Candy Crush – Part 2

Click here for Part 1

18 months later

“Nisha…..are you ready? We will be late if we don’t leave in the next five minutes said Raj for the seventh time that evening. Finally Nisha walked out looking absolutely ravishing and worth the wait. Raj almost complimented her but held himself back. “Shall we leave now?” he ended up asking instead. “Yes,” she said as she walked out swaying her hips seductively. Nisha and Raj were invited by a friend to a club opening. Raj usually stayed away from such events but since the club happened to be one of Raj’s school friend’s new venture he couldn’t say no and Nisha was only too happy about it. Nisha loved such events. The pomp and show of it excited her. Over the last few months Gurgaon had grown on Nisha and she had not only made it her own but also managed to convert Raj into a social being, something that he wasn’t.

The club opening was grand and there were more people than Nisha had imagined would be there. As Raj and Nisha made their way through the guests towards the bar counter Nisha thought she saw Angad. “Is Angad here?” she asked Raj almost screaming above the loud music. “Who?” asked Raj. “ANGAD. The guy who was staying in our house before we moved in,” said Nisha to be specific. She was certain it was him. “I don’t know,” was all she got from Raj. By this time there were others who had met up with Raj and Nisha and they were lost in the evening. While Nisha was completely enjoying the evening, she kept looking for Angad and was sure that it was him that she had spotted earlier and if it was then maybe he was back in Gurgaon.

At 3.00 a.m., when the couple finally got into their car after a night of complete revelry, neither of them was in state to remember much of what transpired through the party. “Angad is back in Gurgaon,” said Raj suddenly after ten minutes of silence. “ I knew I saw him at the club,” said Nisha. “What is he doing back?” she asked. “I don’t know. I am not sure I asked or if he said,” said Raj. “Anyway, you don’t get too pally with him,” said Raj. “Huh? What does that mean?” asked Nisha. Just after Raj made that statement they arrived at their apartment and went up the lift in silence. Before getting into bed Nisha asked Raj again what that statement meant but Raj brushed it off and Nisha assumed it was the alcohol speaking and didn’t pay much heed to it either.

A week passed by, the household went back to it’s normal functioning until Angad decided to show up one fine day. It was the broker who got him, this time he was being shown houses. Nisha opened the door and was surprised to find the broker there. “Are we supposed to have the lease agreement ready or something?” she asked the broker before she saw Angad. “Hey. Angad! Welcome back. Raj told me that you are back. How have you been.” she asked him all smiles. “ I am well, Nisha. It is lovely to see you.” he said. His refinement only more pronounced. The broker was lurking around the corner for a while and when he realised that Angad and Nisha were going to be having a long conversation, he excused himself and left the apartment.

“What brings you back?” asked Nisha “and how is Avanti? She is not here?” “Avanti is still in HK, will be there for a few more months before she wraps up her assignment and returns. I am back and house hunting actually. We would like to buy a place here, so lets see how we fare,” he said to Nisha. “Oh, that’s lovely. It will be so nice to have you here,” Nisha said. Hardly masking her excitement. She was never able to place her finger on what it was about Angad that drew her in, and as she sat there talking to him Raj’s words came back to her “don’t get too pally with him” he had said. Maybe for once in his life Raj was being jealous of someone, and he ought to be. Angad was someone to be jealous of. What a good looking and refined man. Just for that Nisha wanted to get pally with Angad.

With a promise of helping Angad house hunt and three cups of masala chai later Angad left Nisha’s place that evening. When Raj came back that evening Nisha mentioned in passing that Angad had stopped by. “Angad came by today, he is looking to buy a place here,” she said. “Hmmm,” Raj said to that. Great, if he doesn’t want to know anything more, why should I say more,thought Nisha. A few minutes later Raj looked at Nisha and said, “people aren’t saying good things about Angad. This is his modus operandi. Women like you are his game. So be careful.” “What kind of statement is that to make, Raj.”Nisha asked in exasperation. “ What the hell do you mean by women like me are his game? How the hell do you think you can get away with making a statement like that?” She was getting tired of Raj beating around the bush, If he had a point to make he should just say it instead of saying things like this, she thought. “Nothing, forget it. I don’t want to get into a fight or an argument. All I am saying is be mindful of what you are getting into with this chap and remember that he isn’t what seems to be,” said Raj before picking up his phone again. They ate the rest of their dinner in silence. Both of them looking into their phones. Raj looking at some new client’s numbers he needed to sort out the coming week and Nisha was looking through the RWA listing to see if there were any apartment listings that she could pass on to Angad. Both in their own world.

Nisha started spending a lot more time with Angad, not just seeing houses in her own apartment but also others close by. Somehow Avanti and Raj never figured in their conversations. Nisha would only mention in passing to Raj that she met Angad. They started meeting for coffee, and sometimes for lunch even. Raj was never the kind of husband to stop Nisha from meeting or doing anything and this time around too he never said anything, all the while feeling uncomfortable seeing what was happening. He trusted his wife but had absolutely no trust in that wretched slime ball Angad.

There were all kinds of stories floating around about Angad and the kind of person he was. His wife had apparently left him in Hong Kong and he was forced to return to India. Avanti had filed a complaint with the company he was working with and that had let to his losing his job as well. Raj could have sat Nisha down and explained all this but he knew she wouldn’t have heard a word of it. She was way too enamoured and charmed by Angad and his looks. He thought it best that she learnt it the hard way. He would just have to keep one eye on his wife, lest she gets too carried away by the charm.

“I want to go watch Dilwale. Can you make it for the night show?” Nisha asked Raj “Tonight?” “Yes,” she said.”No, I can’t. Will be late,” he said. “Ok, I will ask Rachna and gang and go with them then. I will be back post the movie. Have you taken the house key with you?” she asked. “Yes, I have. Have a good evening,” he said before hanging up. Nisha had half a mind of calling Angad for the movie but better sense prevailed and she decided against it. The evening out with the girls was fun, Nisha came back in good spirits. Just as she was entering her building she thought she saw Malini and Angad near the service door. What were they doing together anyway, she thought. Was it really them? She tip-toed to the door and slowly pushed it open to find them both pinned up against the wall. Malini, a mother of two, forty-two year old, wife of Sahil, CEO of Salt and Sugar and Online Grocery Store recently funded and doing very well. What was she doing with Angad. They were oblivious to Nisha standing there and by the looks of it didn’t look like it was the first time they were going at it either.

Nisha felt sick looking at them. It felt like she had been punched really hard in her stomach. Everything that Raj had been saying about Raj came back to her and it wasn’t good. What did Raj know about Angad? Is this why Raj was warning her against getting too friendly with Angad she thought as she walked towards the lift. She rode up in silence and as she entered her house found Raj on the couch typing away furiously on his laptop. She went and next to him, rested her head on his shoulder, sighed and said, “you were right, Raj.” Without even stopping or looking up, Raj smiled and said to her, “What about this time, my darling, Nisha?”

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