As manik watched nandini go, he realised it is dead of a
night and nandini has no where to go. He gave a dirty look to his mother and
even more pissed off look to veebha before walking out of the house. As he
moved towards his car he rang up mukti and asked her if she could keep nandini
with her for a few days. On her insistence, he narrated the whole story and
mukti was more pissed off than manik. She happily agreed to keep nandini with
Relaxed , manik drove the car to find nandini. After a few
minutes, he found her sitting on the pavement and looking towards infinity.
Manik controlled himself and came out of the car and silently sat beside her.
Nandini, didn't look at him to certify if it was him, his mere presence and
aura was enough to tell that he is here, beside her. As soon as he sat down,
nandini kept her head on his shoulder and wrapped her arms around his arm.
Tears started making its way through her eyes. She tightened her hold on him
and manik put his other free hand on hers, to console her.
"manik.." she spoke among her tears.
"hmmm" was his reply because he wanted her to speak and let
it all out.
"i am not as strong as i pretend myself to be..." she
started crying profusely and manik kissed her hair, after tilting his head a
little, assuring her that he is here.
"the owner of my orphanage, once told me that she had found
me on the gate of her orphanage, when i was just 2 months old. I don't know what
reason my parents had for abandoning me, but i never cursed them because i am
sure they must have had a strong reason, otherwise why will anyone abandon
their own child..." nandini started sobbing and manik freed his arm and
wrapped it around her, taking her into a tight side hug. "i have known how it
feels to be an orphan...and that's why i don't want you to experience the same.
Your parents are angry and have spoken hurtful words ..but please never
disrespect them...for my sake...please" nandini requested him and he just
Nandini spoke over his chest "you know manik, since i have
developed understanding of the world, i have never taken anything for granted, i have always worked hard to get what
i deserve...before taking this job, i had no idea that the son, they were
talking about, is not a child but an adult, you!...had i been aware i probably
would have dropped the idea...i never had the intention of trapping anyone.
Even after meeting you , i never fell for your money...never...ever..." she was
sobbing hard now. Manik pulled apart and cupped her cheeks, wiping off her
tears, he kissed her forehead and his lips lingered there for a little longer.
Nandini had her eyes closed, feeling the kiss, but her tears doubled their
"nandini i have never doubted your intentions or your
morality, you don't need to explain to
me...anything..i trust you more than my own self...and my mother's harsh words
can never change my opinion for you..trust me.." he spoke after pulling back
and looking in her eyes. Nandini smiled faintly.
"manik if you want to give me the respect that i deserve,
you have to earn it for me...you have to rise above the shadow of your parents.
I will only be respected when you will be respected , not because you are A
MALHOTRA, but a self-built man...you understand na, what i am trying to say..?"
nandini tried to make him understand. Hearing her words, manik was filled with
determination. He understood that she was right and he would do anything to
give her the deserved respect and the rightful place in his life.
He nodded frantically
in assurance " i got it...and trust me i will do whatever it takes to achieve
what you want..."
She smiled a little wider this time and he gestured her to
smile more and his expressions made her laugh. He had a satisfactory smile
adorning his face when he was able to make her smile.
"its pretty late, come i will drop you to mukti's place.."
manik announced getting up.
"but why mukti??" nandini asked confused as she got up after
"you want to stay at alia's place?? Ok fine then i will just
make a call" he said taking out his phone.
Nandini stopped him by holding his hand "manik...i will stay
in some hotel, till i find a PG or something.." she informed him.
"nandini why will you stay anywhere else , when you have so
many friends?? What are friends for? To help us in our difficult times,
right??" manik tried to make her understand.
"but manik, they are not my friends..." before nandini could
finish her statement she heard loud claps.
"wow, nandini, wow, i never thought that you don't consider
us as your friends...!" spoke cabir coming closer , as mukti, navya, alia,
Dhruv followed close behind with the same angry expressions plastered on all of
their faces. All of them were in their night clothes. Nandini was taken aback
for a moment. She looked questioningly at manik, but he just shrugged his
"guys its not like that...you didn't let me complete...i
didn't mean that.." nandini tried to justify.
"ok so what did you mean..tell us now" mukti said
"i ..i ...i wanted to say that...of course you are my
friends..." nandini stammered and manik who was trying hard to control his
laugh till now, burst out laughing and others followed suit. Nandini was red
with embarrassment, realising that they were playing with her. She started
hitting manik "manik you are so bad, very bad...i hate you!!" she shouted
"but i love you!" he shouted back and she blushed.
After nandini was ready, with her own set of term and
condition to live in mukti's house, life had been sorted a little bit for
manik. Nandini continued her college and along side did some part time job,
saving for the yearly fees. She had refused to take financial help. Every one
let her be...keeping an eye on her. If she needed any assistance they would be
Meanwhile manik had applied for different business schools,
and he received call letter from each one of them. He decided to join the
London school of business. His plan of action was very simple. He would study
business and then work in some company for a few years till he has enough money
to invest in his own business. And then
he will work hard to make his business successful. He will not join his father's
Manik and nandini were in contact over phone. They even met
sometimes for a few minutes and manik informed her about his decision. It was
his first step towards his goal. And nandini was happy for him.
Manik's parent had become a forgotten business for him,
since nandini had asked him to not disrespect them, so he had stopped talking to
them. And they were content in the fact that nandini had left him and his love
would fade away.
Veebha was another case for manik!!! That dumb head tried to
take nandini's place by doing all the things that nandini did. Manik thought of
teaching her a lesson and asked her to do every little thing of his like
bringing his shoes, searching his wallet, watch, towel, his favourite music CD,
getting his clothes ready. He knew the works nandini did happily, would piss of
veebha in a few days time and alas! He was right. On the 3rd day
itself , veebha informed that she had to go back to new York due to some urgent
work. Neyonika , who had earlier been happy , seeing veebha
taking so much care of manik, was hard hit by reality.
Neyonika offered to keep another care taker, but manik
refused saying he can do everything on his own. Neyonika was surprised , more
than surprised , she was shocked hearing manik's statement. But nevertheless ,
she let it pass, as mere over reacting, as manik is grown up now and of course
he can take care of himself. But manik's dad didn't let the opportunity pass,
he kept on reminding neyonika, that how much influenced is manik by nandini and
for good...he has changed completely and she should change her opinion of
nandini. Neyonika didn't retort this time.
At the airport
Manik was leaving for London and MaNan were at the airport.
Their friends had given them some privacy to talk before manik left. Nandini
was chanting to herself nandini you can't cry...no!' as the time for departure
was coming closer. Manik saw her blabbering something looking towards god and
the cute faces that she was making made him smile. He held her palm and made
her face him.
"nandini" he spoke with authority and nandini nodded for him
"i have a list of do's and don't for you.. while i am away"
manik spoke and nandini looked sadly at him.
"right!! This look! This is on the top of the list of
don'ts...you will never cry or be sad..thinking about me...whenever you feel like
talking to me...you will call me without thinking twice!! Its day or midnight
or early morning...you will NOT care for that...you will call me...do you get
it???" manik ordered and nandini nodded. She knew if she speaks , she will
choke and tears will start flowing. She didn't want to bid him bye on a sad
"good! Next...if you will need help you will ask our
friends...even if it is monetary assistance...and if you want to take it as a
debt...then do and once i start earning...i will pay all your debts...since you
will be my wife..and i have that right...ok???" manik asked and nandini nodded
cutely but as she looked down the tears that were meandering on the border of
her eyes, made their way finally! A tear drop fell on the back of manik's palm
as he was holding her palm. He realised , she is crying. So he made her look up
into his eyes.
"nandini i love you...and i will love you till my heart
stops beating...and even after that! If you are crying out of fear that i will
stop loving you because of the distance between us...then you are doubting my love!
Trust me...pehla pyaar ho tum meri...aur iska rang bahut gehra charha hai
mujhpar...itni asani se tumhe ni bhulne wala aur na hi tumhe bhulne dunga..."
manik said huskily moving closer to her and at the end of the confession their
lips were inches apart and manik didn't waste a second to seal his promise with
Nandini's heart was beating frantically on hearing his
confession and he kissed her she felt her heart will burst out any moment. She
was shaking due to the intimacy and the fear and the sad thoughts, so she
clutched on his nape and manik supported her by steadying her holding her
waist. He kissed her slowly and softly till she was fully into the kiss and she
had forgotten everything and her shaking had stopped.
Just as he was ready to increase the pace, he heard the
playful shrieks of his friends. Nandini pulled out of the kiss quickly, leaving
manik groaning. He held her waist with one arm and turned towards his friends
with a facial expression rid of shame, while nandini was blushing hugely and
was fanning her face with her palm to calm herself down.
Their friends had covered their eyes and were giggling.
Manik looked at nandini's act of fanning her face and smiled broadly.
"guys since you have been so thoughtful of covering your
eyes , then i think you can do it for a few more minutes, till i finish my
unfinished business!" manik spoke sarcastically and his friends shook their
heads in disbelief while still covering their eyes!
Nandini was gaping at manik's shamelessness , "you are
impossible!" she commented and manik grinned at her "no, i am possible, you
wanna see how?" manik teased her by bringing his face closer to hers, but
nandini arched back still in his tight hold "manik! Behave yourself!" she
commanded playfully and he stood straight , leaving her and saluted "yes ma'm"
She pulled the collar of his tee and whispered "i love you!"
huskily in his ears. He pecked her lips and heard the shouts of his friends.
"manikkk! Ho gaya tera???" cabir's voice was on top of
"ha ho gya!" manik replied calmly and his friends heaved a
sigh and their banter started. As the departure of the flight was announced,
manik bid each of them bye, leaving cabir and then turned to nandini, "i love
you...and jab v mere holidays honge , i will fly down here, immediately ,
ok..so relax and apna khayal rakhna " he spoke and kissed her forehead and
without looking at her turned away calling cabir "cabir tu chal mere sath"
cabir followed behind as manik walked away. Nandini stood their watching him,
as her friends stood closer to her.
Finally manik stopped when he was out of sight of nandini
and turned to cabir and hugged him tightly letting his tears fall. Cabir patted
his back to calm him down. Manik was never this vulnerable, before and cabir
felt bad for him.
"uska khayal rakhna...plz...mere lye!" were the only words
manik spoke to cabir before leaving. For the first time, manik had asked
something and cabir vowed to fulfil his wish, as he turned around to walk back
to his friends.
HE HAD GONE...ONLY TO COME BACK AGAIN ...FOR HIS