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C7 7

Mithran took a sip of cold beer from the bottle, and Shravan and Abhay stared at him, waiting for him to speak up.

"So?" Shravan prompted.

"Appa is adamant," Mithran finally spoke.

"About?" Abhay asked.

"About my marriage. He said he won't go in for the surgery without seeing my marriage," Mithran said.

"Who is this woman exactly? Where did she come from now?" Shravan asked.

"Don't ask me. I really have no idea. All I know is that Appa had been taking care of this girl for years. And Amma mistook him to be having a second family. Can you believe how twisted and ridiculous it is? All over a simple misunderstanding," Mithran asked grumpily.

"So what is your plan? Are you going ahead with the marriage?" Abhay asked with a frown.

"It may not be such a bad thing. Maybe Mithran is destined to marry Chaahat, and they might have a happy married life too," Shravan said, making Mithran roll his eyes.

"Not everyone would be lucky like you, Shravan," Mithran said, and Abhay nodded in agreement.

"I was just saying. It's your decision anyway," Shravan said.

"I have a plan," Mithran said.

"What plan?" Shravan asked with a frown.

"I am going to propose a three-month agreement with Chaahat," Mithran said with a smirk.

"You want a contract wedding?" Shravan asked.

"Of course not. Contract or not, after the marriage ends, I will be tagged as a divorcee. I do not want that. My plan is to tell her that the marriage will only last three months. She will definitely not agree to it. She is a village girl. There is no doubt that she would have grown up with strong beliefs in marriage and traditions. So, I am counting on her to say no," Mithran said.

"And what if she says that to your father?" Abhay asked, raising an eyebrow.

"As I said, she is from a village. She will be easy to manipulate. I will find some ways," Mithran said with a casual shrug.

"I don't know. I think you are going to mess this up," Shravan said truthfully.

"I am not. I can handle this," Mithran said.

Chaahat finished her salad and washed the plates before going to her bedroom.

Mithran Yadav had messaged her about the changes in her travel plans. She was worried about Uncle Madan. Mithran didn't tell her much about what had really happened to Uncle Madan.

All she knew was that the man who practically brought her up is hospitalized, and she knew nothing about it.

Chaahat switched off the bedside lamp and laid on the bed, staring into darkness.

Once her mind was free of everything else, memories, happy and painful, started surfacing into her mind.

Life had never been easy for her. She had lived coping with humiliation, and just when she thought she was about to have a happy life, it was snatched away from her again.


She had never been much of a believer in God, and all that had happened to her in the past two years just cemented it.

So there was no point in praying to God for the betterment of Uncle Madan. All she could do was hope.

Something she had given up on.

"When will she be here?" Madan asked his son the next evening.

"She will be here any minute, Appa. Let me just call the driver again," Mithran said and stepped out of his father's hospital bedroom.

He took his phone and dialed the driver's number.

"Babu? Have you reached yet?" Mithran asked.

"Yes, sir. We are in the hospital basement now. Madam Chaahat is waiting for the elevator," Babu Raj, the driver, answered.

"Tell her to come straight to the fifth floor. I will be waiting for her here," Mithran said and hung up the call after hearing an agreement from the other side.

"Damn! Now I will have a crying mess on my hands," Mithran spoke to himself.

He stood in front of the elevator, watching the dial pad and noting the change of number indicating each floor.

Finally! She is here.

The elevator opened, and a woman stepped out of it.

She was wearing a saree.

Chick style!

Nothing traditional like a village girl.

And she was not crying.

He had never seen such an emotionless face before.

She was looking straight at him.

"Mithran Yadav?" She was the first one to speak.

Mithran shook his head slightly and brought up a smile on his face.

"You must be Chaahat," he said.

"Yes," came the monosyllabic straight answer. That too without a responding smile.

"You must be tired after the long journey," Mithran said, wanting to get over with the pleasantries.

"Not at all, Mr. Yadav. I am absolutely fine. I would like to know more about Uncle Madan. You said you will tell me in person," Chaahat, it seems, was not into idle talk.

Mithran was totally caught off guard with her behaviour.

He had expected a crying woman to run into his father's hospital bedroom.

Instead, the woman in front of him is composed and confident.

"He is awake now. Why don't you meet him first?" he asked.

"Sure. Please lead the way, Mr. Yadav," Chaahat said, and Mithran turned around with a frown on his face.

What kind of an akdu is this girl?

No smile, no tears.

From what he understood, his father raised this woman. And yet, here she is standing like a rock, knowing that the man who raised her is hospitalised.

Mithran walked towards his father's room, and Chaahat followed him there.

"Uncle Madan," he heard her call out to the old man.

Madan opened his eyes and shot a teary smile at Chaahat.

"Come here, child," Madan called out, and Chaahat sat on the chair next to Madan.

"Uncle? How are you?" she asked.

"I am good. Now that I saw you, I am absolutely alright," Madan said.

Mithran kept watching the woman as his father talked to her, waiting for her to let out any kind of emotion.

He saw none other than the polite smile she shot at his parents when she came in.

"Marry my son, Chaahat."

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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