Hey, you all! Thank you for your continuous support and responses, I am truly grateful. This is a very long update; I hope it doesn’t get boring. Here’s the second half of the episode. Happy Reading!
PREVIOUSLY, Saanjh decides to resign from the law firm thus, Twinkle tries talking to Yuvraj for her employment which tenses Saanjh; Twinkle begins feeling disappointed and insecure, and maintains distance with Kunj.
EK TUKDA PYAAR – EPISODE 23 (PART 2)
“Kyun dikhe mujhe tu sirhaane mere; Soch ke teri baatein hum muskurane lage. Haaye haaye haaye!”
He looked down for a brief second, a broad smile tilting the corners of his lips as the lyrics to the song spiralled out of his lips.
Twinkle looked up at him, widening her gaze while surprise rippled through her. Despite having heard Kunj strum his guitar several times before, she’d never truly heard him sing. But as his voice resonated over the distance, she couldn’t ignore the way her insides clenched and coursed within her a wave of warmth.
She felt the rush of blood on her cheeks and she walked around, trying to engage herself with the others in the patio. Her insides churned as she felt his penetrating gaze on her and she tried hiding herself from him.
“Dil se nikal gaya hai lafzon pe aane lage; Kaisi teri khumari hai hum gungunaane lage.”
Twinkle continued sipping at her drink and tried calming the lit ends of her nerves. Over the past few months, she’d always felt at home beside Kunj. He’d always gone beyond lengths to ensure her comfort and pleasure. And he continued reminding her that she and her daughter will always be one of his top-most priorities.
“Kuch toh hain tere mere darmiyaan kyun lage; Channa ve, Channa ve…”
When she looked up at him several moments later – when he’d finished the song – she stood behind his mother and looked at him, successfully avoiding his gaze. He’d failed to follow her throughout the song and she laughed at him, silently. His eyes scanned over the area and she noticed how his eyebrows furrowed and a small crease on his forehead linked both his brows. The corners of his lips tilted down and his fingers fidgeted over the screen display – his vision still frantic.
Twinkle pressed her fingers to the side of her phone and reduced the ringing volume of her phone, willing to continue annoying him. A silent chuckle reverberated in the air in between and as the display lit up, she looked down at the device in her hand.
Kunj: Kahan ho?
Twinkle: Dhundho, dhundho.
But as seconds passed by and he continued looking for her, Myra pulled Twinkle from behind and tugged at her hand, pulling her toward him. When they stood in front of him, Myra moved away and let the two of them look at each other.
Kunj (softly): Kahan thi?
“Waah, waah, Ram ji!”
Twinkle whipped her head around and looked at Myra. As a mischievous smile pulled at the corner of her lips, Twinkle shook her head and smacked her forehead in disbelief.
“Jodi kya banai; Bhaiya aur Bhabhi ko badhai ho badhai. Sab rasmo se badhi hai jag mein…”
Kunj moved toward Twinkle and brushed the loose wisps of hair out of her face, letting his finger trail down her face, unnoticeably. She looked up at him despite the heat pooling in her stomach, and widened her gaze, “What’re you doing?”
Kunj (softly): Dil se dil ki sagai.
Twinkle shook her head and stepped away, ignoring the way an emptiness began cinching onto her. She looked around as the others began singing and tapping their feet to the beats of various other songs. She smiled as the happiness wavered in the air and looked down, sighing softly.
Twinkle: Tum na, Kunj Sarna–
Aarohi (interrupting): Uncle, you were so good.
Kunj (bending down to her level): Thanks, Partner! We should sing some of your favourites, too.
Twinkle: Haa, then we’ll have to sit here throughout the night. After that we’ll sing Papa’s…
She stopped mid-way at the mention and looked around, the tension from earlier beginning to embrace her again. When her gaze fell on Yuvraj across the patio, staring at the three of them, a dull-ache stirred in her chest and she weaved her way toward him, leaving the conversation with Aarohi and Kunj mid-way through.
As she got closer to him, she noticed the hurtful expression sweeping over the features of his face and the distant longing that fell over his eyes. There was almost a sadness that embraced him so tightly, that Twinkle felt suffocated. She didn’t know, if she’d ever blamed herself for his sadness and loneliness. But the dull-ache in her chest grew and consumed her in a blackhole. And suddenly, her world began spinning.
She didn’t know, why her emotions were brimming over the edge, but she couldn’t contain the emotions within herself anymore. The evening was beginning to suffocate her with each passing minute and she wanted to run away.
And that was why, when she felt Yuvraj’s distant gaze disconnecting and falling on her, she brushed past him and ran inside, noting the way the insides of her tightened in nausea. She ran inside the house, letting the walls around embrace her, but continued running until she’d reached the farther nooks of the house, where the evening seemed to have faded away.
She thought, letting the solitude envelop her would calm her, but as the softness of the light fell over the room, she knew the evening was going to be much, much longer. The confusion whirled within her and she didn’t know if she wanted to escape – or, if she wanted to stay.
Because everything, in a suddenness, felt so difficult and complicated – devastating, even.
Saanjh stood in front of the window, resting her palms on the sill to transfer her weight and stared outside, her mind numbing. She didn’t know, why she’d believed, complicating her life more than it already was, had ever seemed like a better idea. She knew, she’d never been able to trust her decisions, because often times, she found herself twisted in a maze – a maze, she didn’t know how to rid herself from.
But she’d thought, she’d grown up and she’d been able to decide, aptly. In her outlook toward life, she didn’t know why she hadn’t ever thought that others could be traumatised – that others could be scathed. She’d always seen happy families growing up and perhaps, that was why, she couldn’t see beyond the surface. She hated the way the thought stung in her mind, almost like a rotten aftertaste on her tongue.
She sighed and continued staring outside, blinking away the moisture in her eyes. She had always noticed how every emotion or feeling almost had a counteracting force to neutralize the feeling. But love, she thought, was perhaps one such feeling where the counteracting emotion was almost scathing and scorching. She brushed away the wetness on her face and shook her head, trying to ignore the pang of hurt within her.
She gulped the throatiness in her voice and leaned against the wall, trying to gain support and composure. She’d always known love was an emotion that’d be imbibed within her – especially, after all the years, she’d tried ignoring it. Perhaps, if she hadn’t ignored it in the past, it wouldn’t have been so difficult to accept.
She shut her eyes and let the wetness dampen her cheeks. She knew, it was because she’d let the emotion crawl so deep within herself, that she’d begun feeling the suffocation, lately. The counteracting pain was almost slicing through her and she couldn’t ignore how it was breaking her into fragments she didn’t want to gather later.
When the glow of the light fell over her, she wiped the tears with the back of her palm and fluttered her eyes, trying to normalise her look. She should’ve had refused to stay for the evening, sticking to her own decision. She shook herself, trying to erase the thoughts out of her mind and turned around, wanting to leave quickly.
Saanjh (taken aback): Twinkle? I thought you were outside…
Twinkle (walking into the study): Are you fine? You seem a little off since the evening.
Saanjh: I’m good. I just – uh, I think, I’ll get going for today. I’ll see you–
Twinkle (walking closer and interrupting): You don’t look fine, Saanjh. Has anything happened?
Saanjh turned around toward the window, hating herself for spinning a web of lies and bit her lower lip. She shouldn’t have waited a second after Yuvraj had left her alone, providing her the requited solitude. She shook her head again, trying to convince Twinkle silently.
Twinkle: You know, sometimes I can’t believe how complicated can life be. I mean, it can be happy one second, and in a flipping second, things just change – and then, leaves you confused.
Saanjh (sighing): I know.
Twinkle stood beside her and stared outside the window, but Saanjh tilted her head, studying her profile, secretly. She’d always admired Twinkle for her professionalism, and each time she’d handed over a case to her, deeming her worthy, she’d always felt a rush of warmth and pride within her. She hadn’t known her outside work as such, but professional and personal lives were, she believed, always meant to be separate.
Saanjh (absentmindedly): And then, it breaks your heart. What’s bad is, the pain stings.
Twinkle (after a long pause): You know, only the ones you trust can break your heart. (gulping softly) It’s sad, how you don’t realise how much your silence can kill someone else.
Saanjh (turning around and furrowing her brows): My silence?
Twinkle (exhaling a harsh breath): I meant rhetorically, Saanjh.
Saanjh: Right. (after a long pause) You never loved Yuvraj, Twinkle?
Twinkle: I don’t know, Saanjh. There are times, when I feel I really did love him, but there are also times when I’ve believed it was just a magical trance between us that expired too soon. I really don’t know.
Saanjh looked at the purse in her hand and brushed her fingers over the magnet, pulling it open. She pushed her fingers inside and withdrew the keys from inside. Her skin swept over the coldness of the metal and she looked down at the floor. She could see herself falling apart too soon, now. When she closed her purse and let the magnet click, her hand swept over her jeans’ pockets, ensuring the presence of a handkerchief.
Saanjh (turning toward the door): I’ll see you tomorrow, Twinkle. (walking toward the door and pausing mid-way for a quick second) You know what’s the problem, really?
When Twinkle turned toward Saanjh, her back was facing her and Saanjh was grateful. She couldn’t stop the tears that pooled at the brim of her eyes. She muffled the throatiness in her voice and said, “We’re never taught how to un-love.”
Twinkle screamed over the distance and ran out into the night air, stopping Yuvraj from leaving. Despite the inner turmoil she’d been fighting the entire evening, she’d been wanting to thank Yuvraj the entire evening. It’d perhaps, have been difficult for Yuvraj, but him sticking through the entire time despite it, was something really appreciable.
Twinkle: I’m sorry you’d to be here for so long. (chuckling softly) I’m sorry we bored you through the evening.
Yuvraj (shoving his hands into his pockets): Don’t be silly, now. I had almost everyone talking to me. Especially, Kunj, Leela Aunty and (pausing briefly) Aarohi.
Twinkle (moving closer to his car): You’re lying. There was mainly Maa talking to you. And very occasionally, Kunj.
Yuvraj looked toward the house in the distance and chuckled, the disappointment interlacing with his voice. He didn’t know, why he’d thought he could’ve lied to Twinkle. The two of them knew each other so well, it scared him, at times. He drummed his fingers against the dashboard of the car and held his silence, letting the disappointment linger in the air.
Twinkle: I’m sorry. I’ll make sure this doesn’t happen the next time onward. Everyone was busy preparing for the evening…
Yuvraj (interrupting): Thank you, Twinkle!
Twinkle (surprised): For what? For making you feel lonely?
Yuvraj (chuckling): For providing Aarohi the home she’s been yearning for all these years. (looking up at her) I don’t think, we’d have been able to give it to her, ever. Actually, I’m the incapable parent. You’re the one who gave her the home she wanted.
Twinkle (shaking her head): Don’t blame yourself. You’ve never backed away from any of your responsibility as a father and a friend. (inhaling deeply) You’ve always been there for me – as a friend albeit – but you’ve been there.
Yuvraj (revving the engine): Before you get too emotional, I’ll leave from here. Emotional Twinkle is never a good sight to see.
Twinkle laughed and smacked his shoulder through the window. She stepped away from his car and watched as he shifted the gear, setting the car into drive. He waved a hand at her and as he reversed out of the parking space, she stared at him – watching him drive away.
She hoped, he found his solace someday, too. His home.
Kunj halted the car in front of their house and looked at Aarohi and her grandmother through the rear-view mirror. He laughed seeing how Aarohi had fallen asleep and honked, trying to wake her up.
Seconds later, she jolted in her seat and looked around, trying to figure out her surroundings. But when Kunj and Twinkle’s mother began laughing, she relaxed into the seat and looked at them in annoyance.
Leela: C’mon, say good night to Uncle now. It’s way past your bed-time.
Aarohi (yawning): Good night, Uncle!
When Aarohi got down the car and walked past the driver seat, Kunj called her closer and ruffled her hair.
Kunj: Good night, Partner! I’ll see you soon. (looking at Leela standing away) Good night, Maa!
The two of them nodded and walked toward the house, almost disappearing into the midnight air. Twinkle stared at the two of them as they waited at the doorstep, and fiddled with the door keys. After several seconds, they walked inside the house and switched on the lights. Twinkle exhaled harshly and twisted in her seat, after unfastening her seatbelt. Her fingers brushed over the door lock and she fiddled with the lock for a second before tugging at it, loosely.
Twinkle: Good night, Kunj!
Kunj (softly): Suno!
Twinkle craned her neck over her shoulder and tilted her head to look at him. Over the past few days, she’d been getting used to him calling from behind when she was leaving and a ghost of a smile lingered on her lips, but it faded almost in a split second.
Kunj: I know, I should’ve told you about Saanjh before. I just didn’t know how to–
Twinkle (shaking her head and interrupting): It’s fine, Kunj. Don’t worry.
When Twinkle turned around to unlock the door lock, Kunj locked the doors and looked at Twinkle, steeling the features of his face. He looked down and gripped the periphery of the steering harder, his knuckles whitening.
Kunj: I know it’s not fine. You’ve been steering clear of me the entire evening, so don’t f*ck*ng lie to me.
Twinkle (turning toward Kunj): Don’t act like it’s all my fault, Kunj. You know too damn well why I’ve been this way the entire evening.
Kunj (controlling his temper): I know. That’s why I want you to talk to me. We should sort this out.
Twinkle (chuckling in mockery): Funny how you say we should talk things out.
Kunj: I know, I should’ve told it to you before. But I couldn’t tell you that we were taking Saanjh’s advisory help without even talking to you.
Twinkle pinched the bridge of her nose and massaged her temples, the tiredness beginning to wear her down. Ever since the evening had begun, there’d been so much happening, she didn’t know how to ignore the way the incidents had begun overwhelming her.
Kunj (twisting in his seat): Are you fine?
Twinkle (shifting away): Don’t. I’m going to call it a night, I’ll see you later.
Kunj (softly): I’m sorry, Twinkle.
Twinkle: You know what, Kunj? (she turned around and snapped at him, her voice amplifying) Tell me that f*ck*ng sorry of yours when you actually mean it. Don’t throw it at me whenever you please. You’re exhausting me, and I think, it’s better if you leave me alone.
Twinkle pushed her fingers across the lock and unlocked the door. When she got down from the car, she turned around and looked at him, “Just because I didn’t unlock it at that time, it doesn’t mean, I can’t.” She slammed the door on his face and walked toward the house, trying to calm the raging nerves inside her.
Moments later, Kunj’s fingers brushed against her skin and he pulled her toward him, his fingers wrapping around her wrist. He twisted her hand behind her back and looked at her, the anger almost diluting his pupils.
Kunj: Stop walking away when we’re talking.
Twinkle (furiously): Stop emphasizing your power on me, Kunj. Don’t, goddamn, push me!
Kunj: Don’t walk away in the middle of a conversation, then. I was explaining something to you.
Twinkle (trying to free her hand): I don’t want your explanation. Just … (wriggling her hand out of his grasp) Just leave me.
Kunj (tightening his grasp): Not unless you listen to me; No. I’d a reason to keep this away from you.
Twinkle (seething in anger): You’ve a reason for everything, Kunj. So, we’ll do one thing. (exhaling harshly and wriggling herself out of his grasp) You keep your reasons and justifications to yourself, and I’m going to keep my worries to myself. That’d do the work.
Twinkle looked at him, the anger crumbling the features of her face, while the insides of her twisted in nausea. She hadn’t wanted the night to end this way, ever. All she’d been demanding for, was some time. Time which she’d been providing him with since the past two months. But, she thought, when she needed the time, he couldn’t provide it to her.
She freed her hand out of his grasp and stepped away, levelling him with a pointed, harsh gaze. Despite wanting to avoid fighting and arguing, everything always came down to fighting around her. This was probably why, she thought, she’d never be successful in a marriage.
Twinkle (harshly): Good night!
She turned around and walked toward the door, the fury in her bubbling. She shouldn’t have waited after Aarohi and her mother had walked inside. She brushed the wisps of hair out of her face in anger, almost scratching herself with the ring on her finger and whimpered, silently.
Kunj: I shouldn’t have even bothered singing for you in the evening.
Twinkle stopped and looked down at the ground, trying to ignore the ache that stirred in her chest. She’d never thought he’d ever repent for something he’d done for her. She turned around, the anger resurfacing as she looked up at him.
Twinkle: Why did you sing? I never asked you to.
Kunj (pulling at his hair): Stop being so damn ungrateful, Twinkle.
Twinkle (walking back toward him): Really, Kunj? Don’t tell me, you’re saying this. After all this time, you can’t appreciate the time I’ve given you; You can’t be thankful to me for that and you expect me to be fine and normal. My patience is exhausting, Kunj, and you’ve to understand that.
Twinkle turned around and tried walking away, but Kunj’s fingers wrapped around her wrist, softly. His thumb rubbed over the marks of his fingers on her skin and he brushed over them gently, trying to soothe her. She craned her neck over her shoulder and looked at him.
Kunj: Do you love me?
Twinkle (taken aback): If you’re not talking about yourself, then just leave. I can’t ignore everything else right now, again.
Kunj (in a pressing tone): Do you love me, Twinkle?
Twinkle (turning around and freeing her hand): I don’t know.
Kunj: You wouldn’t even like the Kunj from the past, Twinkle. You don’t want to know him.
Twinkle (turning around and folding her arms across herself): That’s for me to decide.
Kunj (looking away into the distance): I’d a relationship in college, Twinkle. From the day we’ve met, you’ve always asked me why I didn’t get married. But I could never tell you (exhaling deeply) or maybe, I never wanted to tell you.
Twinkle (placing a hand over his shoulder): What happened, Kunj?
Kunj (after a long pause): She died after our engagement, Twinkle. She died because of me; because I wasn’t there for her when she needed me the most.
Twinkle (standing before him): That can’t be true, Kunj. That’s not the Kunj I know. I’m sure you were always there for her.
Kunj (shaking his head and pressing his hand against the bonnet of the car): I told you, Twinkle. You don’t want to know the Kunj from the past. I killed her. If I’d been there for her when she needed me, she’d have been here with us. She wouldn’t have left us so soon. I killed her. I was so-
Twinkle wrapped her arms around Kunj and stepped closer to him, trying to quieten him. She’d always known he’d had a disturbing past, but she hadn’t known he hadn’t gotten over it yet. When his arms wrapped around her – moments later – she held her silence and leaned further into him.
She’d always believed, experiences shaped people and every time, she came across people and had gotten to know them better, her belief had strengthened. She looked up at him and smiled, softly. She didn’t know, he had been accusing himself over the years for something he, probably, hadn’t even done.
Twinkle: I want to know you inside-out, Kunj. We’re going to fight together. Alright?
He nodded his head and pulled her closer, letting her mingle in his own space. His grasp around her tightened and she clutched onto his shoulder, grabbing fists of his shirt for support. Seconds later, he leaned down and pressed his lips to the top of her head and she rested her head against his chest, letting the warmth envelop her, freshly.
Alright, that’d be it for this episode. As for your all your guesses; yes, Saanjh and Yuvraj are going to be together. Thank you for reading!