For Rabul’s Girl…
*** Party Flashback***
“Everyone here is so stupid, na.” Bulbul whispered to Purab as they moved to sit at one of the tables the minute their host and Mr. Ambani left. Purab stared at her in confusion as they sat down. Those drinks had already seeped their way into his system and he was beginning to feel its effects. “How?” he asked.
“They all think we are engaged, yet no one realized we’re not wearing any engagement rings!” She said showing him her bare ring finger and then broke out in laughter. He chuckled too, but mainly because her laughter was so infectious…or was it the alcohol? He really didn’t know. She stopped suddenly and put a finger to his lips. “Shhh” she whispered. “Don’t let anyone know.”
Purab put his fingers to her lips also and whispered, “OK” Bulbul removed her finger from his lips and looked around sighing. “I’m bored.” she said.
“Me too” he replied. “Want to dance?” “Nah” she responded shaking her head.
“Tired?” he asked.
“Nope” she answered. “Your girlfriend will just come after you again.” “She is not my girlfriend.” he scoffed. “I don’t even know her name.”
“But she likes you alllooottt.” Bulbul said, extending her arms wide to show him how much. Purab frowned.
“Well, I don’t Iike her a lot more than that.” he stated, pointing to her widened arms. “You don’t?” Bulbul asked.
Purab shook his head.
“Nooo…” he replied.
“So who do you like, then?” she asked innocently.
Purab stared at her and smiled.
“You tell me.” he said, first pointing at her and then at himself. “Meee?”Bulbul responded. “How should I know?”
How could she not know such a simple thing? He wondered.
Then he realized she must be trying to trick him. “You’re trying to fool me, na?” he asked grinning at her.
“No. I’m not!” she responded.
“You really have no idea?” he asked. Bulbul shook her head and he moved a bit closer to her. “Take a guess…” he said, lifting a hand to her hair. “Ummm…” she replied.
Her eyes closed as Purab began stroking her hair, gently pulling it back behind her ear. “Still no idea?” he asked softly.
Still no idea about what? She asked herself.
It was hard to think of anything right now.
She couldn’t even remember what they were talking about.
Bulbul felt the excitement coursing through her as Purab brought his lips close to hers. “I…I…umm…” she stammered as Purab came even closer.
“Should I tell you?” She heard him ask. “…or show you?”
Her brain wasn’t functioning well enough right now for her to respond. He was about to close the gap between their lips, when they heard, “Hey guys!” Both of them immediately sprang apart.
Nida, Mr. Oberoi’s daughter, looked from Purab to Bulbul, not realizing what she had interrupted. “Purab, can I borrow your girl for a bit.” Nida asked.
No! Purab shouted in his mind. Go away!
Every time I get a minute alone with her, someone interrupts!
Bulbul really didn’t want to leave Purab’s side but when both of them turned to her waiting for an answer, she didn’t know what to say. Her mouth started moving on its own, and before she knew it, she had replied, “Umm…yeah sure.” She looked at Purab and before Bulbul could say anything to him, Nida pulled her away.
Why did she have to say yes? Purab wondered, as he looked across to where Bulbul stood with Nida and some other people. Couldn’t she have said, “No, thank you. I would rather stay here with the love of my life Purab”?
They were about to kiss, but that stupid Nida had to step in and ruin the moment!
The way his night was going, he didn’t think he would get another opportunity anytime soon…
Bulbul sensed someone’s gaze on her.
She turned and saw Purab looking in her direction.
Giving him one of her cutest smiles, she then turned back to her present company. That smile, he thought, had the ability to turn his perfectly good brain to mush. She was so beautiful, it made him happy just to look at her.
Is this what it felt like to be in love? he asked himself, his thoughts a bit fuzzy.
How do you know if it’s the real thing?
He was no love expert, but he was sure this feeling came pretty close. Or maybe it was just the alcohol in his system…
To tell the truth, alcohol had never made him feel this way before.
He never thought about alcohol every minute of the day… or wanted to spend all his time with it. Never wanted to take alcohol out on a date or thought about kissing it. And he sure as hell never thought about marrying it! It was all her. Since the moment she had climbed onto that boat, he thought little of anyone…or anything else! Why was he wasting time talking to himself?
He should be sharing this with her!
Purab turned his gaze back over to where she was standing, trying to give her a signal to come to him, but a crowd had gathered there now and he could barely see her.
He needed to get her away from them…but how?
He didn’t want to just pull her away from there.
They would tease him for not being able to stay a minute without his girl…
That’s what Nida had called her, he thought with a childish grin. ‘His girl’ And then he got an idea…
He would call her on the phone!
Yeah, that’s it…he would call her.
He took out his phone and tried to dial her number, but couldn’t remember it off-hand. He managed to scroll through his call log list and smiled after recognizing her name.
He then hit the call button, not realizing he missed and tapped the wrong name.
“Hello” A male voice answered.
“Hello?” Purab replied, confused by the tone of voice.
The loud music in the background didn’t help his situation either. “Bulbul? What happened to your voice?” Purab asked, “Are you coming down with the flu?”
He walked outside so he could hear “her” better.
“No idiot, it’s Akash, not Bulbul!” Akash said.
“Akash? What are you doing with Bulbul’s phone?” he asked. “Purab, you dialed my number, man. Are you drunk?”
Purab shook his head in denial, not realizing Akash couldn’t see him.
“Purab, you there?” Akash asked when he didn’t respond. “Bulbul made me drink tequila.” he confessed. “She what?” Akash asked.
“Yeah and then I drank again after that.”
Akash began worry about him. “Are you ok?” he asked Purab.
“I’m fine.” Purab replied.
“You sure?” Akash asked. “Where’s Bulbul?” “She’s here.” Purab said.
“Why were you calling her phone then?” Akash wanted to know. “I was trying to get her away from her new friends but you picked up instead.” Purab explained. “Oh” Akash said, realizing Purab pressed his number by accident. “I’m going to propose to her tonight.” Purab admitted confidently. “I think I love her.”
“What?” Akash was shocked.
He thinks he loves her?
“You sure you wanna do that now?” Akash asked. “Very sure” He replied, maintaining his level of self assurance. “Why don’t wait until another time…” Akash suggested, not wanting Purab to do something he might regret later on.
In his opinion, a confession of love should be done when both parties are in their full senses, or when you’re sure of your feelings… which was apparently not the case with Purab and he had no idea what condition Bulbul was in either. Akash had never met her, but from what he had heard from Abhi, she seemed to have made quite an impression. “You think I should wait?” Purab asked, feeling a bit disappointed. “Don’t you want me to confess my love?” “Of course I do” Akash said, trying to find the right words to make him understand. “But I don’t think now is the right time.” “Oh, ok then, I will wait.” Purab said, and Akash breathed a sigh of relief. .
“So how long should I wait? Five minutes?” Purab asked right after. “What? No, I’m just saying you should wa–….you know what…never mind…” Akash said, shaking his head, realizing Purab was too inebriated to get whatever he was saying. “Go ahead and propose. All the best bro!” “Thank you.” Purab replied sweetly, his earlier enthusiasm returning. “Are you sure you don’t want me to come get you?” Akash asked again. “I’m sure.” Purab replied. “I’m good. Will call if I need you.” “Promise?” Akash asked.
“Yeah, I promise.” Purab said.
“OK, I’m hanging up now. Bye.” Akash said.
“OK bye. Love you.” Purab said to him.
Akash laughed and then cut the call as well.
Looks like I have to go to her, Purab mumbled to himself.
He was about to go back inside to Bulbul when he heard,”All alone?” . Purab’s eyes widened as he turned to look at the one who had spoken to him. Omg! Not again!
Run Purab! he commanded himself.
Then he realised she might chase after him. Why couldn’t this girl just leave him the heck alone!
Get rid of her, Purab! he said to himself.
Else Bulbul will get angry for the second…or was it the third time?
She might never want to speak to you again after this. He smiled at the girl.
“Listen, Behen.” he said calmly.
“Behen?” She repeated in confusion.
“Yes, you are like my sister, na?” Purab explained sweetly.
Did he just call me his sister? The girl wondered.
“I’m not feeling too well right now.” he lied. “I’ve had too many drinks tonight and my stomach is a bit upset. So before I throw up on you and ruin your pretty dress, please leave from here.” The girl wore a disgusted look on her face.
No point in wasting this opportunity, he thought. “And would you be a good girl and tell Bulbul to meet me out here…thanks sis.” he added.
“Huh!” the girl huffed and immediately turned and left from there.
“…and don’t forget your brother on Rakhi Day!” he called after her.
That’s when Purab saw Bulbul standing there, trying her best to hold in her laughter.
“Well now you have three sisters…Pragya Di, Aliya…and that girl!” she said grinning at him. “Very funny.” he said. “I have been trying to meet you for the longest while!”
“Really?” she asked. “Why didn’t you come over then?”
“Nida would have teased me.” he replied.
Before she could asked for what, Purab spoke.
“Listen I have something I want to tell you.” he said, taking a deep breath. “Yeah?” she prompted.
Before he could tell her how he felt…or even before he could open his mouth to speak, she interrupted, “Ready to go?” she asked, thinking that’s probably what he wanted to say to her. What? No! He thought.
I finally have you to myself and you want to go?
He took another deep breath.
“Purab!” A voice had called out to him.
What now?! Purab shouted in his mind.
He turned toward the voice. “Hey man” the guy said. “What are you guys doing here? You’re missing out on all the fun! Let’s head back inside.” After getting interrupted one moment after the next, it didn’t look like he’d get any time alone with Bulbul here tonight, Purab thought sadly, so they might as well leave. “Actually, Rishabh, we were just about to head home.” Purab replied.
“Already? It’s only ten o’ clock.” he said.
“Yeah, I know. But we have an early day tomorrow.” Purab lied.
“Oh ok, then.” he said. “Guess we’ll hang out another time then.” “For sure” Purab replied.
“See you.” Rishabh said and then left.
He turned to Bulbul. “Let’s go.”
“Don’t you want to let our hosts know we’re leaving?” Bulbul asked.
Oh right! Purab thought. I totally forgot.
“Be back in a sec.” he said and went inside.
Purab returned ten minutes later.
“What took you so long?” she asked.
“I have the greatest respect for those two men, but they really need to ease up on the drinking.” “Ohh…” was all she said, realizing that they had cornered Purab into drinking once again. “You okay to drive?” she asked concerned. “Maybe I should drive…or we could….”
As they approached Purab’s car, Bulbul’s voice trailed off as she saw a strange man standing next to it. “Thief! Thief!” Bulbul yelled loudly.
The man realizing they were referring to him yelled. “Ma’am, I am not a thief!” He tried to explain but couldn’t as Purab held both his hands in case he tried to run away.
“Please let me go! I am not a thief!” he shouted again.
Purab stopped hearing his words.
“So who are you then?” he asked.
“I’m Ranchod, Mr. Oberoi’s driver. He asked me to take you both home.”
“Ohh” Purab and Bulbul said together, “Sorry.”
“It’s okay.” he replied. “Shall we go?”
On the drive home, Purab and Bulbul chatted with Ranchod Uncle, bombarding him with questions about his life, family etc. and he answered their numerous queries with amazing patience. They were good kids, he thought. In the midst of their conversation, Bulbul look up and noticed loud music and bright lights ahead. “What’s that?” she asked excitedly.
“That’s the New Year’s Eve Carnival.” Ranchod Uncle said. “It started about two years ago and it’s been really popular since then.” “How long is it here for?” She asked
“Not very long. Only two days.” he explained. “It runs from six o’clock in the morning on New Years Eve, till twelve 0’clock New Year’s night.” “Ohh” Bulbul replied.
“Anything special there?” Purab asked, wondering how come he never noticed it before. “There’s games, rides, food, plays, dances, shopping, mehendi, face-painting etc. This Carnival really has it all. There’s even a section where couples can g–”
He didn’t get to complete his sentence as Purab spoke. “Can we go there?” He asked the driver, noticing the excitement in Bulbul’s eyes. “Can we? Pleeeaseeee…” Bulbul pleaded.
“Sure.” The driver said, finding it hard to say no to their request.
He stopped car and turned to them, “I’ll be right here when you get out. Enjoy.”
“Okay Uncle, thank you!” Bulbul said and then she and Purab ventured inside.
This place is sooo amazing, Bulbul thought.
So much to see and do… and there were so many people here!
She and Purab walked hand in hand through the festivities and saw a lot of cool stuff…handicrafts, paintings and alot of the other activities that Ranchod Uncle had mentioned.
Having tasted one or two of the dishes there, Bulbul then cajoled Purab into trying one of the rides. They felt like throwing up afterward and stopped to look at the traditional dances while they recuperated.
Purab saw one of his friends…or maybe it was his cousin… and stopped to chat with them. After being introduced, she was now getting bored waiting for their conversation to end.
“Step right up and take our challenge!” A man shouted.
What challenge is that? Bulbul thought as curiosity got the better of her.
She always had this competitive streak and challenges were her weakness.
“I’ll be right back” she said quickly to Purab, who hadn’t heard her, and then went towards to voice. “I would like to play!” she said enthusiastically to the person in charge.
“You don’t look old enough to play this game.” The man commented.
“But I am old enough” she said smartly. “What do I have to do?”
“Ok then” The man said, giving in to her. “The name of the game is “Fast Shot”. If you can drink these three shots in less than ten seconds, you win this extremely huge talking teddy bear.”
Bulbul’s eyes lit up as she saw the beautiful stuffed animal.
“I’ll play!” she exclaimed.
“Bulbul!” Purab shouted from behind her.
“I’m here!” she answered.
“What are you doing?” he asked and the man explained the game to him as well. “I want to play too.”he said excitedly.
The shots were lined up and then the game host said, “Ready…set…go!”
One shot after the next was downed and both Purab and Bulbul emerged victorious!
They collected both stuffed animals…a bear and a dog…and went on their way.
But they got tired of carrying it around and ended it up giving it to two cute little girls who loved it even more than them. They continued to browse, stopping here and there to take in the activities.
They drifted off to the far end of the Carnival where a huge tent stood.
It was beautified with lots of lights and flowers and red, orange and gold decorations.
Bulbul looked up and saw a sign which read: “Dream Shaadi”.
Thinking it must be another fun activity, Bulbul turned to Purab. “Look!” she exclaimed. “A wedding game!”
Purab turned to where she was pointing at.
“A wedding game?” he asked puzzled.
“Yes! It will be so much fun to pretend we are married, na?” she replied.
So what if it’s only pretend, Purab thought. Atleast he was still getting married to his Bulbul.
“Let’s go play!” he said and she pulled him with her.
“Hello Sir!” Bulbul said to the elderly man with the long white beard. “What do we have to do to participate?” He gave both of them a skeptical look.
He could tell that they were intoxicated, but he saw something else in them as he looked deeper. “Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked, still looking at both of them. Both of them nodded.
Boy, they are really strict for something that’s only a game, Bulbul thought.
“Ok dear,” he said to Bulbul. “Follow Sushma. That’s the Aunty in the blue sari over there. She will inform you of what to do.” He then turned to Purab. “You, come with me. You need to register and then get ready.”
This was one authentic looking game, Purab thought as he saw the set up when he followed the elderly gentleman after finishing with the registration. There were two other couples dressed in bridal/groom attire.
They must be playing too, he thought. The man saw him looking at the other couples. “They have already gone through the ceremony.” Oh, Purab thought. They have already played. “So what made you people do this?” Purab asked the gentleman who handed him a beautiful sherwani. “A lot of couples want to start the New Year off as husband and wife, without all the fuss of having to plan an actual wedding.” he said. “So we just try to help them out a little.”
“Ohhh” Purab replied, but he was confused as ever.
How was a game going to help them start the New Year off as husband and wife? Purab didn’t want the gentleman to think he was stupid, so he kept his questions to himself.
“You must really love her to take a big decision like this.” The man commented and smiled at Purab.
Purab blushed a little and nodded.
Wait…What? Big Decision?
This man was talking as if it was the real thing and not just a game.
Guess it’s part of the package, Purab thought. To make the participants feel as though it’s authentic. “Well then I guess you are making a right choice.” he said and left Purab to change.
Bulbul took her place beside Purab.
“You look very pretty.” Purab whispered to her as she sat down.
He was looking so handsome as a groom in his red and gold sherwani. They smiled at each other and then the proceedings began, both too intoxicated to realise it wasn’t a game.
After the ceremony was completed and congratulations and blessings were in order, Bulbul turned to Purab. “Congratulations on your marriage, Mr. Khanna.” she said, extending her hand to him. “Congratulations to you too, Mrs. Khanna.” he replied, taking her outstretched hand.
Then they both began to laugh.
“Now that it’s over, can we change back now? This thing is really heavy.” she said, referring to her bridal lehenga. “I guess.” Purab replied. “I want to change too.”
After changing, Bulbul gave herself a last glance in the mirror.
Her “fake” sindoor was barely visible as it was hidden in her hair, but the “fake” mangalsutra hung on display around her neck for everyone to see. She looked at it and thought, ‘Game is over, no need to wear this now.’
A strange heavy feeling came over her as she went to remove it from her neck.
What was that? She thought for a second, but ended up removing it anyway.
Purab met her outside a few minutes later. “Can you believe they actually gave us a marriage certificate!” he said, handing it to her. “Wow, these people really go ‘all out’” Bulbul replied. “It was awesome, na?”
“Can you keep this?” she said holding out the mangalsutra to him. “There are no pockets in my dress.” “It was really fun getting married to you…even if it was pretend.” he said, taking the wedding chain from her and putting it into his jacket pocket. “But I don’t think Punditji was happy with us, especially when you kept interrupting him to ask silly questions.” “Those were important questions!” she defended.
“Really…” Purab stated. “You asked him how was it possible for a cow to jump over the moon!”
“What about you? You kept nudging me with your elbow through the entire thing!” “You were the who kept giggling!” “We both did that!” she protested “Not just me!”
“Ok fine” he said laughing. “We both did that.”
Purab stopped and looked at her.
“But I forgot to give you a wedding present.” he said playfully.
“Yes you did.” she replied and saw him moving closer toward her.
With one hand around her waist and the other cupping her cheek, Purab bent his head slightly and kissed her, totally forgetting they were in the middle of a Carnival.
And then the countdown began…. “10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1… Happy New Year!”
The crowd around cheered for the start of the New Year as Purab continued to kiss Bulbul. After a while, he lifted his head slightly and touched his forehead to hers. “Happy New Year, Mrs. Khanna.” he said softly to her.
Bulbul blushed. “Happy New Year to you too.” Caressing her cheek, he looked into her eyes.
“Bulbul, I — ” Purab started to say.
“There you are!” A voice called to them.
They both turned.
“Sushma Aunty” Bulbul said.
“You forgot this!” The lady in the blue sari said to them and handed them a parcel. “What’s this?” Purab asked.
“It’s your wedding outfits.” she replied. “You get to keep them.”
“Really!” Bulbul exclaimed. “How nice! Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, dear.” she said. “Congratulations again to you both.”
She waved goodbye to them and turned to leave.
Purab and Bulbul were making their way to the exit. “Ranchod Uncle” Bulbul said spotting him near a crowd of people. “I was looking all over for you!” The driver said as soon as he saw them. “I thought you might have gotten lost.” “No” Purab said. “We were just about to leave.”
“Oh ok. I caught you in time then.” He said. “Did you both have fun?”
“Lots!” Bulbul replied as they made their way back to the car.
Sushma Aunty slowly made her way back to the wedding area.
“Did you find them?” The man asked.
“I am puzzled by one thing.” Sushma Aunty said to him.
“What is that?” he asked.
“If you knew they were intoxicated, then why did you allow them to get married?” she asked. The man smiled.
“I was giving our groom the opportunity to claim his rights.” he explained.
“I don’t understand.” She said confused. “Destiny has a little trouble in store for them. By doing this, I was merely helping their story.” he explained. “Will he even remember this marriage?” she asked.
“He will.” The man stated. “At the right time…”
They were on their way home when a phone rang.
Purab and Bulbul both checked their phones and realized it was not ringing. “It’s my phone.” the driver said.
“Why don’t you answer it?” Bulbul asked.
“I’m driving, Ma’am.” he explained. “I will call them back as soon as I drop you off.”
“It could be important.” Purab said. “Give me the phone, I will take the call.” The driver handed the phone to Purab and he answered it. “Hello?” he said. “No. He is a bit busy at the moment. Can I take a message?”
Purab listened intently to what the other person on the line was saying and his expression changed to one of worry. “Yes, I will pass on the message, right away!” he said and hung up the phone.
“Ranchod Uncle! Your wife has said that your daughter’s health has deteriorated further.”
The driver wore a panicked look on his face.
“I will drop you both off and then I will head over there.” he said.
“Why don’t you drop us here and you drive straight home.” Purab suggested. “No Sir.” he said. “I have instructions to make sure you both reach home safely.”
“Right now your daughter is more important. Besides, my house is close by so no need to worry we will get there safely.” “What about Bulbul Madam?” he asked.
“I’ll be fine. Purab is with me.” She replied. “Your daughter needs you right now.” “Ok…if you insist…” he replied hesitantly. \
The driver dropped them off and went on his way.
The cool night air drifted around them as they walked side by side.
Bulbul grabbed Purab’s hand and he turned to smile at her.
“What a night!” she commented.
“Yeah.” he agreed. “But the night’s still not over.”
“What shall we do then?” she asked excitedly. “Want to race?”
“Okay” he said, looking ahead. “See that black and gold gate there? That will be our stopping point, ok?” Bulbul nodded.
“But why there?” she asked.
“‘Cuz that’s where I live.” he said.
“Ohh” she replied.
“And I’m absolutely sure about one thing.” He announced.
“What’s that?” she asked.
“I’m surely going to win!” He replied.
“No!” she said defiantly. “Just watch how I beat you in this race.”
“Oh really?” he asked sarcastically.
“Really” she replied confidently.
“Okay then.” he said with a smirk. “I definitely want to see you try to win by running in those thin heels.” Bulbul looked down sadly at her heels and then she started crying.
“Aaaahhh!” she wailed.
Purab’s happy expression changed at once when he saw her crying.
“Okay, I’m sorry.” He apologized. “Please stop crying.”
He bent his head searching his jacket and shirt pocket for a handkerchief or a tissue and while he was distracted, she took off her shoes and ran as fast as she could!
Purab looked up and saw her speeding up the road!
“Bulbul! This is not fair!” he shouted running after her. “You are a cheater!”
But she just laughed and kept running.
Goodness! She had alot of speed! Purab thought.
“St-stop!” He called breathlessly.
Purab finally caught up to her just as she was about to race past his house.
He held her hand and pulled her toward him, his back leaned against the gate while she fell against him, her head on his shoulder, both gasping for air.
“Y-you. Are. One. Devious. G-girl.” he breathed into her hair, his words coming out in gaps. “Cute. But. Very devious.” “That’s… what you get…. for… making fun of… me.” she replied, still trying to catch her breath. Purab let out a breathless laugh and stopped when he realized the the position they were in.
Bulbul noticed it too.
But instead of moving away, she put her arms around him in a hug and Purab reciprocated, pulling her more securely against him. This was it, he thought.
This was where he belonged…in her arms. There was no better place than this.
“We should go inside.” he said after a while, opening the remote controlled gate.
Raman, the watchman was usually here, but Purab gave him time off to spend with his family. “Wow! Nice house!” Bulbul exclaimed, as she took in the beautiful two storey home. Purab smiled.
“You can thank Pragya Di and Aliya for that.” he said. ” I put them in charge of finding a suitable place for me. When I saw how much they loved this house, I decided to buy it.”
“They really mean the world to you, don’t they?” she asked.
Purab nodded as they entered inside the house. “Just like Sarla Ma means the world to me.” she said with a smile.
Oh shit! Sarla Ma!
“Purab! Sarla Ma. She must be so worried about me…”
“Call her.” Purab said. “Let her know you are ok.”
“I can’t!” she exclaimed. “She would know I drank alcohol the minute I speak to her.”
“Send her a text then.”
“Ok. Good idea.” Bulbul replied. “But what if she calls?”
“I will handle it if she does.” Purab reassured her.
“How?” she asked.
“Will you just send the text!” he said impatiently. “It’s almost two in the morning…she won’t call.” “You don’t know Sarla Ma.” she mumbled and began writing the message:
“MA… WILL BE HOME LATE. PARTY IS AWESOME. SWEET DREAMS. LOVE YOU.” “There!” she said. “Sent!”
“Okay, cool. Let’s…” Before he could finish his sentence, Bulbul’s phone rang and Sarla Ma’s name flashed on the screen. “See? I told you she would call!” Bulbul said.
“Oh crap!” Purab panicked . “Answer it!”
“Me? No way!” Bulbul refused. “You answer it!”
“She’ll still ask for you even if I answer!” He said. “And she will definitely scold me for keeping you out this late.” “Even if I was going home, I still couldn’t go in this condition!” She retorted.
“So what would have happened if we had dropped you home?” he asked.
“My cousin-bro, Aniket, lives two houses away with his family. I would have gone there.” she said. And then the phone stopped ringing.
Both of them breathed a sigh of relief.
Then it started ringing again! “She’s calling again!” Bulbul said.
What to do now? He wondered.
Purab quickly grabbed the sound system remote and turned the music on loudly to the sounds of some upbeat track even he couldn’t recognize. “Here, give me the phone.” He said, stretching out his hand to her.
“What are you going to do?” she asked.
When she didn’t hand him the phone, he took it from her and answered it.
“Hello? Sarla Ma?” He said in the girly-est tone tone he could muster.
The noise in the background was so loud, Sarla Ma could hardly hear “Bulbul”.
“Hello Beta. Happy New Year!” she said.
“Same to you Ma!” he replied. Bulbul, who was standing right next to Purab, was shocked as she heard that voice come out of him and she began to laugh loudly. Purab put a finger to his lips, motioning her to be quiet but she couldn’t stop.
“Who’s laughing?” Sarla Ma asked, confused by all the commotion. “Umm…no one, Sarla Ma.” he replied quickly.
“Everything ok there?” she asked.
“Yeah. Everything is fine.” he replied, trying to get Bulbul to stop laughing. Finally Purab clamped his hand over her mouth, silencing her.
Bulbul subconsciously moved backwards while trying to remove Purab’s hand, when she hit the back of the sofa. “Are you sure you’re fine?” Sarla Ma asked.
“Yes Ma. I’m absolutely fine now.” He said smiling at Bulbul, who was trapped between the sofa and him. “Where is Purab?” She asked.
“He’s right here.” Purab replied and then felt Bulbul pinch his arm, ignoring the slight sting he felt. “Ok” she replied.
“OK Ma. Gotta go! See you later.” and hung up.
Purab threw Bulbul’s phone on the sofa and turned back to her.
“Well Ms. Mishra…” he said looking directly at her. “Care to tell me what was so funny?”
Bulbul couldn’t reply because Purab’s hand was still on her mouth.
“Well..?” he asked, waiting for her answer.
She directed her gaze to his hand and he finally realized why she wasn’t replying. “Oh” he said, removing his hand, “Sorry.”
Then Purab’s phone rang.
Who could be calling at this hour? He wondered.
He looked at his phone’s screen and saw Abhi’s name and answered.
While Purab was on his phone, Bulbul quickly moved away from him and headed over to the sofa.
After ending his conversation with Abhi, Purab quickly looked around for Bulbul and saw her on the sofa. He went over to her and smiled as he saw that she was fast asleep.
Should he leave her asleep here? He wondered, but then decided that she would be more comfortable in a bed. Without thinking he quickly scooped her up in his arms and took her to his room.
She would have been a lot easier to carry if he was more sober, he thought, but somehow he managed. Why are you taking her to your room? he asked himself as the question just popped into his mind.
There are three others you could have chosen. My room is closer, he reasoned, trying to defend his actions. But deep down, he knew that wasn’t it.
He wanted her here.
It felt like she belonged here…with him.
Purab rested her gently on the bed, covering her with a blanket and looked down at her delicately sleeping frame. He was finding it hard to go away from Bulbul. He wanted to stay here just to be near her.
Taking a deep breath, he kissed her forehead, turned off the light and then forced himself to leave.
Purab headed straight for his phone and saw the messages he had neglected to read all evening, most of them New Year wishes. He sat on the sofa skimming through it, trying to determine whether he was up to replying to them now or not. Purab then decided against it as he really wasn’t in the mood. Stripping off his jacket and shirt, he laid down on the sofa and closed his eyes and fell asleep thinking of the gorgeous girl sleeping in his bed.
“Nooooo!” A voice screamed, jolting him awake.
What th-? He wondered, looking around.
There was nothing but silence for a few seconds and then Purab heard it again.
“Leave me alone, you Psycho!”
Bulbul! He thought as his mind came to the realization.
Purab quickly scampered off the sofa and ran to his room.
Turning on the lights, he looked to the bed and saw her twisting her head from side to side, yelling abuses at the person in her dream. He went over to her, sat on the bed and lightly tapped her on the shoulder.
“Bulbul! Wake up.” he said to her. Silence.
She seemed to have stopped, but then it started again.
“Bulbul! Wake up!” he called, shaking her. “You’re having a bad dream!”
Her eyes opened and she turned them in his direction.
She sprang up from the bed and landed straight into his arms. “It’s okay.” Purab said to her, stroking his fingers down her back in a soothing manner. “It was just a bad dream. You’re safe.” He could hold her like this forever, he thought.
Bulbul didn’t want to let go. She felt safe here in his arms.
“Your shirt is missing.” she said.
Purab laughed softly.
“Yeah.” he agreed. “Shall I go get it?”
“Na” she said. “It’s fine.” After a while, when he thought she was okay, he gently laid her back on the bed, but she was still latched on to him. He turned to look at her and saw her staring at him. She caressed his face, looking at him with those bright, beautiful eyes and Purab was lost.
Forgetting everything else, he bent his head and kissed her.
He couldn’t help it! He was weak when it came to this woman!
Bulbul was no help either. She was just encouraging him by returning his kiss. The next thing he knew, he was lifting his head and moving away from her. “I-I should go.” he said, quickly getting up.
“What? No. Wait. Don’t go.” she said, her mind still reeling from his kiss. “Stay with me…please.” Not in that bed! he thought. His usual iron-clad restraint had developed a few cracks…thanks to her.
No other woman had ever affected him this way…or this much.
But still, Purab’s values were ingrained strongly into his psyche.
No matter how much he wanted to be with her, he would have to fight it. “I can’t” he replied. “We can’t…” “Why not?” she asked. “Are you afraid that I will take advantage of you?”
Nothing would make me happier, he thought.
“Yeah” He teased. “That’s it.”
“Okay. If I promise your respect is safe with me, will you stay?” she said, trying to keep a straight face. Purab blew out a breath, finally giving into her wishes.
He moved over to the bed and got in beside her.
Bulbul moved closer to him and he gathered her in his arms, with her head resting on his shoulder and her hand on his chest.
Having her in his arms like this was the greatest feeling in the world, Purab thought.
It felt like they were married.
Too bad that ceremony tonight was only play.
He could see himself being married to her.
Sharing a life with her…having kids.
They would be beautiful and smart… just like their mother.
Suddenly, the overwhelming desire to bare his heart out to her was back once again. He had to tell her how he felt. “Bulbul?” he called softly.
“Hmm…?” she mumbled, half asleep.
“I love you” he said.
“Okay” she mumbled and then spoke another set of words which he had trouble understanding.
Purab laughed softly as he realized she was talking in her sleep.
They would have their talk later, he thought.
Pulling her even closer, he kissed the top of her head, closed his eyes and went to sleep.
Precap: The Final Part of Rabul’s Story.
Sorry for being late once again. I’m sure you are used to this by now lol.
Hope the epi is not too long…trying to make up for the times I didn’t update.
Sorry for any mistakes…and thank you Lopez for all your help. 🙂
Di: Bulbul’s parents are like that because wealth and status are all that matters to them…even more than their daughter!
And they are willing to do anything to maintain or elevate their status in society…even if it means kidnapping their daughter and forcing her to marry against her wishes.
As long as it raises their position in society, that’s all they care about.
Di, Reshma, Vigan, Rabul’s Girl, Saranya, Suhani, Achu, Lopez,
Shabana, SamyuSam, Abhigya31, Maha, Lokha & Priyanka.
for all you comments in the previous epi.
Special thanks to those who read my other story “The Naughty Princess”.
It was initially intended to be just an OS but I decided to continue because you guys liked it so much.
Let me know what you thought of this epi…
Till next time…take care..Bye..Love you!