First of all – thank you, thank you, thank you 💖💖💖- for the ahhmaaazingggg response to the cover and the upcoming release of the book on 21st November!!
I’m so deeply touched. My heart is filled with gratitude 🙏🙏🤗🤗
I haven’t been able to reply to all of you though I am trying my best. Since I was posting about the book on my social media pages, posted sample chapters here, and ensuring a smooth release… some comments, messages and mails do get missed. Apologies for that.
Today, I’m posting one of the deleted chapters which couldn’t make it to the final book because as usual I’ve written a lot and the book already crossed 596 pages. So, I had to cut a few parts. It was one of the NEW CHAPTERS and it wasn’t there in the previous version posted on the blog. Sharing it here.
Hope you like it. haven’t proof-read/ or edited it. So ignore the mistakes.
Love you all 💖💖💖
Virat and Niyati managed to enter The Louvre despite the scorching sunlight annoying them while moving in the long queue.
Virat had tried his best to discourage her but she had made up her mind to see the Louvre. The stairs ahead of the entry gate turned out to be more crowded than the entrance.
Virat firmly held Niyati’s arm and pulled her aside when a crowd of teenagers dashed past them, almost pushing the public around. An older woman shouted a mouthful of abuse to school the kids but the bunch hardly looked bothered.
Niyati was startled at one moment, trying to understand the situation, feeling grateful at the next moment. Red on her cheeks, she slowly retrieved her hand from his hold. He hadn’t realised until now, that he was holding her hand. He smiled awkwardly, dismissing the little act, and walked away.
Whether in the pub at the party after her presentation or the crowded streets, he instinctively ensured she wasn’t pushed by people rushing past her. Either he would place his hand around her lower back to haul her to one side or hold her hand to tug at it and move her out of the way of the crowd. He did the same today. These simple, subtle gestures would always touch her. Never before she had felt this protected and cared for.
Following him towards the long corridor, she murmured. “Thank you.”
He reacted by turning around and scolding her, “You are so stubborn.”
She grinned, pressed her lips, and tilted her chin, “Hmm?”
“I hate crowds. I didn’t want to come here. But you never listen.”
Sheepishly, she smiled, “I’m usually not like that. In fact, I’ve never behaved like this with anyone else. I wonder why you are the only one to have witnessed a stubborn, bull-headed side of mine.”
Secretly thrilled at this near-confession from her that she behaved differently with him than she did with others, he smiled and moved around, picking up a brochure about how to explore the grand museum. In fake annoyance, he grumbled lightly, “You could have seen it on some other day.”
She spread her hands sideways. “On some other day? Means without you. How would I discuss it with you, then?”
He raised his eyes from the brochure and rested them on her face. In a throaty voice, he said, “It isn’t necessary to discuss everything with me.”
“I don’t have any other friends.”
Immediately, he frowned and raised his finger to point at her. “Listen, I’ve warned you before… dare if you friendzone me.”
“Sorry.” She giggled and held his arm, hauling him towards the paintings’ section on the first floor of the Denon wing. She spoke as they took the stairs, “I wanted someone to be with me…”
He dryly replied, “Yeah… to be bored while you get overwhelmed, making a detailed study of each piece of art and each stroke of the paintings…”
She laughed more. “It’s not like you don’t appreciate art. You do…but…you just don’t have this kinda patience.”
His jaw dropped. “So, you brought me here to raise my patience levels?”
She continued to chuckle as she nodded her head side to side. Moving ahead in a huge corridor with paintings hanging on both walls, she spoke, “You guessed that right. This is the best place to start if you want to learn patience. This museum deserves respect. It can’t be rushed into your senses. You need to spend time – studying and appreciating the finest details, the colours, the intricate artwork of marble sculptures… it’s too big… I’m now planning to spend a few weekends here. I’m simply overwhelmed to drink it all in one go… you can be here with me for today and observe how to do that.”
He moved his hand in an appreciative gesture. “Your patience and dedication sometimes leave me speechless. Because I never had one.
She said. “But you do listen to people patiently when you try to read their body language. You are patient when you have to analyse situations before making a move.”
He folded his hands across his chest and observed her adoringly while she declared her assessment into his personality. Impressed, he said, “Maybe. But I never had one when I wanted something.”
Stirred by the way he spoke, she turned away to fix her gaze on the huge painting of Lady Liberty leading her way towards the freedom.
Virat continued to speak, “Whenever I had something in my mind and I wanted it badly, then I used to become a greedy kid. Once I lied to Dadu and Dadi that homework was finished because that was the condition for the random treat and outing they arranged for Yash and me.”
“You lied?” She raised a brow, surprised.
“Not really proud of it, but yeah…that one time I remember. I couldn’t wait. I’m simply bad at waiting for things to happen when I want something. Get up and grab it – is my philosophy in life.”
“And I keep waiting for things to take a favourable turn. I’m not someone who would actively change things I didn’t like.” She spoke wistfully, thinking about her childhood.
“Maybe you also thought you were like that. Because I don’t think you are laid-back. I can see you as a go-getter too.”
“Noooooo!” She was getting increasingly disturbed by his confident claims about her. She had been aware of his ability to decipher personalities. But she was unprepared for his dissection of her behaviour. She refuted his claim. “How can you say that? I can’t be so wrong about me.”
He scanned through the paintings they crossed. and said, “A lot of times we create an image about us before others and fix it inside our mind, start believing it and behave accordingly, assuming it to be true. Lack of conviction in our dreams, an effort to fit in, inability to say no, or avoidance of conflict or hurting others makes us form a nice picture of ourselves that looks good on the surface, like a well-crafted design. But the moment we are pressed to face harsh circumstances, unfavourable situations, or extremes of pressures, all covers are blown away, and our real self is unearthed. That is when we decide who we truly are. Our reactions and attitude in worst of moments define our character.”
She was spellbound listening to him. When he finished, she said, “I never knew you were so sorted and deeply philosophical. You speak so well.”
He laughed, “See! And you thought I spoke less. A lot of times, you don’t even need harsh circumstances to know your character. People close to you can make you see who you truly are. Pay attention to them.”
She pretended to think and asked, “People close to you? Are we close to each other?”
He shrugged, “Are we not? What are we doing here, browsing through art in the Louvre on a Saturday?”
She lowered her eyes once, leaving him fascinated. She raised them slowly, “I don’t know. You tell me. We were hoping for our feelings to fade away.”
He tucked his lower lip under his upper ones and grinned.
“How do you expect any feelings to fade away when you keep looking at me like that?”
Okay, I realised it’s not a complete chapter. But a part of it 😊