Chupanke Ki Saaza
kahan hai?" Rano asked, as Jai appeared in the hotel caf, where they were all
having breakfast the next day morning.
he replied, picking up a toast and carefully spreading butter on it. Rano
waited for a further explanation, and received nothing but silence in return.
Ranveer asked after a few minutes. "The Malhotra's pre-poned the meeting to 9."
nodded and stood up. Together the brothers left the hall, leaving a frustrated
dono samaj the kyun nahi?" she muttered, while Lakshmi wondered what the matter
was. "They love each other, and both pretend the other doesn't exist."
"Jai aur Bani?" Lakshmi
did they do now?"
haste, Rano recounted all of the previous nights events.
we know he brought her back," Lakshmi said as Rano finished.
they obviously didn't make up," Rano said. "I am sure they had a fight about
let out a sigh, as Lakshmi said, "Lets go see Bani. Maybe she will tell us what
it," Rano said. "They both are very careful around us." But she got up all the
same and followed Lakshmi to Bani's room.
took them almost ten minutes of constant knocking to wake Bani, who appeared at
the door grumbling.
people even sleep around here?" she asked, as she slumped back into bed, while
Rano and Lakshmi sat down beside her.
its 9," Lakshmi informed.
she replied. "What do you want me to do?"
are you here Bani?" Rano asked.
dawned on Bani as she sat up with a jerk. "Crap! – My meeting!" She scrambled
to get out of bed, but stopped midway and settled back, with a frustrated
hua?" Lakshmi asked.
is no point," Bani said. "Even if I manage to get down there in ten minutes,
Jai will ignore me as usual and it will be beyond awkward with Harsh."
pretended to act ignorant. "Why would Jai ignore you?"
stared at her incredously. "Where have you been for the past year and half?
When me and Jai have a fight, we ignore each other. And then both of us realize
how stupid we are and make up a day later by –"
stopped and turned a delicate shade of pink. She and Jai always made up their
fights by having a romantic evening either in a yatcht, farmhouse or hotel.
giggled. "So we all know what Jai and Bani will be upto tonight then!"
Bani's face fell. As much as she wanted it otherwise, she couldn't make herself
believe that Jai will ever make up
was quick to catch Bani's expression and decided at once that things were
getting out of hand. She resolved to take matters into her own hands.
no," Jai said to a smiling Rano. "I am not
Rano said. "Kya apni bhabhi ke liye, tum yeh bhi nahi kar sakthe?"
my foot," Jai replied.
Ranveer said in a warning tone. "Don't irritate her."
baby," Rano said, with a wink to her husband. "Tumhara bhai tumse kitna behtar
hai Jai. Phat se maan gaya."
woh unfortunately tumse shaadi ki
hai," Jai stated. "but I have no such binding contract with you."
course you do," she said. "Whats the problem anyway?"
of all, I don't play childish games
like a scavenger hunt because its stupid and I don't have the time for it," Jai
explained. "And even if I agreed to play, there is no way in hell that I am on
sighed. "Bani mein kya problem hai?"
Rano," Jai said. "Im not having this discussion with you."
Rano," Bani said. She just walked in with Lakshmi and heard Jai's denial. It
was not unexpected, but it was a blow nevertheless. "I am not playing with him."
it up then," Rano said, her tone past pleasant and on the verge of anger. "Both of your are playing and will be on
the same team."
who?" Jai objected.
me," she answered. "And I am pregnant, so you are going to have to listen to
stared open mouthed as Rano left. "Just great…" he muttered to himself.
was the evening after the big meeting with Malhotras, in which Jai manged to
get the deal signed, a feat he intended on celebrating, for it was the best
contract he ever made. However, just as he was going to announce a big party,
his favourite and only bhabhi, Rano, announced that she wanted to take part in
the hotel's annual scavenger hunt, for she desperately
wanted the prize offered to the winners. She further added that the only way to
win was for all of them to participate, increasing the chances of wininning and
thus, the prize, which would undoubtedly will be given to Rano regardless of
who won it.
everyone agreed for the pointless plan, as Rano could get whatever she wanted
these days, no matter how ridiculous it was, given her condition, Jai put his
foot down. He not only felt childish to participate in this event, but didn't
want to spend time with Bani, whom he was ignoring from that morning. Their
little confrontation the night before was not a pleasant experience and he was
confident that his wife would not want to see his face after that. He saved her
the trouble and pretended that the hatred was both ways – a habit for him now.
However, he was direly wrong, for not only did Bani want to spend time with
him, but was looking for ways to corner him alone.
returned with the list of items they were to gather by the end of the night.
She gave both Jai and Bani a stern look, before turning away and wishing everyone
and Bani departed in silence.
this way," Bani said, after fifteen minutes of quiet. Jai stopped and looked at
her with raised eyebrows. Bani clarified. "The first on the list is a war
painting, which is on the fifth floor."
let out a sigh. "And what makes you think that I am actually following this
you want to win?"
you haven't realized," Jai said coldly.
"I am not interested. Main room mein jaa raha hoon, tum yeh scavenger
hunt khud khelna!"
face fell. She was looking forward to spend time with him. True, they are not
in talking terms, but she needed his presence. As much as she thought she hated
him, she craved for his attention and his ignorance was not something she was
taking nicely - especially after their
fight the night before. "Teek hai," she said, desperately, when Jai continued
to walk, ignoring her. "Maat khelna. Waise bhi tum haarne wale ho."
stopped and turned around. "What?"
Bani said. "tum aise games mein haarthe ho. So, it's a good thing that you are
not playing. Warna Rano ke samna, hamara naak kataoge!"
jaw dropped. "I ashame you? You always win because me."
am not!" Jai said, defensively. "You are the one who sucks!"
Bani said, trying not to smile. "Why don't you prove it then?!"
Jai said, walking back to where Bani was standing. "I will." He took the list
of the things they have to find, and tore the page in two, giving one half
back. "Lets see who can find their half of things first. Deal?"
with that they parted ways.
Dekhna, Bani thought
to herself. When Jai loses, I will also
pretend to lose. And then both of us will laugh on what a stupid idea this
whole thing was… just like old times!
Bani said to herself. "This game is so tedious. Who the hell invented it?"
she continued to walk, counting the number of things she still had to find, she
bumped into a strong pair of shoulders and stumbled back.
am so sorr-" she began to apologize, but realized that it was Harsh. She stopped,
and didn't know what to say.
Harsh after a few moments of awkward silence.
Bani said, trying to keep her voice pleasant. She was still mad at his
behaviour from last night.
cleared his throat, to help with his nervousness. Truth was Jai had very camly
threatened him not to come infront of his wife ever again. And having a lot of
experience in the business world, he was not dumb, to understand that Jai meant
things he said. "Ermm… how are you?"
Bani replied, but didn't continue the conversation.
sighed. "Look Bani… I am very sorry for what happened last night. I had no idea
you were Jai's wife. Main toh aise hi… anyway, forget it. Can you please
was taken back. The stubborn and obsessive Harsh apologizing to her? "Umm…
yeah, that's okay. Joh hua, so hua."
you," he said, grateful. "Waise how long were you guys married? I never even
heard the news!"
a year ago…"
Harsh said. "Yeah, I was in London for the last three years. Otherwise, who
would miss Jai Walia's wedding?"
wasn't that big," Bani said, not comfortable with this topic, for it was very
closely related to Pia.
how did you guys meet?" Harsh asked.
Bani didn't even know how to answer without bringing up her sister. "It was
arranged…" she mumbled.
"Seriously?!" he exclaimed. "No way!"
raised her eyebrow in confusion. "Why? Are arranged marriages not permitted
Harsh didn't seem to hear her. "No! That can't be right… Jai cannot love you soo much if this
marriage was arranged!"
stumped Bani. "Huh?" If she believed anything since she moved back into the
Walia Mansion, it was that Jai stopped loving her. Yes, she was to be blamed
for this change, but that didn't mean she was hurt. It was selfish, but she
wanted him to care for her.
however, looked at Bani, properly for the first time. Though her beauty still
took his breath away, he saw her eyes for what they were – it looked like she
was in distress. "Are you okay?" he asked.
nodded automatically. She was more than used to these questions.
seriously," Harsh said. "Is everything okay between you and Jai?"
course," Bani lied easily. But it was obvious that he didn't buy that excuse.
So Bani decided to put some truth. "Its just…he is mad at me," she said. It was
a fact that was bugging her since morning but that wasn't the only thing on her
Harsh didn't seem to believe that either. "Jai can never be mad at you."
looked at the floor. "I am sure you are mistaken," she said quietly. "Because
he is now… he won't even look at me!"
I am not mistaken," Harsh said confidently. "Men aren't that difficult to
understand Bani. You just need to see past their words and look at their
looked up at the serious expression on Harsh's face. "I understand Jai more
simply replied, "Then you should know that he would go to any lengths for
shrugged. Truth was, she felt she didn't know anything about Jai these days.
The way he taunted her, sometimes ignored her like today – it was like he was a
whole new person.
she said, changing the topic. "how come you are here?"
Harsh said. "I am totally bored. How about you?"
groaned. "Some scavenger hunt that I am being forced to play!"
Harsh said, excited. "You are actually participating?"
but I can't even find half the things on the list."
smiled. "Let me help you."
refrained from rolling his eyes. "I own this hotel and I came up with the
face spread into a smile. "That. Is. So. Awesome!!" But a thought crossed her
mind. "But that wouldn't be cheating… right?"
wouldn't tell anyone," he promised. "either way, consider it as part of my
Jai grumbled to himself. "Just one more thing and I will win this stupid game
and prove to Bani that I am better than her!"
was almost an hour since Jai challenged Bani and he was almost close to
finishing his list of things he had to find. The last item on the list was a antique
chain, which was rumoured to have belonged to a queen almost a thousand years
ago. While Jai tried everything – starting from research on the internet to
bribing the staff of the hotel – he couldn't located where this priceless thing
was in the hotel.
it is so priceless," Jai thought. "Why does no one know about it?"
he continued to walk aimlessly through the halls, hoping to find the item, he
walked in on a similing Bani, who was talking to Harsh. Jai's eyes narrowed as
he watched the duo continue to chat.
then Harsh caught his eye. Jai raised his eyebrows questioningly. He thought he
was very obvious when he told Harsh never to talk to Bani again.
Harsh said. "I was just apologizing to Bani for last night."
nodded, but his stern expression didn't change.
Harsh said, understanding Jai's unsaid dismissal. "I have to run. Take care
Bani – err, Mrs. Walia."
gave a puzzled expression as Harsh hurried out of sight. "What happened to
him?" she wondered out loud. "He was talking fine till now."
decided that his threat to Harsh should be kept a secret. He just shrugged his
shoulders in response.
Bani said. "Did you finish? Did you find everything?"
sighed. "One thing left. So, since you probably didn't even find half the
items, lets call it quits. I won."
raised her eyebrows. "What one thing are you missing?"
antique chain…" Jai replied. "But who cares?! You lost Bani Dixit!"
laughed at this. "Says who? I finished everything AND I found one extra thing!"
Jai said, surprised. He grabbed her list and sure enough, every single item was
checked off, with the location of each scribbed messily beside it. "Fine," he
said, determined. "I can go find my last item in less than five minutes!"
bad!" Bani said, with a smug expression. She owed Harsh so much. He practically recounted the entire hunt to her. "I found your last item. SO, I win either
"you know where the chain is?" Jai asked,
not believeing his ears. There was no way, Bani could have found it, when he
wasted almost thirty minutes over it.
nodded her head, with a wide smile on her face. "Yup! Third floor, first frame
on the right!"
groaned. "That was the only floor I didn't bother to check!!"
one thing is cleared," Bani said, as Jai cursed his luck.
no matter what you say, in end, you always have to come back to me!"
you don't want me to come back," Jai said quietly. "right?"
didn't know what to say. Was it really her who was pushing him away? Didn't he
hate her just as much? Wasn't he the one who thought of divorce?
Jai said, interpreting her silence to be a yes. "You know what this means,
right? We won! Rano can get her prize now."
nodded and followed him to Rano's room.
are done," Jai announced as he walked into Rano and Ranveer's room.
scavenger hunt," Jai reminded. "me and Bani finished. So you can get your lame
dawned to Rano. "Oh really? Great!" Truth was, no one was participating in the
scavenger hunt except for Jai and Bani. While Lakshmi and Tarun disappeared on
a long drive, Ranveer and Rano retired to their room, where they were busy
trying to come up with a name for their child. But Rano could hardly explain
this to Jai, who would burst worse than a volcano.
it?" Jai asked. "How about a thank you?"
eyed Bani, who appeared to be lost in thought. "Kya hua Bani?" she asked,
jerked out of her thoughts. "Nothing… just tired." And with that she left the
turned to Jai with a glare. "What did you say?"
look at me like that! I didn't do anything!"
why did she just leave like that?"
rolled his eyes. "Rano!" he exclaimed. "Anything that happens to Bani is not my fault!"
it is," Rano said. "Now go find out what happened," she ordered.
grudgingly got up and left.
What is wrong
Bani pondered as she randomly flipped through channels on the TV. Why do I care so much if Jai is mad at me? I
should be glad that this marriage is easier to break than I imagined. And even if it isn't, I cannot stay with a
man who killed me sister… right? Her resolve, which stayed firm for the
past month was beginning shake.
didn't know you watched fear factor," Jai said, watching Bani's blank face.
Bani said, blinking out of her thoughts.
just shook his head. No point talking to a lost person. He sat down beside her
and grabbed the remote.
was watching that!" Bani exclaimed, trying to get the remote back.
bad," Jai said calmly. "I get to watch now!"
– but-" Bani spluttered.
ignored her and started to watch a game of football.
the way," Jai said. "Rano wants to know if you are okay. So do me a favour and
tell her, I got nothing to do with
your mood swings."
you don't even want to know why I am in a crappy mood?" Bani asked, watching
Jai's relaxed expression.
he answered. "because I thought we decided that we don't care for each other
anymore. Hence the divorce, remember?"
if I get killed by a car tomorrow," Bani clarified. "you wouldn't care?"
I am not inhuman," Jai said, but didn't bother to explain the rest.
sighed. "Look," she said. "Can't we just be friends?"
turned to see Bani's expression. "I thought you hated the sight of me?"
you, the sight of me," Bani answered. "But the longer we keep fighting, the
harder its going to be to live together."
what do you want me to do?"
more fighting," Bani said, trying to explain what exactly about him that bugged
her. "Or ignoring… or taunting. Or any of your sarcasm… just be neutral…
you." And with that Bani got up and went to bed, leaving a smiling Jai. Guess she still can't live without you Jai,
he thought to himself. Congrats!