Part 20

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Cabir : "Now, let's talk about your symptoms : feeling restless, missing badly and your fear that you are going to lose her."

Manik : "Symptoms? You are talking as though I am ill."

Cabir : "It is an illness. Haven't you heard of Loveria?"

Manik : "What?"

Cabir : "It appears to me that you are in love with Nandini."

Manik : "What are you saying Cabir? She is my friend."

Cabir : "So what?"

Cabir : "Listen disciple, let saint Cabir enlighten you."

Cabir : "Is there a law or is it written somewhere that you can't fall in love with your friend? No right?"

Cabir : "There is a very thin line between friendship and love. Based on what you told me I think you have crossed that line, but you haven't realized it yet. I can only advice you, but you have to figure it out yourself. If you do love her, then don't wait till it is too late. Tell her before she goes away from you."

Cabir : "Now coming to Alya. You were attracted to her. You had similar tastes, you were together for sometime, but do you really love her? If you do, then fine."

Cabir : "Otherwise, just because you are together now, doesn't mean that you have to spend a lifetime together. Now itself, you both don't seem to be getting along. Both your tastes might change in the future, will you still be able to bear each other?"

Cabir : "I guess my job here is done. Now you have to figure out what you want and whom you want to be with."

Manik : "Thank you Guruji for your advice!"

Manik thought about what Cabir told him. So far, Manik had been thinking of Nandini only as his friend. Nandini had gradually become an integral part of Manik's life, but he started realizing it only when she was away from him. He wasn't able to pinpoint what exactly his feelings meant until now.

When he started seeing things from a different perspective and analyzing his feelings, he realized that he was indeed in love with Nandini.

Manik's thoughts : "Why couldn't I figure it out earlier?"

But with this realization, new issues also cropped up in his mind.

Manik's thoughts: "How am I going to tell it to her? What is she going to think of me? What if she doesn't feel the same for me?"

Alya was hoping that Manik would come back to her. She had blabbered everything in anger and told him not to come back to her. Now her anger had cooled down. She thought Manik will call or meet her and pacify her, but nothing of that sort happened. Though Manik told Nandini, he will take care of that matter, he didn't have any intentions of talking to Alya.

Alya felt that Manik had changed because of Nandini. If Nandini goes out of Manik's life, Manik would come back to her. So she hired two goons to harm Nandini.

On Nandini's way home, the goons blocked her way. She had to stop. She tried to put her car in reverse, but one of the goons smashed the side window and opened the door. Nandini's one hand and side of the neck was hurt because of the broken glass pieces.

One goon held Nandini's already hurt hand and tried to drag her out. Nandini's quick wit helped her. She took the pepper spray she had for safety. She sprayed their eyes with pepper spray as soon as the goons dragged her out. The goons weren't expecting that. They let go of her hand and started rubbing their eyes.

Nandini wanted to teach them a lesson so that they don't harm anyone else in the future. So she took out a rod from her car which she kept for her safety and started hitting them with it. The goons couldn't defend themselves because they couldn't see.

Goons : "Please spare us Madam. We were just carrying out orders given by Alya madam."

Nandini left them and went home.

When Manik came to his room, he saw Nandini cleaning her cuts. It pricked his heart to see her hurt.

Manik : "What happened Nandini?"

Nandini explained to him what happened. Meanwhile, Manik cleaned the cuts and applied the bandages.

Manik : "Let's file a police complaint."

Nandini hesitated before answering. Nandini didn't tell him about Alya. She didn't want that to cause any more misunderstandings between Manik and Alya.

Nandini: "No, I don't want to get involved in any police case."

Manik didn't let it go just like that. Manik traced the goons by hiring a private agency. He started hitting the goons mercilessly.

Goons : "Why are you hitting us again, Sir? We told Madam already that we were hired by Alya Madam."

Manik didn't want Alya to cause any more harm to Nandini. Mukti had asked him earlier to meet Alya and clear their misunderstandings, so he met Alya. Alya was happy thinking that Manik came back to her. He talked to her calmly this time.

Manik : "I should have made it clear to you earlier. We can't stay together. I thought you will try to understand me sooner or later, but you didn't. Last time we met, I figured out that you didn't trust me too."

Manik : "I am not telling that it is all your fault. My views have changed too. I figured out that my thinking of what was sufficient to lead a happy life together was wrong. I was infatuated with you, I don't love you. That infatuation also wore off quite sometime back. There is nothing left in our relationship, so it is best that we part our ways."

Alya : "After all Nandini did snatch you away from me."

Manik : "Don't blame her. She didn't snatch me away from you. She is legally my wife and she could have enforced her rights on me, but she never did. Instead she helped me, to meet you. Nandini knew you were responsible for the attack on her. Neither did she file a complaint against you, nor did she tell me it was you."

Manik : "I hope you will understand and not harm her anymore. I am letting it go this time. I don't want it to effect our relationship with our friends. But if it repeats, I won't be able to stop myself from taking action against you."

Next day, Manik was lying on his bed and thinking of how to proceed further. Nandini wasn't around. Mukti came to Manik.

Mukti : "Alya called and told me what happened."

Manik : "If you are here on behalf of her, let me tell you I am not going back to her. She has crossed all limits this time."

Mukti : "I am not here for her. She told me you don't love her. Then do you love Nandini?"

Manik : "Hmm..."

Mukti : "Did you tell her?"

Manik : "Not yet."

Manik : "The first day Nandini was here, I asked her for a divorce. She agreed. She knows how I have been behind Alya all this time. Now how am I going to tell her that I want her back as my wife? Even if I manage to tell her, what is she going to think?"

Manik : "I asked Nandini to be my friend and she agreed to that too. What if she considers me only as her friend now?"

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