“I saw someone kiss me in my dreams and you know who it was !!Guess!!”
“Wait!! Manav! Is it?” Deepali asked.
Sikha nodded her head silently. She felt shy and embarrassed at the same point in time. She knew she had to face him again this morning and things will not be easy and she had to be strong.
As she reached the office, she just prayed to keep her mind calm and get done with the day. She sat on her chair in the corner of her cubicle unable to focus on the task at hand as her mind went back again and again to the dream which she had seen in the morning.
She received a call from Mr. Iyer to meet him in his cabin. Sikha went into the washroom, splashed some water on her face, re-touched her makeup, and felt ready to face the day. But the moment she entered the cabin, she felt she just lost the battle. Manav was already sitting in there. She took in a long breath.
“Sikha, please come in. I have a great news for you. Come come.”
Sikha sat in the chair in front of Mr. Iyer. Her skin was very close to Manav who was seated next to him and she was already feeling uncomfortable.
“See, the good news is our client has a generous heart. They have invited two people from our organization to have a client visit workshop for two days and study their endeavors. They are kind of a very passionate bunch and they think, in this way, we will be able to build a great brand for them. So, I have suggested you and Manav to go. And do you know, where will this be? It will be in The Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur. Can you even imagine! You people have to give your best and guys do enjoy your time. Udaipur is a beautiful city. Make me proud guys.” Mr. Iyer said.
After a long pause, both Sikha and Manav just nodded their heads in silence.
Udaipur, the city of lakes definitely had mesmerizing effects, Sikha. She felt alive after a long time. Her entire journey which was in an eerie silence, instantly felt vanishing when she soaked in the beautiful ambience of the city of Rajasthan. The Taj Lake Palace, which feels like a beautiful island situated amidst Lake Pichola was beyond beautiful. The new clients were extremely hospitable and equally very focused on their project. Two days went by quickly with back-to-back meetings where all the concerned members were busy drawing strategies to design the perfect brand image for the new entrepreneurs in the fabric market in India. Sikha had suggested marketing through various fashion magazines and also using influencers on social media to woo the target audience and it had been highly appreciated. Manav had been a great co-worker and his accurate number-crunching ability did earn the desired trust of the entrepreneurs. After the final deals were signed, the client suggested Sikha & Manav to visit the beautiful city and enjoy their stay.
As Manav & Sikha took their tour with the guide that evening, the enchanting vibes made their magic work on both of them. Manav wore a white Shirt casually tucked into his denim and wore his watch in his right hand. His neatly trimmed beard, his bushy hair, and his Ray-bans made him look picture-perfect as the guide took his pictures against the royal backdrops. Sikha looked on quietly as she was trying hard to control all her emotions. The picture of the vivid dream was still so fresh in her memory and it made her blush from time to time.
Sikha wore a pink Bandhini Saree which she had bought from the local market. She paired them with long dangling earrings. Manav had been noticing her, her mannerisms in silence and it was too difficult for him to control his urge. She felt like a river flowing as she moved swiftly alongside him silently, her presence captivating his soul.
After the visit to the main places of importance was over, Sikha hurried towards her room. After all, tonight was the last night when all these uncomfortable encounters will be over and she can go into her own space. Manav was talking to the driver as he wanted to know more about the city while giving him his tip. Just then there was a sound and as Manav turned around, he saw Sikha on the ground with a twisted leg. He ran towards her after directing the driver to leave. He quickly went up to her, knelt down beside her, and adjusted her pallu over her blouse that had not been in its proper place. Sikha had closed her eyes in embarrassment, cursing her own clumsiness. Manav took her in his arms and whispered in her ears, “ Sikha, it is okay. No one has seen and those who have seen do not know you. The clients are definitely not here, so we are safe! It is okay.” He silently winked at the Hotel staff and they too understood his signal. Soon the alley leading up to Sikha’s room was empty.
Sikha buried her face in his chest and just could not revolt. Manav’s touch was enough to make her feel numb with shock, the electrifying shivers going down sharply through her spine. She just wanted to be in her room and close the doors.
Manav entered the room and let Sikha sit on the bed. She sat with her face turned towards a side. Manav paused for a while anticipating to hear from her but she said nothing.
“So, I am leaving. We have an early morning flight tomorrow. So, see you in the morning.” Manav said and went up to the door.
“Hmmm,” Sikha managed to say.
Manav was about to exit when he suddenly turned back and he quickly came towards Sikha and held her in both his arms in a tight grip.
“Hmmm… Just that. All you have to say is Hmmm… WHY Sikha … Why did you leave that morning without telling me? You did not think about informing me. Do you even understand how devasted I was to not find a trace of you after that night. Why the hell did you vanish all of a sudden! WHY?”
Sikha felt his nails dig deep into her flesh and it hurt…hurt like hell but she liked being held close to him, as she looked into Manav’s eyes . They looked like an ocean filled with questions.
“Why Sikha? Answer me for God’s sake?”
PS: To be continued.
This blog post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z2023
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2 Comments Add yours
Yes Sikha, we need some answers!!
Finally, we will get the answers!!