Last chapter was one of the worst responses ever. Anyways here is the link for Chapter 4 : chapter 4
This one is like really long chapter………………….. Its way tooooooooooooooooooo long…… So hopefully u guys have something to eat in your hands…………
Recap : Navya and Manik talks
The next meeting was on the third day from the first. Today, I hope to control my anger and not get irritated by Manik. I did well on the first day but I can do much better than that. Now, I really wish that I had asked Papa to replace me. Navya is a dear and made my job easier even with that bullhead present, but how long can I keep it up! Manik and Navya came in at the exact time. Things went smoother than the first day. We are almost done. Yes! Manik didn’t look pleased, Navya was happy and so was our side.
(Navya) “I am glad that this could be completed faster. The next meeting will be the last. So, when will that be?”
(Nandini’s POV) She beamed with happiness and so did I. Now, they can go back sooner than planned and I don’t have to see his face!
(Nandini in professional manner) “Will tomorrow be good, Mrs. Dhawan?”
(Navya) “I am good with it (she turned towards Manik and asked). Is that alright, Manik?” He looked displeased. I don’t get why but I don’t care.
(Manik in a disappointed tone) “Yes.” He grumbled.
(Nandini’s POV) Manik whispered something into Navya’s ears and she replied not to prolong her work. Now, I need to invite him. Maybe, I can just leave it. Navya is not going to mind. She doesn’t really support our engagement. Though she keeps saying we would make a good pair, she says it would be impossible how Manik is now. As we were closing things, suddenly, Papa entered opening the door with such a force like a hurricane.
(VM) “Hello. How do you do, Mr. Malhotra?” He smiled widely at Manik extending his hand.
(Manik in a polite manner) “Good, Thank you. And how are you, Sir?”
(VM) “Fit for my age. It would be rude of me if I do not meet the rumoured backbone of Malhotra Group, Manik Malhotra. This is the first time we meet though I have heard a lot about you.”
(Manik again in a polite manner) “Rumored? I am nothing close to it. The backbone you are talking about would be my grandfather Mr. Veer Malhotra. I have a lot to learn still.” Papa nodded to the consultant and he left.
(VM) “Shall we sit down?” He waved his hand to our seats.
(Manik) “Yes, please.”
(Nandu POV) Papa and I sat down along with Manik and Navya. Why did Papa come in all of a sudden? He never said anything about coming here today. The consultant of the Murthy Company had left giving us a little personal time.
(VM)”I must say, it is an honour to be doing business with Malhotra family.”
Manik cut in, “No, No, its our pleasure to be working with you.” VM smiled at him.
(Nandu POV) Acting all humble in front of Papa, why don’t people ever show their true faces to all?
(VM) “I do hope that the arrangements for stay are comfortable.”
(Manik) “Very. Luxurious. Your generous hospitality is well known. I have had the pleasant occasion to meet your daughter before; surprised me then and now, she has surprised me again by her transformation here.”
(Nandu POV) Pleasant? It was anything but pleasant. Why am I suddenly the topic of discussion? Manik is complimenting me or insulting me? I looked at Navya. She smiled back at me. So, should I take my so-called transformation as a praise?
(VM) “She is my best child. I cannot refute that even if she is a doctor. If you are not perturbed from your schedule, will it be agreeable to have dinner with us, just family?”
(Nandu POV) He asked him. Reject the offer, reject him or I have to entertain you the whole night. I saw Manik smirk at me. He was waiting for this! Bhagwan, kahan fasa diya!!
(Manik) “It would be rude not to, after a request from the Head himself. I would have come even if Ms. Nandini had asked me to.”
(Nandu POV while looking at VM) Papa glared at me. Manik!!! Why must you tell it right in front of him? Papa cared to hide his glare from others. I am going to be lectured till I bleed.
(VM) “I am sure she intended after the meeting. (Papa smiled) It is just that since I was here at the office, I thought I could greet you in person. I do hope you wouldn’t mind a dinner at home, or would you prefer we meet in a restaurant?”
(Manik) “Home would be perfect. I am always having dinners outside. I am kind of missing ghar ka khana”
(VM) “I see. I will send a car to pick you up from your hotel. Then, I will be leaving. See you today evening.”
(Nandu POV) We got up as Papa left. Papa was as always, calm, composed. I wonder if he would be any different if even the world ended right now.
(Manik) “Yes. Meet you then, Sir.”
(VM) “Bye, Navya.”
(Nandu POV) A storm went by, no this is just a drizzle before today’s storm. Please, anyone of my friends who I cannot refuse, call me and ask me out! Please!!!!
(Manik) “Shall we start, Navya?”
(Navya to Nandu) “Yes. See you tonight, Nandini.” Navya waved to me and left.
“Yes.” Both of them left and I sat down gathering the papers. Only till August, I need to see his face.
In The Night in the hotel room
(Manik) “Navya, is this fine?” She was sitting outside in a simple dress in the waiting room when I came out of my room.
(Navya) “Are you for real, Manik Bhai? You are wearing a designer pinstripe suit for dinner at home?” She looked at me jaw open.
(Manik) “Why not? Is it not enough?” Did I dress up wrong? I don’t think so.
(Navya) “So formal and that suit, you don’t even use that for office! Why did you bring it here?” Bring it? Did she think I carry unnecessary things when I travel?
(Manik) “Why will I bring it? I bought it now.” She looked at me incredulously.
(Navya) “You are ridiculous beyond belief. Well, lets try to fix this clown outfit of yours.” She got up.
(Manik angered) “What? Clown?” She calls me a clown? What the hell????
(Navya) “Yes.” She took of the coat off. “Do you have something of a less formal coat? T-shirts? No, too bad. Lets get one after you return. Don’t tighten up so much. Its just dinner.
Let the collar loose and free up your hair. Don’t be so stiff.” She ruffled up my hair. Really? She cannot even reach my head! She is more than one whole foot shorter than me.
(Manik) “But… But this is how we do things at our home.” She shook her head in disagreement.
(Navya) “Ah, yes, with Raj Uncle, things are different but generally, people are not like that.” What? Father is strict but she talks about him like he is different creature!
(Navya)“Sorry. Now, you are fine. Shall we go?” No tie, no coat, just a white shirt and black pants, my hair messed up like a bed head, what the……
(Manik) “What? This is no better than casuals, even worse than my casuals.” She smiled widely.
(Navya) “Exactly. Come on. Don’t mope around. The car has already come.” Car has come, I didn’t even order for the gifts to take to their house!
(Manik) “Yes. I am coming. Don’t push around.” Without even allowing me to talk, she pushed me into the car. She still didn’t stop grumbling about my attire and how late it has
(Manik) “What about the gifts?” I hope she isn’t planning to go empty handed.
(Navya) “You don’t need to buy any.” She replied coolly. I thought so. This girl!!!!
(Manik) “Don’t be silly. You are a relative. I am not. Its not polite to go empty handed. Driver, stop at a fine wine store and what brand is good for Jewellery, Navya?”
(Navya) “Do you really have to?” She looked at pleadingly. Her puppy dog eyes can move even the most stone hearted person like my father but I won’t flatter to her expressions.
(Manik) “Of course. It is only natural.” She sighed, exasperated.
(Navya)“We are already late and now this. Fine. Go to……… Soon.” We got in late. VM met us outside the house.
(VM politely) “Hello. I do hope the driver was not late.”
(Manik) “Not at all. It is my fault that we are late.” Navya didn’t look exactly pleased. She marched right in without me.
As we entered, a middle-aged woman, petite and small compared to tall and sturdy VM greeted us.
(VM) “Let me introduce you, my wife, Renuka. Renuka, this is Mr. Manik Malhotra.”
(Renuka) “Nice to meet you, mam. Navya?” Navya was sitting with the gifts by her side. She brought out the brooch that we bought.
(Navya) “Here.” She said politely but only I knew the scorn in her voice.
(Manik) “A humble present for you, mam. Also, for you Sir.” I gave him the aged wine bottle I held.
(VM and Renuka) “Thank you. You really needn’t have,” Both smiled politely.
Just as I was thinking, Nandini entered. Navya was not with her. And, she surprised me again. She wore a short length evening dress that was loose, fitted with a belt at the waist, showing off her long legs. If she tried to look normal as possible, then she totally defeated the purpose. No matter what she wears or what she does, she stands out. Whether she is doing it purposefully or not, she attracts attention very easily. Before I lost myself in thoughts, I got up and greeted her.
(Manik) “Hello, Ms. Nandini. You look wonderful. A small gift. Hope you like it.”
(Nandu) “Thank you.” She held it in her hands. She didn’t open it.
(Manik) “You are not opening it?” She fidgeted with it and slowly with trouble opened them.
(Nandu) “These are,” Diamonds. What girl does not like them?
(Manik) “Do you like them?” She looked troubled.
(Nandu) “Yes. Thank you.”
(Manik’s POV) I don’t understand her reaction. This was the least expensive of all the presents I have gotten for my fiancées and girlfriends. Is she not satisfied? Before I could say anything, the butler announced dinner. It was close to midnight when we left. Nandini was accommodating and entertaining her fiancé as she is usually expected to do. But it didn’t stop me from pulling her leg and get her mad. The result was I failed terribly. She didn’t even look fazed by my actions. Before we left,
(Manik) “Since Ms. Nisha’s engagement is in two weeks time, I was wondering if Nandini and I could go get our engagement rings before that.” Her parents looked surprised.
(Renuka) “Yes. You can talk over with Nandini when you would like to go. Nandini, see them off dear. I have Kavita on line for me.” Her mother went back in.
(Manik to Nandu)“Are you free tomorrow evening? We can go and buy them after the meeting.”
(Nandu) “Ah, yes.” She didn’t look happy about it. What exactly about me makes her discontented? I did try to have some fun quarrel but I don’t think I crossed the limit. I put on a good behaviour. Just like any other girl, she is getting her share of gifts. Then again, she is not like other girls. Navya shook her head unsatisfactorily.
When we reached the hotel suite, Navya was exploding.
“What is the meaning of that! Getting her engagement rings! BOTH OF YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT SERIOUS! WHAT WAS ALL THAT MOCKERY!!!!” What has caused her to explode like this! I answered back calmly.
(Manik) “I am just doing my job. Even if it is for a short time, I am still her fiancé”
(Navya) “Fiancé, my foot! Stop this charade! Whatever you are thinking of doing, stop it!”
(Manik) “Shut up, Navya. You are dear friend and like my sister but there is a limit to how much nonsense I will tolerate! What I do is none of your business! And I am not going to
simply not care when we both need to be present in any party together. I have the pride of being Malhotra! Also, because of your actions during the meeting, you can leave tomorrow.
Be happy about it! I am going to sleep. You better go to sleep as well. I don’t want a lecture from you right now.” She ignored me and went to her room. Really, ruining my mood.
Anyway, from tomorrow, I won’t have Navya’s interference.
The next day, Navya didn’t look me in the eyes nor did she talk. Like I care! She can be unnecessarily meddlesome sometimes. The meeting went on without a hitch and agreement
was finalised. After the meeting, Navya said bye and left to the hotel. Nandini stood outside with me as we saw her go.
(Nandu) “Well, Mr. Manik, do you have a specific place in mind to buy the ring?” She asked calmly. Nandini’s question took me aback. Yesterday, she was unwilling and now so forward!
(Manik) “Not really as I am new to this place. You can choose the rings.”
(Nandu) “I see. Shall we go?”
(Manik) “What? Like this?”
(Nandu) “No. Not really. Let me bring around my car.” She left to pick up her car. Really, what am I doing? Yesterday, I justified my actions to Navya but this is not like me. What in the sane mind wanted me to get rings! I love it when things are in control but my actions seem to make things out of control like now. She came in a convertible. She had removed her coat off. White silk shirt and velvet black pants with her hair free from the ponytail, I didn’t know any girl who could look casual and sensual in that.
(Nandu) “Get on in.” An Audi is not bad at all. New machine, good taste.
(Manik) “You sure you are ready to burn my wallet?” She snickered at me. There was no sense of discomfort from yesterday.
(Nandu) “Don’t know. I need to see if any new designs are in. Let me make this clear, I pay for your ring and you, pay for mine.” Really now!
(Manik) “Does a non practicing doctor like you have money?”
(Nandu) “Don’t underestimate my balance.” I took off the coat and threw it in the back seat. She covered the top. We didn’t strike much of conversation till we reached the place.
(Sales Person at the Jewellery Shop)“Good day. How may I help you?” She walked straight in like she owned the place.
(Nandu with attitude) “Call the manager to the rings section please.” The girl who welcomed us ran to get the manager.
(Sales Person) “Yes, mam.” Nandini went straight to the rings section. The store manager came rushing.
(Manager – Ian) “Ms. Murthy! How are you, mam? We just had your sister and mother the other day in store. I hope they are happy with the jewellery they picked?” She smiled calmly at the manager.
(Nandu) “Yes. They loved it. They can’t wait to flaunt it. Mr. Ian, I am looking for engagement rings.” He suddenly didn’t sound very excited.
(Ian) “Again. (He murmured. I wondered if she heard it) I see. Please come this way. I am sure new pieces would have come in from the last time.”
(Manik’s POV) Again? What last time? How many times has she been engaged? I have been twice or thrice.
(Ian) He brought out the new rings from the locker. “Here we go. I hope you like them.”
(Nandu) “Rubies, rubies. I would like to see rubies.” Why rubies?
(Ian) “Yes mam. And for the gentleman?”
(Nandu) “Ah, he is Manik Malhotra, my fiancé. Show him the rings he would like to see and select. You know my finger size.”
(Ian) “Yes. This way, Sir.” He took me away from Nandini. “What kind of ring would you like to see, Sir?”
(Manik) “Stones. Preferable diamonds.” He giggled.
(Ian) “I see. That is Ms. Murthy’s birthstone.” I didn’t know. Then, shouldn’t she like diamonds? And she reacted in such a way yesterday.
(Manik out of curiosity asked) “What is month is Ruby the birthstone of?” I never thought about my birthstone.
(Ian) “It is July.” She knows my birthday? How? “Here we go. Any specifications?”
(Manik) “No. I will see through the designs.” She behaves so mature here. When I first met her, I thought she was childish, like a teenage girl acting like an adult. She dressed up however she liked without consequence to surroundings. Here, it feels like she has grown. She acts appropriately to the atmosphere, behaves reversed and polite, it feels like the girl I was irritable with never existed.
The manager looked at me hopefully. It looked like he wanted to ask something but kept quiet for courtesy.
(Manik) “You know, Nandini isn’t here. So, if you want to ask something, you can. I won’t consider it impertinent.” I looked at a solitaire huge stone ring.
(Ian) “Do you have something to ask me, Sir?” Isn’t he sharp!
(Manik) “Well, I am curious about the ‘again’ that you said when she told about engagement rings.”
(Ian) “She is………..(he hesitated)”
(Manik) “Please go on. This will not go beyond us I assure you and in no way, tarnish your reputation”
(Ian) “She is well known for her break ups in the circles here. Also, on a personal note, Ms. Murthy isn’t fond of big stones like any other girls. In fact she hates being treated like
them.” She doesn’t like big stone? She sure did her best to behave like other girls on the first occasion we met. I was no better treating her like a call girl besides calling her one. No wonder she was furious. Breakups, uh? The manager looked like he wanted to ask more.
(Manik) “You seem to look like you want to say more.”
(Ian) “Um….. Are you serious about it, Sir?” He looked concerned about her. Her bubbly personality makes people love her but sometimes becomes an irritant to people like me.
(Manik) “I am not sure. It depends.” I played around with the ring I was about to decide on.
(Ian) “I see. She was engaged twice when her siblings got married. She has had number of boyfriends; it is gossiped that she was dumped every time. I cannot imagine what
possibly could have been the reason.”
(Manik) “Yet, there have been no rumours passing around about her?”
(Ian) “She is a good lady at heart. I am sure there would have been some reason for her failed relationships but all the people are tight lipped when it is about the Murthys. You know, when high society women come to shop, you cannot help but overhear their conversations. The reason I am telling you, Sir, is because I am worried about Ms. Murthy, especially since her younger sister is about to get married.” I kept silent.
His answer seemed sincere enough and looked like he really meant it. Not being able to have a steady relationship with anyone, I wonder why?
(Manik) “Here we go. Book it after checking that the ring fits her.” A solitaire diamond ring, beautifully and intricately designed, which I am sure would look lovely when she wears it.
(Ian) “Exquisite choice. I am sure she would love it.”
(Manik’s POV) I got up to see if she has finished selecting. If it takes more time, I have to take her out for dinner. Its not because I like her, but because I have to treat her properly.
An unwritten rule in the Malhotra family, women are to be taken care of with respect; especially having a domineering elder sister. Being a gentleman while sailing around women is troublesome. With wealth, name and status, women flock around me and when they become tiresome, an expensive gift can free you off the situation. Nandini is different. She has everything I have, which makes it interesting to see who will give into desire first. When I reached she was right at the place where I left her, I could really understand her charm of attracting people. As simple as she was dressed, she gave off an atmosphere of her personality. Seeing her laugh naturally surprised me. I didn’t think she could laugh and talk freely with strangers. The moment she saw me, she stopped laughing.
(Nandini) “Manik, can you see if the ring fits?” She gave me a crimson red ruby ring, almost the colour of her hair, simple design in platinum but it strangely suited me when I tried it.
(Manik) “It fits. This is your engagement ring I chose for you. This is mine.” She showed her lean hands after putting the ring in the ring finger.
(Manik) “I see. It suits you fine. I guess all that is left is payment. Shall we go?” She went to the payment counter ignoring me. Suit yourself!
(Manik)“Now that payment is done, would you like to have dinner with me?”
(Nandini) “Manik, I would love to but I have a prior engagement. So, I will drop you in the hotel and leave.”
(Manik) “If I may know the prior engagement?”
(Nandini) “It is with my sister’s family. You are not welcomed.” She looked grumpy. What an attitude change! It boosts my want to make her surrender more.
(Manik) “Fine. You don’t have to drop me in the hotel. I will get a cab. We will see each other in two weeks time.”
(Nandini apologetically) “No, I will drop you.”
(Manik angrily) “You need not. Bye.”
(Nandini’s POV)“….. You need not. Bye.” The way he said it sent shivers through my spine. Really, no wonder Navya describes him as heartless. One moment when you think he
has warmed up to you, he becomes as cold as ice; not that I encouraged him to feel comfortable with me. Yesterday, during dinner, was awkward enough talking with him. He thinks that I am an immature brat who does what she wants. In a way, that is true but I am not going to be polite to people I don’t care about. But I didn’t think he would form a strong opinion of me when we met before where I was joking. He seems completely surprised to see me be who I am. I just couldn’t feel comfortable around him. Even when I was chatting with the employees, I could feel him looking at me even without turning back. I don’t know if it was intense hate or like. I don’t know how to react around him. When I try to be polite and normal, I suddenly tense up knowing he is around me and assessing me. I know assessing isn’t correct word but somehow it feels that way. Further, I was shocked when he said he wanted to buy engagement rings. None of my ex fiancés or boyfriends ever bothered about one. All they were concerned about was business, money and about satisfying their temporary lust. I am sure he has had his share of fun like that. Just thinking he will also be the same, sent shivers down my spine. No matter how many years pass by, I can never get used to such people. Not that I am any better trying to behave like one but I just can’t do it. I am sure he is used to treating a girl like princess and acting like a stranger once the affair is over. I won’t allow him to treat me as his plaything just like I didn’t allow others.
I looked at my hand. A beautiful ring. Is it possible for a person who can select such a beautiful thing and appreciate it, be a cold hearted, cynical person? I wonder if people notice that he puts up an act of being courteous while in truth he resents others. How do I know; that maybe the only mistake he did; of showing his true colours to me in a Christmas party, thinking I was bullying Navya. When Cabir was struggling to get Navya accept her feelings, I acted like a possible girlfriend to make her jealous. I didn’t know what he understood from my actions but didn’t care to hide his real face of being a jerk and being full of himself. The worst part is, he didn’t even admit his mistake! Only to me, he didn’t care to hide his true face. Not that I feel I am special to him, though I accept that I was or still am attracted to him. But ever since he came here, he has been acting this charade even with me.
I am confused on deciding how he is. His actions makes me doubt what his intentions are or what he would do. I felt scared, for what my attractions may evolve to and what he could do. Two weeks till Nisha’s engagement, I started collaborating work on the project and was told to take care of the Hospital which I was previously in charge of. I hated it but couldn’t do anything about it nor could the other doctors. Most of them like me but some don’t like my method of management. But they did a wonderful job. Who actually dared to transfer them without my permission?
(Nandini) “Papa, I am here to report. Oh! Rishabh, you are here. Manik me. Now I don’t have to search for you.”
(VM) “What do you want? Can you not disturb us talking just because you know that we are the only ones here?” Rishabh has to look displeased. It was obvious that he was the one who relocated my people.
(Nandu to Rishabh) “Where did you transfer my best staff to?” Papa sighed. He has seen many a fights between us like this, that he grew tired of trying to calm the two of us.
(Rishabh) “Your best staff? You abandoned your position. You have no right to ask about that.”
(Nandu) It is true that I abandoned my place but that doesn’t say whether I have right or not. “Just shut it. You have no right to transfer them.”
(Rishabh) “Yes, I do. Anyways, I am not in a mood to fight with you. I did what you would have done. They are transferred to the new factory place.” For a second, I was shocked to
hear it. Not that his decision making skills is bad but the fact that he and I would have taken the same decision surprised me.
(Nandu)”Very well, for the first time, you did something correctly. Well Papa, here you go. I am heading back home. You are coming for dinner today?”
(VM) “No. Another business dinner. I will call Renuka. Be ready to leave for the factory immediately after the engagement party.”
(Nandu) “Yeah, yeah. Bye. See you, Rishabh.” I closed the door and went out. Within seconds, Rishabh came running behind me.
(Rishabh) “Nandini, its not too late to let me take over the job.” Why is he so persistent about this particular project? He never even bothered to know about what I was involved in before.
(Nandu) “Why, Rishabh? Why will I do that?” He stopped me from walking away.
(Rishabh) “Manik is the one coordinating from the other side.” Impossible!
(Nandu – disbelieved) “What? Not possible. I am in contact with someone else now.”
(Rishabh)”Yes. But the one coming with you to the factory is him. Please change with me.” He looked worried but Papa isn’t going to give me another chance. I took a deep breath.
(Nandu) “Rishabh, I can take care.”
(Rishabh)”Nandini, I Am Worried About You.” His voice slowly raised.
(Nandu)”You don’t have to worry about me.” I tried to control the raising anger. I don’t mind people worrying about me but I don’t want to be over protected.
(Rishabh) “But With His Reputation? I Don’t Want You To Suffer. Listen To Me, Rag-”
(Nandu) “OH! SHUT UP, RISHABH!” My anger burst out. The staff on the corridor looked at us. I pulled him to the corner of the corridor.
“I am sorry, Rishabh. I didn’t mean to shout like that. Listen to me. I can take care of myself. I am not the same kid anymore.”
He didn’t look satisfied.
(Rishabh disheartened) “I see.”
(Nandu) “You don’t have to worry about me. Besides, if he wanted to make his move, he could have done it long back. He doesn’t even try to meet me in the eye. He is rigid and tensed around me. How can such a man try to make me his? He hates me. I know for sure that he hates me. So, you don’t have to worry so much that you would go bald. You won’t look good as a baldie.” I didn’t know what I looked when I said it but the reality of my words hung like fog over my heart.
(Rishabh) “Nandini, you almost seem to be in love with him.” He whispered in disbelief.
(Nandini) “I don’t know, Rishabh, I don’t know. But I know that I wouldn’t be involved with him. Its impossible. Well, I am going home now. See you later. Take care of Radhika Bhabhi
and the kids for me. Don’t irritate my kidos when I am not there” I walked away from him. Why did I feel like crying? I don’t even love the guy. It is just mere infatuation. Why couldn’t he be a little kinder
Precap : Nisha’s engagement
Hope u are all satisfied with the long chapter……….. Even i was shocked when i wrote this long………. ?