Thank you everybody for your lovely comments. Unfortunately, I was a little busy and couldn’t reply to them.
Those of you who have missed the previous update, here’s the link :
“What, a bachelorette party?”
“Yes, Riddhima! Just imagine how much fun we all will have together,” Ashima said excitedly. “You, me, Shruti, Rahul and Karan – our entire gang of friends enjoying as a whole.”
At the mention of her guy friends, Riddhima became surprised. “Wait, Karan and Rahul are also invited to the party? I mean, isn’t a bachelorette party supposed to be an all girl’s night out?”
“This is our very own version of bachelorette party,” quipped Ashima. “Waterloo Club, tonight at 8pm. Don’t be late.”
Riddhima said, “But I don’t like parties, and you know that. Plus, it’s at a club. All of you would be busy downing drinks, while I’ll be left alone because I’m a teetotaler.”
“Shut up! Why do you’ve to be such a bore always? Today is the last day you get to be a maiden, so why don’t we celebrate that? After marriage you’ll anyways be stuck up in that mundane life with your in-laws, husband, and kids. There literally won’t be any place for fun and friends after that….”
Riddhima became a little miffed. “I don’t agree to that, Ashima. If you have a loving husband and family, you can have your share of fun after marriage, too.”
Ashima teased, “Oh! So you can’t listen even a single word about your to-be husband, huh?”
After thinking for a while, Ashima said, “Well, I’m sorry to break it down to you, but I don’t think that your dearest Vansh might have similar thoughts as you.”
Riddhima raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”
“I am hundred percent sure that even Vansh might be having his own bachelor’s party tonight with his friends,” ushered Ashima. “And you’ve no idea how bachelor’s parties are supposed to be. They not only have drinks, music and food, but they also have scantily clad girls, too!”
“That’s absolute nonsense! My Vansh is not like that,” said Riddima getting angry. “He is a decent and sincere man, and has eyes only for me.”
However, Ashima kept continuing her rant. “But what about his friends? They might not be as decent as you think him to be.
Okay, maybe I went a little overboard with the girls’ part though, but I can bet that he has a party to attend too. So when he’s gonna have fun with his friends, why do you want to stay behind? After all, why should boys have all the fun?”
“Alright, alright,” Riddhima sighed resignedly. “I’ll come. Are you happy now?”
“Yay! I’ll inform the others right away.” Saying this, Ashima ending the phone call.
Riddhima was all ready for the party. She put on a black knee length dress and got her hair curled up.
“Bye Papa! Bye Ishaan! I’ll be late so don’t stay up for me,” she said this as she put her high heels on.
“Beta, but don’t make it too late. You know how unsafe the city can get at night.” Sushant like any other sane Indian father, was getting worried for his daughter.
“Relax Papa. You remember the driver that Vansh assigned for me? I’m going with him, so no worries.”
Sushant seemed to calm down at this.
Waving them a quick goodbye, Riddhima hopped into the backseat of the car.
“Waterloo Club,” she ordered the driver.
Without looking behind, he gave a nod and started the car.
Throughout the drive, the driver continuously kept peeping into the rearview mirror. Riddhima peered over her shoulder, and found that there wasn’t much traffic around too. She realized that the driver was perhaps finding excuses to stare at her. This creeped her out.
“Why are you peeping into the mirror every now and then? Look ahead and concentrate on your driving,” Riddhima chided him. “I’ll complain to your boss if you continue to stare at me.”
“If someone is looking so beautiful, how can I stop myself from staring at her.”
Riddhima instantly recognized that voice.
“Vansh!” she squealed in delight.
Vansh finally turned around with a wink, showing his face to her.
As soon as Riddhima saw Vansh in a driver’s attire, she started laughing uncontrollably.
“Oh my, my!” She clutched her stomach. “I never knew that the great businessman, whom the whole world fears, would dress up as a driver to secretly meet his fiancee?”
He tilted his head in her direction. “Well, there’s nothing wrong in becoming a driver for your lady.”
The car came to a stop at the traffic signal. Riddhima took her heels in her hand, and tried to climb into the front seat from behind.
Vansh facepalmed. This girl always had to do some weird thing or the other. In the ongoing process, Riddhima stumbled and landed straight in Vansh’s lap.
They became lost in each other’s gaze, when soon the continuous honking from behind, brought them back to reality.
Vansh began driving only after making sure that Riddhima had gotten seated comfortably.
“I didn’t know that you liked visiting clubs,” Vansh spoke after sometime.
“I don’t like them. Just that I had to agree to my friends when they said they’re keeping a bachelorette party for me,” said Riddhima.
“Why didn’t you tell me about this party, though?” Vansh threw the question immediately.
“Well, I thought that you must be busy with your own bachelor’s party. So….”
“You should know that I don’t do such kind of parties, Riddhima.”
Riddhima’s face lit up as an idea struck her. “Vansh, why don’t you join the party, too?”
She placed her hand on his arm, trying to convince him. “C’mon! Wasn’t it you who wanted to spend some time with me? So what’s the matter now? Plus, you only know Ashima and Rahul, but I want you to meet my other friends, too. Please, say yes.” She craned her head towards him, staring at him with puppy eyes.
Vansh finally agreed. “Fine, I’ll do it. But only for you sweetheart.”
He smirked to himself, because this was what he had wanted, and that is to accompany her to the party. But he also knew that if he himself told her this, her feminist ego would come in the way, and she wouldn’t take him along.
“But you’d have to change into something casual. You can’t possibly enter the club in this attire.” She pointed at his driver’s costume.
“I have a spare shirt in the backseat. Would you mind passing it over to me?”
Riddhima stretched her neck and ran her hand blindly through the backseat, until her hands finally landed upon one.
She handed him over a black shirt. “Here, take this.”
Vansh parked the car at a secluded place but close to the club. As he took off the driver’s uniform, Riddhima turned away, not wanting to see him bare chested.
Vansh saw this and smiled. “My soon-to-be wifey, tomorrow we are going to get married. So you better get used to seeing me without clothes.”
Riddhima did not miss the mischievous tone in his voice. Trying to feign annoyance, she said, “We aren’t married yet. So better keep these typical husband-like advices to yourself.”
When they got down the car, Vansh started scanning Riddhima up and down, causing her to look at him questioningly.
“I never saw you in such clothes before.” He leaned in closer to her, the wind scattering her hair over his face. “You look….”
“Pulchritudinous?” Riddhima tried to finish it off for him.
“Mmm….I was going to say s*xy though,” he winked at her.
Trying to suppress her smile, she said, “Can we go inside?”
Vansh forwarded his arm, around which Riddhima readily hooked her own arm.
When they went inside, Riddhima found herself nearly blinded by the blazing disco lights. The excessively loud music blasted right into her ears, sending vibrations across her body. She already started regretting her decision to come here.
She saw her friends waving at her at a distance. She reached out to them, with Vansh following her close behind.
She started introducing them one by one. “You already know Ashima and Rahul. That’s Shruti, and that is Karan.”
Vansh’s eyes narrowed as soon as he spotted Karan. He still hadn’t forgiven him for how he had troubled Riddhima.
“And this is Vansh, my fiance,” she said proudly, snuggling up against his arm.
Vansh felt touched by Riddhima’s warm gesture. He realized that he was getting insecure for nothing. Riddhima loved him a lot for what he is, irrespective of the age gap. Or else, she wouldn’t have introduced him with so much pride in front of her friends.
Ashima, on the other hand, fell into a daze after seeing Vansh in front of her. And it did not help much that he looked so much more dapper in casuals. But nonetheless, she kept her emotions under control.
But the other girl, Shruti, she literally started fangirling over him.
“Can I take a selfie with you?” she asked.
“No!” Vansh said this so rudely, that everyone started feeling uncomfortable, including Riddhima herself.
“Why though?” Shruti sounded really hurt.
“For security reasons,” told Vansh. “This is for your own good, trust me.”
She nodded as his blunt refusal finally started to make sense to her. But she at least wanted an autograph from him, which he resignedly gave.
Rahul came forward and politely shook his hand. “Pleased to meet you Vansh Sir, once again. I hope you remember me, though.”
“Hello Vansh!” Karan greeted him casually, earning him his friends’ glare.
Karan continued, “What? He is our friend, Riddhima’s fiance. So why to address him so formally? I’m sure even Vansh won’t mind….”
“Of course, I do mind it,” Vansh interjected. To be honest, he was really miffed with this guy’s offhanded behaviour. “I’d rather that you call me as Mr. Raisinghania instead. I don’t like anyone getting to overfriendly with me.”
Karan opened his mouth to argue further, but Rahul nudged him to get him to shut up.
Trying to remove the awkwardness that had seeped in, Riddhima decided to divert the topic.
As everyone started to discuss about what they were planning to do further with their MBBS and internship finally over now, Karan let out a sharp cry.
“All of you are so lucky that you all have completed your internship. But God knows what enmity the management has with me, they gave an extension of three months to me!”
Vansh smirked thinking about how he was the one who had spoken to the medical college authorities to extend Karan’s internship for few more months. Obviously, he couldn’t have remained silent after his troublesome behaviour with Riddhima. He had to teach him a lesson.
“Serves you right, Karan! You never did any of your duties properly and made me to slog instead. Now, you’ve to do everything on your own!” Riddhima taunted.
Rahul ordered drinks for everyone. Riddhima deftly chose a non-alcoholic drink.
When Karan saw Vansh opting for a glass of rum, he started his blabber once again.
“Riddhima, you always used to go on reiterating about how much you detest drinking and smoking. But your fiance thinks otherwise. If at the end of the day, you had to marry a moderate drinker like him, then what was lacking in me that you didn’t choose me?”
Riddhima choked upon her drink, while the rest of the friends exchanged uncomfortable glances with each other.
Karan soon broke out into a fit of laughter. “Chill guys! I was just joking.”
Vansh gritted under his breath. Not able to keep patience anymore, he started telling Karan off.
“Jokes look good only when they are done in a limit. But you seemed to have crossed your limits. What else can be expected from an irresponsible doctor like you, who instead of performing his duties, goes around boasting about his so-called ‘casanova adventures with the village lasses’!”
But despite this insult, Karan remained least bothered.
“I can vouch that Riddhima will be a very good wife to you, Mr. Raisinghania. I mean, when she shares every little detail about her life with you even before marriage, so you can only imagine about her loyalty towards you after marriage, too.”
Riddhima was surprised. Because as far as she remembered correctly, she hadn’t spoken about Karan to Vansh ever. Then, how come he knew this? Was he spying on her?
This seemed to make her angry and she was almost going to confront him for this. But that very moment, Vansh’s phone began to ring.
“Excuse me, I’ll have to take this,” he said when he saw that it was Gayatri on the line. “Riddhima, I’ll be back in some time.”
He stepped out of the club in order to steer away from the noise.
“Hello Vansh! Where are you, beta? Don’t tell me that you are busy with some official work even one day before your marriage.”
“I wish I could tell you this work is related to my marriage only,” said Vansh. “Anyways, why did you call me? Anything important?”
Gayatri took a deep breath. “I want to talk about Ishani.”
Vansh stiffened at Ishani’s mention. The events of the previous day and how Nandu had shed countless tears, all started running through his mind.
“Today, when Ishani didn’t attend the haldi ceremony, all the guests started gossiping amongst themselves. Just imagine, what would happen when the groom’s very sister wouldn’t attend his wedding? What would the people say?”
“I don’t care about anyone. Ishani cannot be forgiven for what she had done,” Vansh replied furiously.
“And what about Raj and his family? We already sent the invitation to them, and they’d definitely make their presence in the wedding. How would it look when Ishani herself wouldn’t be there, but her husband and in-laws would be present?
You don’t want Ishani to come to VR Mansion ever, fine. But don’t boycott her like this from such an important occasion of your life.”
Vansh realized that his Dadi was right somewhere. Things could get very awkward, and he didn’t want Raj and his family to suffer or feel uncomfortable because of Ishani’s mistake?
“Fine. She can attend the wedding. But tell her to keep a distance of one feet from me. I don’t want to see her prowling anywhere around me, Riddhima or our daughter. And as soon as the wedding is done, she should get lost that very second. Make that very clear to her.”
He hung up, not wanting to stretch this matter anymore.
When Vansh returned to the party, he was astonished to see Riddhima dancing crazily to the music.
“What’s wrong with this girl?” he wondered looking at her weird dance moves.
When Riddhima noticed Vansh approaching her, she screamed out his name and threw herself in his arms.
“Vansh….vansh!” she mumbled and tried to doze off in his embrace.
Turning doubtful, Vansh moved closer to Riddhima’s face and sniffed. Sure enough, he was hit by a strong whiff of alcohol.
“You’re drunk!” he exclaimed.
“Yes, d-drunk in the wine of y-your love,” she said in her slurred speech.
Vansh wrapped his arms around her tightly to prevent her from falling down.
“What did she drink?” he asked Ashima, who had been taking care of Riddhima in his absence.
“The last drink she took was the one with all of us,” Ashima answered.
“That means her drink was spiked!” Vansh clenched his fists. “Rahul, you were the one who ordered the drinks for everyone. So did you….”
“No, I can’t even think of doing something like this,” Rahul stuttered in nervousness.
Vansh shouted, “Then who is it? I swear whoever did this cheap act, I won’t leave that person….”
“I did it,” Karan stepped forward, grinning. “I spiked her drink. But before you say anything, Mr. Raisinghania, let me tell you that I just wanted to prank her, that’s it. And if you look at it, you should actually be grateful to me. Riddhima is totally inebriated, and instead of celebrating your wedding night tomorrow, you can do it tonight itself!”
He had barely completed his sentence, when a smack landed on his face, loud enough for everyone to pull everybody’s attention towards the scene.
Vansh grabbed his collar and pinned him against the bar counter. “So far, I only got your internship extended. But now, I’d make sure that your medical license gets cancelled even. Your career will be finished!”
Riddhima let out a shrill whistle. “Yes! Hit him more, Vansh! This man troubled me a lot during my internship days…..” Her words trailed off when Vansh lifted her up in his arms.
She hooted excitedly, swinging her arms. “I feel so light light. I feel like I’m a bird who is flying in air. Woohoo!”
Vansh simply shook his head. Tipsy Riddhima was cute, no doubt about that, but she also was pure trouble.
With a lot of difficulty, he put her in the car. When he leaned in closer to make her wear the seatbelt, he peered into her eyes. Her drunken eyes looked even more beautiful and bigger.
“Will you keep staring at me like this the whole night?” she said. “I don’t think that I’m that pretty.”
“But for me, you are,” Vansh said softly.
When Vansh began to drive the car, all of a sudden, Riddhima started pulling Vansh’s cheeks.
“You are as cute as a panda! I feel like cuddling you 24×7,” Riddhima spluttered.
Vansh made a face. This girl compared him with a panda, seriously?
But nonetheless, he decided to play along to keep her talking.
“If I’m a panda, then what are you?”
“I am a chirpy little bird who loves to fly high up in the sky.” She started flapping her hands, mimicking as if they were wings.
Vansh couldn’t help but smile at her innocence. He soon brought the car to a halt in front of Riddhima’s house.
Now, Vansh was in a fix. He couldn’t possibly take a drunk Riddhima inside for the fear of Sushant catching her in this state. He didn’t want Riddhima to feel embarrassed later on when she finally gets back to normal.
He decided to call Ishaan up for his help. All of a sudden, he felt Riddhima pulling him towards her.
“Kiss me, Vansh,” she pouted her lips.
He gently brushed her hands away off him.
“No, Riddhima. You are drunk. This is not right,” he said sternly.
“Don’t you love me?” she asked making a puppy face.
Vansh caressed her face. “Of course, I absolutely do. But my principles won’t let me do this…”
Riddhima stood still for a while before speaking the unimaginable.
“Sleep with me then.”
Vansh was left dumbstruck and open-mouthed for a minute or two. He knew Riddhima very well and was sure that this was something she wouldn’t think of suggesting, even after their marriage.
He fumbled with his words. “This is not possible. I mean…”
Vansh was interrupted by a loud giggle through the phone. He realized with horror that Ishaan had already picked up his call and happened to listen to everything.
“Did you call me up just to make me hear Dids’s and your private conversation?” he teased.
Vansh shouted, “Shut up! Riddhima has got drunk, that’s the reason why she is uttering this crap.” He later calmed himself down.
“Listen, I need to sneak Riddhima back into her room without Papa catching her in this inebriated state. And I need your help for that.”
Ishaan was about to say something when he heard Riddhima’s loud wails in the background.
“Just ignore that,” said Vansh.
Ishaan stifled his laughter and spoke, “Papa is sitting right inside the living room, waiting for Dids. But I’ll convince him to retire to his bedroom. Don’t worry, I’ve got this. Cheers to me!”
Vansh ran his hands frustratedly through his hair.
“This brother-sister duo will make me completely crazy one fine day,” he said looking at Riddhima who was now busy tearing tissue papers and littering his precious car.
Ishaan entered the living room, only to find his father watching an old movie.
“Papa, why don’t you go and have some sleep? Besides, you look so tired.”
Sushant turned off the TV, and now gave his full attention to Ishaan.
“I’ll stay awake until Riddhima returns home. Plus, how can a father possibly get any sleep when his daughter is outside the house so late at night?”
“C’mon Papa! Dids is not a kid anymore. She is even going to get married tomorrow,” Ishaan tried to explain.
“No matter how big the children grow up to be, but they’ll always remain small for the parents,” said Sushant with a faraway look in his eye.
“You really are wasting your time worrying for her. She is not alone and is in fact with Jiju….” Ishaan realized his blunder and immediately corrected himself. “I mean she is with Jiju’s ‘specially’ appointed driver. So there’s nothing to worry.”
But in spite of all this Sushant remained unfazed and refused to move even an inch from his place.
“Papa, tomorrow is Dids’ marriage, and there is so much work to be done. You should try to go to sleep early. If you want, I’ll stay up till Dids returns.” Trying to put on a serious expression, Ishaan further said, “After all, it is said that when the son grows up, it becomes hos foremost duty to lighten up the burden of responsibilities from his father’s shoulders. So I’m trying to do the same.”
Sushant finally seemed to get convinced, and decided that it was best if he headed straight to his bedroom.
“But you stay awake until Riddhima comes back….”
“Of course, of course. I’ll do that. Good night!”
As soon as Ishaan heard Sushant’s door being latched from inside, he opened the main door to let Vansh and Riddhima inside.
Taking care to not make much noise, Vansh swiftly carried Riddhima to her bedroom.
After he had laid her on her bed, he proceeded to leave. But Riddhima caught his hand instead.
“Sing a song for me,” she demanded, crossing her hands across her chest.
Vansh swallowed hard. He sang really bad, and in fact, his singing had often been compared to the bleating of a sheep.
“I don’t know how to sing,” he said.
Riddhima threw her hands up getting increasingly impatient.
“Why don’t you want to listen to me ever? You don’t want to kiss me, nor sleep with me, and now you don’t even want to sing for me?”
Vansh held her hands and tucked few strands of hair behind her ear. Looking straight into her eyes, he said, “I really want to do all these things with you, for you, but not when you aren’t even in your complete senses. I really love you a lot, and I wouldn’t do anything without a fully conscious permission from your side. Understood?”
Resting her head on the pillow, Riddhima closed her eyes, going into a slumber.
“I love you, Vansh…” she mumbled in her sleep.
“I love you, too.” He repeated while switching off the lights.
Riddhima woke up with an excruciating pain in her head. She scrutinized her surroundings and realized she was in her bedroom, but she didn’t know how she got there. The last thing she remembered was that she was chattering away with her friends at the club. Then what happened after that? And why couldn’t she recollect the succeeding events?
“Good morning!” Ishaan entered her room, carrying a glass of freshly prepared lemonade along. “Have this. It will treat all your hangover effects.”
“Hangover?” Riddhima repeated with confusion.
“You don’t remember anything, do you?” Ishaan started narrating everything to her. “You had got drunk last night and then Jiju got you home. Thankfully, Papa doesn’t know anything about this.”
Riddhima started applying stress over her mind in order to recall everything that had occurred the previous night.
With that, even all the scandalous talk that she had done with Vansh the previous night, started running through her mind, making her feel utterly ashamed.
Ishaan noticed Riddhima’s cheeks turn red. “Did you remember something else, too?” he started grinning.
When Riddhima gave him a death-stare instead, Ishaan scurried away, not wanting to become the victim of his sister’s wrath early in the morning.
As soon as he left, Riddhima started chiding herself.
“Oh God, what did I do? What was I even thinking before uttering all that? What would Vansh think of me now? This is so embarrassing! I wish either the sky should fall upon me, or the earth should open up and swallow me….”
Just then, her phone started buzzing.
Keeping her eyes half closed, she dreadfully checked the name on the screen, hoping that it wasn’t Vansh.
She literally slapped her hand across her head after seeing that it was indeed Vansh.
She tried to ignore his calls, but even he kept on ringing her up continuously.
Finally giving up, she picked up the phone.
“Good morning! How are you feeling now, Riddhima?”
“Hmmm. Last night….”
Riddhima said, sounding awfully guilty, “I’m very sorry about whatever happened last night. I don’t know what had gotten over me. I’ve always been a decent and sincere girl always. In fact, this is something unexpected for me even.”
“Perhaps you forgot your decency after seeing me in front of your eyes,” said Vansh mischievously. “And you don’t need to be sorry, sweetheart. I thoroughly enjoyed your last night’s performance. I guess you’ve been thinking too much about our wedding night lately, and hence all this….”
“Seriously Vansh? I’m already feeling so embarrassed, and instead of helping me out, you’re making me feel even worse?” she complained.
“Come on Riddhima! Didn’t you say that we were each other’s better halves? So you should know that there shouldn’t be any embarrassment, hesitation, lies or secrets between the better halves. And if it makes you feel so bad, then we’ll never talk about that incident, too. Okay?”
“Okay,” Riddhima smiled. “Thanks for being so understanding.”
“But I won’t be very understanding tonight, though,” said Vansh.
Riddhima sat up straight becoming nervous. “Excuse me! What do you mean?”
“Tonight, when you get dressed up as the bride, I want to be the first person to see you before anybody else does. Being your groom, I think I deserve at least that much of a right.”
Riddhima sighed. It was getting difficult for her to keep up with Vansh’s high ended demands. How would she keep all the ladies away from having a look at her, before Vansh could do that?
Hope you guys liked it. Do comment.