Khushi didn't notice Anjali standing behind her as her eyes were returning his admiring stare. Anjali nearly took Viren in a hug when Khushi bumped into her unexpectedly. “Oh! What’s it with you and NK today? You both are making me a funny clown here” Anjali chided Khushi mildly for making her embarrassed again in front of the crowd while Viren chuckled. “Oops! Sorry Di, I didn't see you” Khushi said sincerely while holding her both ears in a sorry gesture with her puppy eyes. She had seen Arnav immediately turning to some acquaintance the moment she hit Anjali and now she saw him trying to suppress a glee in his face while she stood taking in Di’s scolding.
Pavan stood still; he couldn't take his eyes off from the face in front of him. Her surprised eyes were holding his eyes as prisoner. He didn't dare breathe, fearing that slight movement will awake her from her stupor. Adhiti Malhotra’s senses ditched her for the first time in her life. Her heartbeats raced, her mind buzzed with lot of signals but her brain was not deciphering anything. She stood there supported by Pavan’s strong hold on her arm looking into his eyes.
Suddenly her brain resumed work and processed a signal which made her break the stare and look down to his chest where she saw that she had sprayed her drink on his neatly pressed white kurta. She looked up in alarm into his eyes again. He had followed her eyes and now saw that she had made a stain in his clothes but when he looked back and saw the worried eyes, which made him smile. But she has began already “ I am really sorry! I had no intention to sprinkle my drink on you, it just ..” Pavan smiled widely hearing her hurried rambling and slightly shook her hand which he was still holding indicating that he too should be given a chance to talk “Hey hey! Its not your fault!, I was not watching where I was going, I am actually sorry for bumping into you” he said aloud but his mind wanted to say “But I don't feel sorry at all” also.
Adhiti was still looking at his stain spoiled white kurta feeling guilty. He smiled the PSR smile, which his twin siblings have claimed to be the killer smile and extended his hand for a shake “Anyways nice to meet you! I am Pavan!, Pavan Singh Raizada!” She looked up at his face and down to his hand and smiled and took his hands in a firm and brief handshake “Adhiti Malhotra”.
Pavan had dealt with numerous women business associates and models but never in his lifetime he had felt curious to know more about anyone of them but the beautiful lady standing before him was making him more and more curious to know more about her. He began like “ I have been away from my family for a long time, hence other than the immediate family, I am not familiar with any other family members, hence please don't mind if I ask you whether you belong to Raizada clan?” Adhiti smiled in understanding. “Oh man! Her smiles are killer ones” Pavan thought while his heart was taking some acro dance steps. “No, I don't mind since I am not your family member. I am from the bride’s side”. Adhiti replied clearing his query but didn't venture much information on her. Pavan smiled, he knew she was not flirty type but well brought up when she withheld her information. “Excuse me” She said with a polite smile and left his side. He smiled chuckling knowing that she cleverly made her exit while he was framing his next question to which she needed to reveal her details. He was a shrewd businessman who never lost a deal. But here he let her walk away from him but he still looked in the direction she left wreathed in smiles.
What Pavan didn't know was that a pair of curious eyes was observing this whole exchange; the owner of that set of eyes was none other than Devayani Singh Raizada.
Adhiti breathed in relief when she reached the other end of the hall. She could still feel his eyes on her. She couldn't place what happened few seconds back. Even though she stood answering him with a straight face, her heart had been doing a wild classical dance. She didn't dare look back at him; his eyes had held a charm and power, which held her like a prisoner. No, she was not used to this kind of feelings, of course being a beauty, she had always admirers. But she had never felt her heart responding to any admiring stares like this. “Damn you Pavan!” She muttered when she failed to reign in her heart. Adhiti didn't like being confused or not being in control of her feelings, she is always focused and in control of her heart. Adhiti Malhotra is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Malhotra, both professors at JNU like Payal’s parents and close family friends of Payal’s family.
Anu didn't want to look up and see those brown eyes that were keeping her company all through the evening. She knew if she look up, she would smile and that would give away the entire pose she was putting up throughout the evening. She denied the pleasure but her heart could see his smile and gaze and she allowed her heart to smile while she chatted with Payal’s mom.
NK finally sat down smiled widely, he knew she was not easy and she got a strong will. Most of the women would have melted under his charms but not this feisty one. He didn't notice he was sitting next to an amused Dadi. He was still lost in his world of Anu and her stubbornness, not to give me a glance. He admired her for that, he wanted someone like that in his life, not easy, one who was always a challenge to him so that he would have a lifelong task of staying focused. Dadi’s experienced eyes needed only one look at her grandson to know he was besotted.
Dadi’s eyes followed NK’s eyes and found the target of his admiration. Dadi looked back at NK with amazement! “Yeh! Bahuth Badiya hai! “She thought with a smile. She caressed NK’s head in fondness bringing him back his senses back to earth. “Oh Dadi! Wow! You are looking gorgeous!” NK tried to charm his Dadi. But Dadi being Dadi replied “Well! I guess am not gorgeous anymore as I used to be” she said with a mock sadness and continued with a teasing smile “if I had been so, then my grandson would be admiring me and not that smart lady standing over there” she pointed towards Anu with her eyes while NK blushed slightly and rolled his eyes but was amazed by his Dadi’s sharpness “Dadi! You are impossible!”
Dadi got up with a smile and started walking towards Anjali to ask her something but her steps came to a halt when she saw her another grandson who smiled very rarely, now smiling with all his charm and love and walking towards her most favorite granddaughter. Khushi on the other hand had seen Arnav walking towards her but she refused to see it, turned and talked animatedly about mehandi designs to Payal.
He came near her, gave a polite smile to Payal leaving her stunned and asked her to excuse Khushi for a second, took Khushi’s hand tightly in his hand and pulled her towards the stairs which lead to the pool. Devanayi Singh Raizada’s surprise turned into a knowing smile. Indeed, the air tonight at Raizada Palace was highly charged with romance.
My dear readers, am so sorry for not being able to give you the full entertainment but please bear me for this month. Next week, I will be conferred my doctorate degree in nanotechnology and will be leaving back to India. Hence I am not sure when I can update next. I am really very sorry for making you wait, I know many of you love this story hence I haven’t limited the visibility till now. Once I settle back in India, will try to update regularly. Btw, I had updated pictures in the last update and also I wanted to applaud those who have corrected guessed Pavan in chapter 18, and who patiently waited for the arrival of Adhiti. This goes for you all!