Twentieth – 1.2

Recap: Kunal and Nandita, are survivors of a nature’s wreckage that occurred in Himachal Pradesh, India on Dec 20th, 2012. They accidentally meet after two years in Mumbai and sit down for a coffee.

Both of them ordered latte.

“So how are things?” Kunal pulled his chair towards the table to sit comfortably and asked. “How is your little one?” Where do you stay?”

“Everything is fine.” Nandita answered looking at him with her palms joined and elbows comfortably placed on the table. “Myra is very well. She has started her school this year therefore I have started working now.”

“That’s nice. Really nice.” He responded in a very polished way.

“So where do you work and into what profile?” He questioned.

“I work with Cipla Ltd as an EA to the Chief Financial Officer.” She replied.

“Wow! That’s good! So are you enjoying work life?” Kunal asked.

“Well… Yeah! To keep myself busy… Ummm… Yeah I am enjoying my work.” Nandita paused after saying this.

Kunal sensed a discomfort in her sentence and the waiter arrived with their order bang on time.

“So where do you stay in Mumbai?” Kunal shot his next question while the waiter kept their coffees on table.

“Vashi. And you?” Nandita asked.

“New Bombay! Wow! I put up in Chembur… Not that far…” he chuckled and Nandita smiled.

“I stay with my parents in law. My father in law is a retired professor from IIT and my mother in law is a homemaker.” Nandita said and sipped her coffee.

“Now that I have started working again, Myra stays with them for the whole day…We are a small, happy family.” Nandita smiled.

“How about you? Who looks after Kairav?” she asked.

“Well, Kairav goes in to Daycare after school… and I live with my sister in law. She reaches home before me and yeah… she takes care of Kairav in my absence” Kunal sipped his coffee and noticed an awkwardness on Nandita’s face after his statement.

“Purvi…. My sister in law is my Rakhi Sister before she became my sis in law.” He clarified.

“It’s a very interesting story, if you wanna know.” Kunal smiled and Nandita asked him to go ahead.

“Ummm.. Actually Purvi and I were in the same school. I was 3 years senior to her. We barely spoke to each other during the school days. As a matter of fact, I don’t have any memory of that but…. When she took admission in my college, a nasty group of my batch encircled her and her two friends for ragging, I rescued her from there because I had recognized her face. Next day, as a payback she came to me with a few Rakhis clutched in her palm and asked me to choose any one of my choice.”

“Wow! Interesting!” Nandita interrupted with a brief laugh.

“Yeah… So I picked one and then she told me that she wants to become my Rakhi sister because I saved her from the most horrendous thing on this earth… mind you, these were her exact words “most horrendous thing on earth”. Kunal laughed repeating it and continued.

“So from that day on, Purvi and I got tied into this beautiful relationship. A few weeks later, she invited me for her birthday party. And there I met her sister TANVI.” Kunal said and paused looking at his coffee mug. Nandita wanted to express but remained quiet for that second.

“It was love at first sight for me.” Kunal continued.

“Tanvi is, I mean was a shy person. She was raised in a girls’ school and therefore she always hesitated in mixing up with boys. Purvi, on the other hand, is very outspoken and still very kiddish at heart and yeah… she played a pivotal role in nurturing Tanvi and my love story.” Kunal said and smiled and again looked at his coffee mug.

“Really interesting! It is nice to have kiddish people around. They keep one’s life lively.” Nandita preferred commenting on Purvi rather than commenting on Kunal and Tanvi’s love story.

“Well… I can’t really comment on the ‘keeping life lively’ part because I hardly get time to spend at home… most of the days when I reach home, it is already Kairav’s bedtime. Once he sleeps, Purvi and I have time to discuss only about our day, if there is something important for the household, we discuss that. She has a boyfriend who rings her at 10.30 pm daily so we call it night by then.” Kunal said and gave a plain look to Nandita.

“And weekends?” she asked.

“Weekends… weekends are for daddy and son…. I make sure that I don’t work on weekends so that I can compensate for the whole week. And Purvi stays at her boyfriend’s place mostly or hangs out with friends. I don’t stop her from enjoying her life.”  Kunal said and took last sip of his coffee.

“Next coffee would be on me.” Nandita said keeping her wallet inside her bag because Kunal didn’t let her pay.

“Sure.” He said with a smile and they started walking outside the mall.

“And how about you? You and your husband had an arranged marriage or love?” Kunal asked while walking.

“Well…. You can call it arranged cum love… It was earlier arranged, but Vishal’s grandma, who was a very dominating lady, was forcing my family for dowry…  My parents in law were against it but she was adamant on having dowry. So our engagement was on the verge to be called off but then Vishal took a stand… He told his grandma to either accept me as her grand daughter in law or he will stay bachelor for his whole life.” Nandita said.

“Whoa…it takes guts to stand against family.” Kunal responded.

“Well, it was only his grandma who was insistent at that point. Rest of the family did support Vishal therefore she had to give up. But yeah, Vishal was like that… he never accepted wrong things” Nandita said and they reached the exit of the mall.

“So how was grandma’s behavior towards you after you both got married?” Kunal asked after exiting.

“It was mostly cold. However, she died 6 months after Vishal’s demise.” Nandita replied looking in other direction.

The traffic noise on the road covered up Nandita’s sigh but Kunal realized that unintentionally he has pinched Nandita’s sentiments.

“Ohh… I am sorry if my question hurt you. It was not intentional.” Kunal looked at Nandita.

She sighed and said “No. It’s okay! I am fine.” She smiled at him.

“So should I drop you home? My car is parked in my office parking only 300 meters away.” Kunal asked.

“Thanks, but I’ll take a taxi till Reay Road and board train from there.” Nandita resisted.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay then, it was pleasure meeting you today.” Kunal forwarded his right hand to Nandita and they shook hands.

“Bye” they both said and started walking in opposite direction.

Nandita had barely walked 10 steps when she heard Kunal again from behind.

“May I have your phone no., if I ever want to reach you?” Kunal requested and Nandita took out her visiting card from her handbag and gave it to him.

“Okay. See you then.” He said.

“Yeah. See you. Bye!” She said.

This time, Nandita searched her handbag and took out Kunal’s visiting card; read it once again and saved his phone no. in her mobile phone.

Like every second traveller in Mumbai’s local train, Nandita had this habit of plugging in earphones and listen music on her way back home everyday.

“Jab Life ho out of control, hontho ko kar ke gol…

hontho ko kar ke gol… seenti baja ke bol… All is well”

Nandita paid attention to this song from 3 idiots.

And the funny song took her down the memory lane. She remembered the day when Vishal and his family had visited her family for the first time. Vishal used to work with an aviation company in ground staff and was posted at Shimla’s airport. After knowing that she likes Aamir Khan, Vishal had told her that he had met Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R Madhvan, Sharman Joshi in the airport lounge when they had visited Shimla for this film’s shooting and she had got so excited when he had shown her Aamir Khan’s photo with him in his Blackberry phone. Nandita was so thrilled to know that Vishal gets to meet some celebrities because of his amazing job profile. Remembering that day again brought a smile on her face.

Kunal also heard the same song on radio in his car and remembered his days with Tanvi. A full-term pregnant Tanvi had got goosebumps when she had seen the birth delivery scene of Pia’s elder sister in this movie. Kunal had kept convincing her for the whole night that Tanvi will not face the same predicament as he will always be there with her but she kept on worrying and a week later, Kairav came into their life. He remembered the incident and smiled.

Kunal and Nandita – they lived in same neighborhood in Shimla but the two families had barely known each other. Though Nandita and Tanvi were cordial but Vishal and Kunal had never really met because of their work commitments and knew each other only by face.


 

to be continued…

2 thoughts on “Twentieth – 1.2

Add yours

  1. Totally engrossed in the story!
    Now’s it’s a fight between me and my patience to calmly read till the finale because I am so curious to know what happens next and in the end! Also, having read your ‘Girl From The Past’, I know finale of this story might just take me by surprise, again!

    Like

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