From the Author's desk: Hello people, So sorry to make you all wait this long. The updates can be a little scarce for the next three weeks' My little sankadevis are having their final assessments starting next week and I don't have much time to spare right now' I will manage an update a week, and at the most two, if I am able to manage a second update
Thanks for all the lovely feedbacks and wishes.
"And you came here to invite us for it?" NK looked baffled
"Payal' How can you be so calm about it?" Akaash was looking as if he was hit with club on his head "Does Arnav know this?" He asked as a sudden afterthought
"Yeah he knows' I called him and let him know the moment my parents told me about it' "
"And what did he say?" Akaash didn't like the way Payal behaved so coolly
"He asked me to say yes to my parents and stay put"
"What? Are you serious?" Akaash freaked out
"I am" Payal told him
"Payal.. I don't understand what is happening here' Wait let me call bhai" Akaash took out his mobile and started dialing Arnav's number. Payal shook her head in mock sympathy, when Akaash addressed Arnav as Bhai, it meant he was really very tensed.
The creaking of the study door drew everyone's attention to the study room and they all saw Arnav coming out of it.
"you were here all the while" Akaash asked surprised
"Hi Arnav'" Payal called out
"Hi Payal, What are you doing here? I thought you would be busy shopping for your engagement"
"No I let my parents do it for me" Payal grinned at him
"Are you both crazy?" Akaash shouted at both of them who seemed to be enjoying this conversation "This is not funny- NOT AT ALL funny!"
"Yeah' It is not" Anjali told seriously "How can you be so calm about this Payal'Why did'nt you accompany them for the shopping? What if they get you something that you don't like?" Anjali looked devastated. It looked like a criminal waste to her.
"Shutup Anjali" NK told her and blinked at Payal
"Yeah, Kiddo is right- You should have gone for the shopping Payal- and should have got yourselves some nice outfits'" Arnav told her
"Oh, I needed the time to practice blushing- so I asked them to carry on" She chuckled at Arnav who winked back at her
"STOP THIS'" Akaash screamed at last "How can you both be joking like this?"
Arnav grinned at Akaash. Payal laughed- But soon controlled herself realizing that Akaash was at the verge of losing his sanity.
"That's all you trust me?" Arnav teased him.
"Ha..have you a..a..already planned something then?"
"NO I don't have anything planned yet'" Arnav admitted to them
"Then why did you ask me to play cool?"
"Because we don't yet know what your parents plans are if you don't agree- I have a feeling that they have something in their sleeve which will make you succumb to their plans' "
"Emotional blackmailing?" Akaash asked as Arnav shook his head.
"Do you really think I will give a damn about their emotional Blackmailing?" Payal asked Akaash
"Emotional Blackmailing ' to hurt themselves- NO.. But Emotional Blackmailing to hurt Akaash?" NK asked her again.
"You mean like hurting Akaash if I don't agree to marry that pig face?" Payal asked him. He nodded at her and she smiled
"Don't you worry about that-They won't do that'They know very well that I will emotionally blackmail them back' I can do the same thing to that pig face'Can't I?" Payal grinned at him
"They know very well that Emotional Blackmailing won't work for Payal- not atleast this way- there should be something else that they are pretty sure of' a plan that they believe, would make Payal to agree to their plans. Otherwise they wouldn't have made a move this fast'" Arnav told them and then he turned to Payal
"How did they react when you appeared cool to the engagement news?"
"To be frank, I don't think they believed me. They looked surprised."
Arnav smiled at her.
"That's what I want them to do' Let them keep guessing what we are up to, I am trying to find out their plans in the meanwhile'"
"And what are we going to do for the engagement? It's on day after tomorrow"
"If we don't find the reason before that, she attends the engagement ceremony. But that shouldn't make a difference' She is already engaged to you"
"You mean to say, that I should accept a ring from that pig face?"
"Do you mind?" Arnav cocked his eyebrow
"Ofcourse I do- I don't want to '" Payal gritted her teeth
"Then don't " Arnav told her coolly "But you should be there- don't raise any suspicion in your parents eyes"
"How can she be there and say no to the ring at the same time?" Akaash asked his brother.
"Oh man, come on, should I give you ideas for everything?" Arnav asked a baffled Akaash, as he pulled out his ringing mobile and accepted the call moving away from there.
"Say you didn't like the ring Payal, Ask for a new one- by the time they get a new one, the muhurth would be gone" Anjali told her friend. Payal shook her head
"You can get away with such a tantrum Anji' I cannot'It sounds too silly" Payal told as Anjali glared at her
"Put rings on all your fingers' He will not have fingers to insert a ring into" NK said as everyone else glared at him
"Don't give stupid ideas like this NK' They will simply ask her to remove it'"an annoyed Akaash told him
Arnav came back still talking into his mobile as he forced a bandage roll into Akaash's hand.
"What happened? Are you hurt?" Akaash asked him
Arnav glowered at Akaash and then gestured towards Payal.
"He is asking to wind it up on her fingers" Anjali screamed excitedly as Arnav gave her a HiFi and walked away again.
"Why? Are you hurt?" He asked Payal concerned
"No Buddhu, he wants me to show I am hurt on my ring finger and I cannot accept the ring." Payal told him exasperated.
"Akaash, if you used have the shrewdness you use at Business and studies, for your personal life, People will be much at peace'If you were any slower, they would have to find a new word in English dictionary to describe it." NK teased him as Anjali giggled.
"Shut up NK, if only you were in the same position as me, you would know" Akaash mumbled as he took Payal's hand and wound the bandage on her ring finger.
"For all you know he might be at the same position' Who knows his Girlfriend at Australia hasn't found someone else already?" Anjali asked suddenly
"How do you know?"
"I know she won't'" NK bit his tongue as the three stared at him, He saw Anjali looking at him with a triumphant smile. He didn't like it a bit
"Out with it NK bhai" Anjali asked him "Who is she? Is she there in your FB list?"
"I..I am getting a call" he said as he quickly escaped into his room.
"So he has a GF?" Akaash asked the girls
"Yeah, maybe a pregnant GF- who knows" Anjali said to a startled Akaash and wide eyed Payal as she smirked looking at the direction where NK disappeared few seconds a go.
The next morning, Arnav parked his car in the parking lot of that renowned hospital and made his way towards the hospital lounge when he was encountered by a bouncing Happy Singh.
"Hello, Arnavji- How are you?"
Arnav muttered a hello.
"It's good that you finally came, Can you be with Shashiji for some time? I need step out for a few minutes- I have told the nurse by the way'But it would be better if he had someone whom he knows when he wakes up" Happy told him, not giving him a chance to talk
"Wakes up?" Arnav asked him
"Yeah, Shashiji is sleeping now.. and he is alone, Kushiji went out'I will be back within half an hour" Happy informed by the way as he passed him and went walking out hurriedly.
Arnav stood there stunned trying to comprehend that he was asked to watch over Shashi for some time. He shook his head incredulously and turned back to walk when Happy called him again
"I forgot to tell you, Shashi ji has been shifted to room 103 this morning" Happy called out and then he was gone.
Arnav gritted his teeth, for his waste of time. Chiding himself for not calling Kushi beforehand to check out Shashi's routine, he walked grumpily towards the room.
As he entered the room, a middle aged, short and stout nurse who had been reading a book looked up and peered at him curiously.
"erm, I am here to meet Mr.Shashi Gupta" Arnav told in his british accent, wondering to himself why he was using this accent here.
"He is under sedatives now, he is sleeping" the nurse told him, still looking at him up and down, taking his expensive clothes and foreign accent.
"Alright, I shall wait" Arnav told grudgingly as he came and sat on one of the chairs beside the bed.
"Are you a relative?" The inquisitive nurse asked him
"No, Just an acquaintance"
"Oh' visitor? You should leave in another half an hour then"
"Half an hour?"
"The visiting hours is from 9 to 10 in the morning and 6 to 7 in the evening"
"I shall stay here until Kushi or her friend comes back" Arnav muttered as he pulled out his phone and started to browse it- when it started ringing
"Phone in silent mode" The nurse hissed at him as he got up feeling irksome.
"Arnav Raizada" he called into his mobile as he stepped out.
Kushi entered RP building and went to the receptionist
"Hello, I want to meet Mr.Arnav Singh Raizada"
"Do you have an appointment mam?" the girl asked as she looked up, her eyes widened
"You?" She shrieked
"Yeah" Kushi told calmly "Don't worry, I won't barge in like the other day, I need to talk to him in person"
"It is not possible" The girl told in a direct tone "Sir is not here today- He hasn't come yet"
"Will he be coming?"
"He will be coming later, he has a client visiting him later in the day"
"Ok then,I shall wait"
"There is another person waiting to meet him today" The receptionist told her, pointing to a man by the corner of the couch. "Sir's schedule is packed today; He has two other appointments before he can meet his clients"
"Its ok, I am sure, he will be ready to squeeze in another appointment for me" Kushi smiled at the girl who looked at her bewildered and went and sat on the couch.
She had only one motive in mind, which was to convince Arnav to visit her father. The mystery was eating her and she was not sure if Arnav was not willing to meet her father, as when she had asked him to come through phone, he had only sent his Lawyer. She smiled at the receptionist who was giving her odd looks. Kushi didn't have any idea what was running in the girl's mind nor did she hear the girl gossiping to her other colleague contemplating on the lines of whether their 'sir' whom they thought was the most handsome and eligible bachelor was already booked.
When Arnav stepped into the room after the call, the nurse gave him a friendly smile.
"Your name is Arnav Raizada?"
"Yes, How do you know?"
"Oh I heard you saying your name just few minutes back"
Arnav nodded. He realized it was a waste of time to stay there waiting for Shashi to wake up, probably he can visit later.
"Are you his 'would be' damad?" The nurse's question threw him off guard
"Oh'ok" she said in a disappointed tone, She had been sure of her instincts and inquisitive nature, and through years of experience in nursing patients, it had been her favorite pastime to guess how the visitors were related to the patient.
She went back to the book that she was reading.
"I will come back later; can you inform Kushi to call me if she comes back? This is my visiting card" Arnav told as he left the card on the bed side table.
Just then, Shashi muttered something in his sleep, which drew his attention.
As he looked at the nurse, she looked uninterested.
"Oh don't worry about that" she told him "He either keeps calling your name, or his daughter's name or mutters about her future, her wedding'"
"oh" Arnav told, not sure what else to say more. Should he ask this lady about any other property documents that Shashi might have muttered in sleep? He decided not to ask and turned back to walk out
"You know what? that's why I thought may be you are his daughter's fianc" The nurse told him
"I told you I am not, I am just an acquaintance"
"Hmm' I heard it" She replied back, not looking up from the book.
As Arnav walked back to his car, he started to wonder why Shashi would be muttering his name and Kushi's wedding together' Was he reading too much into nothing? Or was it something on the lines of what Roy had warned him about the last night?
By the time Arnav stepped into his office, Kushi observed that some three people who had already had an appointment with him were already waiting in the lounge for him. The receptionist had already informed his PA that the clients were on the way and would be there anytime.
Kushi thought if she doesn't jump in, it might take a long time to meet him. She saw him coming in when the security slided open the door for him. Making up her mind she stood up.
Arnav who had nodded customarily to his office staff as he moved to open the door to the inner offices, paused with his hands on the door handle, and abruptly turned back to see Kushi walking towards him, with a friendly smile as she played with the strap of her crossed shoulder bag.
The entire reception floor went quiet, on her informal and very personal way of addressing him, as the reception girls, looked on, getting inquisitive, and the other visitors looked on too.
Arnav took in the surroundings quickly and then looked back at her.
"Can I have a few minutes of your time?" She asked him, "I checked with your receptionist and she says that you are busy today"
"That's alright, come in" he muttered to her as he gritted his teeth
"So is this the time you normally come to office?" Kushi asked him "You are not an early bird obviously; I had been waiting for almost an hour!"
As she chirped walking behind him trying to keep up with his fast pace, his office staff looked at the pair and then smiled at him or nodded at him, he also noticed that they still kept peering at them even after they crossed them.
"Arnav jee, can't you walk normally? I am getting out of breath" Kushi told him half running behind him
"Stop calling me that" He growled at her, as some staff passing them, smiled meaningfully
"Calling you what?" Kushi asked him confused as they reached his cabin.
The swung the door open and held it for her. She stepped in muttering thanks
"Whats wrong with your name?" Kushi asked him as soon as he closed the door behind them.
"Nothing is wrong with my name' It's the way you address it- It's so informal"
Kushi raised her eyebrows at this.
"Don't expect me to address you sir' or boss ' I am not your recruit" She told him
"I didn't ask you to" Arnav retorted back impatiently.
Kushi felt irritated, for a change she wanted to be nice and friendly with him as a gesture of gratitude for his timely help- and his behavior was only annoying her
"Or do you suppose I should call you Arnie like the rest of the girls? You suppose that sounds nice?" She told him in a flow.
He looked at her incredulously as she bit her tongue, regretting the fact that she had just let him know that she had observed what the other girl called him the other day.
Yeah, I can hear all that mutterings and curses flying my way for stopping here. The next update is not far away, practice patience :)
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