Hey my lovely readers! Firstly, I don't even know if I deserve all the love
and appreciation you have all showered on me and my work. I know I
have been HORRIBLE in not updating for soo long. I'm really, really sorry.
*bends down in shame* The only excuse I can provide is that I have been
really busy since I'm in tenth. Actually what happened was that, plus no
inspiration and, as Sam might know already, I developed a HUGE liking
towards Asian shows. Anyway I am back now. I really, really, hope I
haven't lost my readers. I also really hope you enjoy this part.
"Durga?" Narayan knocked on her door cautiously. "Can I come in?"
"You can" Just when he reached for the doorknob she added, "but you
may not." Narayan laughed and withdrew his hand. What else could he
expect from this London-bred little miss? A second later she threw open
the door and stood before him. What he saw took his breath away. She
had always been beautiful but she had never taken many pains to dress
herself up. Today however, she apparently had and the results showed.
Dressed in an orange sari with delicate silver embroidery, she looked
ravishing. Her gold jhumkas glittered in the dull glow of the hall light.
"May I bring to your notice that you've been staring at me for the past
thirty seconds?" She demanded, an eyebrow delicately raised.
"You look beautiful." He blurted out the first thing that came to his mind.
"Absolutely beautiful…" He whispered, leaning closer to her. Durga
opened her mouth, but she seemed devoid of speech. Her mind could
hardly grasp what was happening. His was coming closer and closer and
his warm breath fanned her face. Just when she was about to scream or
yell or do something to stop what she was sure was going to happen
next, he pulled back abruptly with a piece of yellow paper in his hand.
Durga noticed a muscle tighten in his jaw as he looked at her with an
unreadable expression. Naryan was pleased to see that Durga was
panting and a faint blush stained her cheeks. He was holding on to his
self control with both hands but he struggled to put on a cheery
expression as he read the little Post-It note.
"Seven-thirty. Shalini's engagement. Oh are you going there as well?
Great! So am I. I'm actually pretty good friends with her fianc Arun. I'll
see you down in fifteen minutes."
"Excuse me!" She finally seemed to have regained her voice. "Firstly, you
read my private notes and secondly, you're arrogant enough to assume
that I'll accompany you to the engagement!" Narayan laughed. As always,
she used anger to mask her real feelings.
"Private note indeed! My dear, it was stuck on your wall for anyone to see.
And secondly, there is no car left at home." Noticing her look of
astonishment he continued, "I asked Ajji to take your car to the market.
There was no other car at home and I'm sure you wouldn't have wanted
her to go in an auto. I'm sure you don't want to go in an auto either and
risk ruining your beautiful sari so logically that leaves only one option
open for you."
As her mind was still a little dazed from their earlier encounter, it took
Durga a couple of seconds to digest his long sentence. "So you're
manipulative as well as arrogant!"
"No I'm not. I'm not arrogant because I only said you'll come with me
when there was no other option left. I'm not manipulative, only nice,
because if it hadn't been for me, your Ajji would have let you take the car
and hurt her back sitting in a bumpy auto. So I'm neither arrogant, nor
manipulative. I'm only practical and nice."
"Ok whatever. I'll see you downstairs." Honestly! How could that man's
brain work when hers was so dazed? She knew he had been equally
affected by their closeness as she had been and that thought gave her a
thrill down her spine.
Fifteen minutes later she was seated in his flashy Honda Accord as he
swiftly negotiated the rush hour traffic. "Spoilt rich brat!" She thought to
herself. Imagine buying an expensive car like a Honda when he was only
here for a couple of months. For some strange, inexplicable reason, the
thought that he was here only temporarily gave her a pang of sorrow. He
seemed not to have noticed as he fiddled with the radio, finally finding a
station of his choice.
A romantic song drifted into the car, making her face as read as ever.
The venue was beautiful and romantic as well. Couples were dancing to
the soft music. Suddenly, a pretty girl, glowing with happiness, jumped in
front of them. "Shalini! Congratulations!"
"Hey Durga! I'm so glad you came! I thought you'd still be stuck
somewhere in London. And who's your handsome date here?"
"Uhh…he's not really my date actually. We're just…."
"I don't care! I'm calling you jiju anyway!"
"Shalini stop it!" Durga cried and hid in her pallu. "Just because you found
someone you're desperate to push me somewhere too!"
They continued making small talk like this, Shalini taking great pleasure
in pulling Durga's leg. She was no fool. She could see the adoring glances
Narayan gave her friend. If only Durga was not so blind.
An hour later, the party was in full swing. The engaged couple had
disappeared somewhere, much to everyone's amusement. Durga had also
disappeared. Narayan found her after much searching, musing on the
"Hey, what are you doing out here all alone?"
She turned to look up at him. He looked exquisitely handsome in the
moonlight. His handsome face was in the shadow but by this time she
knew it so well that she had no difficulty discerning his features which
were presently arranged in an amused smile. She felt heat rapidly rising
to her cheeks. He smiled even more. She needed to keep thing light. This
tension was too much!
"I had a master plan for taking over the world before you disturbed me,"
He refused to wipe that infuriating (yet irresistible) smile off his face. "So I
do manage to disturb your picture perfect life in some way, do I? That's
good in any case."
She looked sullenly up at him. "You know it's not picture perfect. Don't
say things like that."
"I know, I'm sorry." He took a seat beside her and extended his hand.
"Care to dance?"
She blushed again and cursed herself for it. "I don't know how," she lied.
"Don't be silly! I saw you at Ruth's party. You were dancing up a storm!"
She spun around to face him. "Ruth's party! But that was over a year ago!
In London! How do you remember? And how come you didn't tell me if
you recognized me?"
"I didn't, not at first anyway. But then, one day, your mother was showing
me old photos she was proud of and I saw a picture of you and Ruth. I
only saw your back at the party but as soon as I saw your photo I got to
know. I know I can NEVER mistake that sexy white dress. Do you still have
"Huh? Oh yes! Yes, of course. Actually, I was going out of my way to be
scandalous that day. I desperately wanted to earn disapproving glances.
But leave that aside. Come let's dance." A slow song came on as they
slow spun around in the garden. While Narayan's eyes were fixated on
Durga all the time, she kept hers lowered. But too often she would be
tempted to look up into his eyes, before shyly lowering them again.
Suddenly, she stiffened and brought a hand up to her mouth. "Oh my
God. It can't be! Are you…are you Anandji's son?" He didn't seem
shocked at all. She pointed an accusing finger at his chest. "You knew!
You knew all along!"
"Yes my dear." His face was calm and composed while Durga stuttered in
a vain attempt to form a sentence.
"How…how can this be possible!? You are Narayan Patel, son of Anand
Patel and Sitabai Patel?"
'Why couldn't you tell me? I mean, our parents have been crazy about
getting us together from childhood…they'll soon be erecting a marriage
mantap…we've spent all our teen years making sure NOT to meet up and
then you start living in MY house and you don't find it necessary to even
TELL me that you are THE Narayan Patel? And I was so stupid to not
He let her finish her rant in peace. Truth be told, he was also
flabbergasted when he found out. It was, of course, wonderful to know
that the girl he was slowly falling in love with was the girl his parents
wanted as their daughter-in-law. He just hoped that she wouldn't be
even more awkward now, after knowing this. But at that moment it
seemed as thought she was too incredulous to be awkward, and he was
She shrunk away from his arms to find a seat on the bench. "I can't
believe this. I seriously can't believe this!" She studied him for a long
moment. "It seems to be too much of a coincidence for you to come to
Bangalore and "accidentally" end up in my house of all places."
"It's a small world."
"No! And why did my mother take you in? I didn't even know she
advertised for a paying guest. She doesn't need to! And no one is ever so
kind to a paying guest, are they? Why Narayan, you were always one of
the family!" She looked at him suddenly with narrowed eyes. "It was all a
carefully constructed plot, wasn't it?"
P.S. I think there is a well-developed plan to get me to write. I got two
PMs in two days from both Sam and tnbedi asking me to write. Thanks
guys! U rock!