mouth were turned down, and there was already a storm brewing in his eyes.
Raghav laughed, and Pragya broke free from Abhi's gaze. Her friend answered her husband's question, saying, "Our Pragya? The only thing she's afraid of is getting burned."
He could have been talking about literal fire, but the edge in his voice made it clear that his words had a deeper meaning. Abhi seemed to understand what he meant, and his already dark expression grew grimmer.
Just then, another couple arrived at the table. The woman was a stunning beauty who looked to be in her mid-30s, wearing a sheer blue sari draped in a modern style. Her clothes were clearly high-fashion, but she wore them with an elegance that made the revealing design look sophisticated rather than tawdry.
Her companion, a handsome man around the same age, wore a simple navy suit, with a tie that matched the colour of her sari. They were clearly rebelling against the theme colours of the night, making a confident statement of their place in the scheme of things.
Raghav stood as the couple approached, and greeted the woman with a hug. "Elora! I didn't know you'd be here, great to see you."
Elora returned Raghav's hug and stepped back to introduce her partner. "Likewise, Raghav you rascal! And you remember my husband, Dharmesh."
Raghav shook Dharmesh's hand, and then the new arrivals took their seats.
Raghav put his arm around Pragya's shoulder and drew Elora's attention to her, saying, "Elora, Dharmesh, this is my friend, Pragya Arora. We've known each other since grade school. She is a lecturer in literature at Chembur College."
Pragya returned their polite greetings, but she felt a spike of nervous tension as she realized that Abhi had flinched when Raghav introduced her as "Pragya Arora." She also felt self-conscious about Raghav's arm on the back of her chair. She knew he was putting on a show for Abhi, but she didn't like to think of what would happen if Abhi's temper was provoked too far.
"Elora was once a designer for my firm, but she's moved on to much bigger and better things," Raghav explained to Pragya. "And her husband Dharmesh Koli is, if you'd believe it, a humble pharmacist."
Dharmesh laughed at that. "Well, Ms. Arora, that gives us something in common. Both ordinary professionals dragged into this glitzy world for the night."
Pragya liked his kind, friendly tone and answered immediately, "Oh, please call me Pragya. And yes, I know exactly what you mean!"
Raghav waved his other hand towards Abhi and Tanu, as if realizing belatedly that he should introduce them too. "And this is Pragya's husband Abhishek Mehra, though surely you know him as Rockstar Abhi? Our country's top talent after all. And with him, Tanu Mehta."
Pragya noticed that Raghav deliberately avoided specifying any kind of relationship status or identity for Tanu. However, Tanu didn't appear to notice this slight, as she was intently focused on Elora.
As Elora and Dharmesh nodded their greetings, Tanu stood and stretched her hand out to Elora, saying "Ms. Koli, it is an honour to meet you! I have been admiring your collections for ages!"
Tanu then proceeded to draw Elora into a conversation about the upcoming fashion season.
Dharmesh engaged Pragya in small talk about his interest in literature, leaving Raghav and Abhi with nothing to do but watch the rest of them.
Pragya saw that Abhi quickly looked pointedly away, apparently scanning the room for other acquaintances. Raghav smirked at that, and then pulled out his phone and busied himself with it.
The final couple arrived, and they turned out to be Mr. Lalwani, the producer who had invited Pragya and Abhi to the ramp show in Pune, and his wife Nikita.
Mr. Lalwani took the seat next to Pragya and greeted her with enthusiasm. "Well hello, Miss Pragya," he said, taking one of her hands in both of his and treating her to a wide smile. "So good to see you here!"
"Yes, hello sir, hello ma'am," Pragya replied, returning his smile and nodding to Mrs. Lalwani.
"My dear, call us Suneel and Nikita," Mr. Lalwani insisted. "We're all friends here."
He let go of her hand and turned to look at Raghav in a measuring way. "So, this is your new husband? I'm sorry I couldn't stay for your wedding. Please introduce us now."
From the corner of her eye, Pragya saw Abhi's face flush with rage. She realized that Mr. Lalwani didn't know the outcome of the aborted wedding with Suresh, and she hurried to clarify for him. "Oh no, no! This is my school friend Raghav Chopra, now head of Sia Corporation. And of course you know my husband Abhi, and his friend Tanu."
"Oh is that how it is?" Mr. Lalwani said in a knowing tone. "Very good. Nice to meet you, Mr. Chopra."
Raghav nodded politely and shook hands with Mr. Lalwani, and finally the older couple settled into their seats. They briefly greeted Abhi and Tanu, and then Raghav introduced them to Elora and Dharmesh.
The two newly arrived couples quickly fell into conversation, as it turned out that Elora and Mr. Lalwani had worked together in the past and were considering a new collaboration. Tanu claimed a place in the discussion with occasional interjections, but she was stuck on the wrong side of the table and was reduced to observing most of the exchanges between the senior professionals.
Raghav noticed the servers coming by to take wine selections and turned to Pragya with a glint in his eye. He picked up the wine list between their place settings and handed it to her. "So Phataka, will it be red or white?"
Abhi looked up sharply from his own copy of the wine list and said, "My wife doesn't drink."
Before either Pragya or Raghav could reply, the waiter who had arrived behind Abhi nodded and said, "Of course sir, we can bring something else for ma'am." He turned to Tanu and asked, "Will you prefer juice or soft drinks, ma'am?"
Tanu shook her head and started to say, "He didn't mean -" but then she caught herself. She took a breath and concluded, "I will take a glass of sparkling apple juice, thank you."
"Yes ma'am," the waiter nodded. He looked to Abhi expectantly, and Abhi snappishly ordered a glass of burgundy for himself.
Then the waiter came over to Raghav and Pragya. She glanced quickly at the wine list and decided to meet Raghav's challenge.
She smiled at the waiter and said, "The riesling for me, please, and Argentinian merlot for him." She tipped her head in Raghav's direction so the waiter would know who she meant.
"Very good ma'am," the waiter said, noting down her selections and moving on to the other side of the table.
Pragya settled back in her seat and saw that Tanu's brows were raised in a sort of reluctant admiration, while Abhi's face was like a thundercloud. She felt a rush of satisfaction at managing to surprise them for once, and had to suppress the urge to smile in triumph.
Raghav grinned and said, "Well done Phataka, you remembered to specify Argentinian this time."
Pragya grinned back and answered, "Well I thought of torturing you with a darker Cabernet, but then I remembered how cranky you get when the wine is too rich for you."
"Hey!" Raghav objected. "You're not supposed to bring up that night! You know -"
"What are you doing, Chashmish?" Abhi interrupted in a hiss. "You can't have alcohol. Don't you remember Aaliya's mehendi -"
Pragya addressed herself to Raghav and said brightly, "You know I never turn down a chance for a good glass of white. It's been so long since I had someone to enjoy a drink with, I'm definitely going to savour my riesling tonight."
But Raghav had noticed Abhi's comment, and he wanted to know more. "Did something interesting happen at a mehendi?" he asked, his eyes set on Abhi.
"Yes," Tanu answered, again speaking in her honeyed tone. "There was an unfortunate mixup and Pragya had too much vodka. It made an interesting night to be sure."
"Tanu -" Abhi started in a warning voice, but Raghav cut him off.
"Pragya never drinks spirits," he said, finally dropping his exaggerated friendliness and glaring at Tanu and Abhi. He turned to Pragya and demanded, "What happened, babe?"
Pragya's jaw flexed as she tried to decide what to say about that night. She met Abhi's eyes and remembered waking up with him the next morning, and her urge to vent her lingering anger about that whole incident suddenly dissipated.
"It was an adventure, Raghav," she finally said, continuing to hold Abhi's gaze. "My husband took me to a disco and then we chased the moon. Newlywed games, you know?"
"That...doesn't sound like you," Raghav said, sounding troubled though he nodded in appreciation of the positive expression that had brightened her face.
Abhi smirked and said, "Some things are husband and wife secrets."
Then Tanu squeezed his arm and he finally looked away from Pragya.
Pragya turned to Raghav to reassure him. "It's alright, Raghav. It was just a crazy night. I didn't get sick after."
Abhi frowned at that, but before he got a chance to ask about it, the waiter came back to pour the wines - with a special flute of juice for Tanu.
The appetizers arrived shortly after the drinks. The menu for the night had been set by the gala organizers, with two selections per course. The selections were served alternately so that half the table got the first selection and the other half got the second, and no two people sitting next to each other had the same appetizer.
Raghav's appetizer was a pretty arrangement of smoked salmon roses, with a swirl of horseradish sauce and a short stack of melba toast. Because of the way they had seated themselves, all the men at the table received the same dish.
When Pragya's appetizer was set in front of her, she met Raghav's eye, and it was all the two of them could do to contain their laughter until the servers left. Pragya bit her lip and stared down at the three fresh oysters on the half-shell garnished with vibrant green dill and served with a lemon wedge. The coincidence of being served these, with Raghav of all people by her side...
When all the appetizers were served, the Lalwanis and the Kolis resumed their conversation on the other side of the table. Pragya and Raghav turned to each other and finally released their laughter, and Pragya had to hold on to Raghav's shoulder to calm herself down.
"What's so funny?" Abhi muttered, speaking in a low tone, but they could still clearly hear him.
Pragya straightened in her seat and tried to get control of her expression, but Raghav was ready to answer. He smiled at Abhi and said, "Phataka and I have a...thing about oysters. We ate them together once to explore their aphrodisiac properties."
Abhi's eyes widened as he took in the implication of this statement. "You did what?"
Tanu had been staring at her own plate of oysters in disappointment, and now she placed her utensils in the middle of her plate to signal that she was done, even though she hadn't touched the food.
Raghav noticed and turned to her in concern. "Is something wrong?"
Tanu flashed a polite smile. "Oh, it's just that I'm allergic."
"Well that's too bad!" Raghav said. Pragya knew he was play-acting but he sounded entirely genuine. "We could trade if you like?"
"That is very gallant of you!" Tanu cast a brief side-glare at Abhi. "But actually I'm allergic to all seafood. If you'll excuse me, I better check with Anushka about the main course." She got up from her seat and grabbed her purse, but before she left the table she leaned close to Abhi and told him, "Order a glass of merlot for me. The French merlot." She flashed another smile at Raghav and left.
Pragya suppressed an urge to roll her eyes. Instead she picked up her lemon wedge and squeezed juice onto her oysters, looking forward to the rare treat. She used the tiny fork that had come with the plate to dislodge the flesh from the shell, and brought the first oyster to her mouth.
As she tipped the shell to her lips, she noticed that Abhi was watching her. His hand was frozen on the stem of his wine glass and he hadn't picked up his fork to start on his salmon.
Pragya chewed and swallowed her oyster with her eyes locked on Abhi. Then she turned to Raghav and told him, "These are so good! I definitely got the better appetizer."
Raghav laughed but didn't reply, and for the next moments they were both quiet as they worked on their plates.
Abhi started to eat, too, and the three of them were slowly drawn into conversation about the food as the rest of the table offered their opinions on the appetizers.
Finally Pragya finished off her oysters and gave a small sigh of delight. As she watched Raghav take the last bites of his salmon, she took a first slow slip of her wine. The crisp, refreshing taste with the undertone of citrus burst onto her tongue, and she congratulated herself on a good choice.
Across from them, Abhi also finished his appetizer, and servers came by to clear their plates.
"So, Abhi," Raghav said suddenly, smiling at Abhi in a way that made Pragya feel a little uneasy. "I gather you and Pragya haven't been on your honeymoon yet. Has she tried to talk you into a hiking holiday?"
Abhi frowned in confusion. "Hiking?"
"Oh, maybe you don't know this about our Phataka? She loves outdoor treks," Raghav said.
"That was a long time ago, Raghav," Pragya said, trying to put a strong warning tone in her voice. She could guess where Raghav was heading with this, and she wanted to head him off.
"We went on a trek to Manali when we finished undergrad, actually," Raghav continued, completely unaffected by Pragya's warning. "We had the best time. And Phataka, didn't you say you wished you could go back for romance under the stars?"
"If I did, I must have been very young and foolish," Pragya answered back, feeling her cheeks flush with embarrassment. She remembered the conversation, but she wasn't going to admit to it now.
She didn't dare look at Abhi. He would either be gathering this information to mock her with later, or he would be taking it the wrong way and getting upset...
Raghav clucked his tongue. "You did! It was after we spent all night by ourselves, reaching the peak, remember?"
Pragya knew he was referring to mountain climbing, but he said "reaching the peak" in a suggestive tone, and she could see what he wanted Abhi to think.
"Raghav -" she began, trying to think of how she could change the topic of conversation.
But Raghav was in the middle of a plan, and didn't let her sway him. "Actually, I think I have a picture of that on my phone, hang on. Abhi, mate, you've got to see this."
Pragya felt a wave of alarm as she realized what he was going to show Abhi. "What? Raghav, no, surely you don't have old pictures like that, it's been so long!" she protested nervously.
"It's my favourite picture of my best girl, of course I have it." He flicked through some menus on his phone and said, "Ah, here it is. See Phataka? The good old days."
Pragya glanced at the familiar photo taken almost a decade ago. She was wearing denim shorts and a tanktop, standing on a large boulder with her arms thrown up in a victorious pose. She was waving a flag in one hand and pumping her other fist into the air.
It was one of her most cherished memories, marking a day of exhilarating happiness. But the last thing she wanted was for Abhi to see her dressed like that, no matter how old the picture was.
"Oh my god! Put that away. You can't show him that." Pragya tried to grab the phone, but Raghav held it away from her.
"Why not? I bet you haven't told him half the interesting stuff we've done together. It'd be good for him to know more about you."
"Raghav, that picture - those clothes - you can't - he's my husband!"
"So? It's nothing he hasn't already seen, right? Here, Abhi, have a look at Miss I beat all the boys to the top' Arora, mountain-climber extraordinaire." Raghav passed his phone to Abhi, insisting that the other man examine the picture.
He continued pointedly, "These days your Mrs. Mehra may be too refined for mountain climbing, but I think you deserve to know just how ruthless she can be."
Pragya watched helplessly as Abhi held the phone in his hand and took a good long look at the picture. "Raghav, I can't believe you -!"
"Actually, I think I still have a whole album from that trip on Facebook. It's locked from public view now but I could pull it up."
"No no no no Raghav - no -"
"Why not? There's that great pic where you have nothing to wear but your shorts and my t-shirt because the coolies misplaced your bag -"
"Or the one of us in that tent, do you remember how we had to share because -"
"What, babe? Those are good memories."
"Yes, Raghav, but the past is the past, and it should stay there! Aur aap, aap ghoor ke kya dekh rahe hai, laye phone lauta dijiye! (And you, what are you staring at! Here, give the phone back please!)" Pragya leaned across Raghav's lap and reached past Tanu's empty seat to snatch the phone from Abhi.
She straightened in her seat and shoved the phone into Raghav's inside jacket pocket. She tapped his chest emphatically and said, "Don't even think about taking that out again or so help me God I will have Anushka project the one of you in the Spongebob boxers for the entire crowd during your acceptance speech - and yes I have that one saved on my phone!"
"Alright, alright woman, no need to make threats! Is she like this with you too Abhi? There's no controlling this one's temper, honestly." Raghav looked to Abhi for agreement, and Abhi gave a sort of commiserating half-smile. To Pragya, her husband looked as if he was half a world away, and she wondered what thoughts had taken over his mind.
Raghav continued, "By the way Phataka, I don't wear them anymore but I still have those boxers you know. You always gave the best birthday presents."
He turned his over-bright, dramatic smile on Abhi. "And I bet as her husband, you get the best gifts of all. Have you had a birthday with her yet?"
Pragya answered quickly, "No, his birthday's later in the year."
"Right, right." Raghav met Pragya's eyes. "But yours was last month wasn't it? Have you had a chance to use my present at all?"
Pragya smiled and brought up her hand to show him the small gold ring he'd sent. She wore the simple band with the infinity design on her pinky. "Yes, I love it! I wear it every day, and tonight it actually matches my outfit. Look."
Raghav lifted her hand and stroked his thumb against the ring. "Very nice, Phataka. I'm glad it fits."
"Every day?" Abhi spoke up. "You wear that every day?"
"Well, I put it on when I got it, and I haven't taken it off since," she answered defensively, looking in his direction but not exactly at him.
"But every day-"
"Hanh, jaise aap apne dog tags har roz pehen te hain, (Yes, as you wear your dog tags every day)" she snapped. Then, surprising even herself with her provocative words, she said, "Some things are worn for duty, and some from love."
"Love?" Abhi repeated in disbelief, but then Tanu returned before he could say more.
Source notes: If you guessed that the Manali trek story is inspired by the movie Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, you would be 100% right. Pragya's pinky ring is inspired by certain rumours about Sriti's ever-present silver ring with the purple stone. And the Spongebob boxers? Well, let me refer you to KKB episode 54... Your likes and comments mean the world to me. Thanks for reading My other fics can be found at my KKB Fic Index.
Edited by -mina- - 07 February 2016 at 1:50pm