Seeing Viansh... I annoyingly shut my eyes thinking.. oh gosh I totally forgot to inform to Viansh about whatever the hell has been happened, well I was not sure of myself as the last week has been a rollercoaster ride for me, but how to meet his eyes now?
I address to cab driver, "just a minute..!!" And as I look at Viansh, he gets out of his car, "hey.. Tuli.. where are you heading yaar.. that too dressed up like a princess? I really thought you as some celebrity..!!"
I am damn embarrassed. "Thanks.. that's nice of you to say that.." I reply glancing at my feet. "no.. I am serious yaar.. okay tell me where to?"
"Umm.. I am going to..." "to Arora's.." he interrupts. I look at him with jolt. He chuckles, "I guessed it, after all Rishi sir is your dad's friend...c'mon get in, I am going to the same place."
"But..my cab is here.." I refuse. He rolls his eyes, "oh..c'mon.. you don't want to miss my company" he looks at me with puppy-dog eyes.
It really made me chuckle. I pay to the cab-driver saying sorry. As I get in Viansh's car, he again compliments me and I do the same for his dashing look in blazer.
At the same time I am busy finding the words to inform him about us. Finally when he pulls up his car at the signal, I squeeze shut my eyes annoyingly and state, "I am really sorry Viansh.. but there is something you need to know.."
He furrows with questioning eyes, "okay.. I am all ears.." I avoid telling him directly, "I know I should have called you, but it all happened so suddenly that I totally got numb and..."
"Okay.. I got it.. now please get to the point.." he interrupts me starting the car. "Umm.. do you know anything about the party?.. I mean did Nomaan tell you anything?" Omg..my heart flutters..
"Well.. he has just formally invited me saying.. there will be some announcement.." he explains.
"And..?" I bite my finger nails.. "and what..?? I think there must be new product launch.." he examines my face.. and asks.., "or.. is there anything else.. do you know?" He asks doubt fully.
"Okay.." I heave a deep sigh, "actually it's to announce marriage.. Nomaan's marriage....... with me.. " this was tough.
His jaw drops. He sequeks in disbelief "What..??. I mean how..?? oh god when?"
He pulls up the car to the side, "Explain.." he orders with wide eyes. As I am about to open my mouth he is ready with another question, "wait.. did Nomaan propose to you?" "Hell.. no.." I roll my eyes, "it's our dads.."
He chuckles with shock.," ho.. ho..ho.. you are telling me this is arranged marriage.. and since when Nomaan started listening to his dad?"
"Obviously it is arranged.. you know me and Nomaan.. right?" I shrug. He smiles naughtily, "hmm.. I should have known it.."
"And What's that..?" I ask. He nod his head, starting the engine "nothing.." then there is long awkward silence.
He breaks it with a giggle. "What?" I ask.
He replies, "I just can't believe it.. I mean.. you and Nomaan were like in opposite team and now you are getting married.."
I heave a sigh, "yeah.. I am confused too yaar.." he smiles observing me out of corners of his eyes, "don't be confused.. I mean it's about your marriage.. about your life.." my heart sinks at his words.
He adds, "but .. honestly saying..I am really happy for you Tuli.." he smiles. Well he is avoiding to meet my eyes.
I thank him looking at the road. "Hey Tuli.. so you are gonna be my boss' wife.. but it won't change anything between us.. will it?"
"Of course not Viansh.. you will always be my best friend.." I assure him. He adds, "let's hope so.." then he continually babbles about random things.
I know he is trying his best to be happy, but he is hurt.. yeah I can feel it in his eyes. I am really sorry for that.. deep down I know he used to adore me but he has taken the news in stride than I thought.. I am thankful to him for that.
At Nomaan's place, he accompanies me inside. And all I get busy, is to think where to look, his house is like a modern fairy tale castle.
I enter holding my breath, my heart is literally thumping in my ears. Viansh is observing me, "take a deep breath.. it'll help you.." he tries to calm me down.
As I step inside the party hall, Gran almost comes running, greet me and Viansh, welcoming us inside. Our dads greet us, then Viansh gets busy with his friends saying, "see you in a few.."
Gran holds my hand and leads me to meet their relatives, they all greet me warmly. Then she gets busy with them, our dads are busy in welcoming guests.. I feel so isolated..
None of my friends from Ahire can join me today, and I am all by myself.. The Only person I know well is Viansh, he is busy too.
All I want to do, is sit in a distant corner, so that no one can look at me, yeah these intent gaze, I just can't bear it..
And suddenly guests start buzzing. As my eyes follow theirs, I spot Nomaan stepping out of lift, well should I say, through all the crowd his eyes are glued on me. I am just startled by his captivating charm in black tuxedo with red tie, he swiftly moves his legs towards me, as if no one is present around us.
My heart is hammering inside my ribcage, cause as he is walking towards me, all the attention is on me, many cameraman out of nowhere surround us.
What is happening to my life?, till date I am not supposed to go out, I have to cover my face, hide my identity, I have lived my whole life like no one.. and today I am centre of all attention, I really don't get it.
I can't accept these limelight, as I have grown as an introvert, I don't like people observe me, so I start panicking, I feel sweat drops on my forehead, I am breathing heavily though I feel like I am suffocating.
It's like I am screaming inside, but everyone is cheering, I come back to my senses, I see that Nomaan is standing putting his arm around my waist, Rishi uncle and my dad are announcing date of our marriage, the whole crowd cheer for us, cameraman again captures our photographs.
One thing I notice is that, it's Nomaan's touch, which soothe me down, he is smiling to the camera.. he whispers in my ear, that his lips touches the skin, "a smile, is all they need...don't worry, take deep breaths, it will be over in a moment.. be confident."
Well my ears are my weakest point so I get goosebumps on my whole body, I try to twitch my lips looking at the camera that a cameraman speaks, "perfect..." Nomaan utters formally, "okay.. thank you.. now enjoy the party.." A sweet music starts playing.
Then one by one guests start congratulating us, and he introduces them to me, making sure to touch my ear with his lips whenever he has something inappropriate to say about them. When the crowd dispersed, Nomaan huskily utters, "well it doesn't make any difference.. but you are looking damn beautiful today..!! "
Is he flirting with me? Or is he trying to be nice? Well whatever it may be I say lowering my eyes, "thank you..."
And as he got the chance, he drags me to the lift holding my hand, I am shocked cause today he is behaving like I am his best friend and lover.. well I am not.. he says, "I want you to meet someone very special to me.."
Oh my god who can be this Very Special? is he taking me to meet his lover or girlfriend? No this can't be.. my stomach flutters thinking about his girlfriend..
He presses the button 3. I am so nervous, today I feel that I am meeting my this self for the first time, otherwise no one can make me this nervous.. I notice that he has a beautiful smirk on his lips, why on earth I adore his everything today?
No.. no.. no.. I don't like him.. but this voice is not strong today, I look at him, as the lift stops and the door opens.
He again holds my hand and I am not snatching it back though no one is watching here. he slowly utters as we step out from the lift, "welcome to my floor.. then I raise my eyes to glance around.. oh dear..I literally don't have enough words to explain, whole floor is of semi circle shape, gleaming with floor lights neat and clean corridor with glass railings, corners and walls are beautifully decorated with antique artifacts, bonsai plants are there to give the floor green and natural touch.
I am busy admiring it that I observe that his eyes are on me. One by one he opens rooms, introducing them like study, music, games, hometheater... I am just overwhelmed glancing at them lastly he opens the most comfy of them all, it's his bed room.
But as I glance at the bed, my heart sinks cause someone is sleeping on it, but Nomaan drags me inside, my legs are heavy thinking about that person, but he seems cool.
He pulls the blanket with jerk uttering, "wake up you sleepy head, look who is here?" And all I can see is, there is a girl.
I am about to leave the room in anger, but at the same moment the girl addresses me in a sleepy voice, "hey..." she gets up yawning and stretching her hands.. she apologises,"oh.. please don't tell me It's already 7:00"
Nomaan rolls his eyes, "it's half past eight dear sis.." I am like what..? sis....? And my heart dances in relief. She jumps from the bed looking at me.
I see a beautiful college girl is standing in nightdress in front of me, well she is thin frame like me, with fair skin, black sleepy eyes, shoulder length silky hairs, her face is somewhat like Nomaan's.
I am still busy with my thoughts that she hugs me like an old friend, "hey.. I hope you don't mind me hugging you.. but you are exactly the girl I wanted for my 'Oppa..' Nomaan rolls his eyes looking at me.. "she's gone crazy watching K-dramas.. "
she smiles releasing me, ignoring Nomaan and adds, "sorry I have just landed at 5:00 and these flights make me sick..and yeah I never liked parties too.. but it's really nice to meet you - Tulika bhabhi." And she winks at me...
It is really embarrassing for me the way she addressed me, so I give her a smile asking, "and what should I call you my dear.. sister- -in-law....?"
She stomps her feet asking to Nomaan, "what's this 'Oppa'? you didn't even tell her about me... you are just impossible.."
Nomaan is about to say something but she interrupts, " I know... I know.. who would remember this poor little sis.. when you have such a lovely fiancee.." she giggles.
I feel my cheeks gone red, But she says grabbing my hand affectionately, "okay.. let me introduce you to myself, my name is Isha.. Oppa's little sister, dad's daughter.. gran's grand daughter and now your sister- in- law, I am studying IT in Bangalore, actually I wanted to attend your Roka ceremony but I couldn't, because of my submission."
Nomaan interrupts her, clearing his throat, "okay.. okay.. She got it.. now if you excuse us, we have two more floors to explore, and it's better if you get ready.." Isha replies yawning, "okay.. then catch you later Bhabhi.." and hugs me again.
As we step out of the bed room, Nomaan explains, "she is just a child.." I reply, "I like her..." thinking that have I lost my inner child or I still have it inside..?
Rest of the floors too are enormous and well furnished. lastly he accompanies me to the living room and kitchen and then to the hall.
As we enter in the party area, some of Nomaan's friends are waiting for us so they all surround us, congratulate both of us.
I, with somewhat shyness and some what embarrassment, smile to them saying, "thank you.."
After a brief introduction Nomaan excuses himself to accompany his friends to the diner saying, "you just stay here, I'll be back in a while."
I sit on a chair, around an empty table,
And I spot Vidita.. as her eyes meet mine.. she almost sprint to me, "Congratulations Di.. I have told you na.. I know our young master very well.." her face beams proudly, I am witnessing the joy of that innocent girl with smile... that I hear very bitter words from behind me..
"Look.. someone got a new friend.." as I turn my head, I find group of 4 girls approaching me, flaunting their bodies in deep necks and thigh cut dresses. They all have sarcastic smirk on their lips. I annoyingly shut my eyes, as I recall their faces, I have met them before at Viansh's place, Vidita leaves in embarrassment.
They look around as one of them continues, "a maid friend huh? Well it's good for the village girl like you.. exactly matches with your standards and you won't feel lonely here, when Nomaan will be busy with me.. " and they all burst out laughing.
Why is she speaking like that, is she his girlfriend or ex? Her words make me uneasy and hurt..
But I don't want to spoil my mood today so I get up to leave that one of them utters, "oh.. wow.. look at the attitude now.. but you are not Mrs. Nomaan yet.. so behave..."
I chuckle, "thank me that I am behaving, do you wish me to call security to throw you all out of here because of your rude behaviour.. no.. na? Then you behave.."
Their faces are pale as ice, but one of them.. I remember her, she was the one who dragged Nomaan away at Viansh party. She is the despicable of them all. She utters with piercing gaze, "oh..dear.. these much ego.. but remember this marriage is just a flex arrangement for Nomaan.. you know he changes girl as he changes shirt... and as I heard it's easy for drunkards to give up alcohol but to change womanizer..well sweet dreams with that.." she speaks playing with her hairs.
Oh god if this is true, then I am doomed, no I shouldn't trust this girl. But she continues, "boys like Nomaan can't be tamed, you should have known about his past affairs, he is marrying you to change his status for the society, but I don't think his playboy habits will change.. and nor will change the girls like us.. so good luck girl. " she winks at me.
I am just observing these disgusting young ladies who proudly saying how cheap they are.. she adds, "actually there is a reason he chose you, cause you village girls bear everything for yourself but don't utter a single word against your husband, always turn a blind eye to his mistakes.. even if it's an affair.." she chuckles bitterly.
Listening to this I felt like ground slipping from under my feet. 'I have my reasons' Nomaan's words echo in my mind. I am dumb enough to think that Nomaan can have feelings for me.. he is just playing with my life, taking advantage of my condition.
That Nomaan appears at the corner of hall, and all of girls leave in haste, as Nomaan reaches to my chair he utters, "oh.. so making new friends..??"
I look at him fighting back my tears, as I am boiling from inside, so he asks, "what?" I am about to go away from him, that he holds my hand gently, "hey.. what happened?"
His touch - it felt so damn calming, Well I don't care about his past but what if he currently has an affair, and what if he will continue it after marriage.. It rips my heart apart, first time I feel is jealousy, yeah I can't take it.
I see my dad is approaching me so I keep quiet, Nomaan is still confused, I say to my dad, "okay dad.. I think this announcement is done, I want to go home now please."
My dad looks at me with wide eyes, "but dear your dinner?" I almost shout, "I am not gonna die, if I won't eat just one time, now take me from here, I am suffocating here.." my eyes are moist, both of them are looking at me aghast. My dad tries to explain to Nomaan, "I am sorry Nomaan.. she doesn't like parties much.."
Nomaan is quietly observing me. "please dad you carry on with them, we will catch you in some times" he utters eying me. My dad agrees, "okay.. please be quick.." and leaves the hall.
Then Nomaan drags me to the lift, let's have a word in private. As the door shuts, he presses the 4th floor.. then he asks, "those girls.. what did they tell you?"
I look at him with shock, how did he know? Of course it's his sins, he must have idea.. but I say, "nothing.." Nomaan twitches his lips, "oh.. please.. spit it now."
But I am stubborn I know that so I say, "I don't want to tell you anything.. Nomaan.."
The lift stops, doors open, "come let's take a walk in terrace." He states. I hurriedly step out, still breathing heavily with anger, he follows me saying, "hey.. wait.." I must admit his terrace is beautiful with terrace garden, but as I close my eyes, that girl's words echo in my mind.. should I clear this with him?
No.. I shouldn't.. I don't know what will he think of me? What if he will accept it shamelessly. I think I will get hurt.. hurt hell no.. why would I get hurt.. I close my eyes to make myself clear..
But my eyes snap open as I listen to the voice of Nomaan, he is naughtily smiling at me, "you know, you look so cute when you try to think something..." then laughs.
I reply twitching my lips, "and you look ugly, whenever you try to fake a laugh.."
Then he utters, "I think your dad is right.." and before I ask about what? He calls to someone and instructs him to arrange our dinner at terrace.
I am just shocked, "I think we should join them.. I don't want to eat here alone with you.."
He asks, "don't you like it here?" I ask angrily, "why are you doing this Nomaan?"
He asks me back as if he doesn't know anything, "doing what?" I twitch my lips saying, "stop this drama.. Nomaan.. I know you want to humiliate me..as a revenge of your humiliation.."
He sits on a chair asking, "who humiliated you?" "Oh. C'mon.. just yesterday some sales girl compared with me maid.. and.. today.." I change the topic, "see.. if you are marrying me for your revenge.. then please don't, my life is already been a hell, and for the sake of humanity please spare me.." tears start rolling down to my face. I hate it to the core, when I can't play strong but when Nomaan is infront of me, my fragile self takes the charge to tell him how much I have had suffered..
He gets up, wipes my tears, heaves a sigh, "I don't know, why did you concluded like this but I don't hold grudges and obviously I wouldn't spoil my own life marrying you for revenge.. didn't you think like that..?" He holds my hand, "And you are not humiliated when someone compares you with maid, it's their frivolous thinking.."I am listening to him lowering my face,he lifts my head with his hand, "you know what? it kills me when you cry, I like that stroppy Tulika.. who is ready to cut anyone's throat with her words as sharp as knife.." you are fearless, I like that most about you.
Again our eyes meet, I see him smile, a smile that puts stars in his eyes, dazzle on his lips, and cute dimples on his cheeks, and damn.. his eyes.. the kind you could get lost and I think I did. He cups my face, stroking my cheeks with his thumbs, "you are amazing.."
I know I am blushing cherry red right now, I feel tingles all over me, his touch make my heart flutters and my body quiver, I close my eyes and realise that I can remain lost forever with him.
But I get back to present as I hear, "oh.. god here you are.. Nomaan backs his hands with jerk, leaving warmth behind, I look away in embarrassment that Isha enters informing two men. She is looking like a pretty doll in black gown.
Those men, one by one put delicacies on table.. and should I tell, I don't know half of their names, She informs, "now..c'mon.. new lovebirds.. take your seats." I am glancing at the floorn I don't have courage to look up..
She holds my hand and drags me to the chair, makes me sit besides Nomaan and about to leave that I stop her, "please sit here with us.." She is shocked, "really..??" We both nod our heads and she grabs a chair beside me. She starts with her favourite dishes.. the way she is continously explaining, I think, I've found a long lost little sister..!!!
At Arora's palace, at dinner table, Nomaan doesn't miss a single chance to glance at Tulika with admiration thinking about last few days..
After getting out of Tulika's home when his dad was trying to defend Tulika, he shocked his dad saying, "I like her.." with a smirk.
Nomaan is proud of his choice cause she is strong, beautiful, determined, indomitable, honest.. well the list is endless..
As a motherless and rich kid, he is very much spoiled, has started his career as a model during his college days, and had countless affairs, well not any serious one.
Then he got tired of that gleaming but fake world and chose to help his dad in business. Though till date he rules the ramp as a showstopper for many brands.. that's the reason girls are crazy for him.
But he was sure about his life partner, he wanted a strong and sensitive companion not a plastic wrapped puppy, wagging her tail.
That's the reason he's laid his eyes on Tulika and unbeknownst to him, in just three visits his heart started beating for her, yeah.. he is madly in love with her..!!
On the other hand Tulika doesn't have a slightest idea that this billionaire prince has lost his heart to her, she is just trying to adjust in this new relationship..
All of them are happy.. totally unaware of the turbulence looming on them, cause around 1900km away from pune.. it is Oman's city hospital's VIP ward, a person is lying on a bed with paralysed lower body.
He is watching news, suddenly his eyes gleam by watching Tulika on TV.
He presses the switch that his niece enters in the ward asking what is it uncle? He must be of Tulika's age but with muscular physique.
His uncle utters angrily, "see I was right.. I was damn right about that mo**** fu**** see, just look at that girl, she is his daughter, she is as alive as you, she was alive all the time, that bi*** had hidden her well.. now.. Nagesh.. I want my revenge .. you know this she bi*** is the reason that you have lost your mom and I have lost my dear sister, she is responsible that your dad yeah... he betrayed you, never loved you... now he thinks that I can't do anything but I want you to take my revenge, just kill her, kill that bi***.. do that work which I couldn't do 21years back..
I don't trust those jerks in India, they couldn't find her, even though she was under their nose..
That poor boy, unwillingly take a photo of the tv screen, utters in a low voice, "uncle I will do as you say.. I will leave for india as soon as I can and I promise I will come back after completing my task..."
His uncle happily shouts, "well done my boy, I have raised you well, all the best for your task..." and laughs like a devil.. that all the walls of that ward trembled with fear...!!