The shock wouldn’t be an appropriate word to describe Sidharth and Shehnaaz’s state. The floor slips out from their feet with Vishamber’s one statement. Sidharth is the most shattered soul among them. Till now he considered his Dadu (Grandfather) the villain of his love story but he is not aware of this twist yet. 

Sidharth:- ( whispered ) Why did you do that? IF YOU HAD A REASON THEN, Why did you put me in a situation where I had to choose between Shehnaaz and you? 

Vishamber:- ( with a slight smile ) What if I say that I forced you to choose Shehnaaz above all? What if I say that I chose to become a villain in your love story to save you both from any harm? 

Sidharth:- What are you saying? I am not getting anything…

Shehnaaz:- ( shockingly ) Dadu, you mean to say that… you never had any problem with our relationship? I mean… you don’t have any problem with me being Sidharth’s wife? 

Vishamber:- ( smilingly ) Why would I have any problem with a girl to whom MY MANU loves to core? ( looking into Sidharth’s eyes ) Any stranger can find love in his eyes for you. Then, who am I to separate you both? 

Sidharth:- ( frustratingly ) this is so confusing!… Why did you do that? And please… be honest. 

Vishamber took a deep breath before starting to tell them about his side’s story whereas Shehnaaz grabbed Sidharth’s hand to give him the strength which he needed the most. The elders smile seeing their love. In these few weeks, they witness their eternal love for each other which makes them unique from everyone. 

Vishamber:- We… as in Me and your Dadi fixed your marriage with Shehnaaz Dixit long ago. 

Sidharth and Shehnaaz both gasped because this was the new information for both of them. 

Shehnaaz:- When? 

Vishamber:- When you were just a month old. Pandit Ji said that you both are made for each other and seeing Sidharth’s care for you we decided to let you both get married. 

Shehnaaz:- ( surprisingly ) this world is so small. 

Yashoda:- ( with a bright smile ) Surprisingly yes!…

Sidharth:- ( curiously ) When you fixed my marriage with Shehnaaz then, from where Innaya comes in between? 

Vishamber:- Sidharth, You already knew about Avantika’s plan to kidnap Shehnaaz so that she can make her daughter Innaya your wife. But her plan flopped when you brought Shehnaaz. 

Yashoda:- we only want Shehnaaz to become your wife as per Pandit Ji’s prediction but after her (eyeing Shehnaaz) kidnap Avantika manipulated Divya and Varsha to accept Innaya as your future wife in place of Shehnaaz…

Sidharth cuts her in half. 

Sidharth:- ( possessively ) HELL NO!… NO ONE CAN REPLACE Shehnaaz. 

Vishamber:- ( giggles ) I know that… no one can replace Shehnaaz in your life. So, take a chill my possessive Manu. 

Shehnaaz blushes and looks down whereas Sidharth doesn’t even care about his teasing.  

Yashoda:- Because of Avantika we accepted Innaya’s proposal for you and from that day Innaya became the apple of Varsha’s eyes. 

Vishamber:- but I never liked her. I always found her fake but I don’t have any proof to show her real self to Varsha. Innaya puts her spell on Varsha in such a way that she is not able to see anyone beyond her. Slowly Innaya starts behaving like a daughter-in-law of ours but we kept her away from you. 

Yashoda: The same is the case with Divya. She is also not ready to see any mistake of her Innaya. For her, Innaya is the most mannered girl.  

Vishamber:- But I am sure I will not let you marry Innaya. And at that exact moment, you bring Shehnaaz into our life. ( smilingly ) I liked her in the first meeting but I also read out the jealousy on Innaya’s face. Varsha is also not in a state to accept the fact that Shehnaaz is going to be your wife. ( took a sharp breath) From my experience, I can say that Innaya and Varsha would make Shehnaaz’s life hell if she stayed at home. ( stammers ) No one can even imagine if Innaya would take a drastic step to separate you both. She….. she can even kill Shehnaaz to get you. In those years somewhere I noticed Innaya’s obsession with you. 

Sidharth’s grip on Shehnaaz’s hand tightened with the mere thought of Innaya hurting his Shehnaaz to get him. 

Vishamber:- So, I decided to keep you and Shehnaaz away from everyone so that I can get time to tackle everything. I need time to show Innaya’s true self to everyone.

Yashoda:- ( emotionally ) That’s why he ( Vishamber ) chose to become a villain in my as well as your eyes. He did everything just to keep you both safe from Innaya. 

A lone tear slipped down from Sidharth’s eyes as till now he believed that his grandfather didn’t give him a chance to explain but he didn’t know that he was burning himself. He cursed himself for not trusting his inspiration. He didn’t trust the person who taught him the real meaning of love. 

Otherside, Shehnaaz also shed tears seeing her husband’s condition. She rubs his arms giving him the strength to solve everything with his grandfather. But he is ashamed of even asking sorry. He bends his head not able to meet Vishamber’s eyes who is craving his love. 

Vishamber also chokes in tears and emotionally calls his grandson. He can understand his inner turmoil that’s why he chose to start the conversation.  

Vishamber:- Sidharth… Manu, won’t you apologize to me? 

Sidharth bursts out in tears and nods his head innocently making Yashoda chuckle. 

Vishamber:- ( rudely ) Then what are you waiting for? 

Yashoda hits her husband for teasing her grandson who is crying in guilt. 

Yashoda:- ( sternly, to Vishamber ) Don’t you dare to talk to my Manu in that tone. 

Vishamber:- Sorry…

Shehnaaz giggles amidst tears seeing how Malhotras’ are scared of their wives. Actually, the Malhotras’ are not scared but it shows that they love their wives immensely and for them, they can do anything. Sidharth also giggles and hugs his Dadu making him emotional. 

Sidharth:- I am sorry… I didn’t trust you. I am sorry. 

Vishamber hugs him tightly and caresses his hair while murmuring. 

Vishamber:- Sh…shh… it was not your fault. 

Sidharth:- ( cutely ) I know but… still I am sorry. 

Vishamber rolls his eyes at his comment and smacks his head. But suddenly he broke the hug and slapped Sidharth, making him shocked. 

Sidharth:- Why?… Why did you slap me, Dadu? 

Vishamber:- because I told you to leave the house but didn’t tell you to leave the country. And what did you do? 

Sidharth:- ( cutely ) At that time, I was angry with you guys because you didn’t even give me a chance to say anything in my defense. You just forced your decision on me. 

Vishamber:- That doesn’t mean you will leave the country and you didn’t even inform your Dadi about your location. By the way, why did it take almost a year to marry Shehnaaz when you love her? 

Sidharth:- ( eyeing Shehnaaz, accusingly ) Because of her! I want to give her some time so that she can accept those changes. 

Shehnaaz looks at him with an open mouth because he is lying clearly. He is the one who wants to settle down in a new country before making her his. He is the one who wants to prove his worth in front of her Kaka. seeing her expression, the elder couple laughs. 

Shehnaaz:- ( cutely ) He is lying, Dadu. 

Vishamber:- I know! 

Sidharth twists his lips in annoyance and asks the question which suddenly arises in his mind. 

Sidharth:- Dadu, Why did you tell me this now? 

Vishamber:- because Varsha understood Shehnaaz’s value in your life. She understood that you couldn’t be happy with any other girl except Shehnaaz. So, she is not a harm to both of you and now I can have my whole family.  

Sidharth:- I can’t trust her, Dadu. Maybe she is doing drama only to get in my good books.

Yashoda:- Sidharth, your fear is valid but a mother ( pointing at herself ) can read another mother. She is guilty about what she did with you both.  

Sidharth gives a curt nod but still, he is unsure about his mother. 

Shehnaaz:- ( scaredly ) And Innaya? She has still not moved on from Sidharth. 

Vishamber:- there is nothing to get scared of because now she can’t do anything. 

Sidharth:- hope so! 

Shehnaaz relaxes a bit and moves towards her cupboard making everyone frown. She comes back in a minute and hands over a red box to Yashoda with a nervous smile. 

Shehnaaz:- Dadi, these are the bangles that you gave him as a blessing. 

Yashoda opens the box and finds her traditional bangles which she gave to Sidharth for Shehnaaz when he is leaving the house. 

Yashoda:- Why are you giving this to me back, Shehnaaz? Didn’t you like them? 

Shehnaaz:- No… No… Dadi, it’s not like that. ( hesitantly ) Actually… I know that there is a custom where the mother-in-law gives this to her Daughter-in-law and… I… I want you to make me wear this with full rights. That’s why I didn’t wear them till now because somewhere I hoped that everything would be ok one day. 

Everyone smiles seeing her demanding something for the first time. Yashoda is overwhelmed seeing the fact that she got the best daughter in the form of a daughter-in-law. Whereas Sidharth is so proud of his choice. 

Yashoda:- ( authoritatively ) OK… So prepare yummy lunch for everyone and if you pass this test then I will give you these bangles as a reward. 

Shehnaaz smiles wholeheartedly seeing the hidden smile behind Dadi’s tone. She understood that her Dadi was trying to act like a typical mother-in-law from the serials. Whereas Sidharth yelled back seeing the disappearing figures of his grandparents. 

Sidharth:- ( with a frown) Dadi… you can’t make my wife work so much. 

To be continued…

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