Anandi and Shiv were enjoying their long drive.
They had left the busy city long time back and were on the ourskirts.Shiv asked one person for directions.
Anandi Asked him ” U have never been to this place?”
Shiv replied ” I have but long time back, before I left for UK.I had come here with group of friends and I was not driving so I am not well aware of the way but dont worry we wont get lost “He grined at her.
Anandi laughed she thought I really dont mind being lost with u.
She relaxed in her seat and enjoyed the twilight view..Jaipur is surrounded by the aravalli hills they were travelling through the hilly area and although it was getting dark she could still see outlines of trees and hills against the voilet sky.The clouds were heavy and there was smell or rain in the air.
Shiv entertained her with anecdotes from his childhood and UK days.
She felt a pang Of not having a normal childhood infact all her childhood memories were marred by jagya.She brushed aside his thought she didnt want to spoil the evening she wanted to concentrate only on Shiv her future.
They reached the club.Shiv parked the car in the parking lot and offerd his arm.She gladly wraped her hands around his arms and they proceeded towards the entrance.
Anandi looked at the sprawling building.It was some palace converted into a hotel.
Shiv showed his ID at the enterance and immediately he was greeted and escorted inside.Anandi looked all around in wonder It was was huge palace much bigger than her haveli
Shiv said “Its a palace hotel.The club is also inside…its quite dark now otherwise I would have give u the tour of this place its really beautiful palace.”
Anandi just smiled at him.
They crossed the huge lobby and a pathway through a beautiful garden and reached another section of the palace.It looked like a huge ballroom with tables arranged all around.There was also a small stage with live band playing
music.The room was not yet full it was dimly lit with candles on each table.
The whole atmosphere was very romantic.The attendent took them to their table.
They took their seats and Anandi said “Candle light dinner.I didnt know u were so romatic.U always seem like a khadoos collector”
Shiv made a face “me and khadoos !! lo itni shopping karwayi still ur calling me khadoos”
Anandi laughed “well ur always strict with people in jaitser”
Shiv replied “well I have to be professional there and besides I cant be openly romantic with u there”
Anandi said “this place is very nice how come u r a member here ?”
Shiv said “Actually my dad was member here.After joinning civil services I also got membership.Its very exclusive place and u will see very very sophisiticated people here”.
Anandi looked around and all tables were occupied with really polished looking people.She felt little of out of place she was not used to such enviroment.Shiv sensed her discomfort and held her hand
he said “dont worry u r perfectly fine and mind it not one person here can match ur intellect”
Anandi blushed.This is wat she liked abt Shiv he always encouraged her and supported her.
Shiv said “can we please order something I am really hungry”
Anandi laugned “Sure”
She picked up the menu but couldnt understand anyhthing It was all continental food.She looked helplessly at Shiv.”I cant understand this menu”
Shiv said “I’ll help u infact u’ll love the food here”.
He took the menu and gave some orders to the waiter.
Meanwhile they enjoyed the live band.The waiter came with their starters.She looked at the elaborately decorated glass of mocktail.
Shiv said “Its a mocktail something like fruit juices with lot of decoration…dont worry it dosent have alcohol I dont have any intentions of getting u drunk” he grined
Anandi made funny face at him.
Anandi took a bite of her starter and she relly liked the taste.They did some small talk while eating meanwhile some couples went to the dance floor and started waltzing to the music.Anandi looked facinated.
Shiv offerd her his hands and said “May I ask the lady for the dance”
Anandi was startled “Me!! dance !! I cant dance…I dont know ballroom dancing”
Shiv said “Dont worry I am an expert in tht I’ll teach u”
Anandi said “u can dance !?! I have only seen u beating drums thts all”
Shiv laughed “well I cant do the traditional stuff but since I belong to army family I have attended several army/navy balls waltzing is in my blood”
Anandi looked surprised “Really!! u dont seem like a dancer..but I really dont know this type of dance I cant do it rather I might embarass u on the floor”
Shiv replied “What nonsense Ur a natural dancer U’ll catchup come on Trust me”
Anandi’s heart melted at his words.She got up and he escorted her to the dance floor.The band played lovely jazz.And Shiv took Anandi’s right hand and placed her left hand on his shoulders…his other hand went around her waist.
Then slowly he started swaying to music.Anandi carefully following his footwork and they were soon waltzing on the rhythm.She felt so comfortable in his arms.She saw him gazing at her.She blused and they had an eyelock.
The whole atmosphere seemed unreal she couldnt believe she was with the most wonderful man ever.
She leaned in his arms and Shiv whispered in her ears “u know I am really lucky I am with the most beautiful woman on earth”
Anandi blushed again.
Shiv thought “She is so delicate I’ll never let anyone hurt her again”
They danced for sometimes then the music got lively.He twirled her around and she laughed along with him.They came back to their seats and ordered their main course.
They continued with their chit chat.
After dinner Shiv got a call.He said “I’ll be back in few mins u’ll be fine ?”
Anandi assured him she was enjoying he could proceed.
Shiv went out and she got busy enjoying the music.
Suddenly she felt someone sitting on Shiv’s seat She looked up and was surpried to see a familier face.The man had nasty look and was leering at her.
She recognised him
“Heth singh’s son !!” she thought how come he’s here.then she remembered his dad was an MLA he had access to priviliged clubs.
He said on an oily tone “Anandi ! wat a plesent surprise! So what is a girl like u doing in a place like this?”
Anandi gave him a stern look “Seems like ur jail term didnt really teach u any manners”
Heth singh’s son continued leering “well thanks to u I’ll never forget tht ordeal..Btw Ur looking yummy…wonder how would people of jaitser react seeing ur this avtaar”
Anandi wanted to slap him she continued “Well its none of ur business and I am here with my fiancee”
He continued “Of course the collector..he’s having a nice time with u…and u seem to be servicing him well too”
Anandi felt disgusted “Just shut up.Dont say a word against Shiv”
He said “Oh ! why so ?U really think he’s gonna marry u? oh please who will marry a girl like u? he’s just having fun and tht engagement is just a hogwash to fool those idiot villagers.he’ll leave u after having his fill…well after he’s gone u can come to me I’ll gladly oblige” and gave a nasty grin.
Anandi had enough she was shivering with anger and she wanted to slap heth singh’s son.But she didnt want to create a scene so she took her glass of water and splatterd it on his face.
He looked at her angrily.
She said ” This is wat u deserve. I am not going to be affected by lowlives like u”
She got up and left.
She didnt want to stay in tht room anymore.She went out and started calling Shiv.His phone was switched off.She got worried.She looked around here an there and came out in the garden.She felt kind of lost and tht guy’s words
had agitated her.She trusted Shiv but his words had made her very upset she had tears in her eyes due to anger.
She sat near a fountain Shiv’s phone was still switched off and she was getting worried how would she find him in such a big place.
she felt a hand on her shoulders and immediately turned around.Shiv was looking at her with very worried expression.
She felt something break in her.She immediately hugged him and started to cry.She sobbed clutching his chest.
He hugged her back and gently stroked her hairs “Hush its ok…I am back wat happened? why did u leave? I was worried looking for u”
Anandi replied “I tried calling u but ur phone was switched off”
Shiv said “yes it got discharged.But but why are u outside I told u to wait there”
Anandi didnt want to tell abt heth singh’s son it would have upset Shiv and besides she knew his anger he would kill tht guy if he came to know abt him.
She just hugged him harder and said “dont ever leave me..u know I cant live without u..I …I..love..”
She stopped realization hit her…what had she said she was about to confess her love
Shiv’s face lit up he looked at her expectantly
“yes please continue I love”
Anandi blushed crimson.She thought wats wrong with me I have become too bold.I should not look like a desperate.
She said “nothing”
It had started drizzling and they both gazed at each other.The garden was full of perfume of different flowers and
the smell of rain made it even more romantic.
He took out something from his pocket and offerd it to her.
Anandi saw a small bunch of red roses.She looked at him surprised.
Shiv just blushed “U know wat red roses mean right ?”
He got down on one knee and offered her the roses.
He continued “Dearest Anandi.Although we are already engaged but I have to confess my true feelings to u.I love u.I was attracted right from the moment I saw u but after knowing u and working with u I dont know when or how I fell in
love with u.Will u accept my love ?”
Anandi was speechless she took the roses and gently caressed them she couldnt believe Shiv actaully loved her! he didnt pity her he really loved her.
She replied “I love u too Shiv.I had built a wall around my heart and I was in denial but I can help it anymore u broke tht wall and now my heart beats only for u..I love u”
She blused after saying all this but she felt a big weight being lifted from her heart.She had finally accpeted the truth.
Shiv’s face was beaming he was at loss of words they just kept looking at each other they didnt need words to express their feeling anymore it was all in their eyes.
Finally Shiv said “can I get up me knee is really hurting now”
Anandi replied “of course sorry I didnt realise”
Shiv got up and hugged her again.They remained like tht for sometime then Shiv said “This is the happiest day of my life”
Anandi looked at him and smiled…he kissed her forehead and said “So desserts ??”
Anandi looked confused then realised he was talking abt food.But she didnt want to go back in.She didnt want to spoil this dream by encountering heth singh’s son again.
She said “I am too full..Lets leave..but I’ll stay if u want to ”
Shiv said “well I am full too I just thought U might want dessert.We can leave now Its anyways getting late.lets go
in before we get soaking wet.”
Anandi nodded and followed him.He made the payments and proceeded towards their car.
Anandi and Shiv rushed towards their car.It was rainning harder but they managed to get in before being fully getting drenched.
Anandi shivered in the car.her flismy saari and backless blouse didnt provide much protection against the cold.Although she felt comfortable after they started off from there
Shiv said “Good I took my car instead of jeep we would have been blow off in open jeep.
Anandi looked out it was raining very hard now and it was quite windy too.
They continued to drive for sometime.It was pitch dark outside and Shiv had hard time finding the way.The road was also deserted due to rain and storm.
Shiv scared at Anandi “ur not scared ?”
Anandi asked “Why should I be scared ?”
Shiv replied “well Its dark and stormy night and ur alone with me in the middle of nowhere” he gave a naughty smile
Anandi gave him a funny look “seems like ur watching too many horror movies..why should I be scared of u”
Shiv laughed “I am not kidding I have no idea where am I.Seems like I took a wrong turn and if we continue driving this way we’ll probably reach delhi”
Anandi mocked him “Collector sahab ur sense of direction is pathetic how will u guide jaitser”
Shiv said “arre bhai ab its raining and its pitch dark its not my fault na..”
Anandi laughed “well I am just teasing u..btw dont worry even If have to spend whole night in the car I dont mind just drive carefully Its very stormy outside”
Shiv gave her a naughty look “Hmmm whole night in car not a bad idea”
Anandi playfully hit him.
Her laughed and teased her some more.
He stopped the car suddenly.Anandi looked out and saw the road was completely blocked.Several trees had fallen on the road and it was impossible to move ahead.
Shiv ran his hands through his hairs and look at her ruefully.
Anandi laughed she found it rather funny.
He looked around and saw another path which had deviated from the main road.He decided to take tht road thinking it might join the main road later on.
He continued driving.The road was really bad and muddy due to heavy rains he thought weather it would be better to stop somewhere instead of driving aimlessly.Staying in the car would be quite uncomfortable n didnt want anandi to be uncomfortable.
He said “should we make a stop somewhere?…at this rate I doubt we’ll reach guesthouse on time”
Anandi was thinking on the same lines Shiv looked really exhausted with all this driving.
She said “yes its better we make a stop.but where to stop its too dark and I dont know where we r”
Shiv saw some light ahead it seemed to be come out from some house.He drove ahead and saw a big farmhouse kind of house.He stopped at the gate and honked his car.An old man came out from a outhouse holding an umbrella.
He looked at them curiously
Shiv said “we are stuck in this rain and we’ll have to make a stop.Could u please ask the owner of the house we need permission to stay here.
Tht man looked suspiciously at them and said “I am the caretaker the owners do not stay here.they stay in the city.Its their farmhouse.The house is locked I cant let anyone stay here without their permission”
Shiv said “See I am collector of jaitser and she is my…wife just call ur owner I’ll speak to them and convince them..if u want I can show u my id”
The man became alert “Oh ur a collector well in tht case I’ll be happy to help.I have the keys but phone lines are not working I cant call the owners.”
Shiv said “well If u trust us please let us stay for the night I’ll speak to the owners tommorow morning and thank them”
The man agreed he said “My name is ramdeen”
He went back to get the keys.Shiv and Anandi got off the car and walked towards the house.By the time they were in they were compltely dreanched.
Anandi said “why did u say I am ur wife”
Shiv replied “well If I would have said tht ur my would be wife tht man might take it in a wrong way so just relax”
Tht man came back and unlocked the doors.they went inside the house.Ramdeen said.The electricity went off due to storm.So u’ll have to make do with candles and laltern.I have opened one bedroom it has a fireplace.”
Shiv said “One bedroom !!”
Ramdeen looked puzzled “ur married couple why do u need 2 rooms?”
Shiv didnt have any reply he looked helplessly at anandi.
Even anandi looked perplexed but she didnt say anything.
They went in the room.
Ramdeen said if u need anything let me know.
He then went away.
Anandi looked around.It was rather small room but it was comfortable.There was king size bed in the middle besides some cupboards and a fireplace at one end.There were some rugs and blankets also kept on the bed.
Shiv looked at her and said “I am sorry I didnt realise tht my lying abt our married status would land us in this mess.”
Anandi said “Its ok.we’ll manage”
She recalled the guesthouse incident and felt uneasy she didnt want to seem desperate.It was not th she didnt trust shiv she didnt trust herself around him.Her cheeks burned at his memory in towel.
Shiv also seemed uncomfortable he didnt want to scare Anandi and in this situation he was afraid she might get a wrong idea abt his intentions.
He looked at her.she was completely drenched and her flismy saari was barely concealing her.With water dripping from her hair she looked irristable.He looked away and said.”Anandi u r completely wet please change ur dress.
Anandi looked at herself she felt very conscious she replied “I dont have any spare dress with me”
Anandi looked at herself she felt very conscious she replied “I dont have any spare dress with me”
Shiv realised his folly “oh yes but u cant remain like this ur shivering”
He took of his jacket and covered anandi.He looked at the cupboard.
he said “lets check them out we might find something.”
They went towards the cupboard.It was mostly empty only few bedsheets and pillows were there.
Anandi looked into the other cupboard.it was all empty except for a pair of trackpants and a nighty.She picked up the nighty and held it up.
She looked at it horrified.Shiv came near her and asked “u found something?”
She didnt say anything just held up the nighty.
It was a white satin nighty with lace trimmings it didnt have any sleeves just 2 straps.
Shiv didnt know how to react.
He looked at her stupidly.Anandi said “I cant wear this”
Shiv had a vision of her in tht sexy nighty he shook his head to remove tht image.
He said “lets look for something else.”
All they could find were bedsheets.He said “cant u use bedsheet ?”
Anandi gave a scandalous look
Image of Anandi draped in only bed sheet flashed in front of his eyes.He thought “God this is getting worse” he shook his head again
Anandi sneezed he said “look anandi lets be practical ur totally wet and I cant let u be like this I dont want u to fall sick.Please change into tht..whatever…but dont remain like this.I know Its all very difficult for u but dont worry I wont look at u I promise”
Anandi looked at him amused..she said “u just start tht fire my saari will dry out in no time” she sneezed again.
Shiv thrust tht nighty into her hands and said.”just go and change u’ll fall sick…please dear..”
Anandi said “Ok I’ll do it”
She took tht nighty and went into the bathroom.
After changing she looked at herslef in the bathroom mirror.She was feeling very uncomfortable she had never wore such thing
before and the sensual satin material made her skin craw.Her back and shoulders were almost bare.She thought I cant go out like this in front of shiv but i cant remain in the bathroom all night.she took an deep breath and peeped out of the bathroom door.
Shiv had started the fire in the fireplace and he had stripped to his black vest.
he had stripped to his vest.
She could see his muscular shoulders and back.
She nervously stepped out.
He was poking the fire with a rod.He had placed several rugs near the fireplace So tht whole areas seemed to be covered with fluffy carpet.
Shiv heard the bathroom door open but he didnt turn around.
Anandi came and sat near the fire she sat some distacne away from him.She like the warmth in the room.The room was completely dark only the glow of fire lighted the room.
She looked around and saw tht ramdeen had placed a thermos full of tea 2 cups,and a bottle of water on the table.She asked Shiv would u like to have some tea.Shiv said without looking at her “sure”
She poured the tea and gave one cup to him.he took it from her but continued looking at the burning fire as if it was the most intresting thing on earth.
She took a sip and felt nice as the warm liquid went down her throat.
She said “This is good I am feeling much better now”
Shiv just said “yup its good”
Anandi said “how will we leave tomm morning I mean those trees would still be there”
Shiv said ” dont worry I’ll find some other way it wont be difficult in the daylight”
They continued drinking their tea in silence.Anandi was feeling irritated shiv was not looking at her and it seemed as if she was talking to a wall.
She said “Shiv look at me”
Shiv said “why?”
Anandi said “its ridiculous I feel like I am talking to a wall”
Shiv said with a chuckle “I promised I wont look at u”
Anandi said “oh come on ur not gonna pounce on me its irritating”
Shiv said “how can u be so sure maybe I will”
Anandi had enough she got up and went beside him.
BOOM !! there was big craash of thunder she screamed and Shiv on impulse immediately turned around she hugged him.
BOOM !! there was another thunder crash.Anandi hugged him harder.
Shiv felt as if his breath had been knocked out not due to the thunder but because of anandi.
He could feel her body through the satin and tht silky satin made it even worse.
They hugged each other for sometime.Anandi’s brain had stopped functioning she wanted to be in his arms forever.She slowly looked up and saw Shiv staring her.He had a smoldering look in his eyes.
She couldnt resist and lightly touched his jawline with her fingures.He closed his eyes for a moment.His hands were on her bare back.With his other hand he trailed his fingure over her face, neck,shoulders and below.Anandi closed her eyes.There faces were almost touching.
Shiv bent his head towards her but anandi turned away and the intended kiss landed near her ears.
Shiv placed a soft kiss on her earlobes,then cheeks,neck and collarbone he kept on giving trail of kisses…Finally his lips touched her lips.
Anandi closed her eyes and felt lightning bolts going in her brain.
Shiv continued to kiss her deeper.After almost an eternity he broke the kiss.
They looked at each other…anandi was shaking she couldnt believe wat had took over her.
Shiv said “If u want to stop it has to be now”
Reality struck Anandi what was she doing ??
She looked confused Shiv loosened his grip.She disengaged herself from him and stared at the fire.Even Shiv looked disturbed.
He said “sorry I…just..I dont know..I just lost control…I didnt want to hurt u”
Anandi looked at him he had a pained expression on his face.
She said “Please dont be upset..its not ur fault I should have been more careful”
Shiv said “its not ur fault.I should be in control I lost myself in guesthouse too..”
Anandi replied “No please dont say like this I was equally involved btw why are u feeling sorry ? u have not hurt me U’ll never hurt.I love u and its normal to feel attracted”
Shiv smiled ” but Its not right I dont want to dont anything before the wedding which would make u feel guilty”
Anandi was touched “Why do u think like tht.U have right over me and please dont be upset”
She came near him and turned his face towards him.”its my fault I didnt resist either I am afraid I might seem like a total desperate to u”
Shiv said “please dont even think like tht I respect u and no matter what happens I will never stop respecting u”
Anandi said “then why r u blaming urself I repect u too and I know ur intentions were never wrong.It just happened”
Shiv asked “Twice?”
Anandi replied “well seems like we r both desperate”
They both laughed
Anandi sat next to Shiv and he had his one arm supportin her.He took his hand with his other hand and said “perhaps we should talk abt this.I am attracted towards u no doubt and this satin thing is making it even more difficult”
He continued “But I wont do anything tht would be againsts ur principles”
Anandi said “I know u wont..I love u”
Shiv replied “I love u too”
Then shiv said “Btw I didnt know tht sarpanch of jaitser was scared on thunder”
Anandi hit him playfully “I am not scared of thunder I was just startled”
Shiv said “well if thunder can result in this I hope we get thunderstorm everyday”
Anandi again hit him playfully.
They sat there looking at the fire.Anandi snuggled close to him He covered themselves with a blanket.They talked for a long time about various things when anandi saw tht Shiv had slept off.She smiled at him and placed a kiss on his forehead.She dozed off too…they slept peacefully in each other’s arms.