4. CHOOSING LOVE

Manik :-  ( crying ) dadu…. what are you saying ? It’s a prank right ?  Please stop this prank here. I am getting scared.

Vishamber :- ( authoritatively ) Manik, I don’t want any discussion on this topic . You have to leave her. And get married to innaya. This is my final decision.

Shocked is a very underrated word to describe manik’s state . It’s just like that someone told him to jump down from the cliff. He can’t even think about leaving Nandini in his dreams. And here they are separating him from his soul.

 Nandini is standing numb with tears falling down from her eyes. The smile which she always wears is not on her lips this time. She just wants all this to become her dream and when she opens her eyes everything will become fine.

Innaya smiles dangerously seeing everyone standing against Manik or precisely supporting  her . But her smile fades away after listening to Manik’s reply. 

Manik :- No …. The answer is a big NO dadu. Never in my dream did I think to leave nandini’s hand . ( Smiles and stood beside Nandini and interweaved her hand with his tightly and gave a reassuring smile to her ) Dadu , you taught me how to love . You taught me how to develop relationships . Now you are saying that I should leave my love and move on with the girl to whom I consider just a family friend. ( Smiles sarcastically ) You never taught me to give up easily no matter what, so why should I  give up on her now? Why should I cheat her? SHE IS THE ONE WHAT MY HEART WANTS. I held her  hand for forever , I promised her to stay with her till I am alive . Tell me one thing dadu , you also had a love marriage. If this happens with you then , you would leave dadi like that ? Will you stay happy without your soul?

Vishamber :- ( angrily ) MANIK…….

Manik :- ( smiles painfully ) see dadu, you can’t even be able to hear this. You can’t even think about a moment without dadi ( grandmom ) in your life. So how can I leave her like that? How can I live without MY LOVE.

Varsha :- Manik this is the way to talk with your dadu. ( grandfather )

Manik :- noo…..no… completely not. I didn’t mean to insult anyone. It’s just that dadu taught me to take a stand for your loved ones. And I am doing that only by standing with my love.

Varsha :- by going against your family. This is the manners which I taught you. ( With venom in eyes for nandini ) Really , I don’t know what kind of black magic she did on you. That you can’t see how much innaya loves you. You become blind in your so-called love, manik. 

She points towards Innaya who is shedding crocodile tears. Whereas all dixit families keep standing there and glaring Nandini except the elder mrs. Dixit . They all are accusing her for this drama. 

Manik :- ( little angry ) maa…. Please don’t use bad words for her. There is no fault of her’s. It’s my wish to be with her. And I don’t think that I committed a sin. I just gave my heart to its rightful owner.

Vishamber :- ( angrily ) Manik , you forgot your manners. Is this the way to behave with your mother? I had enough of this. Now I need a clear answer from you. ( saying this he moves behind the sofa and Turns his back towards everyone )Now you have to choose between your love and your family. Mark my words manik,  if you choose YOUR LOVE then you are free to leave my house. There is no place for this girl in my home. ( pointing towards nandini )

Manik stumbled upon Vishember’s decision. Whereas Nandini felt guilty for splitting such an amazing family, her tears are unstoppable.

Yashoda moves towards her husband to stop him from doing this but he doesn’t even let her speak.

Nandini’s grip on Manik’s hands gets tight. She is scared to lose him. NO, she doesn’t have any doubt on her love but she knows how much Manik loves his family. How much his family matters to him. She is scared for Manik. She doesn’t want him to choose between her and his family but now she can’t do anything.

Nandini pressed Manik’s hands more tightly to bring him back from his shocked zone. Manik looks towards her in a daze. Nandini told him to choose his family through eyes. She is not going away from him. He smiles knowing how selfless she is . She always gives priorities to others.

Vishamber :- ( still his back faced everyone ) I am waiting for your decision Manik.

Innaya smiles inwardly and shows her fake tears . She knows that Manik cares for his family a lot . She knows that for Manik his first priority is always his family . So, she is sure that Manik will choose his family and after that he will marry her. And she will become the MRS. MANIK MALHOTRA soon . The queen of the Malhotra empire.

Manik :- I CHOOSE NANDINI……..

Everyone is shocked . Because they thought that Manik would choose his family . But here he chose his love over his family. But there are two ladies who are happy with his decision . They are none other than mrs. Yashoda Malhotra and Mrs.kiran dixit.

Manik :- yup!!!!!! I choose nandini over everything again and again. I know that I will die when she will not be there beside me.

Nandini is shocked listening to his answer. She is nodding her head in the negative as if saying “Manik this is wrong”. Ignoring her, Manik continues. 

Manik :- ( determined ) yes, dadu I choose Nandini . Because I don’t want to lose such an innocent and selfless girl . ( Smiles towards Nandini ) See, she is telling me to choose you guys, breaking her heart. She knows my happiness lies in you guys that’s why she is telling me to choose you, but she is wrong . ( Seeing in Nandini’s eyes lovingly ) she doesn’t know what would I do with this happiness when I can’t even take a single breath without her.

Varsha :- you will regret it, manik.

Manik :- No….. I know that I won’t regret this decision of mine ever. 

Vishamber :- ( firmly ) so, this is your last decision?

Manik :- yes…

Varsha :- ( crying ) what are you saying Manik? You will regret this decision . I don’t know what black-magic this unlucky girl did on you.

Saying this she moves towards Nandini to slap her.  But before she does anything Manik comes in between and hides nandini behind himself and stands in front of her like a shield for protecting her.

Manik :- ( angrily ) mom…… I can’t bear any scratch on her. And I don’t want to do anything which I will regret later. So move aside. Don’t you dare to come near her. 

Vishamber :- ( angrily ) Manik you crossed your all limits.  If you chose her then leave this house right now . And live with your so-called love. 

Varsha :- ( crying ) what?? Please dad don’t do this . How can I live without my manu . ( Turning towards her husband ) Why are you not saying anything? Stop him na Parveen please ….. Stop him.

Parveen :- ( consoling his wife ) it’s his decision varsha . Let him do whatever he wants to do. If he thinks that this decision is good for him then let him live his life in his own way. 

Manik moves towards his room to bring all his documents , passports etc . Yashoda too moves towards her room to bring something important.

Manik is packing his documents in a bag. At the same time his dadi came into the room with a box in her hand.  Seeing her, Manik sat down on bed tiredly and plamed his face with both of his hands. 

Manik :- dadi, did I do something wrong?

Yashoda :- you are having second thoughts for loving nandini? You are doubting your love?

Manik :- ( immediately ) NO…… i didn’t mean that. I will never regret loving nandini.

Yashoda smiled in response and stood in front of him. Then she cupped his both cheeks with her hands.

Yashoda :- what’s your heart says Manik? 

Manik kept looking at her and she got her answer in nano second .

Yashoda :- you did the right thing,manu . I am proud of you my son, it’s very difficult to take a stand for your love after going against your whole family.  It needs guts.  ( To lighten the atmosphere ) I must say manu my soon to be BAHU (granddaughter in law) is so beautiful.  You both look good together.  Never ever leave her alone ok. Nahi toh I will beat you with a broom . ( Both chuckled at this ) waise, where do you find this innocent doll? ( Both laughs at this ) Manik always keeps her happy. I know that you do that, because love for her is clearly visible in your eyes. 

Saying this she forwards a box to him which she bought with her. Manik frowned and raised his eyebrows asking “what is this”.

Yashoda :- yeah khandani bangles hai. ( this is our traditional bangles ) Give it to Nandini. It’s her right . It’s a ritual that elder women of the house give this to their new daughter in law. But in this situation I am not able to give this to her . Keep it as my blessings for your brighter future. 

Manik smiles and hugs his dadi maa. He knows no matter what his dadi always understands him and supports him too. 

To be continued…

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