|Dolls created by Jayashree Karthik|
Ranveer had dropped Chanda at her hostel just a couple of minutes before 10 pm. She had watched him driving away and felt a sense of being abandoned. She went up to her room and was glad that it was one of those rare times when all her roommates were already fast asleep.
She had a wash and quickly changed into her pajamas. She quietly let herself out into the balcony and closed the door gently behind her. The weather was quite cold. But Chanda felt soothed by it as her body felt hot. She realized that her attraction to Ranveer had multiplied many times over and her body craved his touch.
Chanda tucked her arms around herself as she felt her nipples tighten as she thought of Ranveer. They had sat quite close to each other at the crowded restaurant, his thigh resting against hers. He had not appeared to be all that disturbed by her nearness. She had been so conscious that swallowing her dinner had been a difficult task. She had taken small bites of her portion, pretending to eat and listening to him talk. Not that he had said much, but then, that was typically Ranveer. She did not mind his silences and she knew that he was very much with her mentally. Chanda was the chatterbox, but tonight, her brain had totally scrambled and she could not form the sentences that would have made any kind of sense.
Chanda stared at the sky, not quite seeing the waxing moon or the stars. She could see Ranveer’s handsome countenance in her mind’s eye. What made him tick? It was apparent that he was single. It was also very obvious that he liked being with her. But did that mean that he would be interested in her for the long haul? Did it matter? She had been married to Veerendra at the age of eight and that was supposed to have been until death had parted them. And see what had happened!
All these years, Chanda had not gone out with men on dates, had thought it was wrong to feel attracted to someone and had never got very close physically to any male other than her family members. But now that she had spent time with Ranveer and got to know him a little more every day, she could not help dreaming of a future with Ranveer. Would that be possible?
A deep sigh shook Chanda’s very being. It had been barely an hour since they parted company and she already missed him. She could not wait for the morning when she will be seeing him at work. She wondered how it would feel to be kissed by Ranveer. She had noticed that his lips were dark, those of a smoker. While it was obvious that he smoked, he had not done so in her presence. What would it be like to feel those masculine lips on hers? Chanda felt goose-bumps all over her body.
Tch! She wished she had a little more experience when it came to dealing with men. How could she show Ranveer that she was attracted to him and she would like to be kissed? Chanda did not sleep very well that night as her mind went through many scenarios where Ranveer held her close and kissed her.
RANVEER REACHED HIS ROWHOUSE AND PARKED THE CAR IN THE PORTICO. Dinner had been good only he had not tasted much of it. There had been a space crunch at the crowded restaurant and he had been forced to sit extremely close to Chanda, their bodies touching. Ranveer had had a difficult time concentrating on his food. Surprisingly, the usually effervescent Chanda had been quite quiet. Had she been upset with the seating arrangement?
Ranveer was totally attracted to Chanda and was keen to take their relationship a step further, only he did not know how. The couple of women he had dated had known the score. They had been closer to him in age and had been on the lookout for some fun. Chanda was very different from them. For one, she was very young and innocent. She probably would want to enter a relationship for keeps. But was he ready for it? And there was his marriage – true that it had happened when he had been barely thirteen and will not hold up in a court of law. But there was the moral commitment. He had married that kid in a religious ceremony. That needed to be nullified before he got into a serious relationship with someone else. What a snarl!
While the physical chemistry with his former girlfriends had been good, the way he vibed with Chanda was a class apart. They got along so well mentally and he so enjoyed her enthusiasm for life. More than anything was her honesty. That definitely was a rarity these days. She tended to speak her mind. While Ranveer had been shocked in the beginning, he had got so used to it now and looked forward to her comments. He could trust her and that had not happened since Dave and Jane.
Ranveer turned around restlessly on his huge double bed. Sleep had become elusive since he had met Chanda and it was high time he did something about it.
MOHAN HAD FINALLY MANAGED TO CONVINCE CHOUDHRYJI THAT HE SHOULD SEND SURENDRA OVER TO JAIPUR. A couple of days later, Mohan went to the station to pick up his daughter’s father-in-law. Surendra had visited Jaipur just once and that had been many years ago. He very rarely left his village.
He was astounded to see Mohan’s bungalow. It appeared like a luxurious palace to him. Mohan’s sons had all grown up so much. The respect they showed Surendra brought tears to his eyes. He had expected them to be hostile after the way Veerendra had treated their sister. But the boys were all so generous and nice. Surendra’s eyes searched the surroundings for his daughter-in-law. She had been a lovely child and he was sure she must have grown up into a beautiful young woman. But he could not see her anywhere. And he felt that he did not have the right to enquire about her.
Meera was extremely forthcoming. She explained to Surendra that Chanda lived in a hostel in Delhi and studied there. Surendra was amazed. Mohan’s family appeared to have progressed so much. Veerendra had had no education and leaving home had kept him away from the farm that belonged to the family. The boy was not trained to make a living. Surendra’s lips drooped. He was worried that Veera would be no match for his educated wife now. He wondered how an astrologer would be of help at this point. When Mohan had given them so much hope when he had visited their home, Surendra had been pepped up and looking forward to some kind of a breakthrough. But now, seeing how Chanda’s family lived an all-together different lifestyle, Surendra was not so sure.
Will they be able to accept Veerendra even if they found the boy?