She looked at Raman with a wide smile who reciprocated it back. "This is beautiful.. " Ishita said admiringly.
Don't know for how long they stood there, admiring the spectacular view as sun merged seamlessly with the clear waters of Seine river, giving way to the velvety darkness of night.
"Thank you so much Raman.. I will never forget this day!" Ishita said.
"Ahaan.. Show's isn't over yet.." Raman said while Ishita looked at him quizzically. Even before she could comprehend what he meant, he produced a small silver lock from his pocket. It was a small heart shaped lock. Her face gleamed with happiness.
"Yeh kab khareeda tumne?" Ishita asked surprised as she took it from him.
"Jab tum fisool paise kharch rahi thi.." Raman replied with a smirk.
Ishita rolled her eyes, "Yeah right!" she said as she sat down to affix the lock on railing.
"O hello Madam! Ispar naam kaun likhega?!"
Ishita snapped her head as she fished out a marker from her backpack and wrote, I & R. Raman who was noticing this, was taken aback.
"Yeh kya.." Raman was about to say something when Ishita cut him in middle.
"In remembrance of this amazing day dude!" Ishita replied as she affixed the lock on the bridge and smiled. "Abb chalein hotel wapis?" Ishita added.
"Haan chalte hai.. humari sawari toh aane do!" Raman replied.
Ishita chuckled, "Bol aise rahe ho jaise hume lene koi ghoda gadi aane wali hai.." And she had not finished her sentence when a horse carriage appeared from far away.
"You better be kidding me!" Ishita squealed as she looked on with astonishment. There was a white horse ridden open carriage with the horse master. Raman laughed, "Chalein ?" Raman said as he forwarded his hand. Ishita slipped her hand into his as they walked towards the horse carriage. It was a wooden carriage with cushion seats and intricate golden work on the boundaries. The horse master held the carriage door open as they stepped on to it, which was followed by a ride through the streets of Paris as they reminisced the day's happenings in a go!
"Tumhe pata hai main bachpan se ek baar horse carriage par baithna chahti thi.." Ishita said excitedly.
"Mujhe pata hai.." Raman replied.
"Kaise? Maine toh tumhe yeh kabhi nahi bataya!"
"Tumne ek leading magazine ke interview mein kaha tha.. tumse tumhari childhood fantasy ke bare mein puchha tha aur tumne horse carriages ka naam liya tha.." Raman replied as Ishita looked at him amazed.
"I'm impressed Mr Bhalla!"
"Huh? Tum pehle bhi mujhse impressed he thi.."
"Khushfami hai tumhari!"
"Toh abb main khushfami bhi na rakhun?"
"Nahi.. rakho rakho! Maine kab roka hai.. nevertheless thank you so much for this!"
"Pleasure's all mine.."
the carriage stopped in front of her hotel and they stepped out of it. Both of them thanked the horse master for the memorable ride he offered.
"How I wish ki yeh din kabhi naa khatam ho but..time to go!" Ishita said.
"Yeah.. good night!" Raman replied with slight disappointment.
"Night!" Ishita replied with her ever charming smile as she turned around to leave.
Raman was looking at some random spot on the road when Ishita hugged him tight. He was totally dumbstruck. He had not even in his wildest dreams thought that she would hug him. Maybe his stars are with him today and without wasting a second, he hugged her back, feeling her soft body against his strong muscular build.
As she parted away, "Thank you for being such an awesome friend!"
Raman made a face at 'friend' tag and Ishita laughed, "Sweet dreams Mr Bharatiya railway!" She said as she disappeared in the lobby.
"Girl I'm so jealous of you!" Mihika said as she looked at the pictures in Ishita's iPad. Ishita chuckled, "You should be! I had so much fun.."
She showed her furthermore pictures of the Paris trip. A picture of Raman came up with a funky clown hat.
"Awww.. how cute!"
"Ikr!" Ishita replied as she laughed remembering how he posed as with a funky cap.
Mihika looked at her adoringly and when Ishita noticed her looking at her, "What ?" She mouthed.
"It's so good to see you smiling!" Mihika replied.
"Tum bol toh aise rahi ho jaise main kabhi hasti nahi.."
"Well.. aaj kal you're more crying over the postponed or cancelled dates than smiling and laughing!"
Ishita's face fell a bit as she looked down at her iPad, "I'm not fighting with you again!"
"Tum maano yaa naa maano, you know I'm right! You don't deserve someone like Ashok who doesn't give a damn abt you.."
Ishita had begun to say something when Mihika held her hand in air, indicating her to stop, "I know tu kya bolne wali hai it's not like that, he does care for me.. blah blah blah! Whatever it is.. maine kabhi tere chehre par Ashok ki wajah se itni badi smile nahi dekhi jitni Raman ka naam sunte he aa jaati hai.. you deserve someone who knows how to make you smile, who can pamper you rotten, who cares for you like you're the most precious person in his life.. I know thoda cliche hai but that is what we all girls want right?"
Ishita looked out of the window gazing the wet roads of Mumbai as it was raining on and off. Whatever Mihika said was true and Ashok was no where near that kind of man.
"Yeh sab sirf novels aur movies mein hota hai.." Ishita tried to reason but she wasn't convinced herself.
Mihika smiled a bit, "Nahi toh.. Mihir is more or less like this!" She replied referring to her bf.
"You're lucky then, I suppose!"
"Aisa kuch nahi yaar.. achha ek advice doon?"
Ishita raised her eyebrows, asking her what is it.
"Ashok ko chhod Raman ke saath settle ho jaa.." Mihika replied with a wink as Ishita threw a pillow in her direction.
"Kya advice hai? Tum dost ho yaa dushman?"
"Dost hu tabhi toh yeh advice de rahi hu!" Mihika replied.
Just then, Ishita's phone buzzed announcing the arrival of WhatsApp message. It was her designer.
"Gotta go! My dress for the evening is ready! Ashok bhi aane wala hoga.." Ishita said as she began picking up her stuff and hugged Mihika goodbye.
"Do think about it!!" Mihika whispered as she broke the hug. Ishita nodded and made her way downstairs to the parking lot. She stood there in shade for a while waiting for Ashok. He had promised to pick her up from Mihika's home and then go to her designer. Ishita looked at her watch, he should have been here by now !! Phir bhul gaya lagta hai.. Ishita thought disappointed.
Just when she saw Ashok 's glazing black Mercedes at a distance away. Her happiness knew no bounds but soon all her hopes were shattered as in place of Ashok, Raman stepped out the car.
"Meeting?!" Ishita asked in a disappointed tone .
"Yeah.. but boss ne promise kiya hai.."
"Tumhara boss aur uske promises.." she let out a sarcastic chuckle as she secured her seat inside the car. Raman too grabbed his seat as he ignited the engine and drove away.
Ishita was gazing out of the window, looking at nothing in particular. A lot of things were going on in her mind.
Was Mihika really true? Kya sach mein Ashok ke liye mere se zyada uski deals important hai? Kya sach mein uske liye meri khushi koi maayne nahi rakhi?
Let's be honest, Ashok ne aaj tak kuch bhi aisa nahi kiya jisse mujhe feel ho ki haan main uske liye imp hu. Usne kabhi mujhe spl feel nahi karvaya ! Mujhe toh yaad bhi nahi main last time kab uske saath bahar gayi thi.. har samay sirf kaam aur meetings!
Kya main Ashok jaisa partner deserve karti hu?
Mihika's words rang in her ears.. "you deserve someone who knows how to make you smile, who can pamper you rotten, who cares for you like you're the most precious person in his life"
Ishita closed her eyes as she rubbed her temples, trying to calm down the havoc going on her mind.
Meanwhile Raman was now worried. Never before he had seen her so quiet and lost. Otherwise she was always blabbering non stop! Unable to take it anymore, he decided to break the ice.
"Kya hua hai tumhe?" Raman asked, snapping her out of her thoughts.
She looked at him confused, "kuch nahi, kya matlab?"
"Itni chup chap kyu ho?"
She stared at him for a while, "Ajeeb ho tum!" She remarked.
Raman laughed, "Kyu bhai?"
"Main bolti hu toh tum kehte ho ki tumhe pakka diya maine apni bak bak se.. aur aaj, for a change, chup hu toh bhi tumhe chain nahi hai!"
"Well.. iska jawab hai mere paas! Itni shanti digest karna mushkil hai yaar that too when you're around!"
Ishita pouted, "Kuch nahi ho sakta tumhara!"
"Yeah.. whatever! Abb bataogi kya problem hai tumhe?"
"Koi problem nahi hai!"
"You sure ?"
"Yeah of course!" Ishita replied as she forced a smile but Raman was still unconvinced. Rest of the drive was much silent affair. Raman stopped the car in front of her designer's boutique.
"Aa gayi aapki manzil !" Raman said.
"Thanks!" Ishita smiled as she unlocked her seat belt. Something is definitely bothering her.
"So.. iska matlab maine gaadi chalni seekh li?" Raman asked.
"Huh?" It took her a few minutes to comprehend what he meant, "You were pretty good today!" She replied with a genuine smile.
It was their habit or more like a ritual, whenever Raman drove her somewhere Ishita has to find some ills in his driving like it's mandatory.
Raman laughed, "Shukr hai!"
Raman looked at the retreating figure of Ishita, Kuch panga toh hai !!
Ishita entered the boutique to be greeted by her designer Maria.
"Maria, I've a plan for this evening!" Ishita announced .
"I'm all ears!" Maria replied excitedly.
Raman glanced at his watch as tapped his foot in utter impatience.
Kahan ho Ishita??
He had called her 2 hr after dropping her and she insisted that she'll manage. It was 6 that time, now it's 9!
Guests have already started to pour in and there is loads of hustle bustle at venue. She should have been here half an hour ago but she isn't. Ashok is pestering him to find out where the hell she is, and what should he tell him, that she is not picking up her phone.
This isn't her usual self! Hell, she's not doing anything usual today! Unusually quiet, no taunts, no smiles, nothing at all and that is what is scaring the hell out of him.
I hope wherever you are, you're fine!
"Hey Raman! You're not coming inside?" Romi called out from a distance.
"You guys go on! I'll join you soon.." Raman replied.
He again tried her number when he felt a little tap on his shoulder. He turned around to find Ishita standing right there. A wave of relief ran through his body as he saw her, safe and sound. Don't know what came over his mind and even before he could stop himself, he engulfed her in bone crushing hug. Ishita was taken aback at first but then hugged him back. As he regained his senses, he realized what was he doing and immediately pulled back.
"I'm sorry !" He apologized embarrassed on his own stupidity.
"It's okay.." Ishita assured him with a smile.
"Kahan thi tum? Phone kyu nahi utha rahi thi? Tumhe pata hai main kitna pareshaan ho gaya tha?" Raman showered her with all his queries in a go!
"Ohho.. relax Raman! Main traffic mein phas gayi thi yaar. Aur phone? Woh ghar chhut gaya!" Ishita replied with a cheeky smile.
"Oh!" Raman managed to utter.
"Waise.. tum itne pareshaan kyu ho gaye the? Maanjra kya hai boss?" Ishita asked in a teasing tone.
"Maa..n..jra kuch nahi hai" Raman fumbled with his words , trying to come up with a excuse, "Tere lambu ne jeena mushkil kar diya tha mera.."
"Lambu ko itni fikr hoti meri toh baat he kuch aur thi.. anyways andar chalein?"
Raman nodded as they made their way towards the venue entrance which was beautifully decorated with exotic flowers and delicate glass embellishments.
Ashok was there, standing among his business associates. However he didn't looked much pleased as we entered the venue.
"I'll see you in a while!" Ishita said as she made her way towards Ashok. As he looked at her retreating figure, he realized she was wearing a black saree paired with stunning diamond earrings. This was probably the first time he saw her in ethnic wear and as usual she was slaying the look. If you look around, you will find a number of chics dressed in skimpy outfits, showing off skin and what not! All this to impress the huge fashion banners. But Ishita is different!
Even standing at a good distance from Ashok and Ishita, he could sense some tension between them. He couldn't help but feel happy abt it..
Just a few moments later Ashok walked up to him, "Raman I want you to arrange best possible evening gowns right now!"
"Kiske liye?" Raman asked, confused.
"Madam ke liye.. kaha bhi tha bade bade fashion banners honge party so do wear something fashionable! Lekin sunna thodi hai usse?!" Ashok uttered disgusted while Ishita was glaring him from behind.
"But I think she looks fine.." Raman spoke up only to be met by questioning eyes of Ashok.
"Tumse puchha maine? Jitna kaha hai utna karo!" Ashok ordered with a tone of arrogance. "Jo dekho sar par baithne ko taiyaar hai.." he muttered under his breath as he left.
Raman brought in the room the two gowns he could arrange on such short notice! Ishita was still sulking sitting on the couch.
"Choose karo madam! Which one?" Raman spoke up, "Waise you should go for blue.. isme tum moti kam dikhogi !"
"Mere ko nahi pehen na!" Ishita snapped back.
"Leh.. meri saari mehnat fizool ! Aisa main nahi hone dunga.. chalo utho aur change karo!"
"Saree mein kya problem hai.. ? Achhi toh hai!"
"Mujhe nahi hai.. tere lambu ko hai..and he's the boss!" Raman replied with a chuckle.
"Boss my foot !" Ishita hissed in anger.
"Arre baap re.. itna gussa! Woh bhi ek saree par?"
Ishita looked at him for a while, "tum nahi samjhoge !" She replied.
"Aisa kya rocket science hai Jo main nahi samjhunga?"
"Complicated hai.. rehne do!" Ishita replied with a sigh as she took the dress from hand and went ahead to change. For rest of the party she was distracted and did her best to stay away from Ashok as much possible!
"Ishita.. don't tell me babe itna gussa tumhe woh saree change karne par aa raha hai?" Ashok said as he loosened his tie.
"I mean come on.. chhoti si baat thi yaar!" He added.
"Tumhare liye hogi chhoti si baat... mere liye nahi thi.." Ishita snapped back.
"Dekho shaam se tumhara drama jhel raha hu.. so just stop it now! Agar gussa he karna hai toh main bhi kar sakta hu.." Ashok reverted back.
"Tumhe aur aata kya hai? Aur kis baat pe gussa karoge tum? Yeh he ke main saree pehen ke aayi?" Ishita asked him, as her eyes were blazing red with anger.
"Exactly.. tum saree pehen kar aayi! Kya sochkar tum yeh decide kiya? Aur woh jo kiya so kiya tumne party mein kissi se thik se baat bhi nahi ki.. do you have any idea kitne imp and high profile clients the woh?" Ashok snapped back with same intensity.
"I don't believe it...Tumhe abhi bhi apne clients ki padi hui hai.." Ishita replied amazed.
"Toh clients are important!" Ashok replied in a obvious tone.
Ishita looked at him for a while, "Bahout ho gaya Ashok.. aaj you have to decide! Kaun zyada imp hai main yaa tumhare clients?"
"Tum kahan ki baat kahan le jaa rahi ho!"
"Nahi... today you have to decide! I'm fed up of this shit ! Batao mujhe kya importance hai meri tumhari life mein? Main exist karti bhi hoon yaa nahi? Because you've done nothing to make me feel important !"
"Really? Aaj agar tum India ki one of the top rated model ho toh meri wajah se.. "
"Iske ilawa batao mujhe kya kiya hai tumne aaj tak mujhe spl feel karane ke liye?"
"Yeh kaafi nahi hai tumhare liye?"
"I'm done with it Ashok! I'm done with it.." Ishita replied as she turned around to leave, but Ashok caught hold of her elbow and pulled her.
"What do you mean by you're done with it? Chhodna chahti ho mujhe?" Ashok asked her as she struggled in his firm grip.
"Chhodo mujhe Ashok.. !" Ishita struggled.
"Pehle tum jawab do?" Ashok demanded.
"Haan.. now leave me!" Ishita shouted as Ashok let her go.
"Jao.. go ahead! Main bhi dekhta hu ki tum mere begair kaise iss industry mein survive karti ho!" Ashok smirked as he walked up to the bar counter.
Ishita moved her head in utter disgust as she began to leave when he heard him say, " Remember one thing Ishita... you are nothing without me!"
"Well that is what you think! And I don't give a damn about your thinking!" Ishita snorted back as left the house.
Ishita rubbed her thudding temples as her hand reached out for her mobile and she dialled Raman's number, "Bol Madrasan!" He said as soon as he picked up the call.
"Raman... tum mujhe mil sakte ho?"
"Ha..a..N! All okay?" He asked a bit worried.
"Kahan ho tum?"
"Tum juhu aa jao ! Main bhi wahin pahuch raha hu.." Raman replied and ended the call.
Ishita stepped out of her car as she looked around for Raman. Maybe he hasn't reached yet!
She decided to sit somewhere and wait for him. As she was walking to a sitting spot she spotted Raman. But he wasn't alone. There was a girl with him. Ishita looked closely, there was a girl indeed and Raman was laughing at something.
A chill was jealousy ran down her spine as she saw the girl holding his hand. Dunno why but she hated it! She was furious all of a sudden and walked up to them. It didn't took her long to figure out who she was. Shagun! Raman was trying to impress her from last year or he told her so! They met her at fashion show, she was modelling for rivals. Ishita didn't like her from Day 1 itself but dunno what he finds so impressive in her.
Botox ki dukaan ! Ishita cursed as she shot her a mean glance.
Ishita cleared her throat and Raman looked at her, "Tum kab aayi?" He asked.
"Tum busy the yaa phir ho!" Ishita replied as she looked at Shagun.
"Busy.. nahi ek min ruk!" Raman said as he turned to Shagun again and bid her goodbye. Shagun smiled as she bid farewell to both of them while Ishita plastered a fake smile.
"She's cute isn't?" Raman exclaimed dreamingly.
"Please, don't insult the word cute.." Ishita replied as began walking. Raman laughed as he walked behind her.
"Bahout has has ke baatein ho rahi thi..!" Ishita commented sarcastically.
Raman smiled, "haan.. like I said she's cute !"
"Cute?!" Ishita looked at him disbelievingly as she increased her pace and settled down on a rock nearby.
Raman sat besides her, "Tum jealous ho rahi ho?"
"Pa..gaa..l ho tum ?" Ishita fumbled with her words, "Main kyu jealous hoti.."
"Mujhe toh lag rahi ho.."
"Galat lag raha hai tumhe.. " Ishita replied as she diverted herself to look at the waves crashing against the sea shore. Just when she felt Raman's leg hitting her leg. She turned to look at him but he had that innocent look on his face. A few moments later, again he kicked her. This time she hit him back.
Soon both of them were engaged in hitting each other when Raman locked her legs in his as he shifted closer to her. They were close, and in the flow of monent he claimed her lips. It was a sweet short kiss! As he parted away Ishita looked at him and then getting up, she walked up to the shore. Raman snapped his forehead, Gadhe..
She didn't kiss him back but she didn't protest either. Whatever it is one thing he's sure of that he's in deep trouble.
Gathering up all his courage, he walked to spot where she was standing. He cleared his throat, "Am I in trouble?"
"Heaps.." she replied calmly.
"Look.." he began to apologize when Ishita turned to face him. She was smiling, "You're going to loose your job!" She said.
It took him a few minutes to realize what she just said.
He chuckled, "That isn't big!" And saying so he pulled her for another soul searing kiss!
Thank you so much for bearing with me! :)
Edited by pcnsb - 05 July 2016 at 12:04pm