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Untitled Series - XXX

Part Thirty (Read Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part SevenPart Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | Part Fourteen | Part Fifteen | Part Sixteen | Part Seventeen | Part Eighteen | Part Nineteen | Part Twenty | Part Twenty One | Part Twenty Two | Part Twenty Three | Part Twenty Four | Part Twenty Five | Part Twenty Six | Part Twenty Seven | Twenty Eight and Twenty Nine)


Never before in his life had he cared what others thought of him. He had lived his life on his terms. This was the first time, someone else’s opinion of him mattered and he hated the feeling that came from being unable to understand what the other person was thinking about him. He did not even want to consider the option that for some unknown reason she hated him.

Even though a couple of times he felt that Mansi’s mind was like an open book with the content written in simple language, which he could read and understand; he realized that she often shut herself off – pushing herself behind a wall she constructed around her to save herself from being hurt. He wanted to cross that wall and enter into her trust zone. For a moment he believed he had. He thought Mansi had finally let down her guard while being with him. She had been uptight for a long time, disappointing him several times with her uncertainty. If there were moments when it seemed she was enjoying her time with him; there were also the moments that indicated she did not trust Rohan and hated being seen with him – for what reason, he did not know. As long as he was concerned he had not done anything wrong or anything offensive to deserve this kind of attitude from her.


Untitled Series XXIX

Part Twenty Nine (Read Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part SevenPart Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | Part Fourteen | Part Fifteen | Part Sixteen | Part Seventeen | Part Eighteen | Part Nineteen | Part Twenty | Part Twenty One | Part Twenty Two | Part Twenty Three | Part Twenty Four | Part Twenty Five | Part Twenty Six | Part Twenty Seven and Twenty Eight)


Mansi walked to her room and packed few clothes and whatever she thought was worth taking away from the room. Not that she had anything expensive in her room, all that she had was valuable in the sense that mattered only to her.

Mansi thought about the recent development in her life. She disliked being in this chawl since the day she came to stay here. Right from day one she had been planning on leaving. It had taken her all this time to finally make the move. The trigger was a bit disappointing though.


Untitled Series - XXVIII

Part Twenty Eight (Read Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part SevenPart Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | Part Fourteen | Part Fifteen | Part Sixteen | Part Seventeen | Part Eighteen | Part Nineteen | Part Twenty | Part Twenty One | Part Twenty Two | Part Twenty Three | Part Twenty Four | Part Twenty Five | Part Twenty Six and Part Twenty Seven)


Mansi would have loved sitting in the park until the sun swam into the sea at the horizon but there was still a lot of time for that. The bench they were sitting on was no longer under the shadow of the tree that protected them from the sun’s rays.

The heat was beginning to be intolerable. As if reading her mind, Pallavi said, “We need to go; I am dying to step into the air-conditioned environment of the office.”

Mansi smiled. Had it not been for the air conditioning, office would have been the last place Pallavi would have wanted to be. Yes, she needed the job and she was best in what she did but she did not really love working there. The salary was low but she, like others, could not complain. The office was like a family – a weird one; where everyone loved each other but was nevertheless finding a way to leave.

They got up from the bench and were about to walk towards the gate when Mansi’s stomach gave a loud hunger-call. Mansi rolled her eyes, a bit embarrassed and said, “Would an air-conditioned restaurant work for you?” Both smiled and walked out of the park.

On their way to the restaurant, Mansi thought about what Pallavi had said. She had been right about everything. Mansi had spent most of her life feeling bad for herself; cursing her luck. She needed to change that. She had to take control of her life. She knew it felt good, she had the taste of it once; even if it meant for a short time. She wondered how Pallavi would feel about it if she told her about that moment when she had felt in control of her life. Pallavi was not the kind of person to judge her and even if she did Mansi cared a damn. That’s what she told herself even though in her heart she knew that when someone said I care a damn, that’s when and that’s what they really care about. Pallavi’s opinion did matter to her.


Untitled Series - XXVII

Part Twenty Seven (Read Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part SevenPart Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | Part Fourteen | Part Fifteen | Part Sixteen | Part Seventeen | Part Eighteen | Part Nineteen | Part Twenty | Part Twenty One | Part Twenty Two | Part Twenty Three | Part Twenty Four | Part Twenty Five and Part Twenty Six)


Mansi tried her best to ignore the gazes. Pallavi on the other hand, being the kind of person that she was; turned around to look at the people and gave a flying kiss to no one in particular. Mansi walked straight out of the office while Pallavi waited to see the reaction on the faces of the staff members.

Mansi was still in deep thoughts when Pallavi joined her outside.
“Hey. Wait for me” she called out and Mansi stopped abruptly.
“There was absolutely no need for what you did back at the office.” Mansi complained.

“You don’t tell me what to do and I won’t tell you what to do. Deal?” Pallavi said casually but immediately repented saying it when she saw the look on Mansi’s face.
“Actually, that is what I am here to talk about. I want you to tell me what to do.” Mansi said
“Look, I am sorry ... I did not mean it the way it came out.” Pallavi apologized.
“Let’s go and sit somewhere.” Pallavi continued and put her arm around Mansi’s and they walked silently towards the bus-stop that would take them to their favourite hangout, both deeply engrossed in their own worlds.

On reaching the bus-stop Pallavi sat on the bench and signalled Mansi to sit next to her. Mansi walked to the bench and sat next to Pallavi, staring straight at the road. She was not sure how to begin. ‘Start from the beginning’ Pallavi would have said. Mansi smiled at the thought and Pallavi smiled seeing her smile.

Without saying a word, Pallavi held Mansi’s hand and stared straight at the road just like Mansi did. Both were staring at no one in particular and both had a smile stuck on their face; which would have made anyone think that something was wrong with them.

However, Mansi did not feel that way. In fact she felt the opposite. When Pallavi held Mansi’s hand; she in fact passed on her enthusiasm to Mansi, which made Mansi feel that everything would be fine.
Their bus arrived and they got into it after almost everyone else at the bus-stop climbed in. Pallavi led the way to the seat at the back side of the bus and Mansi followed.



Untitled Series - XXVI

Part Twenty Six (Read Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part SevenPart Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | Part Fourteen | Part Fifteen | Part Sixteen | Part Seventeen | Part Eighteen | Part Nineteen | Part Twenty | Part Twenty One | Part Twenty Two | Part Twenty Three | Part Twenty Four and Part Twenty Five)


Mansi got ready to go to the office at unimaginable speed; a hanging sword over her head of coming face to face with Rohan. She did not know how she would react. Her turmoil had increased over the night and the uneasiness continued. Her body repeatedly told her that she was not raped but Mansi’s mind, which was already assaulted many times before, refused to agree with it. Her mind told her that something was not right and she decided to go along with it. When painful memories are repeatedly inflicted upon the mind; it ceases to think rationally.

The best option; Mansi believed was to walk away from all this mess. There was an option of talking to Rohan about it but she did not want to take it; not yet. For the first time Mansi felt the need to talk to someone; really talk. There was a difference between feeling lonely and feeling so lonely that it became unbearable. Mansi had reached that stage. She made up her mind to talk to her only friend in the office.



Untitled Series - XXV

Part Twenty Five (Read Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part SevenPart Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | Part Fourteen | Part Fifteen | Part Sixteen | Part Seventeen | Part Eighteen | Part Nineteen | Part Twenty | Part Twenty One | Part Twenty Two | Part Twenty Three and Part Twenty Four)


Mansi cried - for how long she did not know. She just lay there on the floor of her room, her knees drawn closer to her chest; wanting to go back to the foetus stage of her life. She missed her mother; she wanted her mother to hold her tight in her arms so that she could continue crying in the protective arms of her mother. No one loved her as much as her mother did. Her mother had been helpless being bedridden but not once did she think of what would happen to her if Mansi left. In fact, she insisted that Mansi leave the house, run away; but it was Mansi who decided to stick around. Mansi had run away from her house the same day of her mother’s death.

Mansi needed her mother to be there for her. She needed her mother’s protective instinct that safeguarded Mansi from the bad. She needed her mother to tell her who was to be trusted. Mansi did not believe in her instincts anymore. She was confused; she was devastated.



Untitled Series - XXIV

Part Twenty Four (Read Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part SevenPart Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | Part Fourteen | Part Fifteen | Part Sixteen | Part Seventeen | Part Eighteen | Part Nineteen | Part Twenty | Part Twenty One | Part Twenty Two and Part Twenty Three)


Mansi smiled as she thought about their near escape from the traffic police officer. On the other hand, Rohan seemed to be quiet and serious. Mansi wondered what was going through his mind but did not say anything aloud. She did glance at him a couple of times but he had his eyes set straight on the road. Something was bothering him, Mansi thought. What could it be? He was fine a few minutes ago, before getting in the cab. What could have happened in this short while? Questions assaulted her mind, which she did her best to ignore. She looked outside the window and breathed in fresh night air. She felt thirsty and looked around. She found a bottle of water in the cab and with Rohan’s permission took a few sips from the bottle. The breeze caressed her face and her eyelids started to droop. She fought for a while but finally gave in and fell asleep.