Nandini:- Manik, Come home. 

The phone slips from Manik’s hold hearing his wife. But he composes himself and asks with frowns.

Manik:- ( stubbornly ) Are you sure? I mean….. Are you fine? What happened suddenly? Why are you calling me back? When you already pushed me out to come to the office. 

Nandini:- ( whisper yelled ) Manik!………. 

Manik:- No Manik!….. Nandini, say that you are missing me. I mean seriously why did you act like a strict wife who is adamant to send her husband to the office. ( in a complaining tone ) If you acted like an understanding wife then I would make love to you numerous times and now we would be in a single blanket without any barriers…… 

Arjun:- ( in a calm tone ) Manik stop your running horses…… 

Otherside, Arjun frowned when Nandini yelled Manik’s name angrily. He patted her shoulder and taking this as a chance Nandini handed over her cell to him. She knows that now Manik will ask a lot of questions but she is unaware that he would say something like that. 

Arjun put the cell on his ear and heard Manik’s complaint. A mischievous smile adorned his lips with the idea of teasing them. 

Arjun:- Hello Manik, are you there? 

Manik widens his eyes and checks his phone screen to see his wife’s name screening on it. Then, how can Arjun’s voice come out from it? 

Manik:- ( thought ) Is that illusion or a network issue? 

Arjun heard his question and replied hiding his giggles. 

Arjun:- this is not an illusion or nor a network error, Mr. Malhotra. 

Manik:- ( with a horror look ) Bhai…….? 

Arjun:- yes! My brother. 

Manik:- ( scaredly ) Bhai, you heard everything? 

Arjun laughs hard hearing his scared tone but covers it up with a cough. 

Arjun:- yes!…. Everything from the start to….. ( taking a dramatic pause ) THE BLANKET. 

Manik palmed his face in embarrassment and tried to cover the blunder. 

Manik:- Bhai, I didn’t mean……. that. 

Arjun:- ( fake surprise ) oh really? But I got what you meant by that. 

Manik bites his inner cheek because of blush and keeps quiet because there is nothing left to say. 

Arjun:- leave all that, come home. We are waiting for you and be quick…… ok? 

Manik:- ya…. I am coming. 

He replied and cut the call immediately while banging his head on the table. 

On the other hand, Arjun burst into fits of laughter after cutting the call. He is gonna love this teasing game with Manik. 

Asha:- what happened? 

Arjun:- Nothing…… ( still laughing ) 

Nandini narrowed her eyes seeing Arjun’s behavior. She has some idea that his laughter is related to Manik. Arjun looks at her expression and thought to tease her. 

Arjun:- ( whisper in Nandini’s ear ) Nandini, you pushed your husband to go to the office. Tch Tch Tch…… this is not fair, little sister. You don’t know what plans he had for you. But you ruined everything. 

Saying this he sat back and enjoyed the show. Whereas Nandini widens her eyes with a thought that “How did he get to know that she literally pushed Manik out?” But his last words took her attention. When she got the meaning of PLANS, her eyes widened more. Her breath hitched realizing that her husband said something stupid.

Suddenly her cheeks turned red seeing Arjun’s teasing stares. She shifts in her place and looks down to hide herself from him. 

Nandini:- ( stammers ) I….. I will….. bring snacks…… 

Saying this she instantly ran into the kitchen followed by Suhana and Asha avoiding further teasing. 

After 20 minutes, everyone heard the car honk, making everyone aware of Manik’s arrival. 

Nandini:- ( murmurs ) Baba Ji, meher kari. ( Baba Ji, bless us. ) 

She prayed because she knows what type of drama is waiting for them. With a positive thought, she walks ahead and opens the door before Manik could press the doorbell. Innaya is jumping as she is going to see Manik after a long time. 

Manik comes out of his car and smiles wholeheartedly seeing his wife standing at the door with a beautiful smile which he always wants there. He came ahead and kissed her head cupping her cheeks before walking inside. 

His smile faded away as soon as his eyes fell on his family who were standing in front of him. He got numb seeing them here after so long. He has mixed feelings about seeing them. He wants to go and hug the hell out of his grandfather but their last encounter comes to his mind. The memory brings anger and his eyes turn red. 

Vishember got tears in his eyes seeing his grandson in front of him but he hid those tears. He is a man who is excellent at hiding his sorrows. His lips curved into a beautiful smile seeing Manik’s anger. Although he is his grandson but at the same time, he is a xerox copy of him. 

Manik:- ( angrily ) What are you doing here? 

Varsha:- Manik!….. This is the way to talk……. 

Manik:- oh! Cut this crap, mom. Tell me, why are you here? 

Nandini doesn’t want him to fight with his family again. She stood beside him and intertwined her hand with his hiding it from everyone and whispered. 

Nandini:- Manik, calm down. Ask answers to your questions but please keep patience. Don’t get angry. 

Her statement makes him calm a little while her gestures were witnessed by everyone. Innaya murders Nandini with her strong glare seeing her hand in Manik’s hold. 

Vishember:- ( with a hope ) Come back Manik. The home didn’t look like a home without you. 

Manik:- ( chuckles ) What? Are you serious? You want me to go back to that place where YOU INSULTED MY LOVE

Somewhere Vishember expects these harsh words that’s why he is all calm and trying to make him understand. Whereas Innaya is on the verge of ripping Nandini’s soul seeing their intertwined hands. 

Manik:- If you come here to take me back. Then, sorry to burst your bubbles…… I AM NOT COMING BACK. 

Vishember:- I didn’t want you to come back alone. ( with soft eyes seeing Manik and Nandini ) I want you both to come back with us to India. I want my grandson and granddaughter-in-law both. 

Innaya:- ( angrily ) What rubbish!…… I don’t want ( pointing to Nandini ) this girl at my home. She has no manners. Look how she is holding Manik’s hand in front of everyone. 

Manik rolls his eyes angrily and steps ahead to punch the not so beautiful face of hers. But Nandini stops him and gives a tight reply to her, making her quiet. 

Nandini:- for your information, Miss Innaya. I am holding MY HUSBAND’S HAND, not some random hand like you who has eyes on MY HUSBAND. I have full rights on him as HE IS MY HUSBAND. So, next time think before you speak. And one more thing, if I haven’t held him like this then he would punch you so hard that your jaw would twist. 

Everyone gets surprised to hear her reply except Manik. They thought that she is a poor girl who will take every torture. But they didn’t know that she is innocent as well as fierce. She knows when to talk and how to talk. She was quiet before because she didn’t want to insult anyone as family matters to her more. She knows the family’s value and at the same time, she wants to reunite Manik with his family. But this time Innaya’s words triggered her and she couldn’t stop herself from blurting out those words. 

Asha:- ( murmurs with a smile ) Pheli baar Innaya ko koi takkar ki mili hai. But I am loving it. (First-time Innaya got some competition in the form of Nandini. I am loving it. ) 

By the way, Nandini is right, if she couldn’t stop Manik then he would kill Innaya until now. 

Manik:- ( while gritting his teeth ) And from next time, ( pointing at Nandini ) greet her with respect because she is MY WIFE, MRS. NANDINI MANIK MALHOTRA. Understood? ( to Vishember ) If you come here to insult my wife. Then I am sorry but you can go out right now. The doors are open. 

Nandini gasped hearing his words. But before she could say or do anything, Manik marched towards his room, angrily. Whereas everyone is quite normal except a few. They know about Manik’s anger. He always said harsh words in anger but didn’t mean those. 

Nandini:- ( hesitantly ) umm…… ( to Vishember ) Please, don’t take his words seriously. He is angry that’s why he said that. Although he loves you guys a lot, even more than me. You can talk with him again when his anger subsides. Right now, he is not in the right frame to understand anything. Till then, you guys can rest. You must be tired because of the flight. I will call you back at lunch timings. ( to Suhana ) Suhana Ji, please show them their rooms. I will come back after checking on Manik. 

Suhana nods while Vishember and Yashoda smile innerly seeing her defending her husband without a second thought.

Out of nowhere, Vishember calls Nandini, making her turn back. 

Vishember:- YOU LIED!…… I never thought that you would lie ever. 

Nandini looks down not knowing what lies he is talking about. She didn’t lie at all. Whereas Innaya is happy. 

To be continued…

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