I am short of words when it comes to being able to thank you for the overwhelming response to my stories, at all times. You all mean the world to me.

This site and this new story is a token of gratitude towards all of you for being with me through thick and thin, and all phases that I have ever been.

I wish and hope that this story strikes a chord with the readers and entertains you as much as all of my previous stories have. Do let me know how you find it with your comments and feedback. 

Love you all. Stay safe. Take care.

………………………………..

2016-04-22_5719e84c903d0_image

‘Sometimes, even the most meticulously planned ideas don’t materialize into actions, no matter how hard one tries. And on other times, events ensue in a flow as if they were bound to follow a pre-destined path towards their culmination.’ Manik Malhotra thought to himself.

He gave himself a long, deep look through the dressing table mirror while his thoughts wandered in every possible direction. He buttoned up his zardozi embroidered lakhnawi sherwani in cream and gold colour and looked at his reflection in the mirror to identify the look on the face staring back at him.

Was he happy?

Sad?

Unbothered?

Maybe…

He couldn’t fathom his exact emotions about this marriage. But he did know one thing for sure – that the patient he had operated last Saturday before flying down to India for his cousin Aman’s wedding was critical before Manik left the hospital. It was a difficult surgery but as always Dr. Manik Malhotra had managed well. After that, he had taken the flight back home on Sunday.

The patient was doing well until then. Manik had called the hospital and inquired about him. After that, he didn’t hear from the patient or the hospital. For the 10-hour long flight duration from Innsbruck to New Delhi via Dubai and 2 days after that, he couldn’t get in touch with the hospital but since there were no new emails in his mailbox and no emergency messages, he hoped that everything was fine back at work.

Even if it wasn’t, there was nothing that he could do now, sitting in Delhi. The hospital had appointed another surgeon to do a locum of follow-up in his absence. Manik knew that Dr. Boyd was quite a sincere and able surgeon to manage in his absence so he should not worry.

“Manik, are you ready?” His mother Superna’s considerate voice distracted him from his thoughts.

He picked up a hairbrush and started brushing his hair to take them backward, looking into the mirror, and trying to appear normal, “Yeah, mom. Just a moment.”

“What were you thinking so deeply about? I saw that you were lost thinking about something.” Superna came closer to him and touched his arm lovingly.

“Nah! I wasn’t…” he tried to negate Superna’s insinuation about his worries but failed miserably. She was his mom and she knew him better. She knew that he was worried about something.

“Worried, right?” Superna spoke seriously, getting worried herself, and regretful too. “I knew it. I knew that you would be apprehensive. I talked to your dad about it that it is too sudden for you and you might not be happy with his marriage but he doesn’t listen to anyone.”

“Mom…” Manik tried to stop his mom but she was on a ranting spree.

“I can understand. You don’t even know Nandini. You have never met her before. This is such a weird marriage to be decided in just 2 days. You should have refused for the marriage, na?”

Manik rolled his eyes carelessly, “Come on, mom. I’m not even thinking about it. I was worried about the patient that I operated on – my last operation before coming here.”

Superna frowned. She whacked his arm, and gritted her teeth angrily, “You were thinking about the patient? You know what, I am the only idiot in this family. Your dad just thinks about the hospital, the patients, the diseases… all day. Likewise, everyone else in the family does the same. And now, Aman and you! All of you are just bothered about your work and patients. I am the only one left with no proper job other than taking care of all and worrying about everyone whether you are happy or not.”

Manik chuckled, tossed the hairbrush on the dressing table, and held his mother’s shoulders adoringly, “Don’t behave like a melodramatic filmy mommy. Tell me, what is bothering you?”

Her smile returned. A helpless but loving smile for her doting son. She touched his cheek and asked, “Manik, tell me honestly – are you happy?”

Manik shrugged, “Happy about what?”

“About your marriage!” Superna rolled her eyes, almost on the verge of whacking him again.

He swayed his jaw and twisted his lips, “Didn’t think much about it, to be honest. Dad said that I should get married to ‘her’ so I said – yes.”

Superna winced, evidently miffed at this decision. “I had so many plans for your marriage. All of us wanted to talk to you on this trip. Dadi, I, Ramola bua, everyone was so keen on looking for a nice, sweet bride for you. You are already 29 years old and well settled as a plastic surgeon in Innsbruck. We wanted to see you settle down with a girl of your choice but you were never ready to talk about it. And now, suddenly, even before we could plan something, your dad dropped this bomb of Nandini Murthy.”

Manik let his face remain straight and devoid of any expressions. He pressed his lips and turned to face the mirror again, straightening his sherwani, without replying to her and in a way, disappointing her. Superna had been pinning her hopes on him. Quashed by him.

“Manik, you can refuse, even now.” She suggested in an assuring voice, “You don’t have to agree. I will support you. Dadi, bua, everyone will support you. We are not in favour of this marriage. Your dad has gone crazy. But he won’t listen to us unless you put your foot down.”

Manik replied in a grave, deep voice, “But why will I do so?”

“You can’t marry someone you don’t know.” She suggested hopefully.

“How will it help? Just now you said that tomorrow you will bring new faces for me to choose and select one of them.”

“Better girls… I meant…”

“Better?” He smirked carelessly, “You know what is better, mom? The earlier, the better. The fact is that I am not even thinking about marriage right now. But since all of you insist, I agreed to go ahead with this formality.”

“Okay! I get that… But why Nandini??”

“Why not her, mom?”

“You don’t know her.”

“That’s true for all the other girls, you are planning to choose for me. I really don’t have time or energy for the drama of meeting girls and trying to know them when I know that I don’t even care.”

“Don’t care? Don’t care about the girl you will be spending your life with? You haven’t met her. Know nothing about her?”

“I really don’t care. Trust me, I will adjust with any girl. I don’t think anything about marriage.”

“But whyyy??” Superna huffed hopelessly as if she was talking to a wall.

Manik didn’t reply. Instead, he fixed the diamond buttons in the loops of his cuffs.

Superna tried again, in a worried tone, “I’ve heard that she is mysterious, evil, ominous with a dangerous, harmful streak and she does black magic that kills people.”

This time Manik laughed loudly. He couldn’t stop laughing for a long moment. “Oh God! You suddenly make it sound so interesting. I was not even thinking about marriage. And now, I feel so desperate to meet this sorceress of a lady… Nandini Murthy, the black magician, right?”

“You find it funny?! It doesn’t scare you that she can be evil and dangerous and can harm you?”

Manik shrugged, “Mom, such stories are spread about innocent people by others who wish bad for them. Never heard it abroad but it is particularly a problem in India.”

“Everyone says so…” Superna defended herself.

“You tell me…you are a woman. You should know this. Do you really believe in all this nonsense?”

Superna sighed. She sat down on his bed and started folding his discarded shirt. “I never believed it previously. But today, my son’s life is at stake. So, I’m scared.”

“I’m not!” Manik said, “To be honest, the only thing in my mind right now is that I want to get this issue of marriage done and dusted with so that I can go back to Innsbruck and continue my surgery practice. What better time to do this than now?  Aman’s marriage preparations are already on. I will get married in the same functions.”

“This is not how I saw the dreams of your marriage.”

“Come on, mom! I don’t care how the ceremonies take place. I’m tired of this same question by all relatives, again and again. I’m fine to end this issue here. Regarding Nandini, if dad has chosen her, then she must be fine.”

Superna was annoyed, “Your dad is a hopeless case. And so are you. He chose her because he met her a few times when she used to go to the hospital for her aunt’s treatment.”

“So?” Manik shrugged.

“The same aunt died in mysterious circumstances.”

“That doesn’t have to be Nandini’s fault. It could be a coincidence.”

“Of course! The fact that her mother died when she was born and her father died a week before her marriage was a coincidence too. And that she was married for one year to a psychopath who died mysteriously, is a coincidence too?”

Manik heard her patiently and took a moment to process what he wanted to say. Then he replied patiently, “Mom, I don’t believe the gossip circles. Medical education has taught me that a person can either die a natural death or is killed by someone purposefully. Black magic is not listed as a cause of death in our books. Dad told me that he was the family doctor to everyone in her family – especially Nandini’s aunt, her father, and her drunkard, psychopath husband. None of the deaths were murders. All of them were suffering from long-term proven medical issues. Nandini’s only fault is that she was caught in a series of misfortunes. It was her bad luck and we can neither hold her responsible for the deaths of her relatives nor for her bad luck. She is just as much the victim as everyone around her. In fact, she has suffered more as she is alone.”

“So, we are doing charity in the name of marriage?” Superna sighed, well aware that she has lost the case.

Manik became serious and thought for a long moment before replying, trying his best to keep his voice stable, so that his mom is not able to read him. He didn’t want to bother her. But he didn’t want to divulge anything about him to her. His pain was his personal asylum to rot.

He sighed. “No. We are not. Nandini was not even willing to get married again, dad told me. He had to convince her.”

“And you decided to do this favour?”

“No. She is doing a favour to me by agreeing to marry me.”

…………………………………….

[The schedule of updates – Tuesday/Thursday/ Saturday for now]

100 thoughts on “Love, Lies, Etc: Chapter 1: Ready to Marry

  1. Hi di sry I m late. Plz forgive me. According to story muje ye nahi samaj AATA ek aurat aise kaise kisi bhi ladki ko blame Kar sakti hai? Wo use janti bhi nahi hai aur itna negative thinking about her. It’s very bad. Manik ka thinking achchha hai usne Jo anylise Kiya hai wo sahi ho. Wo apne dad ki bat man raha hai to kuchh soch ke hi Kiya hoga. Uski mom ki concern bhi sahi hai me Mana nahi Kar Rahi ki wo apne bete danger me dala nahi chahti par use nandini ko chance Dena chahiye na ki rumors pe vishwas karna chahiye

  2. Wow! Another MaNan ff from my favourite writer😍❤️
    This plot looks scary and interesting. Felt bad for nandini. I am excited to watch mysterious nandini and her shades!!!! Manik looks mysterious too. Looking forward to their meeting now.🤪🤩 This book is different from your previous books. Again a concept of arrange marriage but with a mystery. Haaye! I am so excited for this one! 💃💃💃♥️♥️

  3. Well the plot looks scary and intriguing and interesting all at the same time! Why do I have a feeling that either Nandani is the same patient Manik treated before coming to India or she is or will be somewhere related to that patient. Also black magic and stuff I really don’t believe it! I hope you di don’t make us believe in it as we go further in the story! Scared excited all at the same time!

  4. Damn this story plot is really amazingg and so different I am so excited for this and looking forward to nanduu mystery out. And yesss loved this story

  5. More and more gems from you to read.. first chapter itself opens so many loops.. it’s going to be so mysterious.. Looking forward to this ❤️

    P.S – Parth/Manik as a doctor has become a fetish for you these days? Just a weird observation 😝

    1. lol…yeah… I guess!! Actually, I am done with the male lead being a succesful businessman, millionnaire CEO and army men… so the next best bet is – doctor 😀 😀
      Thank you for liking it 🙂

  6. Intresting to another level… MaNan in this avtar , never thought or imagined before.. How do you think of such out of the box plot & characters manitav.. Hats off yaar 🤗🙋

  7. SUCH A GREART CONCEPT.. FELT THE EMOTIONS.. THANK YOU MANITA DI.. FOR THIS GIFT.. GOD BLESS YOU 😇😇

  8. Part 1 – He is really mysterious. What he said at the last that his pain which he never discussed to any of his family. He too was totally not interested in this marriage like nandini. His mother’s worry was justified. No mother would want to marry his son to girl like nandini who was surrounded by misfortunes. His mother calling nandini a witch or black magician was so funny. So got to know the background of this marriage. Waiting to unfold the story further.

    Madhuri53

  9. Oh…Kay.Now this was unexpected, totally. I mean black magic and all. The weave that you build in every story of yours is commendable. Back from Wattpad to having sites of your own,you have always been a magician when it comes to words.The best part is I never see the plot coming together in the beginning and then at the mid when I realise that this all was meant to be from the very beginnigb. Your writing always has my heart on edge . This story particularly,has my mouth open wide. The curious cat in me is loving this alreadyyyyyy. Thank you for this story,thank you for the time that you devoted to make us happy.A big,big thank you. Lotsa love.

  10. While reading this , it felt so different from ur previous stories that’s what we want 🙈❤ excited for the story to unfold 💃💃 we are up for another beautiful, roller coaster ride journey of our fav manan from our fav writer🤗 ❤❤

  11. Thank u so much for giving us manan ff❤ one more to add in our favorite list 😍😍 this is so interesting and manik ‘s open minded thoughts 💞 he started defending her without knowing her , ohkaayyy that’s unexpected!! Again a concept of marriage, to be precise arrange marriage 💃💃❤ I love it 😍😍

  12. Wow it’s amazing 💕😍 I am already excited 💃💃 ready to read for next chapter.. Loved it alot ❤❤❤

  13. My weekly dose of Manita stories are scheduled, something so fondly to look forward to. Now just need my dose of steaming hot chai and Im all set. 🥰

  14. Wow what a start. This Nandini will be interesting, she is orphan, widow and jinxed too. Would be interesting to read how strong her character would be . But more than Nandini I feel Manik will be mysterious. Would be very interesting to read.

  15. Hi Manita….I am not new to your story…i had read them on wattpad…followed you here cos i was addicted to them….beyond every border is my current fav…..thanks for starting another story on manan…i can’t tell you how happy I am that you are a manan fan and our common love for them lead us to your stories…the start is really mysterious…i understand manik being open minded about nandini’s past but him being so indifferent about the person he is going to spend his whole life with is very weird and not normal to say the least…i feel manik has a more murky past than nandini….but he does comes across as a strong character…you convey so much with few words…you are truly gifted…thanks again!

    1. Thank you Shubhodini, for all the lovely words and for following me. It feels great to have people around who were there since wattpad times. I miss wattpad but glad that you all are here with me 🙂

  16. Every story I read of you…..I become spellbound by ur writing…..I wish the chapters to go on and on and never end…… congratulations for the new story and as usual it’s seems really interesting

  17. Thats an amazing start to be honest… 😊😊😊Nandini is already a mystery😶where you haven’t even start her part of story..🙄🙄
    ..without knowing about her much or meeting her for once Manik is defending her, while he can’t put himself on display as his pain is his personal asylum to rot… which again comes under another mystery.. 😶
    Okeyy…🤷🏻‍♀🤷🏻‍♀🤷🏻‍♀
    With the bold letter ending i can’t wait now, for satrday to come ..😐😐

  18. Its wonderful…And above all its better as I have my whole week for your updates…. Thank you

  19. Wah wah wah wah..
    Awesome to tell you honestly we can judge a book by it’s cover and that i used to believe is not so true but in your case it’s so true …I got the same vibes when I read tt first chapter and same here..lovely lovely characterisation..we just can’t get enough of manan or non manan fictions any of your work.. overwhelmed by all the efforts you take for us.. thank you di…either beb tt sas and this whichever I have read so far..you have never failed to surprise me.. beautiful.. just speechless..

      1. Where to check new updates di in this site…have you uploaded Saturday something new..I can’t find any..

        1. Also, you can check the new updates on the main page at 2 sites –
          1. On clicking at ‘Categories’
          2. Or simply scroll down the main page and there is the list of all updates, recently posted ones at the top or under ‘more posts’

  20. So much in 1st chapter itself, cant wait to read further, nd looks like nandini is more misterious than manik.. 1st chapter is so lit💥💥, cant wait to read further.. stay safe nd tc didu🤗🤗😘😘, nd a big virtual hug 4 this one🤗🤗

  21. Wow what an update 😀😀..Manik is so open minded but mysterious here..same goes for Nandini it looks like..I wonder how she is dealing with all this gossip about her coz however strong you portray yourself it makes a huge impact on your self worth..Manik’s mom is like most moms in general..they are usually very open minded when the issue is about others but when it comes to their own children their POV takes a full turn 😀. Looking forward to this 😀

  22. The first chapter itself is a blast, and I know the upcoming updates are going to be the same. Though Manik was introduced as a mysterious character but even Nandini’s past is going to be so intriguing…. & I feel somewhere Manik’s father is going to play a key role….I’m so looking forward to this piece of work from you Di!!!
    Lots of love😊😊

  23. An another different and interesting manan story from you ….
    i am really excited to read it… but felt really bad for nandu for what she has gone through .. I loved manik’s this version 😍😍😍.. waiting for nxt update desperately

  24. Having no household help, not even your husband with you, managing house, children and clinic, and even then taking all these efforts, making new site, segregating Manan ff’s, updating ongoing ones, ufff I can really go on. Your efforts are really commendable. Just wanted to ask do you sleep even😜
    Coming to the update, mystery all around, interesting genre different from the rom coms.

    1. Haha…nice question, Madhuri. You will really be surprised to know that I sleep well. In fact, I’ve never slept better. These days I sleep regularly with a 9 pm – 4 am schedule and wake up at 4.
      i dedicate set 4-5 hours for household work and cooking. And 4 hours for online consultations. After spending time with kids, I still have 3-4 hours to read and write.
      I guess, I save the time people spend on phone/social media/webseries/TV shows. I’m not addicted to any of these.

      1. Oh no bad habits all good ones. And that too waking up at 4:00 AM. Great commitment and dedication. You are truly an inspiration on how to direct your energy in right direction and avoiding unnecessary negative vibes and distraction.

  25. Thank you for this effort, Dr. Manita…
    You already have a blog wherein you are writing different stories (with different character names but with Parth and Niti and main characters, of course, for which I cannot thank you enough) for your readers. But you have decided to go out of way and taken this initiative.
    Thank you and hats off!! No amount of words can ever express how thankful I’m to you for your initiative. There are still no enough words to show you the depth and intensity of all gratitude I’m feeling towards you.
    You have given your readers some of the most beautiful moments of their life when you were in wattpad. it was sad that you became a victim of plagiarism repeatedly. However, you neither gave up on your writing nor your readers when you decided to fight the battle headlong. You could not not emerge as a victorious warrior, it was only a matter of time.
    No doubt your honesty and beautiful heart get reflected so beautifully in your writing(s). This one looks no different barring the genre (dark and mysterious).
    Just a question Doc, Is Europe your favourite place (understandable though as it is my favourite too, especially Bavaria)? The Masquerade backdrops at Cremona, Love, Lies, Etc at Innsbruck.

    1. Thank you for the beautiful words you wrote for me, Anura. I just hope that I live up to them now 🙂
      All of you are my strength and I think I have been privileged to have that force behind me to stand with everything I do. So thanks a lot.
      As for Europe – Good guess 😀 Yes, it is my favourite place, both for visiting and writing in stories. Bavaria & entire Europe has a character of it’s own that can never be explored in one story.

  26. This is looking more interest to me. Superrrr excited for this mysterious Nandini. And the best part is first time like first time I have met a person like me….Manik is just like me here. His and mine thought for marriage is same 😂 for me too marriage is a stupid compulsion. I don’t even care. Wohooooooo Manik mere jaisa hai 💃💃

  27. Arreh….that is quite interesting.I am excited to know more.Why am I getting a feeling that we all are going to be addicted to this story as well?
    Waiting for the next update eagerly.

  28. Wow this story is really interesting!! I seriously didn’t expect them to meet directly at their marriage😂but you definitely have something in mind so I’ll wait what is it actually😁
    Both of them seem really interesting..
    Looking forward to their meeting now:)

  29. love the start of the story — hope this nandini proves to be just as strong and fierce as all your other wonder heroines.

    –annkay0

    1. Trust me on that. I try my best to make the female leads as sensible, strong and fierce characters. This Nandini will try to stand at par with others

      1. I especially like the fact that she’s a widow. I like stories about women who have maybe had a rough life and have risen above their circumstances to create a good life for themselves. It’s very inspirational to read stories about heroines like that. Also, too often, our culture sees widows or divorcees as damaged or used goods — which is soo completely wrong. I love that you’re showing this side of a strong woman as well.

  30. Oooo myyyy goodfdddd….mysterious mysterious mysterious……this s soooo thrilling….already started loving the frst chappy…im sry sis …i cldnt comment in mrg as i frgt passwrd fr wordpress….now i hav changed….congratulations on ur new site sisssss….😍😍 loads of love too uuuu……
    Ps: waiting fr fire and ice eagerly as i hav not read it…..

  31. Damn dii!!!! It is so so interesting and intense that I can’t help but be drawn to this beautifully weaved story of ours. I am so privileged and blessed to read your stories and will continue to do so. Congrats di on this new site and new book. Stay happy, Stay safe di. Love you❤❤

  32. Damn!!! This is too good!! First chapter and a blast..!!! Really looking forward to this story…

  33. Wowww the first chapter is here already. Can’t wait to read. I’ll read and comment moreeee

  34. Nandini’s past is intriguing.. especially about her husband. What can I say about Manik?

    For now, he prefers to work moreeee and don’t care about what others think much.

    Excited to read more.

    Much love doc

Please leave a comment