Nan:- ( tracing her nose with his nose making his breath heavy ) so what do you think about this Nandini?

Ma:- ( with closed eyes while biting his lower lip ) hmmm…..

Nandini looks towards Manik to see him lost in her land. She moves downwards towards his lips. He thought that she would kiss him but she had some other thoughts. She touches her lips with his but moves back immediately and stands near the bed.

Nan :- ( innocently ) Manik stands up na ….. Everyone must be finding us downstairs.  We have to go down. Why are you sleeping at this time? 

This broke Manik’s trance and he opened his eyes immediately. He looks towards Nandini who is looking at him confusingly with an innocent pout.

Ma:- ( frowning ) am I sleeping?

Nan:- ( innocence is dripping from her face ) when did you sleep?

Manik is thinking about all this but suddenly he noticed Nandini’s smile and understood her teasing.

Ma:- ( with a devilish grin ) Nandini, I recently saw a dream in which you are kissing me…I am thinking why not make my dream come true. What’s say????

Listening to him, Nandini’s smile vanished in a nanosecond. 

Nan:- No… I think we should go down. It’s your sister’s wedding. So, you should be there, not here.

Ma:- I know but one kiss won’t take much time.

Here this sweet Nok-Jhok is ongoing but downstairs the atmosphere is not less than any fish market. Raj is finding Raman and Manik but they both are out of his reach. He is continuously cursing them.

Raj:- ( to Ishita ) Did you see VIKRAM OR BETAL?

Ish:- Vikram betal? ….. Why are you asking this? I saw this serial long back when I was a kid.

Raj :- Noo noo I mean Manik and Raman.

Ish:- Then, why are you asking about Vikram and betal?

Raj:- ( irritatingly ) I am sorry it’s my mistake … You go and do your gossip.

Ish:- hey … Why do all the men think that all the women gossip whenever they meet? I never did that.

Raj:- ( mocking ) ya… Ya and I don’t have ears.

Ishita goes from there while shooting daggers at him.

Raj:- ( to himself ) where did Vikram betal go?

Ram:- Who is Vikram betaal?

Raj:- When did you come?

Ram:- when you are remembering Vikram betal!….. Now, tell me who were they?

Raj:- ( thought ) no….. Raj no… don’t tell him… If he gets to know that you are calling him betal then he will roast you in the oven. 

Ram:- what are you thinking? Tell me fast, I am waiting.

Raj:- Ummm… Nothing!!!

Suddenly Ishita and Nyonika came towards them.

Nyo:- ( confused ) what “nothing”, Raj?

Listening to her, Raj palmed his face. 

Ram:- ( unknowingly he said ) Vikram or betal.

Nyo:- who were they?

Raman shrugged his shoulders in confusion but to Raj’s displeasure, Ishita spoke.

Ish:- Vikram or betaal means Manik and you. ( pointing towards Raman ) 

Ram:- ( confusingly ) Manik and me?? How do you know?

Ish:- because Bhai Sahab ( Raj ) himself told me.

Raj gulps his saliva in tension and excuses to save himself from Raman. 

Raj:- excuse me guys … I think Alya is calling me. 

Ram:- ( gritted teeth ) really?

Nyo:- No Raj, see she is sitting there and enjoying with her friends.

Listening to her, Raj looks at the ceiling with a thought. 


Ram:- ( while gritting his teeth ) Raj….. we need to talk.

Raj closed his eyes in fear and nodded like a scared kitten.

Ish:- what happened, Raman? Why are you sounding stressed?

Raj:- ( thought ) stressed and he …….. No way!!!, why will he be stressed? ( After a few seconds ) yaa….. He must be stressed about where he will hide my dead body after murdering me ……. No raj….. be positive. (confidently ) For just one small thing he wouldn’t kill you. You are just going to have one broken leg or some bruises here and there and nothing more. Trust him!

He comes out from his land when he finds himself being dragged by Raman.

Raman pushes him inside the storeroom and glares at him. 

Raj:- ( trying to lighten the atmosphere ) stop doing all this stuff. What will people think about us? I know you love me but you have to understand that now we both have our separate lives. 

Raman ignores all his drama.

Ram:- ( angrily ) would you like to explain to me your theory of VIKRAM AND BETAL.

Raj:- NO……

And that is it. He makes the wrong decision in his life. Without saying anything Raman moves towards him and holds his neck in his tight grip, choking him.

Ram:- I am asking you one more time.

Raj is literally shivering in fear and joins his both hands together. 

Raj:- Bhai…. please don’t kill me. I am too young. I want to see my daughter and son’s wedding. I will tell you everything but please leave me. 

Raman leaves him and moves back. 

Ram:- now tell me why you compared me with those names.

Raj:- ( as a matter of fact ) not with those names. I compared you with betal.

Ram:- and who is this betal?

Raj:- he is a type of ghost who always sticks around Vikram. And Vikram is the hero of that storybook.

Ram:- ( suspiciously ) and Manik is THE VIKRAM here?

Raj:- ( the word slipped out from his tongue ) yes ……….( When the realization hits him, he makes a scared face ) is it too late for rectifying my mistake?

Raman sarcastically nods his head in yes.

Ram:- ( sarcastically ) care to explain to me your theory.

Raj:- but first promise me that you won’t beat me.

Ram:- ( after thinking ) ok… I promise.

Raj:- ( thought ) how can he agree so soon? Something is going on in his mind.

( To Raman ) swear on Nandini that you won’t beat me.

Ram:- ( with gritted teeth ) I swear on Nandini that I won’t beat you.

Raj:- ( signed in relief ) actually the betal is a problem maker who creates lots of trouble in the life of Vikram. Vikram is a gentleman. Betaal always sticks with Vikram. And the case is the Same with you and Manik. You always keep your eyes on Manik and create problems for him.

After listening to him Raman glared at him hard. He wants to rip his head from his body but he can’t. He quickly moves out of the storeroom and locks it from outside.

Ram:- now stay here until unless someone will come and rescue you.

Raj:- ( banging the door ) it’s not a Disney movie and I am not a princess that some prince will come and rescue me and we both will share a kiss. Ewww…… It’s horrible. I can’t even think like that. 

Ram:- is it a joke for you?? I am going …..bye. Just wait for your prince charming.

Raj:- hey, Raman I am thinking why always princes come for princess rescue why not princess come for her prince rescue. I am sure that this time the princess will rescue her prince.

Ram:- then stay here until your princess will come. I am going to find Manik, I haven’t seen him for so long. I will not leave him if I find him with my daughter.

Raj:- ( disbelief ) and he said that he is not a betal.

Without giving him a reply he left from there to find Manik. After half an hour someone opened the storeroom door and frowned seeing Raj there.

Raj:- see I told him that this time princess will come for his prince’s rescue and see you come. 

Nan:- what are you saying, uncle?

Raj:- ( wipes his fake tears ) you won’t understand.

Nan:- but what are you doing here?

Raj:- me….. ( Thought ) no Raj! what would you say to her that her father locked you here. What will she think about me? No!!! you won’t tell her anything. You have to impress your daughter-in-law. 

Nan:- hellooo?????

Raj:- ( instantly ) hello! Who is there?

Nan:- uff….. Uncle, you are not talking on the phone. 

Raj:- ohh… Sorry.

Nan:- Now, tell me what are you doing in this room?

Raj:- umm….. I came here to clean the room.

Nan:- seriously? Leaving your daughter’s function down there you come here to clean the damn storeroom.

Raj:- ohh…… How can I forget this? Come let’s go down. 

Saying this he went downstairs escaping from her interrogation.

Nan:- Am I living in a mental asylum? Hopefully no……

Everyone is sitting together in the living area and having a gala time together. Suddenly everyone heard a manly shout.

Man:- where are you to be bride???

Hearing the sound Manik curled his hand into a fist. How can he forget the most irritating voice in the town? His angry expression is witnessed by Raj which makes him confused.

Ma:- ( to Alya ) did you invite him?

Al:- yup!!

Ma:- ( controlling his anger ) why??

Al:- what do you mean by why? He is family!

Ma:- ( mummers ) family my foot.

To be continued…

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