Twentieth – 1.9 (Finale)

Recap: Nandita hears out a CSR story and it stimulates a feeling inside her to take the right decision. Kunal and Kairav travel to US to celebrate Diwali with their family and Nandita meets Kunal on airport before his departure and tells him that she wants to marry him. Nandita’s family approves her decision for remarriage.

Both the families celebrated Diwali at their own places. And as per plan, Kunal and Kairav reached back Mumbai on Nov 5th but neither Kunal nor Nandita initiated for a meet for another 10 days. Any important things were discussed only on texts or calls. Both felt strongly about their alliance in interest of their children, nothing beyond it.

“What? What are you saying Nandita?” B Mom stopped Nandita’s hand from massaging her head and looked back at her.

“What’s so shocking about it Maa?” Nandita asked strangely.

“You are marrying Kunal after five days and you are telling me that you haven’t met him after he came back from US… You mean the last time when you saw him was at the airport and ever since then you guys have been communicating only over the phone???” B Mom expressed shock and disappointment together.

Nandita was speechless; perhaps she did not want to explain her state of mind so she wiped her oily hands.

B Mom exhaled a deep breath and said “Nandita, do you have that feeling of getting married in your heart at all????? B Mom asked and Nandita remained quiet. She understood Nandita’s silence and said “Look Nandita, I understand both of you are marrying for the sake of a good future of your kids. But then does it mean that both of you will not have any other bonding at all? If your answer is No to my question then pardon me, but I’ll have to take back my permission of letting you marry him.” B Mom said and Nandita looked at her with surprise.

“Maa, what’s so wrong if we have not met? We don’t need a courtship period to understand each other. We are good with the current stage.” Nandita argued.

“Marriages are based on compatibility. And to check the same, you need to spend time with each other.” B Mom’s voice was louder than Nandita but sensing her own voice going rough she continued calmly “How can you or he be sure that you can spend the rest of your lives with each other just for the sake of kids? There will be many decisions that both of you will have to take together. There will be many phases in life where both of you have to stand with each other … You cannot just procrastinate everything like this. How will your relationship go on if you don’t have compatibility and strong bond with each other? It’s quite unreal for me.”  The theory of B Mom made Nandita ponder.

“Okay I’ll meet Kunal” Nandita promised and after a little while both went to their rooms to sleep.

“Maa, Kunal is in Pune for some official work. He’ll come back on 18th night.” Next morning Nandita informed B Mom before leaving for office.

“I asked him if He and I can come back home together and…. He replied that he is not in Mumbai till 18th.” Nandita explained.

“It’s okay. I am happy you tried to keep your word.” B Mom briefly smiled and Nandita left for office.

November 19th

Just a day before their alliance, B Mom had invited Kunal’s family for dinner. Purvi brought Kairav before the dusk so that Kids could have sufficient time to play together. Kunal and Nandita came home together around 8 and realized that there was pure silence in the house as tired kids had already slept and therefore everyone had ample time to sit together and talk with a relaxed mind.

Post dinner, when B Mom and B Papa were busy in some discussion with Kunal and Nandita, Purvi slipped into Nandita’s room and slept beside Kairav and Myra.

“Oh Gawd! Why she behaves so kiddish at times… Purvi wake up!” Kunal shouted but Purvi was fast asleep with the kids.

He checked his wrist watch. “Purvi, its 10.30… we have to go back home… Wake up you sleepyhead!” he shook her on shoulder but there was no response.

“It’s okay! Let them sleep here tonight.” Nandita told Kunal from behind.

“Kunal, you can also stay with us tonight. Feel comfortable in this room.” B Mom opened the guest room’s door for him. For the sake of B Mom’s request, Kunal agreed to stay in their house.

“Ummm… actually I have lot of office work to be finished right now so is it okay if I can be on the couch?” Kunal asked B Mom and Nandita.

“Oh please feel free. This is your home only.” B Mom smiled.

“Nandita, if you want you can stay up with him.” B Mom whispered to Nandita.

 “Good Night Kunal.” B Mom smiled at him and left for her room.

Nandita opened the balcony windows and full moon was visible from there. It was a breezy night. Kunal and Nandita sat on opposite couches. Noticing the ambience outside and in order to avoid any awkwardness, Kunal busied himself into his laptop where as Nandita was thinking about how to initiate a talk with him. After a silence of exactly three and half minutes, she said “would you mind if I play some songs?”

“Yeah please go ahead.” He pleasantly said.

“Music is indeed soothing in between tremendous amount of work.” He further said.

Nandita picked her phone and tuned into an FM channel.

“Ankhon mei jiske koi to khwaab ho…

Khush hai wohi jo thoda betaab ho…”

The song “Phir Dekhiye” from “Rock On” was on air.

“Lovely song… beautiful lyrics” Nandita said.

“Yeah.” Kunal agreed with her.

“Zindagi mei koi arzoo kijiye…. Phir dekhiye”

“Do you want some coffee or tea?” Nandita asked him as music had lifted up her mood.

“Coffee sounds good. Thanks!” Kunal smiled and Nandita headed to Kitchen.

“Yaadon mei jiski kisi ka naam hai…

Sapno ke jaisi uski har sham hai…

Koi to ho jise apna dil dijiye… Phir dekhiye.”

Nandita, while beating coffee, stole affectionate glances at Kunal on those lyrics where as he was completely glued into his work.

“Here comes your coffee.” Nandita placed a coffee mug and cookies in front of Kunal.

Thanks so much!” Kunal smiled at her and again looked into the laptop. Finding him extremely busy in work, Nandita decided that she’ll go to sleep after finishing her coffee.

“Aankhon ki namee …Haan teri meherbaani hai…

Thodi si ummeedon se aage aisi kahaani hai”

Another soulful number from the movie “Piku” was in place to soothe their ears and kindle their mood.

“Aanchal jo udaa, haan teri meherbaani hai

 Thodi si ummeedon se aage aisi kahaani hai.”

Leharon se hai Saagar se gehri bhi hain, ye teri meri baatein…”

Both sipped their coffee and Kunal noticed Nandita humming the music.

“Rulaati bhi hain Gham mein hansati bhi hai

Ye teri meri baatein… Ye teri meri baatein..

“You enjoy music a lot… isn’t it?” Kunal interrupted Nandita’s pleasant mood with his question and she nodded with a smile.

“People usually call Music a therapy but for me, it happens to be like a friend.” She further said.

“Really… That’s nice!” Kunal said.

“Har saans sunaati hai, tera hi naam…

Palko ke chaaon mein, do pal ka aaraam
Kacche ye dhaage hain, kacche hain rang…

Chhu loon toh jee bhi loon, kuch tere sang”

“The coffee was awesome.” Kunal said and put down his mug on the table and shut his laptop.

“I am sure you’re a good singer” Kunal said looking at her and Nandita chuckled on his statement.

“I don’t sing, just hum music sometimes…. But I like dancing.” She replied.

“Dance…really!? You don’t seem to be a dancer though.” Kunal grabbed a cushion lying beside him and Nandita gave him a questioning look.

“Why not?” She asked staring at him.

“Dancers are quite jolly people. You seem to be a serious-minded person.” He explained his point.

“I am a trained Bharatnatyam dancer.”  Nandita firmly said and put her coffee mug on the table. A tress suddenly tumbled on her face covering one of her eyes and while she lifted her hand to place it at the back of her ear, Kunal interrupted.

“Hold on right there.” He stopped her from doing it and quickly picked his phone.

“Just look down at the table like before.” He said excitedly.

Nandita became anxious on his excitement but followed his command and he clicked some pictures of her.

“Jaane ye kya hua…. Jaane ye kya hua

Hum dono ka yun milna, aise paas aana

Jaane ye kya hua.. ab har pal anjaana hai

Dekho hona hai…… aur kya”

Nandita enjoyed the romantic song from the movie “Kartik calling Kartik” and looked at Kunal who was engulfed in editing her pictures.

“Jaane kyun lagta hai dheere se haule se

Geet koi dil hai gaa raha

Jaane kyun lagta hai ab jaise

Har pal har lamha hai muskura raha”

Kunal’s eyes looked happy and he looked so busy in editing that he didn’t lift his head even once to see that Nandita was noticing him.  After doing some editing here and there, he showed her the final pieces which left her amazed. She had never looked at herself like his photos made her do.

Kunal noticed Nandita smiling when she was looking at her pictures and he pleasantly asked “Do you like them?”

“Well…. You are good at clicking.” She said shyly.

“I simply love photography…. I have more than 10,000 pictures of Tanvi and Kairav only and most of them are in monochrome … other than photos of picturesque places.” He said.

“Monochrome?” Nandita didn’t get it as she did not know anything about photography.

“Ohhh… By that I meant black and white” Kunal explained and further said “I’ll show you the photos when you’re home.” and his words tickled Nandita in heart which Kunal sensed rightly.

“See, this is the best part of our alliance Nandita.” He said and Nandita looked at him to understand what he said. “I mean…..I know that I can talk about Tanvi to you without having that thought in the back of my mind that mentioning my ex-wife’s name will disturb you…and in the same way I would never mind if you share any good, bad, ugly incidents that you and Vishal lived together… I would laugh with you on those funny memories and would feel sad when you’re sad… and trust me, if you ever feel sad about your past life, I will not make you laugh to divert your attention but will hold your hand and cry with you…. And we can get this comfort only with each other …. Because it’s us who truly understands that pain… we have seen the worst together…. Isn’t it?” He asked Nandita and she nodded.

Having a frank conversation with each other was helping to create a bond between them. They talked about a few other things. Kunal told her more about his family, his childhood and career and so did Nandita. They exchanged glances, smiled and laughed and felt comfy with each other.

“No, it’s not a good trait.” Kunal said.

“I think it’s good. I mean look at me… I think a lot before saying something and sometimes I get too late in expressing myself and lose my opportunity to speak up. But you, you say it and get your work done bang on time… thus it is a good habit to speak your mind right up.” Nandita explained.

“Well, I receive mixed reactions on this.” Kunal said. “Earlier Tanvi, and now Purvi, both keep scolding me that I should think twice before speaking. As a matter of fact, Purvi made fun of me later about the incident when I had said that you don’t look good in that photo of Kairav’s birthday party because you weren’t smiling…. She said it was embarrassing for your family to hear that.” Kunal said and Nandita laughed on this.

“By the way, who had won the finals? India or the opponent team?” Nandita asked with sarcasm as the photo incident that Kunal just told had reminded her of his late-coming as well as the ridiculous reason behind it.

“I am sorry… Finals? Means some sports match or what?” Kunal pretended innocence.

Nandita grabbed a cushion in her arms and said “The one for which you had to skip lunching with my family?” her eyes reflected a blend of mischief, anger and sarcasm. Kunal, being flabbergasted simply looked at her.

“Kairav or Purvi? Who spilled?” he asked with raised eyebrows.

“Does that really matter?” Nandita, looking at his shocked face, couldn’t control laughing and Kunal, completely confused, did not know how to react now.

“I am sorry for not showing up on time… but that match was really important. Had I just remembered the date, I would have asked you for Sunday…. I am really sorry.” He apologized on a serious note.

“It’s okay. But don’t do this again please.” Nandita controlled her laugh and said.

“Zehnaseeb…. Zehnaseeb… Tujhe chahun betahaasha Zehnaseeb”

The song on radio diverted their attention.

“tere sang beete har lamhe pe humko naaz hai…

tere sang jo na beete uspe aitraaz hai…”

Is kadar hum dono ka milna ek raaz hai”

They both became quiet and looked in different direction on those lyrics as their heart skipped a beat.

Nandita looked at the clock. It was 12.45.  She was confused. Her heart wanted to ignore the time and talk endlessly with Kunal but there was a hesitation on the other side of mind.

“Could I…. have one more coffee?” Now that Kunal had expressed his desire to continue the conversation, Nandita quickly got up from her place and went to kitchen. She felt delighted to make this coffee.

Just when she started beating the coffee, Kunal entered the kitchen and stood leaning his back on the fridge door. Nandita felt nervous on his entry. He kept looking at her to make an eye contact but she deliberately kept herself busy in beating coffee.

“First time that we had properly talked was on a coffee table…” he recalled and Nandita pulled her front tresses behind her ear…. “And look at destiny… never did we know that I’ll be sipping coffee at your place at this hour.” He completed his sentence observing her blackish long hair, her golden bangles and earrings.

Nandita wanted to respond but had no perfect words. She said “Yeah” and kept looking at the sauce pan. The milk inside it was coming to a boil. She mixed the beaten coffee into the hot milk and looking at the hot vapors, she asked him “Do you smoke?”

“I used to… during college days… but then quit it because Tanvi never liked smoking.” He said and put his hands in his jeans’ front pockets.

“What makes you ask that?” he wondered.

Nandita put off the flame and sieved the coffee in a mug and handed it over to Kunal and said “I saw you smoking once… it was long back, outside my office while crossing road… you were with a colleague and puffed his cigarette.” she looked at him for his reaction and he chuckled.

“I smoke only if I am accompanied by smokers and this…. rarely happens now.” He clarified.

“I guess that disappointed you.” He further said looking at her.

“No, that’s okay. I don’t mind it.” Nandita quickly replied.

“You mean you won’t be bothered if I start smoking again?” Kunal joked.

“Noooo, I definitely didn’t mean that?” Nandita said in an assertive tone and after a second, both laughed on her quick reaction.

They had their moment there – moment of their future with each other. A future their heart had secretly accepted but their mind was not ready to take in. Their eyes met hesitatingly and Kunal noticed Nandita’s back tresses blowing with the breeze.

“Nandita, I don’t want to deny this fact to you that….….. Ever since you agreed to marry me……….I…………”

 Kunal hesitated once but then put his courage together and spoke “I……… I imagine my future with you.” Kunal admitted his feelings and kept his coffee mug on the kitchen platform. Nandita looked at the mug. Her heart started pounding very fast with his sentence. She did not say anything but stood still at her place looking down. Behind her silence, Kunal could sense her acceptance about their relationship.

Still leaning on the fridge, he held Nandita’s hand and pulled her close towards him. Their eyes got locked in each other’s. Songs were continuing on Nandita’s phone but neither of them could hear them anymore as the only thing audible to them was their fast breathing. Being so close, they could smell each other’s fragrance and it had kindled a deep-buried feeling within them.

“This mole… it is beautiful.”Kunal passionately said about a brownish mole under Nandita’s left eye.

“I got this……in…… in my teens.” She whispered with her lips being very close to his.

They were again held in a gaze and moving away in that moment seemed impossible for both.

Nandita slowly forwarded her hand towards the switchboard near fridge and switched off the kitchen’s light without breaking the gaze and touched on his arm. Under the moon light coming from the window, Kunal slowly moved his face towards Nandita but she shied and hid her face in his chest. He slowly held her another hand and kissed on her fingers. She clasped his bicep tightly and her breathing became faster than ever and she stood still in his arms.

“I can stop if you are uncomfortable” Kunal said.

Hearing his words, something inside Nandita changed and she slowly moved her face towards his, and pecked on his cheek. With her eyes closed, she again kissed his cheek, then once more near his lips and finally she placed her lips on his lips. A current floated in their bodies. They kept kissing with their hands clutched in each other’s for a long time and then paused, only to kiss again more intensely. Kunal placed his hands on her waist and Nandita started moving her fingers in his soft hair. Their tongues continued tangling with each other for more than five minutes. He opened the top two buttons of her Kurti and saw her fair skin glowing under the moon light. He caressed her waist and her back and kissed her neck on which she moaned out of pleasure. Once again, they looked into each other’s eyes and free from any thoughts or worries on mind, Nandita held Kunal’s hand and went to the guest room and locked the door from inside.

Love or lust, they did not realize what it was in that moment but their trust on the life-time commitment that they had made to each other had aroused the long-lost feelings in their heart. Forgetting about everything that had happened in the past, two bodies had become one soul.

One & half years later….

“Nandita what’s wrong with you?” Kunal shouted.

“Why can’t you show me a happy face??” he angrily said and got up from his place.

“Look at our kids… they look so happy… What’s so difficult with you?” he shouted on Nandita once again who was already miffed and looking in other direction.

To calm her down, he said “Look at little Arul… even he is delighted for his family photoshoot.” He pecked on their 6 months old son’s cheek who was quietly sitting in his mom’s lap.

Kairav tickled his mom and she laughed. They all laughed together and Nandita said “Okay, I’ll smile this time.”

“Your Highness, there have been around 30 clicks without your smile. Please don’t make the camera wait more. After all, it’s a family photoshoot.” Kunal sarcastically requested her and she nodded.

“Ready guys!?” Kunal asked Kairav and Myra.

“Yesssss!” Both of them shouted. Not being very confident on Nandita’s words, he changed the self timer from 5 seconds to 10 seconds and changed the setting from single click to multiple clicks and shouted from behind the camera “Do you remember the 19th?”

“19th?” she asked.

He jumped to his place on the couch and said “Nov 19th looking straight into her eyes. Her eyes sparkled on this and her lips automatically smiled with blush on her cheeks and that’s when the camera gave its final beep before clicking and Kunal said “Look there” and just when she looked into the camera, a perfect family picture came out.

The End.

10 thoughts on “Twentieth – 1.9 (Finale)

Add yours

  1. Wow… The story didn’t let me leave my couch for last one hour! Soft, simple and sensible content… Loved your style!!


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