Thanks everyone. Angad is indeed a very sweet character in this one; he just appears to be wicked!
The next day, Suryabhan was feeling better but decided to rest an additional day. Kripa, Prithvi and Angad kept the same arrangement for "London darshan." Angad wanted Prithvi to spend more time with Kripa and insisted on staying back the whole day, but Prithvi convinced him to "go out" with Kripa in the afternoon. Kripa was glad that Prithvi was able to persuade him; she had realized that it was very difficult to dissuade Angad from doing something he did not want.
Kripa thought about what her dad had mentioned the previous night. She knew, her dad was right; after all she had to start thinking of settling down some day. She decided to use this opportunity to learn more about the brothers, in case her father was right.
When Prithvi and Kripa were in the bus, going towards Trafalgar square, she asked him, "Prithvi…aapki aur Angad ki relationship kaisi hai?"
"Hmm…Angad aur meri relationship? Well….we are the best of friends and the closest brothers you would ever see…"
"Wo tho maine jaan liya hai….parr aap dono itney different hain?"
"Haan…..Angad is my jaan…..although we are just a few months apart in age, he is like my big brother…..he has always taken care of me…..yadi wo nahin hota tho main aaj shayad pagal khaane mein hota…" he started laughing
"Aisa kyun?" Kripa was surprised at that comment.
"I am just kidding…..Angad has always been a my strength….after my mother's death, he pulled me out of severe depression…..uskey baad bhi, he has helped me emotionally whenever I need him……you know he understands me better than I understand my self…..mujhey batana bhi nahin padhta and he knows what is going on inside me….jaise….jaise…"
"Jaise kya?" Kripa asked
Prithvi was too shy to tell her about how Angad had figured out that Prithvi liked Kripa
"Kuch nahin….time aaney parr bataa doonga….chalo hamara stop aa gaya…."
They came off the bus and enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the "Trafalgar square." Prithvi clicked away with his camera, as Kripa fed the pigeons and enjoyed the surroundings. She thought to herself, "kaash Angad bhi yahan hota" Every time she thought of Angad, she could feel goose bumps on her skin, and her heart pounding faster.
"Achcha Prithvi, aap Angad ko kitni achchi tarah samajhtey ho?" Kripa approached Prithvi, who was trying to review the pictures, he had just taken. He made sure, he clicked "London" today and not just "Kripa," so Angad would not pull his leg.
"Hmm…kya….main Angad ko kitna samajhta hoon?….Angad ko samajhney ke liye PhD karni padhegi….main uski har baat tho nahin samajh pata, parr itna jaanta hoon ki he doesnot mean what he says most of the time…..jaise…" Prithvi paused as he tried to delete some of the pictures.
"Jaise?" Kripa was impatient to hear more
"Jaise…wo kehta hai na ki kitni ladkiyon ke saath uska affair raha hai….I don't think he has even touched a single woman…touch in the sense…..you know what I mean….he just likes to shock people…..never take him seriously in that matter….."
She did not know why, but that last statement about Angad, made her happy.
"You know, the other thing about Angad…..wo andar se bahut sensitive and soft hai…he has a heart of gold…..he will do anything for the people he cares about…." Prithvi could go on and on…..
Kripa smiled to herself as she was hearing what she really wanted to hear.
As they walked towards the subway station, she asked Prithvi, "I know tumhari understanding bahut achchi hai Angad ke saath, parr kabhi aisa hua ki tum dono ko ek hi cheez pasand aa gayi ho….for instance there is this really cool sports car you both like…tab kya karogey?" Kripa looked at Prithvi intently for an answer.
"Hmm…that would be a difficult one…..main jaanta hoon…yadi Angad ko pata chala ki I also like the car, he will pretend he does not like it, even if he does…..I know wo mere liye itna jhooth tho bol hi dega….but why do you ask?"
The color from Kripa's face faded when she heard that, "Bas aise hi…I am just trying to figure out the two of you," she tried to smile.
That afternoon, Angad and Kripa roamed around the city. Angad was more receptive to using transportation and did not insist on walking everywhere. Kripa thought he was more aloof today; she did not find him staring and gazing at her, or trying to make physical contact with her like he had the last few days. He agreed to whatever or wherever she wanted to go. She preferred the other Angad…the one who teased her, the one who pulled her leg, the one who looked at her as if she was the most desirable woman he had ever met…..what had happened in 24 hrs?
When they sat down at a coffee shop, she asked him the same question, as she had asked Prithvi about the sports car. Angad laughed when he heard the question, "that is a difficult one, Kripa…hmm let me think….you know if he really wants it, I would let him have it, but knowing how scared Prithvi is of fast cars, I would end up driving it anyways….so in a way, it would still be mine!" he winked and smiled at her. She was glad, he was back to his charming self……..the talkative, over-confident Angad she had started liking.
That same evening, Angad made a suggestion, 'let's go dancing….kyon Prithvi"
"No, yaar…main wahan bore ho jata hoon…."
Kripa was excited, 'I would love to go….I love dancing!"
Prithvi got up, "OK…let's go then!"
Angad smiled and thought, "Prithvi….you really like her….."
AT THE DANCE CLUB:
Angad, Prithvi and Kripa sat at a table and ordered some drinks. Angad got up, "Main abhi aata hoon…"
Kripa looked up, "Kahan ja rahey ho?.," before she could complete her sentence, Angad had disappeared in the crowd.
Prithvi put his hand on Kripa's, "don't worry Kripa, aa jaayega….koyi sunder ladki dekh li hogi…" Kripa was annoyed at that comment, "paar hum sab saath aaye hain….aise kaise chhod sakta hai hamein….," before she could say more, Angad was back with a white girl in his arms
"Hey guys….meet Tina…..she and I will be dance partners tonight…..Prithvi why don't you ask Kripa for a dance?" Angad turned around, without looking at Kripa, and disappeared on the dance floor with Tina. Prithvi and Kripa stayed seated as Kripa kept glancing sideways, every so often, to keep an eye on Angad and Tina. They seemed to be having fun as they danced to various music numbers-hip hop, rap, disco, etc. Kripa felt a twinge of jealousy, as she had expressed it clearly how much she enjoyed dancing, but Angad had ignored that fact, and preferred to dance with a stranger. She was not upset with Prithvi, as he had made it clear; he was not the dancing types.
A short while later, a sweaty Angad returned hand-in-hand with Tina, "Hey guys, you are still here?…C'mon they are going to have some slow dancing now….chalo Prithvi and Kripa, I want to see how you guys move….."
"Excuse me hon'….I 'll be right back" Tina waved at someone and disappeared.
Kripa finally got up, "You mind dancing with me Angad?"
Angad was stunned but could not say no, as Prithvi was still seated with a drink in his hand, showing no interest in wanting to dance with the woman he loved.
Angad smiled and took Kripa's hand, "Prithvi…abhi bhi soch ley…."
When Prithvi shook his head, Angad walked with Kripa to the dance floor.
To Kripa's luck, they played a beautiful soft romantic number. All the couples started dancing to the music. Angad placed his arm around Kripa's waist and took her hand in his; they both started swaying with the music….they did not realize that as they kept dancing, there bodies came closer and closer, to the point that they could feel each others heartbeats. Kripa could feel his breathing getting heavier, as she came closer; she looked up at him and saw his eyes were burning with passion. She could feel his strong back muscles through his sweaty shirt and smell his cologne on his neck……..they both were lost in each others arms……unaware of the fact that the music had stopped, and the other couples had separated from each other. Angad suddenly realized that the music was over; he freed himself and looked a little embarrassed, 'main kuch peeney ke liye lata hoon…..do you want something?"
Kripa lowered her eyes and said, 'nahin…main Prithvi ke saath baith thi hoon….."
Prithvi was talking to someone, "Hi Kripa…in sey milo….mere bachpan ke dost…..Manek, ab yeh London mein hi rehta hai…"
"Hi, nice to meet you…" Kripa said politely but her eyes were still searching for Angad
"So Prithvi….looks like you found yourself a girlfriend!" Manek, who was generally outspoken, made a comment.
Kripa stared at him, " No…we are just friends….we just met in London…"
Prithvi felt a little odd at his friend's outspokenness, "Manek….aisa kuch nahin hai….she is right…we are just friends…'
"Haan….shuroo mein sab aise hi kehte hain….I am sure I will receive a shaadi ka card soon…" Manek laughed. Kripa and Prithvi were both uncomfortable at that remark and took leave from him.
Prithvi was not entirely displeased with the comment but tried to reassure Kripa, 'please wo shuroo sey hi aisa hai…uski baat ka bura nahin maan naa…"
"Main zara restroom ho karr aathi hoon…." Kripa excused herself.
As she was approaching the restroom, two young British men followed her and started harassing her, 'Hey sweetheart…..wanna join us…..looks like you are alone….."
Kripa tried to ignore them, but they kept following her and tried to hold her hand. Just then, Kripa heard some scuffles. She turned around and saw Angad on the floor, fighting it out with one of them.
'Hey dude…what is your problem?….you are here with Tina….is she your girl too?" the other man said
Angad got up and punched the other man, "Ya…SHE IS MY GIRL….lay off…you bas****"
"Hey…Pete and Bob…stop it guys…leave him alone….he paid me well tonight….," Tina intervened and separated the men.
Angad shook his clothes and put his arm around Kripa, "let's go Kripa….." Kripa was still numb after the whole experience but had a warm feeling inside her….she felt very safe….she felt she need not worry about anything as lomg as Angad was with her….she liked it when he called her "his girl."
"Angad…kya hua….tuney phir kisi sey ladai karr li?" a concerned Prithvi joined them, 'KHOON!" Prithvi screamed as he saw a little blood oozing from Angad's hand. Prithvi turned his face as he got a queasy feeling in his stomach.
Kripa looked at Angad's bleeding hand and took her scarf out from her neck. She took Angad's hand and tied the scarf around it to stop the bleeding.
Angad looked at his hand and then at Kripa, "Kripa yeh kya kiya?….itna mehnga scarf….yahan kyon baandh diya….?"
Kripa looked at him with loving eyes and just smiled, 'koyi baat nahin….is sey bhi mehnga scarf mere liye baad mein khareed dena……"
Angad wanted to hold her in his arms and kiss her at that very moment, but stopped himself, "Prithvi…ab tu turn karr sakta hai…khoon nahin beh raha…..yeh Prithvi bhi na khoon dekh karr behosh ho jata hai….he is very tender hearted…." Angad tried to defend Prithvi and patted his back,as the three of them walked out of the club.
On the way back in the cab, Kripa sat between the two men. Angad's wounded hand was resting on his thigh. She wanted to hold his hand and kiss it tenderly, she wanted all his pain to go away…..she really wanted to be "his girl"…..she was sure she was in LOVE WITH THIS MYSTERIOUS MAN…..
….to be continued….