Joined: 01 April 2012
Joined: 01 April 2012
Joined: 01 April 2012
Joined: 01 April 2012
Joined: 01 April 2012
Joined: 01 April 2012
Joined: 01 April 2012
After receiving an urgent message from his father that cud not have come at a worse moment, raman had been given another reason to visit ishita. As he rounded the corner to her suite, he saw sia leaving the apartment with the dinner tray.
Sia was ishu's personal bodyguard, hired to keep an eye on ishu, virtually waiting on her. She was the one who told raman about her information on daily basis when he himself cud not be there. He stopped her so he cud lift the cover to see how much ishita had eaten. Ishita has eaten a small portion of her dinner. That was not good. He put the cover back and thanked sia before knocking on the door.
"haan bolo sia?" ishita responded to the knock.
Raman opened it and walked through until he found ishita in her room, where he cud see her at the desk working on her computer in her sweats and a cotton top. The lamp afforded the only light in the room, gilding the black hair she must have shampooed. He cud smell the strong peach fragrance. It fell to her shoulders in a cloud.
Instead of the attorney like persona she generally presented she reminded raman of the lovely teenager who had once flitted about the palace grounds on her long legs.
"ishu...?" he said.
She turned a face to him filled with the kind of sorrow he had seen after her mother had died. "your highness.." she whispered obviously shocked to see him. A glint of purple showed through her tear glazed black eyes. She studied him for a long moment and said-" good to see u again..."
Because of the extreme delicacy of their unique situation it frustrated him that she had addressed him that way, yet he could find no fault in her.
"call me raman jab staff aas paas na ho. That's what u used to shout at me when u were running around the gardens years ago.." raman said.
"bachchon ka kya hai unhe toh khoon bhi maaf hota hai..." ishu replied.
"so is the case with surrogate mothers..." raman completed. There was something about being with ishita. "after such a long trip I can't tell u how much I have been looking forward to talking to you in person." He said.
"u look like u are feeling much better." She asked.
Though he appreciated her words, he wished he could say same about her. "kya hua hai ishita? Maine dekha tumne theek se khana bhi nahi khaya? Are u ill?" he asked her.
"nahi nahi main bilkul theek hun..." saying this ishita got up from her chair , rubbing the palms of her hands against the sides of her back. To his chargin the gesture drew his attention to her figure. "plz tum aisa mat sochna ki main khaa nahin rahi iss se baby ko koi problem hoga.."
"that's fine...but I am still worried about u. anything that bothers bothers me.." he said.
She let out a sigh. "after I watched ur live telecast a while ago, they replayed a segment of the funeral...mujhe who nahin dekhna chahiye tha." her gaze searched hers as she said this. She completed saying-" your suffering was so terrible back then. I can't even imagine it."
The media never let up, raman thought. He said-" to say I was in shock wud not have begun to cover my state of mind." He said.
Ishita hugged her arms to her chest, once again drawing his attention to her slender waist. So far the only proof that she was pregnant came from a blood test. She studied him for a moment. "shagun loved u sooo much, she was willing to do anything to give u a baby. I daresay not every husband has had that kind of love from his spouse. Its something you will always be able to cherish." Ishita said.
If he could just get past his guilt over the unhappy state of their marriage. His inability to return to shagun's affection the way she had wanted weighed him down, but he appreciated ishita's words.
Little did ishita know how right she was. In public his wife had made no secret of her affection for him and he had tried to return it to keep up the myth of a love match. But in private life raman had cared for her the way he did a friend. She had pushed him so hard at the end to try surrogacy in order to save their marriage; he had finally agreed to consider it.
Needing to change the subject , he said-" why don't u sit while we talk?"
"thank u ." she did as he asked.
He subsided into another of the chairs by her desk and asked-" how are u really feeling ishita?"
Ishita-" I am fine."
Raman-" rest assured that meri trip par I insisted on day to day report of your progress aur report hamesha theek hi aayi."
"it does not really surprise me that u checked. Something tells me you are a self made father already." She quipped.
"if u mean I am interested to the point of driving you crazy with questions, I am afraid I am guilty. Since you and I have known each other from the time you were 12 , it helps me to know I can have the inside track on the guardian of my baby. Dr Ria said your bp went up at the time of the funeral, but its back to normal and she promised me that you were in excellent health." Raman completed.
Ishita had a teasing look in her eye. "they say only your doctor knows for sure, but ultimately I am the pregnant one here. So doc does not know everything."
Laughter broke from raman's lips. It felt good to laugh. He cud not remember the last time it had happened-" I will keep this in mind next time." he said in between his laugh.
"so prince ke doctor to be father ke bare mein kya report de rahe hain?" ishita asked.
He smiled and said-" I was hale and healthy at my last checkup."
"that's a very good news 4 ur baby who hopes to enjoy a long , rich life wid his or her daddy dearest." Ishu said.
Daddy was what he had heard ishita call her father from the beginning. The 2 of them had the sort of close relationship any parent would envy. Raman intended to be the kind of wonderful daddy his own had been.
"tum baat badal rahi ho ishita...I asked I want to know your full and correct condition..right now. He persisted.
"correct?" she said with a sudden hint of a smile that broke through to light up his insides. "well..sochne do.. main bohot sleepy ho gayi hun aajkal aur Mujhe lag raha hai ki main din bar din foolti jaa rahi hun...aur bhukkad bhi ho gayi hun." She said giggling.
Trust ishita come up with something like this at the moment. They both chuckled.
"Dr ria has given me medicine for anything that was and says all this will pass. In 7th month my tiredness will increase..thats all." She told him.
"kya who tumhe waise hi tang kar rahi hain jaise tum darr rahi thi?" raman asked her.
"actually nahi..i check in at her clinic once a week before going to work. She says everything looks good and I am right on schedule. Can u believe ur bay is only 1/5th of an inch long?" she asked smilingly.
"that big?" he teased. Though it really was incredible, he found it astounding that she was pregnant with a part of him. He wished he could shut off his awareness of her. Shagun's death had really changed their world.
Raman suspected ishita was also having to deal with the fact that the 2 of them were now forced to get through this pregnancy without his wife. No doubt she felt some guilt, because they were treading new ground neither of them could have imagined when they had the procedure done.
A laugh escaped her lips. " its in development stage as if now ,, doc gave me 2 booklets..same to same ones. This one's for u. anatomy 101 for beginner fathers."
She reached in the desk drawer and handed it to him. The title said THE 10 STAGES OF PREGNANCY AT A GLANCE.
"why 10 not 9? He asked her abt her book.
"a woman wrote it and knows these things." She replied.
He appreciated her little jokes more than she cud imagine. Her normally light hearted disposition was a balm to his soul. Raman thumbed through the booklet before putting it in his pocket. When he went to bed tonight he wud digest it.
"thank u for this..ab Mujhe apne present cases ke bare mein batao?" a safe subject that intrigued him as he continued asking-" which one keeps u awake at night?"
"the Ragahv case..i feel someone is trying to block his initiative for political reasons." She replied.
"Mujhe batao..detail mein..." he asked.
Her arched brows lifted. "tum bore ho jaoge.." she warned.
"try me" he confidently said. Nothing about ishita bored him.
She reached in one of the folders on her desk and handed him a printout on the case, which he pursued...
When he went through the case he realized that it was abt how Raghav was trying to increase imports and exports from the city and sunil was trying to block his way. It all made sense to raman as he had a chat wid some of importers while he was on his trip. Raman knew Raghav was really onto something and it was good at first sight.
After reading as raman handed her back the papers, ishita's knowledge and grasp of their country's economic problems impressed him no end. He cocked his head. "sunil is really seen as a hard hitter against what he does not like." He concluded.
Ishita's brows met in a delicate frown as she said-" obvio he is from old school. Raghav's ideas are new and innovative. He's worked up the stats that show how jaipur can prosper wid this scheme of his. His research shows how much his ideas will work here. well..i wud like some of his ideas to get accepted fast...sunil is getting to me too pressurizing me against raghav's scheme...not yet but soon they wud get behind me badly." ishita said.
She had him fascinated as he asked-" so whats ur next move?"
Ishita put her paper back into the folder and said-" I am taking him to court to show cause but it wud take time I feel for implementation."
"judge kaun hai?" h asked.
"Mr Vaibhav." She said.
The judge was a good friend of raman's father. Keeping that in mind he said-" go on fighting for what is right ishu...I trust u and I know u will win it again."
"tumhari motivation is good for me." She said.
She was friendly yet kept their relation at a professional distance they way she had always done. To his dismay he discovered he wanted more, in different surroundings where they cud be casual and spend time talking together like they used to. Her suite was not the right place.
Her bodyguard already knew that he has stopped by to see her and wud know how long he stayed. He wanted to trust sia but you never knew who ur enemies were. Raman's father had taught him that early on. So it was back to the business at hand. "doctor ke clinic se tumhare schedule aaya tha mere paas...tumhara 8 weeks checkup due hai na on Friday, 1 may?" she nodded and he replied-" I plan to join u at the clinic and have arranged for us to meet with the psychologist for our first session afterward."
"u mean tumhare paas really time hoga itna?" she looked surprised.
"I have done a lot of business since we last saw each other and have reported to his majesty. At this point I am due some time off and am ready to get serious abt my duties as a father in waiting." He said.
Laughter bubbled out of her and said-"at times tum bohot funny hote ho raman..."
No one had ever accused him of that except ishita. He hated bringing the fun to an end, but he needed to discuss more serious matters wid her that cud not be put off before he left.
"tum abhi funeral ki baat kar rahi thi which reminds me ki tum hamesha se shagun ke saath kitni achche rahi ho. Main tumhe explain karna chahta hun ki kyun maine tumhe funeral attend nahi karne diya." He said seriously.
She moistened her lips nervously and said-"dad already explained raman. Naturally hum mein se koi bhi nahi chahta tha ki tumhari aur shagun ki life ko lekar kisi bhi tarah ki galat gossip spread ho jis se tumhari life kharab so its fine. Just between us let me tell u how much I liked and admired shagun. I have missed my daily talks wid her and mourn her loss every moment."
He felt her sincerity and replied-" she cared 4 u to ishita."
"I ...I wish there had been a way to take ur pain away..." her voice faltered as she continued-" but there is not...only time can heal ur wounds."
"iss bare mein tum se better kaun jaanta hoga..u know it since u lost ur mother too." He replied.
"I will admit that it was a terrible time for dad and me but we did get through it. there is no pain anymore." She claimed.
When he had seen her dad vishwanathan's agony after losing his wife madhavi, raman had come to realize how lucky they had been to know real love. Ishita had grown up knowing her parents had been lovers in true sense of the word. Obviously she cud be forgiven for believing he and shagun had that kind of marriage. A marriage that had physically ended at the very moment there was new hope for them.
"did vishwa uncle tell u maine tumhe phone kyun nahi kiya itne hafte? He asked.
"yes though u and shagun had told me we cud call each other back and forth if problems arose , dad and I talked about that too. We decided it will be better if u and I always go through ur personal assistant mihir sooo." She explained.
"as do I." he replied.
It wud definitely be better, raman mused. She understood everything. With shagun's gone, no unexplained private calls to him from ishita meant no call to be traced by someone out to stir up trouble. They had entered forbidden territory after going through with the surrogacy.
Raman had to hope that gossip mill within the palace wud not get to the point that he cud no longer trust in the staff's loyalty. But he knew it had happened in every royal house no matter the measures taken and so did she.
"I must not keep u but before I go I have a favor to ask." He said.
"anything" she said.
"shagun's mom and her brothers flew in for the festival." it was an excuse for what the queen really wanted . " she wud like to meet wid u and me in the state drawing room at 9 in the morning." He asked her.
His concern over having to meet wid his mother-in-law had less to do with the argument shagun and the queen had gotten into before the fatal accident, and much more to do wid the fact that he had not been able to love her daughter the way she had loved him. He was filled wid guilt and dreaded this audience for ishita's sake. But his mother-in-law had to be faced, and she had refused to be put off. "ur dad will clear it wid ur boss so he will understand why you will be a little late for work." He finished.
"That's fine" she said.
It wud not be fine, but he wud be in the room to protect her. "then I will bid good night." he said.
She nodded and said-" welcome home raman and take care ." another smile broke out on her lovely face.""u too take care and sweet dreams." He said and left.
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