Dear lovely people,
Hope you are all doing fine. My wishes and love for all of you 💖💖💖
I am posting this update late because I was logged out of my WordPress account and couldn’t login by any means. The password was correct and every other step was fine, but I think, there was a technical glitch. I tried until late at night but when I couldn’t, I slept. Doing it now.
Secondly, I haven’t replied to anyone on last part as I have a tight schedule these days. I am shifting from one city to another. Shifting both my clinic and home. So, it takes a lot of my time. For several reasons like these, Spark & Spice is delayed too. I had informed earlier but still people are messaging me and asking me about it. So, to reiterate again, I will announce the next release date of Spark and Spice soon.
Thirdly, this update is a long one, around the size of two updates 😃 As I said that I am packing and shifting. So, I’ll be in a new city on Monday. So, I won’t be updating. Next update will now be on Next Thursday.
Lots of love 🤗🤗🥰🥰
Anshuman reached the specified hotel and inquired about Manasvi.
As it was around 11:30 pm already, he was not sure if she had slept already or if the hotel
employees will tell him about her.
But he couldn’t wait until morning. He had to see her right then. Right at that moment.
However, since she didn’t have her phone with her, it was going to be difficult.
As expected, the staff refuse to share the details as she was a single woman and was
travelling with a group of journalists. It was a safety issue for the hotel to take care of. They
told him that they couldn’t share the details of guests staying with them.
Anshuman clicked his tongue and tapped his fingers at the reception desk. Patience being his
strongest virtue, once, the growing fuzziness in his heart was something difficult to deal with
at this moment.
He had never felt like this before – Before Manasvi, that is.
Ever since she had come close to him, in the past few months, the frequent rise and fall of
weird queasy feelings inside his chest had become an everyday thing for him. And now, that
she was hardly a few steps away from him, his patience was being tested to its limits. He
didn’t know how … but he had to meet her.
“Okay, you can’t tell me about her. I understand. But can you do me a favour, please? Can
you tell ‘her’ that Anshuman is here to meet her?” He asked, hopefully.
“Sorry, sir! It’s 11:30 pm. We can’t disturb guests at this hour of the night. There are no
instructions from her that she is expecting you.”
“No, she is not expecting me. She doesn’t know. She doesn’t have her phone with her.”
Anshuman didn’t know how else to convince the hotel staff to tell him about Manasvi. The
guy simply shrugged refusing to comply. Anshuman took a deep breath, distress spreading on
his face very clearly, and growing gradually with every moment.
While he was constantly urging the receptionist to help him, another guy from the staff came
inside the lobby and tried to understand the issue. Then he said to Anshuman, “Sir, one of the
female reporters from The Insight is in the backyards. I’m coming from there. She is there
outside near the private beach of the hotel. You can go and talk to her. I think she might be
Ms. Manasvi Rathore. If not, you can ask her to help you. Because we are officially unable to
Anshuman sighed in relief and thanked him before rushing towards the beach area. He
decided to request the reporter to help him connect to Manasvi or Krish, if she was someone
else from The Insight.
But deep inside his heart, he knew that she was Manasvi.
She had to be Manasvi. A very strong hunch told him.
Krish had sensed that Manasvi was feeling low so he tried to cheer her up and cracked a few
jokes too. But Manasvi remained distracted. Her eyes on the ocean, hands folded on her lap,
and mind lost in nothingness. She tried to appear cordial, listened to Krish, even smiled on
his jokes but was largely disinterested in any conversation.
“You don’t seem to be listening to me… I just cracked a joke,” Krish said.
“Hmm?” Manasvi was jolted out of her thoughts. She had been observing the moonlight
tearing through the darkness of the night sky, reflecting off the waves in the ocean in ripples.
Immediately, she was apologetic, “I’m so sorry, Krish! I might have laughed, didn’t I?”
He smirked, “You are so lost, you know. I was telling about my dead grandma. Are you sure
Manasvi glared at him angrily. “Are you pulling my leg?”
Krish rolled his eyes, “No! You are pulling my leg. I came all the way to share the joy of my
gracious company with you. But someone is not even paying attention to me.”
Manasvi shrugged, citing helplessness. She was clearly not interested.
Krish said, “I guess you prefer staying alone. So, why am I hitting my head with a wall? I’ll
go and sleep instead of wasting time, here.”
Manasvi grinned. She had formed a warm bond with Krish in all these months of working
together. They could now say anything to each other without being offended or upset. They
knew what the other wanted and how they felt. This mutual respect of space was the best
thing about them. She didn’t need to pretend anymore that she wanted to be alone, without
offending him. And he could tell her that he wanted to go to sleep instead of wasting time
with her. Maybe that’s how best friends are, Manasvi thought.
She felt blessed for having a friend like Krish in her life.
Krish smiled, “You are laughing. Great! So, will you be fine if I leave you alone here?”
“I’ll be glad.” Manasvi said, relieved.
Krish stood up, “Alright! I won’t waste more of your time. Good night. And try to sleep
early. We have to be there in the seminar on time in the morning.”
“I will.” She assured him.
Krish left her at the private beach of the hotel located on the backside. It was a long, clean
stretch of beach – the sand and the ocean – with no interference from the outside world.
Usually, it was busy during early morning and evening hours, flooded by the residents of the
hotel. At night, it became empty and deserted as guests retired to sleep after a tiring day.
Lined by chairs and recliners at a distant interval, the entire stretch had poles at a regular
intervals, illuminating the space in soft yellow glow from the lamps from the poles. Yet
retaining its darkness, solitude, and calmness intact.
Manasvi had loved the ambience immediately. Since it was a private area and safely manned
by guards at the entry and exit, she had decided to spend some time here. She couldn’t sleep.
There was so much running around in her mind. And she was restless today.
Too restless for an average day. Maybe because she didn’t have her phone, she wondered.
Krish turned around before leaving the area and called from behind, “Sure, you don’t want to
Manasvi didn’t reply to him and simply nodded to refuse.
Anshuman couldn’t believe his luck when he saw Krish leaving the beach area entering the
corridor and taking the first turn to the left towards his room. Krish didn’t notice him and left
the corridor in a jiffy. Anshuman took quick steps towards him but first decided to go
towards the backside of the hotel instead of following Krish.
At the end of the corridor there was a wide space that opened towards the beach. He stood on
the concrete floor five steps above the sand, spreading outwards from there, towards the
beach and merging with water far off, glowing yellow in the light from the lamps. The cool
breeze from the ocean touched his face when he scanned the area to search for the girl he had
She was sitting far, on one of the chairs immersed in darkness, facing the ocean. Silently.
Anshuman could feel his heartbeat rising every second as he took slow steps towards
Manasvi. He had waited for almost an eternity to meet her, to see her, to be with her. And
now that she was here, he didn’t know what to say or do.
Will she be pleased to see me? Will she be annoyed? Disappointed?
Does she hate me? Has she moved on? It has been 5 long months. We haven’t been in touch.
She might have been hating me for sending her away, and moving to Scotland, as I had told
Was she really getting married to Krish? His mother had said so clearly that they were
together and had agreed to the marriage. Is that why Krish was with her so late at night?
Nah! They work together. And they are covering the event together. It isn’t big deal to sit and
talk in such a peaceful ambience. It needn’t be love.
But didn’t his mother say that they have both agreed for marriage and taking a holiday at
Goa? Why do I hope for her to be waiting for me after 5 months without any hope of meeting
again, when I clearly told her that I don’t want to see her again? These might have been 5
long months of pure torture when she must have cursed me for every waking moment for
deserting her and leaving her alone.
What’s wrong if she decides to build a future for her?
I will accept it if she says it herself and will leave her alone. I’ll see her once, talk to her for
the last time if she has taken a decision and will not trouble her. But I can’t leave without
talking to her.
He took a deep breath and kept walking on the sand. Manasvi was focused on the waves
splashing on the wet sand when she heard footsteps behind her. Krish had just left and she
thought he had come back to convince her to go to sleep early. She turned around and stood
up, to say, “Krish, please…”
But she couldn’t continue further. For her voice was stuck in her throat as her breaths were
caught in her chest. She could neither speak nor breathe. She wasn’t sure if her heart was
beating correctly. Her eyes were flared and her brain nearly frozen. No thoughts. No words.
No feelings for a moment. Nothing.
Was it a dream?
Was he Anshuman? Here? Right before her? Had she started hallucinating? Was she such a
nutcase that she had started visualizing him around her?
When he moved closer, she noticed a deep forlorn look in his eyes – a look that she couldn’t
have missed in any case – a look of longing. A distinct sparkle in his eyes, as he reached near
her. A subtle smile on seeing her. Pressing of lips, revealing how he was unable to hold his
He was indeed there! Shocked out of her wits, she stood rooted to the ground. Awestruck and
So, he was free after all. A deep pang hit her when it appeared that he was free all this while
but didn’t care to meet her or talk to her, while she was pining for him every single moment.
She hadn’t heard anything in news that he was being released by the govt. of Pakistan. Nor
did anyone from Shekhawat family, Madhu or Preksha talked to her about him.
Was he really in Scotland, like he had said? Of course! That is what he had said. And since
Madhu and Preksha didn’t know about it, he was true in saying that he wanted to go away
from his past, or anything that reminded him of his older days.
Then why was he here today? To get the divorce papers that she hadn’t sent until now?
Manasvi could feel her heart sinking when she realized that though they had never been
together even for once in these eight years of their marriage, it was painful on another level to
be divorced and not remain connected to him in anyway.
It was too difficult to handle. Still, she was more than happy that he was free, and not in any
jail because of her. That was enough of a consolation for her to be happy for him.
Anshuman was right before her by this time, looking at her as if she was the center of his
Universe. As if nothing mattered to him more than her. His look confused her. Why was he
looking at her like this? She wondered. If he was here for divorce papers, why his eyes spoke
of something completely opposite. As if they had been searching for her since eternity.
He looked drained, exhausted, and devastated. His lips were dried. And his hair, slightly
grown, were dry and ruffled. He didn’t look fresh. He looked as if he hadn’t slept well in
Or…in 5 months??? She speculated and hated the inference. She hated to believe what she
was thinking could be true. She hated that he didn’t look like he was coming from Scotland.
He looked as if he had lost almost 10 kgs weight, had been sad for long that his smile was
forced, looked distressed, and grossly tanned.
God!! Was he in Pakistan, all this while???
Bitterness spread inside her mouth, burning her throat, and stabbing her heart. She
desperately hoped that it wasn’t true. She would never forgive herself if she had believed his
lie and come back from Afghanistan leaving him behind to rot in a Pak jail.
“Hey!” he awkwardly removed his small backpack from his shoulder to put it down,
on the sand. Ecstatic on seeing her before him, yet not really sure what he should say to her.
“Hi…” She nervously stammered, awkward herself, “You… you are…”
He wished he could pull her close to him and hug her tightly for a long, long time,
but his hands fiddled at the strap of the bag he had been holding.
He shrugged, “I tried to call you so many times. But your phone was unreachable. You’ve left it at Krish’s home.”
She wished she could slip inside the realm of his arms, to hold him forever, and break down
to cry for the entire night. But she nodded, and replied in a low murmur, “I know! I dropped
it in a rush. But who told you?”
“I called Krish… his mom picked up the phone and said that you were here…” Anshuman
Manasvi was quiet after this. She was definitely thrilled to see him breathing free space in his motherland,
though both of them had paid a heavy price for this. She was fooled big time.
She folded her hands across her chest, getting angry and upset. She had crestfallen in her own eyes
and she didn’t know if she could redeem herself ever again.
It was unbearable to believe that she had failed him.
But… Maybe she was wrong. Maybe he was indeed in Scotland and happy without her.
Suddenly, the prospect of him being away and content without her seemed more perfect and
calming than the thought of him stuck in a jail in Pakistan because of her while she had
comfortably left him to his turmoil. It was becoming painfully agonizing.
“Anshuman, who helped you cross the border?” She asked directly. She was a journalist and
very smart at her work. She had been through all channels between the three countries. She
knew that if there was no loud noise of his release, he had crossed the border illegally. So,
she took a chance of asking straight.
If he was in Scotland, he would tell her straightaway that he was coming from there. Or else
he will be telling the truth impulsively.
This time, he was less cautious. Less than her. He didn’t realise when impulsively, he replied,
“Junaid Khan and his team.”
She stammered, “Didn’t you say that … you are going to Scotland… and asked me to leave you
and forget you? You lied to me?”
Anshuman huffed and left his bag, resting his hands on his waist this time, turning around for
fresh air. Of course, he wasn’t going to lie to her. He had already decided on the way here that he was going to tell
her the truth. But the way she had caught him suddenly, left him with no words to defend
He sighed, “Listen, Manasvi…”
She squeezed her eyes narrow and spoke in a sudden explosive, fiery burst of words,
snapping at him, angrily, and dejectedly. So fiercely that he was taken aback.
“Who do you think you are? A saint?? And who I am?? A charity case?? That whenever you
feel like, you will stand tall and bury me under your favours and sacrifices?”
“Listen…I’m…” He started speaking, fumbling with words, shocked at the way she fired at
him. He was certainly not expecting this from her. He had expected her to be upset and sad,
maybe for a while, and he had hoped to pacify her. But she was far from pacification.
She spat fire in her words, “Dr. Anshuman Shekhawat, I can’t begin to tell you how I hate
myself at this moment. All because of you. I have fallen in my own eyes. So easily, I believed
you! All my life, I respected you, almost worshipped you, prayed for you because of
everything you did for me, hoping that someday… maybe someday, I’ll get a chance to be useful to you.
And once… just once… in my life, I got an opportunity to do something for you, but I
let it slip away? I will neither forgive you for this nor myself… Goddd!!! I’m feeling so so so
low…and so angry on you…”
He walked ahead and held her arms, right below her shoulders, and lowering slightly to her
level, he said, “Sit down calmly, and think, why I did that. I had no other option…”
Tears strained her cheeks, as she removed his hands from her shoulders by inching away
from him and shrugging off, frowning in pain, “Yeah, I know. Such a weak damsel-in-
distress, you think, I am. I could have done nothing for you. I would have fallen in some
trouble because I don’t know how to manage myself. You thought I was hopeless and weak.
And I always need you to save me at a crucial moment. Who I am? Nobody.”
He left a deep breath, and spoke seriously, “I’ve never thought about you like that.”
“Of course, you did. That is why you lied to me. You didn’t want me to do anything for you
because you never believed that I could pull it off. And look at me, I accepted it and proved to
be the baby you thought I was. Someone speaks a lie and I believe every word of it, to come
back to India and start living my life. Great!!! Do you even know how cheap I feel at this time?? No,
you can’t. At least you could have allowed me the satisfaction of trying to do something. No.
You are too full of yourself to even allow someone to help you.”
He sighed deeply. Her anger was justified. And she had every right to lose her cool at his
moment. Her anger at being left clueless about him had overridden her happiness that he was
But he was not angry. He loved this side of Manasvi. On normal days, she had been this docile,
simple girl, who hardly ever spoke much before him. She was always in awe of him, just as
he was. Their mutual respect, admiration, and acceptance of each other had lived its life, long
back. They had stayed at a decent distance from each other, staying reasonably nice to each
But today, the way she fought with him was one step ahead in their relationship. She had
accused him, complained, and was so angry at being sidelined, the way close ones do.
The way she had never been before. This was not the same Manasvi he had met a year ago, at Preksha’s engagement,
or in Afghanistan, or even few months ago, when he was captured.
This Manasvi was very angry because he had excluded her from his life. And he loved how
she was fighting with him because she wasn’t a part of his efforts for survival and release. He
loved her blames, and claims. Everything.
He calmly sat down on the chair and rested his leg on his other leg, and looked at her as if
waiting for her to finish. She spread her hands in air, standing before him, deeply mystified.
She was flabbergasted at how he had tricked her and was still so nonchalant about it.
For him – it was a right moment to ask about Krish, he thought. Already they were fighting. A
bit more won’t harm.
Though he knew, by now, about what her reply would be. If she would have been marrying Krish, she
couldn’t be fighting with him ferociously. Her eyes, her words, her demeanour said that
she was not even thinking about anyone else. Not today. Not anytime, in the past.
Still, conversations and discussions were better than assumptions, he believed.
While she was still chiding him about how he had been so mean to her to push her away and
thus drowning her in a guilty feeling that she will never be able to overcome for her entire
life, he asked in one straight tone.
“Are you getting married to Krish?”
“What!!!!” She stopped speaking, gasped, and nodded vigorously, “Where did that come
“Krish’s mom said that.” He replied honestly, “When I called her to ask about Krish and you,
she said that…”
Manasvi was speechless for a moment. Then she frowned, clearly annoyed at the question.
She said, in a composed but teary voice, “Dr. Shekhawat, I don’t think you remember or even care about it
but I am already married. Not divorced, yet. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve to be so desperate
to marry a colleague I consider a good friend.”
He couldn’t hide his smile at her reply. He had to press his lips hard in order to avoid
annoying her more. But she was angrier than before. It was hard for her to believe that she
was talking to Anshuman like this. The man she had practically revered and loved, all her
life. But he deserved it. For making her look like a fool, not once but twice. So, he thought
that after he pushed her away asking her to forget him, she had chosen Krish as a life partner.
And why couldn’t she? Why was he expecting her to wait for him, when he himself had cut
her off in times of trouble?
And why had he come back? When even in future, for all the tough times ahead, he was
going to suffer alone, leaving her in a prison of her guilt?
Disturbed, nearly trembling, she sat down on a chair near him, and in a deeply pained,
saddened voice, she said, “I’m glad that you are safe and free. Trust me, I’m relieved. But
I feel guilty for every smile I had in last 5 months, every breath of free air, I breathed, every
morsel of food I had, every work I finished without any problem, once again, because of
you… and how useless, I have been to you…”
He hesitatingly stretched his hand and touched his fingers over her hand and when she didn’t
push him away, he traced the edge of her finger before holding her hand firmly in his hands.
Slowly, he said, “Don’t torture yourself with this thought. You haven’t been useless. You’ve
kept me stress-free because you were living your life. I was not worried about you. Thanks
for agreeing to leave Afghanistan.”
“But maybe Liz’s husband could have helped. Maybe I would have found some other source
to reach you and help you? Why did I just let you be on your own?? How could I do that?
What if, God forbid, you hadn’t met someone like Junaid Khan? You would have been jailed
for years. How did I forget that you went there because of me,” She sobbed softly, with a
whisper, “I don’t know how to deal with this pain.”
He smiled sadly, stroking the back of her hand with his thumb, and replied over a choking
throat, “Give yourself some time… and please forgive me.”
More tears dropped down her cheeks.
“Forgiving you will be easy. But how will I forgive myself?”