Monday, 2 December 2013



"Jaan kay kya keejiyega?" Khushi asked him!
( What will you do by finding out?)
His fingers tightened slightly on her throat as he said,
"Shhhhhhh! Tell me your Name!"
Khushi really got angry! He thinks every woman will pant after him like the Sultry voice he had been with? Well! He had some news!
She simply said," Kyun aap apnay sabhi aurathon ka list banathey hain kya?
( Do you make  list of all your women?)
"Interesting! Hmmmm!!! But you are not my woman are you?" He asked in the same purring voice and added lazily or "Are you propositioning me lady in... a novel way?"

Khushi felt like kicking herself! How could she be so dense! She went and put her finger into his mouth!
Well it has to be rectified! 

"I would not care even if you were the last man on the earth!" She told him with a strange firmness to her voice!
"Accha? Then you wouldn't care much if I knew your name either!" He laughed a little making her toes curl! This man was lethal! Even his laughter was sexy!

"Per... kyun ? "( But why?)She asked!
"Need to know"he said!
"Jaisay ki koi inspector hain!"( As if he is a police inspector) Khushi grumbled but said,"Hum... nahi batha sakthey!"
( I can't tell you)
"Why?" He asked.
"Er... yeh theek nahi aisay ...milna ajnabiyon say!" 
( Its not right talking to strangers you know)
What was she blabbering away like a teenager!
"But you already committed the crime MS. Prim & Prop!" He said again laughing sexily!
"Nahi! Humay jaaney deejiye"( No! Let me go!) She made to move but ran into his lithe body and gasped moving backwards...

"Naam bathao ... chod dunga!" He said very coolly!
"Nahi!"Khushi was Khushi!
He pulled her a tad closer! "Mujhey naam bathao apna!"
( Tell me your name)
"Nahi tho?" ( if not?) She asked breathing heavily...

He bent slightly and his breath fanned her lips telling her his lips were howering over her lips and simply hissed..."There is no choice babe!"
Khushi just smarted at the feel of his breath on her face and said," Aap ko naam kaisay bathaayein?"
( How can I tell you my name?)
"Kyun? Whats wrong! I am not asking your address my dear!" he said!

"Theek hain! But ek sharth per!"( Ok but on one condition) She said.
"Forget it!" He said.

"Accha tho chalthey hain!" ( Ok! Bye) Khushi made to move and was jerked back to him with a "OH No no! Nobody leaves without giving me what I want!"
"I can!" She said with the same sassiness! "I will" She said!... and made to move and the stranger caught her from behind by putting his arm round her and pulled her back saying..." No sweetheart you need to learn!"

Devi Mayya yeh koi pervert tho nahi hain! Patha chalo kal ko ki aasmaan say niklay Khajoor pey atkay"
(from pan to fire!) Khushi closed her eyes!
"Bathao!" He said his body warm against her back, his arm round her slender waist and his breath fanning the nape of her neck!

"A....aaap ka naam?"( Yours?) Khushi thuoght of it in a flash!
"Kya?"( what?)...If he was taken aback he did not show it as he laughed this time a little louder and said," HMMMMMM!!! Ok!!!!! Good! Hai kutch tho...bath tum main!"
( You do have some brains)

"Tho!..." Khushi garnered some strength and declared "Bathaayiye apna nam tho jaaniye humaara!"
( Tell me your name to know mine)
"Hmmm...Err...ehem... Abhi!" He said!
"Kya?" She did not get it!
"ABHINAV!!!!" He said taking a deep breath!

"Ab bolo!" ( Now tell me)His voice came deep and mesmerising!
"K....k.....ka....."kya bathaayein... Kaajal kahengey tho koi Raj banjaayega! Sabhi ko patha hain! Ki kaajal aur Raj Dilwale hain aur dulhaniya lei jaathey hain!"
( If I say Kajal then someone would say he is Raj! Everyone knows about DDLJ)
"Suman agar bolungi tho Prem Aajayega!" she wallowed internally!
( If I say I am Suman then He will be a Prem)
"Puja ka Vijay! Hey bhagwaan!"

Raath! Rath ko Rajini kehthein hain... haan!!! Wohi theek rahega lekin yuk... aur.... hum lungi dance mein nahi padhna chaahengay!!!!! She didn't like that name!
( I will say Rajini! Night is called Rajini ... but I do not get into a lungi dance!)

Hey Devi Mayya Jhoot bolna kitna Mushkil hain! Aap madad karien she closed her eyes and
His arm tightened slightly as he asked ," Ka ka ka kya? Kiran?"
( How difficult it is to tell a lie! Please help me)

"Nahi! K ..a.... ka... ka... ka Sharukh she spat out instead! She liked Salman!
"Excuse me?" he said thickly accented! "Are you nuts lady?"
"Accha let me try!" She said and he growled "Try? What the hell! Tell me your name not some phony one!"

Khushi raked her brains  Chi!!! Meera should have been there! Haan Meera! Yeah!
But she felt she was cheating on her best buddy by using her name! DEVI MAYYA! She then got a flash! Meera? Ok!!!!

"Ka say Krishna" Khushi blurted out!Hey Devi Mayya! Jhoot bolna paap hain! Leking inhay naam kaisay bathaayein? She moved to realise his arm was holding her!
How strange that she did not find his touch repulsive! Not like that lech's touch at all!

"Krishna?" His hand tightened on her!
"Haan! Krishna Kumari!" Khushi said in a rush as her back was seared by the heat emanating from his body!

He bent a little and said "Krishna" rolling it on his tongue and said," Hmmm!Old hain!"

"Ji? excuse me?" Khushi got angry! Ek tho itnah mushkil say naam dhoondho aur uper say... Grrrr!!! She muttered!

"Aur unisex bhi!" The stranger went on!
"HAAW!" She couldn't stop exclaiming in a huff! How very proprietal of him!
"Krishna" he again said that so full of an odd accent that Khushi thought why Amma did not name her better! How would he pronounce her name!It would be K' shi!

"Accha ji... Abhinavji hum chalthein hain..." She slowly extricated herself and felt odd! Suddenly she no longer was enveloped by that warm body which shielded her back and gave her a quiet sense of security! but it was odd that she felt like that with an absolute stranger who she knew nothing about! Correction! She knew his name!

She still did not know how he looked like or anything else about him! Only his name! ABHI!!!! ABHINAV!!!!! Hey Devi Mayya! Yeh ho kya raha hain hum ko she touched her forehead and his voice whispered... 

"Ji?" She said against her own volition...

"What will you do about that %$^#?" He asked!
"" she was lost actually!
"Oh! So you will still go after his money isn't it!" he said sarcasm dripping out of every word.
"Abhinavji Ek minute! Don't jump to conclusions!" Khushi said with conviction.

"Then tell me!" He asked.
The nerve of him she thought! But he helped her and well she owed it to him! She simply said," "Amma ko bathayengay!"( I shall inform mom)
"Then?" he asked...
"Then..." She could not think beyond...
"If he stalks you again what will you do?" that was a valid question he asked.

She shivered as cold fear gripped her!"!"
He simply put one card in her hand and said... "Just keep this you will know where to get help from!"

Before she even knew what happened he simply said "Bye Krishna All the best!", and was gone. 

...and then she realised, there was a group of people who was walking towards the Gazebo which she did not notice and he did and retreated before people thought they were up to something in the dark!
He was strange but very affable.
Rude but thoughtful.
Arrogant yet concerned.
Harsh yet strangely comforting! What was this man!

Hey Devi Mayya! Yeh kya pareeksha hain! She just looked at the card in her hand! Bloody visiting card and she suddenly remembered that lady in their first encounter! He must be thinking she will run into his arms for a quickie! Well Mr.Abhi! You are not going to ever see me using this she scrunched it and threw it away!
Then she walked away!

"Suniye..." a very pleasant voice called her and she turned back asking "ji?"
"Aapkay purse mein say shaayad gir gayaa hain" the lady gave it to her and Khushi squirmed and took it before she said 'no its not mine' to the sweet lady! She just dumped the crumpled piece of paper into her hand bad and said," Shukriya and walked towards the reception hall!

A Dialogue in the Dark

He was out in a jiffy coz if Di saw him talking to a woman that too in such a condition he would be in his reception few hours from then- married to the woman-Krishna! What a name!! He looked at his hand and opened his fist to see something and switched on the car lights and said,"What the!$%%^"

It was a pom pom! Oh god! Arnav singh Raizada having a dark encounter with a woman named as ancient as Krishna and who wore a pom pom on her sleeve?
His lips twitched inspite of everything and he liked one thing about this... this... dark woman of his strange encounters... 
She was like a breath of fresh air! 
She was sassy... 
she was meek... 
she was very old fashoined, yet she was quite the tomorrow's woman.... spirited like a wild horse but above all she made him smile... which was absolutely a strange phenomenon!

He carefully put the pompom into his purse and as Anjali joined him saying" Chaliye chotey ghar chalein?" 
( Shall we go home?)Said "As you wish Di" and started driving home!

A Dialogue In the Dark

Khushi finally realised she had to go home and as she was getting down the auto she could hear Buaji scolding Garima and when she entered, she found Preetam sitting with a cup of tea and Buaji and Garima standing before him like prisoners of War!

"Lou Babua...Aa gayi Mysore ki Maha Rani"( Here comes the Maharani of Mysore) Buaji welcomed her!
"Khushi yeh Damaadji kya kehath rahein hain?" Khushi squirmed at her amma already calling him Damaad ji!
( what is this that he is saying about you?)
"Kya amma?"( What mom)She asked feebly looking at Preetam who was beaming at her victoriously!

"Yahi ki thum nay unko Mall mein chod kay kisi aur kay sath chali gayi!! Oo kithnay acchey hain ki tum ghar pahunchi ya nahi dekhnay ghar aagaye!" Garima wailed!
(That you left him at the Mall to go away with someone! He is so responsible that he came back here to see if you have gotten back on time!)
"Kya?"Khushi stared at all of them in shock as Preetam smiled with his eyes narrowed that only Khushi could notice!

A dialogue in the Dark

Arnav singh Raizada looked at the night sky sitting by the pool side at his home Shanthivan! He was tierd! A very hectic day had come to an end and the next day he was supposed to sit with the auditors! That meant a more hectic time awaited him! But he liked it that way! That was life for him and he thrived on creating and savouring chaos!

His life was now on track and precise in the next three years he would expand into media and automobiles and that would make him the No.1 in Indian business arena. 

Life was clear and absolutely flowing with his Di settled happily and everything in its place! He actually could retire that day but for his dream! He would still not miss anything as strangely life had taught him to be untouched by any thing! Money, fame, admiration, hatred or competition! He had seen everything! 

Nothing matched his zeal to outwit!
'Whom?' The media always asked and he always quipped some thing very humourous and evaded the question!
But he knew the answer for that question! It was self! He could not outwit his own self! The exterior was absolutely in stark contrast with the interior! He did not acknowledge his own self as he was far removed from it in his dealings!
Only smartness, slick cut throat insensitive dealings worked with today's world! None wanted a straight, and simple man! They needed artificiality which he showed them in oodles and so he punished them with the ruthless exterior!

Nothing mattered these days as wearing the mask 24 hours had made him partially cynical and very thick skinned to life and its fairer side! HA! But life was unfair all the time with him! He closed his eyes and immediately the shilhoutte of a lady floated in front of him!

She was different! He could not put his finger on anything, but she... was... way off from the people he met and continue to meet! She had that child like innocence in her and  a ring to her voice that proclaimed she was righteous! Who was she? Why did she have to meet him and made him think? He stopped doing that long back!
A smile appeared on his lips... he grimaced... there it goes! She brought that on to him which he had forgotten totally...

Hmmmm... KRISHNA he rolled her name on his tongue! Interesting but... there was no chance he would ever meet her coz well... two chance meetings were one too many! so ASR be happy you met a nice little fluttery butterfly soul that filled your black and white life with some colours his self chided him and he smiled again and thats how Anjali his Di found him and was shocked... 
Coz her Chotey never ever smiled from his heart which he was doing right then!




He looked out at the city form his cabin...
Sitting in Delhi he was literally ruling the world! True there were bigger companies than his empire! But his word was the last in textiles and fashion Industry! Period. Thats what he achieved by his unrelenting hard work and ofcourse very shrewd smart work! 
He was known to be calculative, arrogant, egoistic, insensitive and absolutely cut throat in his circles! But he was successful!That outweighed everything else.

That,... he smiled and thought summed up the rest! As success and money were the watch words! They got you what everyone was after-fame and power! He had the world at his feet! And he decided that he would be so when he was 17! Now after 12 years, he was there and now he was at ease as now figuring out the world was a past thing! He had it at its finger tips!
His only driving force was his drive to always be in a position where he would never be shown lacking in anything as he was told 12 years back by his chacha, who turned him and his Di on to the roads after his parents passed away!

He closed his eyes and without any reason the dark shilhoutte of the woman he met last night swam before his eyes! She was so... so... he searched for words to describe her! Arnav Singh Raizada and struggling for words? He smiled again to himself!

She was so upright! Too good to be true kind of a woman! But he was sure that was an act! Coz these days they all tried to be very upright and modest! The chic he picked up was also very very upright before her father in the board room but once off it she was panting all over him and he thought why not make use of her! After all she was willing and he was in need of that project which will mark his entry into Fashion capital Paris! He would just be doing a favour on to her by putting her out of her misery!
Not his words! They were sent by the lady written on a card with a bottle of champaigne!
But the woman in the dark! She .... was... different! How...he did not know! But different! Her voice had the ring of honesty! Honesty... which he failed to find in people for a long time now! 
It was money all the way! Pour it and buy whatever you pleased! He clucked with his tongue! Everything was priced these days!

Hmmm!!!! Was she beautiful? Pretty?
The jerk was hinting at many men for her! That meant she was pretty!
Skinny he had said... interesting! He had his share of silicon implants and natural beauty was non existent! It was all creams and creations at his level! Even bloody hell nails were artificial! God help Women!

Something in her struck him as very very familiar! What was that?
Her spirit! Came a reply from inside!
Oh! He was awed! Its been ages since his inner voice spoke to him! Else everything was put-on these days!

She had that same passsion in her which he exercised when he was 17 and took the world head on! She stood up against the pimp defending herself and ... wait a minute but why did she suffer him!
Again came the answer! Same reason!

"Awe!" Arnav Singh Raizada exclaimed aloud! Same story! She wanted money or fame so she picked a wealthy suitor, pushed him into marriage! He recalled the fellow saying that he wanted to check her out coz he was paying! Thats it!End of story Raizada! She is no different! Just a very good actress!
He turned and saw his secretary Aman coming in with his ipad... which meant an impending meeting!

A dialogue in the dark

Khushi did not realise that the printer was asking for a verification of her command... she was thinking about the man she met the day before!
Hey Devi Mayya! Who was he? What was he... was a more apt question !He treated one woman so badly and helped the other which such applomb! What should she make out of that! But she had other problems to deal with first! Preetam! Oh Hell!!!!

He neither called nor pinged! Her first instinct was to tell Amma everything after going home! But she refrained !
Grow up Khushi She thought! First see his reaction and then you can reveal in the morning! Amma struggled with Babuji all day and if she told her this, she would not sleep through the night! What difference would it make if she informed them in the morning? Atleast her mom would get a good night's rest! She however could not sleep...
Strangely it was because of thoughts of the dark stranger rather than Preetam! She was surprised she did not have any remorse about loosing him! she was infact ecstatic! The only glitch was will he make the parting dirty!

The dark stranger was so cut and dried in every thing! He was so with the woman he was with and also with Preetam! He meant business! He seemed like one who got what he wanted always! How would he be with a woman when he was like that! The woman with him sure knew the score! But how could they bear him! If she were in the place of the woman.... correction! she would never be panting after him! Even if he were the king of a nowhere land! Never! Her man had to be after her! And if she was with him he would have to earn his keep! Not just demand it as if it was a burger ordered at a fast food joint!

The phone rang and she said ,"Hello!"

"Khushi?", Meera's voice came in concerned!

"Haan bol!" She said relaxing! For just a second she thought it was Preetam who called her!

"Thu theek tho hain?"( Are you all right?) Meera asked.
"Haan kyun?" ( yeah why?) Khushi said setting the print command right this time!

"Yaar you didn't even ping once since morning!" There was a pause and Meera asked ,"uss... idiot say tera jhagdaa hua kya?"
( Did you fight with that Idiot?)
Khushi took a deep breath and said," Haan!"

"Bathaana hain?" ( Want to tell me?)Meera asked!
Khushi liked this about Meera! She never probed more than necessary as a well wisher! She accepted her as she was! 
Khushi smiled and said "Kehneko kya hain tujhey patha haina? Same story yaar!"

( Whats there to tell! You know! Same story)

"Haan per tu maa say bath kyun nahi karthi?" Meera demanded!
( why don't you speak to mom?)
"Karungi abtho karna hi padega"( Yeah! Now I need to) and Khushi told her everything except the dark stranger's part! She was somehow not willing to share that!
She never kept anything from Meera! But this one incident she did not know why she wanted to keep to herself! Till she was sure! 

Of what? 
An inner voice asked her and answered again on its own! 
Of what she did not know! 
May be it was that part of her life which she did not want to share! Dark and mysterious! She shivered!

"Accha tu rakh my karthi hun" She cut the call! Another two days and she would be joining Meera at the head quarters! That was the only bright thing right now for her in her gloomy complicated life and she added a new word courteousy the dark stranger... mysterious life! She sighed and started to work!

A dialogue in the dark

She was at the bunglow of the Nandas,where they had arranged for the reception in their huge lawns and it was well lit and decorated with lights and flowers! Khushi was busy helping the bride Shwetha who was her childhood buddy with the make up and said," You rock" to her hugging her!
"Khushi kaheen chali math jaana ok? We shall have dinner together! You know that there are only a few invited guests here!" Shwetha said hugging her.

"Haan patha hain yaar! Just 1500 families only!" Khushi said rolling her eyes!
"Papa is a business man and planning to step into politics so... "Shwetha said defending her dad.

"Accha baba! Ab hum thoda jaakey kuch thanda peethey hain aur aap aayiye apnay priyatam kay sath" Khushi got up and walked into the lawns.
The choice of her words made her go numb with fear from inside as she was reminded of Preetam! Hey Devi Mayya!

Kya karien! He did not ping or call! She didn't either! Frankly she just wanted him off her back but just one more day and a week and she would be free to do that without any guilt attached to it! She walked to the stall where they were serving sherbeth and as she opted for the gulab and khus one she thought she saw a shilhoute that was very familiar- of that of the stranger on the other side of the garden but chided herself saying it was all in the past!
Roz roz thodina milega! She took her glass and walked the lawns which were now slowly becoming crowded with the crowds building on in the party!

As she walked to a gazebo sort of a place probably built for a yoga class in the morning or a morning breakfast, as it was covered from three sides with a light.... not inside it but just on the outer pole, she stepped in to find there was someone seated there with their back to her and she panicked and turned to quietly retreat when all of a sudden there was a huge noise like something bursting and the entire place was plunged into darkness!
It was pitch dark and Khsuhi gasped loudly!Hey Devi Mayya Raksha karna!
People panicked and the organisers were announcing loudly to hold on as the power grid tripped and they should all return to the bunglow...

She did not have her bag even for her mobile to switch on for light!
She moved and hit something with her foot and howled in pain!
"Who is there?" A man's voice came in strong and shrewd! It was the same voice.

Was she imaging it or was it the same man! The voice was much the same!
She simply squared her shoulders and said," Ap kaun?"( Who are you)

"Were you following me from yesterday?", A surprised voice asked her from somewhere nearer?

"Kya? Aap koi chor uchakkay hain ki hum aapko doondhthey phiray?" She spat at him!
( Are you a suspicious character that I need to look for you?)
How dared he thought so!

"This is not coincidence that you happen to be where I happen to be !" He said with such flourish that Khushi for a moment went guessing if he was some celebrity like a film star!
"Aap... aap koi film star ho?" she asked hesitantly!
( Are you a celebrity?)
There was a breath that was sucked in as he was surprised and said" No!"
"Tho itna kya hain ki koi aapko follow karien! Waisey batha dethay hain ki hum picture zyaada nah dekhthey hain! Utnaa showk nahi! So forget it!" she said very stand offishly!
( So whats there to follow you! By the way I am not that crazy about movies or film stars!)

"Nahi? I was beginning to feel you will surely follow me! If your what is his name? Preet or Preetish?" He paused...
"Preetam"She corrected him inadvertantly
"Haan !Preetam can pay... so can I isn't it!After what you heard crouching behind the bush and that too... after you found out about the money involved...  So you must have thought I am a bigger and better catch!" His voice exuded sarcasm!

Khushi lashed out in the darkness blindly and struck him on his chin instead of his cheek and said in rage! 
"You must be used to women like that but remember there are women like your mother and sister too! I am sure they have brought you up in good stead and you owe them this much that you respect their species you swine!Although I do not approve of their expertise in teaching you some basic manners!"

The stranger sucked in his breath and said coldly,
"Don't you dare talk about my mom or sister!
"Ye lo! Duniya bhar ki aurathein buri hain unko chod kay! Aaya ek aur mard! 
( Another typical male who feels his mom and sister are the only women worth any respect!)
You must be ashamed of yourself!" She spat at him and walked out only to bump into a familiar figure who she could make out in even pitch dark!

"Tho tum yahaan chipi baithi ho!" Preetam sneered at her as an opening shot!
( so you are hiding out here)
"Do you want to apologise? I am giving you ten minutes time"he said smugly!

Khushi who was already enraged hissed,"  Ek bath nahi! Preetamji humaara dimaag kharaab hain! aap yahaan kaisay!"
( Not one word! I am in the worst of my moods! How come you are here?)

"Hum sab khabar rakhthey hain!" Came his reply!
( i keep a note of everything)
Khushi sucked in her breath and asked a trifle hurt," You had me followed?"

"Ofcourse! What do you think I would do with a straying @#$%^ like you?" he said smugly!
Khushi was at loss of words! How could he? What gave these men a right to treat women this way! She shook with rage!

"I have booked a hotel today and told your people I am taking you out so lets go!"Preetam caught her arm and dragged her towrds the exit gate!
"Kya?" Khushi was beyond herself with rage.

"I will see you who will protect you today? Where is that jerk? Is he hanging around or are you done with him that day itself?" He asked her!
Khushi closed her eyes and struggled for balance!

"Hmmm! You can apologise all you want tonight! Tomorrow I shall tell you whether I like u or not... as I want to check you out today... Preetam went on taking her silence for approval...!

"Hum aap kay sath kaheen nahi jaa rahay hain" Khushi said firmly!
( I am not going anywhere with you)

"Accha? How do you know?" he laughed at his own joke.
Khushi just stared at the man and she took pity on him at his low level of thinking and said,
"Preetamji! Humay kaheen nahi jaana hain aur aap please chaley jaayiye yahaan say!"
( I am not going anywhere and you please leave)

The entire place was almost deserted as the crowd went in as generators were pressed to service in the reception hall!
Preetam pulled at her taking advantage and said," I will! But with you! Today you will know not to mess with any man!" And he dragged her towards the exit gate!

"Nahi hum nahi jaayengay!" Khushi stood her ground!
( I am not going)

"Kyun nahi ! Mynay tumhaare maa baap ko bola hain my tumhay bahar ley jaa raha hun!" Preetam declared.
( I informed your mom and dad I am taking you out)

When Khushi did not budge he pulled her with a jerk and she winced as he tried to touch her clumsily and then when she warded off his hands, he tried to kiss her making her cry out in angusih "chodiye humay! Nahi!!!!"
( Please let go off me! No!)

There was a tearing sound as her kurta's long sleeve tore by his pulling at it and she cried in pain as his nails left a trail of blood on her shoulder making her whimper in pain!

"I told you to lay off!" The stranger's voice boomed from the darkness behind Khushi!
Preetam left her hand and jerked back!

"Just leave!" the voice said.
"Tum?.....Tum yahaan uskay sath aayi ho?"Preetam was absolutely stunned!
( You came here with him?)
"Nahi Aap,..." Khushi never got to finish as the stranger spoke...

"Haan! Yaheen nahi har jagah jahaan woh hain tho wahaan my bhi hun!"
( Not only here!where ever she goes I am there with her) 
The stranger quipped very matter of factly making Khushi go absolutely stunned! What ever was he trying to do!
"Acch kya karlogey?" Preetam challeneged the stranger!
( Oh! What will you do?)

"Kaheen bhi!!!! Yaad rakho ki my uskay sath hi rahunga aur if you so much as lay a finger on her I will break your bones" Came the hissing retort from the stranger!

The man caught Khushi's arm and pulled at her and snarled,"Tera aashiq har samay sath rehthaa hain kya?"
( Your suitor always hangs around you or what?)

"Yeh kya keh rahey hain aap?" Khushi was stunned.
( What are you saying?)
"Ab kya poochthi ho! Isliye itni bholi bani phir thi ho" he snarled again and said "You #$%^ you..."
( What? You are asking now while you act very naive otherwise?)
There was a  sudden shuffle and Preetam went flying away!

"The lady is not interested in you! Did you get that! Now out! Just leave!" The strangers voice boomed once again cutting and final!

Khushi realised the stranger had actually trown Preetam out bodily!
"Thu hotha kaun hain? "Preetam could not stop himself from asking.
( Who are you to her... to say that?)

"Jo bhi hun, none of your business! One more word I will kill you ^%$$ !"The stranger said very coldly!

"Himmat hain tho saamnay aa andherey mein chup kay..." Preetam could not finish his words...
"You won't be able to bear to see me in light! Believe it buster! Just get lost" The dark stranger caught him by his collar and threw him on to the near by bush! He shuffled to stand up and then left cursing Khushi who was shaking at the assault on her and she just stood shivering all over!

"Are you ok?"The stranger asked her!
She just whimpered!

The man came to her and hovered around her uncertain about how to go about it! Then he testily put an arm round her and she shivered and stepped back sobbing!
"Its all right he is gone!" He said and she awkwardly caught his arm and clung to him sideways as he stood taking her weight on his left arm as she silently cried literally on his shoulder!

"Money is not the only thing you know! There is more to life and relationships..." His words cut into Khushi's thoughts!
Wait a minute.... she thought... Hey Devi Mayya! He thought she was afer Preetam for money?

How dare he thinks that way! She wanted to say something but the tilt of his chin brought his face nearer to her and she noticed the outline of his jaw! It was so very set and so very well shaped that it took her breath away! She moved away as if she was scorched and he said...

"Try getting someone who can set fire on to your soul not add weight to your purse"
Khushi sucked in her breath realising what it implied! But she simply said," Na humey kisika paisa chaahiye aur na hi kisi ka pyar!"
( Neither I want someone's money nor his love)

"Tho phir?"( Then what?) the stranger asked!
Khushi's hackle rose! How dared he type cast her and then enquire coolly!
"Kyun bathaayein aapko?" she asked.
( why need I tell you?)

"Kya? Kyun bathaugi? Kyunki jo bakrey ko tumnay phaansa hain mynay ussey tumhay chudaaya isliye" he said!
( Coz I happened to free you from the man you trapped)
" Sukriya per aap galath hain! Aur humay aapsay yun bath karneka koi showk nahi hain!" She said and turned to leave!
( Thanks but you are all wrong! And I... don't have any inclination to talk to you)

A hand came and pulled her close to a hard body and the voice asked her," Phir kiska showk hain?"
( Then what do you fancy?)
He pulled her to him and she smelt musk on him further! 

Khushi was mesmerised by his deep drawn voice that made her body tingle and his body warm and very welcoming enveloped her and her senses working magic on her! She simply blinked hard to make something of his features! No luck! It was dark! Nothing at all! All she knew was a set jaw and a deep sexy voice that could mean business suddenly and can be sarcastic sometimes but mostly cold calculating and cutting when it spoke!That was it !!!

"Kiss ka showk hain phir?" He asked her again... his voice purring low and very very enticing!
" ka ... bhi ... nahi!" Khushi stammered and desperately tried to see his face!

The stranger caught her upper arm and pulled her to him very slowly! Khushi could do nothing as there was no force in what he did! He simply drew her to him and she just could not resist the pull in him! It did not occur to her that he was a total stranger and she was slowly moving into the circle of his arms...

And then he touched her quiet unexpectedly on her nose! Khushi was surprised as he touched her nostril with the pad of his thumb and rubbed it on her nose stud and said," There should be a tiny diamond there!"
"Ji?" She did not understand what he was saying!

He turned her face away as if he was trying to figure her and suddenly asked her," Whats your name?"
"Ji?" Khsuhi was lost in the onslaught and repeated after him...."My name?"
"Name?" he said "As in yours!"

Khushi was only aware of his fingers on her face especially his thumb on her nostril and the rest of his fingers on her throat and chin holding her face sideways and his breath fanning her cheek warm and very very arousing! 

Khushi came out of her dream land to reality! Name? her name? Why would he want that! Who was he?"
"Your name... tell me your name!" His hand dropped down on to her neck!...

End Of Chapter-2



"Who are you?" He asked!
"Ji?" She was zapped by the voice from the other side of the bush!
"Who are you?" He demanded again-his voice deep and rumbling in the darkness.
"Hum?" ( Me?) She enquired!

"Lady I don't have time! Do you need help?" He demanded again!
"Humey kisiki bhi madad ki zaroorath nahi hain!" She said  firmly, although still sobbing!
( I don't need anyones help)

"Accha? Lag tho nahi raha tha!He was all over you!" He scoffed!
( It didn't appear that way!...)
"Aap kaisey aisa bol sakthey hain? Aap sey matlab?" She lost her cool!
( How can you say this? What is it to you?)

"Why did you interfere then? Tumhara kya matlab tha?" He counter demanded.
(What did you mean?)
"Woh alag tha! Per aap aisey humaarey beech mey..."She could not even say anything further out of shame!
( That ... was different!How could you come in between both of us)

"Why not? And will you grow fat for him? I mean put on weight? He enquired listening to her sharp intake of breath at the usage of the word fat by him!

"Ji? Hum kuch bi karien issey aapko kya?" She was enraged!
( What ever I do! What's it with you?)

"What is it to me? Nah! What can it be for me?" He said laughing.
"Aap apna kam karien!" She advised( Do your job)
"Kiya tho tha!" He said smugly!( I did)
"Haaw! Aap itney besharam kaisey ban sakthey hain!" She was embarassed.
( How can you be so shameless)

"Ismey besharmi ki kya bath hain? Ussey tho accha hun! Who is that?...That Preet whatever of yours!" He nagged at her.

"Aapne er... sab suna?" She asked him closing her eyes in embarrassment!
( Did you er... hear everything?)

"Yeah! And you...?" He asked her!
"ji!" ( Yes) she replied

"What the#$%@!" He cursed!
"Phir? Aur kya baqi hain" She said dejectedly...and added "Chalthey hain!"
( Whats more is left now! Ok! I shall make a move!)

"Ok Bye!" He said.
Both of them spoke at the same time! 
"Bolo!" he snorted! 

She started crying silently! He could make out from the silent sobs that she tried to suppress from being heard!

"Ek kaam karo my yaheen hun tum ek paanch minute rolo!" He suggested!
( Do one thing! I am here for another five minutes! You cry your heart out !)

"Aap humaara mazaak..."

( You are making fun of me...???)

He did not let her finish and yelled at her saying," Lady I am trying to ease you out and you find fault with me what the hell! Just bring it on! But for gods sake just cry silently else who knows someone else might be listening to all this and might think I have done something to you!!!"

His sarcasm fell flat on Khushi who cried in earnest! Deep sobs raked her body as she recollected the situation in which she was palmed off to Preetam!

"Paayalia ki shaadi tho jaisan taisan hogi! Ab taareeq bhi pakki hogayi hain!Per iski? Isey kaun karega?" Madhumati asked Shashi who was bed ridden and was a mute witness to everything that happened around him.
( Paayal's wedding will be over somehow! But what about thsi girl? who will marry her?)

"Kyun Jiji isko kaun kyun nahi karega?" Garima defended her foster daughter Khushi!

( why Jiji?Why won't anyone choose her?)

"Yeh? Iskay lacchan dekhey hain? Poocho mohalleh waalon say! Tarah tarah ki baathein karthein hain!" Buaji said looking at Khushi.

( Just look at her! The entire colony talks about her)

"Kya? Per kyun?"( What? But why?) Garima was suddenly alert! She turned to Khushi and asked," Khushi! Tum nay kahi yeh kya hain bitiya...!"

( Khushi... did you... whats all this my dear?)

"Amma? Yeh sab kya bol rahey hain aap log?" Khushi was hurt by the talk!

( Amma! What is all thia?)

"Arey aay din ek naye babu kay sath nayee gadi mein aathi hain aur dekhou kaisi ban than kay jaathi hain?" Buaji said pulling at her multi coloured dupatta. 

( She comes home everyday with a new man in a new car! And see how she goes all decked up)

Khushi looked at her dupatta which looked very chick as she bought it in a 70% sale that too as an employee so it had costed her just fifty bucks after an added 25% employee discount!!

Her danglers which were small and with multicoloured stones were a birthday gift from her colleague and best friend Meera and the chappals she was wearing were bought out of a gift voucher given by the company for the new year to all its employees!

Her gold bangles and chain were a rememberance of her mother along with the anklets!The bag that which she took to the office was the only thing that she bought at the Sarojini Market after saving hard for three months as she needed a decent one for working at the head office which she would be joining on the coming Monday as  the company she worked for, recognised her talent and shifted her from Lajpath Nagar branch to the head office with a slight increase in pay to cover commutation charges! She was promised a raise after Diwaali!

"Baahar Kam karath hain Jiji! Thoda accha pehan na padey haina?" Garima again defended Khushi!

( She goes to work Jiji! Don't you think she needs to dress well?)

"Accha tho roj roj naye aadmi kay sath ghoomnay wala kya kaam bolo?" buaji insisted again.

( Oh yeah? Then tell me what's that job that wants her to move with a new man everyday?)

"Buaji hum Executive Assistant ka kam karthey hain! Yaaney ki...." Khushi did not know how to explain... but tried still... "Jo sabsey badey branch kay afsar hain unko har kaam mein madad karthey hain!"

"Accha tho unhee key sath rehna haina? Secretary hi tho ho humey bhi patha hain ladki ... tumhaarey Phoopa ji badey aaffice mein kaam kiye rahe... haan!" Buaji said rolling her eyes at her!

( Then you need to be with your boss! I know what a secretary is all about! Your uncle had had worked in an office too!)
"Hum secretary nahin hain Buaji... hum.. kya bolein?" She turned to Garima and asked her in frustration for which she winked at her to keep quiet!
( I am not a secretary Buaji! I ... what should I say?)

There was a knock at the door and Aakash Raizada walked in with an elderly lady and everyone was suddenly busy ushering in the groom and Khushi was pressed into service for taking care of them with tea and a snack!

"Ji...."Aakash typically shy said, "I was just passing by and thought will just say hello! yeh meri Baroda waali maasi hain"Aakash introduced his maternal aunt!

"Ji Namasthey biraajiye!" ( please have a seat) Buaji started making small talk with her when...

"Jeejaji Jiji say bath karni hain?" Khushi called from the kitchen and everyone shusshed her but he smiled and said... "As a matter of fact yes!" He turned to buaji and Garima and Shashi and said, " If you don't mind can I just ask her what colour she likes and also her birth stone! Mom wants her to wear the ring with her birth stone in it and I want to buy her something as a wedding gift!" 

Buaji and Garima beamed and said "Bilkul bitua! Oo kamrey mein bath karleo" and took him to an inner room! Khushi served tea and the elderly lady looked at her from head to toe! She looked stinking rich!

"Kya naam hain tumhaara?" She asked!

"Ji Khushi!"Khsuhi answered politely 
"Accha!" The lady said looking down her nose.

"Acs padhi hain meri bacchi aur company secretary hain" Garima introduced Khushi proudly! 

"Accha!" The lady took an inventory of Khushi which irritated Khushi but after a few minutes Aakash joined them and they left!

After two days... Aakash's aunt's son...Preetam's match was proposed and was accepted under Buaji's auspices and within two days a meeting was organised between the two families! 

Preetam was an engineer and did his MS in the States and was working in a big business house's automobile venture! He was smart and the first question he asked Khushi was how much she earned and she did not quite like it!
Then he spoke for twenty minutes about what he expected from her and then when Khushi wanted to talk he suggested they do it after the engagement as he was ok with her!

They were engaged on the same day as there was no other auspicious day and also both Khushi and Preetam did not have any leave that the elders decided should be used for the upcoming wedding which would be six months after paayal and Aakash's wedding!


"Accha! Aap kisee sey...kahengey...tho nahi na..."Khushi asked him warily.
( Ok! Shall I assume you won't mention this to anyone?)

"What do you take me for?And what do you think of yourself? You are not some celebrity that I gossip about you! On the contrary,Do you know who I am...?" He stopped himself from divulging his identity.
Nahi matlab...???"( No! what does that mean?) She was at loss for words!
HA! This was a welcome change! But that may be coz she didn't see him! Or heard anyone call his name! It was all dark sans the light that was there... somewhere far off! He thought and patted himself on the back for not revealing who he was! Else, she would be making money by supplying titbits to the gossip press.

"Aur tum?"(And you?) He asked her!

"Kya? Hum kya?" She asked him.

How much did she listen to and how strange! This was a first that he was actually caught in such a situation! Usually he was very discreet but this one- this woman he had been with, was a spoilt brat and he wanted the project very badly!So he had to do what he did! He thought!

"Lady are you dense he yelled at her! What did you listen to?"

Khushi gulped hard!!!!! Recollecting everything!...


"Khushi thu bhi chalna!" Paayal jiji had asked her!

( Why don't you go with me)
"Hum kya karengey wahaan kabaab mein haddi!"Khushi refuese to spoil her sister's evening out with her fiance!
 ( what would I do between you both love birds?)

"Nahi reh tumhaare woh bhi aarahe hain" Paayal said winking at her!

( Nope! Your fiance would also be there!)
"Hey Devi Mayya!" Khushi gulped hard in disgust!

From the day one she did not like the man! He leered at her and she did not like his temparment! 

He was forever looking below her neck which irritated her! Their engagement was a very hotch-potch affair and when she went on to the terrace as requested by him and his mother to 'speak' to the groom he tried to touch her without any reason several times, and when she refused to give in...he was reluctant to accept that she was not for such behaviour before any commitment on his part! He said he understood but still touched her waist with his clammy palm! 

Khushi felt revolted at his sweaty palm touching her but thought it was all new to her and may be that was how it was! Garima brought them up in a protected way and although she went to a co-education college she never socialised beyond a limit....
She did her best for two minutes and when she could not get accustomed to his touch slowly got rid off him by moving away! But he was forever trying to irritate her!

All the time, she observed that, he boasted about his wealth and position and job and asked her without any preamble if she had any affairs in the past?

Khushi did not like the way he presented it but neverthless told him she never had any past connections which he somehow did not believe!She never was heard! He never tried to find out about her tastes and feelings! It was him all the way... Then they were called down and that was the end of their first meeting!

The exchange of mobile numbers brought new trouble to her as he forwarded crude jokes and if she did not respond phoned and banged her about phone manners!But he chose never to respond to her! Not that she texted at all to him! She always preferred to call him and that too under pressure from Buaji and Amma now that they were planning for the weddings! 

Khushi would not have accepted the proposal but for the fact that he was Aakash jeejaji's aunt's son and a part owner of the AASTHA foundation hospital in which her dad was undergoing treatment for paralysis! Buaji had already used his connections to get her father admitted so that he would be in better shape to attend Paayal's wedding and indeed he was recovering fast!

She closed her eyes! This was the least she could do as she knew with her salary, she coud not afford much of the care that her father was getting there as the would -be father-in-law of its part owner! Further, Amma had pawned the last of her jewellery for her education which according to Buaji went on for ever! 

She accompanied Jiji and Preetam came with Aakash Jeejaji! They parted at the wedding and since then she was suffering his oversized ego and absolutely high handed behaviour! It was all ok even... but what he did just a few minutes back was unpardonable!If the stranger had not interweened then, she would have... Hey Devi Mayya! She did not herself know what would have happened...She shuddered as she remembered...


Aakash and Payal drifted away while Preetam started grilling Khushi about her class mates... male ones especially, at college... Then when she became quieter after failing to convince his one track mind,he suggested a  stroll in the garden and dragged her to the gardens! 

Then he got a call and vanished saying he will be back in a few minutes and ordered her to wait for her! Ordered not requested! She remembered with a sigh! He seemed to think that he had bought her off the rack!She waited for him to return wandering off into the gardens and sitting besides a thicket on a stone bench,far from the maddening crowd... when she heard some rasping sound quiet near to her...

It was completely dark and the only light was near the venue which was quiet far off from where she was sitting.She felt odd but just waited for Preetam as she could hear a male voice saying," Is this what you wanted in return that day and a moan most definitely of a female was the reply!"

When there was no more noise Khushi thought they might have gone away when suddenly she could listen to the voices again! 
"Cool" the woman said! She sounded very hep and said,"Do me babe!"
"You sure mean it don't ya?" The man's voice came muffled as if he was kissing and talking at the same time!
But Khushi broke into goose pimples at the slight inflection in his voice that made it very very... sexy! 

"I am! But I don't know what's keeping you?" Ms. sultry voice purred!

"Nothing and no one keeps me darling remember that" The man's voice came out crisp and after another bout of kissing, his voice whispered hoarsely, "You will get what you want when I get what I want!"

The promise  in his voice was clear! Khushi could hear it and even in that she could see that he was shrewd! His voice was laced with just the right amount of passion for the woman in question! But Khushi thought she could hear the sarcasm in it!Could that woman make it out? Obviously not as she was panting after him! He was baiting her luring her with something that she fancied and also warning her that as she gets what she wants, he would clinch what he fancied without remorse! And something told Khushi that what ever he wanted, he would always get and right then, it was not the woman in his arms!

There was a russle of a plastic sheet and the woman's voice came over again, this is the sample darling and the specifications are written on the envelope on the inner side!There was more touching on the other side of the bush...and Khushi could hear more shuffling noises...
'Hey Devi Mayya! Khushi grew embarrassed to sit there! She was just on the other side of the bush! She made to get up when suddenly there was a deep moan as if...!!!! 
Khushi's face scalded imagining what would have happened and she just sat back shocked! 

"You gave me a small gift babe! And I don't keep any favours!",The man's voice came out thick yet somehow unattached and aloof!Was he not involved at all in what he was doing? Khushi wondered!The woman was gasping and her voice when she spoke told Khushi she was at his mercy completely!

"But I can't wait darling...Don't you feel the sparks between us?" Ms. sultry voice complained!

Khushi could imagine her pouting and smiled for the first time in the evening! Hmmm! How very silly women can be! Doesn't she have any self respect? Going on her knees like that for a man? She wondered!

"I can!!! Came his voice crisp and clear! I do not believe in sparks or stars! I believe in something called need and fulfillment! You need I can appease! Thats it! Don't read more into it! If I happen to like it with you, then I might indulge you! But I warn you, It lasts as far as it lasts! When I am done, I will be gone!

Do I make it clear?" His voice was so cutting that Khushi gasped at the sheer lack of emotion in it.
The voice which was laced with so much of desire suddenly turned ice cold and very clinical! 

She was already upset with Preetam and this made her feel very turned down! Was the world only full of this, in the name of relationships?Do all men think that it was a give and take? How can two human beings come together without a shred of emotion to it! Was there no difference between human beings and anaimals?Khushi felt really very disturbed from within!

The particular spot she chose was a little away from the venue and it was also very calm as there weren't many people around! Infact, apart from the stranger his partner and her there wasn't any one! The rest were to the far left nearer to the artificial water falls that were the part of the huge landscape!

"But What about my heart?" Ms. Sultry voice complained!

"Well! Take care of it! Its yours! Why ask me?" He said so flippantly that Khushi at once felt how shallow he must be to think so lowly of someone else's feelings!

"How mean!!!" Ms. sultry voice purred! "Don't you have one? What if someone else breaks it?" She asked him...

"I do have a heart but I strongly believe sweetheart that a heart is an organ like any other! When your lungs and Kidneys don't depend on others for their upkeep why should your heart do?" He countered her.

"And well... heartache! Nah..." he drawled! "Its for those weak people who let their heart rule them!I live by me and myself he said! none affects me!"He sort of declared making Khushi flare her nostrils in rage! What does he think of himself? How very arrogant and unfeeling and cold!!!

"Oh Yeah? so what rules you then?" She asked him?

"None of your business!" He cut her off as briskly as he led her on a few minutes before... Khushi noticed!He was an expert in these sort of mind games... she realised.

"Oh! Please! It wouldn't hurt to just give away that much of yourself !" Ms. Sultry wailed!

"Nothing!" His reply came after a pause as if he was contemplating on his answer! 
Khushi could sense the smugness in his voice!

"Nothing at all babe! Thats why I am free to conquer! Nothing affects me that can make me loose my head!"He laughed then a slow mirthless laughter which was pure music to the ears and the woman with him gasped audibly!

"You laugh too? You don't even smile... I mean... I am sorry no offense meant! She covered her slip!

"None taken.... "he had said! "I am human but one who knows his place in this world and most importantly the one who knows where the others' place is! He said surprising her yet again with his depth of thoughts!
Khushi noticed that his thoughts and his words were mutually at logger heads! Sometimes they went up sometimes low and she felt like riding on a wave of high speed sometimes the crest and then suddenly when you thought you understood you were thrown into the trough! Just when she thought he was a very serious and dangerous man, his laughter made her to wonder how he would be when he laughed, as his laughter rang a bell somewhere... it was not mirthless like his wordsand deeds... it was genuine... as going by the woman, she gathered that he seldom smiled!She pitied the woman!

"Ok!Enough of this! Get your dad to sign on it and I shall!" The man's voice said...deep and sexy. 
'When???.... is there no credit facility?" She could distinctly hear the lady kissing the man as she was seated towards her side of the bush!

"Nope! You know --- doesn't believe in business on credit!" Whatever name he might have said was lost in the sound of a blaring horn... and khushi scrunched her nose in disgust! He was ...getting business done through this?Like this? Hey Devi Mayya!

She just loathed the man!But his deep rumbling voice haunted her! She loathed Preetam and his clammy hands but going by the woman how would the man be to touch!Did he really fulfill his promises? Was his body as sexy as his voice? Hey Devi Mayya! What was she thinking! She never thought on those terms! Ever! What's wrong with her that a man's voice could make her think all this which she did not imagine even when she got engaged! 

"Please darling!" The woman haggled shamelessly and then there was some more noise that Khushi could make out as more kissing and necking and finally the man's voice came very clearly," Time up Babe! You want more? Then get me your dad's signature on the Rayman deal! Till then no works!"

The woman pleaded and then even threatened but finally left and before that, the man helped her back into her dress as Khushi could make out that he was helping her wear it by their conversation!

"Oh please! If you come with me we can spend the night at Guns and Roses!" The lady tried one last time!

did she not have any self respect? Khushi wondered...

"When I choose to... spend the night... I shall decide where and how! Know that!!!" The man said trying to zip her up!
His voice sent shivers down Khsuhi's spine! The raw rasp in his voice made her wonder how the stranger would choose to spend his night with his woman and where?
Hey Devi Mayya !!!She exclaimed loudly without thinking!
Khushi  clamped her mouth shut with her palm, as there was a sudden silence at the other end, teh man an dthe woman been alerted of her presence!
"There is someone there!" The lady said!
"You go ahead I shall join later!" The man said coolly!
...And Khushi heard the lady move and the shuffling of her feet told her she trotted back to the venue!

When it was over Khushi sat there in stunned silence and did not know what to do! She somehow felt violated and anger rose in her! How dare he! And how very silly of that woman to... to... beg like that as if... !

She was disgusted and thumped her fist on to the palm of her other hand and exactly the man behind the bush chose that very moment to get up and go after wearing his clothes in place which Khushi was sure were pulled off him by Ms. Sultry voice!

Khushi sat still willing him to go away... but he simply said," If you think that you have gone unnoticed you are wrong!"making her almost choke in panic! 

His voice spelt danger! Who ever he was! He exuded power and a certain authority that came from the genes not by money or some success!

Where was Preetam! Why was he not coming! 
Hey Devi Mayya! She closed her eyes only to find a clamy palm rub her cheek saying," Hi! I am back love" he put an arm round her clumsily making her to move away and say," Kya kar rahein hain aap?"
( What are you up to?)

"Hey whats up sweety I am just... now don't act funny ok?! And going by your looks I'm sure you must have had quite a few boy friends right?" he taunted her!

Khushi closed her eyes and counted till ten and then said," I told you... nahi"
"Nahi?"( No?) he probed.
"Hum nay kahaa nahi!" Khushi said firmly!
( I said no)
She could sense the man beside her on the other side of the bush suddenly getting alert!Oh No! It was his turn now to listen to her conversation with Preetam... she thought! Instant justice by her beloved Devi Mayya!

This was embarassing and going by Preetam's suspicious nature, if she told him anything about the stranger, he might assume she planned to meet him there! Hey Devi Mayya!  She could feel a head ache brewing.

"Accha koi bath nahi! Kiss karna tho jaanthi hongi!?"

( ok! You must be knowing how to kiss atleast) 

He said lewdly cutting into her thoughts and challenged her saying,"...lets see how far are your skills in it!"

Khushi froze at this! What was this man! she mustered all her courage and spirit and said," Dekhiye Preetamji... hum...aisay nahi hain!"

( I am not like that)

"Phir kaisay hain Ms. too good for your own shoesji?" He taunted her!then made fun of her asking..."You mean to say you have lived in the city and are working and never did anyone?Do take me for an idiot?"
"Excuse me! I just want to go back!" Khushi switched to english and tried to get up! 
"Not till I get my due love!" He said...
"Kya?" She could not believe it!

"Yeah! Aaj itna kharcha karkay I got a bracelet for you" he clamped some cold metallic thing on her wrist and sneered," I expect a return on my investment!" 

making Khushi go pale! 
What sort of a pervert was this man! She just wanted to call Amma and call off the marriage at that very moment! But better sense prevailed! She needed to wait! Two days from then there was Dad's major surgery and then Jiji's wedding the following week! Till then she would have to bear him for maintaining goodwill with Aaksah Jeejaji's family! Then she would show him is place!

"I don't want any gifts please!" She tried removing it and said "Anyways its very loose and not my size"

She looked at it with disgust in the dark... for her it was a glittering cold thing and a mark of possession not love or emotion!

"Loose? loose tho hoga hi? You don't even have a spoonful of flesh in you! He again taunted her! I like rolly polly females! I don't know what you do but I want you to be handful he said!Put on some weight and they say if you take some steroids you will fill up the right palces which you obviously lack in right now!"

Khushi just lost her temper forgetting that the stranger was still there by the bush!

"Ek aur bath nahin!Humey andar jaana hain...!"

( Not one word! I want to go in)

"Yeah sure let me see how compatible we are afterall I am going to spend so much on you guys..."  Preetam garbbed her and touched her shoving her dupatta away brushing her waist with his clammy fingers!

Khushi felt as if a creepy crawly thing was on her waist and shirked him off saying " Nahi! Humay accha nahi lagtha hain yeh sab!"

( I don' like all this)

"Oh So you like the kinky stuff then?" And he held her with one hand and tried to lift her lehenga when she struggled in earnest saying," Preetam ji please! Humey yeh sab nahi accha lagtha hain! Lets go back!"

( I don't want all this! Lets go)

"Kyun? Tumhay kisi aur ki yaad aathi hain?"

( why are you reminded of someone else?) 
He tried to claim her lips but she used her small hand bag to hit him on his head and missed.
Preetam was enraged and he swore loudly and said "You b$%^&#! Let me show you what a man is all about and exactly at that time the stranger's voice boomed saying,

" Let go off her and leave buddy! Else I will let you know who a real man is!"
"Wha....t?" Preetam was shocked!
"Tunay kisiko yahaan.... chupaaya hain ? Tabhi tho!" 
( Have you asked someone to be here?)he said happy that his theory was proved righta nd Khsuhi caught her forehead with her hand!
The stranger had proved his theory right! Now he will be after her for the rest of their lives! Oh no! She did not want to marry him or anyone at all, as a matter of fact!

Preetam got up and bellowed,"Kaun ho tum?Bahar tho aa!"

( Who are you! Come over here)

The man from the other side simply said," I will give you three minutes to move your butt off this place.

"Yeh kaun hain?" (Who is he?) Preetam was now raging with anger as he demanded a stunned Khushi!

"Preetam ji.. yeh..." Khushi gulped and stared into darkness as she did not know who he was! How very strange the situation was!

"Tumko nahi patha tho kya kar rahey they tum donon yahaan?" Preetam let his question take a very double meaning by the way he put it!

( You don't know? Then what were you both up to?)

"Aisa nahin hain..."  (its not that way) Khushi tried to explain! But what would she say! She gaped at the darkness that was the stranger on to the otherside of the bush!

"Kaisa nahin hain?" ( How is it not?) Preetam caught her arm and jerked her close and she smelt his very strong perfume that often gave her head aches!
"Preetamji please! Aap chodiye humey!" 
( Please let go off me)
Khushi tried her best to be calm and respectful while trying to free herself from his grasp! She could not irritate him and be the cause of her sister's misery!

"Accha! Usko jo dey sakthi ho mujhey bhi dey sakthi ho na?" Preetam pulled her closer making her panic and cry out," Nahin! Please!"
( What you can dish out to him, you can for me too)

"Let go off her!" The stranger's voice boomed in the darkness!

"Tu gaya nahi abhi taq? Chalthey ban. She is my ... "
( You didn't go yet? Just leave! She is my...)

He didn't get to finish as the man's  voice came again cool and ice cold," The lady said no! Butt off...and you just walk... straight and get lost! Don't even wait for this lady! She will not join you! If you so much as try to contact her again, I will see to it that you are taken care of! So get lost!" He said coolly!

"You wouldn't do such a thing!" Preetam bulied him!
"Want to see?" The other man challenged sending a shiver up Khushi's spine by the lethal tinge his voice carried!
He then did something that none expected! He came out still on the other side and caught Preetam by his collar and pushed him out on to the stone pathway and gave him a punch on his jaw making him howl in pain!

Preetam looked at Khushi and sneered shaking in his pants," I was right! You are dangerous than what even I could Imagine"
"Move it! ....Now!" The stranger's voice made him scurry towards the venue leaving a  scared Khushi in his wake. Was this man sane?

Khushi came out of her reverie...with that ...

"Nahi suna?( You didn't listen to my conversation?)  His voice boomed in the dark...
"Ek tho tum aur woh namoona! Doosra tumney mera evening kharaab kiya aur uper sey!" Just get lost from here he shouted!
( First of all you and that specimen! Then you spoilt my evening)
"Aap humaarey uper nahi chilla sakthey samajhthey kya hain apney aapko!" Khushi Kumari Gupta shouted!
( You can't yell at me! What do you think of yourselves!)

He came round the bush and held her by her arms and shook her saying," Let me make one thing clear!"

It was pitch dark and he could only see an occassional sparkle of her danglers in white stone!He also saw one thing a small fleck of light... which he realised was a nose stud...very pretty...
She smelt of wild roses and sandalwood!Fresh and sweet!  A welcome difference from the chick who smelt of a dazzling strong brand! 
He noticed immediately that the arms he held were soft and her body pliant against his... trembling with a strange vigour in them! Very inviting! Hell! He could see nothing at all!The one single light in the garden was somewhere very far away nearer to the venue,and was very weak! Neverthless he went on...

"May be you for your middle class mentality, you think that its a great encounter!I care two hoots for such a thing!Groping around bushes with a man!"
"Phir aap kya kar rahey they! Waisay bhi Woh humaarey Mangeithar hain!" Khushi immediately rose up to his sneering!
( Then what were you up to? By the way,he is my fiance)
"Accha! Woh mangeither kam aur ghonchu zyaada lag rahaa tha! Bloody pimp!"he snorted! The galls of the man! He actually asked her to... %^^&&!!!

"I have far better things to do and think about and you saw how I get my business done!" he said smugly.

"Haan haan  dekha hain! You are no different from the man who was mauling me! Both of you were using women! For your selfish ends! Khushi spat all her frustration on him!

" What the @#$%^! I deserve this for helping an idiot like you!" And as suddenly as she found him, he shoved her aside and she saw his form receding into the darkness towards the main hall...

What the hell does she think! He... of all the people would not care two hoots for whatever happened! Arnav Singh Raizada turned back after a few paces and said..."Remember!... that for me this encounter is just a DIALOGUE IN THE DARK!!

And was gone fading into the darkness.

End Of Chapter-1