Angad and Prithvi arrived home and updated Dilip about their trip and the meeting with his old friend, Suryabhan and his daughter.
"Ladki sunder thi kya?" Dilip teased the boys
"Chachaji…sunder bhi aur susheel bhi…..aapkey ghar ke liye bahu material hai….," he winked at Prithvi
"Aisi baat hai….tab tho milna padhega unn logon se….ab hum teen mardon ko sambhalney koyi aa jaayegi…" Dilip was overjoyed
"Chachaji…..yeh tho pata nahin ki wo hamein sambhalegi ya hum ussey sambhalengey…" Angad retorted
Prithvi, who was listening quietly so far, finally spoke up, "Nahin Papa….Angad ki baton mein mat aaiye…..wo bahut achchi hai…aur…" he paused shyly.
Dilip raised his eyebrows and looked at Angad. Angad nodded his head. Dilip and Angad had a good understanding, although they were not related by blood, they could read each other's minds well. Dilip depended on Angad more than he did on Prithvi. Dilip was very happy for his son, he patted Angad's shoulder as if thanking him and left the room.
[SIZE=7>A WEEK LATER:
Suryabhan and Kripa returned from Great Britain. Suryabhan called Dilip Bose on arrival and they set a time to meet each other. Kripa was very excited when she heard that they were going to visit Angad and Prithvi that afternoon.
Dilip was pleased to meet Kripa too. Kripa was dressed in a pink salwaar kameez and looked lovely with her open straight hair, light make up and minimal jewelry. Prithvi came downstairs, when he heard Kripa was there.
"HI Kripa! How was the rest of your trip?"
Kripa smiled, "well….boring…aap log jo nahin the…." Her eyes wandered, "Angad kahan hai?"
Prithvi replied, "Oh…wo tennis khelney club gaya hai….aao mere saath oopar aao, main tumhey photos dikhata hoon….," he grabbed her hand and took her upstairs.
Dilip and Suryabhan caught up with their lives in the meantime. Dilip finally approached the subject of marriage, "Mere bete keh rahey the ki unhey teri beti bahut pasand hai…"
Suryabhan was ecstatic, "Dilip…tumney tho mere mann ki baat keh di…..maine Kripa se bhi baat karr li hai…..mujhey lagta hai ussey bhi dono pasand hain…"
Dilip winked, "Parr Draupdi ka zamana tho gaya ab…..ussey chun naa tho ek hi ko padhega..," they both laughed loudly.
"Dilip…iss maamley mein decision Kripa ka hi hoga….."
"Mujhey tho bas bahu chahiye, chahey Prithvi ki ho ya Angad ki…." Dilip smiled.
Kripa was impressed with Prithvi's achievements at display, "wow, Prithvi tum apney school ke topper the? Aur gold medal in Engineering school…you are so modest…kabhi bataya nahin…..aur yeh kya…..best singer award in college…..hmm…real all rounder…" she smiled as she looked around.
Prithvi blushed, "Aao Kripa…tumhey photos dikhata hoon…..," he brought his laptop close to her and they both sat down on the bed to check out the photos. Kripa was engrossed in the pictures and did not notice that both Dilip and Suryabhan stood at the door admiring her and Prithvi together. Kripa finally laughed, "Prithvi…tumney meri itni saari photos lee hain….shayad meri poori life mein kisi ney nahin kheenchi hongi….," she looked up and saw the two old men smiling. She got up a little flustered as she did not want them to misunderstand the situation, "Prithvi…Angad kab aayega…..ussey bhi milna chahti thi…?"
"Aao beti…main tumhey club chhod deta hoon….mujhey bhi uss taraf kaam hai…" Dilip offered to drop her at the club
"Thanks uncle…" Kripa was excited
[SIZE=7>AT THE CLUB:[SIZE=7
Dilip dropped Kripa, 'beti andar poonch lena….wahan sab Angad ko jaante hain…mujhey kisi se milna hai…main chalta hoon….Bye!"
Dilip was right, Kripa did not have a hard time locating Angad. He was busy playing a tennis game with another friend. She looked at him admiringly, "Angad….you look so handsome in this sporty look….," she said to herself. She started daydreaming about Angad when she saw someone snapping fingers in front of her face, "kis ke khwab le rahi ho madam?" She snapped out of her dream and saw her prince charming in front of her. She was tempted to hug him, but resisted, "Oh…HI….I didn't see you coming….."
"Mujhsey milney aayi ho?" he smiled
"Nahin, yahan tennis match dekhney aayi thi…" she said sarcastically
Angad laughed, "aao…wahan table parr baith the hain…"
They found an outdoor table and ordered drinks for themselves
"Tho ab batao….how was the rest of the trip?" Angad asked as he sipped his coke
"It was wonderful…tum jo nahin the tung karney ke liye…" she smiled teasingly
"Hmm…meri company mein kaafi kuch seekh gayi ho…." He smiled back.
Kripa became a little serious, "Angad…dar asal mujhey tumsey zaroori baat karni hai…."
Angad smiled, "mujhsey aur serious baat?….main aaj tak serious nahin huya kisi baat parr….achcha bolo…I am all ears.."
"Angad….Angad," she spoke softly, "Angad…..I think…I think…I love you…..main tumsey pyaar karti hoon"
she lowered her eyes shyly.
Angad quickly suppressed his initial happiness, as he heard the golden words from her mouth, "Kripa….are you sure?"
"Angad….as you know main ghuma phira ke baat nahin karti hoon….I am very straight forward…..I know I have never been this sure in my life…" Kripa looked up and said firmly.
Angad put his dark glasses on, stood up and turned his back to the table, "Kripa…..I don't want to hurt your feelings, but mainey tumhary baarey mein kabhi aisa nahin socha…."
Kripa stood up and walked a few steps so that she was face to face with Angad, "tum jhooth bol rahey ho Angad…..tabhi tum mujhsey aankhein nahin milaa paa rahey…."
Angad looked away, "Kripa..you are a good friend, but I am not ready to settle yet….aur waise bhi tum mere type ki nahin ho…."
Kripa's eyes were moist now; she said with a husky voice, "Angad….main tumsey abhi shaadi ki baat nahin karr rahi hoon….i just want to hear from you that you also love me…."
"NO I DON"T LOVE YOU!" he turned his back to her again
"ANGAD! DON'T TURN AWAY LIKE THIS!" she pulled his arm, so that he was forced to turn around and look at her.
"Kripa…you are mistaken….Prithvi loves you, not me…"
"I know Prithvi is crazy about me…issi liye main tumsey baat karney aayi thi…I don't want Prithvi's feelings to get hurt….main jaanti hoon tum ussey theek se samjhaa saktey ho ki we both love each other…..why are you doing this me?…..uss din mandir mein jo huya, wo kya tha?….tumhari aankhon ney mujhsey yahi kaha tha na ki Kripa ab tum meri ho….." her tears were flowing non stop.
"Kripa…tum padhi likhi ho karr aise andh vishwaas wali baat kyon karr rahi ho….that was just an accident…just a coincidence.."
"Angad….tumhey jo sochna hai soch lo…..bas itna yaad rakhna ki ek ladki apna dil kisi mard ke saamney tabhi kholti hai jab wo ussey apna samajhti hai
…..main nahin jaanti tum kyon apney dil ki baat nahin sun rahey….ho sakta hai yeh mauka phir dobara kabhi aaye ya naa aaye…GOODBYE!" she clenched her teeth in anger and walked away.
Angad turned around and saw her leave; he took off his dark glasses to wipe his own tears, 'I am sorry Kripa….."
…to be continued….