There was only a day left for that big wedding day. Some of them were happy with that merger where some of them were counting times in reverse with a big heavy chest.
It's was early morning.
Nandini was seating in the bed and recalling Manik's last night words. She was standing in the crucial phase of life where in spite of having everything she had nothing. She had lost her family but she was blessed with The best parents of the world , Maan and Niyonika whom she loved very much.
She had Manik, her childhood companion, her best friend whom she considered as her one important part. Her soul mate.
And then she was getting Married to someone who like her knowing the fact that she didn't feel the same for him but respect. And for a girl respect was most important thing.
But Love !!!
Without love was there any value of a relationship? They said it was the base of any kind of relationship.
But she didn't love Harshad. Though he had confessed of his likeness for her. But love?? Did he love her? Was she doing any wrong with him?
She was confused. She was feeling like shouting standing at the edge of an alone aisle but there was no one who could hear her plead and helped her to get rid of her messy complicated life.
She sighed and thought to start the day with Niyonika and Maan. So skipping the morning jog she hot freshen up and came out of her room. Before going down she as per habit peeped into her next room to find a very usual thing which she loved the most. Her monster, best buddy was sleeping on his stomach wearing just his Red super man boxer and the satin black duvet was lying one fourth on him and rest on the floor.
That scene always made her day. She couldn't stop the smile spreading over her face. She moved to him slowly adjusted the duvet over him. Then without disturbing that man-child sleep stealthy pecked on his hairs.
Manik stirred in sleep with a smile . She was about to leave but something stopped her. She turned back and saw Manik was holding her hand in sleep. She chuckled as it was not a new thing. He most of the time had stopped her to leave in spite of sound sleep.
She smiled and sat beside him. And the next thing surprised her. As soon as she adjusted herself beside him, he moved closer to her lap and placed his head on her lap digging his face on her stomach wrapping his hands around her waist.
She mesmerized that best start of her day. She gently caressed his hairs when his even sleepy warm breaths were fanning her little belly.
Suddenly he heard him murmuring something in sleep. She leaned closer to him and heard
" Nandu... I am sorry. Don't leave me na. " he murmured in sleep.
Tears escaped from her eyes. She felt the pain in his pleads. But she had no other choice. She sighed and whispered
" It's late Manik. It's late. It's wake up call " She couldn't held more and ran out from his room.
" good morning mom. Morning papa " she greeted Maan and Niyonika who were busy with morning coffee and preparations seating at their lawn.
" good morning princess " they greeted back happily.
" but what's this? In this bright sunny day why my sweetheart's face is looking pale ? " Maan side hugged her and asked while she sat beside him .
" nothing papa. Just tired with all these functions. " she denied.
They understood but even they didn't want to start their day with that sad things. As it was her last day at their home, at her home they wanted to celebrate the family time. But only Manik was missing in that family portrait. But even fate wanted to bless them with a family time . And they saw the very rare morning riser was approaching towards them yanking and rubbing sleepy eyes
" What's up "
Manik came and greeted them with same half naked attire that means he didn't freshen up yet.
" Oh my my... look who's here " Niyonika exclaimed. Manik sat beside Niyonika.
" kya baat hai Manik Malhotra you woke up that too now ? It's only 7 . I think your watch has ditched you showing you your wake up time three hours earlier. " Maan mocked and made fun of him.
" Whatever " Manik frowned and pout and slept on Niyonika's lap. All started laughing.
After a long time they were having that family gala time with laughing leg pulling .
" Achcha... now its late. Beta you go and get ready. Sab aatehi honge. " Niyonika told Nandini.
" for what ? " Manik who was still sleeping on her lap eyes closed asked.
" for the haldi " she replied ruffling his hairs.
" haldi ? Like that holi na? "
He excitedly jumped out of her lap and sat straight. And everyone chuckled as holi was his favorite festival as colors with Nandini fasinated him.
But Nandini became sad again. Because for the couple of time she almost had forgotten about her departure of this mansion, Her wedding. as she was happy with those people and house where she belonged. But with that haldi topic again made her remember that she was only one day guest of that house.. of her house. And her sorrow did not left unnoticed by them.
" Nandu..." Maan squizzzed her shoulder a bit to console her. And said " You will remain the same what you were ...you are now , Our princess . And this house it's still and will be yours like Manik. " he wiped her tears .
" Papa... " she hugged him tight.
" shhh... shant.. Papa's darling " Maan rubbed her back.
They said right there was no better place for a daughter to share her pains without dad's embrace. Only a father Could give you the warmth the assurance the care the love you are longing for. And for fathers their daughters are their pride their princess. That's why all the girls pray for her Mr. Right to be like her father.
Though Nandini had lost her biological father but she had Maan , her circumstantial father who loved her more than his own son.
The mom and son just awww the father -daughter duo.
Manik was feeling very restless seeing her sobbing. so to enlighten the situation he got up and knee-led down infront of Nandini and said taking her from Maan's embrace " Do you have any tanker fitted in your eyes. 24*7 supply. India ka kitna kaam aati tum. Common yaar it's holi . "
" Haldi " Niyonika and Maan corrected .
" Yaa,,,, I mean haldi. Whatever " he frowned and continued " And you know na I am quite infamous in playing nasty holi. Sooo... " he raised his brows in mischievous way and Nandini understood his naughtiness and playfully hit his stomach.
" ouchhh " he winced fake pain. And they all brush into laughter.
Soon the day goes on and all the invites along with fab5 joined the Haldi ceremony.
It was a fun and jovial function for all . Even Nandini herself forgot her miseries watching her family and fab5 so much happy and having fun.
The turmeric ceremony started and first Niyonika applied Haldi on her performing all the rituals. And blessed her followed by Maan.
Then turn to turn all the ladies applied Haldi on her with full custom.
Fab 5 were waiting for the the oldies to wrap up their turn so that they could begin their kind of Haldi function. Navya came and applied Haldi on Nandini's cheek and hugged her.
Then Mukti and Aliya came forward. Where Mukti was happy for her new journey there Aliya was on seventh heaven considering herself as the new would be princess of The great Malhotra Empire which was on hold for Nandini. And with her departure she could easily step in to that huge Mansion and off course in Manik's life.
Mukti applied haldi on her face and bare arms followed by Aliya.
Then the good boy of Fab5 Dhrub applied haldi on her cheek a little and wished her.
After them it was the cool Cabir's turn and as he loved Nandini as a big brother, he applied haldi firstly on her forehead then on her nose quickly playfully. She pout cutely and they childishly started hitting countering themselves. Then after a good time he accepted his defeat and hugged her pecking up her forehead. The guest were awed their bond .
Manik was just watching all these standing at a corner . He was happy seeing her happy . And promised himself to keep and protect her that smile to last forever .
But, On a surprise he forgo the fact that it's probably her last day in this house and from next day she will be owed by someone else not his anymore.
After all them it was the turn of Manik. Niyonika called him to put haldi on her.
He came slowly and sat in front of her.
First he mesmerized her beauty. She was wearing while yellow half saari and all flower jewelry. She was looking like a goddess so pure so serene. He was feeling something different inside him. Something odd but enhancing.
" What ? kya hua ? " Nandini asked him as he was staring at her with blink less lashes.
He shook his odd weird thoughts away and replied eyeing her " finding place to apply but yahan toh houseful ka board laga hai. "
He cutely pout and all started laughing at him.
" what ? Why are you all laughing haan? " he gave a Manik Malhotra angry glare for everyone.
But In spite of scaring all again started giggling.
" Manik " Nandini softly called him. He looked up . She was gesturing him something.
But could not understanding anything he gaped at her with questioning eyes.
She then said " but one more place is still vacant. Ek jagha avi v khali hai. You wanna try ?" She cute whilst mischievously smirked and slowly forwarded her left clenched palm.
He confusingly gazed her clench.
Nandini then slowly opened her palm and eyeing the void place of her palm which she had herself requested the mehendi designer to keep the place vacant said " this is left. You wanna fill ? Its your place. and no one can snatch it from you."
His eyes glittered promptly and heart filled with happiness and proud. And he lovingly applied haldi on her palm. She smiled with her teary eyes.
Then he put more turmeric on his palm and without giving her little time to protest applied on her full Face.
" Maaanik... you idiot " she pout.
" aree what I have done ? I told you na I love to play naaasssty holi. So here it goes... " saying he winked naughtily and again started applying haldi on her hands faces childishly.
When she was busy taking all the attempts to hit him there he was smiling happily . All who were watching the two cutie pies silently blessing them.
After a cute timing of cutest fights Manik looked at her. Their eyes met. Something happened between that eye lock without letting anyone inform their pains they suddenly hugged and started sobbing holding each other
All the present eyes were witnessing them sobbing for no reason or for something very strong reason.
Before making the situation more embarrassing they pulled apart. They gave themselves pale smiles of fake assurance of their well being.
Niyonika then asked the girls to take Nandini to bath. And she left with them upstairs.
Manik didn't blink his eye lashes not for a second till she entered into her room and room door closed behind her. He could understand something deep was just going away from him. He wanted to stop but couldn't as he was not strong enough to face the reality.
It was night. Malhotra mansion was unusually silent unlike the other days.
Niyonika was busy packing her stuff in bags with some of butlers where Nandini was watching them blankly. I lying she could think was Manik 's eyes . His painful eyes during the ceremony. And their sudden hug.
Though she knew the reason very well but denied them to accept and access her heart and mind. She was in complications and she just couldn't bear with more.
"Nandu...are you fine beta ? " Niyonika asked seeing her lost. She gave a pale lifeless smile.
Being a mother she could understood her two children's turmoil states which were piercing her day each and every time. But she was helpless to fate.
" jish chij k liye dil na mane woh karna nehi chahiye. Ishme kisika v bhalayi nehi hota. " Niyonika said and about to leave patting her back but was stopped listening her words.
" jo chij dil k bhalayi k liye hi kia jaye woh jitna v taklif kyun na de.. karleni chahiye. " she said and gazed at her. Her eyes depicted all the unsaid words which she had hidden inside her .
Niyonika ran towards her and hugged her tight.
She was about to say something when was cut in middle and Nandini said
" please mom don't say anything. I am doing this for me . Please be my strength not the weaknesses. "
Niyonika just sighed feeling guilty for not fulfilling the promise she had made. And left the room.
Manik was on the terrace watching the stars and asking his thousands of questions silently. He was fighting inside. His heart was cursing him.
Nandini was also feeling low so that she came to terrace to sit for a while underneath the stars. But seeing Manik already there she firstly thought to go back to her room. But unknowingly her feet approached towards him.
She stand beside him silently. Manik felt her presence and turned around. He sighed as he was waiting for her only. He made her seat beside him .
For some next moment they didn't said anything just gazing the stats silently.
Abruptly Nandini said " the childhood days were so blissful na ? "
Manik shook his head as yes " hmm .. that they were. The best time of my life. "
Then they were again silent for some next few minutes when Manik broke the silence and asked
" kya sab kuch pahele jaisa nehi ho sakta ? Like our childhood days. no work pressures ..no hectic concerts...no those complications... no your wedding.. kash I could just pause every thing. " he frustratingly said.
" Manik life is all about growing up with time. Time won't wait for anyone one. It just flows. If it's goes na then won't come back. You can't pause it " she replied .
" Then tell me what to do ? How to stop you to go ? " he turned suddenly and grabbed her arm with all force he could apply then and asked clenching his teeth.
" Manik If you don't wanna let me go then why didn't you stop me then? " Nandini asked soft yet determined tone.
Manik was taken aback. He didn't know how to counter himself. After taking a few minutes silence he re asked
" If I will now then will you stop ? "
She was startled with his adamant whilst childish plead. But she had to do it. She had to do it for him for herself self respect.
She then gave a straight stern glare and said
" Sorry Manik. It's late. Before the things will get more complicated please let it go. Let me leave. " she firmly stated and left a baffled broken Manik behind.
As I said its not a lovey dovey ff... so please read at your own risk..
keep commenting.. loving.. stay tuned
Edited by musicialtie - 12 July 2015 at 5:56am